Becoming a Morning Exerciser!

If you’re anything like me, when you get home from work all you want to go is plop down on the couch and relax, eat, and either read a book or zone out to a tv show. I am so exhausted after working all day, the last thing on my mind is the gym, even though as I’m reaching for my snack I can hear that little voice in the back of my head nagging me about it. Besides, most nights I barely have time to sit and watch tv anyway…I’m usually running errands or I got home late anyway!

But, I’m the WORST at waking up early enough to go to the gym! I hit the snooze button about 15 times before I get up. I would so much rather have it out of the way in the morning though, not to mention that it gets your energy up and helps burn more calories throughout the day if you get started earlier. So here are some helpful tips to help you become a morning exerciser! I know I need them!

1. Slowly Start Moving Your Bedtime Up – If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it’s pointless to get up early and workout anyway. You will just get fatigued and have low energy. Plus weight gain has been linked to not getting enough sleep. Make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours a night. If you usually go to bed at midnight, don’t just start going to bed at 9 p.m. You’re body will be thrown off. Start gradually going to bed 15 minutes early until you get to your desired time.

2. Determine a Realistic Strategy for Success – Is going to the gym the best option at 6 a.m.? Will you have time to shower or is it easy to bring all of your things to get ready there? Maybe it’s easier to job around your home or there could possibly be a class (like cross fit) closer to your home.

3. Plan to Fail – Have a backup plan. What if it’s pouring rain and you were planning on running outside that day? Do you have a DVD you can use inside? Also, somedays you’re just not going to make it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You can make it up that night!

4. Psych (or Bribe) Yourself Up – Even with 8 hours of sleep, it can be hard to get up early. If you have a treat you crave, maybe once a week you can treat yourself if you make all of your morning workouts. Or buy yourself those shoes you’ve been eyeing if you make it to a month! Rewarding yourself will push you!

5. Build a Motivating A.M. Mix – Never underestimate the power of music to get you moving. Don’t wait til you’re exercising either. Turn it on when you wake up to help get you going.

6. Share Your Plans on Social Media – Don’t post every workout! Your friends will probably delete you! (and we all have those friends) But posting a goal or two will put it in writing and make you feel more pressured to do it! Getting the feedback and support from your friends will be a big help!

7. Prepare for a Painless Pre and Post-Workout – Make your before and after routines as quick and easy as possible. That way if you have to be somewhere (like work or school) you won’t be stressed about getting through your workout or rushed getting ready! Pack a bag the night before so all of your things are ready to go and become a fan of dry shampoo! A pony or braid can hide messy hair if you only have time for a rinse off!

*steps found at www.shape.com

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Cucumber Lemon Water for Detox

BEST Water to Boost Weight Loss

– 2L water, 1 medium cucumber, 1 lemon, 10-12 mint leaves. (can add 1 tspn of freshly grated ginger)

Steep overnight in fridge and drink every day.

The idea for this lemonade came from a health/fitness/nutrition site, where it says that this drink helps maintain a flat belly.

Also great for general detox–including clear skin!

*found on pinterest

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50 Great Running Tips!

Here are 50 awesome running tips if you’re just starting out or as a reminder if you’re not…

I’m really excited to use these because I’m trying to get more motivated to run and get in better shape. I’m also finally trying to do some runs and am signed up for one in August, so here’s hoping I can do it!!!

*found at Health-Freeak.

Running Tips:

  1. Wear spandex shorts under your regular running shorts so you don’t chafe
  2. Cotton socks will only lead to blisters; invest in socks designed for running.
  3. Join your local running club—check with your local running store fitness center and/or recreation department to find one
  4. Find a committed running partner. It is much harder to skip a run when you have someone else depending on you
  5. Remember that- It gets easier.
  6. Accept and appreciate the fact that not every single run can be a good one
  7. Do not compare yourself to others. Run within yourself and for yourself first.
  8. Even a bad run is better then no run at all
  9. If you normally run with music try skipping it and listening to your feet to hear your pace and your gait
  10. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t experience weight loss immediately
  11. Start a running blog, to see your progress and set goals
  12. Hydrate. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day
  13. On long runs eat something every hour—whether you feel like it or not
  14. During longer runs if you don’t like to carry water take some cash in your pocket pouch or a shoe wallet. Run a route where there’s a corner store that you can use as a pit stop to pick up your water and maybe use the bathroom
  15. To aid recovery the most crucial time to eat and drink is in the hour immediately after you run
  16. Use Vaseline or BodyGlide wherever things rub. They will help prevent blisters and chafing
  17. Do not increase your mileage more than 10 percent per week
  18. If you are prone to shin splints and lower leg pain try running soft trails for your Training runs and save the asphalt for race day
  19. Do not run two hard days back-to-back
  20. Ice aches and pains immediately
  21. Pay attention to your form. Try to run lightly to minimize impact that could lead to injury
  22. When running don’t forget the bug spray, sunscreen and a hat- BIG TIME!
  23. Neosporin (or another antibiotic cream) is good for chafed areas
  24. Make sure you cut your toenails short enough so they don’t jam into your Shoes
  25. Be careful about running on paths that force you to run consistently on a slant. It’s hard on the hips knees
  26. Don’t stretch before a run. Warm up by walking briskly or jogging slowly for several minutes
  27. Do not ice for more than 20 minutes at a time
  28. For beginners, set mini goals to keep you motivated. (Can be minutes [run 5, walk 10], run between street lights then walk between street lights, run till the next bus stop, until you pass a car on the street)
  29. Do not use the hot tub after a race. It will increase inflammation and hinder healing
  30. Be aware of cyclists approaching you from behind and try to keep to the right. Try to pay special attention when running with music
  31. Run facing traffic.
  32. Never assume a car sees you
  33. Doubleknot your shoe laces so they will not come undone when you run\
  34. If you listen to music, put earbuds in the go inside your ear, if you are usuing the ones that sit in your ear, it will fall out
  35. Buy yourself some actual running shoes from an actual running store because running in junk “sneakers” will destroy your feet and your legs
  36. At first keep your runs short and slow to avoid injury and soreness so you do not quit.
  37. If you are breathing too hard slow down or walk a bit until you feel comfortable again
  38. Pick your route close to home (out your front door)—the more convenient it is the better chance you will have sticking with it.
  39. Set realistic short term and long term goals
  40. Remember Soreness one to two days after a run is normal (delayed onset muscle soreness).
  41. There’s no shame in walking
  42. Four laps around the local the high school track equals one mile
  43. Vary your training routes. This will prevent boredom and prevent your body from getting acclimated
  44. Push through rough spots by focusing on the sounds of your breath and feet touching the ground
  45. Do abdominal breathing to get rid of side cramps
  46. Run on trails if at all possible. It will be easier on your body and you’ll love it
  47. Dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than the temperature on the thermometer
  48. Run early in the morning or later in evening to avoid mid-day heat
  49. To keep cool in hot weather soak a bandana in cold water wring it out a bit and tie it loosely around your neck
  50. In the winter dress in layers (coolmax or other technical clothing) and wear a headband over your running hat to cover your ears.

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7 Ways to Boost Your Energy

I feel like I’m constantly searching for more energy, especially around this busy time of year because so much is going on. Here are a few ways to help out!
1. Exercise
– It’s the perfect jump start to your day. It boots your brain activity and metabolism. Studies show that working out before breakfast may burn more fat than exercising after you eat.

2. Eat Breakfast
– It will fuel your entire day. It starts your metabolism and keeps it going all day. Oatmeal with nuts and fruit or a scrambled egg with veggies are great combos – packed with protein and fiber to keep you full.
3. Try 5 Mini- Meals a Day
– To keep your metabolism going, opt for three balanced meals and two small snacks in between. Eat every 3 to 4 hours.
4. Drink Lots of Water
– Mild dehydration can lead to fatigue, so drink whenever you’re thirsty. It’s a sign your body needs more water.

5. Get the Right Vitamins
– Good nutrition can help beat fatigue. Get B12 from salmon or lean beef and B6 from bananas, turkey, chicken breast, whole grains, and tuna.
6. Sleep Enough
– You need 7 to 8 hours a night. To get the best rest, “create a routine”, avoid eating too close to bedtime, and wake up at the same time every morning.

7. Go Outside
-To fight an afternoon slump, take a fifteen minute walk after lunch. Exposure to bright light can increase alertness.

Other Tips:
Take a breathing break! Sit up straight in your chair, inhale for 4 counts, hold for 2, then exhale for 4 and hold for 2. Repeat 10 times. It will get your blood flowing.
Up your mood by talking to friends or listening to your favorite music.
– Sniff an energizing scent. Jasmine, peppermint, and citrus are known to be great boosts!

* found in People StyleWatch Magazine
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10 Simple Ways To Cut 100+ Calories

1. Swap 2 regular beers for 2 light ones.
Saves 100 calories.
2. Order thin-crust pizza, not regular.
Saves 151 calories.
3. Take the top off a tuna sandwich on sourdough; add a slice of lowfat swiss cheese; nuke.
Saves 137 calories.
4. Dress salad with 2 tablespoons lowfat balsamic, not Caesar, and add 1 tbsp Parmesan.
Saves 115 calories.
5. Munch on 1 cup air-popped popcorn, not chips.
Saves 123 calories.
6. Exchange a whole egg in your omelet for 1 egg white, and trade full-fat cheddar for lowfat.
Saves 142 calories.
7. Grease pans with cooking spray, not oil.
Saves 100 calories.
8. Enjoy pasta with 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 tbsp parmesan, instead of alfredo.
Saves 101 calories.
9. Have half a bagel instead of a whole one. That leaves room for 1 tbsp PB and 1 cup O.J.
Saves 127 calories.
10. Top fro yo with fresh berries, and skip the chocolate chips and crumbled graham crackers.
Saves 114 calories.

*found in Self Magazine
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Get-Happy Checklist

*Research-backed mood boosters*
Found this list in Glamour and liked it.
– Exercise
Some studies say this is as good as anti-depressants, due to the endorsements it releases.
-Eat Breakfast
Prevents grumpiness and helps you preform.
-Speak up
Enhances self-confidence and shuts down feelings of helplessness.
-Do Less
Sometimes it’s just nice to take time to be.
-Focus on Making Memories
57% of people found that they were happier when they spent money on an experience like a vacation, rather than buying stuff.
-Go Outside
Pretty self explanatory.
-Hug It Out
Physical affection is critical in your life. Power of touch.
-Face Your Challenges
Actually do things on your to-do list. The more you put things off, the more anxious you’ll feel about them.
– Say Something Nice
Making someone else happy usually transfer back to you.
– Be Grateful
Writing down the things you’re grateful for helps you focus on the good things in your life.
– Set a Smart Bedtime
You’ll recharge your body and mind for the next day.
– Savor Your Snapshots
Putting up pictures helps you remember good times and good friends.
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Sleeping and Dieting

In Allure Magazine, there was an article about a study done comparing sleeping and dieting. I thought it was kind of interesting.
55% less body fat was lost by dieters who slept 5.5 hours per night versus 8.5 hours.

Apparently, sleep deprivation is associated with increased body fat even when you’re dieting. Volunteers slept 8.5 hours a per night over two week sessions and then slept 5.5 hours per night in another. During the day their diet and activity were controlled. When they got less sleep they lost less fat mass (1.3 pounds compared to 3), were hungrier, and had high levels of ghrelin, which is an appetite-stimulating hormone. A professor at University of Chicago said these people will also have a harder time keeping weight off because their metabolism was slowing down due to lean muscle loss.

SO…moral of the story, sleep more…you’ll lose more fat if you’re dieting and you’re less likely to cheat!
Plus you’ll probably just be happier 🙂
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