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What Happens if You Test Positive for COVID-19 on Vacation?

As COVID cases surge around the world, travelers with trips already booked may be wondering: What happens when a tourist tests positive while on vacation, and how do they get home? In this article, we will discuss this scenario as it relates to different countries and what it means for both the traveler and the local health authorities.

A Prolonged Vacation 

Bored looking woman flipping through TV channels in hotel room

If a tourist tests positive for coronavirus while in another country, he or she will have to be quarantined for 10-14 days almost without exception. Even if a traveler is able to get permission to depart while positive, it will be difficult to pass border control in their home country. The United States, for example, requires proof of a negative test for returning citizens to reenter. 

A two week quarantine abroad is easy enough if you have a family member or friend who has a home with a spare bedroom. However, if you are like most tourists, you will need to spend that time in a hotel. As anyone who has traveled is aware, a hotel room for 10-14 days can be a very costly addition to your travel budget. Consider purchasing a travel insurance policy that will cover quarantine costs so that you don’t get stuck with the bill if you do test positive while on vacation.

Thankfully, there are a few countries that will pay for quarantine hotels even if you are not a citizen. Greece, Cyprus, and the United Arab Emirates are some of the few countries that cover hotel quarantine costs for travelers. This policy has helped stop the spread of coronavirus while also encouraging travelers to visit. 

Some hotels are even offering to cover quarantine stays for guests in an effort to attract bookings from nervous travelers. 

Travel Insurance

With a little bit of planning, travelers needn’t be afraid to book a plane ticket during the pandemic. Still, tourists should certainly consider travel insurance before booking a plane or hotel, however. Travel insurance is not so much a travel luxury as it is a travel necessity these days.

However, people frequently refuse all types of insurance, citing the additional cost as a factor. In Canada, for example, only one third of adults with children report having a life insurance policy in place in the event of the worst happening while on their travels, and in America that number is only a little bit higher. Needless to say, people who are hesitant to pay for life insurance may not want to pay for travel insurance, either. 

It’s important to understand that tourists are advised to have travel insurance to avoid a financial catastrophe in the event that they contract coronavirus while on vacation. Hotels can be expensive, but travelers should also consider that they may incur additional costs if they need to be hospitalized, cancel flights, etc. In fact, some travel destinations such as the Bahamas and Costa Rica require that travelers have insurance before entering the country.

Travelers should carefully review their travel insurance before making any commitments, however. Some travel insurance is only valid from the start date of your trip until the end date of your trip, so read the fine print carefully. Make sure your policy covers coronavirus related trip delays or cancelations (many don’t) and that they will cover quarantine costs. 

Medical Care Abroad

Close up of doctor with stethoscope

Many beautiful destinations around the world may not have the infrastructure or trained staff to provide high quality medical care. Remote locations or islands, or locations dealing with a sudden surge in cases, may not even have room in their hospitals for tourists. 

If coronavirus symptoms worsen and an emergency evacuation is needed to get you to a top-notch medical facility, you may be stuck with the bill at the end of your recovery unless you have travel insurance.

Before making travel arrangements, it’s a good idea to check which countries are deemed by the CDC to be “high risk” locations for contracting coronavirus. If possible, avoid traveling to these areas, or take extra precautions. 

What to Do if You’re Quarantined Abroad

Keeping yourself occupied during quarantine is essential for your recovery and mental health, and being stuck in a hotel room for 10-14 days will be more difficult for some than others. Extroverts and other high-energy personalities suffer the most from prolonged lack of contact with others and the inability to exercise.

If you are abroad and forced to quarantine, the first items you will focus on is finding a quarantine hotel and working with your travel insurance company and your airline carrier. You’ll want to reschedule your plans, report your illness to your travel insurance company, and find an adequate quarantine hotel as soon as possible.

Next, you should bring your attention to how you will receive your meals and other necessary travel amenities while being quarantined. Hopefully, you’ve informed your quarantine hotel of your sickness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still request for room service or housekeeping services. Most hotels will knock on your hotel door and leave your food order or additional items such as extra towels or new sheets outside your door. 

And don’t forget to plan for how you’ll stay busy and productive during this time. Be sure to pack a tablet or computer during your travels so you can get work done or simply stay informed of current events while in quarantine. If you can’t pack your computer, see if there are any local courier services that can deliver books or magazines to your hotel to avoid complete boredom.

Source: Kiara Taylor – December 2, 2021

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How to Ease Back-to-School Stress

It's back to school time. Ease back with less stress this year.

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition

12 Summer Recipes With up to 38 Grams of Protein

Warm weather is synonymous with barbecuespicnics and simple, no-cook meals. These delicious recipes take advantage of summer staples and are high in protein — they contain up to 38 grams per serving for less 425 calories.

1. GRILLED CHICKEN, LENTIL AND PEACH SALAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 258; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 44mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 19g

2. STRAWBERRY AND SPINACH SALAD WITH ROTISSERIE CHICKEN | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 317; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 61mg; Sodium: 132mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 28g

3. CURRIED CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH RAITA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 175; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Sodium: 204mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 24g

4. STRAWBERRY AND TOMATO PANZANELLA SALAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 270; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 374mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 10g

5. SPICY CHICKEN BURGER | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 345; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 34g

6. SWEET POTATO CRUST BBQ CHICKEN PIZZAS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 383; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 425mg; Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 27g

7. CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN BURGERS WITH AVOCADO SALSA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 237; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 47mg; Sodium: 388mg; Carbohydrate: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 2g; Protein 10g

8. NORWEGIAN SEAFOOD BURGERS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 319; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 184mg; Sodium: 443mg; Carbohydrate: 11g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 38g

9. GRILLED HONEY-LIME CHICKEN WITH COWBOY CAVIAR | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 357; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Sodium: 334mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 37g

10. SPICY BURGERS WITH TAHINI AND HARISSA CARROT SLAW | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 423; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 585mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 32g

11. GRILLED CORN & ZUCCHINI FLATBREAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 246; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 7mg; Sodium: 309mg; Carbohydrate: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 9g

12. FLANK STEAK WITH AVOCADO SALSA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 232; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 64mg; Sodium: 340mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 27g

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Uncategorized Workout Wednesday

Gym are back open! Take it Slow.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Starting back at the gym when you’ve taken time off can be intimidating.  

Here’s how to get back into the gym without burning out, losing motivation or risking injury. 

TAKE IT EASY

Don’t overdo it when you return to the gym. Doing too much too soon will overwhelm you, and you’ll burn out. Be honest with yourself and your fitness level; if you push yourself, you might injure yourself or worse. 

And if you’ve unable to train due to injury, check with your GP or physio before you rejoin the gym. Start with low-intensity exercises and prepare your body for extra activity.  

FIND EXERCISES YOU ENJOY 

If you’re struggling with motivation, find a way to enjoy exercise, like joining a class. 

PureGym insider says:

“Pick workouts that you know you enjoy in advance. If you turn up with a plan you’re familiar with, you’ll have a better workout. Book a class with an instructor that you know or ask if one of your friends can join you. Training as a group with an instructor is less intimidating than walking back into the gym feeling like you haven’t been there in ages. Even if you just start with a 30-minute class.”

DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF

It’s easy to compare yourself to when you were training more regularly. If you’ve not been to the gym in months, it’s reasonable to see a decline in strength or endurance. 

It’s vital to stay positive – you will improve and get back to where you left off.

Sample routine:

  • 20 minutes of strength training and toning – start your routine with strength training, isolating certain muscle groups. Use free-weights, machines or your bodyweight.
  • 30 minutes of cardio – get your heart-rate up with some simple cardio exercises, whether you’re using a treadmill, bike, elliptical or cross-trainer.
  • 10 minutes of stretching and warming down – stretch off and loosen your muscles because if you’ve missed the gym for a while, you’ll feel those aches and pains.

PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE 

Prepare your workout gear the night before. If you wake up and see your trainers, hoodie, snack and water bottle all ready to go, you’ll feel like you’re too invested to change your mind.

PureGym insider, says:

“Rather than planning how many sessions a week you are going to do ‘this time’, aim to go once. Get everything ready the night before. If all you need to do is pick up a gym bag and walk out of the house, you’re more likely to go.”

10 MINUTES IS GOOD ENOUGH 

It might feel daunting starting the gym again, but stay positive and manage your expectations. You might not feel your usual self, but don’t let this stop you from working out.

By doing a little exercise, even if it’s a 10-minute walk, you’re improving yourself. If you don’t go and stop exercising, it’ll be easier to skip future workouts.

Getting back into the gym after a break isn’t impossible, but it will take hard work and dedication. Contact Better Body By Bk for personal training if you need extra support getting started. Good luck! 

Article Source: PureGym

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition Healthy Meals Uncategorized

How To Actually Keep Your New Year Resolution

Happy new year 2021 background concept with clock, party hat, balloon, ribbon, 3D rendering illustration showing importance of keeping new year resolutions
Create a great future by achieving your new year resolutions. GETTY

We’re all looking forward to where 2021 will take us—and perhaps best of all it will take us out of 2020. If you’re like most of us, you’re full of starry-eyed hope and determination to accomplish a raft of new year resolutions. But statistically, you won’t keep them. According to a classic study, only 19% of people do. You can buck the trend, however, and keep your resolutions—following the guidelines below.

First, know you’re in good company setting new resolutions. Beginning in ancient Rome, renewed plans were part of festivals celebrating Janus (think: January)—who looked to the past and to the future—honoring home, family, friends and civil life. People worked only in the morning and had the afternoon off for parties, gift giving and offering blessings to each other for success in the new year.

For the 81% of us who have struggled to keep our resolutions, our brains are working against us. Research published in Current Biology found we are more likely to repeat pleasing activities because we get a hit of dopamine (the feel-good neurochemical) when we approach previously-positive activities. Even seeing a delicious dessert causes the release and can thwart your efforts to select the vegetables you’ve resolved to eat instead.

So how can you succeed where you’ve failed before? How can you finally achieve your new year resolutions? Here are 10 tips which can put you on a path toward a positive 2021:

#1 Make It Real

Distinguish between your overall vision and habits. Focus on your big bets but be specific about the daily habits which will accumulate toward success. Be sure your habits are specific and actionable. While your aim may be to ‘be a better person,’ a powerful habit will be to volunteer at your preferred agency for one hour per week. Perhaps you want to write a book. Great, but you’ll be more likely to achieve this desire by committing to writing for a half hour a day, five days a week. Be specific about the actions you’ll take, not just the end you want to achieve.

#2 Be Reasonable

You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: ensure your aims are attainable. If your goal is to play at Carnegie Hall and you’re only just learning the violin fingering for “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, you’re reaching too high. Set ambitious targets that are attainable and keep in mind you can build over time. This year, you may learn the rudimentary grammar for a second language and seek to spend an hour a week with a native speaker. Perhaps in subsequent years, you can seek to be truly fluent.

#3 Tie Your Actions To Your Identity

Fascinating research has identified people have more success shifting their behaviors when they link them with their identity, rather than using willpower. Perhaps you’d like to take a Saturday afternoon nap rather than the long walk you promised yourself. If you simply apply willpower, you may be more likely to take the nap instead of the walk. But if you tell yourself something like, “I am not a person who shirks my responsibility to fitness,” or, “I am a person who keeps my commitments to myself,” or “I am a person who values action over slacking,” you will be more likely to make strides toward your new, preferred behaviors.

#4 Link Your Habits

Another powerful way to successfully adopt a new set of habits is to link a new behavior to an existing one. For example, if your big goal is to expand your knowledge and you’ve decided you want to listen to informative books more often, link your listening to another habit that is already part of your daily repertoire. Perhaps every day while you’re brushing your teeth and getting ready, you can listen to your Audible book selection.

#5 Establish Accountability

Write down your targets, this will help you be accountable to yourself. In addition, share your goals with others and ask them to check in with you and give you feedback. If your goal is to avoid procrastinating on your projects at work, ask your colleague to give you a friendly nudge when they hear you putting things off. Or if you want to do daily push-ups, ask your roommate to give you a gentle reminder if evening is approaching and you haven’t dropped for 10.  

#6 Share The Process (Or The Pain)

One of the best ways to keep your resolutions is to make them mutual. Partner with others who have the same aims. If your goal is to be more creative, find a buddy with whom you can craft regularly. Or if your objective is to run a marathon, find a friend with whom you can train daily. If you want to lose your Covid 15 weight gain, establish a small group of similarly-minded pals with whom you can commit and commiserate.

#7 Realize The Power Of Small Steps And Mark Progress

An important strategy in maintaining changes in behavior is to reduce your perception of effort. An interesting example, published in Sports Medicine, found people stuck with their exercise programs for longer periods of time when they drank coffee. The reason: because the caffeine gave them bursts of energy and reduced their perception of exertion. Incremental effort works this way as well. Take small steps. Also, track your progress over time. Use a calendar and mark off the days you’ve accomplished your new behavioral goals. Track yourself and make things visible to give yourself an important, tangible sense of accomplishment. Perhaps your goal is to find a new job. Plan to reach out to two new contacts or apply for one new job per day. Give yourself credit for every small step you take and reward yourself along the way.

#8 Take Breaks

As the saying goes, “Everything in moderation, even moderation.” Build in days when you can celebrate. For example, if your goal is to do intermittent fasting, plan for one day a week when you eat throughout the day. If you plan for small moments of reprieve from your new behavior, you won’t be cheating (read: you won’t have to beat yourself up). You can help ensure you give yourself time to take a breath and recharge for the next bout of following your new rules.

#9 Manage your Mindset

Changing behaviors isn’t easy. Your current ways of doing things have carved pathways in your brain, and establishing new linkages can be uncomfortable. Get comfortable with discomfort and reassure yourself you can do it. You have some exciting aspirations and if they were easy, they probably wouldn’t be worth doing. Those who achieve their resolutions are distinguished from those who don’t by the ability to put aside short-term satisfaction for long-term gain. Consider how you’ll feel immediately compared with the trade-off over time. The chocolate cake may be delicious in the moment, but the tightness of your pants (because we’ll have to wear button pants again someday) is an unfortunate trade off. Remind yourself you’d rather have the lasting goodness of health and fitness, than the quick hit of chocolate bliss.

#10 Remember Your Why

Perhaps most important for your ongoing motivation is to remember your overall purpose. You want to acquire a new skill, so you can make an awesome contribution at work and have terrific credibility in your field. You want to learn a language, so you can make a greater contribution in your community. Or you want to get healthy, so you can provide support for your family over the long term. The big picture is always motivational, so don’t just focus on laying bricks, keep in mind the cathedral you’re building.

The pandemic has been terrible and horrible, but it has provided the opportunity to learn, grow and become more resilient. Use the difficulty of 2020 as a jumping-off point for 2021 and all you’ll accomplish as you go forward. You can achieve your new year resolutions. You can succeed. You can make 2021 a year of progress and positivity.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/12/27/how-to-actually-keep-your-new-year-resolutions/?sh=67a05d3e32f6

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Fat & Figuring It Out Podcast Food & Nutrition Uncategorized

Build a Healthier Super Bowl Party Plate

The Super Bowl is one of the greatest days of the year, whether you’re actually watching the football game or just grazing the buffet of football game bites. However, with appetizers and fried food galore at your fingertips, it’s quite easy to go a little bit overboard without even realizing it. During the span of a typical four-hour game, most Americans will consume an average of 2,400 calories and 121 grams of fat. If you factor in your pre-game and post-game festivities, you are looking at a serious marathon of eating and drinking.

Avoid Mindless Eating

Woman Driving Car and Eating

CREDIT: PHOTO: JORDAN SIEMENS / GETTY

We know, that’s much easier said than done, but it truly is a great goal to have when the apps keep on coming. Make it a point to put all your food on a plate before you eat it, and then walk away and sit at a table. This way you’ll be able to have an idea of exactly how much you’re consuming. If the game gets tense and you’re feeling a little anxious, reach for some veggies to munch on or maybe a piece of gum. If you park yourself in front of the chip bowl, it will be no surprise that you’re probably going to be munching on way more than you realize.

Don’t Drink All Your Calories

Grapefruit Beergaritas

CREDIT: PHOTO: GREG DUPREE

What’s a game of football without an ice cold beer? If you want a brew to sip on while you watch, then you definitely should have that. We recommend sticking to one to two beers, because with increased alcohol consumption comes poor food decisions down the road. If you like the fizz of beer but don’t want the calories, reach for sparkling water with a splash of fresh fruit juice. Whatever you do, don’t reach for the soft drinks. Sodas are packed with calories and sugar, and we’re trying to save room for all the snacks, right?

CREDIT: ANN TAYLOR-PITTMAN

The Magic Is in the Dip

Jalapeño Popper Bean Dip

CREDIT: PHOTO: GREG DUPREE

It’s easy to tell yourself that a dip is a harmless appetizer, but with all the calories and fat packed into just one scoop, you’d be surprised at the havoc they can wreak on your healthy-eating goals. Opt for protein-packed, clean dips like hummus, fresh salsa, tzatziki, or jalapeno popper bean dip. As much as we love a good cheese or ranch dip, the calories add up faster than with a healthier alternative.

Go For Smaller Portions

Portion Cues

CREDIT: PHOTO: IMAGE SOURCE / GETTY

Most Super Bowl spreads are jam-packed with finger foods like dips, wings, nachos, and chips, so it’s important to scale back on portions if you’re hoping to help yourself to a variety of fix-ins. That’s why we think sliders are a great option over a full-size burger. When it comes to dips, a spoonful or two will let you enjoy the flavors without piling up the calories. And those delicious jalapeno poppers that are definitely the best part of a football party? Stick to one or two, and then fill your plate with more veggies.

All in all, the day should be about hanging out with quarantined family and over a good football game. It’s inevitable that you’re going to throw back some salty snacks and munchies during any sporting event, so there’s no need to get too hung up on calories. So grab a beer and make a plate of your essential game day snacks, because half-time is about to start and you don’t want to miss it.

Source: https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/how-to-eat-healthy-during-super-bowl-party

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition Healthy Meals Uncategorized

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Source: MyFitnessPal

Small changes add up to big results over time, especially if you’re looking to lose weight with tweaks to your nutrition and fitness habits. Moreover, making simple changes gradually helps ensure it’s an overall lifestyle change and something that’s sustainable long term — preventing the likelihood you’ll gain the weight right back.

“People should plan to establish habits that they can follow indefinitely,” says Tami Smith, a certified personal trainer based in Williamstown, Massachusetts. “They should ask themselves this question: ‘Is this something that I can see myself adhering to forever?’ If the answer is no, then it’s not a great plan.”

The healthy habits outlined below are ideal for starting small, although if it’s still intimidating, don’t worry, you can always go at your own pace and implement two a week or even two a month. Find what works best for your lifestyle and build from there.

While it’s a great plan to form better weight-loss in the new year, you can always start (or return to it) anytime.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss
Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Replace some of your caloric beverages with water. Keep a water bottle nearby to encourage you to drink regularly throughout the day. “Increasing one’s water intake is definitely an important tool in any weight-loss program since it can help fill you up,” says Keri Gans, RDN, a nutrition consultant based in New York City and author of “The Small Change Diet.” “If someone does not like the taste of water, I suggest flavoring it with fruit slices or herbs or pouring a glass of sparkling water.”

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Adding short spurts of exercise to your schedule increases your step count and also helps counteract the negative effects of sitting. “Three 10-minute walks per day can eventually be condensed to two 15-minute walks per day, then one 30-minute walk,” says Smith. After that, you might want to continue to increase your distance, notes Smith.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Instead of eliminating certain items from your diet, gradually add more fruits and vegetables, which provide several important vitamins and minerals and nutrients like fiber that keep you full. Over time, you may find yourself gravitating toward produce, instead of processed foods, which saves calories and helps you shed pounds. “Choose to have one fruit per day, perhaps as a dessert with lunch, and then build to 2–4 servings per day,” says Gans. The same goes with vegetables; gradually build them into your diet, starting with breakfast. The more successful you are, the more likely you are to keep including more.”

Bodyweight exercises are awesome for improving strength and building lean muscle, which can help burn more calories.“I recommend starting with bodyweight exercises before attempting to add weights to the mix,” says Smith. Pick a bodyweight exercise (or two) to master such as lunges, burpees or pushups. Perform 4 sets of 12–15.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

If mindless snacking is your downfall, consider what you’re eating and your portion sizes. “View snacks as mini-meals,” suggests Gans. “Focus on enjoying something that is less than 200 calories, contains under 6 grams of added sugar, more than 5 grams of protein, and at least 3 grams of fiber.”

You’ll be more likely to follow through long term if you stick with a pace that feels achievable.

“Start at a low intensity and build as your fitness levels improve,” says Sergio Pedemonte, a certified personal trainer based in Toronto. Go for a walk, do some gentle yoga or cycle at an easy effort, for example.

Writing down what you eat and drink can help you realize every morsel you’re consuming, including food you steal from other people’s plates or bites you sample while cooking. “Many people who are starting a weight-loss program benefit from food journaling,” says Gans. “It enables them to see exactly what they are eating and when, as well as mistakes they may be making.” Use an app like MyFitnessPal to help you notice trends and make healthy swaps.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

“I recommend beginners start with 2–3 full-body workouts a week for one month before moving into split training — i.e., upper-body and lower-body workouts,” says Pedemonte. This can help you get the most bang for your buck at the start, and it doesn’t have to be super long, either. Try this 10-minute, no-equipment, total-body workout.

Think about the healthy changes you want to make to your diet — high-protein make-ahead breakfasts, more fruits and vegetables, fewer soft drinks — and map out the items you’ll need the next time you get groceries. “Planning meals ahead of time and shopping accordingly is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success,” says Gans. It’ll save you time, money and calories.

You might feel like pushing yourself, but avoiding too much too soon may keep you from becoming sidelined unnecessarily. “Starting slow minimizes the risk of getting injured the first week,” says Pedemonte. One way to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself is to calculate your heart rate zone (or use a monitor like Wahoo Fitness TICKR to do it for you) and aim to stay in zones 1–3 this week and progress until you can spend more time in zones 4 and 5.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Remember, consistency beats perfection for losing weight. If you’re eating healthily 80% of the time, you’re on target. If you slip up, don’t feel like all is lost — just be prepared to follow healthy habits again at the next meal. “Healthy eating does not mean choosing healthy foods 100% of the time,” underscores Gans. “One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success is already be mentally prepared for some failure.”

Fitness challenges, like this 31-day squat, lunge and pushup plan can help you commit to moving your body daily. Building and maintaining a streak can be motivating and keep things exciting. “It’s a great way to connect with others, particularly during these times,” notes Smith, so be sure to get your loved ones involved.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Sleep is often overlooked, but it greatly impacts nutrition, fitness and weight loss. Aiming for quality sleep (at least 7–8 hours per night), can help curb cravings, allow your body to recover after a tough workout and keep hormones in check to support weight loss. “Setting a bedtime allows you to make better decisions about what you eat and when you eat it,” says Pedemonte. “[And] while the body is sleeping, it goes through a recovery process that allows the body to burn fat, repair tissues and build muscle.” Check-in with how much sleep you’re getting, and if it’s not enough, set your bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you hit your goal.

Source: My Fitness Pal

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Avoid the Weight Gain: Reasons To Work Out During The Holidays

As things cool down and the pumpkin spice lattes start coming out, it can be tempting to let your workout routine slide. Problem is, once you begin to justify missing one or two workouts, it is far easier to just not exercise during the holiday season.

To make sure that you stick to your workout routine, you need to stay motivated. Here are six reasons to work out during the holidays.

Stave Off Holiday Bloat And Weight Gain

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Weight gain during the holidays is a constant boogeyman, and people usually bring it up just as you are about to enjoy a delicious holiday treat. But in reality, research has shown that the average holiday weight gain is only 0.81 lbs (0.37 kg). That’s not exactly an earth-shaking amount of weight gain. But, if the trend of slowly gaining weight isn’t halted, it can quickly get out of control.

By sticking to your workout routine over the holidays, you can easily keep off even the slightest weight gain by the holidays. That way, you won’t be battling an extra 10-15 lbs once spring returns.

Now, holiday bloating is a real issue and one that is far more likely to cause you problems during the holidays. Since it is common to indulge in high-fat foods, more carbs, and other bloat-causing foods during the holidays, it wouldn’t take much to make your clothes fit uncomfortably.

But, by exercising regularly, you can encourage your body to process the excessive indulgence and not punish you so harshly for enjoying yourself.

Workouts Remind You To Hydrate Properly

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During the holidays, it can be easy to forget that while you have been drinking plenty of things—from seasonal lattes to alcohol at holiday parties—you may not have been drinking as much water as you usually do.

This lack of water can leave you feeling a bit more sluggish and reliant on caffeinated drinks. It could be damaging your skin and internal organs, too.

Also, like I once discovered during a run, it is possible to sweat and smell what you have been drinking if you haven’t drunk enough water. It only takes smelling eggnog-sweat to really drive it home that water is what you need.

So, while others are looking tired and nursing prolonged headaches, by working out regularly, you will be reminded to stay properly hydrated with water.

Regular Exercise Can Reduce Holiday-Related Stress

Let’s face it—while the holidays are full of glitter and magic for children, for most adults, there is a lot of stress connected to the holidays. Adults have to plan to meet up with family, friends or both. They need to balance work responsibilities along with other obligations.

As a father, I have the extra work of helping with costumes, driving kids to and from holiday parties, and earning extra for those special Christmas gifts.

No matter your obligations during the holiday, it is essential that you carve out some dedicated time for your workouts. Just as exercising helps with stress during the rest of the year, it doesn’t make sense to give up your stress outlet during the holiday season when you are far likelier to become stressed out.

Allows For Something Other Than Overindulging

A lot of holiday celebrations revolve around overindulging in food and generally just being more sedentary than usual. This holiday-induced gluttony can be even worse when you travel to spend the holiday with family or play host to a family that traveled to reach you.

The abrupt change from an active, busy lifestyle to an indulgent one can be stressful. It can make it difficult to deal with the excess energy you have when you skip a workout.

Also, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Too much food, enforced together time, and too little personal time can be incredibly stressful. Rather than marinate in overindulgence, you should carve out time for your workouts.

By sticking to your regular exercise schedule, you can give yourself a good reason to take some personal time. After hosting a house full of relatives, I love escaping to the quiet of my gym. I lift for an hour or layer up and go on a run. By taking a break from all the food and noise, it can be easier to come back and engage with family and friends.

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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LOSE MUSCLE?

While not ideal, many of us have to pause our workout routines from time to time. Whether you’re stressed, sick, injured, going on a holiday vacation or just need a break, there are plenty of reasons to take time off from exercise.

But, no matter how badly you need the break, you may worry about losing all your hard-earned muscle before you’re ready to start training again.

72 HOURS …

If you don’t train at all, you may start losing muscle mass after 72 hours, says Michele Olson, PhD, a professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. Even your heart, which is also a muscle, will show a decrease in the amount of blood it can pump per beat after 72 hours off from exercise.

You’ll notice the effects on your heart a lot sooner than your biceps or quads. “If you work out on Monday and miss three days, returning to a workout on Friday, you will feel a bit more breathless than typical, because less oxygenated blood is being sent out from the heart per beat,” Olson says. “It’s not training-breaking, but it can be noticeable.”

Although you start losing muscle mass after 72 hours, you probably won’t notice any losses until you’ve gone 3–4 weeks without training. One small study found that trained men could take three weeks off from exercise without any noticeable muscle loss.

FACTORS RELATED TO LOSING MUSCLE MASS

However, there are a few factors that determine how quickly you lose muscle mass, including:

HOW LONG (AND CONSISTENTLY) YOU’VE BEEN TRAINING

The longer you’ve been lifting, and the more muscle you have, the better off you’ll be if you decide — or have — to pause your routine. “If you’re fit with developed muscles, you will still have a baseline of muscle that others will not have after a period of inactivity,” Olson says.

YOUR DIET

Adequate protein, in particular, is key for building and maintaining muscle mass. If you skimp on it, your body won’t have enough amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to keep up with the constant breakdown and rebuilding of cells (muscle, red blood, hormones, etc.) that goes on all day, every day. Eventually, your body pulls from your muscle stores to get the amino acids it needs to keep your other cells and tissues functioning. The result? Muscle loss.

For example, in one stud, sedentary to moderately active elderly women who ate a low-protein diet (1.47 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day) lost roughly 14% of their muscle mass after nine weeks. (However, it’s worth noting this amount of protein falls within the range of 1.2–2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day recommended for older adults.)

So, even if you’re not training, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein to prevent muscle loss.

Protein needs vary from one person to the next, but as a general guideline, the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests active people aim for an overall daily protein intake between 1.4–2 grams per kilogram of body weight (older adults may need to aim for the higher end of the spectrum). To put that in numbers, a 150-pound active person needs roughly 95–136 grams of protein per day.

YOUR CHRONOLOGICAL AGE

Many age-related changes can make it harder to build and hold onto muscle. One of those changes relates to the nervous system.

As we age, we begin to lose motor neurons. Studies suggest there’s a drastic decrease between ages 60–70. Motor neurons transmit impulses from the spinal cord that tell our muscles to contract. When you lose motor neurons, it becomes harder to recruit muscle fibers, Olson says. If you can’t recruit muscle fibers, the fibers won’t break down and rebuild to grow back bigger and stronger.

Strength training can help reverse these changes to the nervous system — and other age-related changes — but once you stop training, the benefits gradually disappear.

YOUR SEX

Males have a slight advantage when it comes to muscle. “Men have more natural testosterone, which is anabolic to muscle tissue development and maintenance,” Olson says. (Anabolic refers to the process of building larger molecules out of smaller molecules, like building protein out of amino acids.)

THE BOTTOM LINE

How quickly you’ll lose muscle once you stop training depends on different factors, but in general, you’ll notice losses in 3–4 weeks.

If you have to cut back on exercise for whatever reason, and you don’t want to lose any hard-earned muscle, you may be able to get away with doing only two strength workouts per week, according to Olson. Target every major muscle group (back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves), and do at least 1–2 sets of 8–12 reps per exercise.

But even if you can’t — or don’t want to — train for a few weeks, you won’t have to go back to square one once you restart your routine. So long as you’ve been training consistently up until your break, you should be able to rebuild muscle and strength fairly quickly.

 Source: BY LAUREN BEDOSKY OCTOBER 7, 2020 

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How to be LESS embarrassed about working out in public

It is very common that people feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when they exercise out in public or at a commercial gym. My very best advice is to work on adjusting your own attitude.

If you think about it what does “being embarrassed” mean? You are most likely concerned with how other people perceive you. Your best way to deal with this is to adopt an understanding that what another person is thinking should have zero effect on YOU. Their thoughts should never effect how you feel about yourself and how you act.

Do not let their thoughts control you. YOU should be in total control of yourself. This may be easier said than done but it is important to your self esteem. People definitely get into certain thought patterns that become their habits. Habits of course are hard to break. Reminding yourself that how you fell is controlled by YOU (not others) will take time and practice.

The fact that you are involved in an exercise program should help you feel better about yourself. You are engaged in a very positive activity.

I hope this answer helps you!