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Vacation Fitness: Maintain Your Fitness Regimen on the Vacay!

You have been working hard during your workouts, making good choices with nutrition and work-life balance, and you have seen improvements in your health over the last year. But then vacation and summer months arrive… with that comes schedule changes, opportunities to eat out, celebrations and gatherings. All of that is good and important, but can oftentimes make it difficult to keep up your normal healthy routine. It takes some advance planning and determination to succeed, but you CAN go on vacay and keep your commitment to fitness alive with a vacation fitness regimen.

First of all, don’t just give up and tell yourself you will pick things up once vacation is over. The summer months can be a series of mini-vacations, and that can mean a couple of months of no workouts if you just throw in the towel. You have worked so hard to get to where you are and backward slides can be discouraging. Be realistic and accept that it may be difficult to maintain your regular routine; but promise yourself to allow for an “adjusted program”. As with most things worthwhile, it is a mindset.

Tour vacations can mean schedules from morning to evening, but there are ways to sneak in more activities than you think. Here are some tips to make your vacation successful from a fitness point of view, as well as the sight-seeing side of things:

  • Do some checking around online before leaving home. You may be surprised to find a wide variety of workout facilities beyond just the hotel’s bare bones treadmill. Many fitness clubs, studios, and even personal trainers offer special arrangements for out of town travelers. Local parks have jogging trails and some lakeside facilities offer stand up paddle board yoga!
  • Your home gym may have sister gyms in other cities and for a nominal fee, you can take advantage of the services.
  • Photo credit Flickr user mikebaird

    Photo credit Flickr user mikebaird

    Think like an adventurer! Make sure one or more days of your vacay include a bike, kayak, scuba, or surfboard rental. Consider trying a totally new physical sport or experience since livin’ it up is what vacation is all about.

  • Pack along resistance bands in your suitcase. You can get an amazing full body workout with these things! Add a killer ab session, a jump rope and you are covered!
  • Don’t forget your workout togs and shoe options. This way you have removed any reasons to avoid workouts.
  • Make a diversion! As you are seeing the sights, take the long way around, or get off the tour bus completely and do it on foot. Find the closest hills or stair climb and make that a part of your route.
  • Paddle in the pond! Most hotels have at least a small pool. Even if you are not on a beach vacation, take along your suit and get some laps in or a full body water workout.
  • YouTube-it! The sky is the limit with just about every type of workout video for you to follow along with in your hotel room.
  • Ditch the rollers. Roller suitcases, that is. Pack all your essentials in two cases and carry balanced weight to and from your flight, hotel room, etc. This makes for a great upper body workout in the same time you would spend in transit, anyway!
  • Pedometer-it! Get a pedometer and/or fitness tracker to keep yourself aware of steps and activity level. This awareness will likely cause you to choose more active options and make better meal choices.
  • It’s all in the family. If your vacation involves visiting family and friends, instead of always gathering over food and drink, make walking dates to catch up and get some movement at the same time. Even casual hikes at nearby scenic destinations will make your visit that much more treasured.

The options are endless and the change of pace may just make you adopt some of these as a part of your fitness plan even once you return from vacation-land. It’s not an obligation, but an opportunity for adventure!

Stay Motivated and Reach Your Summertime Fitness Goals

Well, we’re finished with June and maybe you are not finding yourself where you expected to be when you first set your fitness goals a few months back. Perhaps your momentum has, well, lost speed?  If so, or you just need an extra boost to keep pushing toward your fitness goals, we have come up with some pretty good tricks to stick to the bathroom mirror or add to that nifty fitness app on your phone.

  • Put out your workout clothes and gear the night before.  The first thing you see when you wake up helps you to remember and keep on track as well as pushes the excuses aside.  Keep your ankle weights in the bathroom and yoga mat set out in front of the TV with the DVD in and ready to go. These visual reminders send strong messages to your brain and help you to keep workouts a priority.
  • Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons.

    Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons.

    Use goal setting/fitness sites and let your convictions drive you.  Keep to your weekly exercise goals and you donate to your favorite cause; fail to stay on track and donate to a cause or politician you do not support. On Stickk, a site to help you stay faithful to your exercise goals; you pledge the amount and cause depending on your budget and goals. On Plus 3Network, you choose goals from a previously set list of corporate sponsors and if you meet you goals, they pay to the charity you signed up to support. Just knowing that your progress and success benefits those causes that matter most to you will keep you accountable.

  • Re-think your mental hurdles. Take time to make a list of the phrases you typically tell yourself when you are sabotaging your workout routine.  Then turn each one around with a new, positive approach. Have the new ones ready for when you are tempted to dwell on your old mental hurdles. “I am too worn out at the end of my work day to head to the gym.” Re-think it to: “I am tired, but a workout will energize me and I will sleep better tonight after getting in a workout!  Or, “It is taking me forever to see any results!” Re-think it to: “Each day I work out is one more day of building my heart and also bone density; two things I cannot see but are happening…the visual changes will come!”
  • Invest in your workouts.  Not having the right clothes and gear can provide roadblocks to staying on track with workouts. When you spend the money for great looking clothes and gear you make an emotional investment as well a financial one and it keeps you involved.  Cool looking workout clothes and fun new gear makes the workout more fun, anyway!
  • Join an online workout tracker or social networking site.  This can provide social support when done via FaceBook or other social networking sites.  Online fitness trackers help with a sense of accountability. Fitness magazine provides a free tracker. Chronicling your workouts and progress provides support and accountability and you are less likely to skip when others are cheering you on. If you don’t want all your “friends” on Face book looking in on your workouts, start a group page or event and begin inviting those you know that would be interested, and they can invite those in their community.  Before you know it, you will have an army of support and encouragement behind you.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are.  Know that there is something in side you that is greater than any obstacle” Christian D. Larson

New Year’s Resolution: 5 Easy Exercises to Do Every Day

If you’re like the 14,278,000+ Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions, it’s time to start thinking about your goals for 2014! About 8% of that 14 million will be successful with their goals. So let’s shoot to be in that 8%!

Adding exercise into your already busy day can be much easier than you may realize. While having a fitness plan with dedicated daily time is optimal, on those busy days that won’t afford you the time you need to fit in a full workout, try these easy-to-do-anywhere exercises that can keep you on a path toward your fitness goals!

SQUATS

Stand firmly with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Keep a straight back, and bend at the knees. When you feel the most tension in your muscles, hold that position for a few seconds, then return to the standing position. If you’re a beginner, try it at first with a chair on either side for support and do it 3-5 times. As you build those muscles, increase your reps and duration of time in the bottom position… Squats can be done anywhere and at any time!

Photo Credit: SparkPeople.com

Photo Credit: SparkPeople.com

TRICEP DIPS

Find a solid bench or chair to use—no wheels! Sit on the edge with your hands to the outside of your thighs. With your feet flat on the floor, use your arms to lift yourself off of the bench, and lower your body until your elbows are at about a 90° angle—then push yourself back up! Start off with smaller amounts, and listen for your body to say “stop!”. Like any exercise, as you build those muscles, increase your reps.  Read more

Holiday Health – It Doesn’t Have to Mean Dieting

With the holiday season upon us, we’re surrounded by opportunities to make good & healthy decisions that will echo throughout the upcoming year. You don’t need the New Year to be here to resolve to be healthy. We know the holiday season is rife with opportunities to indulge in delicious foods & beverages that are perhaps… not so healthy… and we tend to forego exercise in exchange for family time, parties, shopping & a few extra minutes in our comforter cocoon in the morning. Amid all the opportunities for choices that will negatively affect our health & fitness, is it possible to stay in the holiday spirit and stay healthy & have a positive attitude about fitness?

holiday healthy santaWith the family-centricity of the season, you can take the opportunity to inspire your family to be active & healthy throughout the holidays. Lead the charge this year by involving your family & friends in active holiday traditions. In the cold of the winter, we tend to hunker down inside with hot drinks & books, TV & movies (and we’re not saying those things are bad)—but there’s a lot that you can do with your family to keep moving while enjoying one another’s company. Read more

How Do You Measure Up? Simple Fitness Tests

Simple Fitness Tests

If we were to ask you how fit you are, chances are you’d say something like “Not very” or “More than I used to be.” However, having specific numbers to compare your progress to can be a huge motivator to keep moving. And, if you’re just getting started, performing a few simple fitness tests can be a real eye-opener, helping you commit to regular exercise. Fortunately, you probably already have everything on hand to perform basic fitness tests. Read more

What’s YOUR Motivation?

Healthy WeightWe’ve talked about the word ‘motivation’ quite a bit as it relates to a fit, healthy lifestyle…and we’ll continue to talk about it, as it’s key to starting, and importantly, SUSTAINING fit behavior change. Read more

Walking Back to Health: How One Man Was Fighting Diabetes 30min a Day

fighting diabetes

As we come to the end of Diabetes Awareness Month, we wanted to share an account of one man’s Fit After Fifty change journey…   Read more

Healthy Competition: Compete Only With Yourself

healthy competition

Most of us likely caught some of the action during this recent Olympic Games. These athletes are truly amazing specimens of the word athlete. And you know it’s safe to assume, they KNOW they’re very aware of their healthy competitionRead more

The Best Time To Start Getting In Shape Is Now

 

 

We’re all human.  We often have pretty good intentions.  We even tell ourselves, “Oh yeah, I’m totally going for a run tomorrow after work to start getting in shape.”  Then someone mentions the idea of a happy hour.  You stay strong.  But with a little peer pressure and the thought of a rooftop deck with a brew seems to overpower even our best efforts… Read more

The Power of Social Fitness Communities: Be Social!

social fitness

Is Social Fitness The Way to Go?

Fit After Fifty believes it is! One of the biggest challenges, especially for those new to fitness, is staying on track with your workout program. To some, having a “workout buddy” can help you stay motivated, as can hiring a trainer (the two roles might even mesh together!). Some might prefer to workout alone since that helps them concentrate on certain techniques with no interruptions and will be in and out of the gym. However, “going social” with your fitness routine not only helps stave off boredom but reaps other benefits as well.

Seek out a community that encourages and supports you to help reach your goals…maybe help you define those goals in the first place.  A “fitness community” can vary in shape & form–a running club, a crossfit gym, the YMCA, a group of friends that meet for weekly pick-up volleyball, a golf club, your spouse that walks with you every morning…[fill in the blank].  Making social fitness most often facilitates a certain level of  variety, intensity and group energy.  The camaraderie and resulting peer pressure lead to accountability, which tends to keep even the most couch-potato-inclined moving. Read more