Exercise & Allergies

Photo Credit: mcfarlandmo

April showers bring May flowers — and allergies for some people. Pollen allergies can make you miserable and might interfere with your regular outdoor exercise routine. You don’t have to give up the great outdoors during allergy season. Some preparation and precautions can make exercising outdoors when  you have allergies a little more tolerable.

Keep track of pollen season on your calendar. Many weather stations and websites publish pollen alerts, which you can use to determine when you should exercise indoors or take extra precautions outdoors. If you know which pollen makes you miserable, avoid outdoor activities during peak times or take medication before you go outdoors. Ozone and other air pollutants can make allergy season worse. Avoid exercising outdoors on days when ozone and pollen counts are high.

Exercise before or after peak pollen levels. Most pollen levels peak around midday. Exercise outdoors in the morning or late afternoon to early evening to avoid the worst pollen levels. Opt for less intense exercise during peak pollen times, too. Instead of running 5 miles, jog for 2 miles or use the treadmill at the gym. Talk to your doctor about exercising outdoors during allergy season, especially if you suffer from asthma.

How a Personal Trainer Can Help You Lose Weight

Photo Credit: www.localfitness.com.au
You might have a little trouble staying motivated or sticking to your workout routine. If so, you might need a personal trainer. Your personal trainer will motivate you and won’t let you quit. Personal trainers develop workouts to help you firm, tone and lose weight. They can teach you the most effective way to exercise for weight loss and help you stick to your routine. Your personal trainer focuses on your specific fitness and weight loss goals to develop a unique workout to help you achieve those goals.
Sometimes a deficit can be a good thing. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means you consume fewer calories than you burn. Your body is burning calories around the clock. Extra calories are stored as fat. To get rid of this fat, eat fewer calories and exercise. Don’t compromise nutrition when cutting calories. Cut back on portions and trade empty calories for nutrient-rich foods. For example, cookies have a lot of calories but little or no nutritional value. Snack on fresh or dried fruit instead. A personal trainer can help you stay on track to control your caloric intake.
Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated on your own. That’s where your personal trainer comes in handy. A personal trainer can not only design a workout just for you, she can keep you motivated when you want to quit. Your personal trainer can help you set realistic goals that you can attain. No, you aren’t going to lose 10 pounds in 5 days, but you can make steady progress toward your weight-loss goal with the help of a personal trainer.
Cardio is the most effective ways to lose weight and get in shape. Your personal trainer will push you to do cardio exercises 3 to 5 times each week, so prepare yourself. Cardio isn’t just running or jogging. It’s any exercises that elevates your heart rate, respiration and gets you sweating. You’ll improve your heart health, lung efficiency and reduce your risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease and diabetes. Expect your personal trainer to throw some strength training at you, too. Strength training helps you retain muscle mass while you are losing weight.
A personal trainer may expect you to put in some time on the various cardio and strength machines in the gym. You can burn as much as 200 calories per hour working out on a treadmill. An elliptical machine is also a great fat-burner plus it’s a low-impact workout so it’s easier on your joints than a treadmill. Riding a stationary bike can help you lose weight, but the rowing machine can burn up to 50 percent more fat because you are using your upper and lower body at the same time. Your personal trainer will help you design a gym machine workout that fits your weight-loss goals.


Workout For Couch Potatoes

Photo Credit: Bart Everson CC-BY-2.0

If you’ve been inactive for a long time, it may be difficult to get started on a fitness program. Everyone needs to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It doesn’t matter whether you exercise for 30 minutes uninterrupted or in 5 minute or 10 minute intervals. Beginners can begin a fitness routine without even leaving their television room. When watching your favorite television program, exercise during commercial breaks to firm, tone and lose weight.

On the first commercial break, drop and do 10 push-ups! Push-ups work your arms, chest, back and abdominal muscles. If regular push-ups are too difficult, get on your hands and knees to do push-ups instead of stretching your legs out. When your arms and abs are stronger, try doing 20 push-ups.

Chair squats are easy to do but give your butt, thighs and abs a good workout. On the second commercial break, stand up in front of your chair with your hands on your hips. Keep your back straight and bend your body at the hips. Lower your butt toward your chair, but don’t touch the chair seat. Push your body back up straight using your legs. Do 10 chair squats and increase the number of repetitions as you grow stronger.

Replace the magazines and snacks on your television room table with a glass of water, dumbbells and resistance bands. Do 10 biceps curls using light-weight dumbbells, 2 pounds to 5 pounds in the beginning. You can also do 10 repetitions of triceps extensions, arm raises and shoulder presses during the commercial breaks. Use resistance bands by standing on the band and pulling upward to exercise your biceps. 

Combine your couch potato workout with a healthy, low-fat diet and drink plenty of water. Can you think of other ways to get fit during commercials? 

May Is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Photo Credit: Peter van der Sluijs CC-BY-SA-3.0

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. It’s a great time to start a fitness program or help family members become more active. It’s never too late to start getting fit. Children and teens should get an hour of exercise each day. Adults of all ages need about 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous exercise or 2 1/2 hours of moderate exercise each week. Once you make exercise part of your daily routine, it’s easy to stay physically fit and active throughout your life. People who exercise regularly are less likely to have high blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and have lower cholesterol. National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a good time to get active and to help family members become more active.  You can find more information about recommended activity levels for people of all ages and physical ability on the US Department of Health and Human Services website, Physical Activity Guidelines.
Help get members of your family off the couch and exercising by taking small steps. Choose an activity that every member of the family can participate in regardless of their fitness level. Begin by taking a family walk around the block after dinner two times each week for a month. Go for a family block walk three times each week the next month. Take the whole family for a bike ride or go roller skating in the park after dinner one night each week. 
Sign up for a family membership at your local YMCA or gym. Take the whole family swimming at the gym or YMCA every weekend. Meet up with family members at the gym twice each week and then enjoy a treat like low-fat frozen yogurt afterwards. Make it a routine and make it fun for everyone. Challenge family members by helping them to set realistic fitness goals and then make it a race to success! For example, challenge your spouse to a race to lose 10 pounds in the next 60 days by eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. 
Buy fitness-friendly birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts instead of toys, games and trinkets. Bicycles, skates, skateboards and sports balls make great gifts for kids and adults. Don’t forget the helmets and protective pads! Dumbbells, pedometers, new exercise clothes and sneakers are great gifts for adults and kids. Try a new healthy dinner recipe each week. Involve the kids in making the menu choices and helping in the selection and preparation of nutritious ingredients and side dishes.

Can you think of other ways to get your kids and spouse or partner involved in physical activity and healthy food choices?