Monday, June 23, 2014

Challenge Week #7: Making Habits Stick

WOW! Last week when I visited with you, I was amazed at the progress you have made towards greater health. Over 70 pounds have been lost, there are some new runners on the team, you're finding time to stretch more (and feeling the rewards), and fast food meals are being replaced with healthier snacks.

Some of the goals set last week included:
  • Start drinking more water
  • Get through an entire kickboxing class!
  • Eat a healthy breakfast instead of fast food
  • Continue to make progress in quitting smoking
  • Keep logging meals in MyFitnessPal
  • Stretch or walk for every 60 minutes spent sitting
Do you notice something about these goals? They are not outcome goals, they are habit goals! They each focus on the action to be taken that will lead to the outcome, and that is what makes them so great.

Here are some ways you can ingrain a habit into your life, no matter whether you started the goal back in May or are thinking about it today. If you consistently do the things that make you healthier, you will over time become a healthier person. That's how it works!

29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior

Mark your calendars now for Monday, June 30 from 2:30 - 4:30, when we will have our finale event. I can't wait to see you then...stay tuned for more details!

Have a healthy week!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Challenge Week #6: Hitting Your Stride

It's Week 6 of the Visit Florida Strength and Flexibility Challenge!

You've probably had a few conversations about health and fitness, and heard lots of different ideas and theories about the best ways to get in shape. You may wonder if you are doing it "right." This is the week to assure yourself that if you are consistently making healthy choices, getting exercise that you enjoy, and moderating your splurges, you are doing it right! Living healthfully is about balance and sustainability, and that means something different to everyone.

This week, check out some of the resources below to help you choose the right workout for you, monitor your nutrition choices, and stay flexible.

Strength Challenge
What's Your Fitness Personality?  
Six Ways to Find Your Ideal Fitness Program

Body Fat Challenge
Online Meal Planner Apps
Eat This Much: What To Eat for Your Calorie Needs

Flexibility Challenge
Six Full-Body Stretching Exercises
Three Stretches to Do Every Day

9 Healthy Habits You Can Do in a Minute or Less

I'm looking forward to hearing all of your healthy updates at our check-in on Tuesday, June 16 from 2:30 - 4:00!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Challenge Week #5: In It to Win It!

Welcome to Week 5 of the Visit Florida Strength and Flexibility Challenge! We're more than halfway through the challenge, and you may be wondering if you are really making changes to your health that last over the long haul. 

Luckily, the long haul isn't as overwhelming as it may seem. The most important thing you can do for your health is to make good decisions TODAY. If you focus on making today the healthiest it can be, the long haul will take care of itself. You have to be in it to win it...which means staying in the game every day!

This week our focus is on making healthy living convenient even when you're really busy. No excuses! 

Flexibility Challenge: Fit it in!
Fast Five-Minute Stretching Workout for Busy People

Strength Challenge: Work it out!
15-Minute Strength Workout for Busy People

Body Fat Challenge: Stay Connected!
Fitness Tracker Reviews: How to Monitor Progress on the Go

Soon, we'll meet again and discuss your progress. I can't wait to hear your successes and strategize for success. Keep me posted with an email or a comment, and stay strong!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Challenge Week #4: Time to Check Your Progress!

We're halfway through the Strength and Flexibility Challenge, and that means it's time to check your progress. 

Are you consistently making healthier choices? Looking for opportunities to infuse stretching into your day, practicing your push-ups and planks, and eating out less? When you put together a bunch of small steps towards healthy living, you get dramatic change!

Here are some ways to track your progress in this wellness challenge:

Strength and Endurance
The best way to tell whether you are getting stronger is to test yourself! How long can you hold a plank? How many push-ups can you do? Consistency pays off quickly with strength training, so keep at it.

An important element of strength training is also recovery. Resting between workouts gives your muscles a chance to repair themselves and prepare for your next workout. It's expected and normal to feel sore after a workout, but feeling pain or chronic soreness is a sign that you're doing too much. Take a day off between each heavy workout, or alternate major muscle groups so you don't wear them out.

When you're busy, it's time to deskercize! Click here to learn 33 Ways to Exercise at Work!

Sit down and reach towards your toes. Are your hamstrings feeling looser? Reach your hands behind your back and touch your fingers together. Are they closer than they were a month ago? If you are consistently doing these stretches, they should be. 

Click here to read more about 7 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Flexibility.

Body Fat
Body fat changes can take time, and one month could mean losing five pounds or one pound based on your current weight, diligence, and genetic makeup. If you've been consistently scaling back portions and eliminating or reducing fast food or restaurant meals, your clothes should be feeling looser. If they're not, track your meals in for a few days to get a reality check about your calorie intake. Remember, Coach Heather is here to help customize your plan so email heather (at) wellnesswithoutpity (dot) com for help!

Take time this week to check your progress and remember, help is just an email away. Take the challenge!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Challenge Week #3: Success Can Be Habit-Forming

It's been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, by the end of this week we will have completed 21 days of focusing on strength, flexibility, and body fat! Are you feeling new habits starting to form? Here are some ways to ingrain habits into your day no matter what your goal may be.

Start small. Focus on changing just one habit a time. Start with the easiest and go from there!

Write it down. We learned how to write great goals in our goal-setting session, but if you need a refresher, just ask!

Know your motivations. What got you started? Revisit that place often!

Identify your triggers, and choose ahead of time a positive response you’re going to do instead of the one you're trying to avoid.
Get rest. Will power is more of a muscle than a skill, and it needs rest. Pay attention to when you feel your resolve wavering, and take a small break. Then, get back into the game!

If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

What are you doing today to ingrain healthier habits? Set a reminder on your phone to stretch, schedule your strength workouts on your calendar, and start logging your meals ahead of time in each evening for the next day. The more consistently you do the things that lead to success, the sooner they will become part of how you live your life.

Remember, every journey has a detour or two, and u-turns are allowed! Keep making progress and letting better health become a habit!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Challenge Week #2: Success Favors the Prepared Mind

Hello Challengers! Welcome to Week 2 of the Visit Florida Strength and Flexibility Challenge! I hope you are having a great time.

In your emails and conversations, a consistent theme is bubbling up: being prepared. We're talking about preparing food ahead of time, getting organized for a workout, and finding time to stretch. 

Have you heard the adage, "success favors the prepared mind?" It means, simply, that when you are prepared, you are more likely to be successful! Also, that when you are in a constant state of preparedness, opportunities to be successful are less overwhelming because you are ready.

Here are some ways you can be prepared for success in each of your goals:

Strength and Resistance
Finding time to work out can be a challenge, especially if you travel a lot or have a family to care for. 
  • Make sure your resistance bands and a workout DVD are in your suitcase ready to be packed for your next trip. 
  • Keep a gym bag at work and stock it with plenty of clean workout gear so you're ready to walk or grab a class when the opportunity strikes. 
  • Break your workout into three 10-minute segments of exercise. Yes, it counts! This list of 50 body weight exercises you can do anywhere makes it easier.
It's easy to skip stretching, but doing stretches that make you feel good brings an extra reward to the idea of stretching! Be prepared by printing out these 4 Feel-Great Stretches You Have to Try and keeping them handy for when you have a minute or two to stretch.

If you're having a hard time getting disciplined about stretching, attach stretching to a habit you already have. For example, you (hopefully) already have the habit of brushing your teeth at night. Adding a minute or two of stretching right afterwards makes it easier to stretch without adding a whole new element to your day. Everyone has one minute to spare at some point in the day!

Body Fat
Many of us working on body fat are using to track calories and meals. Be prepared by logging what you plan to eat at the beginning of the day, or at the end of the day before. This success tip does a few great things: it forces you to think through your day and notice any potential obstacles to good eating (oh yeah, I have a lunch appointment tomorrow!), it sets the tone for a healthy day, and it takes one more step in convincing your brain that you have already done the healthy things!

Being prepared takes some advanced thinking, but you're already halfway there. I'm looking forward to hearing how you fool-proof your day and achieve those healthy goals!

Stay strong!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Challenge Week #1: Healthy On the Road

Hi Challengers! Thank you for sharing your goals and progress with me. I love hearing about the ways you are seizing opportunities, and also your questions. This week, I am hearing a lot about how much all of you travel, both for work and for play, and your need to stay healthy on the road.

Here are some resources that may help!

33 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
Whether you're in your office or in a hotel room, a resistance band is one of the easiest pieces of fitness equipment you can pack. These exercises are completely portable, easy, and adaptable to every fitness level.

8 Simple Office, Car, or Airplane Stretches 
Stretching doesn't have to mean setting aside 20 minutes for a whole routine. You can stretch while you're driving, waiting, or even standing in line. It's all about being prepared and taking the opportunity. Print these out or jot them down on a notepad that you can stash somewhere. 

Five Great Apps for Stretching 
Download one of these apps for stretching on the road! They walk you through the exercises and can help you decompress after a long day on the trade show floor.

Success favors the prepared mind! When you travel, you lose some of the control you usually have over your food choices. But, you retain more control than you think! 

Healthy and Portable Fridge-free Snacks
Travel-friendly snacks can come to the rescue when you're hungry but don't want to eat high-calorie catered meals. Always make sure your snacks include a protein, a carb, and a fat to help keep you full longer.
Watch those portions! Eating on the road usually means huge portions of food that is prepared for large groups, which means lots of fat and sodium. Be liberal when estimating your portions and look for opportunities to fill up on fresh veggies and fruit, and eat meals that are as simple as possible. When you get home, make sure your office and house is stocked with a few staples to get you going until you can go shopping for healthy food.

Staying healthy on the road is possible with some planning, creativity, and determination. Choose one area where you can make an improvement in your on-the-road habits, and give it a shot the next time you travel!

I love hearing about your goal progress! Email me at heather (at) wellnesswithoutpity (dot) com and let me know how it is going!