By now I think we all know we’re supposed to exercise, and quite a few of us have figured what exercise works best for us. However, that doesn’t mean that we all love it.
Starting, and sticking to, an exercise plan can be more difficult than expected. This is especially true if you dread your workout before you’ve even started.
There may be a good reason you aren’t enjoying your workout, and a simple fix to make exercise enjoyable. If you find yourself groaning every time you lace up your shoes or strap on your bike helmet, it may be time to take a look at why you don’t like to exercise and do something about it.
It’s hard to get started
For some, just getting a new exercise program started is the biggest hurdle. Not knowing what to do and making the transition from sedentary to more active can be a daunting task. If you find yourself in this situation, call on a friend to be your workout buddy. Getting started will be a lot easier when you don’t feel like you’re on your own.
When you’ve been stuck in the same fitness routine for a while, finding some inspiration can be just the ticket to shake things up. Let’s face it: when we get bored we’re much more likely to quit. Changing things up could make you more likely to stick with exercise, whether it’s trying out a new group exercise class or learning a new sport. Spending time with other fit-minded individuals can also provide a major dose of motivation and help you break out of a fitness rut.
Here are five different fitness-focused events happening in the summer of 2014 that will enable you to network with others, make new friends, and discover the latest trends in fitness:
When & Where: June 6-8, Park City, Utah
Who attends: Healthy living bloggers and readers, anyone with a love for food and fitness
The Details: The Blend Retreat is back for a second year in Park City, Utah (in the gorgeous Canyons Resort) and is sponsored by Silk. It’s a weekend for like-minded individuals from all around the country to come together for three days of fun, great food, fitness and friendship. A ticket to the retreat gets you three meals (two breakfasts and a 5-course gourmet dinner), a cocktail reception with free drinks, coffee and tea all weekend, two sponsored snack breaks, a guided hike with pre- and post-hike snacks, two bootcamp-style workouts led by qualified fitness instructors, a t-shirt, an amazing swag bag filled with products from over 25 different vendors and entry into a closing ceremony raffle with big ticket items from various sponsors. For more information and to register, visit Blend Retreat’s website.
By Team Best Life
It’s a simple fact: Your family, friends, and coworkers can make or break your attempts to eat healthfully or lose weight. In fact, a recent review study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that participants who were told that others were making a low-calorie or high-calorie food choice were more likely to make a similar food choice.
You know how it is when one of your dining companions offers to split an order of potato skins or a slice of chocolate cake? You feel pressure to agree, even if you’re not in the mood for it. Likewise, when your tablemate orders a salad with grilled chicken, you’re less inclined to order the deluxe cheeseburger.
Ideally, you’d use your own internal cues to know when to put your fork down. But it can be easy to get distracted, especially when you’re dining out or with others. Use the tips below to eat well no matter where you eat or who’s at your table.
Social gatherings can be difficult for dieters. Family food pushers like the grandmother who wants to care for you or the aunt who wants to be admired for a special recipe can make holidays and other family gatherings tricky. At other social gatherings it may be difficult to find things that fit within your food plan, friends may forget your diet, or acquaintances may not be aware of your goals. Medi-Weightloss Clinics recently commissioned a survey that they believe suggests that “it might be easier to lose weight these days if you live alone in a cave with no spouse, family, friends or colleagues.” As I look at the survey responses, though, I think there may be another interpretation.
The online survey was completed by 325 women between the ages of 25 and 55 who were currently dieting or had dieted in the past. It is unclear how these specific women were recruited or chosen. We are also missing further demographic information that might help us explain the results. When asked if they had ever felt others were not respecting their diet, 66 percent of participants agreed. Those most blamed for not respecting a diet were significant others, friends, and relatives; however, these are the people with whom we are most likely to have frequent interaction and most likely to share a meal. The more time we spend with someone, the more chance there is that person could disappoint us. Respondents were least likely (17 percent) to feel disappointed by their best friends.
See more Empty Calories right here in the blog each week, or receive one each month when you subscribe to our free newsletter. (more…)
Weight loss is a touchy subject. It’s not exactly something you want to bring up in the company of, say, a friend who could stand to lose a little weight- especially if that conversation is directly geared at them. Although you may have good intentions, it’s not always easy to show concern for your friend’s weight without insulting them, but it is one worth having if you do so in a sensitive, non-judgmental way.
In fact, discussing the critical health risks that could be avoided by losing weight can be a very thoughtful thing to do, especially if you offer to change your way of eating, too. After all, there is always room for improvement in any meal plan you might follow.
Because of the difficulty of conversations like this, people may opt to avoid the topic all together. However, according to a recent UK poll, most individuals attempt the conversation anyway, the likelihood of which was related to the type of relationship. The UK poll results showed that men were more likely than women to talk about weight with their friends while women were more likely to talk about it with their spouses. People were also more likely to talk about the subject as their age increased.
Although it’s not the most pleasant conversation to have, it could possibly be the best gift you could give a friend. By encouraging small, achievable lifestyle changes and joining them in the process, you could find yourself at the beginnings of an even stronger and more meaningful friendship.
One common concern I hear about dieting is how to maintain both social relationships and weight when so many social gatherings include food.
Sometimes to obtain weight loss goals, you need to separate yourself from certain people, at least when food is involved. The conundrum here is that dieting is tough work and a stresssor that requires physical, mental, and emotional energy. In the midst of such an undertaking, you need support more than ever. Often even our biggest cheerleaders are not confident in how to best support us when we travel roads they have not. While it can be difficult to ask for help, both you and your friend will be glad you did.
1. Accountability – Many people have a hard time doing things for themselves alone, but are more likely to follow through if they know someone else cares – or sometimes simply if someone else will know. Friends can join you in your exercise routine or ask you about how you are doing with your meal plan. You are much less likely to hit snooze if you know your friend will be waiting for you to workout at 6am. If you share your journey electronically, make sure you ask friends to specifically comment on your tweets or posts, so you know someone is paying attention and supporting you.
It’s official: your friends can make you fat. While many studies have proven that social support promotes weight loss, there’s now evidence that obese friends can lead you to pack on the pounds. A new study from Harvard shows that the more obese friends you have, the more likely you are to be obese.
The study supports the hypothesis that obesity is socially contagious. About a third of all Americans are obese, and the Harvard researches projected that obesity will rise to 42 percent by 2050 before leveling off. They used the kind of modeling formula that is applied to infectious-diseases to come to their projection.
When you have hit a plateau or are feeling frustrated, one of the best things you can do is to focus your energy somewhere else, outside of yourself. Focusing your attention and energy on yourself, on what is not going as you would design, on those things over which you do not feel control will lead you toward depression and further stagnation.
There is benefit to trying something new, shaking things up, or re-focusing. Doing so will re-energize you and put things in perspective. When you need encouragement may be the best time for you to encourage someone else. (more…)
This weekend was our church spring fest. It was billed as a food extravaganza, showcasing foods from across the world. There was Filipino, Greek, Italian, Hispanic and of course, all the typical festival food you could want. Cotton candy, snow cones, hambugers, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, pretzels, ice cream cups – the list of food choices went on and on. Did you notice what was missing from that list? That’s right – anything remotely healthy. When will the carnival vendors even learn, and offer fruit kabobs and a salad cup? (more…)