Friday, November 2, 2007

Tips for moving healthy

  1. Dare to do what you like! Find an activity that you actually like to help keep you moving!

    Don’t join a gym if you dread the thought of going. Look into a lawn bowling club, fencing lessons, group exercise classes or your local community calender for upcoming events. Committing to lessons or a group of people will keep you more accountable than just to yourself.

  2. Build muscle! Muscle burns more than fat at a resting rate - period. This means that the muscle on your body requires more calories from your body just to sustain itself even while you are just watching TV and sleeping! Muscle increases your metabolism.

  3. Get yourself a new pair of fancy running shoes with a matching outfit that you will need to show off at the gym or on the court.

  4. Have a program designed for you (if you are going the gym route) by a personal trainer that you interview first. This will give you a tangible device to track your progress. You don’t know where you are going until you know where you are coming from. This should also save you plenty of time and aggravation while in the gym trying to figure how that space-looking machine is supposed to work your body.

  5. Jump rope. That’s it, just jump rope. It is safer on your knees than running, it burns just as many calories, it is good for the left-right brain relationship AND you can do it anywhere! You might even already know how to do it but forgot you knew. Who knew!?

  6. Stretch! Simply stretching your body sends an impulse from the brain to transfer back to the spinal cord with a reflex causing the muscle to contract, thus resisting the stretch. This means increased blood flow and more general awareness of your body and its function. Best time to stretch is first thing in the morning and after your workout. Before a workout, it is preferable to do a 5 minute warm-up, performing light aerobic activity and/or limbering movements (ie knee bends, side leg lunges, arm circles in front, etc.). Never stretch ‘cold’ muscles!

  7. Go High-Intensity not High-Volume! It is not necessary to completely exhaust the body and all its recovery resources in order to get in better shape. Exercise should be progressive, which means one pound increase at a time and one level more at a time so that the muscular and respiratory systems respectively could recover and ‘grow’. It does not mean more and more volume of exercise ... it is not how much exercise the body can handle, it is how little it requires!

  8. Create a CD or playlist on your portable listening device of music that motivates you. Set the length of the play list to dictate the length that your workout should be, give or take. This will give you a pace to workout to and you will be very aware of when you are cutting things too short or hanging out way too long. Make your last song a good one to wind down to. I recommend anything by SadeJ.

  9. Don’t weigh yourself. Unless you are competing to fit into a certain weight class, don’t weigh yourself ... not yet. Especially if you are starting a weight training program, muscle weighs more than fat and, in the initial 2 weeks, your muscles will be retaining more water hence upping your number on the scale. This is not a good indication of "progress" or "regress". In fact, it is usually more frustrating and demotivating for new trainees to see this number fluctuate in spite of all their hard work. Instead, take your body measurements and remeasure in 6 weeks. In the meantime, do the mirror test - flex your biceps and check’em out! Suck in your tummy and go on your tippy-toes, have fun in the mirror, learn to love yourself by looking at yourself. One day, a different body will be reflecting back at you but you will realize that you are still the same person flexing that bicep and sucking in that tummmy.

  10. Make your gym bag a bag of fun! Make it a ritual. Fill up your bag with motivating sayings, have a journal with a funky pen ready to write any thoughts, sprinkle in rose petals to ignite the senses, use an essential oil which you could access to give you immediate energy, pack fluffy slippers or a plush, elegant towel making you feel like the king/queen that you are! Have fun packing your bag in the morning and visualize yourself in the gym that day, watch yourself having fun ... that is, of course, if you ever leave the change room!


Trish said...

Hey Yvette, Love the gym bag ritual - never thought of it that way but it makes sense. I'd never forget Towelie again :)

Yvette Raposo said...

Thanks Trish! Now you see the significance of towlie:-)