Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Make Your Healthy Lifestyle a Family Thing!!

We have all heard the benefits of having an exercise partner- it keeps you motivated, right!!  Why not add your family into the mix?  The childhood obesity rates are staggering.  I heard a statistic a few weeks ago that says the average kid in America spends 7.5 hours in front of a screen!  More kids than ever before are being diagnosed with Type II diabetes- which is also known as "adult onset diabetes", and these kids are not adults yet!  A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest dangers our kids in the United States are facing.  Remember, what you  are doing to get and stay healthy is not some fad diet- it is a lifestyle change- something you are going to do forever. Your family needs to be a part of that.  My friend and I run trails a couple of times a week and we will see this man out there running, and he has to be in his 80's at least.  I want to be doing that when I'm 80 and you should, too.  The best way to ensure you are still agile and healthy when you are older is to do something about it right now.  If you don't use it you will lose it.  This means that if you don't use your muscles and your cardiovascular system, you will lose your ability to do it.  That's why retirement can be dangerous for a lot of people.  They go from moving around everyday to a sedentary lifestyle and before you know it their health is spiraling downward and now they are having a hard time just getting around.  We have to be deliberate in our health and make it a priority.  What a great thing to teach our children now, so that they carry it throughout their life.

So, what can you do with your kids?  Take them on bike rides, hikes, to the gym with you, play sports together, etc.  Make it a requirement that they do this, not a suggestion.  It will grow on them and they will come to love it- they just have to get started first.  Limit all screen time.  There are just so many different screens that our kids sit in front of now- put a limit on all of them.  You will be doing your kids a favor with this.  Especially with summer time- get your kids outside, soaking up some great vitamin D from the sun, and making their bodies stronger.  Add some activity to everyday and you will start to see a change in yourself and your family.  Make eating healthy something that you enjoy so that your kids will want to take part in that, also- don't show them that it's a chore or boring or something you dislike.  And, what better way to grow your family's closeness than to spend more time doing things together!

Happy Summer!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

How Ready Are You to Change?

Almost half way through the year- June already!!!!!  How are your fitness goals coming along?  A friend posted something on Facebook that made me think about the "stages of readiness to change", also known as, the "psychological aspect of personal training"!  After more than ten years of research, the stages of readiness to change were introduced.  How ready are you to change your fitness level?  Let's see where you're at!

Stage 1- Precontemplation:  no change is being thought of.

Stage 2- Contemplation:  change is being thought about sometime in the next 6 months.

Stage 3-  Preparation:  change is being planned within the next 30 days and some type of change in behavior is being attempted.

Stage 4- Action:  the behavior that produces positive outcomes has been started within the last 6 months

Stage 5- Maintenance- the behavior that produces positive outcomes has been  done for at least 6 months.

So obviously, the change and behavior I am talking about here is:  exercise!!!   Which stage do you think is the most critical and difficult to achieve?  Stage 5!!  Most people don't believe that, but it's true.  A lot of people  "fall off the wagon" in Stage 4.  Life gets busy with kids, careers, spouse, traveling (especially in the summer) etc.  Many behaviors become a habit after doing them for 3 weeks, but, with exercise it takes 6 months.  Getting to that crucial Stage 5 is so important, because that means it has become a habit.  If you do travel, really, really try to keep exercising, even if it is just a walk on the beach, bicycle riding, outdoor sports, etc.  And, many of us see a vacation as a license to eat whatever we want.  One study has shown that 60% of people gain weight while on vacation.  And, especially if you take a cruise where there are open food buffets 24 hours a day- that is just very tempting.  If you don't already do it, start a food journal or use, it also comes as an app on your phone.  You can use it to log your exercise as well.  If you are traveling and eating out all of your meals at a restaurant, you are almost guaranteed to go over in your calories.  Restaurants prepare foods in butter and oil, even foods that you wouldn't think, so make sure you ask your server how your meal is being prepared.  Take healthy snacks with you so that you know how many calories you are consuming there, since you may not be sure how many you are eating with your restaurant meals.  Choose foods that are grilled or steamed; fresh fruits and vegetables; items without a lot of cheese or heavy dressings; and clear broth soups, not creamy ones.  And, steer clear of buffets for a couple of reasons.  One, I am just a germaphobe and buffets are just a big vat of bacteria, and two, you tend to over indulge at them.

Take advantage of school being out to spend time together outdoors with your family.  You can be the positive influence that your family needs to get moving.  Go on hikes, bike rides, walks,  the pool to swim laps, or to the gym together!