FITNESS SOLUTIONS: 10 TIPS
Last Christmas, I was gifted a book that is at times educational and inspiring and serves as a “how to” for living a successful, meaningful, abundant life. “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris is broken down into easy-to-read chapters that feature successful people from all fields and walks of life, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx and Warren Buffett.
The author “deconstructs” the tips, tricks, habits and daily rituals of world-class performers and then presents them for the reader to consider using in their daily life.
It made me think of the people who I’ve interacted with as a health and fitness professional and the tools they’ve used to maintain great health, good nutrition habits and less stress. I could have come up with a list of 100, but, here are 10 that stand out.
1. Headspace. A smartphone app that provides daily, guided meditation for a variety of things like focus, balance, recovery and performance. It is a game changer for anyone who has tried to meditate on their own and failed.
2. My Fitness Pal. Another great smartphone app that is free, yet very powerful. It is a daily food tracker that gives you a calorie breakdown as well as a breakdown of protein, carbohydrates and fat in your diet. A great feature of this app is a bar code scanner that enters foods for you automatically.
3. Personal smoothie blender. A client of mine who was a chronic “breakfast skipper” now starts every morning with a nutritious, high protein smoothie. The unique design means almost zero cleanup since the blender cup doubles as a take-along drink tumbler.
4. Walker. For someone who encounters mobility issues midlife, a walker can be a lifeline. Whether from stroke, MS or injury, an inability to get around seriously limits opportunities for fitness, optimal nutrition and even social interaction. If one is able to move past the psychological hurdle of “needing a walker,” the world opens up as a return to the gym, the grocery store and the community at large is possible again.
5. Resistance band and door attachment. Most of my clients travel and love staying in shape on the road. Bringing a rubber resistance band with handles, along with a door attachment, means that they can turn any room into a “gym” and never have to lose momentum while away.
6. Kinesiology tape. Used by athletes recovering from injury, I have a senior client with arthritic knees who swears by the support the tape provides as he goes about his day with less pain and more stability.
7. Foam roller. Several of my clients swear by the relief they get from “rolling” away the knots and muscle spasms they have in their backs and/or legs. Foam rolling is a way to self-massage tight muscles or trigger points and can be used for recovery between workouts or as a part of a warmup before a session.
8. Snack baggies. Sometimes the simple things are the most powerful! Keeping a supply of plastic snack bags on hand means that you don’t have to be at the mercy of vending machines or convenience stores when you need to fuel up during the day.
Portion equal amounts of nuts, dried fruit and whole grain cereal or cut up fruits, vegetables and cheese for nutritious snacks on the go.
9. Grocery shopping planner. You’ve likely seen the “All Out Of …” pads hanging on someone’s fridge. With a checklist for every food category, these pads make shopping for nutritious foods simple.
If you plan your dinners for the week, then check off the ingredients as you go, you’ll eat better, waste less and save money in the process.
10. Fitbit. A wearable fitness tracker that counts the number of steps you take daily. If you are mostly sedentary, it can provide feedback and motivation as you attempt to become more active.
Medical exercise specialist Ernie Schramayr, CPT, helps his clients manage medical conditions with exercise. You can follow him at erniesfitnessworld.com. 905-741-7532 or email@example.com
Fitbit or another type of fitness tracker can help motivate you to meet daily step goals.