The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CNHI Special Projects

January 2, 2014

The 12 months of fitness, starting now

The holiday parties are over, and now many Americans are setting fitness goals for the new year. For many of us, the simple goal of "fitness" might seem a long way off - the average American is 20 to 25 pounds overweight and isn't physically active, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - but it's far from unattainable.

We asked four Washington -area fitness experts how to make incremental changes throughout 2014 with the year-end goal of losing those extra 20 to 25 pounds and becoming stronger physically and mentally with the help of exercise, meditation and nutrition changes.

This is our "couch-to-fit" calendar for 2014, with guidance from Faith Hunter, a yoga teacher and owner of Embrace yoga studio; Mansur Mendizabal, a personal trainer; Chris Knight, a personal trainer and CrossFit Coach; and Heather Calcote, a dietitian and endurance athlete.

 For additional information and instruction, turn to your doctor or personal trainer; results aren't guaranteed. It is always advisable to check with your doctor before starting any new fitness routine.

               

January

               

Cardio: Start taking swift walks or light jogs for at least 30 minutes three times per week. This should be light to moderate activity, meaning you should be able to hold a conversation. Stretch for five minutes or more afterward. Start changing up your daily routines: Seek opportunities to choose standing over sitting, walking over driving and stairs instead of the elevator.

               

Strength: Start with core and balance exercises two times per week. The goal is to create good posture and form; if you want an example of how to do a particular exercise, ask a trainer at your gym or look online for videos. Very little equipment is needed for these bodyweight exercises, but for balance we recommend trying a Bosu ball, which is a half-sphere-shaped training tool that can add extra challenge to standing and sitting exercises.

               

Mind-body: Take a beginner yoga class at a gym or studio, or at home using a DVD or online class. Try to practice 30 minutes to an hour per week.

               

Nutrition: Log your food intake at least three days a week. Use a calorie-counting app or Web site to figure out how many calories are recommended for you, and to create a 100- to 200-calorie deficit if you want to lose weight. A few options: MyPlate.gov, MyFitnessPal.com, SparkPeople.com or My-Calorie-Counter.com.

               

February

               

Cardio: Keep the intensity and duration the same: low to moderate, at least 30 minutes, three times per week. Alternate walking or jogging with biking and swimming to work different muscle groups and keep things interesting. Remember to stretch to help prevent tightness and soreness.

               

Strength: Keep up your January routine, paying attention to your form and posture.

               

Mind-body: Add a two-minute daily meditation. Close your eyes, sit up straight and start observing your breath, breathing deeply through your nose. This can help shift the mind from worry to calm.

               

Nutrition: Increase water intake and decrease sugary beverages; add one serving of fruits or vegetables per day; continue your food journal for progress and accountability.

               

March

               

Cardio: Increase your intensity slightly while keeping the duration the same: Shoot for a moderate level of activity (you can speak, but holding a conversation is difficult) at least 30 minutes three times per week.

               

Strength: Keep up the core and balance exercises two or three times per week.

               

Mind-body: Increase the duration of the daily meditation by a few minutes and continue the weekly yoga class.

               

Nutrition: Celebrate National Nutrition Month by using MyPlate.gov for meal-planning. Your plate should be half fruits and vegetables, a quarter lean protein and a quarter whole grains or starchy vegetables such as corn and beans.

               

April

               

Cardio: Start incorporating intervals into two of your cardio days. At the end of these workouts, do three or four 30-second, high-intensity rounds to get your heart rate up, keeping the total duration the same. Intervals create speed, power and strength. Plus, the harder your work, the more calories you burn.

               

Strength: In the second quarter, we add exercises that involve big muscle groups and some light weights (optional). If time is tight, you can replace the bodyweight exercises, or alternate. Big-muscle-group training burns calories, adds endurance and is considered functional training because these big-muscle groups are key in everyday activities. Shoot for 15 to 30 minutes per session; if you're running closer to 15 minutes, add a third day of strength training.

               

 Mind-body: Take your yoga outside and try a class in a local park. This will connect you with your community while stretching the body and calming the mind.

               

Nutrition: It's Alcohol Awareness Month, a good time to think about not only alcohol's dangers but also its empty calories. Consume no more than two drinks in one sitting, alternating with water at social events and meals.

               

May

               

Cardio: Keep the intervals two times a week at the end of those workouts. Add a longer cardio workout (30 to 60 minutes) on the non-interval day to start building endurance.

               

Strength: Continue the bodyweight work and external-weight-bearing weight training.

               

Mind-body: Keep up your five-minute daily meditations and yoga. Get outside when you can for community, fresh air and sun.

               

Nutrition: Cook at least three meals per week at home. Make double recipes to create leftovers for lunches and more dinners. Make half of each meal vegetables and aim to have at least two colors in each meal (leafy greens and red peppers, for example).

               

June

               

Cardio: Keep up your routine from May. June is a good time to take the workout outside if you haven't yet, perhaps at your neighborhood pool.

               

Strength: It's time to add weight and reduce the repetitions to between eight and 10. This can be a good time to try a session with a personal trainer to make sure you're using proper form, which is important as the weight increases.

               

Mind-body: Feeling comfortable in your yoga practice? It might be time to challenge yourself with an intermediate class.

               

Nutrition: Get grilling! Try fish, lean meats and vegetables in foil or on a kebab. For dessert? Grill some peaches, apricots or grapefruits.

               

July

               

Cardio: Increase the duration or the frequency of your workouts, reaching about 150 minutes total of moderate to intense aerobic activity per week. Keep the intervals twice a week.

               

Strength: In the third quarter, we introduce exercises that include extra weight and resistance bands. They can replace or be added to the exercises you are already doing, depending on the amount of time you have. This type of progression builds your endurance and adds strength. Shoot for 15 to 45 minutes per session.

               

Mind-body: Check for yoga festivals and conferences during the summer months to deepen your understanding of movement, breathing and meditation.

               

Nutrition: How do you start your day? If you don't normally eat breakfast, aim to eat something in the morning at least three days per week. Keep breakfast between 300 and 500 calories. Try to include proteins, healthful fats, whole grains and fruits.

               

August

               

Cardio: Keep up the good work - even on vacation!

               

Strength: Try to increase weights slightly.

               

Mind-body: Try a new style of yoga. Take a mat with you on vacation; studios are practically everywhere these days.

               

Nutrition: Stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses (eight ounces apiece) of water per day, and keep a water bottle with you at all times. Check on calories: Remember to aim for 100 to 200 fewer per day than recommended for your weight in order to create a calorie deficit.

               

September

               

Cardio: Shoot for 150 to 180 minutes of cardio, spread throughout the week. Keep the intervals twice a week.

               

Strength: Keep up the good work and increase weight when you no longer feel challenged.

               

Mind-body: If you've only ever practiced in a yoga studio, try a DVD or online class at home. It's a good way to increase the frequency of your practice.

               

Nutrition: Focus on healthful fats: fish, nuts, avocado and healthful oils. Examine your fruit and vegetable consumption, too; aim for five to nine servings per day. One serving is half a whole fruit, a cup of raw vegetables or half a cup dried fruits.

               

October

               

Cardio: Keep the intervals twice a week, but consider adding intensity to the intervals while decreasing their duration. This will build power and speed while keeping things interesting.

               

Strength: In the fourth quarter, we introduce exercises that include heavy weights at fewer repetitions. They can replace or be added to the exercises you are already doing. This is where you start creating power in the body in addition to the strength and endurance you have already established. As the weight goes up, so does the risk of injury. This might be a good time to consider hiring a trainer, even for one session, to ensure proper form. Shoot for 15 to 60 minutes per workout.

               

Mind-body: Start deepening your understanding of yoga and meditation by reading easily accessible writings on the topic, such as "Yoga Body, Buddha Mind" by Cyndi Lee.

               

 Nutrition: Choose something you often overindulge in and use this month as a detox and reset. Elimination diets often backfire, but taking a step back and decreasing our intake of something for a short period can help calm cravings.

               

November

               

Cardio: Keep up your October routine.

               

Strength: Continue doing strength workouts three days a week.

               

Mind-body: This is a time when many studios and gyms feature charity classes. It's a good time to reflect on your practice and what you have learned in the past 11 months.

               

Nutrition:Practice portion control, especially at holiday meals and parties. Calorie guideline: Snacks should be no more than 200 calories, meals no more than 500 calories, desserts no more than 300 calories. Don't forget to include alcohol when you tally up the calories.

               

December

               

Cardio: Moving your workouts indoors might mean mixing up running, cycling, treadmill, rowing machine or swimming. Keep the total duration of your cardio workouts about 180 minutes weekly. Keep the intense intervals twice a week. Shoot for a workout frequency of three or four days a week.

               

Strength: Keep up your November routine.

               

Mind-body: December's a good time to reflect on your practice and what you have learned in the past 12 months - and where you want to go in the next 12 months, physically and mentally. Consider trying a meditation-focused class at your local yoga studio.

               

Nutrition: A few smart practices during the holidays:

               

               

1.Bring healthful alternatives to the holiday potluck.              

               

2.Skimp on sugars (including drinks).

               

3.Choose one dessert and have only one serving.              

               

4.If drinking alcohol, stick with low-sugar options such as wine and light beer and alternate with water.

         

 

1
Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
  • Electric-grid attack fuels sniper-versus-hacker threat debate

    U.S. energy regulators' efforts to harden the power grid against snipers and terrorists are fueling a debate over whether they're diverting resources from other threats, like cyber attacks.

    March 14, 2014

  • VIDEO: Oklahoma high-speed chase ends in crash

    Authorities in Oklahoma City, Okla. say a man who stole a pick-up truck led police on a high-speed chase reaching nearly 120 miles per hour before crashing into a mini-van and two other vehicles.

    March 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-03-14 at 12.39.21 PM.png Spring Madness: 3 apps to help manage your schedule

    Spring is imminent, and as you welcome the warmer weather, it's time to start thinking about home maintenance, school events and everything else you put off during the winter. These three apps will help you manage your schedule, no matter your organization style.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140309-AMX-SNAKES094.jpg Researchers tackle mystery of how some snakes can fly

    Flying snakes sound like creatures from a bad B-movie, but these serpents are elegant gliders that have evolved a special skill that sets them apart. In two new studies, engineers have used simulations to try to decipher how the wingless reptile manages to remain airborne despite its lack of flight appendages.

    March 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • ERIC-HOLDER.jpg Holder: Heroin deaths an 'urgent and growing public health crisis'

    Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers an "urgent and growing public health crisis," is outlining a series of efforts by the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • plane-skydiver.jpg VIDEO: Skydiver, pilot treated after midair collision

    A pilot practicing take-offs and landings got tangled up with a skydiver in Polk County, Fla., but amazingly, no one was seriously hurt.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • missing-plane.jpg In this tech age, how can a plane go missing?

    Call 911 from the side of the road, and GPS satellites can tell dispatchers exactly where to send help. Airline passengers have access to detailed maps that show exactly where they are during their journey. Hop onto WiFi, and somehow Google knows whether you're logging on from Lima or London, and will give you detailed suggestions about what to eat.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 10.45.45 AM.png VIDEO: Penguin sweaters save birds trapped in oil spills

    A wildlife group in Australia is inviting volunteers to knit sweaters for the penguin population it conserves, because it says the sweaters can actually save the lives of birds caught in oil spills.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Most deadly fraternity scraps initiation for new members

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest U.S. fraternities and the deadliest, said Friday it will ban the initiation of recruits, citing the toll that hazing has taken on its newest members.

    March 10, 2014

  • VIDEO: Michigan woman's death, mummified body hidden by auto-pay for six years

    The mummified body of a Michigan woman was discovered in the backseat of her car approximately six years after her death. The body was only found after the bank that foreclosed on the home ordered work on the property.

    March 10, 2014

Elections
Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.