Personal Fitness

Even a few 10-minute sessions a day can lead to increased stamina as well as a long list of benefits to the mind, body and spirit. Here are some ways exercise can stimulate the energy level of you harried Modern Moms out there:

o Let go of the guilt and schedule your exercise time – Simply put, don’t ignore your personal needs. Exercise is one of the best ways to not only enhance your energy but preserve your sanity. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have energy or patience for anyone else.

o Exercise first thing in the morning to jump start your day – Your chances of sticking to your program increase significantly if you exercise in the morning compared to later in the day when excuses and fatigue take over. Your metabolism will be elevated for more than 7 hours following a one hour morning workout, so you will have more stamina to take you through the day.

o Add activity to your work day – To renew your vigor in the day to day grind, find a better way to commute to work, like walking, biking, parking a mile from the office or getting off a train stop early. You’ll still be high on natural endorphins while everyone else is working on their second cup of coffee. Eliminating some of the modern conveniences can burn up to an additional 800 calories a week.

o Make wholesome and nutritious food choices – You are more likely to eat healthier meals if you exercise. The last thing you will want to do is eat a heavy meal after getting the blood pumping through your veins. Ultimately, eating more nutritious food along with regular exercise will lead to weight loss, which will decrease the demands on your body and increase your energy and self -esteem drastically.

o Drink Plenty of water – Keep hydrated before, during and after exercise. Your body is made up primarily of water, and while water does not have calories to provide energy, it contributes to weight loss and assists your digestive system. Drinking ample amounts of water will keep the toxins flowing right out of your body.

o Find creative ways to integrate family time with exercise – Your entire family will be healthier and more energized as a result of physical activity. Don’t be a bystander at the playground. Get up and join in the activities by pushing a jogging stroller, hitting the hiking trails, running the bases, biking around the neighborhood, climbing the jungle gym or swimming in the lake. As an added perk, your kids will think you’re cool.

o Get your zzz’s – Regular exercise will lead to more quality sleep and require you to sleep less. If you exercise early in the day, you will be naturally tired by bedtime and will have no problem falling into a deep slumber.

o Try Yoga – Raise your energy levels and ability to concentrate with the deep breathing techniques used in yoga. Yoga builds balance, coordination, strength, and it is energizing and wonderfully de-stressing as well. Perfect for decompressing after an ultra hectic day!

o Exercise will help to fortify you against colds and flu – People who participate in a regular exercise program are less likely to come down with a cold or be debilitated by one. Exercisers report less symptoms and quicker recoveries from colds.

Walking Program

1. Put walking on your calendar and think of it as an appointment you must keep.

2. Set a new goal. You may add strength training to your walking program or walk additional steps.

3. Work towards your new goal in increments. If you start to lift weights, for example, lift small ones.

4. Check your walking shoes for wear and replace them, if necessary.

5. Wear socks that wick moisture away from your feet. When your feet are wet walking isn’t fun.

6. Get a walking buddy. You may ask one of your best friends to walk with you, or invite a new neighbor to join you on your morning walk.

7. Start a walking group or join one. Companionship can be the difference between walking and not walking.

8. Bring kids and grandkids along. Your fitness model could have a huge impact on a children’s lives.

9. Cut yourself some slack. Fitness is a goal that takes time and is worth your time.

10. Always have an alternate plan. If the forecast is rain, call your walking buddy or walking group members and agree to walk at the mall.

11. Walk in place while you are waiting for coffee to brew, on the phone, or watching television. You will be amazed at how many steps you accrue.

12. Make walking an event. You may go on a bird walk, historic walk, or fall walk and look at the changing leaves.

13. Vary your time and route. Variety can add spark to an “ordinary” walk.

14. Participate in a charity walk. Check your local newspaper and the American Heart Association for more information.

15. Reward yourself. You started out on the fitness path and you are still on it!

Burning Calories

Here are some fun activities I do and the calories burned out of them. Maybe you’ll want to do the same. Check it out….

1. Gardening – I clean my garden, water the flowers, plant seeds, trim shrubs, watch my blooming flowers, etc. Gardening during these seasons is fun and gives me lots of enjoyment. It is like a workout as I burn about 100-120 calories in 30 minutes gardening.

2. Bicycling -I love doing this activity. I can go anywhere I want as far as I can reach. This is like a low impact workout. But I don’t really go far, most of the time it is just in the neighborhood area. After riding about 30 minutes, I will have burned about 300 calories. This is a great way to stay in shape.

3. Trekking – I like to go trekking at a conservation park. It is fun and I enjoy the nice scenery; I also burn off some calories. For these activities I need more preparation because I have to wear a special outfit and need to do more warming up exercise to avoid cramps while climbing high area. For 30 minutes of trekking I burn about 350 calories.

4. Swimming – This is a fun way to stay cool during hot season. I go to the beach and indoor pools, depending on my schedule. However, I prefer swimming in the sea. It burns off my calories at about 300 in 30 minutes.

5. Water Skiing – This is a more rare activity I do. But, once in a while I go with my friends. It can help me build my upper and lower body muscles. From this activity, I’ll lose about 200 calories in 30 minutes.

Exercise At Desk

You’re a great multi-tasker. Take a moment to get away from it all and take a lift.

Pilates instructor Alisa Wyatt, calls this exercise “The Elevator.” You can do this simple Pilates exercise sitting right at your desk to cinch your waist and keep your belly from hanging over.

Alisa says:

“Sit up tall and let your shoulders relax. Imagine your belly button is the elevator at the top of a ten-floor building. As you exhale, sink the elevator down to the 1st floor. Hold it there as you breathe lightly. Work up to holding to a count of 10. Do this exercise 3 times a day for a stronger waist in a week!”

When you’ve mastered holding your belly button on the 1st floor, try adding this:

“Sink the elevator to the 1st floor and then go from the 1st floor to the basement, quickly for a count of 50. This works the muscles in a different way.”

Be productive while getting your work responsibilities complete. Squeeze in an exercise and benefit those stomach muscles that wrap around your waist like a corset.

Work it and enjoy your work day.