Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout

Your Relationship with Food; and How To Find a Healthy Balance

I did it! I made it through Christmas without gaining back the couple pounds I lost since I started my journey.

My goal was to lose 5 lbs by Christmas, but I only lost 2 lbs. I’m not discouraged in any way though, because I’m on a healthier path than I was even a month ago. And if you didn’t meet your goals, that’s okay too…because any active minutes you have accumulated is better than none.

We often spend our time pointing out the things we haven’t done, especially when we’re on the path to becoming healthier. And trust me when I say I was one of those people too. As life happens, sometimes we can’t control what we do in a day. Nor can we control every bite of food we eat.

As I have become older and wiser, I know there’s more to life than being obsessed with what I weigh. Life is short, and getting by on bland food and not enjoying what we eat is, well, a crock of (insert your word here). I know there are others out there who live on salads and rice cakes, but I am not one of them. I like my Ukrainian food, steak, chicken, and the occasional burger. And this holiday season was definitely filled with a LOT of Ukrainian food.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Now as I’ve said in previous posts, I am not a yoga instructor, nutritionist, or anything of the sort. I am, however, a woman who has learned to have a healthier relationship with food.

I like my junk food as much as the next person, and have the biggest sweet tooth out there. I am learning as I age that I can enjoy what I like, as long as I increase my activity level to burn off the extra calories. I have also found that if I let myself have more of the foods I like, I don’t tend to overindulge.

I’m sure you’ve had the same experience at least once. Stick to a diet, then a holiday comes along and you eat everything you haven’t allowed yourself in weeks, or months. And then the feelings of guilt (and nausea) set in, because you ate too much and your body isn’t used to any of it. It is then the vicious circle begins, and you starve yourself for weeks once again…until the next special occasion comes along.

What’s the trick?

I hate to burst your bubble, but there really isn’t a trick or magic formula when it comes to weight loss. It’s simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume.

And speaking of which, be sure to consume a healthy amount of good calories. That includes fats, proteins, carbohydrates…all the things some diets say you don’t need. Our bodies are meant to move, and food is our fuel.

Have you noticed obesity is becoming more of an epidemic? Have you also noticed it never was a problem a few short decades ago? Why is that you ask?

The problem is our sedentary lifestyle combined with the convenience foods we are all so quick to consume. I can’t deny I’m as apt to buy quick meals as opposed to preparing everything from scratch. (It was definitely easier to cook from scratch when there was more than just me to cook for.) I enjoyed cooking for Christmas Dinner; and I now have healthier leftovers because I made too much. (I tend to do that, no matter what I make.)

The bottom line is this: enjoy the food you love, but in moderation. And stay active. Go for walks, do yoga, find some low-impact workouts you can do, or use the shovel or push mower instead of the snowblower or ride-on mower. Walk to the store instead of taking the bus or the car if you live in a town or city. If you’re out in the country like I am, go for a walk around the perimeter of your property to get your steps in. Or if the weather isn’t nice enough to be outside, turn up the tunes and dance around the living room.

No matter where you live, make activity a part of your day. Burn more calories than you consume and you’ll gradually lose the 5 or 50 lbs you want to; but remember it takes time. And make sure you’re getting your calories from healthy sources. Stick to the 4 food groups and the recommended daily servings and you’ll do just fine. Fad diets don’t generally work, and you don’t learn healthy eating habits by starving yourself.

If you’ve gotten through Christmas on a healthy note, good for you! If you haven’t, then keep trying. It takes time to build healthy habits, so don’t let a setback discourage you.

I’m thinking about a 30-day challenge and would love your feedback. Please vote in the poll below for your favourite.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout · Yoga

Cold Weather and Your Workout Schedule

I do have to say; I’m glad I don’t have to go outside today. We have hit one of our deepfreezes of the winter. It’s not the first, and it definitely won’t be the last. When I checked my weather app this morning it said we were at -34 Celsius, with a -43 Celsius windchill. BRRRR!!!!

I know some of you can’t even fathom how cold that is. For me, it’s a reality every winter. In all honesty, I’ll take it over the volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters so many parts of the world have to endure. I know it’s not going to last, and we do get some reprieve throughout the winter. By next week we’re supposed to be a balmy -7 Celsius, which will feel like summer.

When it’s cold like this, going for a walk or a run outside is not safe. Not only does it hurt one’s lungs, but the danger of frostbite and hypothermia is greater. That’s all the more reason to have an exercise routine you can do inside. Plus, it’s not even safe to be out on the roads in this temperature; so going to the gym should not take priority over safety. I do realize travel is necessary, especially when you have to get to work.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I do have to venture out again before the weekend, so I’m hoping Friday is a little nicer. Until then I will stay inside and get my baking, wrapping, and the rest of my decorating done. I’m hosting Christmas Dinner this year, so am looking forward to family being here.

Even with the winter winds blowing and the snow falling, I have been able to maintain some degree of activity. When my Fitbit tells me I’ve been sitting too long (which often happens when I’m working), I get up and set my timer for even 5 minutes. I’ll do a short low-impact workout to get the blood flowing and the metabolism kick-started. If I have a little more time, I’ll set the timer for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. It’s those longer sessions that really can get the heart rate up, even by just walking quickly in place. I do try to mix in a few different moves to work other muscles. (For some ideas check out the video I have in the right sidebar.)

Don’t let your weather stop you from getting your workouts in. Turn on some upbeat music and do some quick walking in place, and add in some kicks, punches, and squats. It’s amazing how many steps can be racked up in a short time. Even if your mobility is limited due to injury, you can improvise. I have an old shoulder injury that I have to baby, but I don’t let it stop me from reaching up as high as I can. (However, I do tend to overdo it sometimes, and pay for it.) Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too hard.

In the new year I’ll be recording more yoga and low-impact videos. I’m currently waiting on some additional recording equipment so I don’t have the issues I did with the first yoga one I did. And no, it’s not on my YouTube Channel because I couldn’t figure out how to flip it vertically. For some reason it recorded it upside down, so I look like I’m hanging from the ceiling. 😛

I’ve invested in a wireless microphone and a tripod that’ll hold my iPad at the right level. Hopefully with the additional equipment I can do a better recording than the last one. However, that first one was to get me out of my comfort zone. Plus I’ll learn more about editing and video production while I walk off the extra weight I’ve been carrying around. It’s all part of the learning curve when trying something new.

The next few days are going to be busy ones. I’ll try and sneak in another post before Christmas, but if I don’t get one in I’m going to take this time to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the time with family and friends, and don’t feel guilty about the extra calories consumed. If you’re laughing and enjoying yourself, those calories will be burned up before you know it.

Have you experienced the frigid temperatures I’ve talked about? Or do you live where ice and snow never make an appearance? Let me know in the comments below.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Workout

3 Ways to Sneak in Your Workouts When You Don’t Have Time

Do you find yourself losing momentum with your workout routine?

We’ve all been there. Life takes over and the workouts suffer. Ask me how I know.

Last week I talked about starting with small workouts, and I feel that little talk also applies to when you can’t fit in a longer one. (And, I need to practice what I preach.)

It’s so easy to let life take over, especially when you haven’t gotten into a set routine yet. For me it has been watching my granddaughter and helping my daughter with their move. Although, keeping tabs on a baby who has started crawling can be a workout in itself. 😀

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Break up your workout time.

If you’re used to setting aside an hour straight a day for exercise, break that time up into smaller increments. There’s nothing wrong with doing mini-workouts. You’re still benefitting, because something is better than nothing. Do a 10-minute low impact workout at different times of the day when you can’t commit to the whole hour at once.

Change what you do.

If your usual workout happens at home or at a gym, and you’re not at either, do something different. Business often takes people away, and only the super-committed will find a gym so they don’t miss their workouts. (I know people like that, but I am not one of them.) And if you’re visiting family or friends chances are they don’t keep the same schedule you do. A 10-minute brisk walk can not only raise your heart rate, but it can also clear your mind. 10 minutes is better than zero minutes.

Incorporate your workouts into your day.

I know not everyone works from home like I do, and some days can get hectic. If you work in an office building with more than one floor, take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have access to a park, have your lunch there (weather permitting) and go for a walk afterward. Walk while doing errands if possible to get some extra steps in.

If you can’t get away from your desk, another option is to do some sitting workouts. You need to move your body to keep the blood flowing. Even something as simple as leg-raises can be done while sitting. (Just a note here: it’s not as easy as it sounds. I just tried it and can now see how chair workouts are just as intensive as standing workouts.)

Wrapping it up.

Life can throw a curveball at anyone at any time. Instead of making excuses for not sticking with your routine, find other ways to make it work. Sure, it won’t be what you do on a regular basis, but it will be something. Walking in the park instead of on the treadmill, taking the stairs instead of using the stair climber at the gym, and a few minutes of chair exercises will all help raise your heart rate and burn some extra calories.

What do you do when your routine gets messed up? Let me know in the comments below.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout · Yoga

How Long Should My Workouts Be?

I don’t know about you, but everywhere I see exercise programs advertised there’s always a huge time commitment needed. Let’s face it, we all don’t have an extra hour or three to dedicate to exercise.

Everyone is looking for that “magic number” when it comes to how often and how long your workouts should be. I’m not one to give you a definitive number, because in all honesty, my thought is this: any exercise is better than none.

I’m also not saying go hard for two minutes and then don’t do anything else for the rest of the week, because that doesn’t work either.

5 Factors to consider.

When starting any workout, there are a few things you should consider before you go all in.

  1. Your current state of health. This is something many people overlook when starting an exercise program, and it can have detrimental effects. If you have any health condition it’s always better to consult your physician first.
  2. How active you are now. If your activity levels aren’t high, don’t push yourself too hard right off the start. Not only do you risk injury, but you also risk giving up altogether when you ache for days after. I have been in this position one too many times, which is why I am starting slow this time around.
  3. What you want to achieve. Do you want to be more physically fit? Or do you want to lose weight? Be realistic in your goal and timeframe in which to achieve it. Don’t set a goal that’s impossible to reach, such as losing 20 pounds in a week. That’s not only hard to do, but also not a healthy weight loss. (A healthy weight loss is around two pounds per week.)
  4. How much time you can realistically devote to a workout. If your job takes up 10 hours of your day, plus you have home and family responsibilities, don’t expect to have a one hour workout on top of it all. That’s not going to pan out more often than not. And face it, if you’re that busy you’re going to need to rest at night, not overtax your body.
  5. What you enjoy doing. This is something that’s often overlooked when one begins a new workout routine. Make it something you enjoy, such a walking, yoga, pilates, swimming, or hiking. I like walking and yoga, so I know I won’t stick to going to the gym if I got a membership. Plus, I prefer to do my workouts on my own. Joining a group is not my thing. Do what works for you; not what others say you should do.
Consistency is key.

As with most things in life, we get better results when we work at something regularly. The path to being healthier is no different.

Instead of changing your eating habits or workout schedule drastically, make little changes. Add a few extra veggies to your plate. Cut back on the sweet desserts and try fresh fruit instead. Spend 10 minutes walking in place instead of an hour, and work your way up.

The point is to do something, anything, to get to where you want to be. For example:

Say your goal is to do a low-impact workout for an hour five days a week. That’s great, but if you’re not used to doing a workout for an hour you risk injury (yes, even doing a low-impact workout). Plus you also may find it more of a chore than time taken for yourself. Start with a 10 minute workout a couple times a day, and work your way up to the hour five times a week. Chances are you’ll find the shorter sessions more doable.

Find a time that works for you too. Such as 10 minutes before your workday starts, a 10 minute workout during lunch, and another 10-20 minutes in the evening. With breaking it up you’ve done 30-40 minutes in a day, and given your body the little boost to raise your metabolism so you burn more calories for a longer period.

There’s no set time limits on yoga or low-impact workouts. My advice to you is to do what works best for you. If 20 minutes at a time works, by all means, go for it. If you only have 10 minutes, you’re still moving and raising your heart rate. And as I said earlier, any exercise is better than none.

Move your body, raise your heart rate, and you’ll see changes in how your clothes fit. Be kind to your body, but also be consistent.

My workouts tend to be 10 minutes at a time, and I’m trying to get at least three or four in each day. The motivator is usually when my Fitbit tells me I’ve been sitting in my chair for too long.

What type of workout schedule has worked for you? Let me know in the comments.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout

Low Impact Exercises for a Healthier Body

Exercise is a vital component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and there are plenty of options out there. Low impact exercises are great alternatives for people who can’t engage in more strenuous activities due to physical limitations or age. Whether you’re an adult over the age of 50, someone with limited mobility, or just looking for low impact exercises to add variety to your regular routine, this post will provide insight into the benefits and options associated with these types of workouts.

What are low impact exercises?

Low impact exercises involve less strain on your joints than high impact exercises such as running and jumping. Examples include walking, biking, swimming and water aerobics. These are all excellent ways for people with joint issues or limited mobility to stay active without putting too much stress on their bodies.

This is the main reason I chose to find a workout I can do. Age and knee injuries as a young adult have taken their toll. High impact exercise just doesn’t work for me.

Who can benefit from low-impact exercise?

Low-impact exercise is beneficial for everyone but it is especially useful if you have joint issues or other physical limitations that prevent you from engaging in high-impact exercise. It can also be beneficial if you’re trying to build strength without the risk of injury or strain on your joints. If you’ve been inactive for a while due to life circumstances, low-impact exercise is a great way to ease back into fitness without risking injury by doing too much too soon.

Do low impact exercises burn calories?

Yes! Low-impact exercise can still be effective when it comes to burning calories and building strength. Depending on the activity and intensity level, these types of workouts can help you reach your fitness goals just like any other type of workout. However, because they put less strain on your body, they may take longer than high-impact workouts such as running or weightlifting to see results.

I personally don’t count calories but I do know I burn more during a low-impact workout than I do just walking. My Fitbit tells me how many calories I burn over the course of the day, and the graph gives me a further breakdown on how many I burn each hour. The photo below is from today (December 5, 2022). I burned 1731 calories so far, and the spikes were while I was doing my mini workouts. The lows were while I was sitting at my desk working on my computer.

Spikes were during my workouts.
How long should each workout be?

The amount of time you spend working out depends on the type of activity and intensity level you choose. It’s okay to start with 10 minutes once or twice a day, and go up from there. Any amount of activity is better than none. The goal is to get your heart rate up, and believe me when I say low-impact workouts will do just that. No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to consult your physician before starting, especially if you’ve had surgery, have been ill, or have a medical condition.

Wrapping It Up

All in all, low-impact exercise is an excellent way for people who have physical limitations. Or for those who simply want an alternative form of exercise to stay active without putting excess strain on their bodies. With so many different types of activities available such as walking, biking, swimming and water aerobics, there is something available for everyone regardless of their current fitness level or physical abilities. Plus these types of workouts still offer the same calorie burning and muscle building benefits.

Have you heard of or tried low-impact workouts? Let me know in the comments below.