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Simple Resistance Exercises

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Woman using exercise band at home, Q4fit.com

Everyone is looking for the secret to getting into shape with the least amount of time, sweat, and effort.  Well, as it has been my experience, it simply doesn’t exist.  Sorry, to tell you but easy doesn’t have anything to do with getting into shape.

We tend to get ‘out of shape’ because we do the easy thing.  

  • We eat without thinking, easy.  
  • We sit without realizing how long we have done it, easy. 
  • We have wine or beer because we can, easy.  

And that is where the easy is.  It is in the complacency of life without thinking about our shape.

If you want to get into shape or stay in shape, I mean a shape other than round, it takes work.  You should sweat, and it will take some time.  Having said all that, the key is to make your efforts more efficient, if you are looking at time vs end results.

One of the simplest pieces of equipment to use is your own body weight.  Sure, you can go to the gym and use machines, weights, a bosu, medicine balls, and the list actually can go on for a long time, I do this because it works for me, but using your own bodyweight is still a great thing.  If you don’t have the time, don’t want to invest in a gym membership, don’t want the big dollar commitment, bodyweight exercises are a great thing.  It is something that will take as much commitment because consistency is the key here, but you can do some really simple things anywhere.

You will still need to dedicate some time, but you only need space enough to move in.

Here are a few really basic things you can start with.

 

  • Lateral Side Steps

You have two choices of bands, the kind already looped or tie the big kind into a loop.  Step into it, your band will be around your calves or ankles, place feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band, bum down now into a squat and step side to side.  You can then even step back and then forward if you have space.  This little move will work your butt and your legs.  Keeping the band tight is the key.  Once it is loose you loose ‘resistance’.  

  • Bent-Over Row

This move will work your back, making your back strong helps to keep your abs tight.  Use a long band either the kind with the handles or wrap the band around your hands.  The band should be long enough for you to hold it while standing on it.  Bend over, bend your knees a little and pull the band back as if picking it up from the ground.  Again, keep the band tight, don’t let it get floppy.  You should feel your shoulder blades coming together, rather than your forearms doing all the work.

  • Bicep Curls

This one too uses the long band.  Putting one foot forward, step on the band.  Hold the band so that the tension is tight, with your fists facing upward just like a traditional curl.  You can do both hands together, or one at a time, but keep your elbows tight to your sides so that it is your bicep doing the work.

 

These are just three simple movements that can get you started.  If you have something that you can use as an anchor, you will have a lot more options.  This will give you the option of using one leg at a time or one arm at a time, giving you more focus on one particular muscle group at a time.

Most groups of bands are color coded so that you know how stretchy they are.  Some are harder to stretch than other, which increases your chances of muscle growth.

Start slow.  Try to do 10-12 reps of each thing doing 3 sets then move on to the next group of exercises.  Only you will know how hard to push yourself.  

If you don’t work for it, it won’t happen.  If you will put in the time, with some effort you are going to see changes.  Be prepared to work and you will then see results.

 

 

A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch. – Mary Kay Ash

 

Feel free to start your research here. Resistance Bands

10 REASONS WOMEN IN BUSINESS SHOULD LIFT WEIGHTS

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10 Reasons Women in Business Should Lift Weights

I was fortunate enough to go to a women’s networking event a few weeks ago.  The event was in a very old hotel in Vancouver with a view of our harbor, The Sylvia Hotel.  It was a sunny gorgeous day and there I was having lunch with a group of women in business.

To my surprise and delight, the guest speaker was a local personal trainer.  

There are so many times that the health and wellness world and business world clash, but not that day.

As we sat in the warmth of the summer sun, having a lovely lunch we were treated to a presentation on why women should lift weights.  I was so intrigued.  I have been going to the gym for nearly six years and in that time, cardio has been used as a rest time between sets of heavy lifting.  I have been lifting for all that time and I was still quite impressed with somebody else’s look at what I had been doing.  Cool.

So, I asked her if she had her presentation written because I would love to share it, and she did.  Here it is.   Valri Cunningham is a Personal Trainer specializing in Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) to build strength on a solid foundation.

Enjoy this read and consider adding weights to your routine in the gym or at home.

 

10 Reasons Women in Business Should Lift Weights

Is Coffee Healthy or Harmful?

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Is Coffee Healthy or Harmful?
coffee beans roasted,instant and grinded coffee, background with copy space

Way back in the 80’s Doug and I started dating.  As things started getting serious, we started figuring out things that each of us liked and didn’t like.  Doug at one point learned of a few things that I did not like; beer, scotch, and coffee.  He maintained that if our relationship was going to work, something had to change, lol.  Soon after, I had gone out and had a coffee to be polite, yuck.  But my mistake was not tasting the coffee, it was telling Doug because that was it, he began pouring me coffee and boom, I was hooked.

That was 30ish years ago and I still drink coffee.  As a matter of fact, I have been accused of being addicted to it and I still remember my response…so?  That was also a long time ago.

We have since become coffee snobs.  At home, we make espresso as regular coffee.  We have a coffee maker that grinds the beans, can add milk for cappuccino and lattes, but normally it’s a double shot Americano several times a day.

 Oh, that is the best smell in the morning, fresh, hot coffee.

In today’s world, everyone wants to justify what they eat as healthy.  So why not, let’s look at coffee, is it all that it is cracked up to be or should I start my 12 step recovery program now.  Some of these claims are just that: “claims,” but most have been verified and validated.  Having said all that, keep in mind, just with everything else, moderation is very important.

 

  1. Coffee can improve energy levels and make you smarter
  2. Coffee can help you burn fat
  3. Coffee may lower your risk of Type II Diabetes
  4. Caffeine may lower the risk of Parkinson's
  5. Coffee can fight depression and make you happier
  6. Coffee drinkers have less risk of heart disease.
  7. Coffee reduces colorectal cancer risk
  8. Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain

 

Looks good for me now, because I really enjoy my coffee, but, this is just research that has been done because people have been drinking coffee so long, and ‘they’ finally decided to look into what we have all been drinking.  When you decaffeinate coffee, some of the effects will definitely change.  Some methods of decaffeination are actually really harmful.

Coffee by itself is what was studied in these studies when you add milk, cream, sugar, sweetener, and those flavors we have all gotten so used to, things will change a lot. As soon as you add anything, calories, for starters change.

Remember, just with any other food, it has its negative side effects when you consume too much.  Some of the negatives that have been found are worse for some than others, but here are some.

  1. Drinking coffee can stimulate peristalsis. (laxative properties)
  2. Coffee drinkers may have difficulty getting enough minerals in their diet.
  3. Coffee can promote the release of the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
  4. Drinking coffee can also irritate the lining of the small intestine
  5. Coffee can contribute to Ulcers, IBS, and Acidity

 

So,  to coffee or not to coffee is up to you.  But at least you are a little more informed.

 

I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon. – Ronald Reagan

Do You Know How Much You Are Supposed to Weigh?

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Do you know how much you are supposed to weigh?

Do you know how much you are supposed to weigh?  I don’t either.  I know what Google says, but after looking just a little deeper, apparently, Google doesn’t either.  I haven’t decided if that makes me feel better or worse.

I am preparing for a public speaking event this week.  I chose a title that I thought would cause a little shock but more importantly, interest.  

I have titled my speech “ Is Fat The New Healthy?”  

What I didn’t expect was what I found as I researched this subject.

The world has lived in a place where height, weight, age, and gender are the basics for how much we should weigh.  I am glad that we are changing that because that is so outdated.

For example, according to most websites that answer to the am I  fat or not question is, I am fat.  One website goes as far as to tell me that I am “very overweight with a high health risk”.  That is actually very scary.  Except that this came from a weight loss program known for dramatic results because of the severe calorie reduction their clients must do.  It would also be scary if I didn’t know better.  So, if you don’t know better, is that why people are so confused about their own bodies?

I truly believe that how much I am supposed to weigh is actually the wrong question.  My weight is not really the issue.  In my opinion, the question that deserves an answer is this; Is my weight causing me to have health consequences?  How much you weigh is only an issue if it is causing you an issue.  If you are too thin or too heavy, there are consequences.  So, ask the right questions.

  • Is my weight the reason my knees hurt?
  • Is my weight the reason I have troubles sleeping?
  • Is my weight the reason I am out of breath at the top of the stairs?
  • Is my weight the reason I don’t fit into the clothes that I want to buy?
  • Is my weight a factor for the reason I am on medication?

If the answer or even part of the answer is yes, then that is where you begin.  But the how much just gives you a measure to use to check your progress.  If you can use another method, great use it.  Some people use a measuring tape.  Some use a particular item of clothing.  Some use pictures.  Some use other health concerns that are getting progressively better.

I have said it before and I will say it again, we are all different and what applies to you won’t apply to the person sitting across the room from you.  Listen to your own body.  Probably the biggest thing will be conceding and listening honestly to what your body is telling you.  You likely already know but just don’t want to admit it.

But what now?  Well, admitting that the size you are is not the size you are wanting to be is the first step.  But you really, really, really, must want to make the change.  When your mind is truly made up then you will be heading to the right place.

Once your mind is made up, go at your own pace, but it really is important to get some firm goals in place.  Make sure you have your Why firmly in place.  It must be firm for when the road gets a little rough, cause it will, not if, but when.

Be sure it's not just exercise or diet that you are willing to change but both.  Although changing your size is 80%food, exercise will actually speed it up.  Truly.

Check out some past posts that may help in your journey.  

The Cost of Change and The Dreaded Grocery Store

will get you started in the right direction.

 

With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and 60. – Jack Nicholson