Archive | December, 2013

Year in review: Have you been Naughty or Nice?

31 Dec

naughtyorniceAs 2013 comes to an end, I’m thinking of all the good and bad things that happened in my life this year. All the accomplishments, big or small that deserve to be celebrated; All the mistakes, big or small, that I can learn from and improve on for 2014. When it comes to health and fitness, it is also important to reflect on what you’ve done right and what you can continue to work on. Remember, no one is perfect, not any personal trainers (myself included), health gurus, or anybody. The point is to congratulate yourself on the things that are worth praising and take accountability for things that need improvement, so you can/will celebrate later!

Here are my top “naughty” and “nice” health and fitness items for 2013: 

Things I can pat myself on the back for:

  • No more late-night desserts –  I must admit, I have a sweet tooth, sometimes the chocolate chip cookies are simply calling my name! But I’ve swapped them out with fresh fruit or yogurt. It’s hard still, but it definitely pays off! Six-pack, here I come! Stay away from high calorie/fat items before going to sleep.
  • Changing up my cardio routine – I’ve always valued the importance of cardio and practiced it. However, the treadmill and elliptical were getting a little stale. I switched it up by running outside when the weather permits. I’m telling you, running outside is a whole different ball game than your regular old treadmill – The scenery is great and the variation in terrain keeps my run challenging and interesting. I also took a turbo kick class – I was a skeptic at first, but the high-intensity cardio + strength training kicked my butt, literally. Whenever you feel bored, just switch it up! It will keep you motivated and focused in your training.

What I slipped on (naughty):

  • Working though an injury  I’ve been experiencing a shoulder injury for the past couple of months. As much as I told myself to be patient, I continued to work through my injury. This not only slowed down my recovery process, but also increased the pain of the injury. When you have an injury, the first thing you should do is go see a professional (doctor, physical therapist), then  give it a rest for a while. When you feel ready, start with lower impact exercises for the injured area and slowly build up to where you were. Be patient. You will lose some strength, but overtime you will build it back up. Don’t let a little impatience impede your recovery process, or worse, damage the injury even more.
  • Lack of post-workout stretches We all know that stretching is essential when it comes to exercise. But when do you stretch? Before or after the workout? The answer is both. I am pretty diligent on stretching prior to the workout, but not nearly enough after I’m done. I guess my mentality is that when I’m finished with my workout, I’m exhausted and just want to go home! But did you know that right after a workout, your muscles are more open to movement  and it is actually one of the best times for some deep stretches? Yes, I’m talking about the ones that usually feel uncomfortable. Take advantage of your muscle being  more flexible and get a couple of deep stretches in – This will not only prevent workout injuries, but also enhance fitness results!

This is my health & wellness “nice” and “naughty” list for 2013…What’s on yours?

I hope you take some time to reflect on the accomplishments and setbacks for this year and learn from them for a better and healthier 2014!