The Benefits of Exercise

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

It can be such a challenge to find time in your busy day to exercise but the benefits are well worth it. Here are just a few;

  1. Exercise controls weight. That is really the no brainer. Exercise burns calories and the more intense the work out, the more calories burned.
  2. Exercise help fight health conditions and diseases. I know first hand what it can do for your blood pressure. After 1 1/2 of medication to control my high blood pressure, I started to walk an hour 5 times a week. Only after 6 weeks, I saw the result and the doctor told me that I didn’t need my medication any longer as long as I continued with my plan of healthy eating and exercise. Exercise can prevent or manage many health issues such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis, help prevent falls, and balance your metabolism.
  3. Exercise can improve your mood. A good workout helps with stress and gives you that “me” time to help sort things out in your mind. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that help with feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel that you are looking better and that can help with self-esteem.
  4. Exercise helps boost your energy level. How many times do we say “I am too tired to exercise”? The truth of the matter is that physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. You have more energy to go about your daily jobs and chores.
  5. Exercise helps your sleep. Regular exercise can help you sleep more sound and fall asleep faster. You don’t want to exercise too close to bedtime, that can energize you too much to fall asleep.
  6. Exercise is a fun activity. There is more to it than lifting weights, doing a DVD or running a couple of miles. Dance is a great exercise, riding a bike, playing sports, so many things that are fun and can give you a great workout. You can do it alone, with your family or with a group or team. Try different activities. Just like different types of food, you never know what you will like until you try it. I never thought that I would enjoy walking. I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than that. The truth is…I prefer walking alone. It doesn’t take much thought to walk and it allows me time to organize my thoughts. Imagine all of the things that you can think about during your walk. It also allows you the time to dream! Plan a walk on a white sandy beach someday. Swim with dolphins! Write a book! Anything is possible!

The next time you thing that you don’t have time to exercise think of all of the benefits. When you think about everything that physical activity can do for you, you want to find the time. Find several things that you like and have fun!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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Seeing Results

photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc

photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc

Adjusting to healthier changes isn’t always easy but it really does pay off. You really don’t have to wait too long to see results whether they are feeling better, improving some heath conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or seeing results on the scale.

As excited as I was to see the scale drop lower and lower, I have to say that feeling better is what made it easier. I know longer suffered with heartburn every night when I went to bed or was awoken through the night with tingling in my arms when they would fall asleep. I no longer needed my blood pressure medication. (never stop medication without the advise of your physician)

It is amazing how many changes that you will see. Things that I never even thought about changed. Some are silly but they are still changes. The fact that I could look down and see my toes without leaning forward! My husband’s arm is actually able to reach around my waist when we walk together. I can now fold my arms and they fit against my stomach where they are supposed to. (A funny story about this…I was so excited when I could cross my arms that I found myself doing it all of the time. One evening I was having dinner at a restaurant with my daughter and as we were talking I had my arms crossed. Apparently our waitress thought this was my body language for where is my meal. She came over and apologized for the food taking too long! I didn’t tell her about my new found arm crossing but I did tell her that we were fine and it wasn’t a concern.) I can cross my legs again!

Seeing the scale drop and fitting into smaller clothes is a change that we expect but the unexpected changes are some of the special ones! Even if your goal isn’t to lose weight but just to get healthier, you will see and feel some amazing results! These are the things that keep you going! Once you see and feel all of changes, you will never want to go back to the unhealthy way!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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Key To Success: Variety

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

We have all heard the phrase “Variety is the spice of life”. I think that variety is so important to success. The last thing that you want is to allow your healthy eating to become boring or stale. Switching up your meals, snacks and exercise are just a few ways to keep things fresh.

When it comes to meals, plan on making a different meal every day of the month. Obviously you will be eating chicken or fish more than one meal a month but what you do with it is the key. Choosing a new recipe once a week can be helpful. Mix it up. Try using beans as your protein from time to time instead of meat, chicken or fish.

Try new vegetables to have with your meals. Vegetables are so versatile. You can roast them, sauté them, boil or steam them. I like to put asparagus on a George Foreman grill. Try to switch up your vegetables and eating a different one every day of the week will keep you from getting bored.

You have so many options with snacks. Think about what you would normally grab for a snack. What can you reach for that is already to go but is healthy and tastes good. I like to keep sliced strawberries in the refrigerator. Also a bag of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. I buy them already cut and in a bag together. It may be a little more expensive than buying them and cutting them yourself but not a lot. Planning your snacks out ahead of time can be helpful. Snacks can be a little bit of protein, fruits, vegetables or even dairy. A container of yogurt with fresh fruit with it is a great filler. I also have a couple of slices of turkey breast for a snack or a slice or 2 of turkey bacon. Most of the snacks that I used to eat were basically empty calories. You want snacks that will taste good, satisfy you and hold you over until your next meal.

Switch up your exercise to work on different parts of your body and your stamina. Walking and running are great for cardio. There are many dvds that work on cardio and your core. They can be a little challenging to start but your body does adapt. After a couple of days, it gets much easier. I am a fan of Jillian Michaels dvds, some of the workouts are only 30 minutes. You don’t have to buy them, you can find some on youtube, some cable companies have exercise channels and you can always exchange some with your friends.

Since getting healthier is a life style change, you want to find different ways to change things up. All of these things are easy to do with just a little planning. Getting healthy should not be boring! Have fun making changes and seeing the results.

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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Lifetime of Success

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

Last week I spoke about ditching diets and just eating healthier. Changing your eating life style will lead to success. Here is another tip for a lifetime of success.

Here is a different approach. Try eating more vegetables with each meal. Eat lean proteins and dairy, whole grains and fruits, drink more water. Cut out all of the extra sugar and fatty foods. That’s all. I am not saying eat 1 slice of dry toast for breakfast, a salad with fat free dressing for lunch and a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese for dinner. I am talking real foods and real amounts. Eat until you feel full and satisfied, not stuffed and ready to explode. (Stopping at full and satisfied may be something that you have to retrain your body and mind how to do, I know I did)

Add some exercise to your routine. You don’t need to do P90X to get the benefits of exercise. Just do more than you are doing right now. If you don’t do anything, take a brisk walk for 10 minutes. This again is a life style change, not all or nothing.

Your body does adapt. Once your walking becomes effortless, add a little more. Either increase your speed, add a few extra minutes or add more of an incline. All things to increase your heart rate and get your body stronger.

Next week I will talk about adding some variety to your healthy changes. Remember..small changes lead to big results.

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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Conquering the Problem

Conquering the problem

In previous posts, I have talked about how I feel losing weight and being healthy is a life style change. I mentioned that with my successful weight loss, I didn’t count calories and I didn’t weigh and measure my foods. After countless attempt and many years of dieting, I feel like I am finally conquering the problem. Even though my weight has fluctuated a few pounds in the last 5 years, I have kept the majority of my weight off.

I feel that diets do not work because we are too worried about the number. The number on the scale, the number of calories we eat, the number of calories that we burn. The number that you want the scale to be and once you get there, what happens? You start to eat again. With diets, there is a start day and a goal day. We celebrate that goal! It is a great day!!! I made it and now… I can eat again. That leads back to the same habits. The sugar, the fat, the junk, all of the things that you were limiting when you were dieting. Very quickly, the pounds come right back. If you are like me, you add a few extra pounds to the ones that you lost.

Of course everyone like to see the results of losing weight and eating healthier. Step away from the scale and look at your success. Most importantly, how are you feeling? After eating healthier foods, I feel so good!!! I lose the sleepy and tired feeling and feel more energetic! I feel like I am sleeping better, breathing better, and feel much happier. Enjoy that feeling! Your clothes will start to feel loose. I used to say to my husband, “Look my clothes are getting bigger!” and his response would be your clothes don’t change, you are getting smaller. That’s the way to look at it!…positive attitude! You are changing on the outside but the changes on the inside are huge! Just a few pounds take pressure off of your joints, helps your blood pressure, and your sugar levels. Even though you can’t look at your inside, it is getting healthier and stronger as well!

If you are looking into losing weight, I think letting go of the “number” is the way to go. In the coming weeks, I will go over some thoughts about enjoying your weight loss and not struggling over it. Make eating healthier a new way of life!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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