Ways to Finally Create an Exercise Habit That Lasts

Our New Year’s Resolutions — we say them with the best of intentions. We may even begin delving into them, trying to better our lives. Then it happens. Somewhere around February or March, everything peters out, and you realize you’ve yet again fumbled your resolutions. So before your resolution to prioritize your health gets put on the back burner again, let’s talk about some ways to make your resolution to exercise more stick this year!

You need a ritual. It is said it takes three weeks to make or break a habit. So for the next three weeks, create a routine that is ritualistic around that exercise. Do it at the same time every single day. For example, maybe every day after you eat lunch, take a 10-minute walk around your office building. You can build from there but creating that good exercise habit is what’s going to make it stick. Also, who doesn’t want to get away from their desk for 10 minutes, right?

Start simple. If you focus on something smaller, chances are you’ll be more willing to take more significant steps toward your goal. So say you decide you’ll do 2 minutes of squats at your desk while you’re on hold. Guess what? You’ll be more likely to exceed 2 minutes. And you’ll be even more likely to keep doing it every day. Keep coming back. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is the law of kinetic energy. By this logic, if you keep yourself moving and driving yourself to stay active without missing your exercise, you will keep doing it.

Build your exercise habit. Once you make it as necessary in your mind as those other habits you have, you’ll find that you can’t miss it. Developing a lasting exercise habit is so vital for our health and well-being. If you take the time to nurture this ritual each day, you’ll find that you won’t want to miss your exercise.

What’s your favorite type of exercise? I love to run, walk, ride my bicycle, and do yoga.

How often do you think about yourself & what’s best for you?

It can be a tough thing to do, no doubt.  It certainly can feel abnormal to focus on your own wellbeing, especially if you have a family to take care of, as well.  We often feel guilty for prioritizing ourselves, because it feels as if we are choosing to put loved ones on a back burner.  Do you ever feel that way?

It’s perfectly normal to feel that, but I do have to tell you… it’s so, so untrue, friend.  When you are in your best shape — mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. — you are in a position to care for others in the best way possible.

So take this as your cue today.  What ways are you taking care of yourself?  What can you start doing to care for yourself better?

Some of my favorite ways are:

  • meditate and pray
  • read
  • walk or run
  • listen to music
  • make a healthy meal or snack

The holidays are sneaking up on us again!

Would you like to make this year different?

Would you like to actually stay on track with your health goals this year, like you say you will do every year?

Would you like to do so in a fun way with a lot of awesome support?

Join us for the Fit & Festive Healthy Holiday Challenge.

The weekly email topics include:

Eating for Energy

Stress Management

Keeping Your Sanity

You will also have access to a private Facebook group where I will post daily tips and we can share our struggles and successes. Maybe we can even share recipes 🙂

I’m also including a few free eBooks: Surviving the Holidays, Mindful Eating During the Holidays, and Fun & Feasible Fitness at Home.

Join for free by signing up HERE!

Date: December 3, 2017—December 23, 2017
Event: Fit & Festive Holiday Challenge
Sponsor: Kim Zajan, CHC
Venue: Private Facebook Group
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Start Your Day Right This Fall

There’s just something magical about the autumn breeze that ignites a desire to enjoy life a little deeper — do you agree? It’s a perfect time to make some changes you’ve meant to make, and I want to share with you a few of my favorite morning habits to implement as fall begins — ones that I may have been a bit lackluster with during the summer months.

Starting off the day with movement. A morning jog or walk in the cool air is a fantastic way to wake yourself up and fill up your energy reserves for the day. There’s a short window of time to enjoy this before the weather gets too cold, so don’t miss out! You can work-out indoors if it’s too cold already, but doing so outdoors has quite a magical tone this time of year.

A warm breakfast. When you come back in from your morning run or walk, nothing is more soothing that preparing yourself a hot, healthy breakfast to enjoy. This can warm you back up from being outside and allows yourself a healthy breakfast to keep you satisfied until lunch.

Sleep in just a little longer. Hopefully, you’re getting enough sleep at night already, which is incredibly important for your well-being. But as the temperature drops and the sun rises a little later in the mornings, get a few extra minutes of sleep as well, if possible.

Drink your water. Begin your day with a big glass of warm water and some lemon to give your metabolism a boost and feel energized instantly. Doing so also starts the habit of drinking water, so you’ll continue to drink throughout the day.

What are your current morning habits, if any? I start my day feeding and walking my Boxers, then I read a few devotionals.  I really love the First 5 app.  A few days a week I go for a run with a friend.  I also like doing Yoga at home in the morning – Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners: The Essentials is my favorite.  I cannot wait for the temperatures to get a bit cooler and enjoy more time time outside in the morning. Florida summers are brutal.

Give your morning routine a refresh this fall, and kick-start your new healthy habits to gear you up for an incredible rest of your year. Being intentional with your time is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Healthy Habits Challenge 1

Take Advantage of This Exclusive Invitation to Join Us for FREE and Discover

  • The 7 critical strategies that are the KEY to finally achieving your health and fitness goals… (Don’t worry, they’re not anything complicated or time consuming. I’ll show you how to easily implement these simple strategies for a healthier, happier you in no time!)
  • How to easily incorporate simple habits and food choices that will help you live a healthier lifestyle… without adding more time-consuming tasks or unnecessary stress to your life.
  • Tons of FUN, guidance, and support from a certified health coach and mentor and like-minded people from all over who are gathering together online to learn and grow together one day at a time.
  • Easy-to-follow, sustainable advice and practical tips that empower you to reclaim your slimmer, sexier body… without more dieting.
  • All the support and encouragement you need to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime, one day at a time… with exclusive access to a private Facebook group full of like-minded women who are ready to transform their body and lifestyle for good.
  • PLUS: You’ll get to discover all this and more inside this 7-day challenge developed by a certified health coach without having to pay a dime.

This FREE 7-Day Challenge Will Help You Kick-Start Your Weight Loss Goals and Feel Your Best… No Matter How Busy You Are or How Many Times You’ve Failed in the Past! 

By signing up you agree to the Terms & Conditions

Click HERE to sign up!

Date: September 4, 2017—September 10, 2017
Event: FREE 7 Day Healthy Habits Challenge
Topic: Healthy Habits Challenge
Sponsor: Kim zajan, CHC
Venue: private Facebook group
Public: Private
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

6 ways to lose weight this summer

Are you looking to lose a few pounds this summer?  Here are 6 ways to get started.

Eat Healthy:

Most of the people that are losing weight stop eating properly or cut out their food intake which is a wrong approach. You don’t need to starve yourself. This will make you weak rather than help you lose weight. If you are looking to burn some calories this summer, you need to eat well. Eat Clean. Ditch processed foods. Eat the rainbow daily.

Choose your drink wisely:

You need to careful what are you having with your drinks. You need to remain hydrated during summer, but your drink can contain many calories that can push you away from your fitness goals. You have to ditch your sweet drinks such as soda, energy drinks and sweet coffee and tea. Cutting out these sweet drinks can result in few pounds of weight loss. But do remain hydrated throughout the day. Drink 8 glass of water, and you will eliminate the need of these sweet drinks.

Cut out Alcohol Intake:

Alcohol also contains sugar, and it sets of the insulin resistance which can result in weight gain. So, if you are looking to lose some weight, you need to have a break from alcohol. There is no nutritional benefit in drinking alcohol, and if it is taking you away from your healthy goal, then it is better to leave it.

Burn calories in fun way:

Summer can get you with its hot weather, so you need to do add such activities in your routine that you enjoy the most. For example, you can go for a swim or walk on the beach. This way you can turn your daily routine into a workout.

Exercise:

You don’t have to train insane in the gym but do start with some fat burning activities.  Walking, running, cycling, rowing, and swimming are all great things to try.  This will help you to achieve your desired toned body quickly.

Sleep well:

Don’t compromise on your sleep. As you are working out your body in the day time, you need to give it proper rest. In summer people often feel a bit lazy. Proper sleep will help you to feel balanced and refreshed all day. Plus, when we are tired we often reach for junk food.

It’s time to embrace change.  Most people resist changing their habits. If you continue with your current routine, you are probably not going to have any change in your weight.   Make some positive and healthy changes to your habits and have an awesome summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Tips for Getting Better Sleep

Everyone wants a restful, uninterrupted nights sleep.  There are few things in the world that bring the joy of waking up knowing the last night’s sleep has prepared you to conquer the day.

Here are my  tips on how to get a better nights sleep!

  1. Get in a Routine:  Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day.  Your body’s clock will get in the routine of knowing when is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up, making it much easier to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning.
  2. Get off the Couch:  By regularly exercising, your body will benefit more from the sleep you get each night.  Exercise will also increase time spent in deep REM sleep, which is the most important part of the sleep cycle.
  3. Clean Up Your Diet:  By avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and large meals before bed, your body will thank you with a more restful sleep.  It will help you fall asleep faster and have a more regular sleep cycle.
  4. Meditate Before Bed:  By clearing your head of the distractions of everyday life, your body will be more at ease when you go to sleep.  Take a moment to yourself and focus on nothing.  It will relax you and prepare you for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
  5. Sleep in the Right Environment:  Make your bedroom a place of rest.  That means eliminating anything that makes unnecessary sounds, having a bed that fits your needs, whether it be firm or soft, and keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  6. Avoid Long Naps:  Extended naps during the day can seriously mess with your sleep schedule.  Cap your nap at 15-20 minutes.  Those short power naps will energize you without causing you to still feel awake at bedtime.
  7. Kick Out the Pets:  When you let your bed sleep in your bed, you invite all kinds of obstacles to a good nights sleep.  You could react to pet allergies or have to deal with their movement throughout the night.
  8. Late Night Drinks:  Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk before bed.  Both of these contribute to either the production of or releasing of serotonin or melatonin, both crucial factors when falling asleep and staying asleep.

In order to get the most out of your sleep, you need to make it a priority.  When you make sleep your priority, you will end up feeling more refreshed throughout the day and will be more productive overall.  Here are just a few things you can do to make sleep a priority.

  • Take the time to look at how you sleep.  Is your bedroom a dark, safe, relaxing place?   Are your mattress and pillows comfortable?  Do they give you enough support?  If you find yourself saying “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate your sleep environment.  On average, a mattress should be replaced every seven years and pillows should be replaced every year.
  • Look around your bedroom.  What distractors are there that keep you from getting the sleep you need?  Take out anything work related, especially things that create stress.  You should also avoid using your smartphone, laptop, tablet or television for at least an hour before bed as well.  The backlight in those objects lead to the release of chemicals that tell your body it is daytime, making it significantly harder to fall asleep.
  • Make sure that if you are going to drink caffeine, you don’t do it later in the day.  I try not to have any caffeine after lunch to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact my sleep.
  • While many think it’s no big deal to have a couple alcoholic drinks in the evening, alcohol can actually have a huge negative impact on the quality of sleep.
  • Take shorter naps!  It has been shown that taking 20-30 minute naps during the day can seriously increase your work productivity and alertness without disrupting your sleep schedule in any serious way.  So close that office door and kick back for a few minutes every afternoon!

There are many more ways to help improve sleep quality, but these are some of the most important.  If you are serious about improving sleeping habits, do more research to find out other ways you could be getting better, more effective sleep!

 

References

http://www.bettersleep.org/better-sleep/how-to-sleep-better/sleep-tips/

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-tips-to-get-better-sleep

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm

Why Your Waist Circumference Matters More Than What You Weigh

and 6 tips for helping reduce belly fat

You totally want to ditch your scale, don’t you?

You may have this weird kind of relationship with your weight.

I mean, it doesn’t define you.

What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent.

Let’s look at your waist circumference (well…you look at yours and I’ll look at mine).

Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”?  The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

THAT is what we’re talking about here.

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).

Yup – that apple!

And it’s not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”.  The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there.

This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is.  It’s this “un-pinchable” fat.

The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.

So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.

Are you apple or pear shaped?

It’s pretty simple to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.  You can do it right now.

Women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category.  Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.

For men the number is 40”.

Of course this isn’t a diagnostic tool.  There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases.  Waist circumference is just one of them.

If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.

6 tips for helping reduce belly fat:

  • Eat more fiber. Fiber helps you feel full.    Some examples of high-fiber foods are lentils, brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
  • Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
  • Nix added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).
  • Move more. Get some aerobic exercise.  Lift some weights.  Walk and take the stairs.  It all adds up.
  • Stress less. Seriously!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
  • Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-abdominal-fat-and-risk

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/visceral-fat-location

http://www.drsharma.ca/inspiring-my-interest-in-visceral-fat

What is Metabolism and Why is Mine Slow?

The word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight.  But what exactly does this all mean?

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!  The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too!

Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you’re not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program.  Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don’t forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Why is My Metabolism Slow?

You may feel tired, cold or that you’ve gained weight.  Maybe your digestion seems a bit more “sluggish”.  You may be convinced that your metabolism is slow.  Why does this happen?  Why do metabolic rates slow down?

What can slow my metabolism?

Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy.  And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works, i.e. your “metabolic rate” (which is measured in calories).

But don’t worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”!  In fact it’s so complicated I’m only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down.

Examples of common reasons why metabolic rates can slow down:

  • low thyroid hormone
  • your history of dieting
  • your size and body composition
  • your activity level
  • lack of sleep

We’ll briefly touch on each one below and I promise to give you better advice than just to “eat less and exercise more”.

Low thyroid hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism.  When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more metabolically active.   Ideally it should work to keep your metabolism just right.  But there are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.  Things like autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) for example.

Tip: Talk with your doctor about having your thyroid hormones tested.

Your history of dieting

When people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down.  This is because the body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue with all the necessary life functions and do it all with less food.

While dieting can lead to a reduction in amount of fat it unfortunately can also lead to a reduction in the amount of muscle you have.  As you know more muscle means faster resting metabolic rate.

Tip: Make sure you’re eating enough food to fuel your body without overdoing it.

Your size and body composition

In general, larger people have faster metabolic rates.  This is because it takes more energy to fuel a larger body than a smaller one.

However, you already know that gaining weight is rarely the best strategy for increasing your metabolism.

Muscles that actively move and do work need energy.  Even muscles at rest burn more calories than fat.  This means that the amount of energy your body uses depends partly on the amount of lean muscle mass you have.

Tip: Do some weight training to help increase your muscle mass.

Which leads us to…

Your activity level

Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move and do “work” and you can tell because you’re also getting hotter.

Even little things can add up.  Walking a bit farther than you usually do, using a standing desk instead of sitting all day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all contribute to more activity in your day.

Tip:  Incorporate movement into your day.  Also, exercise regularly.

Lack of sleep

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.  The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Tip: Try to create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

Are there any tips that you will be taking action on?  I would love to hear about them!  Let me know what you are going to do to increase your metabolism.   I will be getting more strength training.  

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/metabolic-damage

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/thyroid-and-testing

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/6-mistakes-that-slow-metabolism/

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

http://summertomato.com/non-exercise-activity-thermogenesis-neat

 

 

During the Fit and Healthy 30 Day Jump Start, we’ll focus on one transformational strategy each week:

 

  • Week 1How to plan for LONG-TERM success – Simple, effective tips to save you TIME, CALORIES and MONEY, without feeing deprived.

 

  • Week 2Finding the right exercise for YOU – Hint: you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get in great shape.

 

  • Week 3Why choosing the quality of food (not just the number of calories) is critical for weight loss

 

  • Week 4Eating to fuel your body – what ONE thing you may be doing unknowingly to sabotage your efforts, and how to easily fix it.

 

Since the Jump Start program is online, you can participate no matter where you live! 

Here’s how it works:   

This is an online program so you can join us from ANYWHERE in the world (please invite your friends – extra support is awesome!).

Once you sign up, you’ll receive:

  • One simple, transformational strategy each week to get you on the right track
  • Templates and worksheets to make tracking and planning easy
  • INSTANT access to the Exclusive Membership Group for support during the 30 days
  • SUPPORT, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION for 30 days

    PLUS…You’ll get THESE Amazing BONUSES for FREE

     (A $65 Value)

  • Delicious, Nutritious Recipe eGuide for breakfast, lunch, dinner and side dishes (A $27 value)
  • A Grocery Shopping Guide to help you easily navigate healthy food choices at the store (A $19 value)
  • Sensational Smoothies and Juices recipe guide (A $19 Value)

Grab a friend or 2 and come join us!

30 Days from now, you’ll be glad you did!

Join TODAY for only $27 through March 4.

Date: March 6, 2017—April 4, 2017
Event: 30 Day Fit & Healthy Jump Start with Kim Zajan CHC
Sponsor: Kim Zajan, CHC
Venue: Private Facebook Group
Public: Private
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.