Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Love The One You're With

Give yourself a big hug
Originally uploaded by quinn.anya

If you are overweight or out of shape toning up is beneficial if not necessary for your health. However, learning to love your body unconditionally is a significant step that is often overlooked. It is hard to take good care of something you don't appreciate; lack of care and gratitude is what allowed you to let yourself go in the first place. There are always exceptions to the rule. Yes, people that loath their looks can lose weight but attaining that goal is a torturous process that is hard to maintain long term. They beat themselves up physically and mentally and are only committed to liking themselves when they are close to accomplishing their weight loss goals. It's a lot like a verbally abusive man that constantly tells his wife how ugly and lazy she is but promises to respect and love her when she drops the pounds. He feels proud of himself because his harsh words motivate her and he will take the credit when she loses enough weight. However the woman, desperate for encouragement and support usually grows resentful and bitter towards her critique. If you are your own worst critique you will become bitter towards yourself and sabotage your efforts or try to hurt yourself in other ways.

Avoid that path by becoming your loudest and most enthusiastic cheerleader. It's hard to loss weight or to accomplish any goal in a negative environment. A connection to your inner self will help you to see your body in a new light. Instead of seeing what you don't have you will appreciate everything your body is capable of. In a journal write two positive things about yourself (your strengths, your talents, your accomplishments, compliments you've received) and one positive thing about your body (your looks, daily fitness, health) everyday. This will help you get ready to see yourself in a better light. If you feel like you need a push; consider positive options like working with a personal trainer or joining a sports team. Instead of punishing yourself for your mistakes, take time to reward yourself for your progress and adjusting your program when you face a failure. In the mean time how are you supposed to handle the reflection? I'm guessing you don't look like a supermodel, so what! There is no one responsible for deciding the perfect standard of beauty? Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. So instead of waiting until for a six pack and buns of steel, learn to love yourself naked and become grateful for all the things that your body has accomplished.

How do you find your outer beauty? Complete this exercise I found on Adios written by Ophira Edut

Start with a full-length mirror. Many people play a love-hate game with mirrors, gazing at the parts we like, and avoiding the ones we don't. We never look at our bodies as they are. Instead, we pick ourselves apart like pet project, scrutinizing our thighs, our chest, our legs. And what we see in the mirror is often no reflection of what is really there.

Find some private time, even if it's just a few moments. Then take off your clothes, and look at yourself. Let the hateful thoughts run their course, then pass. It will clear space in your mind for positive ones to replace them. Don't turn away from your reflection -- try to clear your mind of judgment and keep looking.

Now look closely at those parts you struggle with most. Do they remind you of anyone? Perhaps those full hips once belonged to your great-great-grandmother. If not for them, you may not even be here—her size could have helped her to survive pregnancy and childbirth. Our bodies are living family albums. Pay homage to your ancestors by loving the body they gave you and the legacy it represents.

Who is that Girl

Think Inside Out

When you picture your body, do you think about your heart, your brain, or your kidneys? Probably not. More than likely, you think about your thighs, your hair, and your stomach. Thinking of the function of your body will help you take the focus on your looks and appreciate your health.

There is no shame in expressing your confidence. What do you love about your body? What's your favorite body part and why do you love it?

Related Links:

7 Ways to Love Your Body Through Thick and Thin

Body image - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stride Into Summer

photos courtesy of bury-osiol and djiancu

Spring is here and summer isn’t too far behind, the perfect time to start an outside running routine. That doesn’t mean go out and try to run a mile, especially if running is new to you. Leave the treadmill behind, get out and enjoy the nice weather. I’ve outlined a few tips to help beginners get in stride.

1. Just like any exercise program, it is important to set attainable goals. Whether it’s to be able to run for 30 minutes straight or to run at least 3 days a week, set a couple of goals and stick to them.

2. Another important task is to map out a route. I would suggest mapping out a route in your neighborhood, that way you are in familiar territory. Be mindful of various surfaces; remember soft surfaces (grass, dirt) are better than hard surfaces (concrete), but any surface will due in comparison to lying on the couch. If you are uncomfortable or unsure about running in your neighborhood, try areas such as parks, bike paths, to local school tracks to get started.

3. One major investment for any running routine is a pair of suitable running sneakers. Visit any running specialty store for professional help with choosing the correct shoes for your individual needs. You will also want to purchase safety accessories just in case you don’t make it home before sundown.

4. Fluid consumption detrimental to a running routine. Dehydration can be harmful to your body, so be sure to consume 8-16 ounces of water or sports drink at least an hour before running. It doesn’t hurt to take a drink along with your for quick sips throughout your run.

5. The warming up, cooling down, and stretching process is not just for exercise routines, runners should also take heed. A 5-minute brisk walk or light run is suggested before breaking into any run (the 5 minutes does not count toward your total workout time). At the end of your run, try avoiding a sudden stop; instead slow your running pace into a 5-minute walk to cool down gradually, and then stretch your legs.

6. Find a pace that is right for you. Everyone is different when it comes to pace. What I learned from my old running coach is as long as you can talk or sing while running, your pace is perfect, at least for beginner runners.

7. Last but not least, to all beginners, walking is not a bad thing. Every runner does it, even the experienced. Think of it as a type of interval training, making the total run more doable.

By far, I’m no professional runner, but I wanted to share some of the simple tips I’ve learned over the years from playing various sports and being coached by various individuals. Enjoy and let us know how your first few runs go.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Benefits of a Walking Workout

I think that walking is underrated. When you think of getting into shape or losing a lot of weight walking is not the first exercise that comes to mind. However it is a wonderful way to get you body up and moving and it has so many benefits that I think every able to should add walking to their regular routine. Here a list the benefits of walking 30-60 minutes five times a week.

1)Strengthens muscles, bones and joints

2)Helps with losing or maintaining weight

3)Controls blood pressure, boost "good" cholesterol

4)Lowers the risk of a heart attack or stroke

5)Reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer

6)Help with avoiding diabetes and gallstone surgery

7)Prevents constipation, osteoporosis and impotence

8)Protects against hip fractures

9)Lower stress levels and prevents depression

10)Relieves arthritis and back pain

11)Improves sleep

12)Improves cognitive function

13)Easy on joints, very low risk of injury

14)Low start up cost, walking shoes and comfortable clothes is all you need

15)You still get these benefits if you split your routine into 10 minute sessions

16)Helps to curb your hunger so that you will eat less

17)You can walk indoors or in place when the weather is bad

18)It is easy to increase the intensity when you need to

19)Great way to spend time with family and friends

20)You can save money on gas if you "walk" your errands

To get started throw on come comfy clothes and a pair of gyms shoes and head on the door. You can walk first thing in the morning or go to the park after work. You can even take your gym shoe to work and walk up the stairs for 10 minutes during your lunch break. Walking is a great excuse to get some fresh air but it can also be very effective to pop in a walking DVD and workout at home; Leslie Sansone - Walk Away the Pounds - 30 Minute Walk is a great start. Leslie is perky, energetic and very encouraging instructor. It took me awhile to get use to Miss Sunshine but her smile is contagious which distracts you from how hard you are working. Even my husband liked her workouts. Leslie Sansone has a few YouTube videos if you would like to get an idea, but I choose this video bellow because it was a 10 minute routine.

Related Readings:

The Numerous Benefits of Walking

Walking Tips, Benefits and Weight Loss ...

Walking For Fitness

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