Exercise – The Slimmer Shape

Category Archives for Exercise

Have a Strategy for Losing Weight in the New Year

November 12, 2018

Too many people resolve to lose weight but never actually have a plan in place for doing it. Therefore, year after year, they have the same New Year’s resolution because their goal was never achieved. Has this happened to you? How can you change this relentless pattern?

It’s important when setting goals to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal system. This system will help you accomplish what you set out to do and reach your goals in a timely fashion.

  • Specific. Be explicit in what you want. Write down a specific number of pounds that you would like to lose.
  • Measurable. Weigh yourself every week and take note of your weight change, either up or down. Keep track of this in a journal.
  • Attainable. Small goals which lead up to a larger goal are often easier to reach. The success of reaching these small goals will keep you motivated.
  • Realistic. Understand what your body is capable of doing and set your goals accordingly.
  • Timely. Keep your goal in focus by setting a completion date.

In addition, here are some more weight loss tips to help you succeed with your New Year’s resolution:

1. Have a plan of action. How much weight do you want to lose? Break your total down into a series of smaller attainable goals. For example, plan to lose ____ pounds by ____ (date). Make these goals realistic, and then follow a plan of diet and exercise to achieve them.

  • Your plan may require changes in your lifestyle. Work these changes into your daily routines one-by-one to attain your goals.
  • Write your goals down in a journal, and review them every day.

2. Change your diet. Figure out how many calories you’ve been consuming each day. If it’s over 2,500, gradually decrease the number of calories instead of immediately dropping to 1,200 calories a day.

For example, try limiting yourself to 2,000 calories a day for a week, then drop to 1,500 for another week. Eventually, you’ll reach your goal without being severely deprived.

  • Reducing your daily calorie intake will require healthy eating choices. Consult your physician for recommended nutritional guides, and choose the one that works best for you.
  • There are online programs that calculate your calorie and fat intake for you. All you do is write in your food choices. Use whatever tools you need to simplify your tasks and stay motivated to reach your goals.

3. Get off the Couch. Set a reasonable exercise schedule to help you with your weight loss goal. Design your exercise regimen to target the areas that need the most toning (i.e. thighs, abs, arms, buttocks, etc.).

  • Keep your exercise goals realistic. Start small if you need to, and then increase your regimen. For example, running 5 miles every day will burn off a lot of calories, but it may not be feasible for you. You may need to first try walking to build up some stamina, and then add in running little by little.
  • Setting goals, which are too far from your normal activities, will quickly wear you out and discourage you. Start small and build on each success. Increase your exercise time (or treadmill speed, or incline, etc.) by a small increment each week.
  • Exercising a little bit each day will increase your energy and help you become healthier. And you don’t need a gym membership or expensive exercise equipment either. Walk or run around your neighborhood or use canned foods instead of weights. You can even borrow exercise DVDs from the library.

4. Make Some Friends. The people who are usually the most successful in losing weight and keeping it off are the ones who have a great support system. Nothing deters you like knowing you’re accountable to others for every bite you put in your mouth.

  • Your support team will encourage you, work out with you, and bring you confidence when times are tough.
  • Some people find it helpful to join a local weight loss support group or an online weight loss group. Celebrating your weight loss successes with others will make them that much more meaningful.

Losing weight is possible for anyone who approaches the challenge wisely. With some careful planning and determination, your weight loss goal can certainly become a reality in the New Year.

Getting the Beach Body You Deserve

January 13, 2018

With summer here, most of us are thinking about the sandy beaches, the warm sun and how we’re going to look in our swimsuits.

Is the thought of other people seeing your thighs or belly a little scary? Well here are some quick and easy ways to get your body ready for swimsuit season this year.

1. Start a regular exercise program. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, but you can target the problem areas by doing exercises specifically for your belly, thighs, upper arms and love handles:

  • Crunches for your abs
  • Arm rolls and push ups for your upper arms
  • Leg lifts and squats for your thighs
  • Bending at the side while standing for love handles

Those are just a few suggestions of exercises you can do at home that target those specific areas. Other exercises you can do to get your body in swimsuit shape are:

  • Swimming at your local community center or public pool
  • Jogging
  • Walking around your neighborhood with a friend or relative
  • Biking
  • Hiking on trails or in other naturally scenic areas
  • Inline skating at a local arena or in your neighborhood
  • Nintendo Wii fitness games

2. Start eating smarter and healthier. Choosing the proper foods is not only important for your looks, but it also affects how you feel. To burn fat off healthily and easily, begin eating a diet of plenty of green leafy vegetables, wholesome fruits, lean meats, and whole grain breads. A well-balanced diet helps your body function properly and helps you feel full and satisfied throughout the day.

3. Reduce your portions and eat less. Portion control, or lack thereof, is probably the biggest factor in weight gain in today’s society. For some reason the majority of the population has come to think that we’re supposed to eat enormous amounts of food in order to feel satisfied, but the opposite is true.

  • When you reduce the amount of food you eat in one sitting and wait a few minutes, you’ll notice you more full than you think. This is because it takes your body 20 minutes to tell your brain that you’re full.
  • Here’s another tip: Eat six small meals a day, as opposed to the 3 larger meals that you’re accustomed to, and you’re more likely to lose weight. By eating smaller, more frequent meals, you’re keeping your metabolism going. It doesn’t slow down or stop then have to work so hard to restart itself.

4. Stay active by incorporating regular exercise into your daily routines.

  • Whenever you can, take the stairs.
  • Park farther out when going to the store or appointments.
  • Walk wherever you can instead of driving.
  • If you sit behind a desk all day, get up and move around every hour for 5 – 10 minutes.

5. Keep a diet and exercise journal. Keeping track of how often you exercise and how much you eat will really help you see the big picture. Journaling will also help you see your progress, which can do tremendous efforts in keeping you motivated.

  • A simple notebook will do, or you can use a spreadsheet program on the computer. Another alternative would be to create a weight loss blog. Having your progress available for the public eye to see is a great way to stay on track and motivated.

Getting your body ready for the beach doesn’t have to be difficult or take up extra time that you don’t have, but it can be done. By taking action with the suggestions above, you’ll begin to see the results you want and have the beach body you deserve!

5 Simple Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

January 10, 2017

With your hectic daily routine – getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school, making sure your socks aren’t floating in the dog’s water bowl, a busy day at work, coming home and fixing dinner, cleaning up the house and getting everyone, including yourself, to sleep – exercise is usually the last thing on your mind!

Stress levels and obesity are at an all time high and health concerns are making themselves a priority in many people’s lives.

However, exercise is the one thing that can energize you to handle such a busy lifestyle with flying colors! Exercising reduces stress, helps you sleep better, and keeps health concerns at bay, while also boosting your self-confidence.

No More Excuses Allowed

It’s a good thing the human body is made the way it is, because there are many exercises you can do anywhere, at any time. All you need are a couple of makeshift weights you can find around the house and the physical weight of your body.

When exercising, remember to get a good warm-up and finish off with a slow cool-down. This is important to prevent injury and is easy to accomplish no matter where you are. Walking works well for both your warm-up and cool-down routine.

Here are 5 simple exercises you can do anywhere:

1. Tricep Dips. Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your hands next to your thighs. Lift your body out just in front of the chair, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Lower yourself down so your elbows bend no more than 90 degrees and push yourself back up.

  • Start off with a few small sets and build up from there.
  • Straightening your legs increases the workout.
  • Avoid this exercise if you have wrist or shoulder problems.

2. Pushups. Everyone knows the standard pushup position, so let’s try some things to change it up a bit.

  • You can do pushups with your hands wider than shoulder width to get more of a shoulder and chest workout.
  • If you bring your hands together into a diamond shape near the center of your chest you will work more of the triceps and shoulders.
  • Working half pushups – either going only half way down and then back up, or starting from the floor and only pushing up half way and then going back down – will intensify your pushup workout.

3. Crunches. Crunches are great for your abs if you do them correctly. Done incorrectly, they can put undue stress on your neck and back. To avoid injury, be sure to use the correct techniques.

  • The biggest risk is if you jerk your neck to give you the force to crunch. While doing crunches, keep your hands behind your head and your elbows back while using your stomach muscles to lift your head and chin towards the ceiling.
  • Once you’ve mastered this technique, try lifting your legs off the ground or assuming a bicycle position with one leg bent and the other straight off of the ground.

4. Squats. Body weight squats are a great exercise you can do anywhere and a fantastic way to learn proper technique. Start off your squat workouts by lowering yourself only a foot or so. Then work up to deeper squats as your muscles become accustomed to the exercise.

  • If you’re feeling a bit advanced and in need of a more intense workout, grab two 2-liter bottles filled with sand and try performing squats while holding one in each hand.

5. Calf Raises. Calf raises can be done wherever there is a raised surface, such as a stairway. If you need balance, hold onto the railing. Facing the stairs, stand with only your toes on the stair and your feet extending out past it. Standing straight up, lower your body down below the level of the stair and then back up onto your toes.

  • Even though it seems as if this is an ankle exercise, it also works out your calf muscles.
  • The biggest emphasis on this exercise is the ability to go from an extreme negative position with ankle below toes to an extreme positive position, ankle fully raised.

With these five exercises, you have a full body workout. Remember to pay attention to your body and take it easy at first. Soreness is a good thing, but pain means you need to stop.

Try these exercises out today and feel the healthy difference of fitness on the run.