Benefits of Walking

New Year’s Goals and Your Worst Enemy

New Year’s Goals and Your Worst Enemy

Enemies are almost never thought of kindly. That’s why you need to recognize one enemy that you MUST treat kindly while, at the same time, refusing to listening to negative comments from. Who’s that enemy? Look in your mirror.

You.

Yes, that’s correct. Your biggest threat to your success is yourself.

You are going to have good days. You’ll also have bad days on your nutritional plan and your fitness plan. You may want to give up. Resolve right now that you won’t listen to the following (or similar) thoughts “I don’t feel good today.” Or “I’m just not in the mood.” Or “I’ll start tomorrow.” Or “Today was a really bad day, I’ll start when I feel more positive.” Or “I’m so tired. I just need to rest.”

Your own thoughts can be your biggest obstacle. Sometimes it helps to just visualize slamming a door on those thoughts as soon as you think them. Sure, counter it with a positive thought like “Walking gives me more energy, so I won’t be so tired so often.”  But definitely give yourself the mental picture of slamming a door on the negative thought and padlocking it. When you do that, you are also giving your brain the message that those thoughts are not welcome. In some ways, you will be ‘training the brain’ while you are creating a new habit.

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Happy Holidays from the Pets at Walkingspree!

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Walking off those Thanksgiving calories

Thanksgiving is time for family and friends. It is a time to reflect and be thankful. It can also be a time to consume a ton of calories. The average Thanksgiving meal has 2,500 calories – well over one’s daily calorie requirement. You would need to walk approximately 51,000 steps or 25 miles (assuming you walk 2,000 steps/mile) to burn it off.

But with a little planning, mindful eating and your activity tracker, you can enjoy your favorite foods without sabotaging your healthy eating goals.

  • Use your Activity Tracker to help you keep track of your steps.
  • Use the Food Tracker to check the number of calories in your favorite Thanksgiving foods – it will calculate how many steps you need to walk to burn off a particular food item or meal.
  • Increase your daily step count and build in a step buffer – taking more steps during the week of and after Thanksgiving will help burn off those extra calories. Just an extra 10 minutes once a day will burn off those 2,500 calories by Christmas.
  • For more tips, check out the Thanksgiving eating strategies and healthy cooking tips in the Walkingspree member blog.

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    Strategies to Bring to the Thanksgiving Table

    Strategies to Bring to the Thanksgiving Table

    Ah, Thanksgiving dinner. Friends, family and all that food! Just the thought of it can put one in a carb coma.

    But as with all things in life, moderation is the key, so plan your eating strategy. Here are a few ideas that may help you enjoy your time at the turkey table without feeling guilt the next day.

    • Take time to enjoy your food. Slow down, enjoy your company and eat mindfully.
    • Take smaller portions. You can always go back for seconds.
    • Take time to enjoy your indulgences. Rate your favorite foods from 1-10 and eat only 9s and 10s.
    • Take time and listen to your stomach. When you are full, push your plate away. No need to be stuffed like the turkey.
    • Take time to eat breakfast and avoid skipping meals before the feast. If you become too hungry you may overeat.
    • Take a dish to pass. The hosts will appreciate it and you can make sure there is a healthy dish available.
    • Take a walk before and after dinner. The extra steps will help curb your appetite and steel your resolve.
    • Take time to compliment the cook – especially if you are doing the cooking.

    Above all, remember, this is just one day out of 365. This day will not make or break you if you make wise food choices the rest of the year.

    TIP: Use your Food Tracker on your portal/home page before you sit down at the table. Knowing how many calories are in a specific food may help you eat a smaller portion. It will also help you identify foods that are lower in calories.

    RECIPE: Sweet Potato Casserole

    Try this “healthified” casserole that boosts only 250 calories per serving — less than half the calories of the original 540 calories version.

    Ingredients:

    SWEET POTATOES
    · 1 can (40 oz) sweet potatoes in syrup, drained
    · 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    · 1/2 teaspoon salt
    · 1/4 cup fat-free egg product
    · 1/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
    · 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    TOPPING
    · 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    · 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    · 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    · 1 tablespoon no-trans-fat vegetable oil spread, melted
    · 1/3 cup chopped pecans

    Preparation:
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 1 1/2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
    2. In large bowl, mash sweet potatoes. Stir in granulated sugar, salt, egg product, milk and vanilla; spoon into casserole.
    3. In small bowl, mix all topping ingredients except pecans until well blended. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
    4. Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

    Makes 8 servings.

    Nutrition:
    Calories: 250 (calories from fat: 45)
    Total Fat: 5g
    Saturated Fat: 0.5g
    Trans Fat: 0g
    Cholestero:l 0mg
    Sodium: 220mg
    Total Carbohydrate: 47g
    Dietary Fiber: 4g
    Sugars: 37g
    Protein: 3g

    Source: www.eatbetteramerica.com

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    Can’t Fall Asleep? Try This!

    Can’t Fall Asleep? Try This!

    Some things in life are necessary, like food, water, and shelter. But, to be reasonably content human beings, we need a few more things. Human contact is good, alone time is great, but at the top of the list? Decent sleep. Good sleep is absolutely mandatory.

    But, falling asleep is one of those Chinese finger-trap tasks that we’ve never been able to master. We’d lie awake thinking about how not asleep we were, look at the clock, turn over, and repeat. The longer we stayed awake worrying about it, the harder it became to actually fall asleep. Until we discovered a new method.

    Keep in mind, we’re taking liberties with the word “method.” This trick is even simpler than that. But, it’s still the most effective, foolproof, works-every-time tip that absolutely changed our lives. Drumroll please: It’s breathing.

    Breath regulation, while utterly simple, has an impact on every system in your body. By breathing in subtly different ways, you can effect blood pressure, heart rate, emotional stability, and even hormones. Anyone who’s ever had a panic attack knows that the most effective way to quell that horrible moment of mental and physical distress is with slow, regulated breathing.

    But, if you need to fall asleep, here’s how to do it:

    1. Lie down in your preferred sleep position. You can also start on your back and roll into it when you start to drop off.

    2. Breathe in through your nose on a count of three seconds.

    3. Breathe out through your nose on a count of six seconds.

    4. Repeat until you fall asleep.

    This works for two reasons. First, you will need to consciously pay attention to counting your breath in order for it to work — it’s like a more effective version of counting sheep. Second, and most important, your body and brain will instantly feel the effect that comes with this shorter-inhale, longer-exhale technique. The physiological impact is immediate as your autonomic nervous system shifts gears, telling muscles to relax, heart rate to slow down, and your brain to downshift from high-alert mode.

    If you find that the three-to-six ratio is uncomfortable, feel free to change it. The most important thing is to keep your exhales longer than your inhales. Both the medical community and meditation practitioners can attest to the proven power of this breathing technique (also known as “7-11 breathing”).

    Insomniacs, trust us. If you commit to this breathing method for just a few minutes, you will fall asleep. We can’t calculate the exact duration required for it to kick in, but we have never stayed awake longer than five minutes when we employed it. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, we don’t know what is.

    Sweet dreams!

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