Walking into Summer!

Summer is a great time to focus on exercise; the weather is nice, the days are longer, and we tend to spend more time outdoors. For those looking to add some exercise to their summer schedule, but may be looking for something low impact and low cost, walking is definitely the answer!

Walking provides so many health benefits, and it’s literally a free activity, so it’s a win-win situation.  Walking increases the fitness of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, boosts your metabolism, burns calories at a steady rate, helps improve muscle strength and tone, reduces body fat, and helps strengthen our bones and improve our balance. In all, simply walking each day, helps our bodies more than any other exercise. It can be done almost anywhere, costs no money, and can also take us to some beautiful places! Who doesn’t want an exercise program like that??

If you’re already on a regular program of walking, this article can provide you with some summer reminders for safe and comfortable walking. If you’re brand new to a walking program, I hope this will inspire to you lace up and set out for some fun walking adventures!

For those just starting out, it’s recommended that you start your new walking plan slowly, adding time, distance, and a faster pace as you get comfortable with your new fitness plan. Try to start with 20-30 minutes a day, adding a few minutes as you gain confidence and strength in your plan. As you gain endurance, try adding intervals of faster pace, or perhaps some hills to your journey to get those calories burning and muscles toned.

Because summer brings us hotter weather and lots of sun, it’s important to be prepared and safe as we walk each day. Here is a list of helpful tips to keep you moving, healthy, and safe all summer long.

TIMING

Because summer brings us more heat and longer days of bright sunshine, it’s crucial to plan walks at a time in which you will not be greatly affected by those factors. Try planning your walks for early morning before the heat of the day sets in, and find that not only do you get a sense of accomplishment early in your day, but also benefit from an increase in your metabolism all day long! If early morning exercise is not your things, plan for a late evening walk around sunset as the day cools down. Walking in the evening will not only aid in digestion of your dinner, but help relieve stress and tension, and prepare you for more restful sleep.

INDOOR WALKING

For some, walking outside is not possible. Super hot weather, traffic, heat intolerance, or schedules can make getting an outdoor walk in difficult. Treadmills are a great option if you have access to one, and your entire workout can be done without thought of weather. This workout can even be done in front of the TV! Start at a slow pace, and a small incline, building upon both as you feel your endurance build. If you don’t have access to a treadmill, try 20 minutes of marching as you watch a favorite show, and build upon it as you go. For those thinking this is silly-I will admit-I have hit over 30,000 steps watching Sunday Football games-and never left my house!

DRESS FOR STEP SUCCESS

It’s important to have decent, sturdy, comfortable shoes no matter where you might be getting your steps in. Make sure you shoes fit well, and don’t cause any discomfort as you walk. Protect your feet! Tend to blisters as needed, and adjust laces and insoles to get the most comfortable fit.

Light colored clothing is a must when walking during summer months! Avoid dark colors that pull the heat into your body. Look for cool cotton clothing, or even an air wicking fabric to be sure you are dry and cool. Loose fitting clothes will help you feel cooler and drier as well. Avoid poly blend fabrics, as they tend to hold in both heat and moisture. Consider a hat to keep your face cool and dry as well. And don’t forget your sunscreen!

FIND A BUDDY OR A TRIBE

Having a walking partner keeps you motivated! Conversation helps pass the time, and you may feel safer as well. In many areas, there are walking groups or clubs that meet regularly in neighborhoods and parks, and you can find these on Facebook, Nextdoor, or Meetup. Walking with others helps motivate us to get moving, keeps us interested in the process, and allows up to build relationships in a healthy manner.

MAKE IT FUN

For those walking solo, add a little creative multitasking to the effort. Try a new playlist to keep your heart pumping and you feet moving. Listen to an audible book, learn a new language, or catch up on you favorite podcasts while enjoying you walk. These things will not only challenge your creativity and mind, but make the time fly by as you get your exercise in.

HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE

As a general health rule, I encourage my clients and friends to aim for half their body weight in ounces of water each day. (150 pound person should aim for 75 ounces of water) This is a normal, average goal for general daily purpose. During hot months, and times of exercise, water intake should be increased. Get a water bottle that is easy to carry, and fill it with cool water for the duration of your walk. Be sure you are well hydrated BEFORE heading out for a walk, and upon completing of your walk, drink even more fluid. Dehydration can hit us quickly on hot days, and can leave us feeling really horrible. To be sure you are properly hydrated, check your perspiration levels-if you are not perspiring, you need fluids. Most people can also check their hydration levels simply by checking the color of their urine. Very dark urine can be a sign of dehydration, and clearer urine can indicate a well hydrated body. (This does not work for people on medications or experiencing illness) It’s best to keep to a regular schedule of drinking cool water throughout the entire day. 

EXPLORE, EXPLORE, ENJOY

Look for new places to enjoy you daily walks-perhaps a new path or park, a new neighborhood, or even a new town.  Mix up your walking schedule by planning new places to walk, new friends to walk with, new things to listen to as you walk, and you will find this to be a new adventure! Be sure to check your surroundings, know your area, watch for traffic, and ensure that your walk will be safe. (THIS from someone that can easily wander upon an alligator or coyote on a daily walk!) Be safe, explore new things in your life, boost your health, and have a fabulous summer!

From my business site Beewell.com

Ultimate Reset!

I’m a hardcore supporter of Beachbody, and I’ve spent the last two years enjoying the nutritious shakes and working my way through many of the workout programs with great success. I love Shaun T’s T25 and Cize, and 21 Day Fix is always great go-to for getting whipped into shape quickly. I always research the programs closely before I start them, and keep detailed records of my achievements as I follow through. During my many hours of research, I always came across a program that seemed quite daunting and a little bit “too much”-Ultimate Reset.

What is Ultimate Reset???

Ultimate Reset is a 21 Day cleanse and detox program that takes one on a three phased journey of supplements, tons of mineralized water, and carefully timed meals of super-foods. There are many online before and after pics and claims of dropping as much as 22 pounds on this plan, as well as many blogs about the somewhat harrowing journey to reach day 22. There are many “new” foods, the program cuts out all animal proteins after week one, and you are eating completely vegan by the end of the plan. This, along with the fact that I am allergic to many foods, as well as an extremely picky eater, left me feeling like this would be a miserable and impossible feat to accomplish! I always went back to my 21 Day Fix container diet, and left the Ultimate Reset linger in the back of my mind.

Until NOW! WOW! I sit, writing this, on the afternoon of day 21, with a few supplements sitting on my desk, waiting to be taken as I complete this last day. To date, I have dropped 12.4 pounds, 6.5% body fat, and a total of 10 inches! I have tried new foods, gained new energy, and have such an amazing feeling of accomplishment! I will finish this day strong, and start to add some healthy proteins back into my diet tomorrow-which is when I will be switching back to my 21 Day Fix eating plan. I’ve been told that going OFF the Reset can be as daunting as completing it, but I am not worried-I eat rather clean as it is. I can’t wait to eat some chicken breast and gluten free toast! I have no plans of running to grab a cheeseburger or fries, because that’s not my normal eating anyway.

There’s tons of info online about the breakdown of this program, with menus ideas and recipes, so I won’t go into the intricate details of the program here. I will  however go into some of the thoughts and issues that I had while doing it….

First-the WHY

My “why” is rather typical-I needed to drop some added pounds and bloating, gain my energy back, and put an end to this crappy, sluggish, feeling. After spending 15 weeks on T25 last spring/summer, I was back in a bikini (at 51, mind you) and feeling quite fabulous. I went down with a pinched nerve in the fall, and due to pain, was unable to exercise for months. No exercise+50 year old metabolism+holiday food and drink=one unhealthy person! I started the new year in sweatpants, exhausted most of the the day, dragging myself to physical therapy appointments and waiting for bedtime. Once cleared by my PT guy, I said ENOUGH, and tried on my size 4 jeans……well….I attempted to try them on….Nope. So, in a fit of very calculated disgust, I loaded up the Ultimate Reset sales page, and took the plunge. I received my package-book, supplements, and a bracelet that reminded me of my beach hippy days-a few days later, loaded up my fridge and pantry with healthy foods, and got my butt on the scale. The scale said “YOU’RE READY!”

How Did it Go?

Week One-RECLAIM

Phase One is focused on removing refined foods and animal products from the diet, while adding tons of veggies. There are healthy grains added like quinoa and oatmeal, and sugars are replaced with pure maple syrup and raw honey in very small amounts.

Day 1 was hard. I felt deprived, looked at the calendar date 3 weeks away, choked down the Power Green Supplement at 4:15, almost threw up, looked at the box in front of me and thought, “What am I doing?” But I continued on…

Days 2-4 were terrible. This seems to be a common issue for most on the program. Online blogs and Facebook support groups are full of posts about headaches, chills, achy bodies, nausea, and exhaustion. I experienced all of this as my body began to detox. I was miserable, and to add to my misery, I came down with a terrible head cold. I spent the first weekend in bed, sipping my minaralized water, feeling as though my head might explode. I wasn’t hungry though, so that was a positive point.

By Day 5, I was feeling much better. My energy level was rising, my cold was gone, and I was enjoying the foods. My favorite, by far, was oatmeal with fresh fruit. I set alarms on my phone to remind me to take my supplements, drink my water, and eat my meals, and the next few days just flowed right on by.

Week Two-RELEASE

Phase Two focuses on releasing toxins from the body, including a gentle but thorough colon cleanse. This cleanse is very gentle, so there was no cramping or running to the bathroom, thankfully. This weeks food is completely plant based-fruits, veggies, and grains. I had a busy week planned, so I opted for the “Crunch Menu” plan ( a basic phase by phase daily menu plan), and ate pretty much the same yummy foods almost every day-fruits for breakfast, veggies and broth for lunch, and beans, brown rice, and veggies for dinner. My energy level was very high, my sleep was improved, and my skin was looking more vibrant. I had no headaches or body aches, and I remained very focused. At this point, I weight myself, and had dropped 6 pounds in 9 days! At this point, I was looking forward to my phone alarms going off so that I could take my supplements and feel one step closer to my goals.

Week Three-RESTORE

Phase Three is the last week of Ultimate Reset, and the phase in which it all seems to really come together. In this phase, the only foods allowed are veggies and fruits, with a sweet potato option at dinner for some bulk. The week flew by, and my schedule was busy, but my phone reminders kept me on target with meals and supplements, and my handy insulated lunch bag kept my prepped food fresh while I ran my errands. My energy level has been off the charts, I’m waking earlier each day, and my mind seems clearer than before I started this program. I see the finish line, and beyond! Im currently down 12.4 pounds, and dropped 6.5% body fat. SCORE!

In the End…

I have to admit, when I started this program, I was very honest with my doubts in completing it. Our lives are very busy, we tend to dine out often, and I have many food allergies-as well as being a picky eater. When I try a new food-well, it’s usually not quinoa or lentils, but some chef inspired delicacy. But, I committed myself to doing this…And I told so many people-I had to be held accountable!!!

So, the big question-to sum it all up-is, would I do it again??? With that, I have to weigh the pros and cons…..

Pros:

The weight came off quickly, as did the nasty bloated feeling. That kept me inspired and pushed me through another day-every day.

The support I found on my Facebook Ultimate Reset groups was inspiring, full of information, and really held me accountable with daily check ins.

The foods were good-some will say awesome. I discovered a love for mangos and oatmeal that I had previously just not cared to focus on.

The ability to substitute certain foods made this easy to manage and plan around my tastes.

My husband seemed to enjoy my foods, and started eating much healthier-he even tried to eat some of my pre-measured fruit plate…I almost bit him.!

My clothes fit for the first time in months, and my energy level and brain clarity is is high!

Cons:

The cost of the program, complete with supplements is a bit pricey.

The scheduling of the supplements, water, and meals is a bit daunting for busy lifestyles.

Family meal time was a whole new ball game in dieting; I was eating foods I wasn’t so stoked about, while watching my teens eat pizza and fries.

My fridge was jam packed with bags of produce, my counters were covered in fruit, and I had to find an entire new shelf for the aminos, oils, vinegars, lentils, quinoa….so much food!

I had to run to the grocery store every 2 days  for fresh produce, and my dishwasher was constantly full of tupperware, pans, and measuring utensils,

But, in the end-I have to say….I would do it again. Now that I know all the ins and outs, the tricks and the shortcuts, and what to expect, I would definitely do it again.

Tips, shortcuts, time/money savers:

Don’t run out and buy an entire week’s worth of produce! This seems to be a common mistake. Your produce will start to go bad after a few days, so only buy what you need for 3 days max.

Buy your dry goods in bulk-lentils, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, beans, etc. You will use lots of them over the three weeks, and hopefully, you will enjoy the recipes and want to make them again.

Many recipes call for aminos. These are not incredibly easy to find-I had to go to 3 stores. I ended up finding them at Whole Foods, but they are also available on Amazon. Don’t be concerned about trying them! The Braggs Aminos taste like soy sauce, only better, and are wheat free. You will find them where oils are found. (hardest thing to locate on the menu!)

Use “Reset in a Crunch” if the daily menus seem daunting. You can repeat meals in each cycle as much as you wish. If you don’t like a menu, replace it with another menu item for that week for the same meal of that day.

Join the Facebook groups for awesome support and accountability! Check in daily and learn more as you go. Search on Facebook for Beachbody Ultimate Reset groups-there is one for each phase, including pre and post.

DRINK THE WATER!!!!! Just DRINK IT!!! It made ALL the difference!

For more info about this program, or to purchase it, contact me