Wednesday April 23, 2014
Last week, I published a blog post about aging and the fact that many of us try way too hard to keep our bodies from changing. This generate so many great comments, I wanted to continue the discussion and ask my esteemed readers this: What does it mean to age gracefully?
It seems that many of the older readers who commented on that blog post were very focused on being healthy and fit, rather than their weight or appearance. I'm wondering if that's the key ingredient to accepting the changes that are happening...that along with doing what we can to look and feel our best. Wearing clothes that flatter our bodies and make us feel confident, for example, rather than killing ourselves to get that six pack, which was probably nearly impossible in the first place.
I know there are things we can do to age gracefully...what do you think they are? Is it all about attitude? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
Tuesday April 22, 2014
If you've ever been disappointed that you can't do high impact exercises like burpees or mountain climbers (and who wouldn't be), I have great news for you: With the right tools, you can take the impact out of a variety of exercises without losing the intensity
I know...it's like Christmas came early, right? My favorite tools for low impact, high intensity exercise are Gliding Discs or, as one of my clients calls them, "Little pieces of heaven." Actually, I can't print what she calls them because it would offend my delicate readers.
There are so many great exercises you can do with Gliding Discs and I've highlighted my favorite ones below. Of course, you can try paper plates if you don't have discs or you could even use towels if you have a hardwood floor, but I highly recommend investing in a pair.
Sliding Reverse Lunges
Sliding Side Lunges
Monday April 21, 2014
Losing weight is hard enough, but it's even harder when you don't have a good support system around you. For example, you put together a fresh salad, grilled chicken and a side of whole grains so whole-grainy, you're wondering if it's possible to overdose on fiber.
You plate your meal, already proud of the sheer number of nutrients you are about to ingest when your spouse walks in and shouts, "Honey, I brought home pizza!" Your response is so instant, so primal, you actually have no memory of what happened to that lovely chicken dish, much less how your face ended up in the middle of a deep dish pizza.
That support is important, but we can't always control what our spouses do (though we never really stop trying, do we?). However, there are things we can control, things that, if left unchecked, make it that much harder to stay on track:
- Your pantry - That bag of Doritoes that stares at you (perhaps even winks at you seductively) every time you open the door doesn't care about what size pants you want to fit into or the fact that your doctor threatened high cholesterol medication if you don't lose weight. It's a known fact that temptation is easier to resist if it isn't there (or, at the very least, hidden where you'll never find it).
- Your scale - It may surprise you that an inanimate object can be so hateful, but the scale isn't always your friend. In fact, your scale may lie to you regularly, telling you you're not making progress, even when you are. If your scale makes you cry on a regular basis, it may be time to break up with it and find a less destructive relationship.
- Your workouts - Sometimes, even our workouts work against us. Perhaps they're too long to fit into the time we have, so we skip them. Or maybe they include things we don't like, making them more unpleasant than they have to be. We often try to force our lives to fit the workout schedule we're 'supposed' to follow, rather than fitting exercise into the lives we already have. Unfortunately, having an amazing workout program guaranteed to help you lose weight doesn't matter if you never follow it. A supportive workout program means one you can stick to most of the time.
What do you think? Have you set up an environment that supports your goals or have you sabotaged yourself in some way? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.
Thursday April 17, 2014
Back in the olden days when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I did some very intricate strength training workouts. Some were split routines, doing upper body one day, for example, and lower body the next. Sometimes I would really detail it out - Chest, shoulders and triceps on day one, back and biceps on day two and lower body on day three, later, rinse and repeat.
There's no doubt that split routines can serve us well, especially if we're short on time and/or our goal is to put on muscle. But, if you're goal is overall fitness and weight loss, total body circuit workouts may be just what you need to build strength, endurance and burn calories.
What I like about these types of workouts is, first, they reflect how we use our bodies in real life. Namely, using lots of muscles and joints and limbs at the same time rather than just one at a time. Second, I just think they're more interesting than typical, straight set strength training.
What about you? Do you like the total body approach? Leave a comment and tell us about it, then check out some of my favorite total body circuit workouts.
Need more? Check out more circuit workouts for your workout pleasure.