Upping the ante on your exercise program

How to do it better

Some people exercise just like breathing.  However even the best of adherence to exercise people may need to step up their programs to get better results.  If you already are a mover and shaker in the gym, try these simple tips to spice it up a bit.   We can all improve on our past performances and try new things helps us to grow.

Food Tips
Branch out and try a macronutrient, raw diet or nutritional cleansing program.  Check out the www.rawguru.com or  www.alissacohen.com websites for more information on raw diets or try this basic diet for detoxifying your system for better health:

Fruits: Unsweetened fresh, frozen, water packed, or canned fruits (except oranges).
Vegetables: All fresh raw, steamed, sautéed, juiced, or roasted vegetables.
Starch: Rice, oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, tapioca and buckwheat
Breads and Cereals: Products made from rice, oat, buckwheat, millet, potato flour, tapioca, arrowroot, amaranth, & quinoa.
Legumes (Vegetable protein): All beans, peas and lentils.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, sesame (tahini), sunflower, and pumpkin: butters made from these nuts and seeds.
Meat and Fish: All canned (water-packed), frozen, or fresh fish, chicken, turkey, wild game or lamb.
Dairy Products and Milk Substitutes: Milk substitutes such as rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and other nut milks.
Fats: Cold-pressed olive, flax, canola, safflower, sesame, walnut, pumpkin or almond oils.
Beverages: Filtered or distilled water, herbal tea, seltzer or mineral water.
Spices and Condiments: All spices unless otherwise indicated. For example, cinnamon, cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, carob, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, turmeric and vinegar.
Sweeteners: Brown rice syrup, fruit sweetener, blackstrap molasses, Stevia or Splenda.

You are already managing your time to make exercise a priority. This may be the year to try a triathlon, marathon, or your first 5k run.  There are several new exercise classes to try a NIA, Hot Yoga, Pilates, or Treadmill class.  Doing something different from your normal routine can not only be challenging but amusing too..  Check out your local park district for classes, www.windycitysports.com for upcoming races or the local book and video store to try something new. Other helpful training websites include: www.FitStudio.com.  Sign up for FREE and be eligible to win a Body Boot Camp vacation to Mexico this spring.  Plus they offer over 500 exercise videos and workout programs to try.

Stress Reduction
At this level of commitment to health, you may want to try Tai Chi, Qigong, Feldenkrais or Reiki to help your body feel calmness and better movement.  Qigong (Chi Kung) comes from the Chinese words "Qi" meaning "Energy" plus "Gong", meaning "practice". T'ai Chi  is a martial art applied with deep relaxation or "softness" in the musculature as possible.  Fledenkrais is a system of low intensity exercises to facilitate better movement.  Reiki is a practice to increase positive energy in the body.  Although all of these are different from traditional relaxation techniques, they are both intersting and unique.

There's a difference between interest and commitment.
When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient.
When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

Andrea Metcalf is a healthy lifestyle expert, best selling author of Naked Fitness and host/producer of Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, weight loss tv reality  show on NBC Nonstop in Chicago.  She blogs to inspire and education people to live healthier lives by being healthy and moved daily.  Sign up for her FREE monthly newsletter at www.andreametcalf.com for more healthy lifestyle videos and tips. Andrea has sponsored content in some of her blog postings, however reflects her personal opinions and not necessarily those of the sponsor.



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