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.
If there’s just one exercise you do for the rest of your life, it should be walking. Studies show that simply adding 20 minutes of brisk walking each day can reduce the risk of mortality by 24% in people of normal weight and by 16% in people who are obese. And walking just 20 minutes a day will help you burn over 10lbs in a year!
And that’s not all!
MyFitnessPal has put together this cool little graphic to explain all of the benefits your body gets from walking.
a person of unconventional and slightly strange views or behavior.
Wow, that sounds just like me! 🤪
However, when I say that I want you to be more eccentric when working out, I don’t mean wearing crazy colors and boogieing between sets to your favorite playlist (although, please send a video if you do!) What I mean is being mindful of the eccentric component of any exercise your perform.
Admit it. Part of you didn’t want to click on this article because you thought “no way that can be true!” but part of you was curious anyway. Well, it’s true and it was really simple. Let me explain what I discovered.
I love my morning coffee. In fact, I will drink at least 3 cups in the morning and sometimes even 4 cups. I normally drink half-caf coffee, so it’s not a simple case of just wanting the caffeine. I love the taste.
Even during my diet and fitness overhaul, I have used full-fat half & half creamer in my coffee. Mostly because it was organic and cheap at Costco. However, that’s 40 extra calories per cup of coffee. Well, today, I finally made a change and switched to a coconut-almond creamer that has just 15 calories per serving.
25 calories saved X 3 cups X 365 (yes, I drink coffee every day) ÷ 3500 (the standard number of calories per 1lb) = 7.82 lbs lost over the next year!
Wow! Nearly 8 pounds will be lost over the next 12 months and all I did was switch coffee creamers!!!
Not only does that show you how hidden calories can quickly add up to extra pounds over a year, but there are many that you can cut or substitute and subsequently lose weight without much effort.
Take a look in your pantry. Take a look at your daily diet. What can you change? Start small and you can still see big results!
Once the 2019 holiday festivities were behind me I switched my focus and training to my March 15th goal–complete my 2nd half-marathon and crush my previous time. I trained hard, completed many runs, and was ready to line up and race. Then, 3 days before race day, the race was canceled and the state of North Carolina joined many other states in a Coronavirus/COVID-19 lockdown and keeping everyone at home.
I was devastated, but instead of quitting altogether, I adjusted my plans and worked harder than ever on my health. Over the last 3 months, I have stayed committed to my diet, exercise, and mental health plans and, after weighing in this week?
I lost 1 pound–and I’m pretty happy with that number. Here’s why…
When I first started working out and getting healthy I heard the phrase “cross-training” many times, but never really looked into what it actually meant. Before I give you my own definition, here’s the official definition of cross-training:
the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport. “most serious athletes in any sport these days do some form of cross-training”
And with that definition, I never considered myself that much of an expert in any one sport so I didn’t need to worry about improving it by adding a complementary activity.
These days, I have come up with my own definition for cross-training:
adding variety to your main exercise of choice so that you don’t get bored, fatigued, or hit a plateau
OK, enough of the super silly humor, let’s get to it. A superset is basically where two different exercises are performed back-to-back. Instead of doing three sets of bench presses, with a rest between each set, THEN moving on to three sets of seated rows, with a rest between each set, you do one set of bench presses then IMMEDIATELY move on to do one set of seated rows. THEN you take a rest, before repeating.