Are you drinking enough water?
How does not drinking enough water affect your body?
Are you dehydrated? While many people will say they are not, statistics say otherwise: it estimated over 1 million people in North America show signs of dehydration.
The human body is composed primarily of water, so it is essential a person get adequate amounts of water to keep the body regulated and working properly. Unfortunately, not everyone drinks the recommended 8-10 glasses of water daily as they should. As a result, they may be experiencing symptoms of dehydration.
Top Signs of Dehydration
While thirst is the primary sign of dehydration, it is not the only one. A person may not feel thirsty but still have one or more of the following signs of dehydration:
Heat stroke/heat exhaustion. Water helps keep the body cool, and a lack of water can increase the risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, especially when exercising in hot environments.
Constipation. Water is needed for digestion, which is essential for bowel movements. A person who is dehydrated may have difficulty moving their bowels.
Muscle cramps. Water keeps the muscles relaxed and fluid. A lack of water can cause muscle spasms, especially in the calf and abdomen.
Lightheaded. Dehydration can cause a person’s blood pressure to drop, which can cause lightheadedness if they stand up too quickly.
Increased heart rate. When a person is dehydrated, their electrolyte levels may decrease, which can cause heart palpitations. Urine is dark yellow. If a person is drinking enough water, their urine is pale yellow. When a person is dehydrated, the kidneys are attempting to store water instead of releasing it through urine, causing the urine to be darker in color.
Fatigue. Dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure and blood flow, which can cause fatigue.
A person can experience any of these symptoms and not realize they are caused by dehydration.
The Top Causes of Dehydration
There are many other potential causes of dehydration: • Thirst • Diabetes • Exercise • Pregnancy • Alcohol • High altitudes • Breastfeeding • High sodium diet • Stress • Irritable Bowel Syndrome • Diarrhea • Menstrual cycles • Soda, caffeine and sugary drinks
A person should consider drinking an extra glass of water (or 2) daily if they exhibit any of these characteristics or symptoms.
Top Hydrating Foods
There are many foods that have a high water content. In addition to drinking water, eating the fruits and veggies listed below can help a person stay hydrated:
Fruit Water Content by Percentage
• 90% and above: watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit
• 85%- 89%: raspberries, pineapples, plums, peaches, oranges, cranberries, apricots, blueberries
• 80%-84%: apples, cherries, grapes, pears
Vegetable Water Content by Percentage
• 90% and above: iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet peppers, spinach, romaine lettuce
• 85%-89%: Carrots, winter squash, parsley, hot peppers, kale, Brussel sprouts
• 80%-84%: green peas, artichoke, leek
Signs of dehydration can appear in many forms. Making an effort to drink water daily and eat foods high in water content can go a long way in keeping a person healthy and hydrated.
What do you wear/bring to Zumba?
I like Ryka shoes. They know how to support a dancer's moves.
Shoes: When it comes to shoes for Zumba, it's very important to wear the right type of fitness sneaker. There are so many different types out there.. how do you narrow down to what's right? The main consideration is that Zumba is an activity that uses dynamic full-range motion, asking your feet to move in all types of directions and movements.. lateral, forward/backward, pivots, twists, bounces, up on your toes and balls of your feet, slides, jumps and more. You need a sneaker that supports you, doesn't fight against this movement, while also giving you adequate shock absorption. Since there is a lot of pivoting and twisting in Zumba moves, so you'll want a pair of shoes that isn't designed to have death grip on the floor, fighting your movement and adding stress on your joints over time. Running shoes are designed to grip the ground and help propel you in one direction: forward. That makes total sense for running.. but not for Zumba. What I admire about Ryka shoes is that the exterior sole is designed to allow for pivots while not being slippery. They are designed to support, have models with large toe boxes (which I personally like so my toes aren't cramped) and come in a variety of styles and colors. I've even ordered shoes from ryka.com and have had them replaced free of charge if there was any unreasonable wear and tear. They are that interested in product feedback and development. Also, I personally take out the factory insole of all my Zumba shoes and buy an athlete level gel insert (not the hard/stiff kind made by super feet) to give your feet the additional shock absorption they need to help avoid injury. I personally rely on the Sofsole Airr gel insoles (found on Amazon.com or Sports Authority). Injury to joints will take you temporarily away from Zumba... a very tough reality to stomach once you've injected the joy of Zumba into your life! I have also heard positive things about zumba.com shoes. I have tried them with mixed results, but since not all feet are shaped equally, I suggest trying different brands/types. And no, I get no compensation from any of these companies.. I just like them and want you to avoid injury.
Clothing: You don't need to spend a lot of money to be outfitted for Zumba. Wear what you would typically wear for a higher impact workout... like jogging, for example. You don't want to be too constricted in your movements... just well supported. A sports bra is highly recommended. When I first started, I chose to spend money on the right shoes before I spent money on Zumba "fashion". Once you get some Zumba classes under your belt, you'll have a good idea of articles of clothing you may want to invest in. Nowadays, there are many places to shop... from Lucy and Lululemon to Target and Kohl's... to buying Zumbawear online or thru an instructor... it's all good... be comfortable and plan to get sweaty! Interested in fun licensed Zumbawear? Ask me... I can probably get you some cool threads with an additional discount on www.zumba.com!
Water: Yes! Bring a sportsbottle of some type filled with much-needed water! A must-have item. I use and love the Camelback brand bottles that I bought at Target.
Handtowel: If your gym doesn't already provide one, bring a small handtowel with you. You may not start off the class sweaty, but you likely won't stay that way! I've often needed my towel to dry my dancefloor area off... slipping = not fun.
What else should you bring? A smile... :)
Nutrition: Eat your vegetables...
Farm-fresh to your table at home.
If you're looking to increase you and your family's healthy eating options... here's an idea for a convenient way to get ultra fresh produce straight from a local farm. Check out your local farm's CSA (community supported agriculture) program. For example, located nearby in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, CA... Singing Frogs Farm and Tusque Farms grow the highest quality seasonal organic veggies and fruit, as well as eggs and other goods. Visit www.singingfrogsfarm.com. ThIS are examples of a rather traditional CSA. For a weekly fee, CSA members receive a bountiful bag full of the freshest, most delicious, nutritious, seasonal vegetables that they are able to grow. Members can pay monthly or they are welcome to pay for the entire season up front. In appreciation for their support and foresight, they may reward those who pay for the entire season with discounts. The CSA program is so beneficial to the farm because it helps them make money in the early part of the season when start-up costs are highest and income is routinely at the lowest. The commitment of CSA members makes it possible for the farm to financially start their season while giving the farmer confidence that if they grow it, you will eat it. Another benefit to the consumer is that the CSA bag/box can be picked up or delivered locally and it is often filled with vegetables that you might not find or think to choose from a grocery store... a GREAT way to introduce yourself and your family to new and nutritious farm fresh produce. I've signed up and I love it... mom always told me to eat my vegetables.
SNACK TIME: My Berry Fruit Smoothie
My Berry Fruit Smoothie
1.5 cup frozen berries
2 med bananas
8 oz Zico coconut water
1 6 oz container Chobani mango greek yogurt
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 packet green superfood, berry flavor
Throw into a blender. Voila!
Split into 3 servings.
Tips: I often share this shake as an afternoon snack with my two kids. Not enough calories to substitute for a meal... but gives you plenty of protein to keep away hunger til dinner. The Green Superfood helps you get your daily fruit & veggies in... it also has probiotics and enzymes to aid digestion. You can use this in place of fresh leafy veggies.. some blenders are tricky with leafy veggies.. others work just fine. I get the Whey Protein Powder & Green SuperFood from Whole Foods. Enjoy!!
Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds and Hemp Seeds?
Ask the Diet Doctor: Should I Eat Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, and Hemp Seeds? These "super seeds" are being added to packaged foods. But are they worthy of their hype?
By Dr. Mike Roussell
Q: First it was flaxseeds, then hemp seeds, now chia seeds are in everything. What are the benefits of these different seeds and how do I use them in my diet?
A: When I was a kid, wheat germ was the only “healthy” additive around, and we would sprinkle it on yogurt, but now flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are becoming increasingly popular, expanding this category of food. As there’s been a lot of “super seed” hype, you’ll find them in more and more packaged foods, but why should you bother eating them in the first place? Let’s take a look:
Flaxseeds: Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contains 4 grams of fiber, 2.4 grams of the short-chain omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and 300 milligrams of a particular type of antioxidant called lignans. Both ALA and lignans are anti-inflammatory, and lignans may also help lower cholesterol levels. Flaxseeds should be eating ground, otherwise they won’t be fully digested—and you won’t extract the nutrients.
Hemp Seeds: Of these three seeds, hemp contains the most well-rounded and balanced nutritional profile. Two tablespoons contains 6 grams of fat (including 882 milligrams of ALA), 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. One unique characteristic of hemp seeds is that they contain all essential amino acids—something uncommon with plant protein sources—making them a great addition for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Chia Seeds: While most associate them with the infomercials trying to convince you to buy green furry pets, chia seeds were originally eaten by the Mayan and Aztecs. One of the goals of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans was to have people choose foods that provide more dietary fiber. The typical American only eats 40 percent of their daily fiber goals (women should aim to consume 25 grams a day). Chia seeds can help you close this gap. With 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, just adding two tablespoons of the seeds to your oatmeal or smoothie in the morning will double the fiber intake of the average American. Like flax and hemp seeds, chia seeds also contain the omega-3 fat ALA.
Flaxseed meal, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are very nutritious add-ons to any smoothie, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or parfait. They can also be added to just about any baked good to increase the fiber and nutrient content.
Exercise isn’t just beneficial to physical health
Exercise contributes to good health—which has proven to be true for both physical and mental well-being.
A recent study in Clinical Psychological Science analyzes the correlation between exercise and mental health. There are said to be two links between physical activity and improved mental health: one, exercise that produces change leads to positive feedback and a better self-image; two, the community and support found in social physical activity promotes a healthier mentality.
When it comes to adolescents, researchers found that those who were inactive or viewed themselves as overweight were at a greater risk for depression, aggression, anxiety, or substance abuse. However, adolescents who were more active or participated on a sports team were less likely to develop mental health problems.
Karin Monshouwer of the Trimbos Institute in the Netherlands worked on the study and says, “Our findings indicate that physical activity may be one effective tool for the prevention of mental health problems in adolescence.”
How active do you consider yourself to be? Do you find this affects your view of yourself or your mental well-being?
October: cancer awareness month.. Skin Cancer
October is not just about pumpkins and baseball... it's also about cancer awareness and educating yourself so you can be your own best advocate. On that note, here is a brief video "How to identify moles and melanoma". In the U.S., the risk for melanoma in caucasians is now 1 in 58. This is up from 1 in 1500 in 1930. If melanoma is diagnosed early, the chance for cure approaches 100%; however, for widespread metastatic melanoma, survival is only 6 to 9 months. Not to scare.. but to be aware.
The mental foundation of health
I love this image. It took me 35 yrs or so to understand what this was about.. I take this to mean that your motivational foundation.. from where all other driving forces originate.. is self love. It is giving yourself value, respect and cherishing your mind, body, and spirit. It is not to be used as an excuse card to say.. oh well, I am who I am so why bother to exercise or eat right. Instead, it's quite the opposite. When you realize your self worth, it is an incredibly powerful thing. You want to care for yourself. You want to feed your body the right foods. You deserve to be fit and healthy. You will not accept anything else because you refuse to take yourself for granted. It is a "big picture" mindset for a lifestyle of health.. because, once again, a loved body is a cared for body. This worked for me. No fad diets.. no starving.. eating right.. Zumba love (& teaching) + strength training = losing 40lbs + complete change in body composition. Happy to say I'm at my best health & fitness to date. It began in earnest in 2009. Slow & steady as she goes.
click image to enlarge
So here's an image of a funny take on a popular children's series of books. This version highlights the silly yet all too real life of a mom with children. I can relate and I'm guessing that many other females with highly demanding lives that require plenty of multi-tasking can too.
I believe that many females define themselves not only in terms of roles (like mother, wife, teacher, accountant, biologist, etc), but also link their feelings of self worth to how much they give of themselves to others. By doing things for everyone around ourselves, we improve our success as a nurturing female. In my relationships, I strove to please. I went out of my way to make the world run smoothly for all those around me. By doing so, it was the true embodiment of showing love for my loved ones.
In essence, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, the world could use compassion, empathy and love. But here's what I discovered. I wasn't giving myself the same consideration... the same respect... I was not only putting myself on the backburner, I had erased myself from the priority list. But life was busy, things had to get done and giving to myself was selfish. In the meantime, my weight increased, I felt constantly tired, my patience was limited, my libido was low, my emotions ran wild, I felt weak, I dragged out of bed in the mornings, I quickly shoveled meals of low quality foods, I didn't seek to be social, and so much more. Overall, my vibrancy had diminished. I figured it came with the territory... that it was status quo in my life as a stay-at-home mom.
It took me a while to a) recognize how things were and b) decide they needed to change. But I reached a point where I felt my priorities needed to shift. I didn't know what was to come, but I didn't want to look back in 20 more years and wonder what happened to me. I knew I was good about "checking in" to the status of my relationship with my husband and kids.. now I had to add me into the mix.
At this point, you'd expect me to launch into how I changed my eating habits and bumped up my exercise routine. Yes, that did happen. But that isn't the point of this piece. The point is that the journey to getting healthy, finding fitness, creating and sticking to good eating habits, eliminating mood swings, feeling energetic & sexy, regaining a social life, becoming a happier wife and mommy, and so much more could NEVER have happened unless there had been a decision to love myself. It wasn't in a selfish way, it was in a necessary way... to find balance for a lifetime. Because a loved body is a well cared for body. And this body deserved it. Does yours?
Article: Research further proves sleep is important to weight loss
Published September 18, 2012
[We frequently underestimate the importance of a solid night's sleep. As adults, many see if as a badge of honor to forego sleep in the name of greater productivity... or as a way to sneak in some well-deserved "me time". But when it comes to weight loss, could this approach actually backfire? Looks like successful weight loss efforts and sufficient qaulity sleep go hand in hand. Consider this quote...]
"The researchers pointed to a 2010 study in which participants were randomly assigned to sleep either 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours every night for 14 days. They all cut their daily calorie intake by 680 calories, and slept in a lab. Participants who slept for 5.5 hours lost 55 percent less body fat, and 60 percent more of their lean body mass than those who slept for longer.
In other words, the sleep-deprived people held onto their fat tissue, and instead lost muscle."
[click to read more...]
Article: In ‘Obesity Paradox,’ Thinner May Mean Sicker
[I found this article to well-written and insightful. I especially appreciate how it validates the extreme importance of fitness, regardless of a human's size. It's not just about whether you are obese or thin. Fitness level of any body trumps all in determining one's level of health and preventing issues with chronic illnesses.]
By HARRIET BROWN
Published New York Times: September 17, 2012
A few years ago, Mercedes Carnethon, a diabetes researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, found herself pondering a conundrum. Obesity is the primary risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, yet sizable numbers of normal-weight people also develop the disease. Why?
In research conducted to answer that question, Dr. Carnethon discovered something even more puzzling: Diabetes patients of normal weight are twice as likely to die as those who are overweight or obese. That finding makes diabetes the latest example of a medical phenomenon that mystifies scientists. They call it the obesity paradox.
In study after study, overweight and moderately obese patients with certain chronic diseases often live longer and fare better than...
[click to continue reading...]
Calories in, calories out.
So. You often hear "calories in, calories out." But what does that really mean? And how exactly does that really relate to your eating habits? Well, let's start here. One pound of fat equates to 3,500 calories. Let's say that you seek to eliminate excess fat from your body. If each day you intake 500 calories under the amount of calories you expend, then you will likely lose a pound per week. This is a rate of weight loss that is reasonable. Similarly, if you wish to maintain your weight, the logic would follow that your caloric intake should match your energy expenditure.
Knowing this, you can see that it is important to get a sense of how much energy, in calories, you use each day. It is also good to note that the maintenance of you, your eating habits, exercise choices and health is not an exact science. Nor is there a "one size fits all" solution. There just isn't. And if someone tries to sell you one, proceed with caution. I feel that adjustment and flexibility along the journey is key. Some things will fit like a glove, others will work temporarily, some things will fail miserably.. the point is this: that all the trial and error? It's kind of the beauty of it. Each of us is unique.. as is ordained in our DNA. We get to know ourselves a little better each time we try something new. You get to see what makes YOU tick, what works for YOU and how to love and admire you for YOU.
Love your body
Truth be told, I'm tired of these images. They spawn from a place of insecurity and negative self talk. We can all relate because everyone questions themselves to varying degrees. But when these images float around, uncontested, then those negative thoughts are reinforced.. more fuel is added to the fire. Believe me, it's not difficult to come across these pictures. I often find them on the "Health & Fitness" section of Pinterest. Different versions of them.. some pinching folds of very low fat% skin on midsections or gorgeous rear ends.. some headless torsos with tape measures wrapped around their flat bellies.. many with very inspirational words carefully placed so as not to cover the glistening six pack abs. I fully recognize that these images might spark a sense of motivation to achieve the goal of a fit body. But what's their worth longterm? What IS a fit body and more importantly what does YOUR fit body look like? Are we seeing these images and setting expectations that are not attainable and furthermore, not healthy? For the majority of people, their fit body will not look like the cover model of a fitness magazine. Why? Because of genetics. And because it may stop your menstrual cycle. Or cause your hair to fall out. Or create emotional instability. The list goes on. My last point is this.. and it's important. Our kids. Our girls. They see this too and they may not have the emotional maturity to take these images with a grain of salt. Please. Guide our girls into not falling into a trap of self hate. It only deflates self esteem. Mind you, loving yourself does not mean you settle for an unhealthy body.. quite the opposite. When you love yourself, you respect your body enough to take care of it.
Do weight-loss products such as Sensa work?
Does Sensa promote sensible eating?
We are seeing commercials for Sensa permeate the airwaves..is it worth it? Here's a Mayo Clinic answer to that question: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sensa/AN02050
My take? I question how this Sensa system sets you up for a lifetime of success. On the Sensa ads, you're encouraged to not change your foods or increase your exercise. You shake Sensa on your foods and the weight comes off because your body is chemically altered to believe it is full. While I can possibly see how a morbidly obese person could initially benefit from this as they seek to get their weight down to a less life-threatening level, I see red flags when it comes to longterm efficacy for most users. The dreaded term "yo-yo diet" immediately comes to mind. 1) If you stop using Sensa, then what? Your brain no longer receives these chemical signals indicating a "false fullness" and you have not trained yourself to develop a healthier relationship with food nor increase your level of activity. Old eating habits and larger portion sizes will likely return and weight will too. 2) What is the longterm effect of introducing Sensa into your body? While Sensa ads claim it is "safe", I can find no evidence of studies longer than 6 months to research efficacy and no studies done to research the longterm effects of ingesting these "sprinkles" into your body. When given a choice, I do my best to steer clear of putting non-natural elements into my body. 3) What about heart health? In very large and colorful boldface text, Sensa ads state, "CLINICALLY PROVEN! NO DIETING! NO CHANGE IN EXERCISE!" What I see instead is QUICK FIX! NO EDUCATION! NO IMPROVED HEART HEALTH OR FITNESS! I find their encouragement to not increase physical activity to be ridiculous. Why? Take a look at these statistics: (From "Heart Disease and Stroke" Report by the American Heart Association)
"On the basis of 2008 mortality rate data, more than 2200 Americans die of Cardiovascular Disease each day, an average of 1 death every 39 seconds. About 150 000 Americans killed in 2008 were 65 years of age. In 2008, 33% of deaths due to Cardiovascular Disease occurred before the age of 75 years, which is well before the average life expectancy of 77.9 years."
"Thirty-three percent of adults reported engaging in no aerobic leisure-time physical activity."
It's not just about losing weight. It's about getting your body to operate for you like the efficient and miracluous machine that it is supposed to be. But the people at Sensa won't tell you that... because that won't help sell more Sensa to the lazy overweight masses.
The way I see it: Use the money you would otherwise put towards any weight loss plan and go spend it at a farmer's market or CSA... increase your intake of fresh veggies and fruit, drink more water, watch your portion sizes, always ask yourself if the food you're staring at is worthy to be inside your body, and partake in your favorite exercise. It's not always that easy... but then again, many times it really is.
5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter
1. Keep your hands squeaky clean.
You've heard it time and time again, but it's well worth another reminder—wash those hands! The flu virus can live on surfaces like tables and keyboards for two to eight hours. Between grimy countertops, spotty doorknobs and sweaty machines at the gym, there is really no better defense against germs than washing your hands with antibacterial soap or disinfecting them with sanitizer.
2. Stay hydrated.
Our body is made up of mostly water, and when we’re dehydrated, it’s just an extra stress on our system. Dryness—think a Rudolph-red nose or a scratchy throat—decreases your immunity barriers and opens the door to infection. Drinking plenty of water is crucial to staying healthy.
3. Get a good night’s sleep.
Washing your hands, staying hydrated and eating well can all go to waste if you’re not getting enough shut-eye. “Our immune system is very, very good at fighting things off, but we do things to harm it,” says Robert Lamberts, M.D. “When people don’t get the sleep that they need, their body can’t restore itself.” Snoozing for a minimum seven to eight hours a night can give your body the downtime it needs to fight off infection.
4. Remember that supplements aren’t replacements.
Our physicians agree, even a large vitamin C tablet can’t guarantee that you’re better protected against every nasty bug that floats around. “It’s far better to eat a balanced diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables,” says Lamberts. “You want your body to be in its maximum condition to fight off illness.” And don’t be fooled by products that claim to support a healthy immune system either. Their choice of words just means it won’t make you unhealthy. Can they say it builds a healthy immune system? No. They haven’t proven it.
5. Stay active.
Don’t use cold weather, hectic holiday shopping or a stacked schedule of festive soirees as an excuse to skip your workout. “Getting plenty of exercise actually reduces the stress hormone cortisol and improves your immune system,” says Vanessa Maier, M.D.
Health: Secrets of Weight-Loss Success
These are the proven tips and strategies used by myself and by thousands of people who reached their goal weight or lost at least 100 pounds and were on track to reach their final weight.
1. Know How Much You're Eating. Use an online Nutrition Tracker and discover how much you are eating. People are often confused by portion sizes, too. To solve this problem, 65 percent of all those who successfully changed to a healthier lifestyle actively considered their portions before they ate. Are you eating more or less than you think?
The Portion Distortion Quiz
The Perfect Portions Guide
What Does 300 Calories Really Look Like?
2. Don't Skimp on Strength Training. People with successful weight loss stories were twice as likely to do regular strength training. Aside from helping build and maintain a strong and healthy body, they know that with more muscle, their bodies will regularly burn more calories, even when they're sleeping.
3. Be A "Goal-Getter". 96 percent of healthy lifestyle transformations came from actively working toward one or more goals. They all had either set or met weight-loss goals, but they also had active fitness goals (81.5 percent), health-related goals (49 percent), and other life goals in the areas of finances, career, relationships, creative pursuits, and many more.
4. Make Exercise Fun! Successful weightloss stories proactively took steps to keep exercise fun. A whopping 64% made it a point to try new and different things, 67% tried outdoor activities, 62% listened to fun music, and nearly 60% purposefully added variety to their workout plans. Other things that kept exercise fun were doing competitive activities (races, charity walks) and taking active vacations. The worldwide popularity of Zumba fitness classes shows that it is a great example of making exercise fun!
5. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. Across all successful segments, whether 100-pound losers or those who had met their weight-loss goals in general, the number-one nutritional strategy was to eat more fruits and vegetables. Ninety percent of those who met their goals and reached their ideal weight now eat more fruits and veggies.
6. Move It to Lose It. Of those who reached their weight-loss goals, 90% exercised regularly. Those who exercised did so an average of five to six times per week. People who reported being "stuck" (or NOT meeting their weight-loss goals) were significantly less likely to exercise. And those who did exercised less frequently than the successful group--three or fewer times per week. Don't be intimidated by these stats. If you only exercise twice a week, that doesn't mean you're doomed to fail at weight loss. A little exercise is better than no exercise, especially when you do it consistently.
7. Start Small to Achieve Big Results. Almost 80 percent of successful weightloss goal achievers started with realistic goals, helping themselves to build a firm foundation. Dieters were more likely to start with exremely big goals and go overboard trying to lose weight fast. It is vital to listen to your body. Trying to overhaul your life overnight isn't necessary for weight loss. Building habits over time, will ensure greater success that you can sustain over time.
8. Mix It Up to Keep It Up. Those with successful weightloss results exercised at home, at various group exercise classes, outside, in the gym, with workout groups or buddies, varying their routines and keeping it fun so that they were more likely to keep going. So how does workout variety help you lose weight? First, it's the antidote to exercise boredom. The second reason is that it keeps your body guessing so that you get better results than following the same routine each day.
9. Make A Plan. Of those who met their goals, a full 74 percent planned their meals and workouts in advance! And, when compared to those who were "stuck," success came to those who planned their workouts more than twice as often. Make exercise and healthy eating a priority--without letting it take over your life.
10. Sneak In More Exercise. 65% of people who met their weight-loss goals added more activity to their day by "sneaking" it in: pacing while on the phone, lifting weights in front of the TV, doing jumping jacks in between conference calls, taking the stairs and more. The more you move, the more you lose. Any kind of physical activity burns more calories than sedentary activities do, and it can also decrease your risk for health problems, including cardiovascular disease.
11. Get Cooking. Cooking healthy meals was one of the top nutrition strategies of a successful healthy lifestyle change; 77 percent of people used this strategy to meet their goals. Research has shown that people who cook more meals at home consume more of the "good" stuff (like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber) and less fat, sodium and calories. You don't need a culinary degree or hours each night to cook a healthful dinner.
12. Tap into the Power of Positive People. Those with weightloss success don't just consider people a nice part of their community; instead, they tap into the power of positive people and use that as a weight-loss tool. 60% of successful people connected with positive people who they knew would help them stay positive, and nearly just as many proactively sought out and connected with other people's success stories as a motivational technique. Among people who had lost at least 100 pounds, the numbers were even higher--72% proactively connected with positive people, and 71% read inspiring stories of other successful people.
13. Stop Dieting. Fully 90 percent of all success stories said they were following a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to dieting. People on a diet actually lost less weight! There were big differences in how dieters thought. They were twice as likely to think of exercise as a chore, more likely to "beat themselves up," more likely to cut out food groups and deprive themselves, and more likely to say that they "don’t feel good about themselves." They got less sleep on average--between five and seven hours, versus seven to eight hours in the healthy lifestyle group. Dieters also reported lower levels of happiness. Diets are only a short term bandage and simply don't work for a longterm lifestyle issue.
14. Look Forward, Not Back. Of the most successful success stories, literally ZERO percent said they let setbacks derail their efforts. How did they get back on track? 84% said that if they hit a setback in their pursuit of weight-loss or fitness goals, they just acknowledged the bump and quickly moved on to get right back on track. Don't waste energy beating yourself up... those are only moments wasted otherwise better spent towards achieving your goals.
15. Follow the 80/20 Rule. Ninety-six percent of successful lifestyle change stories ate a healthy diet most of the time. The majority (70 percent) didn't cut out "bad" foods completely. They understood that adopting a healthy lifestyle for the long haul is not about perfection. It makes sense, then, that those who found success say that when they have a bad food day," they "don't worry about it because I eat healthy and exercise most of the time." Eating right means cutting yourself some slack and enjoying your food.
Childcare during "Mommy Zumba Time"
A happy mommy is a better one...
Are you an at-home mom of kids that wishes she could Zumba?? You're likely not alone. Mommies are great multi-taskers! If paid childcare is unlikely, I've traded off/rotated watching other mom's kids while they Zumba so we can all get a chance to go vs. staying home wishing we were there. Good thing is, with the class being only an hour, a short babysit can yield A LOT of great benefits for you and your friends! Perhaps your local mother's club has an online discussion board where you can hook-up with other fitness-minded moms. Another idea is to coordinate a shared babysitter than can watch your schoolage children in the studio lobby while you have fun!
Tips for Winter Exercise & Nutrition Practices
In the winter, when activity levels decrease and our metabolism increases due to cold weather, you may find yourself eating more. These factors make it ever more important to involve yourself in physical activities and eat a balanced and nutrient-packed diet.
But how can you be active when it’s oh-so-very-cold outside?
You may be able to relate to losing exercise motivation in these Winter months. I have some suggestions to help you get into working out again so read more. The best way to kick-start yourself back into an active lifestyle is to make the decision to start now. Since you may not be able to do the same activities you enjoyed in the warmer months, find a way to embrace Winter so you can continue sweating it out outdoors. We’re fortunate to live in an area where snow is extremely rare. While it may get rainy, on the days that it isn’t, often the hardest part of exercising outdoors is getting past the initial cold. It may help to find a scenic path to start your walk, jog or bike to give your brain something to focus on while your body warms up. If moving fast is more your speed, get your heart rate up with some warm up exercises before you start off on your bike ride or run. Of course, you can also plan a trip to higher elevation to enjoy some more traditional snow-bound activities like skiing, snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing… all these Winter sports are major calorie burners.
Don't want to exercise outside? You can work out at another place besides the gym. Indoor climbing gyms and dance + fitness studios are great because you can pay as you go, instead of forking over a monthly or annual fee. Zumba fitness classes appeal to many during the Winter because you reap the benefits of an intense overall workout without feeling like it’s torture… all in the comfort of a climate controlled studio. Or you may be able to pay a smaller fee just to use certain areas of a gym, such as an indoor pool. Another idea is to get a bike trainer or roller for your bike, if you love to ride in the warmer months. It allows you to cycle indoors on your regular comfy bike. I also use more fitness DVDs in the Winter when you can’t bear to leave the house. With so many to choose from, you can do just about any kind of workout in the privacy of your home. Also, you can always set up a home gym complete with a treadmill, dumbbells, resistance bands, and an exercise ball, and follow some circuit workouts. Whatever you decide to do, try making a regular fitness date with a friend and you're far more likely to stick to it.
Eat a Balanced Diet Plus
Winter is sneaky. It’s a time of year when our metabolisms naturally increase due to colder weather. Most will likely notice this not because they’ve suddenly slimmed down, but instead that they feel hungrier and desire a greater amount of food. Here’s an extremely basic reminder that it’s important to eat a balanced diet – consisting of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats – in order to get all the nutrients your body needs to function. It is particularly important in the winter time to eat foods high in vitamins C, D, E, beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), and essential fatty acids.
Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which helps keeps eyes, skin, and bones healthy – all important factors to keep in mind when exercising outside during the winter. Beta-carotene is readily available in spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains.
Vitamin C helps boost immunity, promotes healing, and keeps your skin healthy. This water soluble vitamin is present in squash, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, citrus fruits and juices, cantaloupe, banana, kiwi, and strawberries.
Without vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, and soft. It’s important to get at least 15 minutes of sunlight everyday because Vitamin D is activated under our skin when we’re exposed to sunlight. This is especially important during the winter months when some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because vitamin D can give you a mood boost. If you’re not able to get enough sunlight there are some dietary sources of vitamin D. Only a few foods naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D, including fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), cod liver oil, beef liver, and eggs. Fortified foods, such as milk, margarine, breakfast cereals, breads, crackers, cereal grain bars, are the major dietary sources of vitamin D. It is important to read the nutrition facts panel of the food label to determine whether a food provides vitamin D.
Vitamin E helps support red blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and organs throughout the body, which is especially important for the circulatory systems and cardiovascular health. A fat soluble vitamin, vitamin E is present in nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains (especially wheat germ), fortified cereals, and apricots.
Essential Fats – Omega 3 & 6
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are necessary fats that our bodies cannot make and therefore must be obtained through diet. EFAs support your immune and cardiovascular systems as well as promote healthy skin. A diet too low in fat can lead to dry, scaly, and itchy skin.Aim for about 30% of your calories to come from fat, with less than 10% saturated fat, by choosing healthier unsaturated fats such as fish, beans, nuts and vegetable oils. Keep trans fat consumption as low as possible.
Prepare for Outdoor Activities
Resist impulses to hibernate during the winter, instead find enjoyable outdoor activities to participate in – the workout will be beneficial as will be the exposure to fresh air and sunlight. Before heading outdoors make sure to take some precautions. Dressing appropriately for winter weather is essential for keeping you warm in cold temperatures. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends several ways to protect yourself:
Layer Clothing - Layering or combining your clothing enables you to remove clothing as you become warm during outdoor activities. This helps to minimize sweating and avoid shivering.
Cover Your Head - It is important to cover your head while outdoors because heat loss from the head and neck can account for as much as 50 percent of your body’s total heat loss while outside.
Cover Your Mouth - Cover your mouth with a scarf or wear a mask to warm air going to your lungs which may help minimize upper respiratory problems. Also consider wearing a sport mouth guard if you ski, skate, or snowboard; this can minimize the risk of tooth injury if you fall.
Protect Your Eyes and Skin - Wear eyewear that protects your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses and ski goggles should block 100% of these harmful rays, if you’re not sure about your glasses ask your doctor to check the lenses for you. Wear sunblock and chapstick to not only protect from the sun but also to keep your skin moist.
Stay Dry - Remove and/or change wet, damp clothing which contributes to increased body-heat loss. Choose clothing that wicks away moisture and preserves insulating properties such as garments made with polypropylene, wool, and other fabrics.
Keep Hydrated - In addition to eating a balanced diet it is important to keep well hydrated in the winter. Water is important for all body functions and is a natural internal moisturizer for your skin. When you breathe in cold, dry air your body warms and humidifies that air, and with each following exhalation you lose large amounts of water. When exercising outdoors you will need to replace these water losses frequently.
Bring Snacks - Not only do you need plenty of water while playing outdoors, if you are going to be outside for an extended period bring some snacks to keep your energy level up. It is essential for winter athletes to carry at least one emergency food source with them. Plan to eat a 100-200 calorie snack every 30-45 minutes during intense activity. Assorted dried fruit or a granola bar is easy to store in a pocket and provides great nutrition!
Overall, take care of yourself and stay healthy holistically by eating nutritious foods, being active, reducing stress, getting plenty of rest, and having fun this season! I'll be seeing you for some Zumba soon... the perfect way to bring the heat! Click here for my current class schedule. Interested in checking out the latest news about my class? Click here to find out what's new!
In Good Health,
This website is owned and operated by Roxanne Ward, a licensed member of the Zumba Instructor Network. Please visit my profile at: Roxanne Ward's Zumba.com Profile.
Zumba®, Zumbatomic®, and the Zumba Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.
Zumba®, Zumbatomic®, and the Zumba Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.