Health & Fitness Tips

Are you having trouble doing your exercises as the seasons change? Are you convinced there’s nothing to do in cold weather or do you hate sweating in the summer? Do you need a “chocolate fix” every now and then?

Well, bookmark my Health & Fitness Tips page and visit often!

I’ll have season appropriate exercises along with recipes, calorie counters, motivational stories, and quick fixes that won’t tip the scale in the wrong direction.

Winter Fitness ActivitiesSpring Fitness Activities

Any Season Fitness Activities

Food Swap

Get a Grip on ChocolateLow Calorie Snacks

Calorie Burners

Keeping your Balance

Winter Fitness Activities

  • Sledding with the kids.
  • Take a walk in the forest (it’s beautiful with snow cover).
  • Snow shoeing.
  • Cross-country skiing.
  • Down-hill skiing.
  • Ice skating (indoors or outdoors).
  • Build a snowman or a snow fort — with or without the kids!

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Spring Fitness Activities

  • Go for a walk with the family. Look for the buds on the trees and the flowers growing up from the ground.
  • Plant a garden. Not only are you moving around, but it also relaxes you.
  • “Power walk” the 2-mile trail around Walden Pond.
  • Play soccer or touch football with the kids.
  • Rake leaves.
  • Dust off the bicycles and go for a ride (wear a helmet for safety).

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Season Fitness Activities

  • Wherever you go, always park at the end of the parking lot and walk. It adds extra steps to your day.
  • Take a 10-20 minute walk during your lunch break.
  • Take the stairs not the elevator.

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Food Swap

  • Swap sugar for apple sauce when baking.
  • Swap high cal, high fat ice cream for low fat frozen yogurt.

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Get a Grip on Chocolate

What are you never willing to give up? You guessed it: chocolate. For many people, especially those watching their weight, chocolate calls louder than any other flavor. Below are some chocolate choices along with their calories to help satisfy the chocolate craving.

Chocolate Calories
1 cup low-fat hot cocoa 157
2 tablespoons M & M’s 125
5 Hershey’s Kisses 121
1 cup Cocoa Puffs 120
¼ cup chocolate morsels 100
½ cup fat-free chocolate sorbet 100
3 chocolate wafer cookies 78
2 chocolate graham cracker sheets 60
1 marshmallow dipped in chocolate syrup 50

Low Calorie Snacks

We all need to nibble at times. Below are some snacks to satisfy your cravings. Each food listed contains about 50 calories.

Carbohydrate Snacks

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • ½ small orange
  • ½ banana
  • 1 melon wedge
  • ½ baked apple
  • 2 sesame breadsticks
  • 5 baked tortilla chips with 1 tablespoon salsa
  • 1 mini bagel (2″ diameter)
  • 3 (2″) pretzels
  • 1 slice unbuttered whole-wheat toast
  • 25 goldfish crackers
  • 6 graham crackers (1½ two-inch squares)
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon trail mix
  • 1½ cups unbuttered air-popped popcorn
  • 1/3 cup caramel popcorn
  • 1½ rice cakes
  • 15 plain M & M’s

Protein-and-just-a-little-fat snacks

  • 1 slice (3/4 ounce) reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cheese stick
  • 1/3 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • ½ cup 1% milk
  • ¼ cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1 small hard-cooked egg
  • 1½ teaspoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoons peanuts
  • ¼ cup water-packed light tuna
  • 1 ounce turkey salami
  • 2 slices turkey breast
  • 1 fat-free hot dog

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Calorie Burners

Almost every activity burns calories. Below are some activities and the calories that they burn after 20 minutes.

Calories Burned in 20 Minutes
Activity 140-lb person 190-lb person
Sitting quietly 27 36
Raking 68 92
Cleaning 78 106
Weeding 92 124
Walking (normal pace on asphalt road) 102 138
Golf 108 146
Stacking Firewood 112 152
Weight Training 120 148
Bicycling (leisurely 9.4mph) 127 172
Dancing the Twist 131 178
Scrubbing Floors 139 188
Tennis 139 188
Aerobic dancing 141 178
Mowing (push mower) 142 192
Snow skiing (moderate speed) 151 204
Football 168 228
Field Hockey 170 230
Basketball 176 238
Boxing (sparring) 176 238
Swimming 183 278
Jumping rope (80 per min) 209 282
Running (9 min/mile) 245 332

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Keeping your Balance

Did you know that you start to lose your sense of balance when you are in your 20’s. You know the saying “If you don’t use it you lose”. Well, that is true of your sense of balance. If you don’t continually work on balance you will lose your balancing abilities.

In the book “Age-Defying Fitness” by Marilyn Moffat and Carole Lewis, they define balance as “the ability of your body to maintain equilibrium when you stand, walk or perform any other daily activity”.

Well, here is a test to see how you are doing in terms of balance in relation to the norms for your age range.

  • Have a chair in front of you in case you need to grab hold of it.
  • Stand straight, wearing flat, closed shoes. Fold your arms across your chest.
  • Raise one leg, start a stopwatch (or have someone count for you) and close your eyes.
  • Remain on one leg, stopping the watch or count when you uncross your arms, tilt sideways more than 45 degrees, move your leg you are standing on or touch the raised leg to the floor.
  • Repeat the test with the other leg.

Here are the performance norms for various ages:

20 – 49 yrs old 24 to 28 seconds
50 – 59 yrs old 21 seconds
60 – 69 yrs old 10 seconds
70 – 79 yrs old 4 seconds
80 yrs & older most cannot do it at all

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Healthy Dinners

In order to make your food work for you, you want to eat thermic meals.  A thermic meal is a meal that burns a lot of calories when your body is digesting it.  One of the ways to lose weight is to make as many of your meals as thermic as possible so that you burn calories through the digestion process.

Sample Healthy Meals:

Grilled Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, Brown Rice

Fish, Couscous, Asparagus  (I like to add crushed pistachio nuts and fresh thyme to the couscous for some added protein and taste.)

Turkey breast, Sweet Potato, Green Beans

Chicken sauteed with peppers, onions & artichoke over whole wheat pasta (watch the portion size of the pasta; ½ cup cooked is the proper portion)

International Quinoa salad with plenty of vegetables for my vegan or vegetarian clients.

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