A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.—A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Sitting on a plane during a five-hour cross-country trip, I heard flight attendants counting to twenty; then there would be silence and they would walk around the cabin assisting passengers. I’d hear them counting again to twenty, then it would stop.
They were behind the galley walls, so I couldn’t see what they were doing. I just happened to get up to go to the bathroom while they were counting. (That’s not entirely true. I had totally planned it!). They were doing squats! Twenty squats, five times throughout the flight equaled one hundred squats. Kudos to those flight attendants for creating a healthy work environment.
The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
This is gonna hurt. I’m sorry, but it’s time to be truthful. Look at yourself in the mirror in just your undies. Do you have love handles and cellulite? We all have something we want to change. Coming face-to-face with the truth can be incredibly motivating, while putting clothes on just covers the problem, doesn’t it?
Throughout the day, you know what you’re hiding; numbers don’t lie. Weigh yourself and take your measurements. Are you content with those numbers? Do you want to look better and feel better? Have no fear! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you didn’t get that body overnight.
We all know the basics of banking; you cannot withdraw money you don’t have in your account. What if we looked at our bodies as bank accounts and the healthy choices we make as money deposited into our account? Every time you exercised, ate healthy meals, slept well and had a positive mental attitude you’d receive more cash flow! But all the unhealthy choices, like smoking, excessive drinking, too much stress and lack of sleep would be withdrawals that may result in poor health, depression or injuries.
There will always be times in life when we are unexpectedly hit with a curve ball and we’ll have too much stress, miss a night of good sleep, indulge in junk food, or have one too many glasses of wine. After those occasions we feel a little less perky, more sluggish and even run-down. Our body functions at a lower vibrational frequency and if we make yet another withdrawal on the body bank account we risk becoming overdrawn. Injuries and illnesses are more likely to occur when our immune systems have been compromised. In our twenties or thirties, we may have been able to get away with a few too many drinks and lack of sleep from partying but eventually, our bodies will rebel in the form of a cold, headache or something worse.
An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.—Henry David Thoreau
Getting regular exercise doesn’t mean you have to work out an hour or more a day. Who has time for that? Short bursts of strength-training moves and at least two days of cardiovascular exercise weekly can help you keep fit.
Many of us use the lack of time as an excuse to not exercise. If I’m not teaching a fitness class, I can come up with more excuses than anybody about why I’m too busy to exercise. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.—life gets in the way, right? Wrong!
As a fitness professional for more than 30 years, I have seen a lot of exercise programs come and go. More have gone than stayed. It can be difficult to determine which new trend is best for you and your lifestyle.
In the 1980’s I started teaching high impact aerobics where a good class was measured by the number of people who dropped out — or the number of people who could not keep up. Aerobics instructors in the ‘80s would typically do can cans for a minimum of 10 minutes straight. For those of you who don’t know, that’s jumping on one leg doing a knee lift, jumping again and doing a kick. That was a trend that didn’t stick around.
In the 1990s, I owned my own aerobics studio and taught everything from step, to slide, to Spinning, and trained with the creator of that program, Johnny G. I was teaching what is now called Soul Cycle decades ago. It was fabulous and I got really familiar with a bike seat, but how much can you do on an indoor bicycle?
Many of us have gallant plans to thwart overindulgent eating on holidays, but sadly, some of us have a difficult time passing up the cakes, cookies and chips. (My hand is up!) After all, what’s a Fourth of July celebration without s’mores or Thanksgiving without apple pie? Most of us give up at least a day of exercise in lieu of holidays too. So, how do you reset your psyche to get back on track to healthier living after the party is over?
Here are three quick and easy steps to get motivated:
A strong body makes the mind strong. —Thomas Jefferson
When I was in high school, I was twenty pounds heavier than I am now. Then in college I became part of the “Freshman Fifteen Club” – that’s not a club you want to join. At a time in my life when I should have been at peak physical condition, I was overweight. If I add it all up, I’ve gained and lost over 100 pounds in my life.
As a smart college girl, I knew many tricks to lose weight. Two of the all-time worst weight loss gimmicks were: wrapping my body in plastic wrap, donning a sweat suit, and sitting in the sauna, or simply starving myself. Neither, as you probably know, worked. Only when I started to teach group fitness classes regularly did I start to shed pounds. Another important change was that I stopped thinking about what I was going to have for lunch while eating breakfast. I kept busy. Finding something you love to do prevents you from eating out of boredom, too. Have you ever been so involved in a project that you forgot to eat? Compare that with inhaling a bag of chips while watching television.