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The Exercise Goal You Should be Making

By Gary Ditsch, lead exercise physiologist for Retrofit

There are many reasons we say we “can’t” fit exercise and activity into our lives. But for all the excuses we use there are just as many strategies and daily hacks that can help us become healthier and more fit. When you commit to add activity to your routine, one of the best strategies for making the habit stick is to also start tracking your daily movement.

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Over the last couple of years, the popularity of activity trackers has continued to grow. It is now common to see someone wearing an activity tracker in almost any setting. With an activity tracker you get immediate feedback and create more opportunity for success. We have found at Retrofit that every step matters when it comes to weight loss. In fact, clients who achieve 10,000 steps or more per day are 2.7 times more likely to reach their weight loss goal!

If you are not currently tracking activity, where should you start? Here are several steps (literally) to get started.

First, take an assessment of your current activity. The best way to do this is to wear your tracker for two weeks to get an honest assessment. Take the average step count for the two weeks and use this as your established baseline.

Next, set up your individualized activity goal. While 10,000 steps might be the ultimate goal, your first threshold should be something relative to your baseline measurement. A suggestion is to take your baseline metric and add 2,000 steps per day to create your target.

Now that you have an established baseline and a personalized target, it’s time to find the small ways to add more activity and boost your step count. A few effective strategies might include:

  1.  Aim to add 500 steps to your tally each time you get up to use the restroom. (1,000 to 3,000 extra steps per day)
  2.  Take 1,000 steps at work before your sit down at your desk. (1,000 extra steps per day)
  3. Set an alarm to go off every hour then take 200 steps each time it rings. (1,600 to 2,000 extra steps per day)
  4. Add 1,000 steps around the office after work prior to leaving the building. (1,000 extra steps per day)
  5. Set a 2,000 step requirement to “earn” morning coffee; take 1,000 steps with coffee in hand. (3,000 extra steps per day)

As you can see from the examples, it’s easy to add more activity around the moments that already exist in your routine. Start with just one step-boosting strategy. As taking those additional steps becomes more natural, add another strategy, and another. Soon you’ll be much more active than before and well on your way to better health!

This post sponsored by Retrofit.

 

Also Read:

 The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need for Holiday Shopping

Get Paid for Working Out with Earndit

Why Americans Aren’t Walking Much and Conservatives are Walking Even Less



Pick Up the Pace and Extend Your Life

We all need to put a little more pep in our step. New information from the National Walkers’ Health Study, a database of information about middle-aged men and women who regularly walk for exercise, indicates that walking with greater speed is linked to longevity.

walking

As the most popular physical activity in America, walking is assumed to be an equally beneficial exercise no matter the pace. In the new study, the benefits of moderate- and light- intensity walking were compared, as well as their impact on length of life.


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No Diet or Heavy Workouts for Maria Menounos! See the Fit Star’s Reasonable Approach to Fitness

You never know when Mario Menounos is going to strip down to her bikini, but if you’ve got it, flaunt it. The Extra correspondent, part-time WWE wrestler, and bestselling author of The EveryGirls Guide to Life is five foot eight inches of toned beauty, and isn’t afraid to show off her stunning physique. Maria recently sat down with E! News to discuss how she keeps up with her fitness while wearing so many hats, and the answers were shocking.

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The gorgeous Greek revealed that she never works out, but walks constantly and tries to limit her diet to foods “from the ground.” If that sounds like a typical celebrity half-truth, think again. Maria’s “everything in moderation” lifestyle is the most reliable way to sustain a healthy weight and keep her body running like a well-oiled machine.

It turns out dieting really isn’t Maria’s cup of tea either. “Diets are confining,” said Maria. “I don’t count calories. I just try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can.”
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Marielle Doughty Lost 113 Pounds and Continues To Embrace the Journey

Marielle Doughty is one of the most positive women I’ve ever interviewed for our True Weight Loss segment. Time and time again she mentioned that although losing 113 pounds hasn’t been easy, she never considered it a struggle. Through the process she’s met new friends, learned how to cook in a different way, and found physical activities she truly enjoys participating in. Through her weight loss journey, she discovered it’s easier to embrace healthy lifestyle changes than consider them a burden.

Marielle Doughty before after

 

We asked Marielle to share her story with us:

Tell us when your weight struggles began. It all began when I got married and learned how to cook. I found out that love to cook and I love food!

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? My love of cooking and my addiction to sugar. I also became a stay at home mom and didn’t stay active at all.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? Every year I would usher at my kids’ dance recital and come home every night with sore feet. One year two thoughts came to me almost simultaneously: 1- It feels like we were just here last week, not a whole year ago. 2- If I had made small lifestyle changes a year ago, my feet wouldn’t hurt as much. It was a light bulb moment for me. I started my journey the day after the last dance show and a year later I ushered again, 97 pounds lighter, and I didn’t get sore feet.

How did you lose weight? I used the Zumba diet to start. I chose it because it doesn’t cut out food groups, it teaches portion control and healthy habits instead of being a diet that has a finish line. I wanted to learn how to eat healthy, not get to a specific goal weight. The recipes were yummy too. I still love to cook – I just know how to make better choices.


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6 Tips for Safer Summer Hikes with Ali Vincent’s Live Big Group Hikes

Since it’s so beautiful in most of the country during this time of year, everyone wants to be outside enjoying the sun and weather. This leads to so much opportunity to get those calories burned without having to hit the gym. However, if you live in places like Arizona, where I grew up, it’s almost too hot to be outside unless you take the right precautions. WATER, WATER, WATER and a few salty snacks will save you!

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About a week or so ago I ran one of the half marathons that I have on my calendar, to achieve my goal this year and run 13, 13.1 races in 2013. While I was excited to run with my friend and for the adventure we had in store, I found myself paying a huge price for not taking in to account the weather! I knew it would be warm, but I didn’t realize that I would be running directly in the sun and my body started cramping from dehydration; I was miserable until the sun started to set. By that time it was too late and I had to just barrel through while intaking what I could in water and electrolyte drinks to try and get some hydration back. I actually wasn’t able to fully recover until I snacked on some saltines as well.

A few quick tips to have you ready for a safe hike:
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