Saturday, September 8, 2012
Fall Fitness Tips
I love Fall more than any other season. I love everything about it from the crisp air and colors to the smell of fireplaces on cool evenings. I especially love Fall Baking; with apples, pears, and pumpkins in season it's very hard for me not to treat myself more than I should. So this year, I'm trying to stay ahead of the game, on the fitness front at least; and Fall is the perfect time to exercise. With cooler weather and beautiful scenery, it's a great time to get outdoors and get moving. So I thought I would share some tips that I found to keep us all Fit this Fall.
1) Trick your self into Motivation: If you can only work out in the afternoon or evening, leave your house keys and workout clothes at the gym locker in the morning on your way to work or after dropping kids off at school. This way you HAVE to go back to the gym before you go home. Or, if you work out at home, keep an exercise-only calendar on our wall. This way you see what you have done already this week, and mix it up for cross-training. It'll give you one important thing to cross off each day. If you can work out in the morning, sleep in your workout clothes, put out your sneakers, and set your alarm music to fun encouraging music. This way you just get dressed and get inspired, then get through your workout before you know it.
2) Multitask your workouts. Why stand still doing just doing biceps curls when you could combine them with lunges? Multitasking means more calories burned, a boosted metabolism, and increased heart rate during workouts which results in more muscle toning in half the time! Sprinkle in some cardio intervals between sets for even more health and slimming benefits. There are a lot of great fitness programs and DVDs that use this strategy. I have some dvds that I use and they are great, but I also try to fit in some different fitness classes to keep my workouts interesting and to target different areas. There are a lot of options.
3) Plan meals on Sunday. The more natural fruits, veggies, fiber and lean protein like fish and chicken that you can prepare for your week in small portion sizes, the less fried or processed food you will need to rush to later. Invest in zip lock bags, blenders, portable coolers, ice packs, Tupperware, plastic utensils, and slow cookers or steamers. There are a lot of make-ahead recipes that will save you time and calories throughout your week!
4) Look for Excuses. Look for reasons to be outdoors with your family and friends. At half time, challenge everyone to your own game of football. Hiking trails, walking the dog, or riding your bike are all great ways to get the whole family moving.
Only Have a Minute?
Experts recommend working out 45 minutes to an hour a day (30 minutes for beginners) for weight loss and fitness. But if you're like most women, you don't always have a block of 30 to 60 minutes a day to devote exclusively to doing your workouts. If you think that short bursts of activity have a no or little effect on your fitness program, think again. One study found that women who split their exercise into 10-minute increments were more likely to exercise consistently, and lost more weight after five months, than women who exercised for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.
Here's some tips from Prevention Magazine that will help you squeeze in a bit of exercise when you're short on time:
1. When you go outside to pick up your morning newspaper, take a brisk 5-minute power walk up the street in one direction and back in the other. I enjoy walking around my neighborhood with my cup of coffee in the mornings. Those extra minutes of exercise really add up.
2. If you're stuck indoors, hop on an exercise bike or do a treadmill workout while your kids nap or while you watch the morning news.
3. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session. You don't have to do all 10 minutes at once. Like I said, it all adds up.
4. Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm's length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders. This also helps strengthen your arms and wrists if you aren't very good at regular push ups. (Ahem, me)
5. After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids, extended family or friends.
6. Just before bed, do a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises, suggests exercise instructor Sheila Cluff, owner and founder of The Oaks at Ojai and The Palms, in Palm Springs, CA, who keeps a set of free weights on a shelf in front of her bathroom sink. I keep a set of free weights on a stand next to my stationary bike.
7. Walk around the block several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson. As your fitness level improves, add 1-minute bursts of jogging to your walks.
8. Walk around medical buildings if you have a long wait for a doctor's appointment. "I always ask the receptionist to give me an idea of how long I have left to wait," Cluff says. "Most are usually very willing to tell you."
9. While your son or daughter plays a soccer game, walk around the field.
10. Turn a trip to a park with your child into a mini-workout for you. Throw a ball back and forth and run for fly balls.
11. Walk to work if you can. "I walked to work for months, 1 1/2 miles each way," says Mary Dallman, PhD, professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and she really saw results. At the very least, try to park as far back in the parking lot as you can.
12. If you dine out on your lunch hour, walk to a restaurant on a route that takes you a little bit out of your way.
13. If you have a meeting in another building, leave 5 or 10 minutes early (or take some time afterward), and do some extra walking.
14. On breaks, spend 5 to 10 minutes climbing stairs.
15. If you're pressed for time and must wait for an elevator, strengthen your core with ab exercises. Stand with your feet parallel and your knees relaxed. Contract the muscles around your belly button. Then elevate your upper torso, and release.
16. Use a ringing phone as a reminder to stretch your back.
17. Put away your remote and change channels the old-fashioned way—by getting up and walking to the television set.
18. Dance as if you were 16 again. Crank up the radio and dance around the house.
19. During commercials, jog in place. A 150-pound woman can burn up to 45 calories in 5 minutes.
20. Do leg exercises and lifts with small weights while you watch tv.
21. Pack your sneakers and a fitness DVD while on vacation. Call ahead to make sure your room has a DVD player. If it doesn't, ask to rent one from the hotel.
22. If you're traveling by car, stop twice a day for short, brisk walks and some stretching.
23. During layovers at airports, avoid the mechanized "moving carpets" that transport travelers from concourse to concourse. "If you're in between flights, walk around the concourse as much as you can," suggests Cluff.
24. When on vacation, book a hotel room between the fifth and eighth floors, then ignore the elevator. Better yet, take two stairs at a time. Double check with the hotel ahead of time, because for security reasons some hotels do not allow guests to use stairs except for emergencies.
25. Stretch your calf muscles while riding in elevators.
Time: 11:07 AM