Friday, June 22, 2012

workouts you can do at home + losing excess weight

We all have times when making it to the gym isn't a possibility {financially, or time-wise!}, and it would be easier just do a quick workout at home. Luckily we live in the age of streaming video! ;)

Here's a quick arm toning video:

And if Pilates is more your style:

Ah, I love exercise! ;) It makes me feel good {ah, endorphins!}- it keeps me strong and in shape, and it gives me more energy through the week! Exercise is good, but I think it's only part of the health equation.

As a fitness instructor, I am often asked by my class members {and sometimes even strangers at the store}, "What's the best way for me to lose weight? How often should I work out? What should I eat?"

Now I'm not a nutritionist by any means, but I really believe that the way you look is 10% how you exercise and 90% what you eat. And my motto is that you cannot out-exercise your mouth. {unless you're an Olympic athlete. I'll give you that.} :)

So, this is the answer I give to people when they ask me those questions:

If you have a few extra pounds you'd like to lose, your best bet in my experience is to start by cutting out refined carbohydrates altogether. When you refrain from eating calorie-dense, blood-sugar-raising empty carbs I think you will quickly notice a difference in the way your body looks and feels.

Leave behind breads, pastas, cereals, and pre-packaged snacks and your mid-section will suddenly feel much slimmer- I can almost guarantee it!  {Your belly is holding on to those dense carbs and making you bloated as you digest them.} Drink water or tea instead of bubbly drinks and you'll notice you feel much better too... :D

You can easily replace those saturated, man-created carbs with naturally occurring ones like potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, or rice. Or if you have lower energy needs, eat more slow carbs like beans, lentils, or zucchini.

It's really not about looking a certain way as much as it is understanding the place food has in your heart, and taking care of the body you've been given in your time on this earth.

For me, refined carbs don't make me feel good, and they leave my blood sugar on a roller coaster that isn't fun- one that makes me extremely grumpy when I haven't eaten, not to mention leaves me with extra storage on my hips. ;) They make food control my daily {or hourly} attitude, if that makes sense.

I believe if you want to feel better long-term, you should try to eat only the foods God gave us to eat in some form resembling their natural state. It's a very hard thing to leave behind granola bars and bread and breakfast cereals {trust me, I know!}. But it's so, so good when you do.

Eating real food is great for you, and it allows your body to rid itself of the excess fat storage that it doesn't want to keep. The truth is, your body actually doesn't want to carry extra pounds around any more than your mind does, and when you eat real food, you'll find the weight will start falling off on it's own!

So, anyway, that's the long answer. :)

I know it's such a hard balance to eat healthily without being focused on self-appearance. It's a struggle I think we all face, or at least I know I do. But God is gracious, and patient with our slow-learning selves! :) He gives us the right heart when we seek Him, amen? :D

Give yourself some grace in this area too- try to do what you feel God is leading you to do, not what I or others think you should do. It's between you and the Lord. :)

Do you guys have fitness or food questions today? I'd love to try to answer them! :)

{don't forget to enter the summer survival giveaway before Monday! You can win a $25 gift card or an ebook!}

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