With good weather normally comes a reflection of your health and fitness goals, but do you really know if you are achieving them? We have discussed the point of setting SMART goals before so you can have a clear outline of where you are headed and then if you know you have reached the set goal.
But how are you measuring and tracking your progress? Here is a snap shot of what I personally do. I have multiple goals from strength, running specific and yes, body composition. I track and measure these in multiple forms.
My Garmin watch is perfect for monitoring speed progression in my running and tracks my distances accumulated and I can review this for fatigue across a workout. Data is saved in both my Garmin account and Strava and then reflected against the timelines set in my goals for achievement.
My diary tracks goals, hand written for connection to them and within this my girth measurements as part of my composition testing. I started doing girths after the birth of my first son and it has been amazing watching the changes in these contrasting to weight and body fat percentage. I use Tanita scales for tracking of weight and body fat percentage, which also reflects the changes in muscle density.
Everyone has a journey and also finds there path is not always a straight one. Key components to achieving your goals isn't always about just diet and exercise. Have you considered how much rest you are getting as the body heals and recovers when we rest (this is where your progress is made). High stress will also reduce your capacity to achieve your goals, reduction of activities that stress you and incorporation of deep breathing/relaxation is key to shift you out of a 'flight and fight' state to a calmer place. Finally a good supplementation regime to give your body all the goodies it needs to perform optimally from the inside out.
A good gut health program combined with all of the above strategies should place you in a good position for goal achievement. Happy planning and I would love to hear about your success stories!!
This article is from the BBC News website, it is a great read and gives some insight into the fitting in exercise across the week.
'We all know that exercise is good for us, but often struggle to do the 150 minutes of moderate level activity a week that's recommended. So what's the alternative, asks Michael Mosley.'
Lastly, if you are heading out in low light, be smart in your choice of colours, pick clothing with reflective paneling and grab yourself a light if needed.
The power of the mind is a wonderful assest, you here the saying 'Dream, Believe, Achieve' so often however have you taken the time to put this into action? I must admit that I didn't really see or understand the power of mindset until I had seen changes occuring in my life from the focus I had applied to achieving my dreams and focusing on them daily. No matter how big they are and even if they scare you (they are probably big enough and are really meaningful if they scare you!). Everyday believe you can achieve them, think of them daily and with this shift along with hard work you will figure out how to get there.
Take five minutes and enjoy this clip, this really cements the importance of mindset.
If you are looking for a little treat and don't want to have a large amount sitting around to tempt you later, you will love this one! This reminded me a little of a snickers bar with so much less sugar and preservatives. Unfortunately it was devoured before I thought to take a picture....next time 😊
Ingredients - makes 2 desserts
4 tsp coconut oil
4 tsp raw cacao
4 tsp pure maple syrup
4 tblsp natural peanut butter (100% peanuts nothing else)
3/4 tsp vanilla essence
Sprinkle of rock salt
Strawberries or similar for adding as a topping or omit completely.
Melt coconut oil and then mix in cacao, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Finally add in the peanut butter and mix well till combined. Place in a serving dish if you are going to top with berries or alternatively a small tray if you want to cut and serve as small pieces. Place in the freezer to set for approximately 10min, top with berries, serve and enjoy!
I started making this after I wanted to allow our boys to enjoy a dessert that wasn't sugar ladened. They absolutely love strawberries, we use around 4 punnets of strawberries a week. Luckily for this dessert I can have some on hand all the time with frozen strawberries. I will admit I haven't measured anything in quantities, yet it is so simple I don't think you need to.
Cream (full fat, light, lactose free or coconut) - what ever your taste buds and tummy desire!
Place your frozen strawberries in a blender and pulse till they are broken into little pieces. Poor in a small amount of cream and blend well, taste and add more cream until you are at the flavour you desire.
Experiment and enjoy, you can substitute in any time of fruit or a combination.. A great option for your occasional treat.
While on a webinar tonight with a great group of people looking to map out and plan their goals for the next 90 days the question was asked, is it best to eat before an early morning workout or not? I personally feel better performance outcomes if I eat prior to an early morning workout, what I choose to eat is based on what feels good at that time of the morning, is quick and also does not repeat during the workout. In saying this I do sometimes exercise without having eaten, gee I get hungry during and can't wait for breakie when I am done! Food choices prior to, well this is not full meal, just something to get the engine started so to speak. This topic did get me think, so I went on the search for some literature on the topic. Here is a link to the article that discusses the outcome in regards to weight loss when consuming a meal prior to your early morning workout.
Exercising Fasting or Fed to Enhance Fat Loss? Influence of Food Intake on Respiratory Ratio and Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption After a Bout of Endurance Training' by Paoli, Marcolin, Zonin, Neri, Sivieri, and Pacelli (2011)
Sometimes getting started can be the biggest battle. If you said yes to this, then you should join in on the Webinar this Thursday the 23rd of July 2015 at 8.30pm to get the tips and practical advice to get started and exercise regular. In this 60 minute webinar we will also do a 90 day planning to achieve your goals. Register NOW; http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EC50DF82844B3B
Some times the hardest part is getting yourself in the right mind set to exercise, telling yourself that it is ok for the other chores, work, tasks that are mounting up on the to do list that they can wait till after you have exercised and placed importance on yourself and your own health. Think about how much you value your own health, are you happy with how your current level of health is, can you do everything you need or want to do? If you answered no to some, one or all of these then your health is important to you and you should allow time for yourself.
Try this tip, draw up or print off, or use an electronic diary (what ever works best for you) and mark off for the week all of your work times. Then place in any appointments for the week, any other family commitments, drop offs, pick ups, dinner time etc ..... you get the picture. Now set a goal of how many times you would like to exercise this week, making it realistic and place it on your calendar. There's your first commitment, now we are going to aim for three commitments to help you succeed in achieving your scheduled exercise for the week. Who will you be accountable to, friend, family, myself....? Tell someone your plans so they can check in on you hold you accountable for the goal you set. Now the third commitment, preparation, set a reminder and get your clothes and whatever else you need ready. This last part is important particularly if you are going to be exercising first thing in the morning, your clothes are ready, or if straight after work. Your ready!
There's one of the first hurdles covered, as you complete your session, mark it off and write what you did, this is a great motivational tool to see progress and your commitment. I normally suggest that it takes three weeks to form a habit, keep in mind that within your first six months of starting a new exercise habit it is really easy to fall out of routine. If this does happen, don't despair! Do you hear people suggesting they will start next week....on Monday, 'this week didn't happen as I missed Monday and Tuesday, so I'll start again next week'. I bet you have heard it many times, well then I know you will have heard this too 'there is no time like the present'. The longer you put it off, the harder it is to get started, don't wait till Monday.
I am a lover of running and for work I mentor and encourage people to make the most of their health and help them to achieve their goals.