Thursday, February 2, 2012

Simple Swaps.

This week, I stumbled across this fabulous link to 89 Simple Swaps That Could Change Your Life at The Greatist. So basic, so easy to implement. Check out the full list, but here are a few of my faves...

  • Incline for flat treadmill. In a perfect, outdoor world, flat roads rarely exist. (Sorry, Midwestern readers!) Add some hills to that treadmill run by cranking up the incline and feel the muscle-building burn! 
  • Foam rolling for static stretching. Need to get the knots out? Try using a foam roller instead of sitting and stretching to the toes. It’s almost like a personal massage. 
  • Homemade post-workout snack for a protein bar. Bring a PB&J or another post-workout snack to the gym rather than buying a protein bar. We need some after-exercise fuel, but don’t get it in the form of excess sugar! 
  • Greek yoghurt for sour cream. Sour cream can taste pretty good in a burrito. To get that same creamy coolness, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to amp up the protein and slash the fat. 
  • Frozen grapes for popsicles. It may sound a little weird, but hear us out. Stick a bunch of grapes in the freezer and snack on them a few hours later— it’s like eating bite-sized Popsicles with no added sugar! 
  • Keeping the same bedtime for winging it. Setting a bedtime schedule may help us fall asleep faster, so pick a good time and try to stick to it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hot Fitness Trend: Tabata Training

Looking for a new way to torture yourself in the gym? Allow me to introduce you to Tabata training. It's a super high-intensity workout that lasts for... wait for it... four minutes. Yep, you read that right. Four measly minutes. Except that they'll be the longest, most exhausting four minutes of your life.

Tabata Exercise

It works like this: work to your maximum for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat that 8 times. Like any interval training, you can do it with sprints (although on the treadmill it's difficult to get on pace fast enough) but you can also do it with other cardio moves like squat jumps, burpees, skipping or mountain climbers. All you need is a good timer.

Want a bit more direction? Dowload this app. It's like your own personal Tabata coach.

Monday, January 30, 2012

On The Couch: What I Learned From The Biggest Loser This Week.

 Never eat your food from a mixing bowl. Ever.
I'm a big everything-in-moderation girl, but there is nothing moderate about a mixing bowl-sized serve. If anything, try eating your food in smaller bowls and on smaller plates. It will look like more when you fill it up and if you take your time eating it, you won't miss the extra portion.

You might think you're pushing yourself. You're not.
One thing I learned very quickly when I got a trainer was this: what you think is your limit is not even close to your limit. And when you learn to push through that, the real results come.

Talk is cheap. Walk the walk.
It's easy to say "I need to lose weight" or "I need to get fit", but the truth is there's no easy way to get there. You have to do the work and make the changes yourself. Like Michelle said this week, it's up to you to make the time to exercise. And if Barack Obama, the busiest person in the USA, can find a few spare minutes for a workout, we all can.

Make a commitment. Write it down.
Don't be vague with your goals or they'll never happen. If you're serious about making changes to your lifestyle, make a promise to yourself and write it down. Then share it with someone else so you're accountable. Pencil your workouts in your diary and treat them like any other important appointment. No excuses.

Wear a heartrate minotor.
I've written about this before, but wearing a heartrate monitor is a great way of measuring exactly what you're burning. Because knowing how much energy your expending is important, so you can get the weight-loss math right.

One and a half tones of fat is a hellava lot of fat.
And, boy, did it look gross. If that's not enough to put you off a second helping of dinner, I don't know what would be.