Making changes to your diet and exercise is hard. Very hard! In fact, if you read most articles about this topic you’ll come away thinking you need to go an extreme diet, exercise for an hour or more a day, and give up everything you currently enjoy. That’s not going to be this article. Instead, I am looking at heart attack and stroke prevention advice from a practical standpoint. I want to share with you small changes that motivate you, not scare you, and can be added to your daily routine.
Not only do the tips below include small daily changes, but you can even start by just picking one of them to make over the next few weeks. You probably inherited many of your risks for a stroke or heart attack or built them up over many years, so don’t feel the need to rush to make extreme changes quickly. Make small changes to achieve big goals.
Going to the gym to workout can be intimidating. You look around and you see many folks lifting some crazy-heavy weights. You feel a sense of pressure that if you don’t lift a heavy dumbbell or you select a low weight on your favorite machine, you’ll look weak, feeble, and maybe even suffer a snicker or eye-roll.
Do not worry about how you look at the gym. Focus on how you feel.
When you lift a weight or use a machine, yes, it should feel heavy, but not so heavy that you either:
Only manage to do a couple of reps each time.
Abbreviate your motion because it feels too heavy to fully push, pull, or lift your chosen weight.
Feel pain or too much tension around your muscles or joints.
When you select a heavier weight you often miss out on lifting controlled, engaged, and extended. What do I mean?
Controlled – you feel comfortable that you can complete the exercise without your elbows flaring, your knees wobbling, or your back rounding.
Engaged – your mind should be able to focus on a mental connection with the muscle you are working. Feel it working. Don’t be distracted by how heavy the weight feels.
Extended – don’t shortcut your motion. You should not abbreviate your leg press or your bicep curl because the weight is too heavy.
The next time you lift weights at the gym, don’t worry about what others may think of your chosen weight–their approval does not lead to an increase in your fitness.
I’m sick and tired. But not of working out and eating healthy. After a quick overseas trip, I returned home with a heavy cold.
I want to work out. I even tried to play some tennis. But, I’m both physically and mentally fatigued. That’s generally a good sign (oxymoron?) that your body is diverting all available resources to fight the illness. Your body needs to focus its energy on fighting the virus, so don’t divert your body’s limited resources to cardio and weight training.
Should you always give up exercise when you’re sick?
When the new year starts, it starts out slow, right? I mean, we just spent a week or so either off work or (for most) it was quiet with less to do than normal. When it’s quiet, we have more time to spend on our new year’s resolutions. In particular, we find ourselves spending an hour at the gym, making that delicious salad we’ve had pinned since the summer, or spending the early morning in prayer or meditation.
Well, my friends, it’s that time of year. Time to set your New Year’s resolutions.
This is a task that is often filled with a mix of excitement and, let’s be honest, anxiety. We know we need to make some changes, but when we look back at previous New Year’s resolutions, we see more failure than success. But, don’t fret! There’s usually just one reason why we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions: We think big, we act big, and we miss big.
If you’re contemplating adding walking or running to improve your health in the New Year, don’t fret over how fast you go. Many studies show that it doesn’t matter whether you walk, jog, or sprint, covering 1 mile will burn the same. Approximately 100 calories for the average person.
So, whether you’re on a treadmill, at a park, or out at the track, the longer your distance, the more calories you’ll burn.
Slow and steady can help you win the race of life!