We all have that go to thing that we always do. But work outs are for pushing yourself to the limit to get a progression. But we can't forget the basics.
1. Crunches are bad for the lower back. Limit them or ask your doctor for an alternative. We did these all the time in the Army, and unfortunately I am feeling the effects of them now.
2. Walking is good for you. A lot of us think that we have to run miles and miles in order to get some beneficial exercise. That couldn't be farthest from the truth. Walking is low impact, God knows we did a lot of walking in the Army. It is an awesome way to squeeze in a bit of physical activity. Park farther from the store or from your job so that you walk a little more.
3. Some of us get target focused. That is to say, "well I want to get rid of tummy fat so i'll do a million crunches and situps". That is the fastest way to get no results. The best thing is to develop a whole body workout, because in doing so you will burn more calories which helps cut down on that tummy fat faster.
4. Avoid fad diets. The worse thing you can do to your body is starve it of what it needs. So those no-carb or "only eat XYZ for certain amount of days and you will lose the weight" type diets will not help you. There are so many of these fad diets floating around. The best thing to do is to have a balanced diet. Protein, carbs, fruits and veggies. Even better is to have seven small portioned meals a day. I did this when I was lifting weights, my calorie intake was around 2,500 calories a day; but I was burning it all up in physical activity. A perfect diet includes a MODERATION of everything.
5. Do something whatever it is you like; but you have to have some physical exercise in order for a diet to take effect. Remember a diet is what we eat. Reducing your calories are only beneficial if you are not as active but there is also an unhealthy factor about solely limiting how much you intake; you are bound to be deficient in something and will cause more harm to your body. Your routine should include Cardio, Strength and Stretching. Running, Walking, Swimming, Dancing are great for Cardio. Weight lifting is the best source for strength training as long as you are using good form. I have seen guys that lift a crap ton of weight but they do it sloppily and I bet they will feel it later in life. Just because you can curl 500 pounds doesn't mean you can do it perfectly and thus you are not getting an effective session. There is an art to weight lifting that is often ignored. Resistance training is also a good way to improve your strength. Yoga and Tai Chi are very popular forms of stretching arts. I have been a martial artists since I was about 6 years old and I have studied a variety of forms and each of them emphasize stretching. That been said I enjoy doing a couple of Katas from different forms. It helps me center myself and balances my "chi" because I focus on my chi breathing.
6. Joint pain. If your like me all those years of being physical is catching up. A good NCO would always encourage the boys by saying "pain is weakness leaving the body". As much as I believed that then, I sure am paying for it now. Supplements such as Turmeric, ginger, glucosamine and Fish oil help but it doesn't cure it. Doctors have told me to keep moving. Elipticals, swimming, biking and other low impact exercises are great help. But I still hurt.....
Dieting is the other half of a successful fitness plan. So lets take a look at a couple of points.
1. 5 servings of fruit daily
2. Nuts are full of protein and fat. This isn't a bad thing. If you use this as one of your snacks instead of reaching for the candy bar. The fat will help you push through and give you energy as well as make you feel full.
3. Full fat yogurt. Yea, Full Fat.. in Moderation!!!! It is a great probiotic and will actually help get rid of some of the bad stuff in your belly too!!!
4. Boiled potatoes are great because they are a filler but don't pile on the cheese, sour cream and butter. Instead use peppers, chives or green onions to give it flavoring.
5. Avocados are awesome!!! Us Hispanics are like, well that's a no brainer. Some say but they are fatty. YES!! They are full of good fats. Those that your body needs. Plus they will lower your cholesterol as well as help you to feel fuller. So add some Aguacate in you life.
6. Eggs have been debated for a long time. Here is the catch; they are filled with protein and make a good snack that will help you feel fuller.
7. Kale and spinach are power veggies. So much can be said about them.
8. Lean protein source are best whether it is beef, chicken or fish (salmon is best). Remember your body only process 25 grams of protein; so don't over do the protein shakes if your not lifting weights. You could get stones, and even poisoned.
9. Rice is a staple in many diets. The best diets in the world are Mediterranean based as well as Japanese. Both of these use rice. It is a filling side to add to your meal; but use it in moderation like all other starches.
7 minute Office workout
Each exercise should be done for 30 seconds followed by a 10 second pause:
1. Jumping Jacks
2. Wall squats
3. Push ups
5. Step ups- use your chair
7. Tricep dips- using your chair
8. Knee highs
9. Lunges or IRON MIKES
10. Punches- Jabs that are straight out and using only your elbows, arms. NOT YOUR SHOULDERS like in boxing.
It is good to endulge yourself every once in a while or else your diet will fail. Here are some things that may do more harm than good:
1. Caesar Salads. Looks can be deceiving. All that dressing is loaded with too much fat so ask for light dressing.
2. Smoothies are quick and easy snacks but sometimes we load them up with so much junk we might as well drink a milk shake. So the next time you get a smoothie load it with protein, fresh fruits and veggies like kale; and skip the extra sugar.
3. Energy bars sound like the perfect snack option but they are mostly supped up candy bars. Instead look for one that has around 200 calories and has some fiber and protein so that you are filled and satisfied and not reaching for another one of those "go get 'ems".
4. Sour cream and cheese on your burritos and other tortilla based foods. I know it's a horrible idea, but you will thank me for suggesting this. Instead of the cream as for Guac, fajita style meats and veggies and CORN tortillas. Corn tortillas are actually better for you. If you ever go into a taqueria or a real deal Mexican restaurant (where the Mexicans go to eat) watch them. They will always ask for the corn tortillas.
5. Skip the sugar free foods. They can do more harm than good. It's not natural. Plus it will give you the impression that if you get a diet soda you can get a large fry, or that piece of cake that it the size of a plate. Bad idea...
6. Enhanced water or Gatorades are great for your rehydration if you are in like desert heat and working manual labor or running a marathon or playing professional sports or defending this country against it's enemies. Other wise it has too much sugar. It is better to have fruit or cucumber infused water. I like to half up my Gatorade with water and make two bottles out of one to cut some of that sugar in half.
7. Turkey hot dogs. Sure they say they have less fat but when you actually read the label you might as well stick to the bright leafs....
8. Multigrain stuff seems like a good idea but read the label. Some are still made with white flour which has no fiber or nutrients. 100 % whole grain should be the first ingredient and more fiber the better.
9. skimp on the iceberg lettuce. Instead load up on spinach or arugula.
10. Coleslaw. Too high in fay, but may make you want more because the misconception that it's actually healthy.