There's always something competing for your time — work, family, school, and a myriad of other obligations. That's why finding time to work out can be a challenge, but you still want to exercise enough to see results.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advised adults to get no fewer than three days of physical activity a week.
And the three-days-a-week plan fits nicely into many people's busy schedules. The question, however, is it actually enough?
What Are Your Fitness Goals?
Defining your goals and objectives is important before you begin any workout program. For most people who want to improve their fitness and stay in shape over the long-term, three to five days of exercise a week can be sufficient, depending on the intensity of workouts.
If you're used to a more active lifestyle, then five to six days a week might produce better results for you.
How Much Is Enough?
It's been shown that adults reap more benefits when they exercise at moderate intensity for a minimum of 150 minutes a week. But benefits also hinge on the intensity of your workout: vigorous exercise (such as running) provides health benefits that are comparable to moderate exercise in half the amount of time.
In other words, if you work out out three times a week, aim for 50 minutes of moderate activity, or 25 minutes of vigorous activity, per workout.
Health benefits increase when you exercise more than three days — or 150 minutes — per week, however, as well as when you up your intensity from moderate to vigorous.
What’s Most Effective For Weight Loss And Overall Health?
Studies from the American Council on Exercise show that people who most successfully kept weight off after losing a significant amount were those who worked out at for at least an hour a day, five days a week. This also included other lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet.
Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society recommends 45 to 50 minutes of exercise five times a week to lower your breast cancer risk.
Exercising 300 minutes a week, as you would working out five to six times per week, definitely requires dedication and a time commitment. But it's still effective if you break it up into 10-minute sessions of moderate to vigorous exercise.
What's considered moderate to vigorous exercise? Any type of exercise in which your heart beat is raised and your breathing becomes harder.
A certified professional trainer like Ralph Roberts will help you find a fitness program that best suits you, your budget and your schedule. Contact Ralph Roberts Training today to learn more about how we can help you can become the healthiest version of you!
The holidays are about many positive things - family, friends, fun activities. But they're also full of sugar, which is great for the taste buds but not so great for your diet.
It's hard to avoid the sugar-coated, tasty treats this time of the year, even with the knowledge that sugar consumption has been linked to a variety of health issues such as heart disease, obesity, mood disorders, and more.
Here are some tips to help you avoid going on a sugar bender this holiday season.
Let Others Know
Telling people that you're limiting your sugar consumption sets an expectation while also limiting any hurt feelings that occur when you decline someone's favorite holiday treat.
Avoid Fast Food
The reasons why fast food will ruin your diet are well-documented, including that most of its choices are loaded with sugar. It's easy to fall into the fast food trap when you're out Christmas shopping, but look for healthier alternatives instead.
Reach For Water Instead
Sugar cravings can easily arise when you're around so many sweets. But instead of caving, drink a big glass of water instead. It will help fill you up and the nice dose of hydration will make you feel stronger and more in the moment.
Skip The Juice
Studies have shown that juice isn't necessary for anyone's diet and can even be compared to drinking soda (which also wreaks havoc on your diet). Juice is simply liquid calories and contains no fiber. Instead, flavor your water by adding sliced fruit or by freezing berries into ice cubes.
Use Natural Sweeteners
If your main goal is to cut out refined sugar, then consider using natural sweeteners for your coffee, tea, and yogurt. Honey, stevia, and agave nectar are great alternatives.
Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
The holidays can also present many situations in which alcohol is prevalent. Alcohol is not only high in sugar but it can also weaken your resolve and cause you to indulge in those sweets that you're trying to avoid.
You may not be able to avoid making cookies and candies, especially if you're counted on to bring treats to holiday gatherings, school functions, office parties, etc. But if you don't have to, don't. You'll eliminate the temptation of sampling your own delicious creations.
Maintain Your Normal Diet
You may think that scrimping on a meal in anticipation of a special treat or bigger meal is OK. But maintaining a balanced diet will keep your blood sugar - and sugar cravings - under control.
A personal trainer like Ralph Roberts will help you combine nutrition and fitness to achieve your wellness goals. Get a free personal training session and see for yourself!
There's nothing quite like a hearty bowl of soup to warm you up when the temperatures turn cold. Better yet, you don't have to sacrifice your healthy eating habits for something that tastes so good.
The following soups not only taste like comfort food, they're packed with healthy ingredients that enable you to indulge without feeling guilty.
New England Chowder
If you love chowder but are concerned with the calories, this recipe from Good Housekeeping is for you. It's made with low-fat milk and potatoes to keep it rich and velvety. Better yet, it tastes so good you won't even realize that it's healthy.
This soup takes all of 20 minutes to prepare and will provide a piping-hot meal that's tastes a lot better than the canned stuff. This recipe from Good Housekeeping includes heart-healthy pumpkin seeds and protein-packed quinoa.
Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Soup
Put this soup's ingredients in the slow cooker before you leave for work and then come home to a hearty, steamy pot of soup. The Good Housekeeping recipe is packed with 40 grams of protein.
Mushroom and Barley Soup
This warming mushroom and barley soup recipe from Shape Magazine consists of easy-to-find ingredients, including nutty grains of barley that give it a chewy texture. It's packed with vegetables to ensure that it remains a low-cal treat.
Savory Pumpkin and Sage Soup
Pumpkin is more than just material for a jack-o-lantern; it's also loaded with health benefits. This pumpkin and sage soup from Good Housekeeping has a silky, savory feel that's perfect for either a meal starter or as a main dish.
Chipotle Lentil Chili
There's nothing quite like a fiery chili during the winter months. This chili featured in Good Housekeeping fits the bill while being vegetarian and it's packed with 19 grams of protein (as well as 18 grams of fiber). It's prepared in a pressure cooker and will be ready in just 15 minutes.
Chicken, Zucchini, and Potato Soup
You won't have worry about not getting filled up with this hearty stew-like recipe from Shape Magazine, as it contains hefty chunks of chicken breast, potato, and zucchini. The medley of vegetables combined with a sprinkle of nutmeg make it as flavorful as it is filling. You can even add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt if you so desire.
Turkey Rice Soup
This Shape Magazine savory soup is a healthy way to utilize holiday leftovers. It combines frozen mixed vegetables with canned low-sodium chicken broth - which cuts down on prep time without sacrificing flavor.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts will help you meet all of your fitness and wellness goals. Contact Ralph today to learn more about how can guide you on your journey to good health!
Daylight Saving Time has officially ended. With it getting darker earlier, your motivation to workout may begin to dwindle.
It’s difficult to get going when you have few, if any, daylight hours to exercise. With that in mind, we compiled a list of helpful tips to keep you moving all year.
Keeping Your Motivation High Year-Round
Working out regularly takes dedication, perseverance and time. This is never truer than during the colder months of the year when there’s little daylight in your free time.
Here are five ways to stay motivated.
1. Make It A Family Activity
Just because it’s dark out doesn’t mean your family can’t get in some fitness time together. If the street you live on is well-lit, then bundle up and go for an evening walk. If that’s not a safe option, consider playing a game of tag in your own yard using flashlights for fun.
2. Have An Accountability Partner
It’s much easier to stay dedicated when there’s someone counting on you. Consider meeting a friend a few mornings each week at a well-lit track for a jog. Or maybe video chat while doing an indoor workout together.
3. Bring It Inside
If it’s simply too cold or too dark to exercise outside, find ways to stay active indoors. This is easy if you own gym equipment. But if not, join a gym or invest in some exercise programs that can be done any time of year no matter the weather.
4. Take A Lunch Break
Why not use your lunch hour at work to fit in exercise? Instead of simply eating at your desk through your break or going out to lunch with coworkers, spend half your lunch break walking or jogging around your office building. This gives you the chance to take in some fresh air and sunshine when you otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity.
5. Choose Active Alternatives
A simple way to stay fit during the winter months is to make minor adjustments to your everyday routine. For example, take the steps at work instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the store when you go shopping. Take stretching breaks at least every hour at work to avoid sitting for prolonged periods.
Making small changes like these may not seem like a big deal, but it drastically impacts your health.
Work With A Personal Trainer
One of the most effective methods for getting (and staying) in shape any time of year is to work with a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts is a certified trainer who offers individual, group, and sports training as well as customized workout plans. Contact Ralph Roberts Training today to get a free training session!
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