Get Fit for Fall
~By Traci Danielson Mitchell, Healthy Diet and Fitness Coach & FITL Wellness Expert
When it comes to shaping up, diet and exercise play equally important roles. You can’t get fit if both aren’t in balance. Here are four body-loving tips that will have lasting effects on how you look and feel long before the holidays are upon us.
First thing in the morning, add about an ounce of lemon juice (fresh squeezed or bottled) to 12 ounces of water, warm or room temperature. Lemon detoxifies the liver and helps push excess fluids out of the body (bye bye bloat). Your liver is the hardest working organ in your body. We need to get the gunk out, and I’m not just talking about alcohol. Food additives and environmental pollutants can clog up our liver, making it less effective at giving us energy and metabolizing fat. So drink up!
Plank It Out
There is no better way to improve and test your core strength than by getting down on the ground and holding a plank. Take the time to hold a plank as long as you can at least twice a day. Beginners might be able to hold it for only 30 seconds, while advanced plankers might be able to hold it out for three minutes or more. Regardless of the duration, this isometric exercise works more muscles than you can shake a stick at. Do these religiously twice a day and you’ll notice results after a few weeks.
A couple tips to keep in mind as you plank it out: a) pull your belly button back to your spine and keep it there; b) squeeze your tush; and c) without moving your elbows, imagine pulling them back to your feet — this will keep your back straighter.
Rev It Up
Friends, slow and steady does not win the race when it comes to exercise and shaping up. Sure, you can spend an hour on the elliptical doing the same ho-hum workout day in and day out, but wouldn’t you rather get a bigger bang for your buck in half the time?
Increase the intensity of your workouts intermittently by doing intervals. Intervals help better manage fat-storage hormones like cortisol and insulin. You can also improve your lung capacity. Translation: you’ll have a leaner body with lots more energy. And who doesn’t want that?
Here’s a sample interval workout that takes 40 minutes:
You can do this on any piece of cardio equipment or if you’re walking or jogging outside.
- Warm up for 5 minutes to get the blood flowing.
- Do six three-minute high-intensity intervals. You should feel uncomfortable at the end of each.
- In between each interval, do a two-minute low-intensity interval. Your heart rate should come down and you should feel ready to go again.
- Cool down and stretch for five minutes.
You’re not really hungry but just want something small, right? A little bit of chocolate here, a chip or two there, maybe even an extra glass of wine. It all adds up. Eating after lunch or dinner when you’re not hungry can mean more weight fast.
Hunger is only one reason people eat. A few other reasons include emotions, hormones, or boredom. If you satisfy a craving by eating a couple hundred extra calories once in a great while, it’s not a big deal. But when it happens every day, you’re looking at an extra pound or two around your waistline every month. This, my friends, is what we call creeping obesity.
While it may take a few days to really break the habit of eating when you’re not hungry, listen to your body. Keep a food journal and notice when you’re mindlessly eating. You might be surprised how quickly the food adds up by the end of the day. Substitute healthier foods, like fresh vegetables, herbal teas, or sparkling water, if you’re having a tough time.