I learned a lot about myself and my body in 2015. These tips originate from my own personal experience this time…not necessarily my clients’.
- Detox, Fast, or Restrict at least once a year. Joey and I did the Daniel Fast with Life.Church for the first time last January. We were amazed by how much better we felt, how much less stinky our toots were, and how our bodies changed. Joey lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks and I lost 2. I gained muscle and lost fat. This type of restriction is not recommended year-round, but it’s important–every now and then–to stiff-arm those harmful, processed foods we can easily become addicted to. When I was hungry, I prayed. It was difficult but life-changing. We’re doing it again now.
- After the Daniel Fast, we continued a few of the healthy eating habits that made the most difference for us. Little to no dairy (we drink coconut milk). No processed bread, buns, or flour tortillas. Only quinoa and other hearty grains/seeds, whole grains and brown rice pastas.
- Work out harder, shorter. I have very little margin in my days. I work out when my clients cancel or before or after work. I make the 20 minutes I have count. Heart rate elevated, slow, concentrated reps. Burn, baby.
- Muscle balance. Do single arms/legs. Work the front and back of your body equally. Find muscle imbalances and correct them because they lead to injury. Don’t just do your favorite exercises. The ones you hate–you probably need them the most. I need to do more of the things that are hard for me so that I can grow. Hire a trainer (come see me at Sky Fitness & Wellbeing!) or take a class to get out of your ruts.
- Get off the elliptical. I’m an elliptical hater…Sorry. Here’s why: a) It obeys you. When you slow down, it slows down without you even having to push a button. You need accountability and the elliptical doesn’t give it to you. b) Who moves like that in real life? I know it was intended for low-impact rehab purposes. But when you walk out those gym doors, you’ll have to step off a curb and walk to your car. Impact. So train in the gym for real life outside of the gym. c) It actually hurts my knees. d) My clients complain that their feet go numb. Unnatural movement pattern. e) I have to be on it for an hour to break a sweat…miserable.
- Eat more protein. I fell in love with protein last year. Particularly Arbonne’s vanilla vegan protein powder. (Chocolate is good too.) If you have found a whey protein powder you love, stick with it. Whey (dairy) bothers my stomach/digestion so I switched to vegan a few years ago. Unlike fat and carbs, the body does not store protein, therefore it has no back up supply when it runs out. Extra protein doesn’t make you healthier or stronger…you simply need enough. An active woman needs 1/2 a gram per pound a day (130 lb. woman needs 65 grams). And since Joey and I don’t eat much meat, and we removed dairy and processed/fortified cereals from our diet, we needed to add some to our daily intake. We drink a green smoothie/protein shake most mornings for breakfast and it keeps us feeling satisfied until lunch. I’ve found that adding chia seeds or extra fiber to our shakes helps us feel fuller even longer. Every time you eat, your body uses energy (calories) to process your food and absorb its nutrients. This is why eating more, smaller meals aids in metabolism. When you eat carbs or fat, the body uses up 5-15% of the calories toward the digestion process. Protein is harder to digest, and requires more like 20-30% of your body’s calories to digest. Be sure you’re getting your protein from good sources, however. An intake of protein from animal and plant sources is ideal and will ensure you get all nine essential amino acids. Your muscles are like sponges for about an hour after your workout. Feed them protein and glycogen (sugar/carbohydrates) within that 30-60 min. window and you’ll help rebuild and repair the muscles you broke down in your killer workout. Less soreness, more muscle definition. Score!
- Make it a habit. Our lives are a collection of habits. The things we eat, places we go, the way we handle stress, the people we surround ourselves with. Make it to the gym or work out at home even on your busiest days. 10 minutes of hard work is better than none…and just by driving to the gym or lacing up your sneakers, you’re reinforcing your habit.
- Find a partner or a team! Joey and I started going to the gym together every Friday morning last year. Sometimes he lets me train him and sometimes he wanders away from me toward the treadmill. 😉 But we’re in it together. Find a way to be active with your spouse. It’s not only good for your body, but your relationship. My most successful clients are those who work out in small groups. The camaraderie and friendly competition they develop helps them continue to show up and work harder than they thought they could.
- Childcare rocks. If you’re a busy mom or dad, do yourself a HUGE favor and find a gym that offers childcare. It’s usually a reasonable fee (cheaper than the price of a babysitter) and we all need a break from each other every now and then. My kids love going to SkyKids! Linger a while in the locker room after your workout; hit up the steam room, or take a shower with eucalyptus shampoo and pretend you’re at the spa.
- Set goals. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Where would you like to be a year from now…and what needs to happen to get you there? Set out clearly defined, measurable goals. Easy tip: choose a pair of jeans you’d like to fit into again and try them on every 2 weeks or so. Jeans don’t lie. 🙂
Here’s to a healthier, progressive, more confident 2016!
If you’re not local to Tulsa, OK and interested in online training with me, go to my online training site for more info! I’d love to help.