Friday, March 13, 2015

Fun Friday: Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Happy Friday! Here are your Tips, Tricks and Inspiration!

Get Off Your Bottom and Save Your Life!

There was a very thorough and helpful article in the March/April 2015 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine on how sitting is the new "smoking." Your life can be seriously shortened by a sedentary lifestyle, even if you are regular exerciser. I cannot find a link to the Weight Watchers article -- which is excellent and worth your time to track down and purchase -- but here is a link to a shorter article on the same theme.

The crux of it is this: your desk job may be killing you! If you have a desk job, see if a standing desk can be made available for you. Get up at least once an hour for 5 minutes; this can have a huge positive impact on your health. Even better is getting up every 20 minutes.  The Weight Watchers article has a whole page of ways to implement this lifestyle change.


We all know movement and exercise are crucial to weight loss and maintenance. But the trick is to keep ourselves motivated. 5 or 6 years ago, I started wearing a fitbit, intrigued by the accelerometer and more accurate (than a pedometer) step-tracking. There are several competing products out there now, too. It doesn't matter which product you use, these activity trackers are amazing. They make you aware of how active or sedentary you are and they are practically work-free. You just put them on with your clothes each day and charge them every few days. They sync by blue tooth so all you have to do is walk near your computer. All the products have mobile apps, of course. Most sync with the Weight Watchers app and other popular weight loss apps.

These products are a perfect example of something you don't technically need but once you start using them, you won't know why you waited so long! In the interest of full disclosure, I read a study that said half the users lose interest in the product over time. Fair enough. For the other half, though, these simple devices can lead to long-term lifestyle changes.

Start small. Simple devices like the fitbit zip are under $50. (Full disclosure: I am just a fitbit fan. I am not getting anything out of this free and unsolicited endorsement for their products!)


As I said recently, friends help with the challenges of ongoing weight loss. Sometimes they help without even knowing it! The fitbit app allows you to "friend" other fitbit users. One of my friends, Anne, gets tons of steps every week. Last night she had over 84,000 for the week! I asked her, "How do you always get so many steps?" Her answer: "I told myself there will be NO MORE days under 10,000 steps." So simple, right?  She totally inspired me! I took up the gauntlet for myself and I went from being in the middle of the pack of my friends to consisently in 2nd place, right behind Anne, of course! 

What this means in real terms is that I am now moving through my weekends instead of sitting through them. Last Saturday, I knew I'd be scorekeeping at 3 games and watching 1 or 2 more ballgames. I decided to leave my chair in the car. I stood up and did some jogging in place in between batters. I ran all over that ballpark. I never sat down! I'd have never done that without my 10K/day commitment. Sunday, I cleaned my house from top to bottom. Okay well I didn't get it all done but it was my most productive weekend in ages. 

Connecting with other fit-minded individuals is such a boost. Yes, it's exposing too, but transparency is a great thing. It's so freeing to be an open book and in so doing, you may inspire someone else. Allow yourself to be inspired --or be an inspiration -- this week!

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