Achieve Optimal Health with These Expert Tips
Well, here we are, six months into the year. How’s that fitness plan you started in January holding up? Juggling work and family can monopolize a lot of time, leaving even those with the best intentions without any results. But, there’s hope. Making a determined effort to change a few things each day can add up to noticeable changes.
Ivan Michel, CPT, GFS, FMS and personal trainer at Mountainside Fitness, advises his clients to “Find something that motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle. Set realistic, attainable goals with a timeframe and measure your progress. Don’t get discouraged. Create a positive attitude about exercise, as your attitude ultimately determines your outcome.”
Where to Start
If you haven’t begun a fitness plan yet, you may want to meet with a fitness trainer and have them evaluate where you are and where you’d like to be. Michel advises his new clients to start slowly, doing a 30-minute cardio workout on a treadmill or bike twice a week. From there, you can add an incline to the treadmill and do a brisk walk or slow jog. As you progress, you can add intervals. For instance, a one-minute sprint at 5–8 mph and a two-minute brisk walk for 15 to 30 minutes.
In a strength training program, Michel’s clients do a 30- to 45-minute workout three days a week with high repetitions of 12 to 20 and moderate resistance. Later, they advance to five days a week and a more intense workout with more reps and higher weights.
For overall good health, you also need to be conscience about what you eat. Michel advises to clean out your pantry and fridge, getting rid of all processed foods. Coffee drinkers, eliminate those creamers and artificial sweeteners. Green tea, hot or cold, is a great alternative to coffee, as it burns fat and speeds up your metabolism.
Make sure you are also eating whole foods, including white meat and fish. White meat consists of chicken, turkey and lean 95-99- percent ground turkey. Fish should be wild-caught and not farm-raised. You can eat red meat too, if you don’t have any cholesterol problems. Good choices in this category are bison or a high-quality steak. Dairy products and whole milk should be consumed in moderation.
Too Busy To Exercise
Many people have great aspirations when it comes to working out but just can’t seem to get started. Well, now you can; with a workout that you can do anywhere. Each morning when you wake up, roll out of bed and do 10 push-ups, 10 squats and 10 sit-ups before you jump into the shower. Then, as you go to work, look for ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Park your car a distance so you can take a brisk walk to your office. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you get an hour lunch break, eat for 30-minutes and walk the other 30- minutes. If you have casual clothes on, close your door and do a couple squats or sit-ups throughout the day. When you get home, take the dog for a long walk around your neighborhood.
If you enjoy watching television in the evenings, start doing a couple exercises during the commercial breaks. You can easily do a 30-second plank, 5 squats and 5 push-ups during that time. Then challenge yourself by adding a few more repetitions each week. Remember, the most important thing is to start doing something, and by setting small, attainable goals, you’ll start seeing results and reaping the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle.