Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Make The Most of Rest Days

It seems like after Halloween, things kick into high gear for the rest of the year.  Christmas appears in the stores, it gets dark earlier, so many activities are going on.  If you are able to keep up with your workouts, you have likely noticed that you’re busy but quite effective at budgeting your time.  With all this going on, rest days become quite treasured.  Those days are super important, so here are a few tips to make the most out of them.  

First of all, please take a break from your intense workout sessions.   Your body needs time to recover and replenish.  Muscles will appreciate the rest, and reward you long term with results.  It’s up to you and your schedule how many to take each week.  Mine tend to be one or two, spaced out during the week.

Rest days are necessary for weight loss.  In order to keep on track towards your individual goals, try to watch your food on the days you don’t workout.  Stick with your diet plan on these days.  When you add a calorie-rich cheat day to a day when you aren’t as active as usual, it’s a double whammy to your plan.  Some good ideas are protein rich foods and lots of vegetables (but then, that’s every day I suppose).

If you can remember back to high school physics, and I understand some of you may have blocked that class out of your long term memory, one of the laws of physics states a body in motion tends to stay in motion.  Rest day doesn’t necessarily mean a couch potato day.  Get out and be active in a light intensity kind of way.  This is actually very simple to accomplish.  Take the dog for a longer walk (trust me, they won’t mind one bit), play with your kids at the playground, do a yoga DVD at home, shovel snow if that’s the reason for your rest day.  Even household chores can be applied here…scrubbing floors is definitely not sitting still!

The whole point of a rest day is to rest your body so it’s recovered and ready for the next days of hard work.  Treat your body well and schedule rest days when possible, knowing that your schedule may dictate some of those days.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, readers!  See you at the gym!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Preparing for the Holiday Season

Today I was looking at the calendar, and simply can’t believe the holiday season is nearly upon us.  Maybe it’s the lack of snow, but to me it feels like summer was just a couple of weeks ago.  I suppose it’s time to figure out a plan for the holidays, ie how to be at my healthy best during these sometimes troublesome months.  Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the upcoming season.

First, recommit yourself to your workouts.  Making sure they happen now will help you fit them in later.  Get them on your calendar and make those appointments with yourself happen.  You could even up the intensity a couple times a week, and fire up that fat burning machine.  As you know, your workouts will help with your stress levels, keeping your stress eating in check.

Next, ditch the Halloween candy.  It’s soooo tempting to have “just one or two, since they are so small.”  I’ve heard it before, and I know for me if it’s around, it’s much harder to resist.  No sense in sabotaging any progress you plan to make during November, right?

As far as your food, take a look at your New Year’s resolutions and goals.  You don’t have to wait for the calendar to change years to reevaluate your eating and make some adjustments.  Check your vegetable intake, sugars and protein amounts and confirm they are in line with your goals.  Again, getting back in the routine will help you when things get really crazy in a few weeks.

Get out your calendar, and fill it with everything you can right now, through the end of the year.  This includes your workouts, meal planning, grocery shopping, etc.  If it’s on the calendar, you may be more likely to fit it in, just like the parties, events for the kiddos and work deadlines.  You will also be able to figure out what days might be the best rest days for you, and plan those as well.  Planning ahead is critical in losing weight – wouldn’t that be something if you didn’t gain a pound, or even lost a few before the end of the year?

Plan now, and keep up with your workouts and healthy eating.  It will help once the holiday season officially starts and help keep you on track.  See you at the gym!