Tag Archive | exercise

How to Conquer Fear and Reach Your Goals

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

No fear.

Does fear hold you back? If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase your speed, or improve some areas of your life, then you must conquer fear. And you need a plan.

Whatever your goal may be, if you want to be successful you have to first believe in yourself and then follow a plan. Today I want to talk about letting go of fear.

Snow and ice athletes are a perfect example of people who overcome and channel their fear every day. My sister Jackie has won bobsled medals for her country. I have utmost respect for her love of the sport, and her ability to conquer fear. I’ve always supported her events, but standing in the crowd I could tangibly feel my fear coursing through my veins.

How to conquer fear in sports

Jackie believes that the fear of failure is the main thing that stops people from performing at their best. In her sport, there is a very real possibility of crashing at 80 mph, and the consequences could be dire. What makes my sister a champion is that she’s able to separate her fears into a concern for her safety and anxiety about failure. Jackie knows that she’s undertaken every safety precaution and has practiced, practiced, practiced.

Fear can promote a release of adrenaline into our bloodstream. To protect ourselves, the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism comes into play and our bodies prepare for action. In sports and other competitive environments, it’s not typically the fear of danger that creates this rush of adrenaline, but more a mix of anticipation and excitement.

Being prepared and having a plan of action will allow you to train your mind to overcome any negative emotions that are standing in your way. And you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from mental training techniques.

Jackie put aside her safety fears because she had a plan and she was committed. She was determined to use her fear to make her train and compete, rather than giving in to fear and saying goodbye to the triumph she felt each time she clocked a personal best.

How to use fear to get closer to your goals

We don’t all have to hurtle down hills to face our fears. In everyday life, there are things we might want to do but don’t because the fear of failure is too great.

Making lifestyle changes, especially those that involve weight loss and health goals, often make people feel anxious and fearful. The fear of failure or a fear of the unknown can often stop people from trying something new. Try using my three simple tips to help you conquer fear and overcome any negative emotions to turn them into success.

1: Fear assessment:
Write down a list of the worst things that could happen if you fail. This will often put things into perspective and make you realize that you should just get started on your journey. We can all be guilty of having an over-active imagination, so writing down your fears will help you assess if they are in fact valid.

2: Define your goal:
Ensure that your goals are written down and use a S.M.A R.T.1 goal-setting framework. Having a clear destination and time frame in mind will help you on days you want to quit. Clear goal setting will put you in full control of your success.

3:  Positivity training:
Write a positive affirmation and say it every day. The more you tell yourself that you can be successful, the more you will start to believe it’s true. An example from my old training diary from my athletic days is ‘I am strong, I am powerful I was born to compete at a world level.’ And from my days of trying to lose extra baby weight I wrote, ‘I will regain my pre-baby body, I am strong and focused.’

Many athletes will tell you that the mental side of sports is more important than the physical aspect. That constructed belief is one of the keys to making your dreams come true.

If you have found yourself starting and stopping over the years with your body composition goals, you may benefit from trying a new positive mental approach. Try not to let your fear of failure get in the way of your success. It’s better to try and fail than not try at all.

To end, here’s an inspirational quote from my sister in her new quest of getting back her pre-baby, athletic physique:

I’m going to think myself thin. I thought my way to two Olympic games, so I’m just going to believe I have a perfect body. Of course, I’m going to stop eating unhealthy snacks and get my butt to the gym, too.”

[1] Specific. Measured. Agreed upon. Realistic. Time-based.

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What Is Physical Fitness? How to Tell If You’re Really Exercising

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

 

Keep fit with exercise that’s right for you.

I often get asked: “Is doing physical activity enough, or do I need a structured fitness program to get in shape?”

My answer is different for each person who asks. I have to tailor my answers because fitness is not a one size fits all situation. For many people simply increasing their physical activity will be enough to meet their health goals and expectations; however, for others I may recommend a detailed fitness plan.

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The Difference Between Activity and Exercise

Physical activity

 

Physical activity is simply body movements that involve the contraction of your muscles. All of the activities we do throughout the day that involve movement, such as walking, lifting, cleaning and yard work are examples of physical activity. Most people perform at least a few physical activities everyday without even realizing it – for instance standing and cooking, or popping out to post a letter both require basic movement.

You might find it interesting to write a little mental list of some of the physical activities you conduct each day without usually thinking about them. You may be surprised by how long, or how short, your list is.

Exercise

Exercise is a specific form of physical activity that is planned, purposeful and performed with the intention of gaining specific adaptations in the body, such as stronger muscles, increased flexibility or improved cardiovascular function. Dancing, swimming, cycling, and running are all examples of exercise.

Are you exercising or being active?

There can be a fine line between the two, so the best way to determine if you are just being active or if you are exercising is to do the talk test.

  • If you can talk easily while performing the activity, you are simply being active.
  • If you need to catch your breath and find talking difficult, then you are exercising.

It is the intensity of the task being performed that will determine the health benefits that you will gain from the activity.

Look out for these four physical fitness components, and you’ll understand why exercising is just as important as being physically active:

  • Cardio-respiratory endurance
  • Muscular strength
  • Muscular endurance
  • Flexibility

Although it is possible to address all of these fitness components with a physically active lifestyle, an exercise program can help you achieve even greater benefits.

How to get started with an exercise regime

Increasing the amount of physical activity in your everyday life is a perfect way to start on the path toward a healthier, happier more energized you! But if you really want to achieve increased fitness, you’ll want to incorporate structured, more vigorous activities into your schedule a few days a week.

The key to living a healthy, active lifestyle is to take it one day at a time and try to choose activities that you thoroughly enjoy. Over time, you can increase intensity and, perhaps, the duration. Remember that your body is unique, and understanding your health needs (rather than your neighbors’ needs) will keep you on the right track toward a healthy lifestyle.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Senior Director of Worldwide Fitness Education at Herbalife.

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Tips to Help You Get Your Beauty Sleep

by Jacquie Carter

6 Tips to Help You Get Your Beauty Sleep

Sleep “N” Beauty! Do you skimp on sleep? We all know how important good nutrition and a healthy, active lifestyle are for our health and our appearance. But do you know how crucial a good night’s sleep is?

They call it “Beauty Sleep” for a reason and, for me, that phrase is a guilt free excuse to sleep in and catch as many Zzzzz’s as possible. But sometimes it just isn’t that easy.

Getting a good night’s sleep, no matter how tired we are, can be difficult. We have so many things to do, and so much on our minds, that sometimes it’s hard to shut it all down and get some quality sleep. The fact is that without sleep we tend to look tired, run down and I hate to say it… OLDER!

The Buzz on Beauty Sleep

Here are a few quick tips to help you unwind and drift off into dream land for a good 8 hours of beauty rest.

 – Exercise

Samantha will be the first to tell you that exercise will help keep stress hormones from interfering with our sleep. Even if you only have 20 minutes to take a brisk walk, do it! It will definitely help you sleep better at night.

 – Don’t eat too late in the day

Try not to over-indulge just before bedtime. Large meals late in the day lead to an active digestive system that can definitely disrupt your sleep. And avoid caffeine. Coffee, non-herbal teas, some soda, chocolate; all can contain caffeine – a stimulant that can definitely keep us awake much longer then we would like. Try to avoid caffeine at least 4 hours before bedtime. Instead opt for a nice chamomile tea which is perfect for bedtime.

 – Use your bed for sleep

Time to turn off the TV, put down the electronic games and close that laptop. Our beds are for sleeping not for working. If we use our bed for sleep and not as a substitute couch, we will definitely reduce the risk of developing sleep disorders.

 – A cozy bedroom is key

My bedroom is my favorite room in the house. It’s comfy, it’s cozy, and it’s calm. The three main things we all need for a night of pure beauty sleep. Be sure your bedroom lighting doesn’t resemble interrogation lighting by keeping it soft.Do what you can to eliminate excess noise and keep the temperature at around 68F or 20C if you can. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold will result in a lot of tossing and turning during the night.

 – Develop a beauty ritual

Consistency is key when it comes to a good night’s sleep. If possible, try to go to bed around the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Take a relaxing bath; listen to some music, read your favorite magazine. Choose stress-free activities that will encourage relaxation. Scary movies at bedtime … not a good thing.

 – Get it all out

One thing that helps me out tremendously is writing things down. Sounds silly but if I can make a to-do list, vent my frustrations or simply journal about my day, I can definitely sleep better at night. Take the thoughts from the brain to a notebook and you don’t lie awake thinking about all of the things you forgot to do or wish you had done. Clear the head to make way for some sweet dreams.

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.

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How Exercise Affects Your Skin by Jacquie Carter

Exercise and skincareThe benefits of exercise and a healthy, active lifestyle are numerous. A regular exercise regimen can provide amazing benefits for your skin. 

Our skin is the largest living organ of the body and it’s the one that everyone gets to look at. It becomes part of our identity, part of our uniqueness and something that we need to take care of every single day. When people think of exercising they are most likely trying to get fit, stay fit, lose some weight or improve their overall quality of life, because, exercise is vital to our overall health and well-being. But, did you know that exercise has an amazing, positive impact on our skin? You heard me. Exercise can improve our overall appearance including our skin. Just the thought of this might get me off the couch once and for all!

If you are one of those people who have already embraced the concept of exercising and a healthy, active lifestyle, then you can attest to the positive results on your skin. Just take a look at yourself in the mirror post workout. I bet you skin has a gorgeous glow to it. You may see tired and sweaty looking back at you, but take a closer look. Your skin is reaping the rewards of your exercising efforts and here’s how.

Sweating it Out!

Now, as I have said since I was a teenager, I don’t sweat, I glisten. And, I still hold firm to that statement. “Sweating”= yuck. It doesn’t sound very sexy or glamorous, but the end result sure is. When we exercise, we are increasing our blood flow to the living layers of the skin. Opening up those sweat glands can push out some of what clogs the pores, too. You’ve got to love that. It’s important to practice healthy hygiene post workout, though, as we definitely want to wash off the dirt as soon as possible. If we don’t, we may run the risk of their running right back into our pores. Dirt and bacteria lodged in our pores…well, you get the picture. If you can’t hit the shower right away, then at the very least reach for your favorite facial cleanser and give your face a good cleansing.

Tone Those Muscles!

Let’s face it everyone looks better with toned muscles. When our bodies are toned our skin takes on a more toned appearance. And the more muscle tone we have the healthier and more youthful we will look, from head to toe. If you wear any kind of body shaping garments you know exactly what I’m talking about. And, if you are living with cellulite and you aren’t thrilled with how it looks, consider exercising. It may give the whole area a more flattering appearance, diminishing the aesthetic effect of bumpy skin.

Go for the Glow!

If you are an athlete, then you want to go for the gold! If you want fabulous looking skin, then it’s time to exercise to go for glowing skin. That instant, healthy-looking post workout glow is undeniable. Why do we glow you ask? It’s quite simple really.When you get your heart really pumping, it does wonders for your skin. the living layers of your skin receive a nice delivery of oxygenated blood and nutrients. Ah yes, think SKIN cells. When this happens your circulation is improved, which helps with your skin’s overall glow. You will then start to produce more natural oils, which will provide your skin with that healthy “glisten”.

Hey, it’s better than my old tricks of pinching the heck out of my cheeks or bending over and quickly tossing my hair back over my shoulders to get the same look, only temporarily. (With a side of pain and dizziness…sigh.)

Stress Less

If you want to clear your mind in the pursuit of mental clarity and relaxation (or fabulous skin) then take a long walk, an aerobics class or a swim in the pool. Exercise is wonderful at reducing stress and if you can achieve that you will be able to see it reflected in your skin. Stressed out skin is never a good look. In fact if you can find an exercise routine that you enjoy, it will help to ease that stress. Anyway you look at it, stress lines and brow furrows are some of the primary targets for special cosmetic attention. Relax!

So these are a few positive effects that exercise can have on your skin but there are a few cautions to consider as well.

  • If you are exercising outdoors remember to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun by applying your SPF before you get started.
  • Keep your exposed skin as covered as possible, seek shade when you can and avoid working out during peak sun times, which is usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Depending on what type of exercise you are doing be aware of skin chafing. Tight fitting exercise clothing coupled with sweating can lead to skin irritations. Avoid clothing that is too restricting and apply a nice moisturizer or powder to the areas that are most prone to irritation.
  • If swimming is your exercise of choice, be sure to rinse off as soon as possible. Chlorinated pools and salt water can both be a bit dehydrating to the skin and the hair.

Well, I have never been what you would call an “exercise buff,” but my http://www.DiscoverGoodFitness.com counterpart, Samantha Clayton, has finally found a way to convince me to exercise. Who knew? It’s all about the skin baby!

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife. Discover the HerbalifeSKIN line here. 

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VIDEO: How much exercise to burn off the calories of a bite size candy bar?

How much exercise to burn off the calories of a bite size candy bar? | Herbalife Advice

Wonder how much exercise you need to burn off that bite size candy bar? In this video, Herbalife registered dietitian Susan Bowerman tells you how many calories are packed in these tiny sweet treats and how long you’d have to exercise to burn off those calories.

One bite size chocolate covered candy bar, similar to the one shown in this video, has around 80 calories. If you weight 150 pounds (roughly 70 kilos) it would take you this long to burn off the calories of a bite size candy bar:

– 10 minutes of roller skating
– 17 minutes of non-stop ping-pong
– 30 minutes of playing the piano
– 45 minutes of typing
– 53 minutes of knitting.

Learn more about making informed food choices and healthy nutrition by visiting https://www.goherbalife.com/goherb

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3 steps to help you achieve your body composition goals by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

3 steps to help you achieve your body composition goals

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

3 steps to help you achieve your body composition goalsIf weight loss or weight maintenance is one of your goals this year, understanding how to keep a good energy balance, how to burn calories with exercise and how to maintain lean muscle mass during the process may help you to finally achieve your body composition goal.

Many people I meet want to lose body fat, gain lean muscle mass and eventually maintain a healthy body weight. In my opinion, the only way to achieve this is to start with understanding your body and striving to find the best balance for you. We are all individuals with likes and dislikes, so finding your individual balance is the key to long- term success. 

I feel that finding balance is not finding a set formula that you will stick to forever. Instead, it’s about making a commitment to adjusting to your body’s ever changing needs.

Today I want to give you some tips to help you make positive choices that will help to keep your body progressing toward your ultimate desired body composition. Here are my three tips that can help anyone—regardless of their current activity level.

Find balance with your nutrition plan

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Controlling your nutrition with calorie intake and the types of foods you eat should be the primary focus of any healthy active lifestyle plan. In addition, exercise should always be part of your long-term body composition strategy because the health benefits associated with exercise are vast and definitely worth the time commitment.

Many people believe that if you’re exercising, you can eat what ever you want. The truth is that it’s very difficult to burn the number of calories found in just one large glass of soda. It’s true that exercise burns calories, but not enough to allow you to eat poorly. My favorite quote is “you can’t out train a bad diet.”

Burning calories with exercise is a pretty simple concept to understand. Calories are in essence your body’s fuel source. The more you move and the harder you work, the more overall fuel you will burn. The number of calories each individual burns varies from person to person and all exercises are not created equal when it comes to calorie burning. Thirty minutes of high intensity exercise will burn more overall calories than 30 minutes of low impact exercise. The mode of exercise you choose and the amount of time you commit to exercise can make a difference in your overall results.

Improving your body composition is not just a numbers game. You can’t just think about calories consumed vs. calories burned because the quality and source of the calories plays an important role. For example, 200 calories consumed by eating sugary fast food has a very different effect on your body than consuming 200 calories from fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s why I always say that finding your balance through both diet and exercise is important to long-term body composition success.

Perform a balanced and well-rounded exercise routine

Exercise is essential for long-term weight management and achieving great body composition results. Performing a balanced routine that challenges you enough to improve, but doesn’t challenge your body to the point of injury is essential. A balanced routine should include stretching, an element of resistance training, and a focus on cardiovascular activities including an activity that helps you to improve your endurance level. You don’t have to combine all of these elements into one fitness session, but each week try to ensure you’ve checked each box. A great starting commitment is 30 minutes of exercise on five days of the week.

Make a mental commitment to becoming the best you can be

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I often talk about finding your athlete mentality and believing in your body’s ability to achieve greatness. The majority of our physical actions start out as a thought, so if you keep your thoughts positive, your actions will tend to be positive too!

I understand that changing your thought process into a more positive mindset can be a challenge for many people, especially if they’ve struggled to achieve their ultimate body composition goals in the past. I believe that a change in attitude is a gradual process that involves making small changes that help boost your overall confidence. As your confidence level soars, positivity seems to follow naturally. Set yourself up for success by understanding it takes a nutritional, physical and mental commitment to achieve your goals. Start today and create positive healthy habits both physically and mentally. It makes long-term success more achievable.

I read a quote recently that said “The body achieves what the mind believes.”  It made me get focused on my goals, and I hope reading this today will help you to do the same!

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

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Graceful Aging Exercises for Everyone by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Graceful Aging Exercises for Everyone

Graceful-aging Exercises

Aging may be a fact of life, but with a graceful-aging plan based on a healthy, active lifestyle, you can counteract Mother Nature.

Aging is a fact of life. Loss of muscle tone and bone density, increased fat stores, skin aging and poor posture are all part of the aging process. However, this doesn’t mean you should just sit around and watch your body deteriorate. You can’t prevent aging, but with a graceful aging plan based on a healthy, active lifestyle, you can counteract Mother Nature.

Related Article: Women, Hormonal Changes and Exercise

It’s never too late to get started with an exercise routine and even a small amount of activity can help you to improve the way you feel. Staying active will allow your joints to stay mobile and if you include resistance exercises as part of your plan, you can retain muscular control and stability as you age.

Everyone, regardless of their current age, can benefit from exercise, and reaping the rewards and health benefits of exercise doesn’t have to involve strenuous workouts or trips to the gym. It’s about adding more movement and activity to your life, even in small ways.

There are many easy ways to get your body moving and improve your health and outlook. However, older adults that have been inactive for a while should consider the following before getting started.

Get Medical Clearance

Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a preexisting health condition. Your doctor can let you know if there are any activities you should avoid.

Consider Your Current Health Status

Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule.

Progress Slowly

If you haven’t been active in a while, don’t do too much too soon. Instead, build up your exercise program little by little. Try working out in increments of 10 minutes, two to three times a day.

Listen to Your Body

Exercise and activity should be at least somewhat enjoyable and pain free. If something feels wrong, such as a sharp pain or unusual shortness of breath, stop exercising and inform your doctor so that you can try another activity that’s more comfortable/suitable. You may be able to avoid a lot of the discomfort associated with starting a new exercise routine by ensuring that you warm up prior to exercising and cool down with stretches afterwards.

Get started today with some exercise basics.

Walk More

Walking to enhance your cardiovascular fitness level is a simple activity to get started with. Aim to be active for 30 minutes at least five days a week. Understand, however, that walking alone is not sufficient so consider adding an element of resistance-based movements to your plan on 2 to 3 of your exercise days.

Get Stronger

Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle and improves balance. Staying strong may also help you avoid falls that are caused by a lack of muscular strength. Ensuring that you do some form of resistance based activity each week may allow you to perform your daily activities, such as shopping, cooking and cleaning, with greater ease.

Be Flexible

Performing daily stretches can help you to become more limber and increase your range of movement. Stretches that are static or involve movement can be done standing. If your current mobility and stability is not ready for this challenge, you can stretch while sitting in a chair or lying down.

With these graceful aging exercises, you can improve your quality of life and make a commitment to getting healthy and active today.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

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