Admittedly, I used to have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but I’ve actually come to enjoy it now and that is because I choose to do exercises that I enjoy, and I leave the rest.
(Don't feel like reading? No worries - just watch the video above!)
Really, a lot of my exercise comes from daily movement and isn’t just for the sole purpose of working out.
By that I mean, I take my son to the park and we play baseball or soccer, I go for family hikes, I take my dog out for walks, and I even make my house cleaning into a workout! (Can you picture me doing squats as I clean the shower walls?)
Some of my body movements are from actual intentional exercise but a lot of it is from just being intentional about getting my body moving with things I enjoy!
It’s important to understand WHY exercise is an essential component of healthy living or weight loss program, and HOW it will increase its effectiveness by helping you to tone up, strengthen your bones and speed up your metabolism, which will help you to lose weight more quickly.
While 80% of weight loss is what we eat, exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and plays a really important role in weight loss as well.
Benefits of Exercise:
You don’t have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment. Incorporating movement into your daily living is easier and less complicated than you might think.
Getting your body moving four to five days per week for at least 30 minutes will do wonders.
As I mentioned earlier, finding something you enjoy is key. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it. You can start small and gradually increase the time and intensity.
The picture below features one of my absolute favourite ways to get my body moving - hiking in nature with my family (this was during our summer vacation in Gaspe, Quebec last month.)
When I hike, I get it all - fresh air, sunshine, exercise, nature AND time with my family - Bonus!
Here are some other great ideas:
The main thing is to find something you enjoy – so you stick with it!
You also want to choose some weight-bearing exercises to strengthen your bones. A benefit to this is lean muscle mass speeds up your metabolism, which helps with weight loss.
Even after your workout is over, you’ll continue to burn calories because of the increase in muscle.
If you’re worried about looking bulky – don’t. Basically, if you can lift the weight you’re using 10 times in a row, you’re only going to tone your muscles and not bulk up.
Here’s your ACTION TASK: Choose an activity (or more than one) from the list above, or use your own ideas, and get your body moving 2 days this week. You’re going to gradually increase that to at least 4 days/week.
If you’re like me, you’ll need to schedule it in your agenda, and give it the same level of importance (or higher!) as paying the bills.
Whenever we do something for ourselves, for some reason, it’s the first thing that gets set aside when anything seemingly more important comes up. Do you see this happening in your life? If so, make sure you read this blog post about why it's essential to put yourself on your to-do list.
So, expect that to happen and when you see that happening, take note of it, and make sure you rearrange your schedule so that exercise and the time needed to prepare your foods is a priority.
You’re worth it and when you take the time to take care of yourself everyone around you benefits.
When you feel better about yourself and you’re giving your body and mind what they need physically, emotionally and nutritionally, others are going to notice a shift in your mood and your attitude and it’s going to affect your relationships for the better.
After you watch this video (or read this post), I want you to share in the comments below what exercises you’re choosing to get your body moving this week!
Until next time,
May Anne xo
Almost all of the women I see in my practice want to look and feel better than they do right now, and a lot of them either focus on food OR exercise, but not always both.
The thing is, being in optimal health is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, so if you want 100% results, you have to do both.
Today I’m going to cover the nutrition aspect of working out. Fueling your body with good nutrition at all times is important. However, it's especially important when you’re being physically active.
The ideal meals or snacks prior to a workout would be ones that include a complex carbohydrate.
Examples of these would be things like Banana Bread Overnight Oats (see recipe below), greek yogourt with berries or fruit with nut butter.
After a workout, your body will require protein and carbohydrate to support recovery.
We consume carbohydrates to replenish our depleted muscle glycogen stores. Protein is consumed to provide the needed amino acids that will help build muscle and bones. The current research has shown that consuming a snack or meal that contains both within the first two hours after a workout is optimal.
Dr. David Phillips, M.D., tells us, “Complete by Juice Plus+® shake mix stands superior to other protein shake mixes on the market today because it’s a clean-burning, macronutrient-rich, plant-based drink.
The primary plant protein, non-GMO water-washed soy, is a complete protein which means it contains all of the essential amino acids necessary to build muscle as well as maintain other vital bodily functions.” In addition, this product provides a good source of complex carbohydrate from whole plants.
Don’t have the shake? Simple snacks such as hummus with crackers and nut butter with fruit are other options.
Think of antioxidants as the good guys that fight the oxidative stress in your body. Throughout the Shred10® program that I’m currently running, we encourage fruits, vegetables, and berries, which are some of the best sources of antioxidants.
However, the reality is we often don’t consume enough in our daily lives. This is why I take Juice Plus company’s Garden, Orchard, and Vineyard capsules which provide similar benefits to my body in a convenient and easy way. These products are never meant to replace what we should be consuming from fruits and vegetables, they are only meant to bridge the gap.
The last thing I want to mention is to drink plenty of water, especially if you’re exercising in the heat.
Being active increases your needs due to fluids lost through sweat. If you don't replenish the water loss, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration affects both your mental and physical performance and can lead to impaired coordination, inability to make appropriate decisions, a greater rise in body temperature, and cardiovascular strain.
Always begin your exercise activity well hydrated. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces daily, and increase as necessary with exercise, and sip on fluids during your activity.
If you want to be included in our August Shred10™ or have questions about what the Shred is all about, just send me a message HERE.
BANANA BREAD OVERNIGHT OATS
1 mashed ripe banana
½ cup rolled or steel cut oats
½ cup plant based milk, unsweetened
2 Tbsp chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
dash of sea salt
1 Tbsp ground flax
2 tsp 100% pure maple syrup
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until all ingredients are incorporated well. Pour into
single serve bowls or mason jars.
2) Refrigerate overnight (at least 4 hours).
3) Serve hot or cold.
4) Garnish with some sliced banana or more nuts if desired.
Until next time,
P.S. Send me a message HERE if you want to be included in our August Shred10™!
Ever heard someone give themselves permission to indulge their sweet tooth just because they just had a great workout? It’s a common excuse, and I've been guilty of it myself. Many people believe that because they exercise, they’re in the black as far as their calorie input/output. But in reality, this sort of thinking is a sure road to failure. Most people with a lean body and a 6-pack didn’t get that way by rationalizing their way to the dessert buffet.
Many people have no idea how many calories they take in on an average day, often severely underestimating when asked to take a guess at it. But they also overestimate the number of calories they burn. The truth is, 30 minutes of the best boot camp in town will not cancel out that burger and fries!
This isn’t to say that I believe counting calories is the way to long-term, healthy weight loss. Not at all. Different foods tend to affect your hormone levels, metabolism, hunger and appetite differently.
For example, eating 100 calories worth of donuts will not diminish your hunger as effectively as eating 100 calories from apples.
Therefore, a donut will more than likely make you overeat later in the day, cause cravings, irritability, fatigue and a loss of focus. But this whole talk of focusing solely on calorie counting for weight loss is a whole other blog post! I'll touch more on that another time.
Do the math
As an example of how easy it is to eat more than our body needs, let’s look at the hard numbers. An average, moderately intensive workout will burn 300-400 calories in about an hour. That’s an hour of hard work with plenty of sweat and hard breathing.
Now say on the way home from the gym, you decide to grab a couple of donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts. After all, you’ve earned it! In the 3 minutes it will take you to put away two chocolate frosted cake donuts, you’ve consumed 720 calories. All your hard work is wasted, plus you’ve provided your body with several hundred extra calories to store as fat!
Or maybe you just want to grab some pizza and soda with your family for a quick, easy dinner. You consider the 600 calories you burned running on the treadmill for an hour today (at 10 miles per hour—that’s a really fast run for a really long time!), so you eat 4 pieces of pizza and a coke. No problem, right?
Wrong. You just downed 900-1,000 calories in about 10 minutes!
Is it really worth it?
Face the facts
The bottom line is you simply can’t out train a bad diet. If you try to spar a bad diet with exercise, the exercise will lose every single time. The only way to lose weight and get that lean, sexy, healthy body that looks great in anything (or nothing) is to eat a healthy diet AND exercise.
Your weight loss is driven by diet and maintained by exercise. Only then will you begin to see the fat melt away. Exercise builds muscle and can rev up your metabolism, but you won’t lose weight if you continually eat more than you can metabolize.
This is not to say that exercise is not important. It is! In fact, according to Barry Braun, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,
“When you look at the results in the National Weight Control Registry, you see over and over that exercise is one constant among people who’ve maintained their weight loss.”
If you try to spar a bad diet with exercise, the exercise will lose every single time.
Want to keep the pounds off? Exercise! Exercise is crucial. And you must combine it with a balanced diet if you want to shed pounds.
Have you been trying to out exercise your diet? Don’t be discouraged; many of us have been guilty of this. It’s time to rethink your weight loss strategy. Try the following tips to start fresh and recreate your body!
You need both exercise and a healthy diet to be lean, strong and healthy. Don’t neglect either one!
Wishing you health & happiness,
May Anne xo
P.S. I've just finished up creating my 6-Week Slim-Down Program for Moms, and am looking forward to sharing it with you very soon! Stay tuned!
If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.