The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!


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3 Easy Ways to Jumpstart Your Health

Drink more waterWhile most people would say that they want to become healthier, as we all know, saying it and doing it are two very different things. It can seem like an insurmountable task at times, especially for those people who might be severely overweight or have an ongoing or chronic medical condition.

The good news is that, after you receive the go-ahead from your health care provider, there are many small ways to begin improving your health, and most of these can be done throughout the course of an average day. Yes, joining a gym or an exercise program is a great way to get started on the road to better health, but it’s not the only way, and for those people who might be intimidated or unsure, having a list of little things can be a big deal.

If you’re ready to partially take the plunge and learn how to improve your health, check out this list for tiny ways to make a huge impact.

1. Drink More Water

It seems so simple, but some might be surprised to know that many people struggle with drinking enough water throughout the day. Perhaps it’s because we’ve gotten used to the strong taste of flavored drinks, but whatever the reason we should all make a conscious effort to hydrate with water over anything else.

Aim to drink 64 ounces of water each day. While this might sound like a lot, it translates into only eight 8-ounce glasses. Add sliced fruit or fresh berries to your water if you’d like a little flavor, just don’t add sugar or other sweeteners.

2. Keep a Movement Diary

Even those who might self-identify as couch potatoes move more in one day than they might think, so it is a great idea to keep a movement diary. Simply jot down the times that you engage in any movement throughout the day. This could be as simple as taking the trash out, or something more intense like walking your dog for 30 minutes.

Now might be a great time to invest in fitness tools like heart rate watches, as well. As you monitor your heart rate you’ll have a better idea of your fitness level, and seeing your heart rate decrease over time can also encourage you to keep going and increase the amount of exercise you do every day or week.

Snack Healthy3. Snack More Often

While it might seem logical to skip or reduce meals during the course of your day to try and lose weight, that can actually have the opposite effect on your health. The human body needs energy in the form of food to keep all of its systems operating, but a bag of chips or a fast food burger is not the best way to accomplish this.

Be sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast, and then plan to have a snack two hours later. This could be as simple as a spoonful of natural peanut or almond butter, a piece of cheese, or a handful of grapes. Then, plan to have another snack after lunch. Again, choose something healthy like a piece of fruit, a slice of whole grain bread, or a cup of yogurt. As your body gets used to being fueled throughout the day you’ll find that you feel better and that you eat less at meal times.

Health and fitness are not a destination but a journey. If you start with small steps that you can increase to big steps over time, you’ll find that the journey becomes more rewarding and a whole lot easier.

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Stay Fit While Working an Office Job

shutterstock_82313836Losing weight and becoming more fit is not an easy task, but it can be especially difficult if you’re stuck behind a desk all day with limited time to exercise. In fact, this is one of the biggest complaints of office workers who want to lose weight and become more physically strong and healthy.

Not only is inactivity a problem, but offices are not exactly known to be bastions of healthy eating. The snacks and sweets that are constantly present and vending machines packed with sugary drinks combine to make maintaining a health regimen particularly difficult. Add to this the fact that sitting all day is certainly not conducive to adequate exercise and you have a recipe for disaster.

Luckily, there are ways to navigate around this sedentary office trap, and here are a few ideas that will help you begin or maintain your fitness journey while working a desk job.

1. Walk as Much as You Can

If you’re busy while you’re at work it can feel counterproductive or downright wrong to get up for a brief walk, but that’s exactly what you should do. If it’s at all possible you should be leaving your desk and moving around at least once per hour, even if it’s just a walk to a colleague’s office or to the coffee machine.

Try to take five or 10 minutes per hour to walk. Make a circuit around the cubicles, or walk up and down the stairs. Not only can this help you get your blood moving and help you feel better, but it can also clear your head and leave you more focused for the next hour of work.

2. Design a Desk Workout Routine

Exercise and workouts don’t have to take place in a gym; they can take place anywhere and at any time. One easy way to ensure that your fitness doesn’t suffer because you work in an office is to design a workout routine that you can complete at your desk. This can be a lifesaver in that, like walking, a mini-workout can help relieve stress and clear your mind.

Bring hand weights to the office and use them while you’re on a phone call. Try an office chair workout for tricep dips and squats, although you may want to close your office door for this one. Also, consider recruiting some of your coworkers to join you. A group is always a great motivator.

shutterstock_2263706083. Rethink Your Route

If you live near your workplace and you drive or take public transport, you are doing yourself a great disservice. If at all possible you should try to walk or bike to work as often as you can.

As with walking during your breaks, walking or biking to work serves double duty. You’ll find yourself energized and relaxed after a walk to the office, and a walk home at the end of the day will help clear your mind of work-related thoughts and help you be more present for the family that is waiting for you at home.

And the fitness benefits of walking aren’t too shabby either.

If you feel that you have to choose between your fitness and your job, these tips can help. Take charge of your health, try some of these exercise tips, and find yourself more energized, both at work and in your personal life.


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4 Healthy Winter Produce for Your Cold Weather Menu

Winter is rough for many reasons. The weather is cold and uninviting, the amount of light diminishes, and we respond to these stressors by binging on carbs, sweets, and other unhealthy foods.cold weather vegetables

So what’s the solution? While much of it centers on maintaining a certain level of self-control and willpower, a portion of the answer may lie at our local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Fresh and healthy produce is not only limited to the spring and summer months. Wintertime harvest offers up a great deal of tasty options that are fresh and healthy.

Revamp your wintertime menu with these healthy and tasty items, and prepare to chase those cold weather blues away.

1. Potatoes

The humble potato is often dismissed outright due to its high level of starch, but these vegetables are not only tasty but they also bring a number of essential vitamins and minerals to the table. Potatoes are high in potassium, folic acid, and magnesium, and even boast a fair amount of protein. The sweet variety boasts a great deal of beta carotene as well. Whether you choose the sweet ones or the plain white kind just eliminate the butter and cream that you might be tempted to add and you have a versatile and healthy dish for your winter table.

Parsnips2. Parsnips

For the uninitiated parsnips might be passed over as slightly anemic carrots, but these long, white veggies offer a vitamin punch and they’re quite tasty as well. They are at their peak during the fall and winter months and come loaded with fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Parsnips lend themselves well to purees and soups, so the possibilities are endless. Some home chefs like to roast the parsnips with some crisp, fall apples until they’re both tender and combine them into a sweet and savory soup. Add some homemade bread and you’ve got a wintertime meal to remember.

3. Squash

Almost everyone is familiar with the most famous of the fall and winter squash — the pumpkin — but this type of winter vegetable comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each has a number of unique aspects, but the health benefits are all very similar.

Squash boasts an impressive amount of beta carotene, as well as fiber and potassium. Additionally, the recipe possibilities using squash are endless. Butternut squash is delicious when baked with olive oil and garlic, and acorn squash that is roasted, cubed, and tossed with radicchio, lentils, and goat cheese results in a wonderful winter salad. Take your pick of any of the squash recipes you come across and you can’t really go wrong.

4. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a strange fruit, but one of the most unusual things about them is the fact that they are harvested in the fall and winter. As one of the oldest-known fruits in the world, they are among the healthiest, as well. While getting the seeds out of the fruit might be quite a task, those seeds are packed with heart-healthy antioxidants and are high in fiber too.

If extracted seeds aren’t your thing, find some fresh pomegranate juice at your local store or farmers’ market. Just make sure it’s sugar free and you can still reap the health benefits.

It’s perfectly normal to want to hibernate during the winter and eat all of those foods that you’ll regret in the spring. However, reach for some of these winter veggies during your next grocery visit and find more to love about the season.


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Change Your Diet to Jumpstart Your Fitness Goals

grocery shoppingSo you’ve made the commitment to become more fit and healthy through exercise! Congratulations! While we certainly don’t want to take anything away from your amazing accomplishments, there might be a few things that you’re missing.

Mainly, your diet.

Changing one’s attitude toward health and fitness is not a quick process; it takes time to make any type of significant change. However, while adding an exercise program to your life is wonderful, you won’t see the results that you want unless you alter your diet as well.

Calorie counting can make a difference, but it can often feel so complicated that people get frustrated and give it up altogether. A better approach to a diet change might be a whole lot easier than you think.

Here are some fantastic suggestions to help you make better and healthier food choices, without giving up all of the things that you love.

Reduce or Change Animal Protein

One of the single greatest hindrances to your diet may be the animal protein that you eat. Beef can be especially crippling to your diet. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that you can never eat steak or a big, juicy burger again; you’ll just want to make different choices.

When you buy beef you’ll want to be aware of the cut that you choose and the part of the animal it comes from. Rib-eye steaks are juicy and rich in flavor, but it’s the high fat content of that particular cut that makes them that way. The next time you buy beef, choose a sirloin tip steak instead of the rib-eye. With a little bit of tasty marinade this cut can taste great and you will save approximately 200 calories and 30 grams of fat per 6 ounce portion.

asian foodThink Asian

Many people who live in countries in Asia enjoy more longevity and a much healthier lifestyle than we do in America. Why is this? Many researchers point to healthier eating habits and greater physical activity as major contributing factors. Before you pack up your suitcase and head to Tokyo, why not incorporate healthier, Asian style food into your menu?

Asian food focuses heavily on vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, often in the form of tofu or fish, and rice. You can combine any or all of these ingredients with some Asian flavors to make a tasty and healthy meal. Sauté your fresh veggies with a little sesame oil and ginger, and add any lean protein of your choice. Chicken or shrimp works well, or you could choose a fried egg. Serve this over a bed or healthy, brown rice and you won’t even miss the potatoes that you might have become accustomed to.

Also, use chopsticks to help you take smaller bites!

When you’ve just started a fitness program it’s important not to skimp on protein. You are trying to build muscle, after all! However, if you choose your proteins more carefully and combine leaner cuts with an abundance of vegetables and healthy carbs, you will feel full and your body will be getting the essential nutrients it needs to get fit.

While it might feel worrisome to think that you’ll never have a rib-eye again, don’t worry. That’s what the occasional cheats are for!