Category Archives: Seasonal exercise

Moving into Summer

walking on beach

Happy Summer!

How will you keep moving this season?

It is one of those times of the year where schedule shifts and extreme weather can curtail the best intentions to keep moving.

Every year I find myself saying, “I will do that over the summer when I have more time“.  As summer ends, I am amazed how I did not have more time. I have heard this from many of you as well, even from those of you with the summer off!

A bit of structure can go a long way.  So now is a great time to set some  summer exercise goals. 

Keep it simple, because after all, it is summer.  Simple goals are powerful when well designed.  Give those goals even more power by putting them in writing and share them with someone.  Goals that are written and shared are much, much more likely to be met! 

The first day of Summer is also a great time to review the hot weather exercise guidelines to keep moving safely as the temperature rises.

Wishing you a wonderfully active summer!

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

 

 

 

 

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by | June 20, 2016 · 1:47 pm

Keep Moving Through the Holidays

holiday walkWelcome to the holiday season 2015!  Whether you are celebrating a holiday this time of year, or just reflecting on the past year – this season greets some of us with great excitement and some of us with great dread and for some a mix of both.

So as we come to another season, it is important to do a bit of a check in.  How do the holidays affect your efforts to stay on track with healthy behaviors? What has been the biggest barriers in the past? What has worked in the past?

One sure-fire way to get off track is being under stress in some way.  Whether the stress is from a longer to do list, financial pressures, family issues, or increased feelings of loneliness and depression – it has the same effect on the mind and body.  Stress shuts down the smart, rational part of the brain. We are more likely to react rather than make a healthy choice.  It also strains all systems in the body, draining the immune system and our energy.

If exercise becomes more stressful for you during this time of year, it is time to adjust your approach to exercise for this season.

Physical activity calms the mind and body and reduces stress, but only if it is crafted for that result.

  • Choose a Motivating Environment:  If going to the gym is stressful this time of year, maybe a home exercise program is more realistic.
  • Step Outdoors:  Being in nature is therapeutic for mind and body.  Bundle up and take a mindful walk, noticing the sights and sounds of the season.
  • The Gift of Togetherness + Movement:  Take a walk with friends and family is one of the best gifts you can give each other. Spending healthy quality time together is a priceless gift.
  • The Gift of Solitude:  This time of year, more socializing can be a drain for some people. Notice if you are just in need of time alone and enjoy some solitude while you move.
  • Lighten Up:  Caught in the pressures of the season?   Time to balance it with some playful physical activity.  Fire up the Wii Dance or some Geo-caching or another playful physical activity.
  • Be Realistic: This is no time to set really huge goals.  Keep it simple, specific and realistic.  Remember something is way better than nothing!
  • Plan:   Each week make your best plan for adding exercise and/or physical activity to each day. Actually write it on the to do list and the calendar.  Then each day to the best you can to accomplish that. Be ready for a plan B as needed.
  • Partner Up:  Create a strong support system with someone else you know who is committed to staying active in a healthy way this season.  Even simply texting each other each day with what you did for activity that day is a helpful support system.
  • Stay Positive:  It is human nature to focus on what we did not do.  Make a quick list each day of what you accomplished and be sure to add what you did for extra physical activity that day.  Celebrate what you did do to be well today.

The key is first to notice what you need this time of year.  Then plan physical activity that help keep you in balance.  Finally celebrate any and all successes.

In this way, physical activity helps us stay healthy in mind and body through the holidays and with a healthy start to the new year.

How do you keep moving through the holidays?  Post your ideas in the comments!

Happy, Healthy Holidays,

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery. 

Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

Check out more blog posts at Keep Moving Weekly

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

 

 

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by | December 10, 2015 · 8:35 pm

Keep Moving Through the Season

time changeIt’s that transition week.  The week that we have to adjust to the changes in daylight and nighttime hours.

How does this affect your exercise motivation?

Living in New England,  late fall and winter can be the most challenging time to stay active.

So… What is the plan this year? 

What did you learn from last year about what worked, and what did not work?

As we do with all the changing seasons – I invite you to write down your plan and share it with someone.

Feel free to email it to me, or post it in comments.

We have had a bit of a bonus this year with the lovely weather these past weeks.  Lets take advantage of it and make the plan now so we are ready when the you know what starts falling.

spring trainingKeep in mind, this is spring training! We have the next four months to train for an awesome active spring!

I look forward to hearing all the creative ways you plan on spring training this year.

Here is an article on how Mindfulness can help boost motivation.

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

 

 

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by | November 5, 2015 · 9:37 pm

Know Sweat

sweat 4Sweat.  It seems folks either love it or hate it.

For some, sweat is a big motivator. They LOVE to sweat.

Others HATE to sweat (passionately).  It can be a major barrier for exercise.

Let’s sort the myths from the facts:

Facts:

  • Sweat is one way the body cools itself.  When sweat evaporates from the skin, it has a cooling effect
  • The amount of sweat we feel with physical activity depends on how much we sweat PLUS how fast it evaporates from the skin
  • Sweat rate and evaporation rate has to do with several factors:
    • temperature of the environment
    • humidity of the air – more humid, sweat does not evaporate as easily so it seems we are sweating more
    • other environmental factors such as wind and sunshine
    • genetics, hydration level, and clothing all effect sweat level too
  • Sweat is a good tool for knowing how much to re-hydrate after physical activitysweat3. Weigh yourself before and after exercise.  For every pound lost, replace it with 16 to 20 ounces of fluid (water is generally best unless sweating has been excessive).  If you would like more detailed information about fluid replacement, check out the American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand.
  • After weight loss surgery it is vital to monitor fluid loss and replace.  Stay hydrated by drinking small amounts of water during the day and weigh yourself before and after exercise to ensure you replace fluids lost.

Myths:

  •  “exercise until you work up a sweat”.   Truth is too many factors  affect sweating for it to be a reliable way to measure the quality of an exercise session.  Lets take biking for example.  Biking outside at a moderate to somewhat heavy intensity level but not noticing any sweat, you might think you are not getting enough exercise using sweat as an indicator.  In a spin class on a humid day,  exercising at the same intensity level with sweat dripping off you and you think what a great workout!.  Outside you probably sweat less because the temperature was cooler, and any sweat evaporated quickly in the drier air.  The exercise level was the same though – so the quality of the workout is the same regardless of the level of sweat.
  • ” sweat means more calorie/fat burning”   Truth is sweat does not mean fat is melting off the body!  Although it seems like it should be truth – this is a big myth!  Since “sweat suits” are still sold in many stores,  I will repeat this – Sweat does not melt fat!  It is time we let this myth go once and for all!

Using breathing level to monitor exercise intensity is a much more reliable tool.  Moderate to somewhat heavy breathing level is the goal.  At this level exercise feels  comfortable  or a comfortable challenge.  This level ensures you are burning as many calories as you can, at a level that improves fitness without increasing the risk of injury.

sweatsweat 5

Check out these images to the left that popped up when I searched for Sweat images. 

Lets abandon these myths and focus on what really matters.

So, enjoy sweating if you love it. Just don’t make yourself sweat more than needed.

If you hate to sweat, exercise in a cooler environment, dress cool, choose activities where you can stay cooler,  and keep a fan on you if you are indoors.

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

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by | October 1, 2015 · 7:35 pm

Exercising in the Hot Weather

heat exerciseNow that the hot weather has arrived, it is time to refresh the guidelines about exercising in the heat.

Because the body produces heat during physical activity, it is important to pay attention to the following guidelines.

Several factors raise the risk of heat intolerance with physical activity:

  • elevated body weight
  • higher exercise intensity
  • longer exercise duration
  • lower fitness level
  • over-dressing
  • being dehydrated
  • medical issues such as diabetes
  • acclimatization (ie: the body adapts t to the heat in about 7-14 days, so the first week of hot weather is more challenging for the body)

Here is what we can do to stay safe and active in hot weather months:

  • Check the heat index: The heat index combines the temperature and humidity – both are a factor in heat stress on the body with exercise.
    • Less than 80 heat index – ok to exercise.  However, since every body is different, you may need a lower heat index for exercise to be comfortable, especially if you are new to exercise or your body weight is elevated.  Bottom line, listen to your body.
    • Greater than 90 heat index – exercise in air conditioning or during a cooler part of the day
  • Exercise in cooler parts of the day – before 10am or after 4pm
  • Exercise in the shade
  • Dress smart – light color, loose-fitting clothing to allow skin to cool
    • DO NOT dress to sweat!  Sweating does not increase fat loss.  Yes you will lose weight on the scale but this weight is not fat, it is water your body needs.
    • Do not use the plastic suits that are advertising to promote weight loss. Again, it is water loss – NOT what you want to lose and increases risks.
  • Hydrate – before during and after activity with water
    • weigh yourself before and after exercise – if you lose more than 2% of your body weight you are considered dehydrated
    • rehydrate slowly and gradually
    • if you have had weight loss surgery,  drink small sips all day long including during exercise
    • if your urine is darker yellow and has a stronger odor, this is a sign you need to re-hydrate
  • Slow down – lower the exercise intensity on hotter, more humid days
  • Take breaks – every 10-15 minutes to allow the body to cool a bit and to hydrate
  • Give your body 7-14 days to acclimate to the hotter weather by lowering exercise duration and intensity.

Know the signs of heat illness:

  • Heat Cramps – Muscle crampsheat illness.  Discontinue exercise and rehydrate. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion. 
  • Heat Exhaustion: (discontinue exercise an seek medical attention)
    • heavy sweating
    • exhaustion
    • fainting
    • vomiting
    • cold, pale, clammy skin
    • watch for signs of progressing to heat stroke
  • Heat Stroke: (discontinue exercise and seek medical attention immediately)
    • hot, dry red skin
    • rapid heart beat
    • confusion
    • loss of consciousness

Always have an indoor plan!  Exercising in air conditioning or with a fan on you is a great alternative on hot days.

Stay Cool, Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

These blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.  

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by | July 16, 2015 · 7:16 pm

Spring Training

Welcome March!!!!  You are our long-awaited month of transition.  Out with the shorter, colder, snowy days of winter into… Hahh… the activities of Spring!!beautiful-nature-The-best-top-spring-desktop-wallpapers (9)

Did we earn this Spring or what??  Clear those sidewalks for walking, prep for lots of outdoor clean up,  get the gardening tools ready, dust off equipment for outdoor recreation activities – we are ready!!!

Or..Are we?  How is the spring training going?

Yes… spring training is not just for athletes, it is for all of us.  We take spring seriously around here and don’t want injury or pain to derail any enjoyment.   Now is the time to get ready. 

What should spring training include?

  • An assessment – how is your body feeling after this winter.  If you have any aches, pains, injuries, etc. – take care to rehab them now.  Stretch, strengthen and seek the advice of a physical therapist if needed. 
  • thCAXIJ02QA plan – what are you looking forward to doing more of in Spring?  Gardening, walking, jogging, yard work?  What does your body need to be able to do you need for those activities well.  Start practicing those movements now at low-level.  Squats, core strength, calf stretching, upper body strength – whatever it is, gradually progress to the full level of these movements. 
  • A routine – If you have been worn down by this winter, defeated from the aches and pains of shoveling or still in hibernation mode  – getting started is the hardest part.  Even if you have been exercising, changing your routine to prep for spring takes some initiation.  Write down your specific plan, set up a schedule on your calendar, do all you need to do to prepare, then set a start date and stick to it. 
  • Support – Give yourself lots of support for your new routine – enlisting the support of others, phone alarms, photos of your spring activity in key places to keep your eye on the prize.   Anything that will keep you in training this month. 

One last winter activity before it  is just a distant memory – jot down some notes about this winter and your exercise program.  How large_your-photos-spring-trees1did you do? What worked well?  What would you like to improve on next year? 

Put that info in your calendar for October 1st.  

Now…. start training your body for full enjoyment of this long-awaited Spring!

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

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by | March 2, 2015 · 5:57 pm