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“March”ing Ahead

iStock_000014614375SmallLike most people, I am beyond over this miserable winter.

This particular Motivation Monday post goes live after a weekend filled with another round of ever-changing weather reports for yet another winter storm filled with uncertain snowfall totals and other foul-weather calamities. Which means many of  you could be cooped up at home today, and quite possibly with kids who are missing yet another school day thanks to Old Man Winter. If that’s the case, take a deep breath and remember, exercise is one of the best ways to produce some endorphins which can keep the “winter blues” at bay. And let’s face it – with this winter still very much in full effect, we need all the help we can get!

The good news is you don’t need to leave the house to get those mood-elevating endorphins flowing through your system. In fact, if you’ve been meaning to give Tabata training a try or have been thinking about adding it back into your fitness routine, a forced day indoors is the perfect time to make it happen!

Click here for a refresher on Tabata training and how you can get one or two in around the house today.

Push-Up: One of my Tabata training faves

Push-Up: One of my Tabata training faves

Some of my favorite basic exercises that work perfectly for Tabata training and need no equipment:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Plank
  • Squats
  • Side planks
  • Bridges
  • Crunches
  • Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Push-Ups

Since Tabatas are done in four-minute intervals, I present this challenge: why not try to bang out two or three consecutive Tabatas (giving you roughly 10-15 minutes of activity) two or three times throughout the course of the day? By dinner time, you could easily bang out 30 minutes of exercise (or more!) while keeping a steady level of endorphins running through your body as a bonus!

If you have other survival tips for keeping the body and mind in good form during this winter that just won’t quit, I’d love to hear about them! Here’s to keeping those spirits up and holding out hope for a warm and sunny spring filled with chances to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Fast Friday Thoughts on Emotional Eating

TGIF!

I started this week with new energy to bolster my self-discipline where my diet and exercise habits are concerned. Five days later, I’m happy to say I feel much better than I did at this time last week. One of the reasons behind the shift has to do with addressing a downfall many of us can relate to: emotional eating.

I suppose you could say I’m “lucky” that stress and anxiety usually cause me to eat less thanks to an unsettled stomach. However, for whatever reason this past month, my stomach was more than happy to welcome my comfort food cravings including those big bowls of cereal while watching TV before bed or that extra glass of red wine. I was able to keep those cravings at bay this week. How? By realizing my body didn’t really want the cereal or even the wine. Instead, I was searching for something that couldn’t be found at the bottom of a bowl or wine glass.

In fact, the cravings had nothing to do with my stomach at all. I was really looking for a something to lift my spirits. The key is figuring out where you can find that boost outside the refrigerator. Getting back to my normal exercise routine at the gym helped satisfy my “cravings,” as did catching up on emails with a few “old” friends and talking to others on the phone. I also found reading in bed before calling it a day instead of sitting on the couch and staring at the TV kept me from eating unnecessary calories.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are some days when a cupcake really can make things a little better. It’s just important to not let the total number of those days add up.

The bottom line is anyone – even full-time fitness fanatics like me – can  make unhealthy choices thanks to a less-than-stellar mood. The key is breaking that automatic connection between food and mood and learning to identify when you’re eating for reasons that have nothing to do with being hungry. The good news is you can retrain yourself to find a boost from other things like exercise or interacting with friends. Luckily, there are plenty of mood enhancers out there that won’t sidetrack your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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