26 November 2008

4 Tips to Having A Healthy Thanksgiving

Following on from the post yesterday about how to prepare yourself for Thanksgiving and make sure you don't gain tons of weight from pure overindulging, here are some quick tips to try out during the day that won't get in the way of having fun and spending time with the family.

They'll also help you feel good and avoid the holiday bloat.

Rule 1 - I know you don't want to set your alarm on your day off but try to get up early and do a little exercise. Even if it's just running on the spot for 10 minutes and a few press ups and crunches on the floor. try to do something and spend at least 20 mins doing it. Trust me - this will make you feel energized and buzzing for the day ahead.

Rule 2 - Pace yourself. Today is not a competition to see how much you can eat and drink. the moment you feel full, put your fork down and clear your plate away if you need to. Don't just ignore your tummy - listen to it. Turkey is actually a great low fat meat to eat and the vegetables are good for you so eat a decent portion but try to lay off pastries and breads if you can and don't have a carb fest.

Rule 3 - Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated and make you feel full so you'll eat less. Keep a large bottle on the dining table and drink a large glass before the meal. it really will make you feel less hungry and chances are that you'll eat what you need, now what your eyes devour.

Rule 4 - play some fun games with the family after the meal - don't just fall asleep in front of the TV. Maybe even wrap up warm and get everyone to go one a short walk with you. You'll all feel great afterwards.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Photograph by numstead

How to Avoid Holiday / Thanksgiving Weight Gain

Happy Thanksgiving!
This Part 1 of your 3 Day Guide to enjoying the Thanksgiving without gaining lots of excess weight, ruining your diet and regretting it later. Here is your guide for THE DAY BEFORE. As my dad always tells me, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. What an annoying expression that is??! Ready

Rule 1 - Eat normally. Don't get any ideas into your head about skipping meals so you can leave plenty of room to stuff yourself tomorrow. Today is a normal day and if you're traveling home, plan where and when and most importantly, what you are going to eat on your journey. If you leave it till the last minute, you may have no choice other than junk food to see you through so plan ahead.

Rule 2 - Drink plenty of water today. Chances are that during the Thanksgiving meal, water will get forgotten and be replaced with sodas, juices and alcohol so hydrate yourself now.

Rule 3 - If you can exercise today, do. This will really set you up for an energetic weekend and help you get one step ahead of the game. Some suggestions that you can do at home / in the garden - in the gym that will make the most out of a 30 minute workout:

Do This
Jump rope for 10 mins - try to have as few breaks as you can
Run for 10 mins - either on treadmill or outside and try to do a couple of 1 minute sprints to get your fat burn going.
2 x 15 squats
2 x 15 lunges
2 x 15 press ups
The Plank - do this for 60 seconds
2 x 15 scissor kicks
2 x reverse crunches
Jump rope for 5 mins
Cool down

More exercises you can do indoors here.

Photograph by ~Sage~

11 November 2008

The dangers of bottled water left in your car

Urban myth or wise warning? I received an email from my friend Amanda warning of the dangers of using plastic containers and plastic wrap in microwaves which can be highly toxic and lead to cancer. Also, there were warnings about drinking from plastic bottles of water left in the car over night. Now these 'Erumours' have been around for a while and are fairly difficult to get to the bottom of but my question is this - should we just ignore them just because we can't prove them?

I'm not a fan of the microwave anyway and probably use it once a year to reheat something but for a lot of people, it's a really convenient machine that saves them time. Should they be ditching their plastic containers which are said to release harmful dioxins into their food and switch to glass Pyrex dishes?

I do however always have a bottle of lukewarm water in the car that I drink from before I replace it with another one. Since reading the email, I have to say I've stopped doing it. I'm not a likely candidate for breast cancer anyway but I'm not convinced that plastics when heated don't react with the water.

So is this all nonsense and scare mongering or is there a grain of truth in it? That's for each of you to decide but here's some more info before you make your mind up.

Photograph by Muffet (flickr)

3 November 2008

Get slimmer, toned thighs

Whether you're trying to squeeze into your skinny jeans or just don't like the wobble on your thighs, these two exercises are great for toning that area and helping you get shapely legs. All you need to do is some cardio to get you sweating for at least 15 mins and then follow the instructions on how to do the narrow to wide squats and the backwards lunge with kick. 

You ready?

Narrow to wide squat jumps

starting position for narrow to wide squat jumpsjumping after squat
landing in wide leg squat position

Stand upright with your feet hip width apart
Sit back into a regular squat position making sure that your knees do not travel further forwards than your toes
Now swing your arms to jump out of the squat position

Move your feet apart in the air and land with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and with your toes turned out

Keep your tummy tight as this will help you balance

Sit back into a wide squat position making sure that your knees stay in line with your hips and ankles

Swing your arms to jump out of this position

Move your feet together in the air and land with them hip width apart

Repeat for 20 jumps; 10 squats in each position

Backwards Lunge with Leg Kick

Backwards lunge with kick1kick following backwards lunge - position 2
Stand upright with your feet hip width apart, shoulders relaxed and arms by your sides

Take a big step backwards and move into the lunge position

At the bottom of the movement you should have right angles at both knees with your body upright

Spring the back leg out of this position as you stand upright, swing it forwards and straighten it in front of you

Return this leg to the starting position

Repeat the sequence on the other side

Continue until you have completed 10 lunges and kicks on each leg

Make sure your body is upright throughout the movement - no leaning backwards and forwards...

More thigh blasting workouts to complete your workout.