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Not Feeling Your Workout? Change It Up!

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Your health and fitness coach has worked with you to develop your uniquely perfect workout. It hits all of the marks you’re looking for: toning, strength, posture, and extra bum-boosting. You’ve been following it for a couple of weeks and feeling fabulous.

Until that one morning when. You. Just…CAN’T. You have a plethora of reasons why—or maybe you have none. The point is just the thought of your usual workout makes your head, heart, and gut say “Uh uh. Not going to happen today.”

So change it. Even if I’m the health and fitness coach who worked my heart out creating it for you, change it up.

You can do something completely different, like go for a hike or take a cardio kickboxing class (are those still a thing?). Or you can make some adjustments to your existing workout that can help it feel very different indeed.

7 ways you can adjust your workout

Change your speed

If you usually go at a moderate tempo, try to go fast or super-slow. Both challenge your mind and muscles in different ways.

An important thing to keep in mind when changing your tempo is to maintain good form—no injuries, please!

Change your rest time

Most people take a slight break in between exercises, as they transition from one to the next. If you’re feeling energetic, try moving straight from one exercise to the next with no rests in between—this is guaranteed to get your heart rate up.

Conversely, if you’re feeling low energy, lie down and rest for up to a minute between moves. You might notice that this refreshes you enough that you can do more reps than usual.

Change your reps

Short for repetitions, give yourself permission to do less—or more—than usual. I remind my clients all the time: There isn’t a magic number when it comes to reps.

Change your load

Load refers to the amount of resistance you’re working against (physical, not mental!). Obviously 15-pound weights present a heavier load than 10-pound ones. But another way you can change this—without weights—is by changing your position, such as being on your knees (lighter load) versus your toes (heavier load) when doing push-ups.

Change your position

Besides changing your position for the reason described above, you can also change it to work different muscles (for example, have a narrower or wider foot position when doing squats). Another way to change your position is to do an exercise while standing if you usually sit or from a kneeling position instead of lying down (obviously not all exercises can be changed in this way).

Change the order

I tend to set up workouts so that the most energetic multi-muscle moves come first when you’re still fresh. But that doesn’t mean you have to do them in the listed order all of the time.

Change what part of the workout you do

Most workouts have a warm-up, the “workout,” and the cool-down/stretching parts. If you’re not feeling up for the whole shebang, you can focus on just one part instead. Just make sure you start slowly with your workout or stretching if you’re skipping the warm-up, so your muscles have time to adapt.

6 Ways to Practice Good Posture So You Feel Absolutely Wonderful

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Having good posture isn’t just about standing tall. You also need to align your body properly in whatever position you find yourself in—including as you move about.

The better your posture is—and the more time you spend in it through a wide range of activities—the less time you’ll spend dealing with dysfunction, discomfort, and pain. As another bonus, you’ll look and feel more confident, calm, and energized.

Yes, that did say look and feel.

It’s easy to see that your posture can be a result of your energy—when you’re tired, you may slump.

You can also see it as a reflection of your emotional state—when you’re feeling threatened or defensive, you may cross your arms over you chest.

But your posture affects the way you feel, too.

Here’s one example: Spending time hunched over can lead to a feeling of anxiety and irritation. Why?

This C-curve position compresses your diaphragm which causes shallow breathing. Shallow breathing is a sign of the fight-or-flight response. Though you’re not in any danger while sitting slumped over at your desk (at least I hope not), your body gets the signal, anyway, and the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are released.

You wonder why your’e so tense when all you’ve been doing is sitting at your computer. Now you know.

Luckily, you can shift the response by changing your posture. Take a deep breath and notice how you automatically sit up straight and roll your shoulders back. Ahhhh…..

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6 ways to practice good posture so you feel absolutely wonderful

  1. Regardless of what position you’re in, remind yourself to have a neutral spine

  2. Follow Diana Vreeland’s advice: Don’t lie down when you can sit. Don’t sit when you can stand. Don’t stand when you can move!

  3. For every 30 minutes you do spend sitting, move and loosen up for at least one minute

  4. Start your day with some movement—I love Morning Moves followed by some stretching

  5. Get regular bodywork. If you can’t see a massage therapist, cajole a loved one, use a roller, lacrosse balls, your own hands, etc.

  6. This one is especially helpful! Remember the 6 foundational postures from last week? Spend time in them, moving around if possible—especially the ones that are difficult for you

That’s it for the blog series on posture. Hope you’re feeling like a glamazon already! (But if you’re not, keep practicing and give it time…)

Wishing you wonderfulness!

No, You Don't Have to Shrink as You Age! 4 Ways to Keep Standing Tall

No, You Don't Have to Shrink as You Age! 4 Ways to Keep Standing Tall

4 common reasons why you shrink as you age

  1. A decrease in muscle mass (known as sarcopenia) can lead to weakness and frailty, as well as a decrease in height

  2. A decrease in bone density and resilience (known as osteoporosis) can lead to weakness, fractures, and greater curvature of the spine—all of which can also cause you to become shorter

  3. The discs between your spinal vertebrae can dehydrate and compress causing shrinkage

  4. Flattening of the arches of your feet can also make you slightly shorter

This is not just a superficial concern, either. Losing one to two inches within a year puts you at a higher risk for spinal and hip fractures.

Consider getting your bone density screened at your next doctor’s visit, especially if you’re around menopause-age or have any risk factors, such as any broken bones as an adult or a close relative with osteoporosis.

But here’s an important thing to know: Just because age-related shrinking is common nowadays does NOT mean it’s natural or inevitable.

What Are You Training For? Love How Your Body Looks + Feels with Functional Moves

What Are You Training For? Love How Your Body Looks + Feels with Functional Moves

Exercise doesn’t have that much impact on shedding body fat (focusing on what you eat is best for that). It won’t transform your shape, either, regardless of what all of the celebs and magazines tell you (Photoshop is best for that).

But exercise is still wonderfully good for you. It trains your body to be strong, resilient, and capable, so you can use it to chase the life you want. I believe functional movement is the best way to do this. I alluded to it several posts back when I encouraged you to push your muscles once a week. So what is functional movement?