Fitness & Wellness

Start Your New Year's Resolution Early

Start Your New Year’s Resolution Early

No matter what your fitness New Year’s resolution is, you’ll find it’s easier if you start immediately and not wait until the stroke of midnight to begin. Many of my Richmond Hill, GA clients that started in January as part of their fitness resolution, say they wish they would have begun the goal as soon as they thought of it and saved the extra pounds they gained over the holidays. Not only will the program help you choose food more wisely, it can boost your energy, too. That’s especially important during the busy holidays.

Identify your fitness goal first.

If weight loss is one of your goals, there’s no doubt about it, it will be easier to start today! You don’t have to diet to lose weight, just make smarter choices when it comes to food. You’ll find you won’t feel deprived over the holidays when some of the changes are as simple as eating brown rice instead of white rice or using Greek yogurt for your baked potato, rather than sour cream. There are tricks and tips you can use to avoid all those extra calories, like using a smaller plate so it looks like you’re eating more, eating slowly and chewing each bite longer, filling up on salad and low calorie foods first and even going for a walk after lunch to avoid grazing. You could be starting the coming year weighing even less.

More exercise is an important part of fitness.

Even if you don’t have time to start a formal program, don’t let that stop you from increasing your time exercising. There are a number of quick workouts that take a few minutes you can do throughout the day. In order to stay healthy, moving vigorously every 55 minutes is important. You can run up and down stairs, march or run in place or do one of the many super short 4 to 7 minute workouts you find on the internet. It will get you ready when you join the gym when the new year starts.

Treat your family to a healthy holiday meal.

You’ll want to get them used to eating healthy and you can do it before they know you’ve started your program. Find healthy recipes to put on the holiday table that taste good. You’ll probably find several they absolutely love, so you’ll have some ammo when you’re “officially” starting your fitness regimen. You’ll probably find you also love these healthy foods, too.

  • Mindful eating slows you down at the table and lets your brain and hormones catch up with your meals to let you know you’re full before you’ve eaten too much. Chewing slowly and savoring the flavors also adds to the meal.
  • Start getting rid of the processed foods in the house. You don’t have to throw them all away, just don’t restock them. You’ll be ready to start the new year with a healthy, clean living cupboard and refrigerator.
  • One simple trick for good health and weight loss is to drink more water. It curbs your appetite and lowers your caloric intake. It can also be an energy booster.
  • Don’t skimp on sleep. Lack of sleep can cause you to gain weight, plus is bad for your health.

Can You Snack And Still Lose Weight

Can You Snack And Still Lose Weight

Some people think that you have to eat only three meals a day and nothing in between to be successful in weight loss. The truth is that you not only can snack and still lose weight, it actually might help you do that. Some weight loss plans actually suggest you break your meals down to six or more smaller ones throughout the day. While the way you eat is entirely up to your preferences, it is one way to shed pounds and fill in those times when you’re hungry between meals.

How snacks help you lose weight.

Snacks can help you keep your hunger under control. You won’t be ravenous at the next meal if you’ve tempered your appetite with a snack. That means you won’t over order in a restaurant or pile the food on your plate at home. That can lead to a lower caloric intake and faster weight loss. The key is not whether to snack or not, but what to use as a snack.

Plan your snacks or you’ll find yourself eating food that’s not healthy or thinning.

If you know you’ll be hungry mid morning or mid afternoon, don’t ignore that fact when you’re planning your healthy eating plan. Embrace it. Choose healthy foods that not only are lower in calories, but also add important nutrients to your diet. Food that has high fiber, healthy fat and protein will keep you feeling fuller longer.

Some snacks are better than others are.

Mixed nuts and fresh fruits are often at the top of the list when it comes to snacking. However, there are other snacks that area also healthy, filling and lower in calories. Popcorn fills you up with healthy fiber and yogurt (the unsweetened type) provides calcium and protein. Create your own trail mix and measure out individual serving sizes for plastic bags you can carry in your purse or keep in your desk at work.

  • Keep water on hand to sip throughout the day. While it’s not a snack, it can help fill you up, so you’re less likely to overeat. Sometimes, people eat because they think they’re hungry but are really just thirsty.
  • Hard boiled eggs have their own container and can stay fresh without refrigeration for up to two hours. You can take them to work and store them in the refrigerator for snacks later that day or for up to three weeks.
  • Have snacks ready in the refrigerator. If you have whole cantaloupe in the house, it won’t be eaten as quickly as having it in a bowl cut in bite size chunks. You can eat one or two chunks throughout the day without fretting about weight gain.
  • Try instant unsweetened oatmeal as a snack. It helps keep your blood sugar level and adds fiber to your diet. Have an apple or a few raisins ready to sweeten it.

Healthy Habits For The Entire Family

Healthy Habits For The Entire Family

Healthy habits for the entire family are important no matter where you live. Here in Richmond Hill, GA I often hear clients hunting for ways to share their new found fitness with their spouse and/or children. It’s only natural to want to share. If you’re feeling healthy and good, you want those you love to experience the same. However, they’re often faced by resistance when they try to get others to exercise or serve a super healthy meal that no one will eat. Here are some tips my clients found that worked. Feel free to add your own in the comment section, we love it when you share.

Plan family outings that are active and stay active in the home.

Instead of going out to dinner and then to the movies, consider a hike in the park and a picnic lunch. Get gifts that promote exercise, like a bike or sports equipment. Even a hula hoop can be fun, especially if everyone has their own and joins the group. Dance through chores with the kids and make sure you exercise every day at home with your children. Make it fun, not grueling. If you don’t have children, just a spouse, get your spouse to join you. For those with pets, you’ll do them a favor with play time that keeps both of you active.

Plan meals ahead and make them healthy.

Get everyone involved with meal planning. Find several recipes each week and let everyone have a choice. Don’t go for boxed or premade items and make sure every meal has a several fresh vegetables or fruits. Get the kids and/or your spouse involved with meal preparation. Make it fun. Have some meals made ahead of time and ready to heat and serve. Also have healthy snacks on hand like nuts, fruit, veggies and dip.

Create a scheduled time to eat together and stick with it.

In today’s world, getting the whole family to eat together is tough, but make at least one meal together manditory. It can be breakfast, even if everyone has to get up a bit earlier or dinner. Don’t sit in front of the TV, but eat at the table and talk. Talking in person with one another is a lost art and it builds bonds, while giving parents and insight to the trials of their child’s day. It lets all family members know they’re important.

  • Have healthy drinks on hand. Don’t go for the juice boxes, but stick with water. Too many people fail to drink adequate water but get their fluid from high calorie drinks, including juice. Most juice boxes are simply sugar water with flavor.
  • Get adequate sleep. Having a bedtime is important no matter what your age. Make sure every family member has a scheduled bedtime and sleep in a dark room with no electronic devices.
  • Take time for appreciation. Every day make sure each person makes it a habit to find something each person did that was impressive or kind. Make sure you include the sharing during a family meal.
  • Create a bed time ritual. Getting the kids to sleep is often hard, but not if they’re looking forward to your undivided attention where you read to them or simply talk. It’s one more chance to bond and to learn more about your child.

Packing Healthy Lunches

Packing Healthy Lunches

If you’re tired of trying to find something healthy at the fast food places near your office, want a healthy meal when you can’t get away from your desk or simply don’t approve of the menu on the school lunch program, packing healthy lunches doesn’t have to be a hassle. They also can be extremely delicious, too. A balanced lunch should contain a high quality protein, healthy fat, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables and of course, water. While parents often include juice boxes, not water, with lunches, juice drinks are mostly sugar and very little juice. Water is always a better option. Not only does it hydrate, it doesn’t contain empty calories that can lead to obesity.

Choose a high quality protein.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or omnivore, you need protein. Protein is a primary building block for muscle tissue, bones, cartilage, blood and skin. You need it for enzymes, hormones and other necessary chemicals in your body. The problem is that your body can’t store it and it needs a lot of it. Protein helps keep you feeling fuller longer and can help you lose weight. Hardboiled eggs, cheese, nuts and nut butter are super simple options for both kids and adults. Veggie wraps with ham and cheese are also a hit with both.

Healthy fat is good for you.

While some people recoil at the very mention of fat, you need fat in your diet. It can’t be just any type of fat. For instance, trans fats are bad for you. High fat fried foods shouldn’t be on your list either. Without healthy fat, you can’t absorb fat soluble vitamins A, K, D and E. Healthy fat provides energy and keeps you feeling fuller. It helps build cells and is necessary for brain and nerve functioning, as well as keeping your heart healthy. Avocado, cheese, whole eggs, fatty fish—think salmon and sardines—and seeds like pumpkin and chia seeds are good sources.

Complex carbohydrates provide the energy you need.

Simple carbs include sugar, fructose and even fruit juice. They’re the type of carbs to avoid. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest so you’ll feel fuller longer. They contain fiber that aids digestion and keeps you regular. Whole grains, whole fruit, beans, sweet potatoes and pasta are some of the choices Fruits and vegetables are known to be healthy and can provide not only nutrients, but also fiber. People need five to thirteen servings per day, based on age and weight.

  • Sneak in vegetables to kid’s lunches or add interest to yours with ideas that use vegetables, like mini quiche muffins with veggies or broccoli nuggets that look like chicken nuggets, only green!
  • Two ideas for balanced kid’s lunches are veggies with dressing for dip, hard boiled eggs, grapes and pretzels as option one. Option two can include chicken avocado salad roll-ups, cherry tomatoes, sliced red peppers, hummus dip and fruit salad.
  • Grown up option for brown bagging it can include food that you can warm if you have a microwave at your office. Spicy chicken breasts pressure cooked atop rice and beans, with trail mix and fresh veggies on the side is one option to brown bag it in style.

A Good Night's Rest Is Important

A Good Night’s Rest Is Important

If you’re like many people in Richmond Hill, GA, there’s not enough hours in the day to get everything done. You stay up late to finish a report for the next day, pack the kid’s lunch or simply try to unwind and then get up early in the morning and start all over again. The problem with that type of schedule is the inability to get a good nights rest with any consistency. If there’s a continuous lack of sleep, it can create some serious problems with health and even sabotage weight loss efforts.

When you’re sleeping, your brain is actually working hard.

You may be asleep, but your brain isn’t. It’s still performing a number of functions, which include removing toxins that build up while you’re awake. It is important to memory consolidation where it processes the events of the day and consolidates sensory input, feelings, memories and events to create links that help you process those events and remember them better.

Want to shed extra pounds? Sleep on it.

You may think that moving more and longer would help you lose weight…and you’d be right. It is unless you give up sleep to do it. One study showed that people who slept fewer than seven hours were more likely to be overweight. While the reason isn’t known for sure, scientists think it may have to do with the balancing of ghrelin and leptin hormones that regulate how hungry you get. When you’re tired, you’re also more prone to reach for a sugary treat that can start a cycle that makes you reach for more as your blood sugar roller coasters through peaks and valleys.

Sleep makes you healthier.

There’s a lot of research that shows lack of sleep can lead to heart disease. One reason may be that lack of sleep can lead to inflammation. That occurs because lack of sleep increases stress hormones. Inflammation is also linked to other serious conditions, such as diabetes and cancer. In fact, it may even be Even if you can’t get a full night’s sleep, studies show that napping throughout the day can help. It can boost cognitive functioning, put you in a better mood and improve your memory.

  • You need to sleep in a dark room and refrain from electronics before sleeping to protect your melatonin levels. That light exposure can reduce them. Not only does melatonin regulate your sleep cycle, it also suppresses tumor growth.
  • Keep stress at bay by getting adequate sleep. Sleep reduces the body’s stress and by doing that, lowers your risk of high blood pressure.
  • Sleep is the time your body repairs the damage of the day. When you sleep, your cells increase their production of protein that help repair damaged cells.

Should I Workout In The Morning

Should I Workout In The Morning

If you’re procrastinating starting a program of regular exercise because you’re not sure whether you should workout in the morning or another time of day, stop it! No matter what time of the day you workout, it will do you more good than sitting in your Lazy Boy debating the issue. While each time of day has its benefits, there is a drawback to working out right before bed. You’ll end up wired and find it difficult to sleep. Aside from that, there are benefits to every workout session, regardless of when you do it.

Should you workout before you go to the office, at lunch or after work?

As noted before, each time of day has benefits. If you choose to workout the first thing in the morning before you eat, you’ll get the benefit of working out on an empty stomach. That means your body will have to hit your stored fat for energy. You’ll be burning fat during aerobic workouts and train your body to burn fat more efficiently. However, it’s best for low intensity workouts. To avoid muscle breakdown when you’re trying to build, take a protein shake within a half hour of working out.

For the best aerobic performance and improved endurance, train when you have adequate stores of glycogen.

The early evening, afternoon or late morning is best for a workout when you’re training for a marathon or anytime you want more endurance. Your glycogen stores in your liver and your muscles are at maximum at these times. That occurs hours after you’ve consumed a full meal that has carbs. If you eat a hearty breakfast, then in the late morning or lunch is best. If you’re a breakfast skipper, it’s later in the day. It helps you avoid that “hit-the-wall” feeling that can occur when you run out of fuel.

Want to lift more and build power and strength, check your body temperature.

If you’re pumping iron, you don’t want to jump out of bed and hit the gym. It could be dangerous. When you sleep, your body temperature drops. The discs in your back also fill with fluid. After you’re awake a while, your body temperature rises and the fluid in your spine goes back to normal. Now it’s time to get in that power lifting. Waiting for your body to wake up and normalize is especially important if you have back problems.

  • No matter what your need, if the best time to workout for your needs doesn’t work with your schedule, choose convenience first or you’ll find yourself missing workouts.
  • Consistency pays off. Find a workout time that works for you and make it a permanent one in your schedule.
  • Everyone’s body is different. If you find you can sleep better after a night workout, by all means, do it. Just make sure you have a store of glycogen available for recovery.
  • If your morning workout is going to be strenuous, grab a banana or something light that can help supplement your depleted glycogen reserves. There’s ways to make any time of day work well.

Are Protein Supplements Good For You

Are Protein Supplements Good For You

Among the personal trainers in Richmond Hill, GA, there’s a lot of talk about whether to recommend supplements to clients. In the world of supplements, one of the healthiest is whey protein supplements, but even it has some drawbacks, regardless of its health benefits. There are many situations where supplements are important and even life saving. For instance, sick and elderly people often don’t get enough protein in their diet. Supplementing that protein can help keep them from wasting away.

There are other reasons people may need a protein supplement.

People who are on a vegan diet often don’t get enough protein, just because the sources aren’t top quality protein or limited on that type of diet. There are good vegan protein sources that can fill the gap. Some athletes may need extra protein if they’re training hard and need to supplement to maintain or build muscle mass. Adding extra protein can also help stabilize blood sugar and help people under stress avoid hypoglycemia and to repair tissue that breaks down under stress. Extra protein may also promote weight loss.

You can get too much of a good thing.

Some protein supplements are filled with polyunsaturated fatty acids that can damage your body in excess. Soy protein, for instance, increases the level of estrogen in the body. Even healthy protein, like whey has some drawbacks. While whey protein is a complete protein source, since it has all the amino acids, it can cause some digestive issues. Like any type of supplement, food or additive, some people can develop allergies to it. It can cause constipation, while may put an extra burden on the kidneys. That should be of concern for those with existing kidney problems. There’s also some concern over liver damage and osteoporosis with whey protein.

The best way to get healthy protein is with a balanced diet.

Unless you fit in the categories listed in the first paragraph, eating whole foods is always superior to taking a supplement. A good meal also fills you up and is far tastier. However, depending on the type of supplement you take, you’re generally safe supplementing with protein powder. Pay close attention to the type of protein supplement you take. If you’re lactose intolerant, avoid whey protein, since it’s made from dairy.

  • Don’t over supplement. Too much protein is hard on the kidneys when consumed regularly.
  • People who are just starting a workout program may benefit from a protein supplement, too. Since muscle tissue is being built, you may need more than normal than you would after training a while.
  • The three most often used types of protein powders are whey, casein and soy. The easiest to use is whey because it’s water-soluble and a complete protein.
  • Soy protein supplement is good for vegans, but harder to dissolve in water and an incomplete protein.

How To Break A Plateau

How To Break A Plateau

As you shed more pounds, there often comes a time when those next few pounds seem impossible to lose. Everyone has gone through it, that’s why it’s so important to learn how to break a plateau. The first step is always learning what caused that plateau. The more weight you carry, the more calories you burn. It’s like carrying a dumbbell all day long. As you lose weight, often you’ll love both fat and muscle. In doing that, not only are you reducing the number of calories you burn by simply shedding the extra pounds, you’re also losing muscle weight.

If you haven’t already started an exercise program, do it.

If you have started a workout routine, vary it. Adding exercise helps burn more calories, so you don’t have to adjust your caloric intake, you’ll be adjusting your caloric output to offset the effort your body expended in carrying those extra pounds. Too often I hear people bemoan the fact that they’re working out but still not shedding weight. That’s often because they never changed their workout.

The body works toward becoming efficient.

Anyone can tell you that efficiency is good. However, that’s not the case when it comes to working out. The more efficient your body becomes at doing a particular workout, the fewer calories it burns. That’s why changing your workout is important. Another important part of working out to lose weight is including strength training in your workout. While cardio does burn calories, it doesn’t discriminate between burning calories from breaking down fat tissue or muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism is. That’s because muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance, so the more weight you’ll lose.

Are you eating more fiber and reducing carbs?

The more fiber you eat, the more you’ll burn. Studies show that for every gram of fiber consumed, it cancels out seven calories. Boosting your fiber intake up just ten more grams could burn an additional 70 calories. Fiber also fills you up and keeps you regular so you don’t have a belly bloat that can occur with constipation. The more carbs you eat, the more potential you have to boost your blood sugar level that can leave you ravenous. There is a difference between good carbs, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and those nasty ones, like pasta and sugary treat. Make sure all the carbs in your diet are those that come from whole foods, not processed foods and contain healthy fiber, which means fresh veggies and fruit.

  • Drink more water. Not only will water fill you up, it helps flush toxins and can reduce water weight by acting like a diuretic.
  • Cut back on salt. Salt will boost the water retention that can make you think your diet isn’t working.
  • Carry healthy snacks with you for those ravenous times. Carry a baggy of almonds or other nuts with you. Almonds are a good source of protein. They contain the amino acid L-arginine that helps you shed pounds.
  • Get more active. Take more walks. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Every little calorie burned counts.

Drink More Water

Drink More Water

You’ll not only be doing your weight loss efforts a favor, but also your body, when you drink more water. The body is about 60% water, so ensuring you’re well hydrated helps all the organs. Staying hydrated not only keeps your body running right, it also helps your organs. Water helps keep you thinking clearer according to many studies. Even mild dehydration can reduce your ability to remember and put you in a poor mood. It affects your concentration and can lead to fatigue, anxiety, memory loss and headaches.

If you want a real energy boost, hit the H2O, not the coffee.

That cup of Joe may give you a quick boost, just like a candy bar does, but that quick boost soon turns around to another low. To maintain your energy, you need to get a cold perk-me-up in the form of water. Often, rather than tired, you’re actually dehydrated or on the border. That leaves you feeling ready for a short nap. You’ll perform your workout with more vigor and burn more calories when you stay hydrated. There’s no need for a sports drink unless you’re going at 100% for a while. They only add extra calories and don’t do the great job water does for dehydration.

Shed those extra pounds by drinking more water.

Water can boost your metabolism as much as 30 percent for about an hour and a half. Just drinking two liters of water a day increases the average person’s metabolism enough to burn an additional 96 calories every day. That may not sound like much, but it could mean losing almost one extra pound per month. When you consider you don’t have to do anything extra, workout any longer or drop any more calories from your menu, that’s pretty impressive.

When you drink the water plays an important role in weight loss.

Drinking a half liter of water about a half hour before your meals can help you even more than just casually drinking it throughout the day. Water is filling and a recent study proved it. Half the group was told to drink a half liter of water before meals. The other group of dieters were to eat as normal. The group that drank water lost an average of 44% more weight than the control group. It’s simple, yet extremely effective. It fills you up, not out.

  • Opt for cold water. Your body needs to warm the water to body temperature. That burns additional calories.
  • Avoid a hangover and drink more water. Part of the fatigue and headache of the hangover comes from dehydration. Either drink a full glass of water between alcoholic beverages or drink several glasses when you get up in the morning to help clear your head and lose that headache.
  • Cut the bloat of constipation with water. Regular exercise and water can keep you going and make you a regular guy or gal. If bloating and constipation are a problem, include more water in your life.
  • Maximize your performance with water. Just losing as little as two percent of the body’s water content through sweat can affect your performance. Your muscles are 80% water, so treat them right and drink water before, during and after exercising.

Another Sample Post

Another Sample Post

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