3 Tips to Help You Squeeze in a Workout

11 Apr

Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Senior Director, Worldwide Fitness Education 0 Comment


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You can always find the time to do what’s
good for you.

Here’s how to stop using excuses and finally squeeze in a workout.

When it comes to finding motivation to get up off the couch and improve your fitness level, sometimes it takes more than willpower alone to make it happen.

‘I’m too busy and I can’t find the time.’

This is the number one excuse I hear for not exercising. You may find it hard to believe, but this was also my go-to excuse after having triplets. It was an excuse that really worked, because who would ever disagree? My four young kids sure do take up a lot of time.

And this ‘I’m too busy’ excuse sounds so much better and less embarrassing than the truth: ‘I’m just too tired and I don’t have the motivation.’

The reality is that we can all make time to add activity into our life. All we need to do is realize that excuses will only hurt us in the long term. Sometimes it takes a health scare or an embarrassing moment to force us to address the issue. But why wait for that to happen before improving your life?

My changing moment occurred when I was asked to leave a steam room at the spa after being lectured in front of a crowd on how heat could harm my unborn child. Sounds awful, right? The real problem was that I wasn’t even pregnant—my babies were five months old already. Talk about a cringe worthy moment! This was all the motivation I needed to get my body and fitness back on track.

Three Ways to Squeeze in a Workout into Your Day

1. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier.

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it definitely takes motivation not to hit the snooze button and lie back down.

    • My next piece of advice may seem crazy but it worked for me. For the first few weeks wear a loose fitting workout kit to bed or place your workout outfit with your tennis shoes right next to your bed. When the alarm starts buzzing, put on your socks and shoes and get to it.
    • Working out at home or close to home is the best way to start out, because it removes any excuses about joining a gym or having to travel anywhere. Sure, jogging along a beach at dawn may sound nice, but in reality, you probably need to get your workout done and dusted as quickly as possible.
    • As your body gets used to the time adjustment, add an extra 10 minutes so that you can actually comb your hair and brush your teeth before you go.
2. Pack your workout clothes and take them to work.

If you’re not a morning person, then it’s time for Plan B: the lunchtime power-walk. Schedule it in like you would a dentist or your hair salon appointment. It’s funny that we wouldn’t dream of not getting our hair cut, but taking care of our health often gets overlooked or sidelined.

    • Asking a co-worker to join you will give you the extra motivation not to skip a session.
3. Split your workout into smaller segments.

If finding a full 30 minutes is too difficult, then try to do three or more mini workouts. It’s fine to accumulate your workout throughout your day.

    • This tip works especially well for stay-at-home-moms with young children, because minding a child for 10 minutes while you jump around and squeeze in a workout is a realistic goal.
    • If you work in an office and sit down all day, try taking a brief 10 minutes to stretch out or walk around the office. It may improve your energy level and boost your concentration.

Making an activity part of your lifestyle instead of a chore makes results easier to achieve.

Once I decided to ditch my excuses and made time in my day to exercise, I was able to quickly progress to a regular spinning class, and being active became something I just did rather than something I had to think about. People even started complementing me on all the extra energy I seemed to have.

So, no excuses––everybody can find time to exercise.

Running 101: 9 Tips to Get Started

09 Apr

Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Senior Director, Worldwide Fitness Education 0 Comment


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Running provides a great cardio workout.

Cardio exercise is important, so let’s talk about one of the easiest ways to add an effective cardio workout to your fitness routine—running.

It’s no good just knowing about the benefits of working out and not putting that theory into practice. Today, I’m going to try and convince you to take up running.

I’m a big fan of running and I’m naturally a sprint specialist—that’s a discipline that is all about explosive power over a short distance. Endurance running is a completely different exercise. Okay, so it still uses your legs, but I think running is something that anyone can get into with relatively little equipment. It’s also easy to start out walking and gradually ramp up—making sure you always go at your own pace.

Whether you’re training for a marathon or just want to add some cardio exercise to your fitness routine, here are some simple tips to help you reach your running goals.

Running equipment

The great news is that you don’t need to purchase a lot of equipment to run, although there are a few essential items that will make your journey more enjoyable.

  • A pair of running shoes that fit well
  • Distance running socks
  • Comfortable clothing

Listen to your body

If you don’t feel ready to run, simply walk instead. Once walking for a set time becomes easy, try to alternate between jogging and walking. Your aim should be to find a comfortable, sustainable pace that feels good. Remember to stop if you experience pain. Always perform a warm-up and cool-down to ensure your body is prepared for exercise.

Train to time not distance

During the first few weeks of running, focus on the amount of time you are running (walking or jogging), instead of thinking about distance. Set a goal of 20-30 minutes and, once you can successfully run for the entire duration, increase your time. Looking at miles in the first few weeks can be mentally discouraging. Once you can successfully complete 45 minutes at your desired pace, map out the miles and steadily increase the distance you cover.

Understand your phases

Don’t just hit the pavement and start racking up miles. Instead, know that you need to form an aerobic base level by training at about a level five or six intensity out of the maximum intensity of level 10. This is because ‘steady state training’ effectively teaches your body to burn fat as fuel. This will be important as you start to increase your distance. You can work on your speed later in your training.

Cross training

In order to become an efficient runner you must run. However, adding cross training such as biking, swimming or weight training to your weekly routine will help you to get fit and avoid getting bored.

Take technique one day at a time

Pick one technique to work on each time you go out for a run. There are several things you can work on, such as:

  • Foot placement – ensuring you are striking the ground between the mid and forefoot
  • Arm movement – ensuring you are staying relaxed as you pump your arms back and forth
  • Posture – ensuring you keep a strong core

If you break down your technique one day at a time, you will not be overwhelmed. And after a few weeks, you’ll have improved your running style.

Mix in some hills

Add some hill running or varied terrain into your program. Running up hill is a great way to build strength, as it’s considered the weight lifting of running. Your posterior chain muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes and calves, have to work harder when you are running up hill.

Rest!

You must schedule rest days into your program to allow your muscles to adapt to the increased workload and efficiently repair themselves. One to two rest days per week are essential for great performance.

7 Face Cleansing Tips for Healthier Skin

01 Apr

 Posted by Jacquie Carter – Director, Worldwide Outer Nutrition Education and Training  0 Comment


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A clean face leads to healthy-looking skin.

You know my mantra: cleanse, cleanse, cleanse! Achieving beautiful and clear skin can sometimes be as simple as having a clean face.

Having a clean face is vital for clear skin, and I cannot stress the importance of cleansing enough. Here are seven tips for a clean face that will help put you on the path to clear skin in no time. We don’t just need to wash away the surface grime—we also need to slough dead skin cells!

How to cleanse your way to healthy-looking skin

    Cleanse your skin twice a day: every morning and every night before bed, no matter what. Just because your skin looks clean, that doesn’t mean it is. Chances are it’s covered with invisible impurities that can harm the skin. Get rid of them.
    Avoid ordinary bar soaps and stick with facial cleansers that are gentle and designed for your skin type.
    Never dry your skin with the family hand towel. If it’s not clean, you could be transferring bacteria onto your fresh, clean face. Try a quick sniff test. If your towel doesn’t smell like it’s fresh from the laundry, then you might want to ditch it and grab a clean one.
    Only rinse with warm water, never with water that is too hot or too cold. Extremes in temperature may irritate your skin and cause damage.
    Exfoliate at least once a week. Gentle exfoliation buffs away dead cells on your face, resulting in smoother, brighter skin. Just like you would for a cleanser, make sure to find a scrub that’s suitable for your skin type.
    Invest in a facial once in a while. Just like you would go to a dentist for a teeth cleaning, your skin needs a deep cleansing, too. Frequency of facials depends on skin type. Work with your aesthetician to determine how often a deep cleaning is needed.
    Be gentle when cleansing around your eyes. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body. Handle with extra care.

Do you already do all of these things? Good for you. We’re all busy and sometimes it’s the simple things that start to slip, but a clean face and clear skin will help give you confidence.