If you live in the northern hemisphere, it is summer right now and it is HOT!
How do you keep working out when sitting on a chair leaves you sweaty?
- Work out early in the morning (with the birds). Avoid 10 am – 4 pm.
- Drink water before, during, and after your workout
- Wear clothes that will allow sweat to evaporate (should be loose fitting)
- Lower the intensity of your workout
- If you have to, go walk at the air conditioned mall. You can bring a bag to carry (to use as a weighted object to challenge yourself). Do not bring money!
- If you have air conditioning at home, enjoy it!
Here are the symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion and heat stroke (from the American Council on Exercise):
Symptoms of heat exhaustion: Weak and rapid pulse, low blood pressure, fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, general weakness, paleness, cold clammy skin, profuse sweating, elevated body core temperature (below or 104 degrees F or 40 degrees C).
Treatment: Stop exercising, move to a cool and ventilated area, lay down and elevate feet 12-18 inches, take fluids, monitor temperature.
Symptoms of heat stroke: Hot and dry skin, bright red skin color, rapid and strong pulse, change in mental status (irritability, aggressiveness, anxiety), labored breathing, elevated body core temperature (above or 105 degrees F or 41 degrees C).
Treatment: Stop exercising, transport to the emergency room immediately, remove as much clothing as feasible, try to cool the body in any way possible (wet towels, ice packs/baths, fan, take fluids).
Please use common sense when exercising during those hot summer days and listen to your body.
By the time you read these words the bone broth fad might be over.
We have seen diet fads before with wild juices and miracle potions. In its defense, there is still something to be said about bone broth. As health conscious people, maybe we needed the reminder that grandma was right.
Bone broth might not make cellulite disappear or make our hair shinier.
The real benefit in rediscovering bone broth is in the return of the SUPER SOUP, which uses bone broth as a base. Yes, dear fellow humans who are seeking the best fuel for your food dollars: soup is the new healthy diet weapon! If you prefer, call it bone broth with veggies.
Use bone broth to concoct the most creative soups possible: add kale, or leeks, or spinach, or squash, or broccoli. Cook split peas in a chicken broth base. Try pureed combos like cauliflower with turmeric, carrot and chick peas with ginger, tomatoes and red beans, any leftover broccoli. We even tried pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg. That tasted like the inside of a pie but left us feeling totally virtuous about it! When out of fresh veggies, add a bag of mixed frozen veggies. Clean your fridge (use veggies that are still good, do not use sprouting things or dead leaves) and make soup. You can make it spicy, if you are so inclined. The possibilities are endless. You will meet your veggie quota and fill up on goodness! If you don’t really like to cook, below are two very easy and simple (read lazy) ways to make chicken broth/stock.
What is the difference between broth and stock?
Here is what Alton Brown says:
“A stock is made from bones and whatever connective tissue and joint material is connected to them at the time they go in the pot. A broth is a liquid in which meat has been cooked. A broth may be flavorful, but without bones there will never be substantial body.”
2 Ways to Make Chicken Broth
We always keep homemade chicken broth in the freezer because we use it a lot.
Method 1 – more of a stock: Cook a chicken in the oven. Eat the chicken and put the carcass in a pot. Cover with water. Add a little pepper, onion, and herbs; do as you please. Bring to a gentle boil and keep it cooking for about one hour (longer if you want a more concentrated broth). After cooking, take the bones out of the broth and let the broth cool in the fridge.
Method 2 – more of a broth: Buy a chicken. Take the stuff out of the inner cavity!
Put the chicken in a big pot. Cover with water. Add a little pepper, onion, and herbs; do as you please.
Bring to a gentle boil and keep it cooking until the flesh comes off the bones.
Take the chicken out, and let it cool off. Don’t leave your chicken at room temperature. Put it in the fridge and take it apart the next day if you don’t plan to use it in a dish the same night. Cool the broth in the fridge.
The next day - de-fat and freeze it: If you used Method 1 or 2, the next step is the same.
Simply take the layer of fat off with a spoon. Pass the broth through a sieve. Split the broth in different containers and freeze for later use (leave some room for expansion). Label with today’s date. Use within 3 months for best quality.
According to the American Council on Exercise, “An estimated 19 million devices were in use in 2014, and that number is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. In fact, a recent report by Juniper Research predicts that the use of activity trackers—also called fitness wearables—will triple by 2018.”
That is a lot of trackers and users, in turn, getting their 10,000 steps a day towards better health and wellness… or not.
As a fitness instructor, I have a love/hate relationship with wearable trackers. Some people, mostly beginners, get motivated when they see the number of steps, the calories burned (still not very precise on most trackers), and stairs completed. Others get obsessed with reaching their 10,000 steps/day (no matter what) and walk in place in their living room before going to bed to reach their goal and post their numbers on social media. If this describes you, and you have obsessive compulsive tendencies, the trackers might put you over the edge. On the other hand, if you have “unmotivated” tendencies, the trackers might be the kick in the rear you need to get moving. But can you trust your tracker enough to let it guide your fitness endeavors?
Here is why your activity tracker might be keeping you un-fit.
1. Reporting Precision Problems
It is currently still difficult to keep track of the “quality” of the movement users are tracking. One of my clients, Mr. J., sees his wearable go through the roof when he plays the piano. We can hammer the keys with energy and a great deal of passion but it does not seem fair to compare playing the piano with doing squats, jumps or burpees. For more information on trackers’ accuracy, read this ACE article. Don’t get me wrong. It is great that people walk and get more activity in their lives. As a society, we have to overcome the diabetes, heart disease, and obesity that are slowly killing us, and activity is part of the solution. But wearable technology is not yet infallible, and we still need to keep in mind the components of fitness, which are: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Are you and your tracker taking into account all the facets of fitness?
2. It's easy to plateau
For people who want to get moving and collect data proving their accomplishments, a plateau problem arises when users keep doing the same thing, and keep getting the same data. At this level, same data = same results. The newness is gone. And people will get frustrated because the body, doing what it does so well, will have adapted to this 10,000 steps/day mode and will no longer be challenged. Our human bodies adapt pretty fast to new physical demands and that is why we talk so much about the importance of “muscle confusion” or “variety” in fitness programs today. One of my clients, Mrs. M., got started and kept adding different activities to her walking program. She keeps getting fitter because she keeps pushing her limits and does not consider 10,000 steps her only daily goal.
3. You're technology challenged
For non-exercisers who enjoy technology, fitness technology might just be what they need to get moving. For them the technology is instinctive and already part of their world so they barely need to “learn” anything new. If a client of mine is not into technology, an activity tracker might be one more thing to bother with and intimidate, bringing only frustration and adding another obstacle, one more excuse, to avoid exercise. This only brings a feeling of failure that could easily have been avoided. To these people, I always say: “Know and respect yourself. Set yourself up for success and not for failure. Find what works for YOU.”
Success Is In The Eye Of The Habit Maker!
Q: So how can activity trackers help users in the long run?
A: If the devices are used to help create a jumping off point for a new habit.
In the process of adopting technology, the tracker hopefully will make the user more aware of his/her movement behavior (or the lack thereof) and will have been used long enough to help establish a new daily habit. For more information on the anatomy of habits, read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. You will learn about what Duhigg calls the habit loop, made up of cue, routine, and reward.
Cue: activity tracker shows 7,000 steps;
Routine, get up and walk;
Reward, I can post that I hit my 10,000 steps again today.
Once this habit is established and users see and feel the benefits of more movement, chances are they will be able to continue and implement this new healthy way of living in other ways. They will have created an activity habit. That is when a good trainer is key. He or she can propose new activities and exercises that will challenge the client to continue bringing fitness improvements. From an activity habit, the user will transfer to an exercise habit. The rewards becoming more intrinsic (I feel so good!) than extrinsic (post on social media).
The Future of Wearables
Where do we go from here?
More sensitive/flexible trackers - with bio-sensing abilities - are in development. Some already exist like the biometric shirts measuring cardiac and respiratory activities, along with sleep quality, movement, and position. At the time of writing, these are mostly used by elite athletes to optimize their training. These bio-metrics wearables are quite exciting! Still pricey though. It will be interesting to follow the competition within the industry as regular exercisers get curious and start looking into these true wearables.
Is your activity tracker keeping you un-fit? Answering the following simple question is a good way to find out:
Are you satisfied with hitting 10,000 steps a day or do you want to improve your fitness?
“You work out so you can eat whatever you want, right?”
Wrong! I have an eating strategy.
Many of my clients started to keep track of what they were eating/drinking. Some were quite amazed by the amount of calories they were consuming. A lot of empty calories too! If you want to do a reality check, start writing down what you consume. You can use an app like MyFitnessPal or Lose It! if you are into technology. A pen and paper still work. Keep a log for a week. You will find out if you are a weekend indulger and/or a Monday starver. You will see a pattern. Write down the time and how you feel too to get a real snapshot of your eating habits.
With this information, make decisions, and create your eating strategy. Do you want a glass of wine or do you want dessert? Do you really need seconds? Do you need to eat out of a big bowl? How much cheese do you really need? Once you get a grasp of your eating and control your portion sizes, stick to your strategy. It will quiet your mind and make eating more enjoyable and food planning a lot simpler.
But how do you maintain your healthy food intake without feeling like you are always “on a diet?” Always deprived and hungry? You can try my eating strategy. It is called ADD IT!
Change your mindset: make vegetables the stars of your meals. Every day, along with your lean protein, grains and dairy, aim to eat 9 different vegetables. (I eat some fruit too, but mostly veggies.) Be creative. You will see this strategy will leave you truly satisfied. The feeling of deprivation that “dieting” people have will be non-existent. It will be the opposite. You will need to pile it up! All colors, all textures, in soups, salads, on the grill with a little olive oil or steamed. The constant though is that the veggies are prepared in a healthy way. No fried zucchini!
So go ahead. Play with your food and don’t be afraid to do crazy compositions that will truly fuel your active life! You will never be on a diet!
Laziness-based Workouts To Do On Your Own or When the Consistently Unmotivated Can Count On Consistent Laziness To Perform a Lifestyle Change
How many times have you tried to start an exercise program? And nothing worked. It took too much of your time. Your family needed you. You did not have on the right outfit. You could not get out of bed to go to a class, or <insert excuse here>…
You know with your smarts that you have to exercise for your health and wellbeing. So what I am introducing today is the recipe to create a new exercise habit based on your inconsistent motivation, also known as your consistent laziness. (You know you can count on that.)
You will not have to think. You will not have to make a decision. You will not have to self-command. Making decisions is tiring and time consuming. This process will be so simple that your lazy brain will take comfort in finding the path of least resistance. And you will still reap the benefits of exercising.
The human brain is always looking for ways to save efforts. By tapping this powerful resource, you will reach success. It is foolproof. You will create a lazy habit to get in shape. The trick is to get the brain going on automatic.
You have to follow 5 steps to set up your lazy arse program. These are non-negotiable.
1- Get one of our apps. (Sorry to plug my products, but yes, you will need this important tool.) It is $1.99 for tablets and smart phones. (If you prefer to install on a Mac or a PC, download the apps from Amazon for $18.99.) Read the text under Before You Begin.
2- Clear a space large enough to do jumping jacks and fit a mat. Leave the space always clear, no furniture, no plants to move. Make it easy on yourself.
3- Have a yoga mat and hand weights nearby, ready to use (if you purchased our Hand Weight Circuits or Challenging Circuits apps).
4- Have your workout clothes always ready. Always put them back in the same spot after you wash them.
5- Pick a time of day that you will reserve for you. Start with 10-15 minutes. One of the most dependable time is first thing in the morning.
Now that the 5-part set up is completed, go and do not think.
Every other day, start the app at your dedicated time. Look at the first circuit made of 3 exercises. Change the moves and intervals if you want. Select warm-up. Click Begin.
Follow the warm-up and ONLY DO THE FIRST CIRCUIT, 3 times. The movies will play and you will simply have to follow. When you have completed the 3 rounds of the first circuit, click your way to the end of the workout using the Skip button. Reach the screen that says GOOD WORK! This will allow you to unlock new moves. Twice a week do the cool down.
That's it. Do not think. Just show up. The apps will bring you variety and intensity. When you feel the need for a better “afterburner zen feeling” increase to one circuit and a half, then to two circuits, then to three. Your brain will soon crave the rewards you get from exercise.
Even if you do not desire to work out for a longer period of time, 15 minutes every other day is better than nothing at all. You will still reap the benefits from being more active and you will gain strength.