MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE

We all have heard about the famous New Year’s resolution of getting fit and losing weight.  As soon as the holidays are over, everyone is excited and fitness centers are packed.  But what about couple of weeks later? Does everybody stay on track? The answer is no. A majority of individuals become discouraged.  It can be seen more often on individuals without an exercise program designed by a trainer. Usually the ones with a trainer tend to stick more because they have leadership, motivation, and guidance.

But if a person does not have access to a trainer, how he or she can stay motivated? How to stay on track?

Earl Nightingale once said, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.”

Motivation and Confidence

For an individual to stay on track with a goal, needs what I call a game plan. Within this game plan there are many players such as discipline and determination. But there are two that need to be taken care of in order to stay on track.  The inside ones: motivation and self confidence.  Every morning you have to open your eyes and say, “I can do this”, because I have the power and will to make anything happen.  I think that self confidence is the master key.  It can get affected by many situations  including life events, loss of a loved one, end of a relationship, the feeling of loss of control, stress, lack of support, etc…All these can depress our confidence and eventually our motivation to stay focus and do things, in this case exercise and eat healthier.

Let’s see some strategies to activate:

– Make a list of goals already achieved (even small ones): read it over and over and you will see that you have the capacity to make things happen.  Mimic the steps that you followed to stay focused.

– Positive affirmations: personal sentences that you can tell yourself to lift you up. “I can”, I can do this”, ” I will succeed”, “I believe in the power within me.”

– Make an image of the goal you want to accomplish and see it happening. Remember that things take time and we need to have patience.

– Stop excuses: take responsibility because 90% of failures comes from people who have the habit of making excuses.

– Make a support group: if you do have a trainer it will be your major alley in the group. If you do not have one, make one with friends, family, partner, etc…People that will help you get back on when you fall “out of the wagon.”

– Short goals: make sure your goals are short term (ex. weekly) because these are more realistic.

*Always remember before anything to consult your physician before you start any exercise or eating plan*

 

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

julie alvira

What is the importance of physical activity?

Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases. It can help:

  • Control your weight.
  • Reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • Reduce the risk fro some cancers.
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles.
  • Improve your mental health and mood.
  • Improve your ability to do activities.
  • Improve your chance of living longer.

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day. Start slowly and go at your own pace. As a trainer, I recommend the benefits of aerobic exercise plus strengthen training if it works for you because not everybody it’s at the same level of activity so that’s why you need to be evaluated first.

 

How to beat excessive stress?

image excessive stress

 

 

Healthy tip: How to beat high levels of stress?

 

Robert Urich once said, “A HEALTHY outside starts from the INSIDE.” We all know that at some point or another, stress is going to visit. Crazy work hours, brutal schedules, and the intensity of all the demands. Sometimes all those lead to what?  Exacerbation of health problems, deterioration or end of relationships, lack of sleep, tension, anxiety, decrease in job performance, self medication, lots of caffeine of all forms including coffee, pills and energy drinks, less time to enjoy life, less time to exercise and take of yourself, overeating or eating the wrong food, emotional problems, irritation, etc… etc…For what? To have more money? What is the good thing about having more money if you can’t enjoy your life?

 

Keys to combat stress

 

Identify

 

1) Identify the source of stress- a project, a person, a situation, etc…

 

 2) Know how your body react- headache, stomach distress, increase in heart rate, etc…

 

Take charge!

 

1)  Disconnect from one moment- Take a break. Get some fresh air, walk around or meditate. At this time is when Mindfulness Meditation comes in handy. Disconnect from the situation, close your eyes,  and focus on your breathing while you clear your mind for at least 15 mins to get a hold of yourself. Sharp your focus. If you need music, go ahead and use it. RELAX. It’s critical for thinking and overall health. Believe me, when you step back you see everything in a clearer way. 

 

2) Set healthy boundaries within yourself- know and understand your limits and build your own toolbox of techniques to maintain them.

 

3) Exercise – lots of people say that the best underestimate antidepressant is exercise. It’s true. If you used to do it…this is the time to return. It offers psychological benefits to counteract stress. It increases your feeling of control, boost your self- esteem, and help feed your emotional system. Make time!

 

4) Start eating right- improve your eating and get into a healthier lifestyle. Low saturated fat, low sodium, low sugar, moderate amount of alcohol ingestion, moderate amounts of caffeine, sleep, decide to stop smoking, etc…. By modifying your eating and lifestyle habits you take care of your heart and your overall self (American Heart Association).

 

5) Time- management- You have more time than you think. Organize and plan.

 

6) Get a hobby- do something that you used to love or love to do and start!

 

7) Don’t feel helpless- Get organized, plan, and prioritize your tasks and take action. You can’t control everything but you can definitely control a lot of things and look for ways to take action.

 

Boost your self- confidence!

image boost your self confidence

How to boost your self- confidence?

Sometimes negative life events, illness, losing a job, ending a relationship, lack of control, etc…makes us to lose our self confidence while at the same time our self -esteem gets affected. If we let this grow on us it might actually get us really sick emotionally and become self -destructive. Take charge! Here are some ways to boost that self confidence:
– Make a list of all your strengths and achievements. Keep the list in a safe place and read it regularly to remind yourself the amazing human being you are and all the things that you need to fight for. Think about all the achievements you have made. Even the little ones count!
– Think positive about yourself. Practice affirmations. Remind yourself that you are special and valuable. Your thoughts make you what you are. You are in control of your thoughts. Throw away the negative ones.
– Try to dress in clothes that makes you feel good and alive!
 Have an image of success in your mind. Think about the things that are important to you and what you want to achieve. Set small goals and commit yourself to success. Goal setting is extremely important.
– Visualize the success and keep moving!

 

Meditation to relieve stress

image mindfulness
Meditation:
It had been defined as a state where you drop everything you are doing at the moment and clear your  mind.  It is the moment where you come to a state were consciousness and awareness remains. The mind becomes free of agitation and is calm, serene, and at peace.
An amazing aspect is that anyone can practice meditation because is simple, inexpensive, and doesn’t require anything or anyone else, just YOU.
According to Mayo Clinic (2014),  the emotional benefits of meditation include:
·         Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
·         Building skills to manage your stress
·         Increasing self-awareness
·         Focusing on the “now”, the present
·         Reducing negative emotions and focus on positive ones.
In the past years, mindfulness meditation had become very popular because different from other types of meditation, it focuses on “present focused awareness.” The individual focuses in its own breathing and as mentioned before, clears the mind from past events and problems and focus on the present. In 2013 TheJournal of The American Medical Association published an article that suggested that mindfulness meditation helps with psychological stresses such as anxiety, depression, and pain.
“Dwell in the present moment, it’s a wonderful one.”

 

 

Breakfast: key factor for weight loss or not?

 It had been said that in order to lose weight, an individual needs to have breakfast. Well, new studies published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that if an individual skips breakfast, weight loss will not be affected. It is important to note the studies did not take into consideration other variables such as metabolism, overall health, and major risk factors.  Even though such results are interesting, they might not apply to everybody.
When a person has breakfast, usually feels energetic and alert plus insulin/glucose levels are more stable. A person who do not ingests breakfast  might feel lethargic and less active with unstable levels of insulin/glucose, fatty acids, hormones, etc… Furthermore, the National Weight Control Registry had pointed out that more than 70% of people who loses weight do not skip breakfast, although there’s still a good number that skip the important meal and manage to lose weight.
Usually dieticians and nutritionists suggest that for a person to get organized in following better eating habits should have a good food plan that includes breakfast plus the other four meals (snacks, lunch, and dinner).  A breakfast that includes a lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fruits or vegetables is recommended inside that eating plan.
Conclusion: Look at latest studies as part of knowledge but do what works for you and your body. As Roxanne Sukol M.D. said, “If you’re healthy, you’re at a good weight and your energy is good, you’re doing it right.”
It had been said that in order to lose weight, an individual needs to have breakfast. Well, new studies published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that if an individual skips breakfast, weight loss will not be affected. It is important to note the studies did not take into consideration other variables such as metabolism, overall health, and major risk factors.  Even though such results are interesting, they might not apply to everybody.
When a person has breakfast, usually feels energetic and alert plus insulin/glucose levels are more stable. A person who do not ingests breakfast  might feel lethargic and less active with unstable levels of insulin/glucose, fatty acids, hormones, etc… Furthermore, the National Weight Control Registry had pointed out that more than 70% of people who loses weight do not skip breakfast, although there’s still a good number that skip the important meal and manage to lose weight.
Usually dieticians and nutritionists suggest that for a person to get organized in following better eating habits should have a good food plan that includes breakfast plus the other four meals (snacks, lunch, and dinner).  A breakfast that includes a lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fruits or vegetables is recommended inside that eating plan.
Conclusion: Look at latest studies as part of knowledge but do what works for you and your body. As Roxanne Sukol M.D. said, “If you’re healthy, you’re at a good weight and your energy is good, you’re doing it right.”

 

Increase your energy!

How to increase your energy in order to increase your productivity?
1) Have a balanced breakfast with a good mix of protein and carbohydrates. If you eat only carbohydrates, you will crash early.
2) Try to eat every 3-4 hours to avoid the overeating that can occur later. This will keep your blood sugars in check. Also, remember your healthy snacks with protein and fiber rich carbohydrates. Ideas for snacks: apple, nuts, carrots, string cheese, Greek yogurt, berries, peanut butter, etc…
3) Try a balanced plate and adequate portions for lunch- whole grain, lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
4) Keep yourself hydrate all day with water.
5) Remove energy zappers! Slow down on sodas and diet sodas because of the artificial sweeteners.
6) Try to get a good night sleep.
7) Exercise!- No excuses

How to recharge and get ready for the workweek?

Time to recharge and get ready for the workweek.

How to do this?
– Sleep in
– Have an indulgent breakfast
– Spend time outside (drink your coffee outside, outdoor workout, connect with nature, go to the beach (if near), have lunch with friends, spend time with family, etc…
– Go over your schedule and see what tasks you want to accomplish
– Write a to- do – list
– Prepare your lunch and snacks for the week (if you want)
– Clean your mind
– Plan your outfits (important meetings, working out, etc…)
– Have a nice dinner
– Have a good night rest and recharge, refresh, and energize!

Let’s talk cigar smoke…

Let’s talk cigars shall we?

HEALTHY TIP: Nowadays there’s a big trend in men and women toward smoking cigar. Whether is socially, business, or both. It’s a vice for many but do you actually know what is to smoke cigar? Since knowledge is key…Everybody knows that smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Cigars are air cured and fermented (cigarettes are made of different blends of tobacco and not fermented). Among the many substances in smoke are: lead, cadmium, ammonia, carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, butane, acetone, etc…Cigar smoke is possibly more toxic than cigarette smoke because of the previous harmful substances mentioned plus:
● HAS HIGHER  level of cancer causing nitrosamines that are produced during the fermentation process.
● MORE cancer causing tar.
Since cigar wrappers are less porous, it makes the burning less complete than the burning of a cigarette tobacco…therefore more toxic. Takes about 10 minutes to smoke a cigarette and more time to smoke a large cigar making the person more exposed to the toxic substances. Cigar smoking cause cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and lung. Cigar smokers who inhale are at major risk of the previous plus heart disease. Of course, most cigarette smokers inhale and most cigar smokers DO NOT inhale BUT…cigar smokers have higher rates than NON cigar smokers of having all the previous diseases because lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and larynx are ALL exposed to the smoke. So if you want to live a bit longer, you decide. Like Rob Liano once said, “Knowledge is power? No. Knowledge on its own is nothing, but the application of useful knowledge, now that is powerful.”

 

Why have a strong core?

Why is important to build a strong core?

First of all, the word “core” not only refers to the “abs’ or “six packs area”.  Is much more than that. The core muscles protect the spine from getting injured. These muscles are connected to the legs and deal with the way you sit, stand, and do a squat. Yes squat! As you can see, there is involvement of the glutes area as well. It’s not just about the abdominal muscles. When you do exercise for the core you have to train your back, glutes, and the area that connect your spinal cord and helps the body supports your spine.
The core is made of several muscles of the abdominal area: the upper abs, the side (obliques), and the very deep layers. Those deep muscles are the ones that do the good work and support your spine.
Now…to be really clear, just working the abs is not going to give you a tight core. It will in part but not entirely. You have to do moves to engage other group of muscles like muscles of the back and glutes. A move that works the core will give you better results than just moves to work your abs. Nowadays, it’s all about the core. That’s why, for example, the plank is so famous.
So from now on, why not work the core? It makes you have a flat tummy, sexy waist, and best of all…great support for your body.