Welcome to week 3 of the BetterU Challenge! (New here or want to find out more about this program? Jump back to the week 1 information here!)
The topic this week for the BetterU challenge is “Sticking to your plan” focusing on “Physical fitness anywhere”. At the live get-together for the BetterU participants this week Amy Kirk from the Lynnwood rec center (one of our gracious sponsors) came in to chat with us about her topic “Small changes to make a BIG difference.” She showed us how to incorporate some great body-weight (in other words you don’t need any special equipment, just using your body weight as resistance) exercises into our day-to-day lives. Amy did a great job and I want to thank her for her knowledge!
This is the valuable information Amy shared with the group:
- Walk. Beginning with a low impact activity is a great way to introduce your body to exercise. Walking is also one of the most accessible modes of physical fitness, just lace up and go! I love what Amy had to say about this: “Think about a plan but while you’re doing it, walk!” I love this! Seriously, just do it! Go for a walk whenever you can!
- Change Intensity. Already moving, but nothing is changing? Exercising at an appropriate intensity is crucial to a good workout.
- Try Something New. In the age of Groupon and Living Social, there is always an affordable opportunity to try something new.
- Make A Plan. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Exercise doesn’t happen automatically, you must make a decision to move.
- Set Goals. Give yourself the chance to strive toward something (maybe a local 5K race!) Fitness goals do not have to be in the shape of pounds or inches.
- Find A Buddy. Exercising in groups or with a friend has proven that people exercise longer and harder when they have a sense of accountability.
- Follow The 70/30 Rule. You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. 30% of weight loss is exercise 70% of the battle is won in the kitchen.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ANYWHERE.
Need help to know how to do any of these exercises properly? Here is a link to WikiHow. Just type in the exercise in the search field on the top of the page and you’ll get a lot of great feedback and visuals!
Here are 10 exercises you can do anytime, anywhere!
- Squats: use a chair as your guide, stand up, sit down, repeat!
- Lunges: step out with one foot, lower body to achieve a 90 degree in both legs, stand tall and repeat.
- Leg lifts: lift one leg out to the side balancing on the other, repeat 10-20 times then switch legs.
- Calf raises: stand tall, lift heels off the floor on to tippy toes, lower and repeat.
- Push-ups: from your toes, knees or even up against a wall. There is a push-up to fit everyone!
- Arm circles: yes, just like in P.E. Circle one way for 30 seconds then change directions.
- Triceps dips: put your hands on the edge of a bench or chair; lower and lift.
- Inch worm: reach hands down to the floor, walk hands out until your body is flat, walk hands back in.
- Jumping jacks: yep, the good old-fashioned kind.
- Mountain climbers: hands on the floor, bring one knee to your chest and quickly switch legs.
- Living a sedentary lifestyle is more dangerous to your health than smoking.
- 20% of all deaths of people 35 and older were attributed to a lack of physical activity.
- Lack of physical activity increased the risk of dying of cancer 45% for men and 25% for women.
- Lack of physical activity increased the risk of dying from respiratory ailments increased 92% for men and 75% for women.
(Doesn’t this make you want to move your bum!?)
You can download the BetterU Week 3 PDF file with great information about making better choices when eating out here.
Week 3 Action Items
Action items from the BetterU program book, plus a couple of extra recommendations from me:
- Track your success. Whether you use an app, a computer program or a good old-fashioned little notebook (my personal preference because I don’t make the time to sit down to log everything in, but is great to do to begin with to get an idea of calorie intake.) Just write it down. Write down your activity and your food intake. Get in this habit for accountability and to be able to look back to see where you may be having some slip-ups and identify why.
- Focus on behaviors you want to change.
- Make time to make your log and review it. I like to leave my notebook in the kitchen and I just jot everything down really quick!
- Set a goal of 150 minutes of moderate intensity (75 minutes for vigorous intensity) activity every week. Make it something fun, enjoyable and that you look forward to. Remember, this doesn’t have to be done in large chunks of time. Fit in 10 minutes here or there, wherever you can. It all adds up!
- Do some of the activities listed above that you can do anywhere, anytime and try to make a habit of it. Drop to the floor right when you wake up and do 20 push-ups. Do leg lifts while you’re brushing your teeth. Calf raises while on the phone. Squats while you are cooking dinner and stirring the pan. It all adds up! (Participant Jennifer recommended doing the Tree Pose while warming tea or brushing your teeth – give it a try!)
- If you’re not already setting a goal to get in more resistance training in addition to your walking/cardio can really help build lean muscle, burn more calories and really help to shape your body.
- Do you work at a desk all day? Can you somehow incorporate activity into your day and get paid to get healthy? 🙂 Try a small pedal contraption below your desk, get a stand-up desk and a small elliptical to stand on while you’re at the computer, sit on a stability ball, lift hand weights while on the phone, fit in a walk on your 10 minute break, squat while on the phone are all some ways you can try to get a bit more physical activity into your day!
- Celebrate your successes!
- Keep up the great work on what you’re already doing! Small changes can have a big impact on your numbers!
- Add one new healthy thing you want to try this week (got water intake down? Try eating one more vegetarian meal this week; doing great getting the right servings of the right foods? Try looking for a few new recipes you’re excited to try that are within your skill level. The internet is FULL of ideas for everyone!)
- See the great information in the book about making healthier choices when you are eating out. Sometimes eating out can’t be avoided, but it doesn’t mean you have to blow your health goals. There are usually healthy choices everywhere. See page 27 in the BetterU book or download the PDF linked above if you’re following along with us for great examples. Save those really great meals out for special occasions as a once-in-awhile treat without guilt! Tip: When eating out check the menu online before you go and look for healthy options. When you arrive don’t be tempted by looking at the menu, just give your waiter/waitress your order and enjoy your healthier choice!
- Keep sitting down once a week to meal plan and schedule your activity. Again this is a HUGE KEY TO SUCCESS!
Week 3 Highlights
- Such great feedback from our participants this week! Great strides every week, this will definitely add up to seeing a decrease in the numbers that REALLY count: blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar.
- Real Food – the participants are getting this! I think it is integral to a healthier life with natural weight maintenance. Not only that, but a longer life as well!
- Kirsten’s recipe of the week: Greek Quinoa Breakfast Scramble! We are getting a lot of requests for more quinoa recipes and interesting ways to use it, I hope this fits the bill!
Have a wonderful week and congratulations on Week 3 towards a BetterU!
Special thanks to our sponsors: