By Anna Price
Fall is upon us…and so are busy schedules as the kids are back in school, work is in full swing, and people start new projects. So let’s continue your summer momentum by keeping your body at its peak! I’m going to share 5 secrets (including my favorite workout) that keep my clients in great shape! These 5 insider tips will improve your cardiovascular-respiratory system, eliminate chronic disease, and burn fat really fast.
Do these and you’ll be energized and healthy while looking amazing in that Halloween costume (the one you really want to wear, if you like how your body looks in the mirror):
Get clear about your big health vision
There’s nothing wrong with short term weight loss goals (“I want to look great in that dress I haven’t been able to wear in a year”) but if you want to feel as good as you look, and sustain that level of fitness for more than a few weeks, you will need to get clear about your big health vision. Define and declare exactly what you want and why you really want it, when my clients do this, they have a much higher chance of reaching their goals without abusing their body with long, intense workouts and yo-yo diets. There will still be days when you feel frustrated and hate your body, when that happens, remind yourself why this matters, and take one or more of your health “to do’s” off your plate — take one small step at a time to avoid overwhelm. Now, plan ahead, find a trainer/coach who will help you see your vision through. “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. I’ll never forget when I first heard this phrase, a little harsh, I know, but the underlying message rang true for me. Put your workouts, meals, and “me time” in your weekly calendar and don’t let anything else take precedence. Your needs are just as important as your kids soccer practices and key meetings at work. Do this for a few weeks straight and it will become like second nature. You’ll also notice how much better you’re showing up at work and with family and friends due to your better mood and feeling great physically.
Love Yourself “As Is” First And Your Body Will Release It’s Resistance To Change
Try this daily inner-cise that works for my clients: look in the mirror—at the areas of your body you like and love, and the areas you don’t. Now repeat, “I am ALREADY healthy, whole and complete…exactly as I am.” Repeat this 10 times, 3 times a day, every day for 7 days straight and watch what happens. Be kind and stop “should-ing” on yourself. We wear our lack of self-acceptance as pounds on our bellies and thighs. Once you eliminate the drill sargeant harshness towards yourself and your body, you’ll actually see results. Try this experiment to see what I mean — give yourself permission to eat that extra piece of chocolate, savor it and enjoy every bite. When you’re done, write in your food journal about how it made you feel and be curious about why you made that choice. It’s important to bring judgement-free awareness to all of our choices. Talk to someone you trust about it, or just keep writing and notice what comes up. Using willpower alone never lasts. When you’re honest with yourself, and embrace how your food choices are making you feel physically and emotionally, then you can talk to your coach about it, or reach out for support. That’s when you achieve true health. Then the days of forcing yourself to go to the gym, or battling with yourself about whether or not to eat that pizza or extra piece of chocolate, will be over for good!
Focus On Health, Not Fitness
Many clients come to me to lose weight (especially around their middle), tone and tighten their muscles — Why? For the usual reasons we all have, to look great in our skinny jeans/suits, or at an upcoming party or vacation. Who doesn’t love delicious food, though? So most of us hope that we can exercise like crazy and still “cheat” because we’ve earned it. Unfortunately, you can’t out-train a bad diet. Even I can’t do that! This is why fitness goals set us up to fail, but HEALTH goals set us up to succeed. Health goals focus on the well-being of the mind, body and spirit first, not just on calorie-counting and endless hours of running, spinning and lifting weights. Here’s the first step to creating your own Health Goals: eliminate any extra toxins from your body by eliminating processed and fried foods, starches, carbohydrates, sugar. Add a healing, nutrient-rich, fat burning protein smoothie first thing in the morning (Akasha has a great powder), it takes minutes to make and it’s a great way to set you up for metabolic success for the day. Add detox foods in like clean protein, non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, and kale, low sugar fruit like berries and apples, nuts, broth, avocados, beets, garlic, onions, lemon water, spices and supplements like milk thistle and curcumin to your daily diet (or contact Akasha for more information about their 21 Day Cleanse). Get started on a program that will heal your body and act as a foundation of good health so your body operates more efficiently making weight loss easier to achieve and maintain. Only then can you rely on kick butt workouts to maintain your results, longterm.
Don’t Follow Someone Else’s Health And Fitness Plan
You wouldn’t take a stranger’s medication, or their toothbrush, would you? Yet mainstream media has convinced us to use one-size-fits-all fitness workouts from magazines and websites, even though it is not tailored to your needs or your body. Well, after more than twenty years in the health and fitness field I can guarantee you that’s a great way to achieve two things you DON’T want: staying out of shape and getting injured. If you care about your body, then get the right health and fitness information and plan for your unique body, behaviors, circumstances and preferences. No two people are alike, so your workouts shouldn’t be either. I don’t create a cookie cutter plan, sure, the basic principles remain the same, but the approach is different with each client because that’s what gets results. If Adam suffers from chronic muscle and joint pain, he needs a program to eliminate pain and improve function while respecting his body’s restrictions. If Mary’s doctor just told her she has diabetes and that she needs to start exercising and watching her diet, she has a totally different set of needs than Adam. So whether you’re looking to be healthy enough to handle your high-stress job, bring your fitness back to what it was before a health issue set you back, or just want to look your best while feeling great too, you need your own personalized plan. The same way a custom suit or designer dress makes you look better than something off-the-rack. don’t sell yourself short. Treat yourself to health. You deserve it!
MORE Results In LESS Time (Yes, Seriously!)
I love efficiency. Less time working out means more time enjoying the rest of my life and being productive in other areas as well. Here’s how to reach that Holy Grail of MORE results in LESS time — focus on higher intensity workouts. Here’s what I mean by that: my go to workouts are variations on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT is perfect for busy people who have limited time (know anyone like that?) but want convenient workouts they can do anywhere. All you need is 15-20 minutes 3 times per week to get into great, no… incredible shape. When you incorporate regular HIITS into your exercise plan it will drastically improve your health, performance, energy and even mental clarity, which is why most serious athletes and corporate peak-performers use HIIT. Replace 1 or 2 of your slower training workouts with this one, and let the results happen. I design HIIT workouts for both peak-performance clients and clients who are in the later stages of recovering from health setbacks like injuries or illness. My workouts will kick your butt without breaking it. They include cardiovascular and resistance training along with core stabilization and strength, balance, mobility and flexibility. There is an endless variety of exercises and workout combinations with this style of training, so there is something for everybody, and I love variety as much as my clients do! The goal is for them to actually love their workouts, so they are more inspired to keep exercising. As soon as they get good at it, we move on so their mind and body never get bored. The best part, is that HIIT only takes an hour per week on your own to keep making progress!
Word of advice – These workouts are tough, and although they can be customized to suit anyone, I still recommend you check with your health care practitioner before starting this or any new exercise program. Make sure your sessions are supervised so your trainer/coach can create workouts and make modifications according to your physical condition, capabilities and likes (you have to like your workouts or you won’t do them regularly).
Raise your (smoothie) glass to a fall fitness program you actually like enough to keep doing throughout this season…and beyond.
Integrative Health and Fitness Coach