Archive for the tag - new year’s resolutions

7 Ways To Make Time For Exercise!

musclegroupsThere are only a few days left in the calendar year, and I know that many people are making resolutions to exercise more. And in making those exercise resolutions, I know that many of you are wondering: Where will I find the time to workout?!

The truth is, most of us will never find time to workout. When was the last time you found time to do anything? Instead, we make time for our priorities. It’s no different with exercise.

Having said that, there are plenty of ways to make time for exercise in your already busy schedule. Here are a few ways to do it:

  1. Have an active commute. Instead of driving or taking the bus to work, perhaps you can opt for a more active commute. Many cities have dedicated bike lanes – or you may even be able to walk, jog or run (if your office has a shower). Turning your commute into a workout catches two birds with one net.
  2. Exercise during commercial breaks. Whether you watch network TV or Hulu, most shows still have commercial breaks. So instead of having to pick between your favorite programs and working out, do both!  During commercial breaks, try cycling between these exercises: 10 crunches, 10 air squats, 10 burpees. Keep repeating until the commercial break ends.
  3. Exercise during lunch. If you get a lunch break, turn it into a workout. Check to see if there are any fitness classes in your area – or sneak out to a nearby gym. Run up and down the office stairwell. You can even go for a walk. As an added benefit, you’ll have more energy for the rest of your workday.
  4. Have a 15-minute workout. Workouts don’t need to be endless and long to be effective. By using high intensity interval training (which cycles between periods of low and high intensity), you can get an extremely effective workout in a short amount of time. For high intensity interval training workouts that you can do at home, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% during checkout.
  5. Have active dates. Instead of meeting your friends or a significant other for dinner and a movie, do something that gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Take a class. Go rock climbing at a gym. Play soccer or football in the park. Bonus: It’s also way more fun.
  6. Get up earlier. If your day is already feeling full, sometimes the best thing to do is simply set an alarm. Wake up a little earlier and get your workout in. As difficult as it is to wake up early, I promise that you won’t regret your workout when it’s done! A morning workout is also more energizing than a cup of coffee!
  7. Put workouts into your calendar. If you’re a busy person, plan exercise time in advance by scheduling workout appointments. Do this a month or two in advance so that you can build your schedule around these commitments.

How do you balance a busy schedule and exercise? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Study: Obesity Takes 8 Years Off Your Life.

weight_loss_diet_male1With just a few weeks left in the calendar, many of us are looking to the new year to make life changes and resolutions.

The most common resolution is to losing weight (getting fit and eating healthier foods are numbers 7 and 8 on the list, respectively). This as a new report by United Health Foundation found that the obesity rate ballooned to 29.5% last year – up from 27.5% a year before. Nearly a quarter of the people surveyed said they hadn’t done any exercise in the last 30 days.

As such, it seems particularly timely that McGill University Health Centre released a study finding that obese individuals have the potential to decrease life expectancy by up to 8 years. In a world where all of us complain that life is passing by too quickly, cutting 8 years from the end of our life is massive. It’s nearly 3,000 days. More than 70,000 hours. I don’t have 8 extra years to spare. Do you?

According Dr. Steven Grover, the study’s lead author:

The pattern is clear – the more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health. In terms of life-expectancy, we feel being overweight is as bad as cigarette smoking.

Moreover, the study found that obese individuals can develop diabetes or cardiovascular disease earlier in life; the excess weight can rob obese individuals of nearly two decades of healthy life. It’s an alarming statistic.

Though it’s often used as such, I don’t like using fear as a motivator. Sure, it’s effective. But it’s also negative.

Rather than being motivated to lose weight, eat healthier and move more by a fear of dying, I’d encourage everyone – regardless of their shape or size – to exercise because they love life. The flip side of this study is that fit people live longer, healthier, more productive lives. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Whatever motivates you, get started. The near year holiday is just around the corner – and today is the perfect day to get a jump start on your resolution.

P.S. To ensure success as you shed excess fat, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program. From nutrition and exercise to rebuilding a healthier relationship with your body, this comprehensive program was developed with a team of experts – myself included. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% during checkout. You’ll also receive 3, 15-minute workout videos as a free gift.

 

 

7 Healthy New Years Resolutions to Make TODAY!

shutterstock_62795851They say that you should only make one New Year’s resolution at a time… but today, we’re going to go full throttle. With the new year fast approaching, here are seven healthy resolutions that will transform your life.

  1. Thank your body every day. When you wake up, you pee. And then brush your teeth. And take a shower. It’s a routine. As part of your routine, introduce a bit of gratitude directed at your body. The truth is, most of us are accustomed to negative commentary about the way we look. Whether it’s beating ourselves up for being too heavy, out of shape or for just getting older, let’s replace that negative self talk with something more positive. Each morning, thank your body for all that it does. It only takes a few seconds, but it’s a powerful way to transform your thinking.
  2. Eat two servings (or less) of red meat each week. Red meat is bad for the body and it’s bad for the environment. In an often-cited Harvard study, researchers found that 9% of male deaths and 7% of female deaths would be prevented if people lowered red meat consumption to 1.5 ounces (or less) per day. In another study, although beef only accounts for 30% of meat consumption in the developed world, it’s responsible for 78% of the emissions. Replace red meat with other protein sources like beans, chicken and fish. And when you do eat red meat, opt for lean cuts.
  3. Buy organic for dirty dozen produce. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts together a list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue. If you’re concerned about pesticide exposure or want to do something good for the Earth, these are the fruits and vegetables to buy organic. The list include apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines (imported), peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers.
  4. Complete at least 2, 15-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions per week. HIIT involves alternating between levels of moderate and high intensity cardio. Few exercises benefit your body like HIIT. It boosts your metabolism, incinerates calories, burns body fat and results in less muscle mass loss when compared to traditional, steady-pace cardio.
  5. Eliminate soda. Soda, even in diet forms, is toxic for our bodies. With so many diseases and conditions linked to soda consumption, cut it out of your diet. Your body deserves better. Instead, nourish your body with water mixed with lemon juice. Or drink unsweetened almond milk.
  6. Eat more fiber. According to one study, 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber. Beyond helping you feel full longer, high fiber diets may lower the risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes – and fiber helps normalize bowel movements and lower cholesterol. How much fiber do you need? According to The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, men 50 and under should consume 38 grams of fiber per day. Men ages 51 and older should consume 30 grams. Women 50 and under should consume 25 grams of fiber per day. Women ages 51 and older should consume 21 grams.
  7. Take an exercise class. You can teach an old dog new tricks, and by enrolling in an exercise class – be it yoga, zumba, Pilates, CrossFit or anything in between – you’ll learn some new moves and find new ways to stimulate your muscles. Not only will you be getting off the couch, you’ll add variety to your workout – and may even meet a few new friends. And exercise class friends are the coolest.

These are my seven suggestions for healthy New Year’s resolutions… but what resolutions do you plan on making? Share your resolution or resolutions in the comments below!

The Science of Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution.

Happy New Year!

According to a study by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, only 22% of us have managed to keep our New Year’s resolutions. In other studies, I’ve seen that number as low was 8%. Whether it’s hitting the gym, changing our diet or kicking bad habits, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, our success rate is alarming low.

But Wiseman’s team doesn’t stop there and asks the all-important question, “Why?” Why are so many people unable to keep their resolutions?

For the 78% of people that didn’t stick to their resolutions, the study found common themes. These individuals:

  • Focused on the downside of not achieving their goals,
  • Suppressed cravings,
  • Adopted a role model,
  • Or relied on willpower alone.

The individuals that stuck to their resolutions, on the other hand, tended to:

  • Break their large goals into small steps and create small changes that, over time, added up,
  • Celebrate their milestones,
  • Share their goals with friends (for additional accountability),
  • Focus on the benefits of success (i.e., how their resolution would improve the quality of their life),
  • Keep a diary of their progress.

Following the above strategies increases the probability of success to a whopping 50% – and it speaks to the necessity of creating a do-able, realistic plan and the importance of internal motivation, rewards and external accountability.

Of course, if you don’t stick to your resolution, I wouldn’t view it as failure. Doing so, as Wiseman notes, “is often psychologically harmful because it can rob people of a sense of self control.” Instead, it’s wiser to view our missteps are learning experiences. If you try to build muscle, for example, and don’t – well, then you know you need to use a different approach. After all, failure isn’t falling down – it’s staying down.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012!

Plan for Your New Year’s Resolution Today!

Davey's New Year's resolution is to eat less red meat. What is yours?

2012 is just around the corner, and so it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. While we can resolve to live healthier each and every day, there’s no better time to renew that commitment than the start of a new calendar year.

In planning for a New Year’s resolution, I follow 9 guidelines including writing my resolution down on paper (this makes it seem more official), articulating why my resolution really matters and shifting my focus to the changes that I need to make.

Today, I decided on my resolution for 2012. I will limit my consumption of red meat to two meals per week.

In a lot of ways, red meat is my go-to meal. Hamburgers are quick, easy and delicious – and they help me reach my daily protein requirements. Not to mention the meatballs, meatloaf and steak. But red meat is notoriously bad for the environment and rich in unhealthy fats. This resolution is important to me because it will help improve the health of both my physical body and my extended body (this planet).

Rather than just focusing on the resolution (i.e., 2 red meat meals or less each week), it makes sense to focus on the changes that are required. When shopping, I’ll replace my beef purchases (like ground beef) with poultry (like ground turkey). Moreover, I’ll need to explore and learn new recipes with leaner alternatives. These are the steps that I need to take.

With just over a week to go, what resolutions are you considering for 2012? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll send three random commentators a free copy of my Ultimate Guide to Working Out to help kick things off.

7 Ways I’m Making 2011 the Healthiest Year of My Life!

We’re only a few hours days into the new year, but I’m already convinced that 2011 is going to be the healthiest year of my life. This year really will be different, because I’m making not just talking the talk – I’m walking the walk.

Walking the walk requires making changes. And I’m doing just that:

  1. I’m cooking more. And buying fewer prepared foods. Prepared foods are packed with things that aren’t nourishing for our bodies – including huge amounts of sodium. You might not know what goes into a can of Spaghettios. But you do know what goes into a dish of pasta that you cooked yourself. Cooking your own meals is an easy way to cut down on a whole slew of undesirables.
  2. I’m flossing. This time, I mean it. In addition to resulting in cleaner teeth and fresher breath, flossing has also been linked to a reduction in heart disease.
  3. I’m adding more variety to my workout. Our muscles become accustomed to our routines, and thus they can become less challenging over time. By changing up our workout variables (like base of stability, rest time durations, sequencing, intervals in cardio training, exercise type, etc.), we can keep our workouts challenging.
  4. I’m using sea salt instead of table salt. It’s a small step, but equal measurements of sea salt actually have less sodium than table salt because the larger crystals take up more room. There is more air space with sea salt, so it’s an easy way to cut sodium without sacrificing flavor. Having said that, sea and table salt contain equal percentages of sodium by weight – and neither is healthy. Most of us get way too much salt to begin with.
  5. I’m buying more frozen vegetables. And hopefully eating them, too. Flash frozen vegetables are a great addition to anyone’s diet. They are healthy, easy to prepare and super convenient.
  6. I’m washing my hands more. In the past few months, I’ve gotten better at washing my hands more frequently. It’s a simple way to reduce the risk for illness, and it’s especially important after hitting the gym and handling all those dirty weights!
  7. I’m saying “no” to things that will result in overcommitment. And saying yes to enjoying life. It’s not always easy to say no to friends, family or coworkers – but I’m getting pretty good at it. Instead of giving 50% of myself to a whole bunch of things, 2011 will be all about giving 100% of myself to fewer things. In fact, I just realized that this is my belated New Year’s resolution: To give more of myself to fewer things. I love it!

Okay, so those are the 7 things to which I’m now committed. It’s in writing, so it’s official. But what are some other great ways to be healthier that you’d recommend? Let us all know in the comments below!

7 Tips for Losing Weight in the New Year.

No surprise: Losing weight is the #1 most popular New Year’s resolution. So, here are seven strategies (that work) to help you shed the extra pounds:

  1. Recognize that weight loss is a spiritual issue. You can’t release weight with the same spiritual mindset that gained it. Read books like Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss. It shares 21 spiritual lessons for shedding your weight, forever. When you love your body, you make decisions that honor it. Embark on a path of self-love.
  2. Drink lots of water! Water has a boatload of great benefits for your body. Among other things, it helps boost your metabolism and curb your appetite. Drink at least 8 cups a day.
  3. Describe your body with words that lift it up. Avoid negative self-talk, or criticizing yourself – even when talking with others. “I am beautiful. I am releasing weight with ease,” is a healthier and more effective mantra than, “I look so fat today. I am disgusting.”
  4. Look long-term, and avoid fad diets. If you go on a diet, you will eventually come off it. Real change is longer term – don’t look to fad diets for answers.
  5. Replace emotional eating with a healthier alternative – like going for a walk. If you’re eating when you’re not hungry, and are unable to replace comfort foods with healthier alternatives or activity, then you may wish to seek professional help.
  6. Stock your home with healthy foods. Buy foods that a caveman would eat: berries, unsalted nuts, some lean meats, vegetables, etc. It’s much easier to eat healthier foods when that’s what is available. After you eat a healthy meal or snack, bring awareness to your body’s reaction. How does it make your body feel to eat nourishing meals?
  7. Understand the calorie deficit. Weight release occurs when the body burns more calories than it consumes. While the formula seems simple and straightforward, know that calorie deficits are most effectively achieved by working on both ends of the equation – eating healthier foods will result in fewer calories consumed, and regular exercise will result in more calories burned. Don’t try to release weight through starvation. It will slow down your metabolism, and likely result in long-term weight gain.

And, stay tuned for my brand-new fitness program which will launch tomorrow. I’m super excited to share it with you… Through my new program, I’ll help you use fitness to get the results you’ve always wanted. 🙂

Is weight release one of your New Year’s resolutions or goals? Which of these tips will help you in your journey?

How to Avoid Gym Burnout on January 1!

With January 1st just a few days away, we’ll continue our focus on New Year’s resolutions. And more specifically, how to keep ’em. Today, we turn our attention to burnout. The treadmills will be packed on January 1st – but how many of those people will be there a month later?

You know the story. Maybe you’ve even lived it. Starting on January 1st, many people have a new-found commitment to their health. They are energized and enthused about getting to the gym. And so they hit the gym frequently, and for an extended duration of time. It’s a full out sprint into a healthier lifestyle – but almost always, burnout occurs. The commitment isn’t sustainable, the energy subsides and the resolution is never realized.

Burnout is avoidable; here’s how:

If you don’t currently exercise, and if January 1st will mark the start of a new (or renewed) workout schedule, then start slowly. I know that you’re super excited to hit the gym and change your health and body, but pace yourself. Start with 2 or 3 days a week for 30 – 45 minutes. Over time, slowly build on it. After a month, maybe you exercise for an extra day – or for a few extra minutes. Gradually build on your workout schedule.

If you already exercise, but want to vamp up your workout, try increasing your current schedule by 20%. If you exercise 3 days a week for an hour, try hitting the gym for 40 minutes on an additional day. Don’t go from 3 days to 6 days – it’s just not sustainable.

Here’s the bottom line: We are creatures of habit and change is difficult. If you can introduce small change – instead of a huge change – you’re more likely to stick with it. I liken January 1st to running a marathon. A good marathon runner can pace himself or herself. If you start a marathon with a sprint, you’ll start fast – but there’s no way to finish the race. Perseverance goes out the window.

You’re excited about your New Year’s resolution – I can feel that! But here’s what you’ll need to do: Dole out that energy, enthusiasm and excitement in a way that it will last you through the entire new year. Ration it out as needed, but don’t burn it all in the first two weeks and then have an empty tank for the rest of the year.

Pace yourself and you’ll reach the finish line.