5 Exercise Routine Tips for Busy People

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Busy Busy Busy!

If you work full time, have many part time jobs, own a business, are a parent, or many of the above…chances are you are a busy person! Busy people still need to prioritize health and fitness, because you can’t burn a candle at both ends and sustain your success. But, how to do it?

Tip 1-Assess Your Schedule

Take an inventory of your daily, and weekly schedule and routine.

  • When do you wake up?
  • What is your morning routine, how much time does it take?
  • When do you leave for work/start work from home?
  • How long is your commute?
  • How long is your lunch  break?
  • What time do you end work/get home?
  • What time is dinner?
  • What time is bed time?

This will show you how you are currently using your time, and potential areas for opportunity. Here is a great resource to help you assess your schedule and manage your time.

Tip 2- Make a Morning Routine!

If you don’t have a set routine every morning to get ready for the day, make one! If you are not into exercise in the morning, that’s ok. Morning routines will set you up for success each and every day, here are some examples of what you could include in yours:

  • The time you wake up is the same every day, no snooze bars!
  • Before you do anything, think of one or two things you are grateful for
  • Think about a few things you will accomplish today, see them as wins!
  • Find something nutritious that you can eat or drink in the morning, make it part of the routine
  • Exercise, stretch, or do some reading for a personal development topic!

The first part of your morning routine should not be looking at your texts, emails, social media, the news, etc. Why not?? This will start your day off being influenced by priorities, options, concerns, questions of other people. If you build a routine which starts you off in a positive frame of mind (and body) each day, you are set up to be successful and healthy!

For tips to help you customize a morning routine just for you, check this out!

Tip 3- Find Time To Exercise!

Ok, so remember that inventory you did of your schedule and routine in step 1? Let’s take a look and find time to exercise! Ask yourself a few questions before we hunt around for ideal times in your day:

  1. Are you a morning person, or can you be after a cup of coffee?
  2. Is your peak energy in the afternoon, what about evening?
  3. Do you have an hour for lunch break?
  4. Do you have a fitness center at work? Or stairs, area to walk nearby, park nearby?
  5. Do you have a Gym Membership?
  6. What could you do for exercise at home?

Morning people, make a commitment and carve some time out in the morning to exercise. If you have a gym membership, go to the gym before work! If no membership, learn about bodyweight exercise, stretching, walk/job, find some things you can do without leaving home!

Here are some examples of body weight exercise, no Gym required!

Not a morning person? That’s ok,  lets figure out what’s best for you! If you have an hour lunch break at work, this is an untapped resource in your available time every work day. If your employer has a fitness center, that is awesome, use it! A lot of people do not have this resource, but please consider the following:

  • Stair Climbing
  • Areas to Walk/Jog Outside Work
  • Parks
  • Fitness Center Close to Work

Chances are, there is something you can do as physical activity, at or nearby work. Figure out what that could be for you, and build it into your routine!

If lunch is half an hour, or exercise is not realistic for you based on demands at work, consider late afternoon/evening options. Could you:

  • Stop at the Gym on your way home from work?
  • Exercise at Home after work?
  • Exercise after Dinner?

Tip 4- Start Small!

When you are making a commitment to find time to exercise, be realistic with yourself. Instead of committing to 5 days per week right away, maybe start with 2 days per week, and hold yourself accountable until that becomes a habit for you. Once you hold a routine and start seeing results, that is a great time to add more days of the week, different exercises, or higher intensity.

Here are some quick tips on where to start building your exercise routine.

Tip 5-Track Your Progress!

Make sure that you keep a record of your exercise routine, either write it down or track digitally. Start by making a plan each week, and then make a record on how you did as you go through the week day by day. This system will help hold you accountable to your plan, and also show your progress, providing motivation!

In Summary

The first thing we all need to do is make the decision to stop using busy as an excuse to not prioritize health and fitness. Once we make this commitment to ourselves, we can:

  1. Track How Time is Currently Managed
  2. Make a Morning Routine (Even if Not Exercise)
  3. Find Time to Exercise
  4. Make a Plan-Start Small
  5. Track Progress

Time to get out there and make it happen!

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Workout on Your Birthday!

Birthday Workouts

Ever see your friends posting about their fun, and exciting birthday workouts? Maybe for turning 30, 50, or other milestone birthdays? A custom birthday workout is a healthy alternative to partying and excess. But, how to choose a birthday workout? Where do you start?

Build Your Own Birthday Workout!

Here are some guidelines for building your own fun, exciting birthday workout!

  1. Make it your own! Your birthday workout needs to be unique and exciting to you. So, if you like pushups, build your birthday workout around pushups. If you like hiking, go hiking!
  2. Connect it to the age you are turning! Make sure some component of your workout connects to the age you are turning. Connecting the workout to your age will help you celebrate, and be motivated for your birthday workout! For example, maybe you are turning 50, and you want your workout to be 50 pushups. 5 sets of 10 pushups is one way to do it, but there are many other ways you can do 50 pushups, or multiples if you are really good at pushups!
  3. Make it Familiar! If you have never done Barbell Deadlifts, your birthday is not the time to load up the bar and crank out the amount of reps to correspond with your age. Pick an exercise or routine you are at least somewhat familiar with, and tailor it to your birthday.
  4. Make it Realistic! I am turning 35, and there is no way I am going for a 35 mile hike because A). I don’t hike, and B). I have never walked or run 35 miles at one time. If you are not realistic with your birthday workout, you will miss the last point, which is:
  5. Make it fun! Make sure your birthday workout challenges you, but that you are able to have fun with it! If you design a birthday workout that you cannot complete (like a 35 mile hike for me), you are not going to have a lot of fun, and you might get injured.

Celebrate Yourself!

Make sure you congratulate yourself, and celebrate completing your birthday workout! Give yourself credit for prioritizing health on your birthday.

Keep a Record!

Maybe you can start a birthday workout tradition! That way, you can look back year to year at all of your birthday workouts, and marvel at your progress and creativity!

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Birthday Workout Summary

In summary, here are the keys to designing your own, unique birthday workout:

  1. Make it Your Own!
  2. Connect the Workout to your Birthday/Age!
  3. Make Sure You are Familiar with the Exercise(s).
  4. Be Realistic!
  5. Make it Fun!
  6. Track Your Progress!

Sample Birthday Workout

My example, on my birthday I plan to complete:

  1. Push Presses, with a pair of 35 lb Kettlebells, for a total of 3,500 lbs lifted! (50 total reps of 70 total lbs).
  2. I will follow this up with a 35 minute jog…these are both exercises I am familiar with, related to my birthday, and are fun and challenging!

I hope this was helpful and inspires your creativity to make it a fun and fit birthday!

Vegetable Oils- Healthy or Not?

Let’s Talk Nutrition- Follow Along on You Tube!

Vegetable Oils- How do we get Oil from Vegetables?

Let’s talk Nutrition, this post is all about “Vegetable Oil”. Plant based oils are sometimes considered to be nutritious and healthy. Our post today is going to explore how these oils are processed and made, and help you make your own decision on what is healthy.

A lot of recipes, or food prep methods call for use of Vegetable Oil. Cooking, baking, marinades, dressings, the applications and uses of plant based oils in food these days really are limitless. Did you ever wonder how we get oil from Vegetables? Yeah me too, and the answer may surprise you.

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We do not get oil from vegetables; most plant based oil comes from seeds or pits. The most common sources of plant based oils are Olive, Canola, Cottonseed, Sunflower, Safflower, and Soybean. There are many other sources if you would like to take a look. There is some degree of processing involved to extract oil from seeds, let’s take a look at common oil production methods and how oil is made from seeds:

Plant Based Oil Processing Methods, Defined

Here is a breakdown of how plant based oils are produced:

  1. Solvent Extracted
  2. Expeller Pressed
  3. Cold Pressed

Solvent Extracted

Solvent Extracted oils are produced by grinding seeds down to a paste, and introducing a chemical solvent to help extract the oil (the most common chemical used for this method is Hexane). The solvent chemicals are removed after the process, giving us Vegetable Oil.

Commercial companies claim that all of the solvent chemicals are removed at the end of the process, however they are not able to guarantee there are not trace amounts left in the finished product. The end result is a highly efficient oil production process, which can extract 98-99% of oil from the seed. Due to the high efficiency of this process, solvent extracted oils are often the cheapest (and most widely available).

Expeller Pressed

Expeller Pressed Oils are produced by a mechanical process, which does not involve chemical solvents. The expeller presses the oil from the seeds, and this process also produces some heat (140-210 degrees F).

The heat produced in the process actually helps press more oil from the seed, however it is not as efficient as solvent extracting, typically pulling 60-70% of oil from the seeds. If you note on the product label that the oil you are using is expeller pressed, you may be assured that solvent extraction was not used in production.  

Cold Pressed

Cold Pressing is also done via mechanical means, similar to expeller pressing, however the temperature may not exceed 110 degrees F to be labeled Cold Pressed.

Cold Pressed is the least processed plant based oil, and is popular among consumers because the flavor of Olive, Avocado, etc. is not fundamentally altered by heat or a chemical extraction process. As you may imagine, cold pressing is less efficient than expeller pressing due to lower temperature, and typically cold pressed/cold processed oils will cost more to buy.

Cracking the Code

If you want to be sure of the processing method of oils you buy, you must read the label and research the company. Unfortunately, companies are not required to list on their label if they use solvent extraction as their processing method.

To crack this code, follow these guidelines:

  • Is the oil you are buying is very low in price?
  • Is the processing method listed on the ingredients label?
  • If yes to question 1 and/or no to question 2, you can make a reasonable assumption that it is solvent extracted.

For a quick and easy guide to reading and understanding nutrition labels, take a look at my blog post on this topic. What you’d want to see to make sure you are avoiding solvent extracted Oil are key words like “First, Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil”, or “Expelled Pressed Canola Oil”. If the label simply reads “Canola Oil”, that is an indicator it may be solvent extracted.

We will explore potential health implications of these different processing methods of plant based oils on a later post, but for right now the general theme follows the same guideline as my previous posts:

If food you are choosing highly processed, and fundamentally altered from its original state, this food is probably not the healthiest choice available.

Vegetable Oils in Summary

  • The Cheapest Oil is likely solvent extracted
  • Companies are not required to label solvent extracted oils as such
  • Cold Pressed Oil is the least processed of all plant based Oils

Food for thought, next time you restock your Vegetable Oil!

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