Fitness and Nutrition Tips

Spring is here which means summer is right around the corner. The warmer weather often motivates people to try to improve their health. Here are some fitness and nutrition tips.

Fitness

Find a Type of Exercise You Enjoy: If running on the treadmill bores you to tears then of course you are going to avoid it. There are many different types of exercise such as walking, running, cycling/spinning, swimming, aerobics, etc. If you find an exercise you really enjoy you will make time for it.

Vary Your Exercise: Once you figure out the type of exercises you enjoy, vary the days you do the exercise. Go running one day, cycling the next. If you always use the treadmill try the elliptical machine instead. Or you could do 15 minutes of one exercise and then 15 minutes of another on the same day instead 30 minutes of the same exercise.

Join a Gym: If you have to pay to go to a gym you are more likely to use it. A gym is a social environment where you can meet other people who have similar fitness goals. You can learn new exercises from the other gym members or staff. If you have children most gyms have a babysitting room providing you with a break and additional motivation to work out.

Schedule Your Exercise: Designate certain days of the week as “exercise days”. This will help you to remember to exercise and commit yourself to the activity. If you have already committed to exercising on a certain day, then you will be more likely to schedule your life around the exercise instead of the other way around.

Listen to Music: Research studies have found that listening to music can help improve your workout. One study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing showed patients with serious lung disease using personal music players stay with a walking workout 20 percent longer than subjects who walked without music. Another study conducted by Dr. Brunilda Nazario found weight loss and reduction in body fat were greater for those who listened to music compared to those who exercised without music.

Read Fitness Related Books and Magazines: These reading materials often provide inspiring weight-loss stories along with great fitness and nutrition tips. Reading about exercise and nutrition will help keep you motivated and interested.

Cardiovascular and Strength Training: It is important to incorporate both cardiovascular and strength training in your fitness routine. This will assist with both weight loss and general fitness. Cardiovascular exercise can increase your resting metabolic levels, decrease your risk for heart disease, and can relieve anxiety or stress. As you age you lose muscle mass. Strength training helps to increase muscle mass which in turn burns calories and results in a higher metabolic rate. Weight lifting also can improve bone strength which reduces the risk of osteoporosis. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends aerobic exercise 3-5 days per week, and strength training 2-3 days per week.

Nutrition

Eat as if you are feeding your child: Most children eat 3 meals and 2 snack throughout the day. This is a good guideline for adults as well. Eating more often helps to keep your metabolism renewed and prevents you from feeling hungry which can lead to overeating. Of course these meals and snacks should also be nutritious. The next time you are about to eat something ask yourself, “Would this be a good food to feed my child?”

Focus on Foods You Should Eat: Most people tend to focus on foods they should stay away from. By doing this you are only going to want what you can’t have. The food pyramid suggests you eat mostly fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods, followed by grains, meats and beans.

Read Labels: Often people think they are eating healthy foods when in reality it is unhealthy foods. If you get into the habit of reading food labels you will quickly learn which foods are actually low in fat (3 grams of less), calories (40 calories or less per serving) and sugar (less then 0.5 grams of sugar per serving). Also read the ingredients in the food. If sugar is listed as one of the first three ingredients in the food then you might want to reconsider eating it.

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About Cheryl Maguire

Cheryl Maguire graduated from Boston College with a bachelor and master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Prior to becoming a mom, she worked as a counselor in a variety of settings helping children and their families. She currently runs a web site called Swap Savers which is a social network for people who love coupons, rewards and savings.