Thursday, January 12, 2012

Survive the holiday?

Happy New Year everyone! Are you glad it’s over? So did you over do it again this year? Most people do. Now that the overindulgence is done it’s time for a rude awakening.

Did you know that December and January are the deadliest months for heart disease? This is a result of a combination of rich high fat meals, alcohol and stress.

Sugary sodas, fruit drinks and alcohol all contribute to the problem. Based on research from the University of North Carolina, daily intake of calories from beverages has increased by 94 percent to an additional 222 calories per day. That could result in 26 extra pounds in one year!

As we know, losing weight and getting in shape has always been at the forefront of New Years resolutions. If you were one of the majority that gained weight during the holidays, well it’s time to take action.

But before you spend your valuable time, energy and money there is a few things you should consider;

First, you must decide that YOUR HEALTH AND YOUR BODY ARE THE HIGHEST PRIORITIES IN YOUR LIFE. If you don’t have your health how can you enjoy life? Even if you have kids, how can you look after them or participate in activities with them if you ignore your health? Lead by example.

Second, is WILLPOWER - you must WANT to get in shape and must realize that IT WILL TAKE EFFORT.

Losing fat is not easy. Your body wants to stay the way it is and requires hard work and willpower to succeed in a person’s quest to become leaner. There are no magic pills or fads that are effective in the long run. Models and Movie stars that endorse products are there to make money.

Now this is very important – PICK YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE WISELY.

If you are overweight DO NOT make a commitment to take up running. This is a recipe for disaster. The risk of ankle, knee and hip injuries are too great for those wanting to drop weight.

To put things in perspective, running is considered a plyometric exercise – just like hopping on one leg (then the other). Running just one mile can amount to around 1760 “hops” for the average person. Running and plyometrics are advanced exercises that should only be done after you’ve built up a base of strength to handle the weight of your body.

And look at who is running the class or assisting in your workouts. If the instructor is out of shape, this may not be for you.

INCORPORATE ALL COMPONENTS OF PHYSCIAL FITNESS in your workout routine – Aerobic, Muscular, Flexibility.

a) Aerobic Exercise– rather than running try the elliptical or cross trainer for cardio. How about cross country skiing, rollerblading, dancing, zumba, you name it. One of the best and inexpensive cardio workouts is a skipping rope. Just remember to get your heart rate up.

b)Resistance Training – this is more important to weight loss than cardio. Weight training is easy on your joints and if done correctly will get your heart rate elevated.

c) Flexibility – Stretching is an important but overlooked component of fitness. To enhance your range of motion, release stress, reduce soreness and improve your blood flow doing stretches is a must. Try yoga – this won’t increase your strength but will improve your body’s mobility. It’s great as a cooldown.

Every time I go to the gym I shake my head at what some people are doing. Invest in a workout orientation by someone who knows what they are doing. It’s important to understand how to do an exercise properly. This will save your body and you will get the most out of your workout. It’s a small price to pay with huge rewards.

And please, warm-up. You need to get the blood flowing into the muscles before you start stressing the body. Most injuries occur within the first six minutes of doing an activity so reduce this risk!

INTENSITY RULES – If you aren’t huffing and puffing after a set, or sweating after a workout then you aren’t working hard enough. If you can chat with the person next to you, then you’re not working hard enough. Stay focused and stop wasting your valuable time. This is one of the main reasons why people don’t get results and give up exercising. 50% do so within the first 3 months! Save the conversations after your workout when you are cooling down.

MAKE A PLAN – SET UP YOUR GOALS – what you want to achieve, the times you have available. Write it down.

Only 5 –10% ever write anything down during the process.

Those who succeed? The same number that write things down – 10%.


Five or six meals are best. Include protein with every meal. Get rid of the junk foods and have fruits and vegetables handy. This doesn’t mean not to treat yourself – just remember, moderation is the key.

GET ADEQUATE SLEEP – this will help build up your immune system. You body gets stronger when you rest.

Make exercise a habit. Take baby steps but PROGRESS is the key. Periodize your routines. Change things up to keep your body guessing. Trying new things challenges you to move forward. This is why I like to change up my fitness bootcamp exercises and my own workouts regularly.

Most importantly - Have fun with it!