Fitness

4 Favorite Fitness Finds

A short time ago, I worked an exhausting full-time job, only to come home and work more grueling hours taking care of my home and family. This made it extremely difficult to focus on my health because I was simply surviving each day, each hour, each moment. Since those super stressful days are in the past for now, I have been able to focus on my fitness and nutrition goals once again. Not only is this rewarding for myself, it is also hugely rewarding for my family because I can serve healthy foods, plan healthy activities, and overall I can promote and model healthy habits.

While I absolutely love a lot of what my local gym has to offer, over the past few months I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering some beneficial resources on the web. Allow me to share 4 Favorite Fitness Finds:

1. Calorie Counting App – I read on countless health websites the importance of logging the specific types and amounts of food you eat if you hope to lose weight. Indeed, I have had the most success in my weight-loss journey when I faithfully log my daily calories (in and out through diet and exercise). I highly recommend trying this out, at the very least you learn a lot about what you are putting into your body. I started out using the app called My Diet Diary, but through some recommendations from friends I switched to MyFitnessPal. So far, I am very pleased with the features of MyFitnessPal and I use it with ease on both my phone and laptop.

2. Strength Running Website & Newsletter – This is a great running resource offered by an experienced runner and running coach. His motto is: get stronger, stay healthy, run faster. I particularly appreciate his focus on injury prevention. If you sign-up for the newsletter you receive a ton of free electronic resources. And bonus, I have loved the content of each e-newsletter so far. Check out this interesting video on the Principle of Progression (this was an unfamiliar concept to me):

3. DoYogaWithMe.Com – I love, love, love doing yoga. When I can’t make it to a yoga class at the gym, I really enjoy yoga at home (while my boys are napping or after they are in bed for the night, of course). This website offers specific and accurate video descriptions and high quality yoga sequences. The videos range from 20 minutes to over an hour. Personally, I choose to watch on their YouTube channel. Here is one of their more gentle and relaxing videos:

4. 7 Weeks To Fitness – Admittedly, I have not yet tried one of these 7 week plans, I have only tried out the fitness tests. With that said, from what I can tell, this is such a great fitness option for people who don’t have a gym membership. Some options include: 7 Weeks To 100 Push-Ups, 7 Weeks To 300 Sit-ups, or 7 Weeks To A Triathlon. I am really looking forward to trying out 7 Weeks To Getting Ripped when I put my gym membership on hold in a couple months.

I hope you enjoyed my Favorite Fitness Finds. If you have some favorites of your own, please share them in the comments section.

yoga silhouette
Aside

A Steadfast Companion

Toes tuck, hips float high

Mind wanders; breathing deeply

Body, mind release

yoga silhouette

Image courtesy of sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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I was prompted to write on this topic because I am participating in Women Who Write Rock, a writing retreat spearheaded by Helene Rose. Find out more about this amazing woman and the services she offers at her website Be Brilliant Network.

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I’ve never dieted in my life…til now

Throughout my life I have spent a lot of time running, working out at the gym, playing a lot of sports, and in general getting a lot of exercise. While I have generally tried to eat healthfully, the thing I haven’t done is restricted my calories or went on a specific diet for any reason (even as an athlete). I guess I always saw dieting in a negative light and thought that if I went on a diet it meant I cared too much about my looks.

Even though my weight is pretty similar to what it was when I went to college, at age 30 I have decided to go on a diet. Why now, you may ask? Well, after having two children and experiencing a great many changes in the distribution of my skin and body fat (to unwelcome places) I think that scalenow is the time to get toned and lose weight in order to pave the way through my 30’s and into my 40’s and beyond.

After taking a look at various diets, specifically the Paleo Diet and the Mediterranean Diet, I have decided that I don’t want to eliminate particular food groups without having an evidence-based reason. Essentially, I’m not yet convinced that a particular diet that eliminates particular food groups is a good idea for me.

So, if not a particular diet, what will guide me? Well, I started by getting an app on my android called My Diet Diary that helps me track my daily caloric intake and output. Initially, I input my weight and my weight loss goals. Then the app displayed how many calories per day I should consume. The amount of calories adjusts when I input exercise or my weight changes.

I am not only trying to restrict my calories, I am also following some of my own established guidelines. The guidelines are as follows:

  • friuts and vegetableEat as many whole foods as possible (fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, etc.)
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Drink a lot of water
  • When I have a craving in between meals I chew gum or drink herbal tea
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Don’t eat anything after 8 pm
  • Every day or two enjoy a dessert OR a special drink (usually a latte or gingerale)
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week
  • Adopt these changes in my life and maintain on a long-term basis

So, these guidelines are purely my preference and may not work for others. Ultimately, I chose these health goals because I think they will be effective and attainable for me.

When I started this diet last week my goal was to lose 13 pounds. Here I am a week in and I have already lost 8 pounds, hooray! I realize weight fluctuates for various reasons but at the moment I am rejoicing at this success with the hope that I can continue tracking my diet diligently through the diet app for at least 40 days.

Now, as I launch into week two, I will be inspired by entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn:

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Your Turn

How has dieting worked out for you? What obstacles should I keep my eyes open for?