My workout partner[ Farel|http://www.farelhruska.com] and I are often amazed at how good of shape people are in at our gym. We are, after all, fitness professionals. You would think that people would be watching us. They’re not. So we were watching these two amazing women doing pull ups. Another woman came up and commented on the strength of the gals. We told her that we’ve set a goal this month inspired by them. “Oh yeah, how many pull ups are you going to do?” she asked. “Just one”, we answered. She laughed. It’s not that we set the bar low. We are just realistic. Right now, neither of us can even do one pull up. If we train to do one this month, then maybe next time we can do two. My point is not to be overwhelmed by any goal. Cut it into the smallest bite size piece and go for it!
Taking the time to write down exactly what you eat and drink everyday will allow you to get a better idea of why you may not be accomplishing your desired goals. Estimate calories wherever you can. Maybe you’re eating too much, or possibly not enough. Does your diary show multiply trips to Starbucks each day? Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? A food diary will allow you to make an accurate analysis of your eating habits so that you can improve upon them, and then actually track your own progress.The food & exercise log that I use and recommend isFitBook- it is an excellent way to document everything you do, track your goals and see all of the things you've accomplished.
2) Sit down for at least 3 meals a day.
This means no eating at your desk, in your car, at the playground, or in front of the television. It also means that you don’t skip breakfast, lunch or dinner! Even more impressive is if you can sit down for two or three additional snacks as well, but that may be pushing it! If your focus is on your computer, watching your children, talking on the phone, watching television, etc., you aren’t truly aware of the calories that you’re consuming. Chances are that by not listening to your body, you won’t know when you feel full and should stop eating, and that is what leads to a quick extra 3,500 calories each week.
3) Cut out junk food and take-out for one week.
This might be really hard for some of us, and I understand the challenges. But for a single week, eat as clean of a diet as you can. Brown bag it to work, or pack a cooler each day with fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins. You may be tired at the end of the day, but for one week, resist the urge to order out. At the end of this week, review how you’re feeling overall.
My guess is going to be that if you incorporate fresh organic choices into your diet and cut out the junk (which is usually packed with excess calories and sodium), you’ll find that both your body and mind perform at an improved level. And if you like the results after one week, keep it going!
Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or you just want to establish healthier eating habits, these tips will help you move in the right direction. There are more tips at www.strollerstrides.com.
In keeping with staying on track for New Year's Resolutions, I am telling you to document your year. Track your progress by writing down your workouts and your food intake. If you aren't getting the results you want, you can see that it might be because of the double soy lattes or the skipped Stroller Strides class. When it's in black and white, there's no denying it. Also, you are more likely to stay on track if you know it's going to be documented. I personally use the fitbook to track my days. I especially like it because it's compact, stylish and helps me track my mood. Please share your questions and success stories!
Ok, I know this sounds overwhelming if you are already having trouble getting a workout in. But here's my thought on this. Let's say you plan to workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Monday, your baby is sick and you miss your Stroller Strides class. On Friday, you aren't feeling well and miss that workout. Now, you have just worked out on Wednesday. Yes, you could say "I'll just workout on other days to make up for it". But that doesn't really work. Let's face it. Our days are packed as moms from wake to sleep. You have playdates, your errands to run, work, etc. So consider this, PLAN to exercise every day. Literally put it in your appointment book and find a way to get it in on most if not all days. Some days may be lighter or shorter, but you are moving regularly. Then, when appointments come up, you won't have to feel bad that you only exercised one day this week.
SHARE! What's your strategy to get your workouts in?
"Please help me get my abs back". This is the number one request that we hear at Stroller Strides. While we try to take the pressure off and tell you that it took nine months to put the weight on and it may take nine months to take it off; we understand the desire to lose the pregnant pooch. No one is happy with what's left on our midsection after childbirth. So that being said, here's what you need to commit to:
1) Eat clean. Every calorie counts. Eat foods that will fuel your body. Do your best to eat foods close to the source, not processed and packaged. Load up on fresh, whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. We suggest eating a mini meal every 2 - 3 hours.
2) Drink up! You need that water to aid your metabolism, make you feel full and flush out toxins. You need to drink at least 8 8-oz glasses of water (more if you are exercising and more if you are nursing). Your urine should be clear to pale. If it's yellow, you need more water.
3) Exercise most if not all days of the week. This is the hardest part for a lot of new moms. Of course you need to wait until your doctor's clearance to start a traditional exercise program. But you need to find a way to fit fitness in to your new life as a mom. A 30-minute commitment of physical activity on most days is a must, especially if you want to see changes in your body. You are more likely to stick to a program that fits in to your life as a mom.
4) Get To The Core Of It - You won't see a six pack if you have fat on top. However, strong abs are the desire for both looks and function. Every day, fit a core series in to your workout. No excuses as you can do this wherever and whenever you want. Here are some samples
Put your health first. Yes, first. Above your kids, your husband and your job. Sounds strange huh? Most moms put themselves last on the priority list. There's just not enough time, so you surely can't make health a priority. It would be selfish of you to care for yourself, right? Wrong! Chances are that you are the back bone of your family. When your kids get hurt, you have to be there to take care of them. When your husband gets sick, it's you again. The reality is that you can't afford and don't have time to get hurt or get sick. But you will. You absolutely will get sick or hurt if you don't take care of yourself. There's no cheating in health. You can't postpone it and say that you'll do it when you're kids are off to college or when you retire. The longer you go without taking care of yourself, the longer and more severe the consequence for neglect. It's a lot easier to get a few walks in a week than to be in the hospital and follow up with rehab after a heart attack. I don't mean to be extreme but the fact is that heart disease is the Number 1 killer of women in America. It's a pretty easy thing to fix. Eat well and exercise.
What you won't do for yourself, you will do for your family. So do it for your family. Eat well and exercise so that you can be a healthy role model for your kids. The fact is that they all take your lead. Aren't you the one cooking the meals? If you aren't eating well, neither will they. Your children should see that mom values her health and enjoys exercise. Maybe your husband will even be inspired by your increased energy. And they will all benefit from you being in a better mood, less stressed and less tired. So now, how to do it? How do we get you to make yourself a priority?
You need a plan. How many times have you said that you are going to start exercising only to be back in your old routine of skipping it just days later? The same obstacles that stood before you last time will stand before you again. You need to have a plan to overcome what held you back last time (and the time before, and the time before). Take a quiet moment and pull out your calendar / appointment book. I know you're going to tell me that you're busy from morning until night and can't fit another thing in. True, but now you're going to change your priorities. Let's take a look at where things can change. Be honest with me, how much time do you spend watching tv? I love the shows as much as the next gal but the fact is that it's wasted time. Are you a morning person or an evening person? You're tired no matter what so would it really make a difference if you went to bed 45 minutes later or woke up 45 minutes earlier? The tiredness from the loss of sleep is far made up with the energy from exercise. I'm a morning person so I set my alarm clock one hour before the rest of my family wakes up. This is the only hour of the day that's just for me. What can you do in that hour? Go for a run, watch FitTV, do a workout video or get out for an early morning gym class. Did you know Netflix and blockbuster online offer fitness videos? That's a great way to keep your workout fresh.
Or, if you have stroller age children, set aside an hour to do a stroller walk or join a Stroller Strides class. It's a great way to get out with your baby and get in a workout. Whatever you do, find 4 days per week that you can schedule a workout. If it's not on your schedule like an appointment, it won't happen. You need to keep that appointment with yourself just like you would with any other on your calendar. Why do I say 4 days per week? 3 days of exercise is actually all you need to maintain health. 5 days is what you need if you want to lose weight. 4 days is a reasonable compromise. And, if for some reason you miss a day, you'll still be getting in enough to maintain health. If you are able to get in an extra day, then all the better.
It doesn't have to look like exercise. Yes, I do recommend that you get cardiovascular, strength and flexibility in to your workout one way or another. But you can get more active in lots of untraditional ways. My 5-year old's favorite game is tag. He and I play, non stop. As soon as one person is tagged, the other person is "it". We both collapse after half a dozen chase sessions gasping for air (and laughter). Next time you take your kids to the playground, don't just sit on the bench and watch. Join in. Dare try the monkey bars or just run around with them. If you have a baby, get on the floor and play with her. Use her as a weight as you lunge or squat with her in you arms. "Bench press" with her as the weight or put her on your legs as you do sit ups. Make your kids part of your workout and they will get the message that exercise can be fun. But it's not just about exercise, we need to eat well in order to support health and energy.
Tired of dieting? You should be. They don't work and they are a detriment to your health. Here are some key components to add healthy foods in to your diet. Sit down and create a master food shopping list. Ideally, make it on your computer so you don't have to re-create it each week. Make sure it is chock full of healthy fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Make a commitment to do this shopping each week so that your pantry and your refrigerator are packed with great choices. The worst thing you can do when you want to eat healthy is to have a bare kitchen. Then you feel deprived, hungry and desperate to find anything to eat. When you have lots of choices on hand, it makes it easier to make better choices. If possible, shop at local natural markets. Grocery stores like Whole Foods, Wild Oats and even Trader Joe's have far more for you to choose from. You will be buying less processed foods and you won't have to spend much time reading labels because you know that they buy quality products. Another tip: plan ahead. Plan what meals you are going to make each week so that it's not a spontaneous decision when you're desperate and hungry. Whenever possible, pre-prepare meals for the week and always freeze extra servings so you have healthful meals to grab. Serve a fruit and vegetable serving at every meal. Too often we eat our veggies only at dinner. You can get spinach in to eggs, tomato and lettuce on a sandwich, avocado in a quesadilla, etc. Kids don't like veggies? Hide them. I keep a bag of chopped frozen kale in my freezer. When I make smoothies for my kids, I throw a handful in the blender. They don't taste it or know about it, but they get vitamins and nutrients from one of the healthiest of vegetables.
So now, I've got you eating a little better and exercising regularly. But that's not total health. You need to rejuvenate and refresh your body and mind for total balance. Set aside a regular time each day for just 2 minutes to be quiet. Yes, just 120 seconds is all I am asking for. I love rituals and think that you should have a special pillow, candle and / or token that sets the stage for relaxation. When I ask moms to meditate, they respond by saying that they don't know how and don't have the time. So, all I ask for is that you sit for 2 minutes and be still. Focus on three words. Peace, health and harmony. When your mind wanders (and it will), just kindly and gently bring it back. You will be amazed at what a difference this little break from your day will make. Even if your kids are screaming in the background, learn how to find a little peace from within. By the way, this is meditating but we're just not calling it that.
We are part of a generation that finds it important to fill every moment with busyness and things to do. I am hoping that you will inspire the next generation to slow down and appreciate the health that we have. It is my hope that you reach Optimom health. It all starts with you, so please, make mommy come first.
It's May, about 5 months after New Year's. Did you make a New Year's Resolution to lose weight or to get in shape? How many years have you set the same resolution only to have given it up by February? You're certainly not alone. We all have good intentions but life seems to get in the way. Following are 8 tips to get you started on the path to exercise.
1. Goal Setting. What does it mean when you say you want to exercise or lose weight? People don't set specific or powerful enough goals for themselves, and very often those goals that are set are unrealistic. Set S.M.A.R.T. (SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC AND TIMELY) goals to set you up for success.
2. Fit It In To Your Lifestyle- Most people tend to do too much, too hard, too fast. This year, find activities that will easily fit in to your lifestyle. If you have babies, consider a stroller based workout. If you don't have time to go to a gym, then try exercise tapes or just walk right in front of your house. You have to make it non-negotiable, just like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, etc. In fact, book exercise on your calendar just as you would any other appointment.
3. Find Things You Enjoy - Hate the gym? Then don't go. There are a million ways to get fit. Find activities that you enjoy. Any of the following are examples: Yoga, Walking, Running, Tennis, Basketball, Racquetball, Bike Riding, Swimming, Spinning. The list goes on and on. Do what you enjoy and you'll stick with it.
4. Reward Yourself - It is human nature to strive to achieve things when there's a reward at the end. Set up some positive reinforcers for yourself such as a massage, a new outfit or even just a day to relax. Set a goal and set a reward that you will be excited to receive. Here's an idea. Pay yourself every time you workout. At the end of the month, use that money to treat yourself to something.
5. Sign up for an event - If you are a walker, biker, runner or swimmer, there are tons of events from 5k's to marathons that you can sign up for. If you sign up for an event, it helps keep you on track with your training because you know what you have to achieve and by when.
6. Get A Workout Pal - It is so easy to skip workouts when you only have yourself to hold accountable. People with workout partners are far more likely to stick to their routine. If you know that someone is depending on you, it's tough to make excuses.
7. Get Your Family Involved - Create an active family. Instead of going to the mall on weekends, go for a family hike, bike ride or swim at the local pool. It will add a new element of fun for your family and will encourage you and your family to live a more active lifestyle.
8. Stay Motivated. Set The Mood. You're more likely to stick with an exercise routine if it inspires you. That means different things to different people. For instance consider buying new exercise clothes or an mp3 player so that you have motivating music to pump you up. If you get revved up every time you hear the theme song to Rocky, then by all means start your day with it!
I am excited to announce that I am a semi-finalist for America's Favorite Mom . I truly believe that this recognition is an attribute to how our Stroller Strides program has touched mom's across the country. It has been my personal goal to give as many moms as possible the opportunity to have a career that's supportive of motherhood. I thank you now for your support!
Watch me On The Today Show
I will be a guest on The Today Show on Tuesday, May 6th in the 9:00 a.m. hour. 15 Semi-Finalists will be visiting the show throughout the week.
If enough Today show viewers vote for me, I may be among the five finalists who will star on a prime-time Mother's Day TV spectacular, hosted by Donny and Marie.
The recognition will benefit the entire Stroller Strides family from franchisee's to instructors.
Mark your calendar! Please vote for Lisa Druxman between May 5th and May 9th on the .