10 Ways to Make Fitness and Nutrition a Priority
Source: KRISTINA LARUE, RD, CSSD, LDN
Source: KRISTINA LARUE, RD, CSSD, LDN
Exercise machines help you burn calories, build muscle and improve your endurance. Certain machines deliver a more intense cardiovascular workout than others, meaning you burn calories at a faster rate. The way you use cardiovascular exercise equipment also affects how efficiently you burn fat. Use the machines’ settings and additional tools to maximize your workout’s aerobic and strengthening benefits.
Of all the equipment in your gym or club, the cardiovascular exercise machines deliver the workout that burns the most calories. Running on a treadmill burns more calories than any other machine-centered workout. Before you begin, check the settings and select an intense pace to burn more calories. If you weigh between 125 and 185 pounds and jog at 5 mph for one hour, you burn between 480 and 710 or more calories, depending upon your fitness level and weight. Pick up your pace to 7.5 mph and you burn between 750 and 1,110 calories, which means you can lose up to 2.5 pounds per week running six of the days. Rather than running faster, you can also intensify the workout and burn extra calories by setting the treadmill at an incline, so you’re running “uphill.”
An elliptical trainer can offer you an excellent aerobic workout. However, because you power the pace of an elliptical trainer, it is easy to slip into coasting when you get tired. To maximize its calorie-burning benefits, work out at high speed and use a machine that has movable handles so you work your arms as well. An added benefit of exercising on an elliptical trainer is that your feet never leave the pedals, making it a low-impact aerobic workout. An hour on the elliptical can burn 540 to 800 calories or more. You can also adjust the resistance and incline on an elliptical trainer to burn extra calories.
Other machines that make you raise your heart rate also burn calories efficiently. For example, climbing a stair treadmill burns between 360 and 532 calories in one hour. The workout is lower-impact, so it will not stress your joints, muscles and tendons as much as running high speed on a treadmill. Stair-climbing also provides a strengthening workout for your gluteal, thigh and calf muscles. However, avoid leaning on or holding onto the machine; it reduces the number of calories burned. Using a stationary rowing machines provides a total body-strengthening and aerobic workout, burning between 310 and 754 calories in one hour. Doing indoor cycling at a vigorous rate burns 630 and 932 calories per hour.
Most exercise machines feature settings that allow you to make the workout more intense, thus burning more calories. If your machine has an interval setting, using it will dramatically boost your calories burned. This setting varies your pace, usually starting with a warm-up, moving to a vigorous pace then adding in some sprints. The sprints boost your heart rate higher and keep it there, even when you slow down to a recovery pace. You can program your own intervals on an exercise machine by increasing the pace or changing the incline every few minutes and sustaining the sprint or climb for at least 30 seconds. Consult your doctor before beginning interval training or any other new exercise regimen.
Are you in need of work out motivation? Well you’re in luck because here are 12 fun facts about exercising that are sure to inspire you.
1. Music improves workout performance
Listening to music while exercising can improve work out performance by 15%.
2. Exercising improves brain performance
Cardiovascular exercise helps create new brain cells. This
improves brain power and brain activity.
3. Working out sharpens your memory
Exercising increases the production of cells that are responsible for learning and memory
4. Running burns calories!
If you run at a 10 minute per mile pace you can burn 104.3 calories per mile.
5. More muscle mass = burning more fat while resting
The more muscle mass you have, the more fat your body burns while resting.
6.Exercise prevents signs of aging
If you exercise 3 times a week for 45 minutes you can help prevent signs of aging.
7. A pound of muscle burns 3 times more calories than a pound of fat
Having more muscle than fat means you can consume more calories.
8. You get sick less often
Exercising on a regular basis helps boost your immune system.
This means you’ll get sick less often than people who don’t exercise.
Exercising increases the amount of endorphins that are released into your body and increases productivity.
10. Workouts can improve the look of your skin
Sweat releases dirt through your pores which reduces acne and breakouts.
Workouts improve the overall look of your skin.
11. Exercising boosts self-confidence
Exercising can help ease your mind and rejuvenate your body. Working out will make you feel great and boost your confidence.
12 Working out helps you sleep better
If you’re someone who has trouble sleeping or staying asleep then working out
is your answer.Exercise helps to clear your head and helps you feel relaxed.
Over 40% of women say that the reason they aren’t as fit and healthy as they would like is because of a lack of motivation. Another 40% say it’s because of laziness. So, how do you beat both laziness and a lack of motivation? You keep on reading, that’s how!
Here are 5 ways to get motivated and push your laziness aside – sure to get all 80% of you fit and healthy, fast!
Ask yourself why you want to get fit. Having a clear reason for working out and getting healthy – one that matters to you! – is the best way to get motivated and stay that way. So, figure out your reason (it will be different for everyone!). Maybe you want to be healthy to live a long life for your children or perhaps you want to be able to climb the stairs without getting winded at work. So, spend time figuring out why you want to get fit and remind yourself of your reason regularly. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you or set your computer background with an image that will keep you focused. If you can keep the reason you want to be fit in the forefront of your mind, you will stay motivated to get to the gym without even thinking about it!
Have fun. Finding a workout you enjoy is one of the easiest ways to ensure you stay motivated (and not bored!). It’s hard to stay motivated to do something you hate, but, if you can find an exercise you love, it will be easy! Not into running in circles around a track or elliptical training? Think outside the box! Plan a dance party with friends, take in intenSati class or make a deal with yourself that you can only watch your favorite TV show while moving!
Set realistic goals. It’s easy to lose motivation when your goals are so lofty that you feel defeated before you’ve even begun. So, let’s change that! Instead of deciding to workout every day if you haven’t been to the gym in 6 months, aim to workout just 1 day each week at first. One easy way to ensure your workout goals are manageable is to try to increase your fitness by just 10% each week by either adding 10% more time to your workouts, 10% more weight while strength training or 10% more repetitions every 7 days.
Reward yourself. Each of us are motivated by different things – for some of us, working towards a new pair of shoeswill do the trick while others may be more motivated by the dream of a vacation. Give yourself a point for each goal you achieve (maybe you keep track of the number of miles you run or the number of dance classes you attend) and, when you hit a certain number of points, splurge on something that makes you happy! Need more constant reinforcement? Set smaller goals and reward yourself more often with smaller, more manageable rewards (like a dinner out!).
Reevaluate often. If you’re starting to feel lazy, be honest with yourself (without passing judgment) and start from scratch. Reevaluate why you want to get fit and redefine your answer. Find a new workout to try, alter your goals or change your reward system.
And any exercise is good for you, whether you go for a quick swim or jog or even if you are just walking to the store instead of driving.
If you are doing any or all of that, great.
But while a basic minimum amount of exercise does have huge benefits, there are still potentially even greater benefits from doing more.
If you really want to stay strong even as you age and your body starts to decline, there are two exercises that are essential, Dr. Michael Joyner, a physician and Mayo Clinic researcher who is one of the world’s top experts on fitness and human performance, tells Business Insider. And you can do both year-round, no matter how cold or hot it is outside.
But these aren’t easy: burpees and jumping rope. (He recommends trying a weighted jump rope.)
Why burpees and jumping rope?
No matter what, your body starts to lose strength as you age. Most people reach their strength peak around age 25, and some research shows marathon runners tend to be fastest at 28, though, of course, this is going to vary from person to person. If you started strength-training after 25 and hadn’t before, your peak would come later.
But if you want to truly stay fit, you’re going to need to keep building strength to combat your body’s natural loss of muscle mass. It’s worth it to do so, and it may be the thing that keeps you young longest. As Joyner wrote for Outside Magazine, “study after study is showing that simple tests of physical performance are highly predictive of future mortality.” To achieve peak physical performance at any age, you need to go beyond endurance to build strength.
You can build strength in a lot of ways — lifting weights and adding intervals to endurance workouts both work. But these two workouts will build both your endurance and your strength, all at once.
“On hard days, I’ll sometimes alternate a minute of burpees with sets using a weighted jump rope,” Joyner tells us.
How to do these workouts
Trainers love to recommend burpees, simply because they’re hard to beat in terms of single exercises that will work your whole body. Instagram-famous fitness trainer Kayla Itsines recently said a burpee with a push-up would be the exercise she’d choose “if she had to pick one” for a full-body workout; and if you want a real crazy challenge, you could try trainer Bobby Maximus’ “prison burpee” workout that he uses to challenge Special Forces soldiers.
But it’s worth starting slow with burpees just to make sure you get the form right. If you start standing, you’ll then squat down until you can put your hands on the ground. Kick back into plank position, do a push-up, then kick your legs back into your squat position. Then jump.
Here’s a GIF to show you how it works, from this YouTube video by ScottHermanFitness:
This video by XHIT Daily on YouTube is also useful, showing burpees done with a wider stance, which can be more stable for someone not accustomed to the exercise.
Jumping rope with a weighted rope is a more straightforward exercise, but the challenge is no joke. You can find a variety of recommended workouts, but generally (once you get up to speed), you’ll want to do a series of sets, perhaps alternating with another exercise. If you’re feeling tough, you can try alternating with burpees, like Joyner.
Just remember this, though: These workouts are going to be hard. It’s great to push yourself, and there’s plenty of research showing strong benefits for vigorous exercise. But it takes time to build up to these kinds of exercises (and practice to get them right), and you should talk to your doctor first if you’re worried you might injure yourself.
Anyone who wants to attempts these intense workouts also needs to remember to rest. Most trainers recommend alternating between hard days and easy days.
“Make your hard days hard and your easy days easy,” says Joyner. “Control your pace or it will control you.”
This post originally appeared on businessinsider.com.
Although you work out and stay physically fit, you can always boost your efforts to make healthy choices and stave off extra pounds. To start, try healthy lifestyle swaps like these four below, which can impact your overall well-being.
Why: Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicinesuggests ingesting caffeine hours before nightfall causes a disturbance in sleep. In this study, participants who consumed caffeine up to six hours before bed lost more than an hour of sleep.
The Swap: To avoid the 4 p.m. slump, hit the stairs. A new study published inPhysiology & Behavior found that 10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine. (This is the equivalent to about a cup of green tea (59 mg), two cans of soda (58 mg) or just less than a shot of espresso (63 mg)).
Why: The American Heart Association released a science advisory on the dangers of sedentary behavior. It states that Americans, on average, sit 6–8 hours per day, which leads to all types of health issues, ranging from diabetes to death. Even those who stay active in their personal time don’t have the same problematic health reductions as those who move more.
The Swap: To improve your daily mobility, try switching your smaller work meetings, such as one-on-ones, to walking meetings. “The goal with walking meetings isn’t to sweat up a storm. The goal is just to integrate a little more natural movement into daily life,” says Dani Singer, fitness director of Fit2Go Personal Training in Baltimore, Maryland. “The boost you receive in mood and energy will pay off much higher than the calories you burn.” As added bonuses: research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychologysuggests that walking leads to increased creative thinking, and an exploratory study from the Harvard Business Review proposes that walking meetings support better cognitive engagement on the job.
Why: A vacation may not only leave you with extra weight, but it can hang around for six weeks post vacation. In a study published in Physiology & Behavior, participants who took a one- to three-week vacation gained an average of almost 1 pound. To put this amount in perspective, the average American gains 1–2 pounds per year.
The Swap: Skip the depressing hotel gym and build exercise into your vacation by doing what the locals do. “Different places often have different cultures when it comes to exercise, and trying working out their way can add a fantastic experience to your trip. In India, try yoga; in China, try tai chi,” says Julia Buckley, a trainer in the U.K. and author of “The Fat Burn Revolution.” “Change your mindset from seeing exercise as a chore which you shouldn’t have to do on vacation to thinking of it as something that will enhance your vacation by energizing your body and calming your mind.”
Why: Although the percentage of online shoppers continues to outpace in-person buyers, the statistics show people still prefer brick-and-mortar stores.Retail TouchPoints, an online publishing network for retail executives, conducted a survey of consumers and found that 85% prefer to shop in person because they like to touch and feel products before they purchase; 36% don’t like waiting for items to be delivered and 30% like to receive advice on what products they should purchase.
The Swap: Park your car far from the front and enjoy the time spent strolling around — you’re burning calories. Use a basket instead of a shopping cart if you’re only picking up a few items. To find out how many calories you’ll burn, use the MapMyRun calorie calculator.
When you’re loading up the calendar with workouts, family time, friend events and work projects, it’s likely that “make delicious, healthy meals” tumbles too easily down the to-do list. While there are some good grab-and-go options, let’s face it: There are only so many prepared salads and protein bars you can eat before they get boring.
“When you get tired of what you’re eating, that’s when you usually begin to make food choices that you’re not happy about later,” says Melissa Joulwan, author of the popular “Well Fed” cookbook series. “Taking some time every week for meal prep can help keep it interesting.”
By setting aside time for preparing meals and ingredients in advance, you’ll not only zap food boredom, but also have greater control over putting more vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats into your rotation. Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice a whole day for the effort. Here are some shortcuts Joulwan uses for her own weekly cookup:
1. SCHEDULE THE TIME
Count on about 2–3 hours for the prep, but it doesn’t need to be done all at once. For example, you can do 90 minutes on Sunday morning and 90 more on Wednesday night. The most important aspect is to put it on the schedule and stick to it, so it becomes a habit. For those who have a weekend farmers market nearby, scheduling meal prep for just after shopping can be an easy way to incorporate more veggies into your meals.
2. PREP YOUR EQUIPMENT FIRST
Before she does any chopping or cooking, Joulwan takes out all the utensils and equipment she needs for the effort. For example, she puts several cutting boards on the counter, locates measuring cups, sharpens knives, gets out large mixing bowls and sets up the food processor. Think of it as the “kitchen stadium” approach, where everything you need to use is handy. That 10 minutes of finding everything first saves plenty of time compared to taking out equipment as you need it.
3. THINK INGREDIENTS INSTEAD OF MEALS
There are two main ways to do meal prep — either you create whole meals and put them in containers, or you focus on ingredients that can be thrown together quickly. Joulwan prefers the latter approach, because it allows her to be more creative, and to eat according to her mood. She focuses on “convenience foods” that can be transformed into a variety of meals. These include roasted chicken, hard-boiled eggs, homemade mayo, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, chopped lettuce and roasted vegetables. When these components are stored in the fridge, meals usually take only 5–10 minutes to prepare, she says.
4. GET SAUCY
Roasted chicken and cauliflower rice with an Indian vindaloo sauce is a very different meal than the same basic ingredients with a Jamaican jerk sauce. To keep tastes interesting, consider spending some prep time creating sauce blends or simply purchase some to have on hand. As with any prepared food, check the ingredients to make sure the sauces aren’t high in sugar or preservatives.
5. PUT THE TUNES ON
When she does meal prep, Joulwan listens to either ‘80s, new wave or Broadway musical soundtracks, so she’s singing and dancing the entire time. If you’re more the movie type, put on one you’ve already seen (since you’ll be looking down while you work) and will love hearing again, or play some podcasts on interesting topics.
“Your time in the kitchen should be productive, but also fun,” says Joulwan. “The more you can make meal prep time enjoyable, the more you’ll look forward to doing it. Rather than see prep as a chore, think of it as a way to make amazing, healthy food for the week ahead, in a way that feels like a fun break from your busy schedule.”
If improving your fitness is on your priority list; success means planning to make it happen. Think about your reason for wanting to make your change, is it weight loss, weight gain, overall health improvements? Decide if your reason is enough to support your dedication. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, is it […]
Breakfast gets all the credit for being the most important meal of the day, but let’s not forget about the meal that keeps you going after breakfast wears off: lunch! Lunch is your body’s midday energy source, fueling your afternoon so you don’t end up starving long before dinnertime or crashing before your 3 p.m. meeting.
When it comes to lunch, most of us reach for sandwiches. They’re portable, easy to eat and come in a wide variety. They can also become calorie bombs with the bread, cheese, add-ons and condiments. If you want to grab a sandwich, but keep the calories in check, here are a few tips:
GO EASY ON THE CONDIMENTS
A packet of mayo or a few squirts of Thousand Island dressing can easily tack on around 100 calories. Stick to low-cal condiments like mustard, salsa or hot sauce and swap creamy, plain Greek yogurt for mayo whenever possible.
LOAD UP ON VEGGIES
Rather than piling your sandwich with meat and cheese, stack it with high-fiber veggies to sneak in nutrients, a little crunch and added flavor.
WATCH THE BREAD
Bread may be the cornerstone of a good sandwich, but I love using collard greens in place of wraps for an extra dose of veggies. Using collards or lettuce in place of bread means you can enjoy more fillings for the same (or less) calories. It’s also a way to enjoy sandwiches on a lower-carb diet. If you’re a sandwich purist and bread is your jam, opt for fiber-rich, 100% whole-wheat varieties to keep you full longer. (And stay away from the footlong subs!)
Here’s some inspiration for your next brown bag lunch:
5 ounce can albacore tuna, drained
2 tablespoons 2% Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 avocado, sliced
1 cup spinach
1 small tomato, sliced
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1 large whole-wheat wrap
Combine the tuna, yogurt and mustard in a small bowl and mix with fork. Place the spinach, avocado and carrots in the center of the wrap and top with tuna salad mixture. Roll the wrap and slice in half. Eat immediately or store for up to one day.
For the burger:
1 whole-wheat burger bun
4 ounces lean ground turkey
1.5 ounce part-skim fresh mozzarella
1 small tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons basil leaves
For the salad:
1 cup lettuce
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
For the burger, place a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Shape turkey into a patty about 1/2-inch thick and place in pan, cooking 5 minutes on each side. Place patty on bun and top with mozzarella, tomato and basil leaves.
For the salad, combine lettuce, cucumber and onion in a medium bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
1 large whole-wheat tortilla
1/3 cup canned black beans, drained
3 ounces cooked, pulled chicken
1/4 avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons salsa
1/2 cup cooked peppers and onions
1/4 cup lettuce, shredded
1 small tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons light shredded Mexican cheese
Heat the beans, chicken, peppers and onions in the microwave for 1 minute. Heat the tortilla according to package directions. Place the heated ingredients in the center of the tortilla. Top with remaining cold ingredients.. Roll the tortilla and serve immediately or store for up to one day.
1 whole-wheat sandwich roll
3 ounces cooked, pulled chicken
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup cucumbers, sliced
1/4 cup lettuce
Cilantro, basil, mint to taste
Toast or broil the sandwich roll until brown around the edges. Spread mayonnaise and sriracha evenly across the roll. Starting with the pulled chicken, place remaining ingredients in the roll. Finish with cilantro, basil and mint to taste. Fold closed and serve immediately or store for up to one day.
Nutrition: Calories: 467; Total Fat: 10g; Carbohydrate: 63g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Protein: 30g
3 large collard green leaves
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup cucumbers, sliced
1 small tomato, sliced
1/3 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup lettuce
1 1/4 cups canned low-sodium black bean soup
Place 1/3 of the brown rice, carrots, cucumbers, tomato, avocado and lettuce into each collard green leaf. Fold closed and serve immediately with a side of heated black bean soup.
Nutrition: Calories: 497; Total Fat: 13g; Carbohydrates: 88g; Dietary Fiber: 19g; Protein: 16g