Low Carb Eating asked a bunch of fitness experts on how to get back into the swing of an exercise program. They had plenty of advice! This is Part II.
by Suzzane Andrews, Host of Functional Fitness on PBS
Starting a fitness routine does not have to interfere with doing the things you enjoy. Make multitasking work for you. If you love watching a certain show, exercise during the commercials. You do not need any special equipment, though some small hand weights and a few basics will help. When the commercial comes on, do some crunches on a balance ball, a couple of yoga poses, or some push-ups. Jog in place for the duration of the next commercial. If there are not any commercials, then do low-motion exercises while you watch. You can sit and lift some hand weights and do squats, leg lifts, and stretches without distracting you from any exciting new development. Just keep rotating through various exercises, and before you know it you’ll have 30 minutes in and without actually having to ‘make’ any time.
If you are person that likes to talk on the phone in the evenings, grab your cell phone and start walking. Walking is great exercise, it burns calories, tones the body, and is a relatively injury free activity. Of course, other forms of exercise are still recommended, but look how easy it is to get half your exercise for the week. Many people do not think of walking as exercise, but it is! In a recent study, sedentary senior citizens that began walking for 45 minutes a day three times a week had improved mental skills that usually decline with age. Walk while you talk over all the latest gossip with friends or get updates on how your family is doing.
Making time for exercising is, at its core, about prioritizing. If it is important to you to be healthy and feel young, and maintain it, then you will find time for exercise. Be creative. If you are very busy, then just tuck 3-4 ten minute sessions in a day. In the morning do a few stretches and some abdominal work; you’ll feel more alert, relaxed, and if you sit a lot at work, your back will thank you. On your lunch break, take ten minutes to walk up and down some stairs. After you get home, walk the dog or take a bike ride. Most importantly, do not think of exercise as a chore that you have to do at 5 am every day for 30 minutes. That mindset will make it seem like you do not have the time. Try to think of making time for exercise as a gift you are giving yourself. It is revitalizing time that will benefit you for years to come.
Suzanne Andrews is the host of Functional Fitness on PBS TV, syndicated this fall. She is an occupational therapy practitioner with over 25 years fitness experience. You can request Functional Fitness in your area by contacting your local PBS station. Suzanne’s tips are an excerpt from her upcoming book, Naked Butts don’t Lie. More info at HealthWise Exercise.
Starting from Zero? Still Set Big Goals!
by Mark Black, Motivational Speaker and Author
I’m a Heart and Double-Lung Transplant Recipient who after transplant has run 3 Marathons and 3 Half-Marathons, so I know about starting at zero fitness level and realizing your goals. Here are a few tips:
Set a BIG goal – Most experts will tell you to set small, achievable goals; that’s not motivating. By all means, break up a big goal into manageable steps so it’s not too daunting and you have a place to start, but if the goal isn’t big enough and exciting enough, it won’t capture your imagination and you’ll find it harder to be motivated.
Do It Anyway: Many fail in their exercise programs because they think they’re supposed to “feel like” exercising. Most of us don’t (at least some of the time). Successful people don’t magically LIKE doing what it takes to succeed more than others, they just have the long-term vision to see the results that their actions will take and do it ANYWAY.
Just Get Out the Door – The toughest part of any workout is the first 5 minutes. It’s not so much the run that’s hard, it’s putting on the sneakers and getting out the door. So on the tough days when you don’t feel like exercise, tell yourself you’ll do 5mins and then if you still feel like quitting you can. 99 times out of 100 you’ll feel good by then and you’ll keep going. On the that 100th time when you don’t, take the day off!
Mark Black is a Motivational Speaker and Best-Selling Author. He is also a Heart and Double-Lung Transplant Recipient, 3-Time Marathoner and 8-Time Transplant Games Medalist. In the past three years, Mark has had the opportunity to share his inspirational message with more than 35,000 people across North America.
Get a Buddy!
by Steve Silberberg of Fitpacking
Over time, I have found that the single most effective way of integrating fitness into your life is to find a partner to exercise with.
Besides increased motivation and someone to talk to, they will keep you accountable to your routine. If you belong to a gym, you don’t even have to convince anyone to join, just meet a member who is already there and agree to work out together.
Steve lead fitness hikes at Fitpacking (and tells us the group support concept is the same).
Getting Real with Yourself
by Ahmed Darwis, Personal Trainer
As a personal trainer, I tell all my clients and friends that the most important thing when establishing and maintaining an exercise program is your ability to be consistent with it. Many times, people set overly lofty goals for themselves – “I’m going to go to the gym everyday for two hours!” – and they end up going for a few days then quit because it’s too much. So first and foremost, people need to be real and honest with themselves about what they can realistically do for an extended period of time, even if it’s just working out once a week. Ultimately, that one time a week is going to make a difference – sure, it’ll take longer, but it’s better than an unsustainable stint at the gym.
Other tips that have helped people get started and stay committed include the following:
Find a friend to work out with that already has a routine going. They can help you set up your own routine, familiarize you with the gym, bring you up to speed and smooth your transition. If you can continue to workout with this friend, you’ll also be more motivated to go since it’ll be a more fun, social time and if you don’t go, you’d almost be letting your friend down.
Personal trainers are excellent tools for getting a routine going, and if you’re paying them, you better go get your money’s worth!
Pegging your workout routine to something you normally have to do anyway. For example, if there’s a gym on your way back home from work, bring a change of clothes with you to work and associate “leaving work” with “going to the gym.” That gym back sitting in the corner of your office or cubicle is going to remind you of your commitment and schedule.
Set goals for yourself. If you don’t have goals, you don’t know what you’re working towards. Unmet goals are motivation for some people to stay committed and work harder.
Integrate little things in your daily life that keeps you more active. For example, take the stairs whenever you can instead of the elevator or escalator. Walk to the local store instead of drive if it’s close. Go running instead of walking with your dog.
Ahmed Darwish has worked as a personal trainer at NYSC and coach a high school rowing team. He runs Get Big Tomorrow.
Planning Your Way to Success
by Liz Mondell, Master Personal Trainer
You have a goal to lose weight, build muscle or just feel better, but where do you start with your exercise program? Going into the gym can be overwhelming, but going without a plan is like taking off on a trip without a map. In either case you will probably end up lost and frustrated because you are not reaching your destination. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find a qualified personal trainer to design an exercise program of strength training, aerobic exercise and flexibility based upon your health and goals. The personal trainer should also be knowledgeable in basic nutrition.
When you step into the gym don’t compare yourself to other exercisers. Many of them have been working out for years, but most started in the same place you are now. Don’t try to copy them, chances are you won’t be able to keep up and you might get hurt. You need to set realistic goals to keep you motivated and focus on what you want to accomplish and not what others are doing. Starting an exercise program takes steps in progression. You need to start slow and increase as your body responds.
Optimally you need three to five exercise sessions per week depending on your goals. Also try to be active on the other days as well. Walk or ride your bike instead of driving when you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park at the far end of the lot and walk. The idea is to keep the body doing what it was meant to do, move.
Many beginner exercisers believe they need hours and hours of aerobic exercise (cardio) for fat loss. The truth is aerobic exercise does help to burn body fat, but does very little to increase metabolism and too much cardio can actually slow down your metabolism by burning precious muscle tissue. Strength training is especially important in your exercise program if weight loss is your goal. Muscle tissue increases your metabolism meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories you will be burning 24 hours per day.
No matter how many infomercials or advertisements you see promising quick weight loss by buying some new exercise device, popping a pill, drinking a shake or undergoing a surgical procedure, there is no quick and easy way to lose weight and get in shape. You need the total package. Your exercise program must include all the components, strength training, aerobic exercise, flexibility and balanced nutrition. If one component is missing chances are you will not get the results you are after.
Having trouble fitting exercise into your day? If you feel too tired to exercise after work, you might have better luck getting up an hour earlier and getting in your workout before work. Most individuals find they have more energy, are more productive and feel better about themselves all day if they have already completed their workout.
If you lack the motivation to keep going, a qualified personal trainer may be the answer. A trainer will provide the motivation and accountability to keep you on track. Finding a workout partner can also make it easier to stick with your program, knowing that someone is depending on you to be there, but make sure your partner has the same goals as you.
You should always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program, especially if you have a medical condition or other concerns.
Liz Modrell is a certified fitness professional – Master Personal Trainer, with over 25 years experience working with those new to exercise, those starting over, and sedentary and overweight individuals in Burlington, IA and surrounding communities. Her website can be found at http://www.uniquely-yours-personal-training.com.
Make it Enjoyable
by Greg Mumm, Certified Fitness Trainer
I my quest to show people how to hate exercise less, I’ve found that exercise has a soft side (e.g. how to get motivated, and how to conquer boredom) and a hard side (e.g. what routine to use for solid abs, and how hard to exercise to lose weight).
Here are three brief “soft” tips to get you started with weight loss and health.
First, set some goals. Don’t go at it blind. Write out what you want from exercise and write with feeling.
Second, use variety and conquer boredom. If you don’t like exercising in mid-morning, change, and try late afternoon. Change every week if you want. If you don’t like exercising alone, change, and find a partner, or listen to music, or get help from an expert.
Third, find people to help. Don’t workout alone–get a partner. Call a buddy who likes to exercise or seek a qualified trainer. Find people who are willing and able to help and keep them close to you.
Greg Mumm is a certified fitness trainer who helps people lose weight and gain energy by hating exercise less–in fact, he wrote the book, Lose Weight, Gain Energy : How To Enjoy Exercise. Because “there’s more to exercise than the exercises.” Greg runs the site How to Enjoy Exercise.
Exercise Quick Tips
by Dolvett Quince, Entrepreneur and Trainer
Increase cardio and strength training!
To tackle love handles, oblique side bends and side planks are great workout options that target this challenging area.
Have a core day! Do an entire Ab workout, at least 30min. Strengthing and stabilizing your core will dramatically affect your overall physique.
Workout forgotten muscles, ie. calves, inner thighs, and lower back. Calf raises, abductor machine for inner thighs, and hyperextensions for lower back.
After a big holiday dinner, wait an hour or two, and then go for a long walk, preferably with family members.
Portion out your holiday left overs, spreading them out over a week.
Dolvett Quince, is an entrepreneur, established actor, model, national spokesman for brands (Russell Athletics, Buick: Drive Recognize Drive, Budweiser, etc), and businessman/owner of Body Sculptor Studios. Celebrities such as Janet Jackson and Mark Trojanowski have come to his exclusive workout space to keep their bodies in shape, but his biggest accomplishment as a trainer so far was in helping one client lose 325 pounds.