How to Have a More Active Thanksgiving With Your Family

Thanksgiving is a busy time for social gatherings and big meals around the table with friends and family. This typically means the holiday revolves around (delicious!) food and not much activity.

There are some fun ways to make your Thanksgiving a little more active, and here are a few favorite family-friendly activities that will keep you all off the sofa.

1. Get your game on
Thanksgiving television is a big thing for families, congregating around the TV to watch the football game or the Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you must watch that big game on TV, get a game going of your own in the yard first. Gather the family and shoot some hoops, toss the football, or throw the frisbee. Anything you choose will be fun and get the blood pumping – so it’s a win-win!

2. Take part in a turkey trot
Take a look on your community page for your city, and you’re bound to see a turkey trot. These are free running and walking events held during the Thanksgiving weekend. Gather the whole family for a day full of active fun. If you live in a more remote setting, you can host your own turkey trot. Why not involve your neighbors and your community by organizing one yourself?

3. Family walk time
Before dessert gets served, get everyone up to go for a walk. A lot of people put up Christmas lights during Thanksgiving weekend, and as the sun goes down, you might just be in for a beautiful treat as you walk around with your family. You could also have everyone find their favorite colorful, fallen leaf to take home and make a craft with. Let that be your new tradition. Then head back and enjoy your slice of pie!

4. Shop it off
Let’s not forget about Thanksgiving’s most popular activity, Black Friday. You  don’t even need to exercise your credit card but all that walking around is good for the family. Try parking farther away to get more walking in and just enjoy the sights and sounds. It’s about spending time together actively, and Black Friday makes for a fun way to do it while getting that holiday shopping done.

Once you get back from any of these activities, you’ll feel great about your active day with loved ones. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Let’s kick off November with a little challenge.

This month, let’s focus on 2-3 healthy habits all month long.  It can be as simple as taking a 10-minute walk every day or as complex as 50 push-ups a day.

This way, once you get to the end of the month when the holidays begin, you will have been focusing on your health all month long.  You won’t feel as guilty eating that slice of pie, and you certainly won’t feel like one meal has derailed you from the health goals you’ve been working all month long on.

What are your 2-3 healthy habits going to be?  Challenge accepted?

5 Reasons Your Weight’s Not Budging Even When You’re Trying

Even when you think you’re doing everything “right” — you could still be doing something that’s sabotaging your goals. With the slew of “diets” out there that leave us entirely confused, it can be hard to discern what the correct steps to take are to actually reach your health goals. I totally get it, it’s a difficult road to be on.

Start by taking an honest look at your habits, and digging a little deeper with these 5 reasons your scale might not be budging.

1. You’re not sleeping enough
We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it: you need sleep! If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more prone to feeling hungry when you’re not and more likely to choose fattier options instead of more healthy ones when it’s time to eat. Even worse, lack of sleep affects how much cortisol your body produces which can contribute to weight fluctuations.

2. You have zero chill
Your stress level directly correlates with weight gain. Just like not getting enough sleep, it produces more cortisol which will keep the scale from going down like you’re hoping for. You’ve got to learn to manage your stress by using relaxation techniques. Try meditating or take 5 at your desk and do some simple yoga poses. Developing a good habit for handling stress will take some time to make it stick, but you’ll find once you manage stress, the scale will be tipping in your favor.

3. You’re eating more than you should
Are you portioning out your food? A substantial portion of the population overeats and an alarming number don’t even realize the portions they’re eating are considered “overeating” sized portions. What’s more, even if you’re using something healthy like olive oil, it has 120 calories per tablespoon which really adds up if you just dump it into your skillet or pour heavy onto your salad. Measure things out, and you’ll be getting just the right balance.

4. You’re not challenging your body
But I’m exercising, you might protest. Indeed, getting moving and being active is a crucial part of losing weight. However, you’ve got to challenge your body. You can’t expect to keep blasting off fat if you’re doing the same workout every single day. Switch things up, and you’ll see results. Don’t be afraid of lifting weights either. Building up your muscles helps you burn off more, even when you’re at rest!

5. You overindulge on the weekend
Be mindful of your indulgences and don’t skip your workout on the weekend either, or at the very least, plan an activity that keeps you moving. There’s no reason you can’t have a good time but balance is the best way to prevent your weekend from wrecking your weight loss.

Be honest…are you guilty of these things? It’s not too late to make a change. Work on these areas now and you’ll be in much better shape even during the hectic holidays coming up in winter!

I just want you to know that your exercise doesn’t have to be perfect.  You don’t have to look like an ultra-fit volleyball player in your workout clothes, you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone else but your own body when it comes to working out.  Exercise is to honor and respect YOU, and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to it.

I know so many of you are waiting until you lose a little weight before you join the gym, or keep putting that new exercise routine you pinned on Pinterest off until xyz… I want to give you permission, right here and right now, to start where you are, with what you have.  Today.  You’re worth it.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside in the Fall?

Campfires, hiking, leaf peeping, visiting a pumpkin patch, fall festivals… there are so many wonderful things going on in the autumn outdoors.

What do you and your family do outdoors in the fall?

Now’s a perfect time to check out the events calendar where you live -macaronikid.com is excellent if you have children- and check out what’s going on for the next few months, so you don’t miss anything fun.

When’s the last time you disconnected from your phone for a bit?

It can feel like an impossibility — what if someone needs you? What if you get an important phone call? They’re all valid questions, but the answer is — life will go on, and you’ll find out soon enough. You likely don’t even know what it feels like to not have your phone within reach if you’re anything like me.  It’s become such an integrated part of our lives that we don’t even consider going without it.

Starting to break the invisible chain between you and your phone can feel awkward, uneasy and uncomfortable at first… but the rewards are amazing.

Start small today by taking a walk outside without your phone. Notice how you feel, how you notice things differently, and what your mind is thinking about.

Come back and let me know how it went, I want to know!

 

Healthy Ways to Lose Weight This Summer

The summer months are among us — when we start to break out of our hibernation and get out into the sunshine. We shed our sweaters for shorts and tank tops, swimsuits and sundresses. But if you didn’t quite reach the New Year Resolutions you set for yourself, you may be feeling a little apprehensive. Swimsuit weather can trigger self-conscious thoughts as we so easily get lost in comparison-mode.

Here are a few of the tried and true ways to get healthy this summer — no fad diets, no pills, no tricks.

1. Daily Movement
Many people seem to ignore the significant beneficial results merely walking around has. While jogging or running can be better, not everyone enjoys it as a form of exercise. That “not being able to breathe” side effect of a decent jog can make some people forgo the activity altogether. However, if you want to walk for an hour or two instead, that is an entirely acceptable alternative. It doesn’t have to be hours at the gym to be a good workout.

2. Eat Healthy
Food advice changes by the month it seems. One day coffee is good for you, and the next it’s on the do not consume list. It’s so hard to keep up with the controversial information and know what is acceptable, right?

In general, the science itself is pretty clear (and common sense in many areas) on what we should be eating to be healthy, and what we should be avoiding. Eat plenty of plant foods, ditch the junk food, and drink plenty of water. Salads may sound boring, but a delicious veggie stir-fry or a hearty white bean soup can mix it up quite a lot. Don’t overthink it, just reach for foods the Earth grows and you’ll be feeling fabulous in no time.

3. Drink Fluids
Most of us do not drink nearly enough water each day. This can cause us to eat more and feel more tired, even when in reality, all we are is a bit thirsty. Strive to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day, spreading it out throughout your day. You will no longer get hunger pangs as often and will learn over time to know the difference between hunger, and thirst.

So regardless of how much you want to lose, just doing a little bit every day works like a charm. If walking alone is not impact enough for you, then jog, run, dance, or do whatever else will get you to move and more often.

A lot of small footsteps makes up a long walk.

Think about if you were to sprint instead.

You’d zoom right past everything, missing the details.

You’d end up there out of breath, covered in sweat and ready to collapse.

That’s precisely what happens when we try to marathon our new healthy habits.  We excitedly jump in head first and end up overwhelmed and frozen.  The next time you make promises to yourself for change, I want you to take the stroll route.  Choose one small step you can change and master before you add another small step to your plate.  Before long, you will have integrated each small step into your life in such a natural and effective way, and you’ll reach the finish line happy, healthy and ready for more.

 

Have you ever stared at your gym membership and wondered when on earth you’d use it again?  The days seem to slip through your fingers, and it’s been too long since you’ve hit the gym?

You aren’t the only one.  There are exercises you can do at home to hold you over until your next gym visit, and I wanted to share one of my favorite moves with you today.

The Chair Squat.

Start with a chair behind you.

With your feet hip-width apart, lower yourself like you’re going to sit in the chair behind you.

Don’t actually make contact with the chair.

Slowly stand back up into standing position.

Repeat 10x.