Who among us doesn't wish there were more hours to a day? Job, family, friends, activities — all of that can cut into exercise time.
You're going to have to get creative to fit in consistent physical activity if you're stressed for time. But by making even slight changes to your daily routine, you can burn more calories and even improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength.
1. Take the Stairs
Well, this one isn't quite so lazy, but it's simple. If you have to choose between the stairs and the elevator to get to your office, opt for the stairs. Research has shown that climbing a normal public access staircase — without even breaking a sweat — will meet the minimum requirement for getting cardiovascular benefit. Yes, it might take a few extra minutes to reach your office, but your body will thank you.
2. Park Farther Away
Studies have shown that walking 10,000 steps each day has many health benefits — including weight loss — and one great way to add steps to your daily total is by parking your car an extra distance from your workplace.
3. Stand Up
There's plenty of evidence that points to the detrimental effects of sitting for long periods of time. That's scary when you consider how many people have sedentary jobs, and that makes it even more important to stand up and move around whenever possible. Just think about your posture! Even grabbing a cup of coffee in the break room can help break up the sedentary moments.
4. Drink More Water
By now you've undoubtedly heard the virtues of drinking water when it comes to your overall wellness and health. Because we often mistake thirst for hunger, upping your water intake will help keep you feel more full and your hunger at bay. Instead of eating an unhealthy snack, drink water instead. Infuse it with some lemon or mint to make it more interesting.
5. Make Your Meetings Mobile
Why not take your next brainstorming session or meeting with colleagues on the go? So, join together and add to your daily step count while tackling some of those many issues at work.
6. Eat Healthy Snacks
Eating too little during the day can slow down your body's metabolism and cause it to conserve energy by burning less calories. Feed your body with calorie-burning fuel by munching on healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, yogurt and veggies every few hours. You'll prevent your body from getting overly hungry and yourself from overdoing it during meals later in the day.
Ralph Roberts is a nationally certified personal trainer who can help you reach all of your fitness goals. Contact Ralph today to schedule a free personal training session.
Too busy to get to the gym? Take your workout home with Ralph Roberts Training's FREE At-Home Workout eBook!
The primary reason people are unable to lose weight is hunger control problems. When you deprive yourself of calories, you may experience intense cravings, hunger pains and ongoing fatigue, which makes it difficult to stick to a new diet.
The following tips will help you keep your appetite in check to start shedding pounds. And none of them involve starving yourself!
1. Don't Skip Meals
Aim to eat three square meals per day, plus one snack. Plan and space out your meals so you're never going more than four hours without eating. Sticking to a regular meal schedule helps regulate your blood sugar level and hunger hormones.
Make sure to eat a hearty breakfast to decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin to keep yourself satisfied until lunchtime.
2. Don't Restrict Carbs — Too Much
A diet that is high in protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates, and low in fat will satiate you with far fewer calories than a high-fat diet. Basing meals around whole grains and a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables will provide you with ample sources of key vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
When choosing carbohydrates, opt for low glycemic or unprocessed over high glycemic or processed carbohydrates whenever possible. Low glycemic carbohydrates include legumes, nuts, pasta, rice, sweet potatoes, and certain types of fruits and dairy products.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Eating lots of fibrous fruits and vegetables improves digestion and helps you feel more full. Incorporate more apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, beets, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, and artichokes into your weekly menus.
4. Watch Your Snacking
When you're really hungry and it isn't time for your next meal, it may be tempting to grab the first item you find or to binge on junk food. People often snack because they're bored or restless. If your stomach isn't growling and it hasn't been less than three hours since your last meal, most likely there is a reason besides hunger that you want to snack.
When you absolutely can't handle your stomach pangs any more, grab a healthy snack, like one of these.
5. Drink Plenty Of Water
In many instances, when it seems like your body is telling you it's hungry, you're actually dehydrated. Pour yourself a glass of water or seltzer to help resist the urge to snack. If you have trouble drinking large quantities of plain water, add a lemon or lime slice or a fresh sprig of mint or cilantro. Make sure to drink water with every meal and keep a water bottle with you while you're on the go.
Ralph Roberts is a nationally certified personal trainer who offers individual training, group training, sports training, and customized workout plans. If you're struggling with weight loss, contact Ralph Roberts Training today! Ralph will work with you to design a proper diet aligned with your weight loss goals.
Need some help at the grocery store picking out healthy food? Use Ralph Roberts Training's 10 Healthy Foods To Always Have On Hand!
With school back in session, it’s time to think about what your child’s eating for lunch.
Packing a school lunch seems like a simple enough task, but trying to send your kids to school with healthy food they’ll actually eat is challenging.
Here are five surefire ways to pack a healthy school lunch that keeps your kid’s nutrition on track.
1. Don’t Overdo It
Parents tend to pack too much in lunch boxes, like crackers, fruit, chips, and a sweet treat. The bad thing about this is that more than likely, your kid will fill up on all the snacks and not eat their protein-filled main entree.
Instead of sending extra food with your child, think about their eating habits at home. If they don't usually finish a whole sandwich, for example, only send half.
2. Remember Protein
It’s not always easy to pack protein to go. The source has to be something that won’t spoil during the day and will still taste good by lunchtime.
Of course, sandwiches are a good option for the entree if you make them with high-quality meats, but consider adding protein-rich snacks, like yogurt and granola bars.
3. Incorporate Veggies
Your kid won’t even eat vegetables at home. How are you supposed to make them eat their greens when they're away from you?
Try to find at least one veggie your child will tolerate, and then do something fun with it. Add peanut butter or a yummy dressing for dipping, make shapes out of it, or research some other unique ideas for getting kids to eat their veggies.
4. Plan Dinner
A major mistake many parents make when packing school lunches is forgetting to think about what they’ll serve for dinner that evening. But this is crucial to making sure your child maintains a well-balanced diet.
For instance, if you’re having spaghetti for dinner — which is high in carbohydrates — try to limit the amount of carbs you pack in your kid’s lunch.
5. Avoid Processed Products
It’s tempting to stock up on ready-made processed foods that are marketed toward kids. After all, it’s easy to toss a few of these conveniently packaged snacks into your child’s lunchbox and be done with it. And with many of them claiming to provide all the nutrition kids need, why not?
Most of these foods contain high levels of sodium, sugar, and additives. Instead of opting for the easy way out, choose fresh fruits and other healthy alternatives.
To learn more about keeping your kids healthy, reach out to fitness pro and personal trainer Ralph Roberts and be sure to use Ralph Roberts Training's free healthy shopping list!
Unless you work out for a living, you likely have a limited number of hours to devote to working out each week.
Regardless of the amount of time you devote to exercise, it's tough to figure out how to split your time to maximize results.
For most people, working out three to five days a week is ideal if your goal is to improve your fitness and stay in shape.
If you're used to a very active lifestyle and work out six days a week, you can stick to six days. Otherwise, you don't need to push past five.
For a five-day workout, plan on three days for strength training, two days for cardio training, and then two days of active rest.
Strength train up to three times per week, with each session lasting between 45 and 60 minutes. Allow time for foam rolling and a five-minute warm-up as well. Warm-up exercises allow you to work on coordination with patterns (i.e. crawling) and non-linear movements.
Don't stress about going too hard on the machines; dumbbells, kettlebells and bodyweight moves (i.e. squats) are also great strength training workouts.
Cardio train up to two times per week for a total of 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity per week. Cardio helps you maintain endurance and keeps your circulatory system working at its full capacity. The type of training you're doing will dictate how you split up that time. Your heart rate and the length of the exercise determine whether or not an activity is cardio.
Active Rest Days
An active rest day means not hitting the machines at the gym or taking a long run but still doing something to get yourself moving, such as walking or restorative yoga. Aim for two active rest days per week with a 30-60 minute activity per rest day. Some people like to take off the whole weekend while other people prefer to break up the weekly routine.
Ralph Roberts Training helps clients determine the best number of days to work out per week and advises specific routines for each day at the gym. Contact Ralph Roberts today to get a comprehensive workout in line with your fitness and overall health goals.
Don't have time to hit the gym? Get your workout in at home by downloading Ralph Roberts Training's FREE eBook, 2 Weeks of At-Home Workouts!
Do you remember the days when parents sent their kids outside and told them to come back home when the sun went down?
Life seemed so much better and simpler back then. Nowadays, most kids are hooked on video games, TV shows, movies, computers and smartphones.
I know for me, as well as my kids, sports are a very important part of our lives.
It's difficult to separate our youngsters from their screens and get them involved in physical activities. Follow this advice and you just might get your child, tween or teen off the couch and onto the field of play.
Make Exercise Fun
Too many parents and coaches take youth sports more seriously than the kids who actually engage in such competitions. Do not attempt to live vicariously through your child. Let him try out an array of sports that pique his interest and settle on those that provide him with the most enjoyable experiences. If your child lacks athletic ability or shows no interest in sports, don't give up. Encourage him to hike, jog, sprint, swim or bike. Removing sports' competitive element just might be enough to get him off the couch and onto his feet.
Restrict Screen Time
Plenty of parents let their kids play video games and watch TV for several hours a day. Make your child set a timer every time he turns on his video game or sits down for some TV watching. Allow him a single hour per screen session. Once the timer goes off, it is time to head outside for some exercise. If he spends an hour outdoors exercising, consider rewarding him with an extra half-hour of screen-time.
Be A Supporter, Not A Critic
Though the best parents do not consider themselves to be their child's friend, they still lend support. A screen-addicted child should not be lambasted for his laziness.
Set an example by getting your own rear end off the couch and outdoors for some physical activity. Teach your child how to play a sport, spend time practicing athletics with him and praise him for his fitness accomplishments. The key is to surround the sports experience with positive feelings, thoughts and reinforcement to increase the odds of him sticking with the activity for the long haul.
Sports Are About The Experience, Not The Score
Couch potato kids usually lack athletic ability. Don't let your child's lack of talent cause a bad attitude. Make it perfectly clear that the point of engaging in sports is to build one's health and establish friendships rather than winning the game by a large margin.
Are you on the prowl for the perfect workout routine for yourself or your child? Ralph Roberts Training is here to help. We offer baseball training for kids as well as other fitness activities. Reach out and we'll get the ball rolling on an exercise routine that is uniquely tailored to your (or your child's physical fitness goals.
The number of people with food sensitivities is growing day-by-day. Though no one is exactly sure why food allergies are on the rise, these individuals have access to an ever-growing number of tasty meals that won't send them running to the bathroom. Let's take a look at some of the yummiest desserts that are dairy-free as well as gluten-free.
Amaretto Cocoa Cake
Though the official title of this recipe is Amaretto Chocolate Cream Cake, it does not contain traditional chocolate or cream. As a result, it is vegan and surprisingly tasty. It features amaretto for a nutty and savory flavor that will have you coming back for more. The crust uses pitted dates and raw almonds. The filling is made of cashews, raw cacao powder, coconut oil and a handful of other ingredients you probably have in your kitchen cupboards. You'll need a food processor, a cake tin and a spatula to make this delicious dessert.
These lovely little truffles look just as good as they taste. They aren't loaded with sugar yet they still hit the spot. If you have never made truffles, this is the perfect opportunity to enhance your baking skills. The best part is this recipe is loaded with protein-packed nuts so you won't feel too guilty about indulging.
Lemon Cashew Tarts
This is the perfect summer or autumn dessert. It won't weigh you down and it tastes quite refreshing. Furthermore, these lemon tarts look amazing. They're colorful, bright and cheery. The cream is primarily made with cashews, coconut nectar, coconut oil and lemon juice. The crust is a combination of dates, almonds, salt and vanilla extract. Click here for the full recipe.
Most people assume all brownies have eggs. Substitute in some gluten-free flour for this recipe and you'll have some amazing brownies for dessert. Or, grab a box of brownie mix from your local supermarket and substitute canned pumpkin puree for the eggs. That's all you'll need for vegan and gluten-free brownies.
Simply combine the brownie mix with a can of pumpkin puree in a large bowl, thoroughly mix them together and transfer the result to a brownie pan. Follow the brownie box's directions in terms of cooking temperature and time and you'll have ready-to-eat pumpkin brownies.
Once you treat yourself to one of the tasty desserts outlined above, your thoughts will likely shift to how you will burn off the fat. Ally with Ralph Roberts Training and you won't have to worry about shedding those extra pounds. Ralph will devise a workout regimen customized to suit your unique physical fitness needs and goals. Reach out today to learn more.
Wondering what healthy foods you should always have on hand! Print off Ralph Roberts Training's Grocery List! *Adjust to fit your diet.
Most of us have reached a point in our exercise and fitness regimen in which the pounds don't come off like they used to. It's known as a plateau, but it could be more than that, specifically, your body's metabolism.
Your metabolism can slow naturally as you age, but it can also be caused by heredity, body composition, and even thyroid issues. A slower metabolism means you don't burn calories as quickly or as efficiently as before. But there are ways to fight back.
What Is Your Metabolism?
Each person's metabolic rate determines the amount of energy or calories, that's needed to maintain your body weight. The elements involved in your body's metabolism include the effects of food and physical activity.
How To Beat A Slow Metabolism
Our bodies use fat, protein and carbohydrates for energy production and to repair damaged tissues. We must force the body to use more fat — particularly stored fat — and less proteins and carbohydrates to lose or maintain our body weight. There are a variety of things you can do, including adding muscles, increasing physical activity and adjusting your diet to fight slow metabolism.
You can change your body's metabolic rate by doing exercise that add muscle, such as free weights, resistance bands and weight machines, or by doing body-resistance exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups. Do these exercises at least twice a week while making sure to work all of your big muscle groups during each workout. To gain the most benefit, muscle-building exercises should be done to the point where it's extremely difficult for you to do one final repetition.
Increasing Your Physical Activity
Being more physically active can help speed up your metabolic rate. It could range from a brisk 30-minute walk, a game of pickup basketball, swimming laps and much more. You can also boost your metabolism by burning calories while doing your usual routines, whether it's standing to type emails or pacing when you talk on the phone.
Additionally, choose to use the stairs rather than the elevator and park farther from your workplace or other destination to increase your daily step count.
Adjusting Your Diet
One common misconception is that you have to slash your caloric intake to lose weight when, in truth, not eating eating enough calories will slow your metabolic rate. Of course, eating a healthy diet is important, but studies have shown that not eating enough calories can slow your metabolism by 30 percent. Several smaller meals a day can be more effective.
Do you need help reaching your weight loss goals? Contact Ralph Roberts Training for a free training session!
Back to school means hectic mornings, busy afternoons and very little down time. As a mom, you’re likely responsible for getting the kids to and from school, making sure they’re fed each day, handling homework and extracurricular activities.
Just thinking about it probably stresses you out. But keeping calm is not only good for your own health and sanity, but it also helps your children stave off anxiety about a new school year.
Here are some ideas on maintaining a peaceful home atmosphere in the midst of back-to-school chaos.
1. Stay Positive
Stress isn’t a result of all the things you have to do; it’s a result of your thoughts about those things. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths, go for a walk and remind yourself that you’re only human.
Additionally, when your kids express negative feelings about going back to school, respond with only positive things. Maybe a silly story about your own school days or a reminder of something fun they get to do in school.
2. Organize Your Life
The biggest cause of stress is being unorganized, feeling like everything is coming at you at once. Find ways to organize that makes sense for your family. One idea is to keep a calendar in a spot everyone sees daily, and write down all activities, school projects, etc.
Another way to get organized in your home is to prepare ahead of time. For example, pack lunches and pick out clothes each night for the following day. Meal plan every Sunday so that you know what you need to get at the grocery store and what you’ll have for dinner every day. This cuts down on the stress of figuring out dinner when you’re already pushed for time.
3. Ask for Help and Say No
Moms have a tendency to overdo. They think they should be able to take on the world and do everything — volunteering, career, housework, social life, etc. But it’s just not possible. The sooner you realize this the sooner you’ll be able to breathe.
It’s OK to say no sometimes. Don’t take on more than you can handle. And remember it takes a village. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help around the house and your friends for help outside the home.
4. Practice Self-Care
As a mother, you give and give. But if you’re not replenishing yourself, you’ll have nothing left to give. Find what makes you happy and schedule it into your day—whether it’s going for a run, taking a bath, or reading.
If you're too busy to hit the gym, contact Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts. Ralph Roberts Training can create custom workouts you can do at home or on the go.
You can also download Ralph Roberts Training's FREE At-Home Workouts eBook!
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