Personal Fitness-You Do Have Time

Who has the time to exercise after putting in a full day of work, managing your children's extracurricular activities, homework, bath and other daily routines, walking the dog, cooking a [healthy?] Dinner for the family and so on ad nauseam? Well, you do – make it so!

Yes, I KNOW you're busy, stressed out and already spread way too thin time-wise. However, exercise is essential for your health and should be considered a mandatory part of your weekly if not daily routine. Sadly, personal fitness is usually the first thing busy moms sacrifice when they are over burdened and under pressure. Ironically, it is exercise that will actually help you deal more effectively with the physical and psychological demands of a hectic life.

Even a few 10-minute sessions a day can lead to increased stamina as well as a long list of benefits to the mind, body and spirit. Here are some ways exercise can stimulate the energy level of you harried Modern Moms out there:

o Let go of the guilt and schedule your exercise time – Simply put, don't ignore your personal needs. Exercise is one of the best ways to not only enhance your energy but preserve your sanity. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't have energy or patience for anyone else.

o Exercise first thing in the morning to jump start your day – Your chances of sticking to your program increased significantly if you exercise in the morning compared to later in the day when excuses and fatigue take over. Your metabolism will be elevated for more than 7 hours following a one hour morning workout, so you will have more stamina to take you through the day.

o Add activity to your work day – To renew your vigor in the day to day grind, find a better way to commute to work, like walking, biking, parking a mile from the office or getting off a train stop early. You'll still be high on natural endorphins while everyone else is working on their second cup of coffee. Eliminating some of the modern conveniences can burn up to an additional 800 calories a week.

o Make wholesome and nutritious food choices – You are more likely to eat healthier meals if you exercise. The last thing you will want to do is eat a heavy meal after getting the blood pumping through your veins. Ultimately, eating more nutritious food along with regular exercise will lead to weight loss, which will decrease the demands on your body and increase your energy and self -esteem drastically.

o Drink Plenty of water – Keep hydrated before, during and after exercise. Your body is made up primarily of water, and while water does not have calories to provide energy, it contributes to weight loss and assists your digestive system. Drinking ample amounts of water will keep the toxins flowing right out of your body.

o Find creative ways to integrate family time with exercise – Your …

Confessions of a Personal Fitness Trainer

Last year I had a number of clients who started stubbornly on the Atkins diet despite my warnings. Immediately I saw almost profound results in their weight loss. I reminded them it was the loss of water weight, and warned of the strain on the kidneys and the high cholesterol risk.

During this time I was mastering my yoga practice as a complete vegan but found that my immune system had been profoundly compromised and I was currently on my third cold for the fall season.

Atkins was in the media again because of new study results indicating lowered cholesterol. I went to the Atkins book yet again with a more open mind, and decided to try the diet. I liked the contrarian view point to the current AMA position of the low fat diet, which seemed to be producing a society of increasing obesity. Atkins view of sugar as the culprit making you fat, not fat, made sense and the extra work from all the protein for the kidneys … it's benign. I wanted to use his diet as a tool to get myself entirely off of any sugar.

I started out on the high protein, low carb aspect of the diet. As I reintroduced the animal proteins into my diet I could feel myself get stronger and the colds, finally stopped. I also saw my muscle bellies start to open and swell again. The cold of winter was not as painful as it had been while on my vegan diet.

I then summoned up the courage to start bringing fats into my diet, including bacon, egg yolks, cream cheese, heavy cream, whipped cream, even bacon rinds. On a daily basis I would marvel at having eaten these "forbidden foods" only to awaken the next day thin, svelte. I couldn't believe this, result! I was loving eating all these foods so familiar yet banished since … childhood

I was in full swing eating the high fat, high protein, low carb diet at the time when the pictures on my website were taken. I felt strong, but I had no energy !!! My walks on the beach were lethargic, I had to force myself to go that extra mile. I was thin but I felt like a beached whale. My love affair with Atkins continued a few more months. I followed his prescriptions religiously.

Eventually I had to add more carbs, I needed more energy. By carbs I mean vegetables, salads and whole grains. At this point I gained back the total of two pounds I had lost on Atkins. Body fat went from 16% to 18%, my energy was better. After 7 months I decided it was time to get the blood checked out and to my horror discovered that my cholesterol which had always been around 150 had rocketed up to 300 !! Luckily my HDL to LDL ratio was still at a healthy level. Thanks to my forcing myself to exercise, I kept my HDLs high.

I …