What’s In It For Me?

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Where to begin?

This is a question that was posed to me by a fellow blogger, in regards to getting back on track, becoming more active, losing holiday weight gain and where to begin.

Most of us already know “What’s in it for me”? The payout is immense! Better mood, improved sleep, ability to fight off colds and disease, longer life, the list is long.

So now lets look at where to begin . Do you open a savings account with all the money you want to have in it, or do you put in a little at a time? I know for me, it takes time. Money and health can be looked at the same way. They share an investment approach. Hear me out, I’m not preaching about how to get rich, unless you want to take stock in your health and fitness.

“I don’t have enough time”, is often heard.  Schedule that time for yourself. Start with one minute in the morning and one minute in the afternoon. Not so bad, right? Now double that on day two. Seriously, you have two minutes. Is it necessary to lean on the sink while you brush your teeth? That’s right, step in place while brushing. “But Bob, I gotta watch the traffic and weather before I go to work”. Awesome, I see about three more minutes of opportunity right there! Work your way up in time spent moving. Sometimes we struggle with the word exercise, so call it movement.

Do you find yourself spending a few minutes in the kitchen while the coffee is brewing or while you savor that first cup? Rest your hands on the counter edge,  put your feet back a little, and do some push ups against the counter. They do not have to be done lying down. Just make sure your feet are secure and not going to slide. Calf raises are an easy exercise as well. Up on your tip toes and back down.

Packing lunches or making breakfast? Grab that milk or juice jug and lift it a few times. Sound silly? Maybe to the person that doesn’t take the opportunity to try or utilize their time.  Save those rubber bands that are wrapped around packages or produce. Keep one at your desk, in your purse, in that catch all drawer and use it as a hand exerciser. Loop it around the ends of your fingers and spread them apart. This will increase your grip and tone up your forearms.

The key to all of this is beginning. Set an alarm or an appointment reminder, whatever it takes for you to reserve that time for yourself. By the way, it took you about 1 minute and 45 seconds to read this far. (wink)

Now to the nutrition part of this. Exercise, or movement, is only about 20% of the equation. We put on that holiday weight because of all the temptingly delicious offerings that are around every corner. Trust me, I know. I enjoy food too. Okay, so we enjoyed ourselves a little too much with all the extras that were so tempting. Get back on track. If you racked up debt from holiday spending, it’s time to start saving again. Same thing with the diet, or food intake if you will. Cut back on the sugars, carbs, gravies, sauces, (Yeah, I know..), and begin eating sensibly again. More vegetables, lean protein, fresh fruit, you know the drill, whole grains.

We bombard our bodies with these changes in poor diet choices, and in turn we spend more time sitting around chatting with friends and family. All we need to do is reverse this. More time moving and less time making unhealthy food choices. Just by moving more, you increase the metabolism needed to effectively burn the fuel you take in.

Do you need more motivation? Contact me at bob@guidancefitnesspt.com

The first step was taken when you chose to read this. Now get up and move 😉

In fitness, Bob

Chocolate please!

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IMG_20141021_164239_405                                                                                                             The health benefits of chocolate are an excellent reason to indulge daily, not to mention the numerous ways that you can use it while cooking. In it’s purest form, it is bitter. It is only after a fermenting, roasting and mild sweetening, that the raw form of cacao becomes cocoa and then the luscious chocolate that we know and love.

Cacao is a bean the comes from the cacao tree. The beans are found inside football shaped pods that grow on the limbs and trunk of the tree.

Cocoa has been used medicinally for it’s health benefits throughout history. Even more recently it has been shown to decrease blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of stroke, and improve blood vessel health. Decreasing your LDL (bad),  and increasing your HDL (good) cholesterol level, helps improve your cardiovascular health. Cocoa is rich in flavonoids (antioxidants), which has also been found to lower the risk of diabetes.

Mood is elevated by the anti-depressant properties when an increase of dopamine and seratonin are released. No wonder marketing professionals make chocolate seem so seductive, It is!

Chocolate in it’s healthiest form has little to no sugar or added ingredients. When you buy chocolate for your health, try to stick to 70% dark or above.

IMG_20141021_164304_912                                                                                                            One of my favorite ways to indulge in 100% pure cocoa, is to mix 1/2 Tbsp into 8oz plain Greek yogurt, sprinkle in some cinnamon powder and sweeten lightly with honey or agave and serve. Sprinkle pure cocoa on top of banana slices, coated with  peanut butter for a snack. If you are looking for a way to change up a pot of red chili, try adding a couple tablespoons of cocoa in for some extreme depth. This goes well with a touch more heat from your choice of spicy seasoning as well.                                                                                   In fitness, Bob