Archive for May, 2014

Kick that Bad Habit!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

couch potatoFrom overeating to watching too much TV, there’s really only one way to break a bad habit – make a plan!

Unfortunately what may work for one person, may not work for another.  So here are some ways to break some of the most popular bad habits.  Hopefully it works for you!

Watching too much TV. – Studies show that ptoeople watch an average of 4 hours of television each day and these studies also show that excessive TV. watching can be linked to developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Here are some ways to avoid watching too much TV: only watch when there is something specific you want to see, do chores during commercials, make a list of things you need to accomplish before sitting down to watch TV, and create a TV-watching plan and stick to it.

Drinking too much alcohol. – Tired of being hung over and sluggish? Then you should do everything you can to cut back on drinking too much alcohol.  To cut back try these tips: drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have, drink only when you are having a meal, or try drinking something that looks like an alcoholic drink, like rootbeer or a drink with a slice of fruit in it.

Smoking. – While this may be one of the hardest habits to break, it’s still possible as many, many people do it every year. The best plan is to talk things over with your doctor because they can offer the best cessation treatment for you.  But some other approaches that you may consider include: hypnotherapy, exercise or electronic cigarettes.

Nail biting. – Because most nail biting habits are linked to anxiety, stress, or nervousness, your plan should start with creating a relaxation plan.  Think about what makes you bite your nails before you start.  When you get the urge to bite your nails or catch yourself in the act, do something with your hands – garden, cook, play with your kids or pets, clean or do the dishes.  Do something that takes your mind off of biting your nails.

Overeating. – No matter how hard you try to cut calories, it still seems like sometimes the cravings are still there.  Experts say that sometimes it is best to give into those cravings.  When people do give into their cravings every once in awhile they have a better chance of losing weight and keeping it off, than those who ignore their cravings and avoid certain foods.  Experts also advise that if you can avoid nighttime eating that you will be well on your way to prevent overeating as well.

Not flossing. – Not flossing your teeth increases your risk of gum disease, as well as contributing to heart disease… still only half of Americans floss their teeth every day.  To make sure that you are flossing every day try these tips: keep your floss in your shower so that you are already in “cleaning” mode when you see it, keep your floss on your nightstand to remind yourself to floss before you go to bed, or keep your floss in clear view of some place where you will see it each and every day.

 

Ways To Boost Your Walking Workout

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

spring exerciseSpringtime is here and this is the perfect time to get outdoors and get in some great walking workouts. But in order to boost your workout, consider some of these points as you lace up your sneakers.

Remember to Breathe – Just like preparing to take a yoga class or meditating, you need to learn to control your breathing for the best walking workout possible.  Breathe in a pattern that relates to the steps that you are taking.  By creating a better breathing pattern while you are walking, you are taking your workout to a new, stress-relieving level.

Find the Right Shoes – There are so many options when it comes to tennis shoes, but if you want to get the most out of your walking workout then you need to find the correct shoes.  Experts suggest trying on a variety of different shoes while wearing extra thick socks that will simulate how your feet could feel when they swell due to walking long distances.  They also suggest choosing your shoes for comfort and not style, color or fashion.

Have a Goal in Mind – Whether it be finishing a 5K or 10K, or just walking to the end of your street and back, by setting a goal you are more apt to stick to it and boost your workout without even trying.

Take a Barefoot Walk – Sometimes it’s ok to ditch your shoes and take a barefoot walk.  Choose a grassy or sandy area and go barefoot which can burn more calories, improve balance and strengthen your foot and ankle muscles.

Add Intervals to Your Typical Walking Workout – Just by adding some short “bursts” of fast walking or running to your traditional walking workout you can easily double your calorie burn.  You can either time your intervals, like every five minutes you fast walk/run for a minute, or you can choose landmarks to mark the start and finish of your interval session.  You will be able to tell whether or not you are exerting the correct amount of energy during these interval sessions depending upon how much your breathing changes between intervals.

Track Your Heart Rate – The best way to feel like you are working out with a personal trainer is to wear a heart rate monitor while you are walking.  It is the best way to know when you need to work harder and when to slow down.  You will need to know what your maximum heart rate should be – Subtract your age from 220 and aim to work between 60 percent and 80 percent of that number.

Hit the Hills – Choose a walking route that includes plenty of hills and inclines and not just straight-aways.  Hills and inclines are a great way to keep your routine consistently intense.