Make Over Your Metabolism
(contributed by Elizabeth Anderson)
Is there a war going on in your body?
Every year I have to be more diligent and work that much harder at keeping weight off and being fit but as always, it’s so hard to find the time. I know a lot of you out there are in the same boat – with the corporate treadmill or running a business, raising kids, relationships, social commitments, ageing parents… We women run it all, and it’s easy to put your own health and fitness on the back burner.
So, I called in our health and fitness expert Elizabeth Anderson for some help on getting and keeping motivated. Not only is she Mrs. Utah USA, but she is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and owner of Elizabeth Anderson Fitness: The perfect woman woman to give us the kick in the butt that we sometimes need. In fact, I met up with Elizabeth on a recent business trip in Scottsdale and she did exactly that with her “hotel room workout”!
“When you put your health on the back burner you may not feel the results right away but then you start to feel the bulging waistline, and the clothes fitting too small and the low energy. You need a wake up call to make the shift.”
Don’t let an either/or mentality get in your way!
You can have a great job or a busy life AND be healthy. It’s all about getting your metabolism back in gear! Here’s where you start:
Exercise (the Basics)
- Get your butt moving: Anything you do to get moving is great. Take the stairs, get off the subway a stop early, go for a walk on lunch. Be conscious of ways to move more during your day and don’t ever let them slip by. They are free exercise time!
- Try a quickie: An hour at the gym can occasionally be murder to schedule. Get an aerobics step and use that for 10 minutes at a time, or jump rope for 10 minutes or take a quick walk outside for 10 minutes. Get your body moving and blood flowing.
- Breathe! When you are stressed your breathing becomes shallow. Exercise deepens out breathing into the diaphragm, fills up the lung capacity and lets all your cells get better and fresher oxygen.
- Release the happy hormones: Exercise not only creates endorphins which are the ‘feel good’ hormones, but it also releases and gets rid of cortisol and adrenalin which are two hormones that cause stress.
- Drop the drugs: Evidence shows that exercise has as many benefits as some antidepressant drugs on the market – with a ton less side-effects.
- Quit making excuses! The busier you are, the more you need to exercise so you can manage the stress and demands of your life, versus “I’m so busy, I don’t have time to take care of myself.”
Exercise (How to fit in a “lunchtime quickie”):
- ‘Burst’ training or high intensity interval training burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
Start with a warm-up for about two minutes, and then begin your chosen exercise, whether it is running outside, biking, or using a treadmill. It is important to exercise for 1 minute as hard as you can.
Scale down your intensity slightly for 2 minutes, then repeat another minute of intense exercise. Go through this cycle 6 times!
This will give you an excellent 18 minute workout which burns a lot of calories, gets tons of oxygen into your system and challenges your body.
Last but not least: de-stress!
Your health is more than just the physical. Stress plays a major part in busy women’s lives and we can deal with it for a while, but chronic stress starts to degrade your body, your love of what you are doing, and your relationships. Stress also produces the physiological hormones cortisol and adrenalin that keeps weight on your body and makes you gain weight. Yep. Stress will make you fat.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but the best way to combat stress is to give yourself a 5 minute ‘time out.’ Whether its meditation or just listening to 5 minutes of soothing music or sitting in your office with the door shut, set a timer and let yourself go. Close your eyes, clear your mind, and focus on breathing. A small break can refocus your mind and shift your manic, scattered energy into a much more effective, efficient, focused approach. Just like with physical exercise, this will become easier to do the more you practice.
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