There is a lot of chatter around what really counts as exercise. The Department of Health and Human Services defines it as any form of movement of the body that uses energy.
What exactly does this mean?
Exercise can include movement we think of in a traditional sense such as walking briskly, cycling or HIIT class, but we should also take into account our day-to-day activities like doing chores around the house. Just note that ‘flights climbed’ stat as you hustle up and down the stairs. Add carrying the vacuum, and you’re golden.
How much exercise do we need?
According to HHS, adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week.
We should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity involving all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
To see how your activities fit in and for specific requirements for special populations, check out these helpful tools provided by the CDC:
How do I start exercising?
150 minutes may sound like a lot of exercise and a lot of time we don’t have stuffed away somewhere, so I recommend breaking it down by setting a SMART goal each week.
For example: This week I will walk briskly for 30 minutes 5x.
Specific - Clearly stated: Walk briskly
Measurable - On my calendar: 30 mins, 5x/week
Attainable - Yes, I can do that!
Relevant - To my health? Definitely
Timely - I will report back after 7 days
Now it seems doable! Here are more ideas:
Collaborate with your health coach on ways to get the movement in that you need. Start small. Start slowly. The only thing that matters is that you start.
What can I do about my cellulite? I get asked this question a lot, and I really wish I had a magical solution not only for my clients but selfishly for my own orange peel, cottage cheese, or my personal favorite, hail damage.
Over the years I’ve tried numerous DIY cellulite treatments: Eat kelp. Scrub with coffee. Use horse chestnut extract. Buy cellulite creams (The pictures are super convincing, but trust me, save your money.) I was never quite sure whether to eat the horse chestnut extract or rub it on. I couldn’t decide how much is too much kelp, and honestly, I’d rather just drink my coffee.
I took a break from trying until Dr. Oz shared a cellulite remedy I hadn’t tried yet: Massage devices.
“Massage devices actually DO work. Here’s why: Cellulite develops because fibrous connective bands between the skin and fat pull the fat to the surface, creating a rippled skin appearance. By creating friction, you can loosen or soften those bands temporarily. Massage helps by stimulating circulation and draining excess fluids. When the fat cells aren’t as “full,” the lumps appear smoothed.”
Since it was Dr. Oz, I figured this was worth a shot.
First, I Googled massage devices for cellulite and was overwhelmed at the number of choices. After much contemplation (analysis paralysis), I finally decided on the Fascia Blaster by Ashley Black, www.fasciablaster.com. To be clear, cellulite reduction is not the only use touted for the Fascia Blaster, but since they’ve “sold more than 1M” of these bad boys, I figured it must be doing something for someone.
I’ll admit I was very optimistic when my Fascia Blaster arrived, complete with a black velvety storage bag. Classy. I committed to giving it a good month and got started right away. For 30 minutes each day, I locked myself in the bathroom and ran those knobs over the fronts and backs of my legs and buns like I was out for revenge.
After 30 days, here’s what I found: First of all, it hurt like heck. I guess FB must’ve been “breaking up” something, but some days I’d whimper when I had to grind her over my legs which were already tender and bruised. I gave it all wrestling with those devilish fibrous bands, but I can’t say that much loosened or softened inside, and as for my rear view, it looked the same.
To be fair, Fascia Blaster really does make one heck of a massager; those claws just dug right in to my back knots. Nonetheless, after our solid 30-day run, FB sat stored and unloved for months. I decided to get rid of it, so I gave it to my son who found another eager buyer and cashed in.
The fact is cellulite is more prevalent in women, it is often hereditary, and it can develop as we age. The good news is, there IS something we can do to help minimize it: Eat more fruits and vegetables. Watch our sugar and sodium levels and exercise. But we’re supposed to do that anyway 😉.
How much fast food is too much?
When I was a kid back in the 70s and 80s, we rarely ate fast food. In our house, breakfast was toast with hot chocolate or Tang. We ate school hot lunches (unfortunately), and dinner was always meat and potatoes, eaten seated, at a table.
Truth is, it wasn’t sheer commitment to homemade that kept us from those Two All Beef Patties. We had to drive nearly 60 mins to get to a McDonald’s or any of the other new, exciting fast food establishments.
Who knew once I’d grown up, I’d be blessed to live within 5 minutes of a McD’s (2), Arby’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and more. Plus all of these places offer budget friendly options such as Wendy’s $5 Bacon Double Stack Biggie Bag. Even better.
With the convenience (it’s hot and ready!) driving through is oh, so tempting. Unfortunately, while that Biggie bag of food is just $5, it will run us between 910-1350 calories. In other words, that 1 meal alone could sack an entire day’s worth of calories for some women. And for those of us trying to cut 500 Kcals a day to lose a lb. a week? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Why is it that despite what we know about nutrition, our fast food nation continues to grow. “Fast-food restaurants are on the rise…In the US, about 37 percent of adults (aged >20 years) consume fast foods on any given day, and that increases to 45 percent for adults aged 20-39.”
There are still 24 hours in a day, but it seems we're trying to squeeeeze in way more than we did in the olden days. In terms of time, food that's fast is a savior! In terms of health and weight loss, with the added sodium, saturated fats, sugars & calories, fast food can be a saboteur.
How much is too much? Count the number of fast food meals you and your family eat out each week. Don’t forget the 400 calorie Frapps + 200 calorie biscotti. Or the 500 calorie breakfast sandwiches at the gas station. If you counted more than a few, then perhaps it’s time to make a change. Perhaps start with committing to no breakfast or lunches on the fly for a week. Plan ahead with these tips:
Remember: Making 1 small change can lead to long term better health and tinier waistlines. Give it a try! You’ll be lovin’ it.