The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!


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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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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!


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How Smart Cardio Can Help You Meet Your Weight-Loss Goals

feet on scaleFor many people who are working to achieve fitness goals, cardio workouts inspire intense love/hate relationships. Cardio workouts can be time consuming and monotonous, and after the initial weight loss you may be frustrated when you quickly hit a plateau.

Fitness experts keep saying that cardio is an integral part of a workout routine, but they are also quick to describe all of the ways that we’re doing our cardio wrong. The frequency and duration of cardio workouts, it turns out, are not as important as the intensity.

That’s right, intensity.

It might come as something of a blow to those of us that think an hour on the treadmill while watching cat videos on YouTube counts as cardio. If that statement sounds familiar, read on to learn how you can maximize your cardio workouts and achieve your fitness goals much more quickly.

Map Your Workouts

If you feel like you’re stuck in a cardio rut, don’t despair. You’re not alone. Many people feel quite comfortable in their cardio routine without realizing that they’re likely sabotaging some of their fitness goals.

Start keeping track of your cardio exercises. If you’re running, walking, or cycling, make a note of the distance traveled and the time that you spent doing it. Then decipher your miles per hour rate. Experts say that traveling three miles over the course of an hour each day is the amount of exercise needed to maintain the weight of an average woman. Surely we can do better than that.

Many people use heart rate monitors while they map workouts, as well. Keeping track of your heart rate while you exercise can provide you with important information that will help you move on to more intense workouts.

running at sunriseIncrease the Intensity

Most experts agree that intensity is the key to a successful cardio workout. The human body is uniquely capable of adapting very quickly to exercise. While you might think that your current walking or running routine is sufficient, your body says otherwise with a decline in weight loss.

Start slowly in the beginning but focus on pushing yourself each time you walk, run, or cycle. Alternate your current pace with bursts of speed and lengthen the duration of those bursts over time. For instance, if you would describe the intensity of your workout as a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, try to reach a 5 on the intensity scale for one minute out of each ten minutes that you’re exercising. When that pace begins to feel comfortable, it’s time to move up again.

Experts also advise that you consider varying your cardio workouts. For instance, if you’re a runner you should try cycling once or twice a week to challenge your body and its metabolism.

Cardiovascular fitness is important for overall health and it can be a powerful weight loss tool as well, if done properly. Get a clear picture of your current workouts by keeping notes and using a heart rate monitor, then focus on increasing the intensity of those workouts over time. Before you know it you’ll be stronger, more fit, and much closer to meeting your weight loss goals.