Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wellness Wednesday: Achieving Your Health Goals

Today's Workout:
1-hour power walk

So it's mid-year and you may find that it's becoming a bit difficult to stay focused on your health and fitness goals because of all the demands that life has placed on you. Believe me, you're not alone. Life was not meant to be easy, but it doesn't have to be a struggle either.

I've heard all sorts of reasons why people can't stay focused on their health goals such as:

1. I don't have time to make breakfast.
Solution: Wake up a bit earlier or prepare breakfast the night before. Remember, it'll take you the same amount of time to stand in line to get a breakfast burrito.

2. I don't have enough money to eat the healthy stuff because it's expensive.
Solution: While organic food may be more expensive than conventional food, there's still a variety of healthy foods that can substituted for the least expensive and overly processed foods. For instance, instead of potato chips, grab a sweet potato and cut them into wedges and place them in the oven for about 45 minutes. Voila, you've got sweet potato fries. Instead of a Snickers bar, grab a Clif Bar which gives you energy and it's made with organic ingredients. Clif Bars can be as cheap as $0.99!

3. I don't have time to exercise.
Solution: If it's not realistic to exercise before or after work, consider an exercise session at your office during your lunch hour. For cardiovascular exercises you can take a brisk walk or jog around your office building, go up and down the staircases, or you can do a set of calisthenics. For strength training, you can take a set of dumbbells, kettlebells and/or elastic resistance bands to your office. The goal in this scenario would be speed and intensity.

Here are some tips on how to stay focused:
1. Pencil it in your schedule. Schedule your goals into your week. Add specific times to your calendar when you'll work on your goal.
2. Make yourself accountable. Tell your family and friends what your goals are. When people know what your plans are, you're more likely to accomplish them because you don't want to make yourself look bad.
3. When you fall off the bandwagon, get back on. It's okay to get deviated every now and then because we're not perfect. Just know that it's okay and get back to it. Don't get discouraged.


4. Believe in yourself. Research has shown that when people believe they can do something, they are usually successful at accomplishing their goals. Just be consistent because it takes about a month to create a habit. This is the most critical period!

5. Track and assess your progress. Keep an exercise log and a food diary. If something is not working in either one of those departments, then you can tweak them.
6. Reward yourself. You can schedule in a massage session or buy yourself new clothes for your new physique. Be kind to yourself!
What are other suggestions to stay on track with fitness and health goals?
Despite the anxiety that my lack of running
has caused me, I'm grateful that I can
at least take a power walk around my neighborhood.

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  1. Love this! Those are great pointers. My favorite thing lately is doing my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. It's ridiculously cheap and you can get some fresh and healthy goods!

    1. I wish we had Trader Joe's here in South Florida. All we have is Whole Foods and they are pretty pricey =(

  2. Awesome post, NO EXCUSES! I hear them all the time and shake my head.

  3. How many times I have sluffed off and not got to my routine because I worked late or had to go in early or geeze...I'm on call. I could make up a ton. Thanks for a post that kicked me in the pants. Be well Erika. :-)

    1. Thanks Frank! I think we have all experienced what you have gone through. It's okay, but what's important is realizing that something needs to change.

  4. Speaking from a runner's point of view, what I do to stay on track with fitness is signing up for races! Once you have a race coming up you have to prepare for it! The harder the race, the less you can allow yourself to skip runs ;) I'm also on MyFitnesspal- I like to log in all my runs and all my foods to keep track of everything! I strongly recommend it. And yes, Trader Joe's rules! I don't know what I'd do without it...

    1. Martina, signing up for races is a GREAT idea to stay on track! I'm not on Myfitnesspal, but I am on