Exercise Helps me Get my Mind off my Problems and Clears my Head.

FullSizeRender“Exercise helps you get your mind off your problems and clears your head,” says Thomas Plante, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in California. I believe it. When I exercise my mind is free and my head is clear to compartmentalize my problems. Especially when I run, I examine the different areas of my life that may cause stress – work, finances, relationships, family. I come up with effective ways to cope with the stress in these areas.

I try to exercise at least 3 times a week. Lately I have come up short yet I never stop trying. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for adults 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of vigorous activity every week and muscle-toning exercises at least two days a week. So between my running, elliptical, push-ups, and dumb bell strength train exercises, I feel I can at least cover the exercise requirements. After all, exercise does boost my mood, helps to manage my weight, and can help me sleep better.

I come out a winner every time because any sort of exercise increases my overall health and my sense of well-being.

Elliptical Run

5.60 Mile Elliptical Run

Exercise improves my mood

I work up a sweat and release endorphins

It helps to reduce stress

Exercise helps me get my mind off my problems and clears my head.

Fit for a Run

The weather this morning was fit for a good run and I took advantage. I had a great 7.15 mile run. I haven’t run this distance in a while. My distance run was slow and steady. I picked up speed in the last three miles. I was conscious of my form with each step. Breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I kept my chest and shoulders up. I made sure my back stayed straight. My elbows I kept to my sides as I swung my arms back and forth. My grip was relaxed and my stomach was held in. I landed each step on the balls of my feet.

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Yes I had a great run today 🙂

Regular cardiovascular exercise is important!

Yes I had a great run today 🙂

Regular cardiovascular exercise is important!

PUSH through to HEALthy

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There are times when I have to be persistent to make HEALTHy happen. When it comes to living a healthier life I have to sometimes push myself to achieve that lifetime goal. Today I was persistent to complete my cardio with a 3.27 mile #run on my #elliptical.

Always remember to be persistent, make HEALthy happen, and enjoy a healthier you.

Benefits of Strength Training

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 Strength training exercises are safe and effective for women and men of all ages. A person’s mental and emotional health can be affected by performing strength training with aerobic exercises.

Strength training can reduce signs and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain, and depression. Strength training is not just about bodybuilders lifting weights. People with health concerns, including heart disease or arthritis can often benefit the most from an exercise routine that includes lifting weights three to four days each week.

Aerobic exercises – walking, jogging, or swimming maintains the heart and lungs and increases cardiovascular fitness and endurance, yet does not make one’s muscles strong. Proper strength training makes your muscles strong. Lifting weights several days a week increases strength by building muscle mass and bone density.

Strength training is also called resistance training. Resistance training involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Two types of resistance training:

  • Isometric resistance – contract muscles against a non-moving object, such as against the floor in a push-up.push ups
  • Isotonic strength training – contract muscles through a range of motion as in weight lifting.

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weight train

Each method makes you stronger and will progress you in better shape.

Working out with weights:

  • protects bone health and muscle mass
  • makes you stronger and fitter

Strength training will add definition to your muscles and give men and women a more fit and toned body. Troy Tuttle, MS, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, advises “One of the best ways to stop, prevent, and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add strength training to your workouts.”

Strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. One 12-month study conducted on post-menopausal women at Tufts University two days per week of progressive strength training demonstrated:

  1. 1% gains in hip and spine bone density
  2. 75% increases in strength
  3. 13% increases in dynamic balance

Strength training programs can also have an effect on reducing risk for falls.

BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING

Healthy Heart Tissue – Cardiac health improves when we properly strength train three times a week along with aerobic exercises. The heart disease risk is lowered when the body is leaner. The American Heart Association recommends strength training as a way to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Energy Boost Levels and Sleep Improvement – Strength training will make you feel great. It will elevate your level of endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain). When you exercise regularly you improve sleep quality by falling asleep quickly, sleeping more deeply, awaken less often, and you sleep longer.

Healthy State of Mind – Strength training can provide a similar improvement in depression as an anti-depressant medication. An older adult’s self-confidence and self-esteem improves when strength training is cultivated into ones regular lifestyle.

Improved Glucose Control – Strength training along with other healthy lifestyle changes can help improve glucose control for the 14 million Americans with type II diabetes. An improvement in glucose control is comparable to taking diabetes medication. Lifestyle changes such as strength training have an overwhelming effect on helping older adults manage diabetes.

Increased Burned Calories – Strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent. More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat. Calories are burned during strength training. The body continues to burn calories after strength training.

Body and Balance Mechanics – Balance, coordination, and posture will improve with proper strength training. If you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training when done properly and through the full range of motion, can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent. A person’s flexibility and balance are important benefits as one gets older.

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Complete workout programs that include strength training.

Push ups, pull ups, jump squats, and lunges are examples of exercises that provide strength training.

Ask your doctor what type of strength training is best to meet your needs and abilities.

Work with a fitness expert to design a safe and effective strength-training program for you.

Lose Weight!

scakeLosing weight is hard for many of us. It is an uphill battle to rid the extra pounds that settle onto our bodies. No matter how hard losing weight may be it is not impossible. When you have decided that weight loss is your goal determine how much weight you anticipate to lose. Decide how you plan to lose weight and consider the different healthier ways to lose weight. Understand how calories and nutrients play a part in a weight lost regimen. Losing weight takes self-initiated efforts. We must gain knowledge on how to lose weight and accept the minimal changes that must happen in our lives for us to win the weight battle. Always meet your doctor before embarking on any health change. Consult with your health professional before beginning any diet or exercise program. Please read the Terms of Use and Disclaimer.

A healthy balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein promotes good health yet there are also extremely important in our course to lose weight. A healthy eating plan will balance our calories intake and food size proportions. We should monitor our healthier food choices and create reasonable eating food schedules. Refer to the Basic Food Group-List to see a selection of healthier food choices. Eat every 2 to 2 ½ hours, starting with breakfast and alternate with a snack. A snack serving is considered ONE. The key words to remember when we eat a snack are ‘serving size’. A serving size is ONE, not multiple servings. Some experts recommend we eat our last meal no later than 7 pm. Self-initiate changes to your food diet and take simple steps without depriving yourself from your favorite foods. Always be open-minded to substitute healthier food choices into your daily diet. Do not consume less than 1200 calories daily. Diets as low as 1000 calories a day can decrease our metabolic rate because the body is programmed for survival and interprets low calorie reductions as starvation. Our system will slow down to conserve energy if we do not consume enough calories.

ladystepStep up and exercise. Be flexible when you make adjustments to your schedule to incorporate exercise into your daily regimen.  Understand your metabolic rate and learn how to make it work in your favor to reach weight goals. Metabolism is responsible for how quickly or easily you gain and lose weight.  Metabolism refers to a series of chemical processes that convert food into energy and establish the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) at which your body burn calories at rest or asleep for bodily functions as the heart beating, brain functions, blood flow, to digest food and for you to breathe. Your body burns 1400 to 1900 calories at rest. RMR accounts for 60% to 75% of the calories your body burns every day.

It is advised to speed up your metabolism with cardio, strength training exercise, and eating healthy snacks and meals frequently throughout the day if you are trying to lose weight and stay fit. We continue to expend calories at a faster than resting rate from several minutes to several hours after you exercise – even throughout your rest. The more intense your activity, the greater your post activity metabolic boost and the longer it takes for your metabolic rate to return to its resting level. One study found that after 30 minutes of very vigorous activity, a post exercise metabolic boost lasts as long as 24 hours or more, providing a significant weight-loss advantage.

To lose weight, First add your RMR number to the number of calories burned through basic activities, Second subtract your consumed food calories, your total should be less than your RMR and activity calories burned.

For example, Jane RMR is 1500 calories and she burns 500 calories with regular exercise such as walking around and doing household duties. To maintain her weight Jane should eat 2000 calories daily because (1500+500=2000).  However to lose weight Jane must rev up her metabolism to burn 500 extra calories daily to lose 1 pound weekly. (2000-500=1500). This would give Jane a total of 1500 calories to consume daily.

In order to lose 1 pound weekly we must rev up our metabolism and burn 3500 calories weekly over and beyond our daily activities. This means we should burn no less than 500 calories daily. Find ways to burn an extra 200 to 500 calories some days of the week to see extra pounds drop.

Keep in mind that it is crucial to stay within our daily caloric allowance. For example if your calorie allowance goal is 1500 and you burn 700 calories through activities, this leave 800 calories consumed (1500 – 700 = 800). It is not advised to consume less than 1200 calories daily.

  • Strength train 6-7 days weekly
  • Perform cardiovascular activities 5 days weekly at 50 minutes  or start small with 3 days at 30 minutes/1st week, 3 days at 40 minutes/2nd week, and 3rd week 5 days at 50 minutes

Check out the Calories Burned Chart list of how many calories burned from performing different activities. This chart helps you to create an exercise routine in advance by having an idea of how many calories you will burn. Use the Nutritional Facts Labels to help you decide between the unhealthier and healthier food choices. You will understand how to read the nutritional facts on food products labels and know your actual calories and nutrient intake.

CaloriesSnapShotDaily journal your calories consumption and calories burned. This allows you to be conscientious of your food selections and the type of activities that burn the most calories. The snap shot to the left is an example of how you can journal. The example shows ‘total calories consumed’ by subtracting the calories burned from daily calorie intake.

splashofwaterWater is the perfect weight-loss food. Water plays a critical role in the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. Water is free, it has zero calories. It is healthy and has no side effects. Water is believed to be an effective appetite suppressant. Brenda Davy from The Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise at Virginia Tech conducted a research that revealed those who drank two cups of water just before they ate a meal consumed an average of 75 to 90 fewer calories than their non-water drinking cohort.  Drinking more water before a meal creates a sense of fullness. When you drink water while you eat, your stomach tries to regulate itself to break down the food you are ingesting. Uncomfortable bloating may result if you drink a lot of water after a meal.

A good way to ensure we consume the proper amount of water daily is to drink half our body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds drink 75 ounces of water. If you need to add taste to your water, squeeze lemon juice or a teaspoon of apple vinegar into your water to make it appealing without adding calories. Yet it is best to drink plain water if exercising less than 60 minutes. Drink 8 oz. of water every 20-30 minutes of exercise or vigorous activities. This will decrease the chance of hyponatremia.

Be patient and know that healthy weight lost occurs gradual and not overnight.

√ Be Realistic                       √  Self-Motivated                √ Determined      

Create a healthier balanced diet that consist of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein

                                KeepItMoving with regular exercises to accelerate your metabolism

Consume water daily to help suppress your appetite

♦ Healthier lifestyle leads to successful weight loss ♦

Self-Motivation

I had to get my cardio in today. I struggled the entire morning trying to talk myself out of it. I have always been an early morning jogger. Yet this morning I started after 12noon. I made myself get up and jog. I started with my 4 sets of push-ups. I put on my gear and went for it.

I recently started back running and it is difficult. The beginning is always the hardest. I ran regularly for years and I have been less active the last year. Staying fit and healthy is important to me. I know that it is necessary to stay active. Being active has many health benefits. So I forced myself to be active today and jog.

As always, the first ½ mile is somewhat difficult. I jog with my cellular because I have the Nike + Running app on my cellular phone. Nike + Running app tracks my run performance. It is a great app, it provides to me my distance, average pace, calories burned. It tracks my path. It notifies me when I complete each mile. It cheers me on through to the finish. I benefit from this app a lot. It is somewhat similar to having your own cheering squad.  Watch the video and check it out for yourself! What is Nike + Running _3-31-2013 5.41.53 PM

I thought when it started to sprinkle today during my jog that I would cut it short. I did not want my cellular to get wet. That was just an excuse. I ignored that excuse and kept going. I placed my cellular inside my sleeve and focused on my health goal. Nike + Running app informed me when I completed each of my three miles. I was glad to have ignored those excuses to not jog the distance.

I was happy when I was done. One reason for my happiness was because I was tired and the other reason was I enjoyed the way my body felt. My muscles were worked with every step I ran and every swing of my arms. My heart rate was up and I knew that my body benefited from my decision to jog. Aside from the eventual weight lost, my heart will be healthier.

Moreover, I have to get ready for my participation in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women next month.

What motivates you to complete your daily cardio?