Tag Archives: exercise and moods

What Is Weight Loss – Just a Slim Body or A Healthy, Vibrant and Fully In Charge of Yourself Way To Be?


I thought today I’d pose a few questions to you, about what we conceive the journey of weight loss to be.  So many of us think of weight loss only in terms of the slim, attractive body we may gain. Yes, one plus. However, in my humble experience, it has been so much more.

Active Aging

One of the most wonderful benefits, in changing your lifestyle to a more active and nutritionally centred one, is the anti-aging effects it has on your body.  We all know some older people who do things in their later years that amaze us and seem to defy their ‘years’. Similarly, we all know young people, who simply seem to have ‘gotten old before their time’.  Regular activity and exercise seems to be the differentiating element here.

Furthermore , did you know that:-

1) Nutritionally nourished skin sags less. 

2) Regularly exercised muscles get stronger and do not atrophy (NB: muscular atrophy is a common and debilitating ailment of old age).

3) An exercised heart pumps more effectively and efficiently. 

4) An regularly exercised body will cause blood pressure to drop and cholesterol levels improve.

More Energy, Better Moods

Your body’s positive responses to exercise do not end there, however.

Two of the less known side effects are the release of neurochemicals that enhance your mood and the corresponding reduction in stress hormones, both which lead to greater feelings of wellbeing.

In short, take up regular physical activity and you will be more energised physically and emotionally! One of the further benefits is that this leaves you more time for other life enriching activities, which you previously avoided or simply, ‘didn’t have the energy’ for !

Biological Age versus Chronological Age

In addition, all of the individual enhancements when amalgamated and calculated as a whole, can also define your new biological age. Yes, that’s right – a healthy, active lifestyle can reduce your age (biologically speaking)!!  Now you may be thinking – nah, a 40 year old is a 40 year old, end of story.  Well, not really.  When the determinants of health which we have described above – ie blood pressure, cholesterol readings, heart health etc..are collated and examined,  no two 40 (or 50) year old are ever the same!

A healthy, fit and active 40 year old can have readings and reports that equal that of the average 25 year old, whilst his inactive and overweight counterpart may have results that equal that of the average 70 year old!

As a motivational tool on your weight loss journey then, my humble suggestion is that next time you have a “I need to lose weight” thought that crosses your mind, allow yourself also to reflect on the long-term and wide ranging benefits to your longevity, your well-being, your energy levels and quite possibly, your personal happiness. 🙂

 

How old were you when you took up fitness training or a new physical activity? Do you agree that age is something not defined by the calendar but rather our attitudes and behaviours regardless of our age ‘number ? Do you know any older friends or relatives (or maybe it’s you!) who are defying the expectations of their age and doing something extraordinary?

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Fitness Training With Zero Motivation: Is It Possible To Achieve?


 

 

It’s Late Afternoon

I raise my arms to my car’s steering wheel and I can hardly lift them. My arms are heavy and every muscle quivers with a familiar, pleasant fatigue.  For a minute, I pause to acknowledge the warm  energy running through body and then slowly, I start the car’s engine. I feel good.

One Hour and 18oo mls of water, earlier……

I didn’t really want to work out today. At least, not all of me wanted to. My mind was the enthusiastic one. My body, a little fatigued from a late night looking after sick children, didn’t agree.

I began slowly, focussing on the loud, upbeat music playing in the room. In a few minutes my energy had lifted as another gym goer began working out beside me and  it didn’t seem long till  fifteen minutes on the cross trainer was gone. I looked at the workout record – 160 calories and 2 kilometres. Okay, I thought that is a start.

My first bottle of water was empty, so I refilled and moved to the weights room.  Weights, my mind began to groan. They’re heavy.

The Body/Mind Thing

My body was energised a little now, so thankfully it took over and I found myself pushing the chest press. Three sets of 12 reps.  And half a bottle of water.

My body wasn’t noticing it’s fatigue so much now. Good. Maybe I’ll get this done after all.

Onward and Upward

One weights exercise I have always loved is leg presses. Weird. I don’t know why I enjoy it so much, but when I recently pressed  60 kg of weight I was happy. Deliriously and ridiculously.  Maybe it’s because each time I add a little weight I remember this fit and energetic girl (younger than me) whom I met on my first gym visit. She was pushing 100 kg at the time and I was in total awe of her. I guess it was then that I began a subconscious desire to the same. And I’m getting a little closer each week.

There’s more??

Bicep curls aren’t much fun sometimes, but I did them anyway. A few sets on the high low pulley then saw my caesarean section scar nearly pop right open!! My abs were certainly being worked, as well as my triceps ( the muscles the machine is intended to target).

By now I was two bottles of water down and watching the clock. I am usually on a time restriction when I visit the gym, but I wasn’t leaving till I’d finished the workout. The fact that I’d forgotten my iPod was still annoying me though – I needed something to tune out the ads for funeral plans ( I know, what are they thinking???) that kept playing on the cable tv.

Argghh, I needed my music.

A Distraction

Thankfully it soon became a bit easier to ignore the intermittent ads as two rather strong (okay and good-looking) muscular guys entered the room. They smiled and even politely offered to carry a weight to my next machine for me. Thanks, but no thanks guys. I know I’m a woman, but I’m here to lift weights, so I will.

Still it feels good  to be treated well by your fellow humans and at a time when I may have been tempted to stop, I kept going.

A few distractions are good.

The Last Bit

The rest of the workout wasn’t hard at all. I refilled my water bottle for the third time and then did another 10 minutes on the cross trainer.

Yep, my muscles shook a little at the end, but my energy levels were high. I was glad I came.

Have you had days like this? Have you tried to get through a workout when motivation was low? Or perhaps  you’re still wondering whether weights and workouts are the thing for you?

Create Your Own Fun Run: A No Fan Fare Way To Increase Your Fitness Levels


 

 

The Challenge of A Fun Run

People who run Fun Runs are super fit, right? They have reached a certain level of endurance fitness that many people wish they could also achieve. ‘I’d love to be able to do that,’ many say upon hearing of a friend or colleague who has run a 5 km event on the weekend.

I used to say that too! A couple of years ago it was one of my fitness goals – to run a 5km event. I was training regularly as I still do now – both cardio and strength workouts – and a 5 km Fun Run was a definitely on my ‘to do’ list. However, it just so happens that two of the biggest Fun Run Events here in my city are held on Mother’s and then Father’s Day – two pretty important and significant days in our family.

Despite my desire and intent, I have not run in these events (as yet). When the time came, my choice was to spend a day with my family and some quality time away from their respective busy schedules. I was always happy with the choice I made on those days.

The Me Five K Event

The funny thing is I knew I could do it. My training had been consistent and I regular jogged several kilometres in good time. So, I thought to myself, how ’bout seeing if I could just run My Own Five K Event. I could do it any day I liked. No entry forms to fill in. No special time to get to the starting line. No special arrangements to make for child care. No people to disappoint on Father’s Day.

So I did.

Slowly and methodically I increased the distance I did on the treadmill. Sometimes I would increase the incline, sometimes the distance, sometimes the pace……making each workout slightly more difficult than the last. I also bought myself a pair of new comfortable runners like Lindsey.

Me and The Treadmill

Then came race day – an arbitrary day I had picked on the calendar. I told no-one about this small marathon I was to undertake, but kept the routine at home simple and the same.

It was just me and the road, as they say.  Or in my case, me and the treadmill.

Just Doing It

As race day came closer I was just as excited as anyone else planning a 5 km event. No big fan fare, no fellow competitors to meet and greet, but the excitement level was the same.

And the outcome? I did my first every 7 kms (without stopping) on  the treadmill. Not five as I had originally intended but seven. I couldn’t believe it.

A Runner’s High

After that day, I think I truly understood the term ‘Runners High’ – the feeling being a result of increased endorphins produced by the exercise itself and also my own psychological satisfaction from having completed (and exceeded) the distance of  Fun Run Event.

So how about you? Could you plan for, train for and complete your own Fun Run Event?

Even maybe just one kilometre, say in one month from now?

Start following a good plan like my fellow healthy living blogger Jess is and you can get there. Even if it’s one k at a time!

  • Incidently, I have nothing against organised Fun Run Events. At all. I think they are great. But competing in an event is not the only way to increase your fitness levels. You can also do it your own way, in your own time and produce the same desirable outcome (an increase in fitness levels) .

Ciao friends,

Mon