As we welcome in 2011, we are excited and raring to go. We make a list of New Year’s Resolutions that often do not make it into February. Although we have good intentions, it might be more helpful if we focus on Fitness Goals instead. When we think of it this way, we tend to stick to them a bit longer.
Statistics show that 80% of people give up before actual results can be seen. At a minimum we need 90 days to see results. It is important to set simple and realistic goals to ensure success. If your goal is to lose weight, start with a pound a week for example. If your goal is to exercise more, take it a day at a time. Do not try to do everything at once (this is how we get injured). If your goal is to train for a half marathon, get a trainer to prepare you for the task at hand.
For 2011, challenge yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. What I mean by that is, if you are used to doing the same thing the same way, (ex. Walking or running on the treadmill at the same pace) make it more intense. Bring the speed up, increase your incline. If you’ve thought about starting up cycling or rock climbing and all you ever do is talk about it, be about it, just do it. Do something different. You will be surprised at how you translate that to other areas in your life.
This year, we are going to devote our fitness to being in the best shape of our life. We encourage you to do the same. Please feel free to share what your Fitness goals for 2011 are.
First, change your mind set about being too old. If you’re not exercising start to do so. Try to strength train 4-5 times a week and include a cardio regimen in addition to a wellness class such as Pilates and/or Yoga. Go for a massage every once in awhile. Take quiet walks or go walking with a friend. If you’re not eating right, eat healthier. If you need to see a nutritionist to get started then by all means do so. Be diligent about your health and make sure to get your annual exams. (see February Newsletter)
As I’ve stated before, we’re so used to putting everything and everyone ahead of our needs and wants. We get lost in the mix. It’s very important to take charge and enhance our lives by incorporating these necessities.
I fall victim at times to not following my own advice and you know what, it doesn’t feel good. If I haven’t worked out, I feel out of sync. If I haven’t done Pilates work, even as simple as my breathing exercises, I feel out of balance. I try to get a massage every so often because of the physicality of my work. I do remain diligent about scheduling my doctors’ appointments. I do stay pretty disciplined with my eating, but allow more freedom on the weekends to enjoy myself.
No matter what your age, you can be Fit and Fabulous Forever!!!
Okay, it’s February and those New Year’s Resolutions have not quite panned out the way you had hoped. Have no fear, it’s a brand new day. That’s the beauty in all of this. If it’s your diet that went out the window, start by cleaning out your refrigerator. Stock it with healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits. Plan your meals for the week (this works really well). Prepare as many meals as you can and store them in the freezer. Depending on where you’ll be during the course of the day, plan out what you’ll eat and when. Pack a lunch bag with yogurt, nuts, a protein bar or fruit for example. The key is to never go more than three hours without eating.
If you have not made it to the gym, that’s okay too. Start up tomorrow. Don’t try to make up for lost time your first time out (that’s how people get injured). Take it slow. Start with your cardio then maybe add one or two body parts. Get into a routine. Maybe you would like to try a class (be sure to let the instructor know you are a rookie, first timer, kindergartner-for those that take my classes you know what I mean). :-) If you’ve been apprehensive about going to the gym on your own, bring a buddy. If you’re not sure about how to start out once there, hire a trainer. They will help get you started.
Well, I hope I have eliminated the excuses for you. :-) Remember, stay focused on your goals and just have fun. ”It’s never too late to get started”.
Women tend to put ourselves on the back burner (I put myself in this category from time to time). We address the needs of others before taking care of ourselves. As I often tell my female clients, “if we do not take care of ourselves, no one else will”. Our family circle cannot exist in a positive way if we don’t treat ourselves well. We can address the needs of our families better when we are healthy (both mentally and physically). I don’t mean to sound vain or selfish but to some degree if we don’t take a selfish attitude, we are doing more harm than good to ourselves and everyone else around us. Think about it, when you work out, go for a walk, pamper yourself, etc. you feel so much better and are able to take on the world or at the very least, be a good mother, a good wife, etc.
For one reason or another many of us are not able to make it to the gym before or after work. That doesn’t mean that all is lost. You can still sneak in a little workout while at the office. It’s important to take a break from time to time. There are a few benefits to staying fit at work. First, it will rejuvenate you for the rest of the day. It will keep your brain sharp and alert and break up the days boredom. Also, being at the computer for an excessive amount of time can lead to blurred vision, headaches, stiff neck, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.
How do I stay fit at work? Starting from the top down, you can start by standing against a wall and pressing the back and shoulders back. This will help to keep your shoulders from rounding. When sitting at your desk for long periods of time, you’re putting stress on the neck and shoulders. The head is very heavy and gravity pulls it down.
Next, you can do pushups at your desk (pressing away from your desk) as well as tricep dips using your desk or chair. You can hold on to the back of your chair and do squats and lunges. You can do seated leg raises, hamstring curls, calf raises. You can even work your abs by sitting on the edge of your chair and pulling your knees toward your chest.
It’s also important to take breaks to stretch as well. You can start with some neck rolls, a neck stretch (gently pulling your head to one side), the door stretch (standing in a doorway with both arms extended into a T-position and gently leaning forward). You can also stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings . The sky is the limit. You can be as creative as you want to be, just remember to keep it safe.
“I skip breakfast because I’m just not hungry in the morning”. “I had a big lunch and I’m still full so I don’t need to eat before coming to class, besides I’m trying to lose weight”. Surpisingly, these are some of the things that I hear on a daily basis. What we were able to get away with when we were younger is not necessarily the case now. As we get older, our metabolism changes. We need to eat or feed our bodies every 2-3 hours. Why, you ask? Case in point: As I was teaching my Ultimate Conditioning class the other night, I noticed that the energy level was way below what it had been weeks before. For the past 2-3 weeks people seemed to be dragging. I put the class on blast and asked what was going on. I asked what time was their last meal and I was shocked to find that an overwhelming majority had not eaten since lunch. Well, I can tell you that I wasn’t happy about that. One woman shouted out that she had a big lunch and that she was coming to class to burn off her lunch (a woman almost passed out in my class the week before because she had not had anything to eat since lunch). She thought she had the right game plan. I saw right away that we had to talk.
I explained to everyone that they must have something to eat (a bar, fruit, trail mix, etc.) at least a half hour before coming to class. The lunch that they had 5 or 6 hours before is gone. I told them that they might not be hungry but that the lunch was long gone. Their body was waiting to feed. By not eating or putting “gas in the tank” every 2-3 hours, YOU ARE SLOWING DOWN YOUR METABOLISM. Skipping meals puts your body in starvation mode. You will store your next meal as fat instead of burning it as fuel making it twice as hard to lose the weight or to lean out. Not only will eating help you lose weight by keeping your metabolism working properly, it will also ensure that your blood sugar doesn’t drop enabling you to work out or take that class that you’ve been thinking about all day. Have breakfast in the morning, have a snack before lunch, have a portion controlled lunch and definitely have something to eat before working out. You can then go home and have a light dinner and get ready for the next day. Make smart and healthy choices and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Okay, I know we’re right smack in the middle of winter and we’re being hit really hard with a large dose of snow, rain ice, etc. You’re wondering when will it all end. You’re having trouble staying focused on your workouts or you’re losing motivation. Get M.A.D. !!!
If you can’t make it to the gym, there are creative ways to get your workout in for 30 minutes. If you have steps, use them. You can do sprints, you can climb two at a time, etc. There are fun ways to get your cardio spurts in (ex. timed jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squat thrusts). Add some pushups, abs and you’ve got a calorie burning 30 minute workout.
Keep in mind, working out raises seratonin and endorphin levels which fight depression. Every training day brings us a day closer to spring!!!2436
The Evolution of Fitness
Society as a whole has become smarter about being “Fit”.
There are millions of expressions and examples of Human Performance. The average person just wants to live healthy but more people are now working at staying healthy. People that
workout often avoid debilitating back pain and other problems of
aging. One of the most common of all maladies is Arthritis shared
by both active and inactive people. Active people that participate
in a steady, twice weekly training routine, maintain range of motion
on arthritic joints and slow down the shrinkage of muscle and bone.
The alternative to an active and aging body is evident in hospitals
everywhere. To be “Fit” now means being smart about your Bodies
ability to adapt, training for a more active world. Living longer and enjoying longevity means living healthier. Try this, for every 8 hours of work give yourself one hour of play. Think of that hour as yours. After all, you’ve earned it.
I left my hotel early Sunday morning to meet Pam and Mikele at the Wellness Village to have breakfast and to leave as a team. As we left MacKay Park in Englewood on Sunday morning, I can safely say that all the walkers were feeling fatigued. Since delirium had already set in from Saturday, it didn’t take much to try our patience.
As we walked up the same hills we came down, we kept asking “how many more”? The Avon Crew members did a great job trying to keep our morale up. At one point, as we’re walking through the quiet streets of Englewood, we were told “go guys, you’re looking great, keep up the good work”. I then shouted back “yeah sure, you’ll tell us anything”, with a half smile to which everybody started laughing hysterically (at least we still had our sense of humor).
There are so many great stories that unfold during the Avon Walk. For me, meeting people from all over the country, all walks of life and sharing what brought us together is something that is hard to put into words but it is quite amazing.
As my team was trying to make it to lunch, a woman approached me and said “you look familiar” to which I responded, “so do you”. It turned out that I used to train her many years ago. She told me she recognized me by my muscles. I couldn’t help but laugh along with everyone else. It was great to see her after so many years because we had lost touch and she was so much fun to work with.
During lunch, I caught the end of a conversation that a woman in her 80’s was having with several women. It turned out that this older woman was walking by herself. I don’t know if she’s a survivor but I admired her for being there in the first place.
At around mile 10, I was so excited to see Frannie and Frannie’s Flock. Frannie is a spry woman of a certain age. She is dynamic and so inspiring to watch. Frannie is the woman my team and I walked behind last year at around mile 20 when we were complaining that we were hurting. When we saw Frannie walking and smiling, we looked at each other and started crying. If Frannie could make it, so could we. She was walking for her mom who was a breast cancer survivor for many years before losing her life at 92. When seeing Frannie this time, it gave me some much needed inspiration and made me aspire to want to be her when I grow up. .
With a little less than 3 miles to go, Mikele and Pam wanted to pick up the pace to make it to the finish line. I was all for it. My heart went out to Pam because her blisters were really painful. I said okay and as soon as I picked up my pace my left knee gave out. It was the same leg that I developed the shin splints. I felt a sharp pain in my knee (I never felt that before) and the pain radiated down my leg. I wanted to let out a scream and start crying. Mikele and Pam looked at my face and knew I was in agony. They asked if I wanted to get swept by the crew and I said “No Way”. We made it that far and I was going to finish. I wanted them to go ahead because I felt bad for slowing down their pace but they refused and we continued on walking and limping as a team.
We saw the finish line up ahead and hundreds of people cheering for the walkers. As the three of us crossed the finish line we held each others hands high in the air and hugged and cried. We felt a sense of relief, “We Did It”. We all wished Anne was there but she crossed the finish line with us in spirit. Out of the four Avon Walks that I’ve done, this by far was the most physically and emotionally challenging. It was also the most fun.
I would just like to say that without the love and support of my family, mostly my husband who’s always cheering me on from the sidelines even during my training walks and suggested I wear a GPS system , my friends and colleagues, this would not be possible. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and truly appreciate the support.
I did it!!!! I went for a 14 mile walk on Sunday which took me four hours. I didn’t break my stride at all (except to go to the bathroom). It was a gorgeous day and I felt really great. I ended up walking right in the midst of the Westchester Triathlon. People were cheering and I felt the excitement until they saw me walking away from the other competitors then the cheering died down.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is this Saturday and Sunday, October 6th & 7th. I’m ready, I’m psyched and a little nervous. There will be thousands of people walking for the same cause. I can tell you from past experience that it will be a very emotional and long weekend. However, it is a great experience.
The baseball playoffs always take place during the Walk and this year is no different with the Yankees and Red Sox making it to the postseason. There are a lot of Yankee fans walking that walk and we long to hear scores from people coming out of sports bars. My husband calls me often and keeps me posted. When he gives me the updates, I yell out to the other walkers and we either cheer or become anxious.
I am quite proud of my fundraising efforts although I wasn’t as agressive as I’ve been in the past. To date, I have raised over $3,100 and the donations are still coming in. I thank all of those who have supported me for this very important cause. I will let you know how the weekend turns out. Stay Tuned!!!— keep looking »
- What Are Your Fitness Goals for 2011?
- Fit and Fabulous Over 40
- It’s Never Too Late To Get Started!!
- Make Yourself A Priority
- How To Stay Fit at Work
- Eating to Lose Weight!!!
- Fight the Winter Doldrums!!!
- Evolution of Fitness
- 13 Miles to Go!!!!
- My Last Training Walk