Monthly Archives: September 2011

10 Ways to Find Time for Exercise

  |  in Exercises, General, Motivational TipsNo Comments

What’s the No. 1 excuse for not working out? Lack of time. Sure, we’re all busy handling multiple priorities and rushing around from here and there every day. However, I promise that no matter how busy you are, someone even busier than you are is working out right now.

 If you look closer, you’ll discover that you do have the time to work out—and you deserve to use that time for yourself. Squeezing in just a few minutes of physical exercise a day has huge benefits on your health, gives you energy and perks up your mood. In fact, a new study published by The Lancet found that if inactive people increased their physical activity by just 15 minutes per day, they could reduce their risk of death by 14% and increase their life expectancy by three years. Also, remember that “working out” doesn’t have to happen in the gym or last for an hour! Short 10-minute bursts of exercise, accumulated over the course of the day, can add up to big fitness and health gains, too. Still not convinced that you have the time to exercise? Here’s how to start fitting fitness into your busy life today!

10 Practical Tips to Fit Fitness into Your Busy Life

1. Wake up earlier. Sleep is definitely important for overall health and weight-loss, but could you hit the sheets just 30 minutes earlier, so that you could get up and work out before your day starts? Working out in the morning has numerous benefits including regulating appetite, boosting energy and—perhaps the biggest benefit of all—an A.M. sweat session ensures that your workout is checked off first thing each day! Because really, how many times have you had the best intentions to exercise in the evening, only to have to work late, help your kids with a project or generally just feel too exhausted to get off the couch? With morning workouts, the time problem is solved!

2. Cut down on media. For just a few days, record how much time you spend surfing the Internet, checking personal email, watching TV and playing video games whether it’s on your computer or your phone. You just might be surprised at how much time you spend on Facebook or playing Angry Birds. Just a few minutes here and there can add up to an hour or more each day. Cut out just some of that screen time and, voila, you suddenly have time to squeeze in at least 10 or 15 minutes of exercise into even the busiest day.

3. Be an active TV watcher. It’s unrealistic to never watch TV or to shun the Internet forever. So when you do, try to incorporate some physical activity. When watching TV, make it a point to do some jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials. Doing a little exercise during the commercial breaks can add up to almost 20 minutes of fitness for every hour of TV you watch. And instead of sitting in a chair when on the computer, try sitting on a stability ball or stack your computer up on some books so that you have a standing desk to surf from. No matter how you do it, try not to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time!

4. Try an active commute. One of the best ways to fit exercise into your life is by incorporating it into your school or work transportation routine. If you live close enough, consider biking to work. If you take the bus, walk to a bus stop that’s an extra block or two away, or get off the bus a stop sooner than usual and get a few more steps in. And if you drive to work, park as far away as you can—even a few blocks away, if possible.

5. Make it part of your routine. One reason it’s so challenging to fit exercise into a busy schedule is because we’re not used to doing it. Heck, it takes time to brush your teeth in the morning, but you do it, don’t you? You brush your teeth every day because it’s important and because it’s almost second nature to get up and do it. Start making some form of exercise—whether it’s walking the dog, doing 10 minutes of yoga or going for a bike ride after dinner—a daily tradition, just like showering, brushing your teeth or hitting the coffee shop on the way to work. It’s easy to fit in exercise for a few days here or there, but by incorporating it into your daily routine like you would your hygiene, you take the process of working out away from willpower and into habit.

6. Mix socializing with exercising. Do you normally spend time with your family or friends by going to dinner, watching sports on TV or going to movies? Make your social time more active by planning events that get all of you moving. Go for a family hike on a beautiful Saturday morning, play a game of tag football with your buddies during halftime, or make a date with your significant other or best friend on the treadmill. There are so many options for squeezing more activity into your social calendar!

7. Turn chores into exercise. While cleaning might not be the most fun activity, it’s something we all have to do, and it can definitely be a workout if you want it to be. Set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and see how much of the house you can clean. Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible, and I guarantee you’ll work up a sweat. If you’re doing lighter housework that is harder to get your heart rate up (like laundry or organizing), throw in some lunges or push-ups every few minutes to start feeling the burn!

8. Schedule an appointment. If you had scheduled a doctor’s appointment, you wouldn’t miss it would you? How about that important business meeting? Of course not. Working out is actually as important as going to the doctor or any other obligation that you prioritize, because it helps you perform better as a worker, parent, student or volunteer, and keeps you in tip-top shape. So whether it’s scheduling in an hour to go to that group exercise class, investing in personal training sessions or even making a date with yourself to do that workout DVD over your lunch break, write it in pen in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment you can’t miss!

9. Find an activity you love. Think of your favorite hobby or pastime. Do you have trouble finding time to do it? Most likely, you make time for it because you enjoy it so much. It’s the things we don’t enjoy that we put off and don’t feel bad about missing. That’s why it’s best to choose a physical activity that you actually enjoy and look forward to. Not only are you more likely to do it, but it also adds more fun into your life. And we all could use some more fun in our busy lives, right?

10. Say no. If you’ve gone through this entire list of tips and don’t think a single one will work in your life, then it’s time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Do you really have to bake cookies for that fundraiser? Babysit for your sister? Take on that extra project at work? Attend that wedding shower of your second cousin? Remember that there’s nothing wrong in saying no. Yes, we all have obligations to others, but don’t forget about the obligation you have to yourself to take care of your body and your health! Remember, exercise gives you energy and keeps you healthy to keep going in that busy life of yours! So don’t think of exercise as another to-do to squeeze in on your already busy schedule. Instead, think of it as maintenance for your health and a way to de-stress and do something for you!

 http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1675

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Sodium

  |  in General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Even if you are not a potato chip and pretzel junkie, you’re probably eating more salt than you realize. Sodium, the main ingredient in table salt, can hide in places you don’t suspect, like in ketchup, frozen dinners, instant hot cereals and some medications.

What’s Harmful About Sodium? High levels of sodium can cause the body to retain too much fluid. This can be harmful to people with high blood pressure or heart, liver or kidney diseases. People with these conditions should be especially careful about sodium intake. But there’s some debate on whether everyone needs to worry about all of this salt talk. We’ll listen to the USDA, who recommends that we need to choose and prepare foods with less sodium. The average American adult consumes about 2,500 to 5,000 milligrams of sodium a day. But we only need 1,100 to 3,300 milligrams, or about 1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons. That can be a pretty big difference.

Where are we getting so much sodium in our diets? Think about all the times we add salt during cooking or as a seasoning to a prepared meal. Surprisingly, our own salt shaking doesn’t compare to the major sources of “hidden” sodium in our diets found in processed foods and baked products. Some examples include salad dressings, mustard, meat tenderizer, cheeses, instant foods, pickles, canned vegetables and soups, salsa and barbecue sauce. Even common medications such as antacids, laxatives and cough remedies contain sodium compounds.

The keys to watching our sodium levels are to be aware of which foods have a high sodium content and to limit how much of those foods we eat. Practice checking the nutrition facts labels of packaged foods for the exact sodium content per serving.

Some label terms can help our purchase decisions:

Term Means:

sodium free or salt free – less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving

low sodium – 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving

reduced or less sodium – at least 25% less sodium than the food’s standard serving

light sodium – 50% less sodium than the food’s standard serving

unsalted or no salt added – no salt added during processing, but could contain naturally occurring sodium

Steps to Reduce Your Sodium

• Limit your use of the salt shaker. Try a shaker with smaller holes.

• Substitute salt seasoning with other flavorings, such as onion, garlic, lemon, vinegar, black pepper, or parsley.

• Choose fresh, frozen or canned vegetables without added salt.

• Cook fresh or frozen fish, poultry and meat more often than canned or processed forms.

• Compare the amounts of sodium in various brands of frozen dinners, packaged mixes, cereals, cheese, breads, salad dressings, soups and sauces. Sodium content varies widely among different brands.

• Rinse canned beans and vegetables to remove added salt before cooking.

• Choose foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium” or “sodium free.”

• Know how much sodium is in your favorite condiments, especially soy sauce, steak sauce, ketchup and salsa. Limit your intake accordingly.

• Avoid foods with MSG (monosodium glutamate), particularly when dining out. You can ask to have your meal prepared without MSG.

• Try to limit your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams.

One thing that the experts do agree on is that getting a balanced diet with more fruits and vegetables is more important than obsessing over one ingredient, like sodium. So it’s good to be mindful of how much sodium you’re taking in, but concentrate more on an overall nutritious diet.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=166&page=2

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Work Your Core

  |  in Exercises, General, Motivational Tips, Sample WorkoutsNo Comments

Whenever you walk or run, your core muscles are active, keeping you upright, balancing your body as your weight shifts, and absorbing the impact as your feet hit the ground. Your body’s core forms the foundation of all your movement. If your core is weak, you are susceptible to poor posture and injury. Lower back pain is also more likely to occur.

Your core muscles lie deep within your torso and pelvis. They are layered, overlapping and connected to each other.

Unlike weight lifting, a core-strengthening program exercises your whole system at once. You also don’t need any equipment. The strength you use in holding a position, as well as the gravitational pull of your own weight, work out the core muscles. You’ll be surprised at how great an effect a simple routine can have on your daily living activities.

The Core Benefits
The major core muscle is called the transversus abdominis. It is deep in your abdomen and circles your torso. To feel it contract, pull your belly button toward your spine. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat several times. You can do this exercise anytime, anywhere.

Breathing is important while you do core exercises. Practice breathing deeply from your diaphragm before starting core exercises. Sit or stand with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds, expelling as much air from your lungs as you can. Then inhale for 6 counts, feeling your belly and chest expand as your lungs fill with air. Repeat 3 times, then breathe at a more normal pace throughout your exercises.

The following core exercises are simple enough to do on your own. To be safe, you should always check with your doctor before trying any new exercises.

Leg Press
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Raise your right leg off the floor with the knee still bent until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Rest your right hand on the kneecap. Push against your knee with your right hand while pulling your knee toward your hand with your abdominal muscles. Hold for 3-4 deep breaths. Repeat with the left leg and hand.

Abdominal Crunch
Lie on your back and place your feet on the wall, so that your knees form a 90-degree angle. Cross your arms on your chest. Keep your gaze fixed forward. Using your abdominal muscles—not your neck—lift your chest as far as you can off the floor, even if it is only an inch or two. Hold for 2-3 seconds if you can, then release. Repeat 8 times. Remember to breathe deeply throughout this exercise.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=428&page=2

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Motivational Get Slim Tricks

  |  in General, Motivational Tips, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Take these get slim tricks into consideration.. it couldn’t hurt to try!

1). Swap your to-go order – If you have to eat on the run, choose grilled chicken over fried, or get apple slices instead of chips!

2). Skip the salty isle – Don’t stock up on salty crackers and chips when at the grocery store. That way when you have a craving, they won’t be ready and waiting for you in the cupboard. You would have to drive to get them.. and that is an inconvenience to you – therefore you skip eating them all together!

3). Eat Breakfast – Eating a healthy 300 calorie breakfast each morning will keep you energized and full until lunch time – decreasing your snack consumption. Eat a balanced meal with whole grains and protein.

4).Do a purge – Go through your freezer and cupboards and get rid of any unhealthy snacks that might be in there – ice cream, chips, cookies, candy, etc. That way, they won’t be there when you have a craving. Replace them with healthier snack choices like nuts, fruit, and whole grain products.

5). Nix the night-time eating – Stop eating after 6:30 or 7 pm. That is the time when most sit down to relax and end up munching on junk food. After dinner, put a stop to the eating to let your body digest and settle.

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2 Day Special at InCharge Fitness Center!

  |  in Blog, General, Upcoming EventsNo Comments

The team at InCharge Fitness Center has been very busy the past few months. After knocking down walls, painting, adding more equipment, adding a nutritional shake station and much more we are excited to show off our newly remodeled fitness center. Please join us for our HUGE 2 Day Special on Sept. 12th and Sept 13th from 10 – 7pm. Details below:

  • $75 for 3 month membership
  • Family special: Sign up for a 3 month membership & your teen can work out with you for free!  (Age 13 to 18) One teen per adult.
  • 25% Off all our NOW Brand Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements!
  • Nutritional Shake Samples
  • Free food!
  • Drawings
  • Free shaker cup to first 50 people
  • Free blood pressure checks, BMI and body fat analysis

At InCharge Fitness we offer 24/7 access, insurance reimbursements, affordable rates, guidance and much more!

Hope to see you during our 2 Day Event. Bring a friend! =)

To Happy, Healthy Living,
The InCharge Fitness Team

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