You don’t have time to skip your workout Part 2

Most people know that you get long term benefits from working out – things like:

-increased cardiovascular fitness and ability

-overall increase in muscle tone

-better body tone and composition

-an improved sense of well-being

-healthier overall blood pressure


These results are great as part of a long term-lifestyle motivation.

But did you know that you get at least three distinct benefits the same day that you do your exercise?
You don’t have to wait weeks or months to see these benefits – these are yours to enjoy on the same day as your workout.


Reduced Stress

Taking an exercise break from the rest of the activities of the day is a great way to reduce stress.  You can release much of the stress and anxiety of the day with exercise.  A short intense workout can help you refocus on tasks at hand and move past frustrations or mental blocks. A moderately intense workout can also release endorphins to your system.  These “feel good” chemicals released by your brain help to reduce feelings of stress and pain, and promote a sense of well being.


Increased Energy Level

If you’re not in the habit of regularly working out, this may seem counter-intuitive; but working out will actually give you increased energy levels.  I’m not talking about working out far beyond your ability or running a marathon, but a moderate to intense 30-60 minute workout increases blood flow to both muscles and brain.  The release of endorphins as noted above – responsible for the so-called “runners high” can help give you the energy to complete tasks, even on a very full day.


Better sleep

A moderate to intense workout burns fat, stimulates the brain and muscular systems, and promotes a sense of well being during the day.  In addition to this, it can also help you sleep better at night.  I recommend that you don’t exercise right before going to bed; for some people this may interfere with sleep or being able to fall asleep quickly.  However, a good workout during the day will generally help you sleep better at night and promote better quality sleep.  For other tips on sleep, see my posts healthy sleep and healthy sleep part2.


There are many other short-term benefits in addition to these.  Start adding your workout to your daily schedule and experience for yourself what regular exercise can do for you!


Want more info or have a question?   Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.

You don’t have time to skip your workout

The most frequent reason I hear people give for why they don’t exercise is that they “don’t have time.” While there are the rare days when you might truly be pressed for time because of travel or flight schedules, I’ll tell you why even on your busiest days – you don’t have time to not exercise.

The reality is that it is a matter of priorities and planning whether or not we have time built in or allotted for working out. The number one thing you can do to make sure you have time to exercise is to build it in your schedule. There is no absolute best time of day to work out; the best time is what works for you. If you’re no currentlyt in the habit of regularly exercising (and you should be), the first thing you need to do is make it a regular part of your lifestyle.

Plan some time in your schedule every day for exercise. It really doesn’t matter whether it is first thing in the morning or later in the day. You may have to experiment with a few different times of day before you find what works best for you. I prefer to exercise right after I come home from work. By that time, I’m ready for a round of P90X or a good run to wring out the tensions of the day, give my muscles a chance to move, stretch and be pushed, – and sweat out some toxins. The most important thing is to make it part of your daily schedule – a part of your lifestyle.
You do this by doing it regularly – every day.

Putting it on your schedule you makes it a priority – makes it important enough that you have set time aside for it.   Don’t let other things crowd it out – it’s as important (maybe even more important) than the other things you do.  By placing it on your schedule, you won’t be faced with having to make a decision about whether or not you “have time” to work out.

Don’t’ stress too much if you have to miss a day once in a while because of illness or the occasional travel day. But you will find that if you make it a part of your regular schedule, you won’t want to miss it, your day will just go better when you get your exercise in, and your day will feel “off” if miss it.

This isn’t a bad thing; exercise should be something that you look forward to. If you hate what you do for your workout – try something else! There are so many options for staying fit and giving your body the activity it needs to stay healthy – more on that in another post.

Once you make your workout a part of your lifestyle – not only will you find that you do have time for it (even on your busy days) but you’ll also experience a few distinct benefits that come along with daily exercise – including an increased energy level.
More on that in my next post – You don’t have time to skip your workout Part 2; find out about the three distinct benefits you get on the same day that you do your exercise.

Questions, comments, or want to find out more?
Leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

Diet or Exercise – which is more important? Part II

Diet or Exercise – which is more important?

This “frequently asked question” has an interesting answer; because of the way they work together, it’s really difficult to separate diet and exercise.  Both are an important and synergistic part of a healthy lifestyle.

The bottom line answer to this question: your diet is more important (but not going on a diet)!  Surprisingly though, if you are just starting down the path to a healthier lifestyle, I recommend that you begin by focusing on exercise.  Let’s explore a few reasons why exercise is the best way to start.

  1. Most people want to see some changes early on; your body will probably respond to exercise more quickly.   Remember, you spent your whole life getting to where you are now, so don’t expect changes overnight.   However, you will probably be surprised at how quickly your body responds to regular physical activity.   Be smart and take small steps toward you goal; start by walking for half an hour instead of jumping in to running 3 miles a day.
    By starting with a sustainable amount of activity, you can make this a part of your lifestyle and increase your activity as you make physical and fitness gains.   Most importantly – don’t skip, don’t make excuses, make sure you do something every day.
  2. Adding regular physical activity will start to “wake up” and revitalize a sluggish metabolism.   If you haven’t been exercising regularly, you will be amazed at what regular activity will do for you.   These bodies were made to be active, and adding in regular physical activity will benefit you in so many ways.  You’ll probably notice that sleep and digestion start to improve, along with other things too,   Start with something sustainable so that you won’t get discouraged.
    Don’t  start on something you can’t keep up with (either too strenuous or too time consuming).You might be tempted to want to go out and run a few miles (or maybe not), but don’t start with that – I suggest that you start with walking 30 minutes a day, do it regularly and try to not miss a day.  If you maintain your level of activity for a couple of weeks, you’ll find that it’s gone from something on your schedule to a habit to where it’s a part of your lifestyle.  Your goal should be to make nutritional and exercise related changes that become a part of your lifestyle – not just something you do for a little while to “get into shape”.
    Remember – diets don’t work because diets are something most people do for a while to try to reach a goal, and then they go back to the way they were – or worse!.  It’s the same with most people with crash fitness programs.   Check any gym on January 2nd, and then go back a check a month later; setting the bar too high from the start does you more harm than good.   You have to be determined and remember that you’re in this for the long haul – for the rest of your life.  So set a sustainable goal that you can stick with (or increase) for life.
  3. An initial focus on exercise and seeing the resulting changes will encourage you to address nutrition and your diet.

For most people it’s easier to build on success, and the success of feeling your body begin to respond to regular exercise is motivational.   It doesn’t take too long after you make regular exercise a part of your lifestyle that you will probably start to look for ways to make additional improvements.  Typically, two things happen; you improve their fitness level and perhaps increase or change your exercise routine.    You’ll begin to feel the effects in many ways, including sleep and an increasing overall feeling of well being.  At the same time, you start to realize just how much effort you are putting into exercise, the results you are getting, and how it’s beginning to make you “feel better”.

This is typically the point where you should feel motivated to make changes in your diet.  Typically, something “clicks” inside, and you realize that you don’t want to sabotage your increasing health by taking bad stuff in.   Just like you wouldn’t rebuild a car and then fill it with junky gas – you realize that the same principle applies to your body.  Use this motivational boost to leverage your efforts and address the foods you eat and drink.


Next up – why your diet is the most important thing for you to address – even more important than exercise (but don’t stop exercising)!


Questions, comments or any other feedback?  I’d love to hear from you.  Use the section below to contact me.


how to get started on a healthy life style

how to get started on a healthy life style

This is one of the most frequent questions I get from people.

Here are three suggestions on how to start your way to a healthier lifestyle.


Begin to make a small change today. 

Don’t wait until tomorrow, don’t put it off – make a change today.
Many people go to the grave full of regret over things they wanted to do and changes they wish they had made.

I suggest that you start by making one small change you can sustain so that it becomes part of you lifestyle.  Too often people want to change everything at once and it’s unsustainable.   Two examples:  all the people who gets a gym membership as a New Year’s resolution but have stopped going by the end of January (or earlier!), and people who jump into a restrictive diet, fall out (because the can’t sustain it), binge, and end up worse than they started  (no carbs anyone??).   🙂
Realize that you are a whole person.

At some point, you have to address all aspects of your being:  physical, mental, and spiritual.  To have a truly healthy lifestyle and be healthy and balanced in any area you will have to balance in all areas.  This means looking at the things you eat, the activity you get, staying healthy from a mental standpoint, and working on the spiritual part of your being.  Again, I suggest that you start one small (sustainable) step at a time so that these changes become a part of your lifestyle.


This really is the most important thing.

If you can’t or don’t or won’t sustain changes you make in your life, it won’t matter.

Quitting smoking for a week doesn’t matter if you go right back to your three pack a day habit.  Being on a diet for a week or a month or a year doesn’t matter if you go right back to the same lifestyle you had before the “diet”  (see diets don’t work).

Incorporate small changes, one step at a time, into your daily life so that they become a part of your lifestyle.  Make small changes, enjoy and experience the benefits, and layer on another change.   Every person is different, you might be able to make changes faster than others – or not.  What matters is that you make lasting changes to the way you live.


Questions about anything in this post – leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

motivating people to live a healthy lifestyle

The secret that will motivate you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Before we get right to it – a few things that are not the secret:

Understanding the research on what makes or keeps us healthy
We live in an enlightened time; a lot is know about physiology, biology, food science.
IF education and understanding were the key – we would all have healthy, fit bodies.
There is some confusing info out there and I hope to help cut through that confusion and clear up some of the misinformation so that you can move toward a healthier lifestyle, but clearly education alone is not the key.

Seeing someone make the changes and choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle
Most of us have seen or know that person in our life that made changes and now “looks great” and can run, bike, hike, etc. for seemingly endless periods.   We’ve seen the transformation before our eyes and seem someone get fit, change their diet, gain energy, etc.  Seeing it happen to someone you know is not the magic motivation that works for most people.

Having someone point out all the wrong things you are doing or eating
A lot of people have that well-meaning person that raises their eyebrows or gives you a hard time for what you eat, or “eating the whole thing” or not exercising.  Negative motivation is not the key for most people.  A person generally knows when they are doing something that’s not healthy, or when they choose to avoid a healthy diet or lifestyle.

Here’s the key:

It is only when you reach the point where you decide healthy living is what you want more than any thing else that you will make the changes needed to get there.   You have to reach the point where you look in the mirror or look at the report from your annual physical or think about being around for the people you love and for one of those reasons decide to make it a priority; no one else can do that for you or make you want that – you have to want it for yourself.
That is when you will begin seeking out info about a healthier diet – things to avoid, things to include.  That is what will motivate you to begin to do things like review your diet, take the stairs, not worry about getting the closest parking space, find ways to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life, and build time into your schedule to include some regular fitness or exercise activity, etc.

The goal of is to help you do this:  to provide a place where you can discover changes that you can integrate into your life to take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.  I want to help you make small changes that become a part of your lifestyle – a part of who you are and the way you do life.


Questions or something to say about this post?   Leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you.



sunscreen – what to look for & what to avoid

With summer coming to the US the shelves of sunscreen are appearing in many stores, and after the first spring burn many people are looking for a sunscreen to slather on to avoid another burn and to protect their skin.

Great idea!  It’s also a great a idea to become a label reader when it comes to choosing your sunscreen (it’s a good idea to read labels all the time).  Here are a few things to consider when buying sunscreen:

1.  Avoid insect repellent.   Some sunscreen formulations contain added insect repellent – avoid these.    Use safe, natural insect repellent if you need it, but I would avoid any sunscreen that has insect repellent on it’s label.  The reasons are many, mainly focused around safety and effectiveness.

2.  Avoid products that contain PABA, Oxybenzone, or Retinyl Palmitate.   There are too many questions that surround these ingredients, and there are good sunscreens that don’t contain them.

3.  Look for Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide.   These are mineral ingredients that have been used for a long time and have been proven to be both safe and effective.

4.  You shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t want to eat.   Your skin effectively absorbs products you apply and they enter your bloodstream.  Read the label and become informed about the safety and effectiveness of the ingredients.    Questions about the safety of many of the ingredients use in sunscreen products (and MANY cosmetics) are still not being adequately addressed in my opinion.

5.  The best way to avoid a burn is to limit your exposure to the sun during that 10am-4pm period – this is when you are mostly likely to burn.   Also consider using some of the new light and effective clothes and hats that can help shield from the sun.

6.  Moisturize and hydrate!   Drink lots of water and use a safe effective moisturizer like coconut oil.

Want to know more about anything mentioned in this post?  Let me know – leave a comment.

eat a little less, move a little more

Simple words that could make a difference for many people.

Take short breaks from you desk, stretch and move when watching TV (or better yet – do something and watch less TV), add 15 minutes of walking a day, have one less snack and one more glass of water, have some carrots or celery, or an apple – and chew each bite and savor the texture until it’s completely liquified before swallowing.

A lot of people tell me that they’re too tired to do anything.   Anything is better than nothing – if you can only walk for 5 extra minutes, do that.  You won’t believe how quickly you start to see and feel the changes.

Want to know more about the effects of exercise or anything else in this post?  Let me know with a comment!