The 6 Reasons Why You’re Not Too Busy to Exercise

When you make a list of every single factor in your life that prevents you from regular exercise that list can be painfully long. Regardless of struggling to find the time to work out, regular physical activity is vital for long-term health and wellness.

So throw out that list of excuses and find time for exercise using these six time management tips…

  1. Make a Schedule and Commit to It

It’s easy to blow off an end of the day workout if you don’t actually give it priority on your weekly calendar. Work, social obligations, family responsibilities, and other appointments that you actually do schedule are bound to take priority.

It’s surprising how much more important a workout is when you place it on your calendar. Set an alarm that goes off to remind you to clock out at work and give some priority to your health and wellbeing…it’s worth it.

  1. Focus on Convenience

If you plan to workout outside of your home—at a gym or recreational facility—you can easily use distance as an excuse. Instead, choose a form of exercise that requires little travel and preparation.

You can even do your workout in your own living room. Or take to your neighborhood for a speed walk or run. You don’t need to travel far from home and invest in a boatload of equipment to get a workout. When I’m short on time, I employ a skipping rope, an exercise ball, and gravity and do interval training right in my own home

  1. Something is Better Than Nothing

We all have days when life just gets in the way of everything else, including our regularly scheduled workout. Overtime, sick kids, family emergencies, they can all stop our workouts short or prevent them from happening at all.

However, instead of throwing in the towel on exercise altogether, sneak in little intervals of exercise throughout your day. Take a brisk walk at lunch, take the stairs instead of the elevator, use your 20-minute coffee break to stretch and do some light body weight exercises. Something, after all, is better than no physical activity at all.

  1. Track Your Progress for Success

Oftentimes, if you don’t keep record of your successes, you won’t acknowledge them at all. That’s why when it comes to exercise, tracking your progress will keep you engaged and motivated.

Use one of many workout apps or do it the old fashioned way, and keep notes on your workouts in a blank journal or on a calendar. Measuring your progress (i.e., hours worked out, calories burned, etc.) can help you to stay on track and foster the development of healthy habits.

  1. Get Competitive

Folks that enjoy a bit of competitiveness can tap into their self-drive to succeed by enlisting in various marathons, runs, walks, and organized competitive sports in order to stay active. The desire to stay competitive is beneficial if it keeps you active in team and recreational sports.

Guaranteed you can find intermediate, elite, and beginner sports and rec leagues in your community. Or rally your coworkers for seasonal sports—hockey or curling in the winter, and ultimate Frisbee and volleyball in the warmer months.

  1. Make Exercise Enjoyable

In life as in exercise you are most willing to repeat an activity or hobby if it’s enjoyable. So why in the heck would you force yourself to cycle if you hated riding a bike? Instead, choose an activity that you actually enjoy…no, have fun doing.

If you like to dance, Zumba or ballroom dancing may be the workout for you. If you enjoy a low key workout, explore the many forms of yoga to find one that fits your schedule, fitness goals, and personality. And don’t be shy to try various forms of physical fitness. You will find a style that you actually look forward to every week.

Okay, no more excuses.  Let’s go exercise.

 

10 Tips to Defeat Diabetes

Have a family history of diabetes? Whether you’re at risk or newly diagnosed, here is a plan to help you regain control of your health.

Diabetes is something we have to get a grip on. This is a life-and-death situation—not just about thighs or a tighter tummy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest-growing health problems in the country. 29.1 million people have the disease, including 12.6 million women. Another 79 million American adults have pre-diabetes—higher than normal blood glucose levels that can damage your body. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

But diabetes doesn’t have to be a death sentence.

This is a disease you can reverse with lifestyle changes, by incorporating movement into your life and following an eating plan, and it’s largely preventable in people with pre-diabetes.

Here are my top 10 tips to prevent or manage diabetes:

1. Switch to high-fiber foods.
Eat whole grains. Refined carbs with high glycemic loads, such as white bread and processed foods, increase diabetes risk.

Studies show that people who eat whole grains have a lower risk of developing the disease.

Why? Fiber. It allows the body to digest food without the spike in blood sugar.

2. Write it down.
Keep track of the food you eat, how much you exercise and your weight loss.

It’s a useful tool where you can start to see patterns.

3. You have to move.
Want to cut your diabetes risk by 35%? Just take a brisk hour-long walk daily.

Even after your hour is up, find ways to stay active throughout the day. Carry groceries from the car to the house in two trips instead of one.

Take the dog out for a walk each evening. Kick it up a notch with a few bursts of speed walking during your lap around the neighborhood.

4. Transplant your trans fats.
Purge processed food and sweets from your pantry. Trans fats—anything containing partially hydrogenated oils—boost belly fat and increase heart disease and diabetes risk. Plus they’re high in calories.

Trans fat can also raise your cholesterol levels, which can raise heart disease risk.

Replenish your cupboards with foods containing polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, fish and soybean oil.

5. Make a plan.
Set a goal for each workout to maximize your exercise routine. When you know what you want to accomplish, you’ll be able to set aside enough energy to follow through, whether it’s a one-hour walk or three sets of tricep extensions.

Success will encourage you to challenge yourself more, especially as your blood sugar levels start to improve.

Losing just a little weight makes a huge difference.

6. Pick your proteins.
A few simple swaps can do wonders for your diet. Cut back on red meat and go for more poultry, seafood and legumes, such as beans, lentils and nuts. All are good sources of protein, and leaner choices are lower in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, which, in turn, can reduce your risk of heart disease and other diabetes complications.

If you absolutely must have fast food, try a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a cheeseburger.

7. Treat your feet.
Did you know that more than 60 percent of foot and leg amputations are diabetes-related? According to the America Diabetes Association (ADA), foot problems usually occur when nerve damage (neuropathy) results in a loss of feeling in your feet.

Check your feet regularly for swelling and red spots and maintain foot health by keeping nails trimmed and wearing proper shoes.

Wear comfortable, low-heeled styles that have no rough edges to rub against your feet.

8. Butts out!
Smoking and diabetes are double trouble.

Both put you at risk for heart disease, nerve damage and kidney, foot and eye problems. Also, smoking raises blood sugar levels.

9. Lift weights.
Heart disease is a major concern for people with diabetes. But the risk of both chronic illnesses is lower when the body is lean, she says.

Experts suggest you lose 5 to 10 percent of your body weight and do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, five times a week.

The American Heart Association recommends strength-training to get rid of visceral fat (the kind that surrounds internal organs and creates the pot belly), because it’s the most dangerous for cardiovascular health.

10. You are what you drink.
High-fructose corn syrup in sodas and other beverages is bad news, especially for those at risk for diabetes. These drinks have loads of sugar and empty calories that leave you feeling unsatisfied. Swap your soda for water or unsweetened beverages.Even fruit juice is high in sugar, so stick to the fruit itself.

Follow these 10 tips and you will not only control your health, but keep diabetes at bay.

Using Heat and Cold to Reduce Pain

  • Both heat and cold can help reduce pain. However, it can be confusing to decide which is moreappropriate at any given time. These basic rules may help:

    Use cold for acute pain or a new swollen/inflamed injury.

    Use heat for chronic pain or an injury that is a day or more old.

    Ultimately, you need to choose what works best for you. If icing feels unpleasant, then heat may

    provide more comfort.  However, it is important to take the type of injury into account. Different

    types of injury need different treatments to heal properly. Ice and heat are not substitutes for

    medical evaluation and treatment.

    Thermotherapy for Pain Relief

    Heat is relaxing. That’s why overworked muscles respond best to heat. Heat stimulates blood

    flow, relaxes spasms, and soothes sore muscles. Heat therapy is also known as thermotherapy.

    How It Works

    Overworked muscles become sore because of a chemical called lactic acid. Lactic acid

    accumulates when the muscles are put under stress and deprived of oxygen. When there is

    decreased blood flow to a damaged area, the lactic acid gets stuck. This build-up creates painful

    muscle ache. Heat therapy can help to restore blood flow and speed the removal of lactic acid

    from muscles.

    When to Use Heat Therapy

    Heat is best for treating chronic pain. Chronic pain is persistent or recurrent pain.

    Heat increases blood supply. It stimulates the elimination of toxins. It also relaxes soreness and

    stiffness to bring relief.

    If you suffer from an ongoing injury, apply heat before exercising. Applying heat after exercise

    can aggravate existing pain.

    Types of Heat Therapy

    There are two types of heat therapy: local heat and systemic heat.

    Local heat is applied to a specific area with a:

  • hot water bottle
  • heating pad
  • moist heat (hot, damp towel)
  • heat wrapsSystemic heat raises your body temperature with a:
  • hot bath
  • sauna
  • steam bath
  • hot showerTips for Applying Heat
  • Protect yourself from direct contact with heating devices.
  • Wrap heat sources within a folded towel to prevent burns.
  • Stay hydrated during systemic heat therapy.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to systemic heat therapy.

Cryotherapy for Pain

Generally, ice is used to help fresh injuries. When your body is injured, the damaged tissue

becomes inflamed. This can cause pain, swelling, or redness. Swelling is your body’s natural

response to injury. Unfortunately, local swelling tends to compress nearby tissue leading to pain.

Evidence for using ice to treat pain isn’t as strong as evidence for using heat. Cold therapy is also

called cryotherapy.

How it Works

Ice numbs the injury. The cold narrows blood vessels and slows down blood flow. This can

reduce fluid buildup in the affected area. Ice is believed to aid in control of inflammation and

swelling. It relieves pain, but does not treat the underlying cause.

When to Use Cold Therapy

Cold is best for acute pain caused by recent tissue damage (acute inflammation). Ice is used

when the injury is recent, red, inflamed, or sensitive. Cold therapy can also help relieve any

inflammation or pain that occurs after exercise; this is a form of acute inflammation. However,

unlike heat, you should apply ice <i>after</i> going for a run. Cold treatment can reduce post-

exercise inflammation. Cold therapy can sometimes also help relieve pain in chronic injuries.

Types of Cold Therapy

Cold should only be applied locally. It should never be used for more than 20 minutes at a time.

You can apply cold using:

  • an ice pack
  • an ice towel—a damp towel that has been sealed in plastic and placed in the freezer forabout 15 minutes
  • an ice massage
  • a cold gel pack
  • a bag of frozen vegetablesTips for Applying Cold
  • Apply cold immediately after injury or intense, high-impact exercise.
  • Always wrap ice packs in a towel before applying to an affected area.
  • It’s alright to repeatedly ice painful or swollen tissues. However, you should give yourbody a break between sessions.
  • Do not use ice in areas where you have circulation problems.
  • Never use ice for more than 20 minutes at a time, and give yourself at least 45 minutesbetween applications.Excessive use of cold can cause tissue damage.I hope this helps clarify a few things about when to use ice or heat.