January Fitness Tips
By Michelle Walker, 169th Force Support Squadron
/ Published January 12, 2017
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- 1. Just Show Up
On low-energy days, head to the gym with the promise that you can leave after you finish your warm-up. Keep in mind getting to the gym is half the battle! Once you get to the gym and get your blood pumping, chances are you'll finish your full workout, and be proud you did. The majority of us are on a mission at this point and want to see our workout to the end!
2. Play the Percentages
Have your body-fat level measured early in the program and then toward the end to gauge your fitness progress. You'll actually have numbers that you can shoot for, and something that you can definitely measure, as opposed to, 'I just want my abs to look better.' Have a game plan here and know what your new goals are.
3. Book It
You will never find the time, you've got to make the time. While that seems obvious, lack of planning continues to be the biggest reason people fail to work out. Try keeping a calendar and schedule workouts at least a week in advance. Have a contingency plan, too, in case the unexpected cancels your workout. You're 40 percent more likely to work out if you have strategies to help you overcome the obstacles.
4. Make a Date with a Friend
Having a pal waiting for you at the gym will get you there. If you've made a commitment to someone, we have a tendency to keep it. But that doesn't necessarily mean your best friend is also your best workout partner. Look for someone who's on the same fitness level and has similar goals and will hold you accountable.
5. Find a Happy Place
You hate fish, but that doesn't mean you stop eating. The same is true for exercise. I can recommend weight training. But if a person doesn't like hitting the weights, they're not going to do it. They don't care what the benefit is. The 'perfect' exercise is the one you're happiest doing, so make sure you find yourself wanting to work out.
After the holidays we all are wanting to eat a little better and hit reset. Here are a few ways to get you started!
1. Lemon water
One of the oldest tricks in the book but I love starting my day with the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. Not only does it kick-start your digestion and prime your body for nutrient absorption, but the cleansing properties of lemon are exceptional. Lemon water benefits the enzymes that stimulate the liver and therefore accelerate toxin elimination. It's also a mild diuretic which supports the urinary tract to get rid of any unwanted toxins.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is full of raw enzymes that support digestive function and nutrient absorption. It also acts to kill harmful bacteria, which is one of the best ways to cleanse the body. My favorite salad dressing is one tablespoon of ACV and one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Fiber is essential to pull toxins through the body and out via elimination. Psyllium husks are a great natural and gluten free fiber. This is soluble in water which also delays gastric emptying and helps keep you fuller for longer. I love adding a teaspoon to my morning smoothie.
Grapefruit really is one of the original superfoods. Packed with antioxidants, it stimulates the liver to break down fat and protect against liver damage. I simply add fresh grapefruit to a glass of water with lunch or dinner - it's fruit water, without the extra dollars or calories.
5. Cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables such a broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussel sprouts support phase I and phase II of detoxifying the liver. They are also packed full of vitamin C and soluble fiber which the body uses to eliminate excess hormones such as estrogen.
I aim to eat 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables per day.
Asparagus is rich in glutathione which supports phase II liver detoxification. Lightly saute in coconut oil and add to an omelette for a nutrient rich start to your day. I also love asparagus for its inulin content, which acts as a prebiotic to support a healthy gut.
Garlic contains numerous sulfur-containing compounds that activate liver enzymes responsible for expelling toxins from the body. I add garlic to everything - curries, stir fries and roast vegetables.
Turmeric is an ancient ayurvedic spice that offers amazing liver and gall bladder support as it assists the enzymes responsible for flushing out dietary carcinogens. Along with garlic, curcumin, the key compound in turmeric, also offer amazing anti-inflammatory and immunity benefits.
Coriander is excellent to flush heavy metals from the body. I love to make a big curry to start the week, including garlic, turmeric and lots of coriander.
10. Green tea
Green tea is high in catechins, which increase liver activity and the production of key detoxification enzymes - enjoy with a slice of fresh lemon once or twice a day.