I started writing this blog as “Making time for exercise”, but stalled with the thought that if we do not have a true “intention” to exercise, all of our plans and wish lists fall by the wayside because we will not follow through on them. I questioned myself how do I do it?
To set in my mind a true intention to exercise, I must mentally pre-program myself, so I see it happening and set it in my mind and commit myself to it. Once I have done that my next step is to plan and decide on the time and place and the how and record it, write it down, text someone my intent.
Better still I invite a buddy along as an extra driving force as insurance.
Exercising for 20 minutes a day will add to your longevity. Adding 20 minutes of light exercise a day adds up to 2+ hours of exercise a week this has benefits not only for burning calories but in increasing our body’s overall health and agility.
Plan time for exercise and make it a regular daily routine habit is even better. It helps to exercise around the same time each day. The key is to build exercise into your life style so that it is not disruptive. Chose times of the day that work best for you. Is it early morning before work or just before supper? or while watching TV? Use those 5-minute advertising sections to put in some body strengthening exercises like squats and lunges. My father, now 93 years old, swears by the arm curls with a couple of cans of beans he has practiced over the years since retirement while watching T.V. as a major reason for his good health.
Start with something simple, Walking is the simplest exercise, it costs nothing to get started. It is easy, safe and can be done anywhere and anytime. Walk around the block in your neighborhood, around the local parks, meet the neighbors. Walk to the corner store instead of driving, walk in the sunlight and get the bonus effect of melatonin stimulation to aid in better quality sleep.
Even at home you can move more through some simple changes to regular household duties, get creative and involve the whole family.
- Do housework to fast music, get the heart rate up, dance for 60 seconds in between chores- feeling a little crazy is good for the soul! (Vacuuming to the sound of the rolling stones cranked up is a great stress reliever.)
- Work in the garden, mow the grass. Rake leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.
- Stand up while talking on the telephone and exercise on the spot –try high leg lifts , high knee bends or lunges.
- Walk the dog or borrow the neighbors’ dog and take it for a walk.
- Plan family time for exercise involve the kids or other family members, make it a friendly playful competition- volleyball before dinner or simple catching a ball.
- if you are lucky enough to have home exercise equipment intend to use it, make yourself a schedule.
If you think you don’t have the time to take a walk, think about how much time you spend after work on the following activities- watching TV, binge watching TV shows on Netflix, catching up on your social media accounts, talking about how tired you are.
Can you change some of the couch potato time into exercise time? Make the change today, intend to move more, then actually do it!
Plan and intend to complete 20 minutes exercise in your daily routine.
Keep track of your activity for one week and let us know how you did.
Eat more Vegetables
It can be challenging to eat more vegetables than the one serving we have with our main meal of the day. If we are eating to meet dietary recommendations, we have to find ways to get up to 5 servings of vegetables into our diet every day. There are many ways to do this, but it takes preparation and planning.
We have already made the commitment to eating foods that are healthier and have more fiber, eating vegetables is the best way to achieve this. It comes down to planning and pre-preparation.
Grocery shopping should be done on a day when you have an extra half hour to wash and prepare the vegetables that you have bought. Having a container of pre-washed broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumber, peppers and tomatoes in the refrigerator gives you so many more options to add vegetables to every meal. You are ready to get creative like adding chopped vegetables to your pasta sauces, if you get objections from family members because they can see the vegetables, use a blender and blitz the vegetable before you add them so that they blend into the sauce.
Make soups. A truly rich vegetable soup can use up all the odds and ends left over at the end of the week with the addition of some shredded cabbage or fresh herbs. If you feel you do not have time to make soup, again blitz the vegetable first in a blender and the soup will cook much quicker. Add beans like black beans or chick peas for added fiber.
Serve vegetables and dip as a starter before every meal, stick to low calorie dressings or hummus or make them yourself e.g.- parmesan cheese, pressed garlic and lite mayonnaise. Find the flavours that suit your family.
Have one day a week which is a meatless main meal such as a veggie chili using 3 types of beans such as kidney beans, black beans and chick peas or a Veggie lasagna made with auberge and tomatoes.
Get creative with baking – substitute shredded vegetables for fruit in muffins, use whole grain flour and shredded carrot in cake.
Fresh Vegetables are always the best option but seasonal prices may affect your choices. When vegetable prices are high consider frozen vegetables. These are convenient and can be quickly heated up in the microwave.
The health benefits of eating higher fiber food is the lowering of blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and helping to avoid constipation and inflammation in the digestive tract.
Try a new meatless dish this week that uses more than one vegetable
Pre-prepare vegetables in your refrigerator and add them to your packed lunch and serve them before every meal.
Game play can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good brain chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Playing fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function. The social interaction of playing with family and friends can help ward off stress and depression.
Recently research has been linking play with longevity. Taking the time to replenish yourself through play is one of the best things you can do. Playing games:
- keeps you functional when under stress
- refreshes your mind and body
- encourages teamwork
- increases energy and prevents burnout
- triggers creativity and innovation
- helps you see problems in new ways
Participating in Mission Thin Possible encourages you to play regularly every week at least once and is usually looked forward to by team members. It’s possible that you are self-conscious and concerned about how you’ll look and sound to others when you attempt to play games if you have not regularly participated in physical games. Fearing rejection, embarrassment or ridicule when attempting to participate is an understandable fear especially if we are overweight. We design our games to encourage participation for all with more emphasis on fun than serious competition.
Sharing laughter and fun fosters empathy, compassion, and trust. Our games can help you loosen up in stressful times, break the ice with strangers, make new friends, and form new lasting relationships.
Keep you feeling young and energetic. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Playing boosts your vitality and even improves your resistance to disease, helping you feel confident and your best.
Play is not just essential for kids; it is an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults. Playing is a fun way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being. Adult play is a time to forget about work and commitments. By participating in non-competitive game playing you can play with the joyful abandon of your childhood, and reap oodles of health benefits throughout life.
Games that are multi dimensional provide most stimulation. They can stimulate your imagination, helping you to maintain your adaption and problem solving skills.
Start thinking today and everyday how you can add “playtime” to your to-do list.
Every member of MTP who has been attending our program regularly has now achieved their slow steady weight loss or at minimum turned previous weight gain into a steady loss trend.
We can now reset your target curves to better provide you a clear picture for your continuation phase.
It is not time to let up now.
What do you think you have done in your lifestyle that had the most effect in producing this result ?
Take time to reflect on what you have been doing.
Have you committed all you can to changing your lifestyle to live healthier and live longer.
Have you done what you can to interact with and spread the benefits of your new lifestyle.
What can you do to achieve more.
Come back next week and tell us what more you have changed.
Members of a team or group following common goals and sharing achievements, live longer happier lives than those living alone. We know a key to extending our lives is to improve our lifestyle especially if we are also overweight. We must eat healthier and add more exercise and activity. Life experience has proven that a group culture is supportive of this and will encourage us to adopt and then keep to our new improved ways of living.
(Over time we usually become what our 4 or 5 closest family and friends are.)
We believe the importance of having a “team of friends” in our MTP groups cannot be overstated. It is critical to the success of each and every team and the success of the program. MTP is as much a way of life and social and networking enterprise as it is an exercise class.
Most fitness programs don’t give much attention to this “team culture”. They are usually based on one on one, trainer to client, personal trainer model or are group classes with many solo people interacting with the trainer. MTP is about interacting with each other and working as a team guided by the trainer. Everyone helps each other to boost attendance, to energize the classes, empower the talks , be successful at the weekly homeworks , keep at it , and to support success of all.
We need to experience the value of sharing the life rewards, and the achievement felt within a team as one by one we hit our life change goals. For those overweight it is visible and unmistakable. Smiles are hard to hide.
The influence that each of us as individuals have on our team, healthy or even at times toxic, is important in overall “team’s success” but at the same time the team’s success has significant effect on the success of its individual members. We all probably have been members of downer groups, ones that permeate negativity, unhealthy competition, and conflict. It sure doesn’t feel good and it can interfere with reaching our personal intentions.
Everyone including the coach, will have a big impact on how your group gets along, functions, and performs. It effects if your team’s membership grows and the group lasts or if the membership declines and the group falls apart. We must all try and create new norms of what we all need to do to support building our team. Each one of us must try a relationship to our MTP community more representative of a religious group than a sports team when it comes to adding members to keep a local group healthy and prosperous.
The MTP team culture must energize a positive atmosphere that permeates every aspect of our MTP experience. We can make it whatever we want it to be. In the end an MTP groups culture will be an expression of our values, attitudes, and beliefs about life.
MTP management try to ensure the focus is on fun, improvement, and change to promote and support each other to accomplish success. Our culture is grounded in an identified sense of mission and shared goals. We are all seeking and needing life change and are willing to work with everyone else in the MTP team for the common good. This must be our culture.
MTP must be also be relaxed and never intense, light-hearted, with only friendly competition, all-inclusive and supportive.
These support happiness. All support improved longevity.
Everyone on a team will with time understand and feel that its in their own and the whole teams interest to feel some implicit pressure (in the good sense) to support the MTP culture.
Summing it Up
Each MTPs team will adopt the Team of Friend’s culture to some extent as an expression of its individual members. This “organic” approach will hopefully lead to all team members feeling a sense of ownership. Members will create their own team’s version of it. There is always a risk that this Team of Friends Culture will not be adopted by some teams. These teams I am afraid will not last.We know from years of experience a team needs a minimum of 10 and 20 is a better number.
Through good coach mentorship and leadership and open discussion within your team, of the values, attitudes, and beliefs that you all want to introduce as your groups foundation, your flavor of the “team of friends” culture will emerge.
All team members are encouraged to discuss openly what you feel is important to the atmosphere you want to create, what your expectations are, and the ways in which your team will best communicate socially.
This collaborative approach will produce a sense of ownership of your MTP teams culture. As a result, you are more likely to live by it, stay with it , change your life, and succeed by it.
Homework (Coaches included)
- What values do you want to act as the foundation for your team’s culture?
- What attitudes and beliefs do you want to hold?
- What are the goals that the team wants to pursue?
- How do your team want to treat each other?
- What kind of atmosphere do you want in your team ?
Use the blog comments area or Facebook to discuss this week.
Posting the positive benefits of MTP on your personal facebook pages will help build your MTP Team.