If you've tried and failed to get in shape or lose weight as part of a New Year's resolution, it's time to put a plan behind your passion. Below are five tips from BiPro's 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge. They are appropriate for all ages and fitness levels,
(BPT) - To lose weight and/or get in better shape consistently ranks as one of the top New Year's resolutions. However, many resolutions to reach this goal fall short or last less than a month because a great idea is seldom successful without a plan to make it happen.
If you've tried and failed to get in shape or lose weight as part of a New Year's resolution, it's time to put a plan behind your passion. Below are five tips from BiPro's 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge. They are appropriate for all ages and fitness levels, so use them to start your own wellness resolution, whether it's on Jan. 1, March 1 or whenever you're ready to make a healthy change.
* Measure your success. Minneapolis fitness expert Chris Freytag says celebrating those small victories will keep you motivated to pursue your final goal, and there are ways to measure your results beyond stepping on the scale. She recommends keeping a workout journal to record improvements in your weight training, biking or running. Record each session in detail so you can review them later and see how your numbers have progressed. It's the perfect pick-me-up.
* Balance your protein intake throughout the day. Most Americans consume barely any protein in the morning, a fair amount for lunch and a lot with dinner. For the best results, you should try to balance your protein intake throughout the day. That way, your body has a constant stream of the nutrients it needs to function at its best. You can estimate how much protein you need each day using the protein calculator at BiProUSA.com. Once you've found your number, be sure you're consuming a steady and balanced portion of protein not only at dinner, but also at breakfast and lunch.
* Get motivated to work out even when you don't feel like exercising. Sometimes you just don't want to work out, but instead of putting it off until tomorrow, Jordan Hasay, a record setting professional runner, says it's important to set small daily goals. "It's all about winning the day," she says. "As a professional athlete, my workouts every day are difficult. It's all about taking baby steps and really looking at one step at a time and setting individual goals for the day."
* Don't let a pre-existing injury postpone your workout. After a decade of playing pro football, Ben Leber had trouble running without pain due to his worn-down knees. So he took up boxing, as his twice-per-week cardio workout. The sport is physical and gets Leber's heart rate up, all without putting unneeded pressure on his knees. Find the sport that appeals to you. Be it boxing, swimming or bike riding, there is a solution out there that works for you and your existing injury.
* Start the day with a protein-packed breakfast. You know starting the day with protein is important, but your busy schedule means cooking eggs and bacon every morning isn't possible. Instead, start your morning with a protein smoothie using this recipe:
- 1 scoop unflavored protein powder
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
Blend them all together until they are thoroughly mixed and load them in your travel mug. You'll have a great healthy breakfast to start your day.
While Jan. 1 is a popular day to kick off a health and fitness goal, any day of the year can mark the start of your new life, you just have to set a plan and follow through. So don't delay. The better you is out there, so seize it before the new year rolls around again. To find more tips from the 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge, as well as other healthy recipes, visit BiProUSA.com.
Cardiovascular exercise may promote a positive mood, better cognitive function and reduce diabetes risk, but only if you do it right. Here's tips how
(BPT) - Does your exercise routine live and die by the treadmill? Does your workout consist of an hour on the elliptical? While you can't ignore the positive impact aerobic exercise has on your health, it may not be the dream weight-loss solution you hope for.
"It seems an awful lot of people walk, jog, run and cycle on a regular basis, hoping the time spent on the treadmill, bike or trail will equate to drastic weight loss results," says Paul Kriegler, registered dietitian and nutrition program manager for Life Time Fitness. "There's a fair amount of research on how much cardio is best for realizing health benefits, but there are a few factors that could be compromising those benefits for you."
You're doing cardio, but moving less throughout the rest of the day.
Think about this: you wake up early, get to your health club and work hard for a solid hour, spinning your legs until they feel like jelly. A puddle of sweat surrounds your bike and your heart rate monitor says you burned 950 calories. That's great, until later on, you forgo your normal walking break because you feel too worn out. And later that evening, you catch a nap before dinner rather than walking the dog or mowing the lawn. People often justify inactivity in the hours after a strenuous workout. Most experts recommend getting the majority of your movement throughout the day instead of condensing it into one particular segment.
You're doing too much cardio.
The health benefits of cardiovascular training appear to begin after around 30 minutes of moderate intensity four to five days per week, totaling around 150 minutes. When it comes to cardio, more isn't always better, especially if you don't give your body time to recover. According to an article titled "Effect of the volume and intensity of exercise training on insulin sensitivity," published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, opting for long, frequent sessions is often less effective than shorter, higher intensity. Doing long sessions of cardio, more than 60 minutes, is rarely necessary unless you're training for a specific event. Another observational study of recreational joggers suggest you're better off capping your strict cardio time at 30 minutes and including several days per week of resistance training.
You think cardio means "I get to eat extra calories without consequence."
While exercising to burn off some energy may give you a little room for forgiveness, exercising to prepare for or undo poor eating habits doesn't guarantee you results. In fact, according to a study in PubMed, large amounts of cardio training have been shown to induce compensatory eating patterns, especially in women. It's easy to get into this mindset, but exercise is far more than just a way to expend calories. Well-planned, properly executed bouts of activity can stimulate your body to go through incredible changes, but not if you're using food as a reward.
All your cardio sessions are the same.
Cardio can be helpful for getting a little solitude or zone out time, but doing the same workout every day when you're looking for results is definitely not the answer. A good exercise program incorporates variability from one workout to the next. Your body has a few major energy systems, and they all need to be challenged over time. Try an Active Metabolic Assessment from Life Time to scientifically determine your most efficient heart rate zones so you can exercise smarter.
Cardiovascular exercise may promote a positive mood, better cognitive function and reduce diabetes risk, but only if you do it right. Take these factors into consideration the next time you lace up your gym shoes and hop on the nearest cardio machine.
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