Covid-19 has become the unwelcome guest that refuses to leave America. It has interupted the lives of everybody in the world. Due to the layoffs, there are so many unemployed people in America. We are now going into a new unknown world as we are all forced to stay home with these federal Shelter-In-Place orders. There are so many reasons that all of the above would stress you out. The media is doing an excellent job at highlighting everything you should be afraid of. But let's take a moment to switch gears and reflect on a few ways to turn these next few weeks into positive productive time that will restart your focus and get you ready for the post Covid-19 era soon to come.
What Was That Thing You Could Never Do?
Now that you are not going anywhere, remember, there are 24 hours in a day. Pre Covid-19 you spent your mornings rushing to get ready and head out the door. Now you can relax and unwind for a bit, but not for too long. I suggest taking a Fat Burning Walk throughout your neighborhood to keep your heart active. A sedentary lifestyle will make you sick, but an active lifestyle rich with Fat Burning Zone activities will keep you healthy and happier.
Getting out and walking will make your mind available to reflect on your life. You'll be surprised at the thoughts that come to you now that you have a moment to relax and allow your mind to be free from the everyday back and forth. Make the decision to think about your current state of health. What do you like about it?
Meal planning works because you think about it once at the beginning of the week or month, then execute the plan for duration of the time. It's a great way to budget your time and your money. Without a meal plan, we often choose meals that are quick and easy and full of fat, sodium, and extra carbs we do not need.
When thinking about meal planning, there are a few tricks and tips I've picked up that makes meal planning more effective and more personal to me.
You can make so many dishes with this appliance. It's my favorite appliance because it will take a long time before you overcook (burn) something. Throw all the ingredients into the pot and forget it for a few hours. My favorite foods to make are the beans for my bean burritos. There's no need to ever soak beans overnight anymore. Just rinse and place them in the Crockpot on low or high setting from 4-6 hours then add your spices 3 or 4 hours in. Other dishes you can prep are soups (like chicken tortilla and veggie soup). You can also prepare pulled pork or chicken for sandwiches. I always end up with 3 or 4 extra servings that I store away in the freezer after 2 days of feasting on whatever dish I make. I use a 6qt Crockpot.
Stockpile the proteins
When you buy your meat in bulk, you save a few dollars here and there. I like to look at Publix's or Kroger's weekly ads and find those BOGO or reduced price savings. Then I portion the meat in individual servings and freeze it for later. What also helps is if you can season the meat before you freeze it. This saves time when you are ready to cook the meat. The night before I want to cook it, I take it out of the freezer and stick it in the fridge.
Make your own seasonings
There are some seasoning packets, like Taco Seasoning, that I would buy all the time. One day when I wanted to make a taco dish and realized I didn't have anymore packets, I did a little research and realized I had 80% of the ingredients to make my own taco seasoning. And that's how I started making my own seasoning mixes. There are few great reasons to consider making your own seasoning as a part of your meal planning regimen.
Exercise... Your New Normal
After the gyms were shut down and no longer available to the public, most people started to panic and thought how they would not be able to get a decent workout. But that is so far from the truth. Exercise and physical activity is where you are, every day, whenever you are ready to participate. Jog in place, do a set of jumping jacks, even do a few cartwheels. If it gets your heart beating in the cardio training zone, your body is working to burn calories. If you are involved in an activity where the heart rate is in the fat burning zone, like a brisk walk or doing chores in the house for a few hours, you won't even think for a minute that you are burning fat. Exercise is choosing to stay active for a period of time.
So with this extra time, decide what type of exercise or physical activity works best for you and make that a part of your daily or weekly routine. The heart rate does not lie. Someone who is biking through the neighborhood can be exerting the same energy that someone in their garage dancing with their kids to a music mix of their favorite dance songs by their favorite DJ.
Some ideas that will get you started:
So as tragic as this Coronavirus outbreak is, the most important thing that you as an individual can do is to protect yourself and your family. Avoid being out in the public while this epidemic is being contained. But while you are home, take advantage of this time to clear your mind and work on new habits that will put you closer to meeting your personal health and weight loss goals. Be safe!
The Fat Burning Zone is not a new trend. When I studied for my Primary Group Certification, I remember reading about the Fat Burning Zone vs. the Cardio Training Zone. The facts around the Fat Burning Zone sounded so appealing as the simplest and easy way to lose weight. You would engage in activities that did not make you short of breath for longer periods of time and the fat would just fall off you. It sounded like a winner but when I would go to the gyms or look through everything fitness related, everybody was on this "I NEED MORE CARDIO" hyper trip. So I got on that kick to make sure I didn't miss losing weight. My focus became cardio. But after years of so many ups and downs with my weight I finally got hip to what will help lose the fat and keep it off (I started following the principles of the Six Week Body Makeover). Nothing wrong with cardio, but there is a foundation of fat burning activities you should always do daily to keep a healthy weight.
How to find your fat burning zone
The Fat Burning Zone is about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, your breathing is controlled and you are able to talk without difficulty. Your maximum heart rate is the number of beats per minute that you never want to exceed. To find this number, take the magic number of 220 and subtract your age. If you are 40, your maximum heart rate would be 180 (220-40= 180). If you are ever exercising and you see your heart rate hit 180, you need to slow it down really quick. Your heart is working too hard. Your Fat Burning Zone is 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. 50% of 180 is 90. 70% of 180 is 126. So your target range for beats per minute will be between 90 and 126.
the best fat burning zone activities
Believe it or not, it is super easy to hit your Fat Burning Zone. I monitor my heart rate from my FitBit. I have a notification on my monitor that vibrates when I've completed 30 minutes of activity in either the fat or cardio training zone. I read about it before, but the first time I realized that normal every day housework was actually in the Fat Burning Zone was the day I was doing housework. I was wearing my monitor while I was going back and forth between washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, and washing clothes. I was listening to the radio while I was back on washing dishes when I felt my monitor vibrating. At first I thought it was a call, but when I saw "30" flash across my screen, I pressed through to take a look at my heart rate. It was at 102, which is in my Fat Burning Zone. I also know that walking at a moderate pace will keep me in the Fat Burning Zone. I was shocked to see that my heart rate would be the same for two totally separate activities. After discovering this I started to monitor my heart rate while I performed other physical activities and light exercise. I found that it is not hard to reach the Fat Burning Zone. The point is finding activities that keep you on your feet and physically active.
Here are a few physical activities you can do more of every day that will keep you in the Fat Burning Zone and losing or maintaining a healthy weight:
Here are a few exercise activities you may want to consider doing that will produce the same results:
How to start tracking the fat burning zone
Heart rate monitors make it so much more easy to monitor if you are staying in the Fat Burning Zone. Getting started is easy. No more putting 2 fingers on your wrist and counting for 15 seconds or holding onto the fitness equipment at the gym that everybody uses.
1. Purchase a heart rate monitor. I've used Polar and FitBit. I prefer FitBit because it fits my everyday lifestyle and I sometimes even forget I have it on.
2. When you program your device, be sure you enter your age and weight and so forth. This information is useful for calculating your target heart rates which includes your Fat Burning Zone.
3. Start your workout by programming it on the app or device. Check the heart rate regularly since you burn the most amount of fat while you are in that 50-70% range.
4. To be best effective, make sure you do 45-60 minutes in the zone. If your heart is beating above the highest number, then slow down. If it dips below the smallest number in the range, then get more active. And always remember the first 5-10 minutes will not burning much fat. You have to warm up first, then the body will burn fat after that.
I hope this gives you a totally new perspective on how to maintain a healthy weight. Most people are sedentary and this is the reason for weight gain. Changing up your daily routine and adding a few extra physical activities can add much value to your every day life. Find what works for you. I wish you the best!
Back in the day when I ran the front desk of Atlanta's Atlantic Station LA FItness, there was a man that came in wanting to use the gym without a membership or a day pass. He insisted that exercise should be FREE. He stated he could play basketball anywhere, so why did he have to pay to use our gym. And I thought about it for just a moment because it almost made sense. Then remembered there are basic things you can do at the gym that you are able to do elsewhere for FREE, but the fees charged for memberships go to maintain the equipment and pay the staff to make sure things run as planned.
There are people in this world who live on the principle that the best things in life are FREE! And for those of you who refuse to pay a gym membership, there are still ways to create a FREE gym at home. Let's get to the basics.
The main reasons people buy into gym memberships is for resistance training and cardio workouts. This article is not about the look of your Home Gym space, but more so about how to get the same type of workouts at home, with a few modifications.
The purpose of resistance training is to build on the strength of your muscles while using your body weight. You will receive the best results if you create a circuit training workout.
10 Quick Easy Body Weight Exercises
1. Girlie Push Up (knees on the ground)
3. Knee Lifts
5. Flutter Kicks
7. Donkey Kicks
10. Side Leg Raises
To create a circuit training workout, select 5 exercises from the list. You will perform each exercise for one minute, then you will rest for one minute. This is a six minute circuit. You will repeat the entire circuit 4 more times for a 30 minute workout. The best thing about creating your own circuit training workout is you can go at your own pace. You can do 2 circuits starting out and next week ramp it up to 3. It's all about how you feel. Pretty soon you'll be an expert.
HOW TO KEEP THE ENERGY GOING!
There was a time when stepping into an exercise class was always a nerve wrecking sensation for me. I automatically took to the back of the room because I did not want anyone to see me struggling to get through the workout.
Now there are so many FREE cardio workout videos online to choose from. I do have to warn you, not every instructor is for every person. So find that right class with the instructor that keeps you motivated and inspired to workout.
Here is a list of plus size fitness leaders that offer really great FREE #bodypositive workouts on Youtube. These workouts may leave you very inspired.
Fitness Apps are popular since you can virtually take them wherever you go. There are FREE workout apps for any type of workout you can think of.
Creating a FREE gym at home is not as hard as hard as you think. The basics of any workout starts and ends with you. You got this!!
You never ever think anything like the Coronavirus would happen during our lifetime, but it did. And if you are one of those people who have to work from home or your place of employment is closed, then you will be spending a lot of time at home over the next few weeks. So what a perfect time to start setting up your home gym!
Before you start your home gym you will want to think about 3 major things. Your workout style, your space, and your budget. And in that order as well.
How you enjoy working out will determine your space layout and how you allocate your budget.
Blessed is the person who has a whole basement dedicated to the workout space. It is so much easier to plan in a big separate room than a tiny space. It is also more motivating when you have a separate space dedicated to fitness than a tiny corner of a room in a small apartment.
For larger spaces, consider the use of mirrors, area mats, motivational gym art for the walls,
For smaller spaces, think of furniture that could double up as storage. You may also consider filling the wall with shelves and racks that will store your new fitness equipment.
No matter what your budget it, there is a home gym that will work for you.
Budgets FREE [Article: How To Create Your Home Gym For FREE]
Budgets $200 and under
Budgets over $200
The sky is the limit!! Do whatever you want. Do the research and find the best deal for your space.
BUY TODAY AND SPLIT THE COST OVER 52 WEEKS
Now there is another option to lease equipment. I never advise going into debt or taking on additional payments, but there are options to lease to own equipment. There's a company that ships their home gym equipment through Amazon. They offer a 52 weekly lease payment agreement with an Early Purchase Option. You can lease anything from medicine balls to rowing machines and other equipment. If you have the extra cash and don't mind weekly payments, you should visit Flex Shopper Online.
So whatever you finally decide to do, you should make sure your home gym is a reflection of you. This is your sanctuary to become a better healthier version of you. Make sure you fill your new space with many items that keep you inspired for your journey!
I decided I needed to dust off some old pictures and get back to posting what I truly love... my fitness fashion. I LOVE wearing Puma brands, but Puma is a bit of a seek-and-find for me. So I'll stumble up on really nice pieces here and there and put it with what ever else I can find. I'm 5'2 with a big ole booty and fitness clothes don't really come in petite sizes. When I find bottoms I hope it stretches to fit from my waist down without the sagging crotch. And when looking at tops, the torso is usually long and bunches up around my waist.
What am I wearing?
These tights from Eastbay are comfy. They are good for walking, but when running or doing other cardio, I do have to pull them up a lot. The hoodie is fun to wear, it is bunched up around the waist because it doesn't appear to be made for a smaller torso. It doesn't look as great when I stretch it over my hips, so I leave it around my waist. And these shoes are super comfortable. I walked around New York City in them and my feet did not hurt at all.
Special thanks to my photographer KRaven Photography.
I've been a lot of places,