NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DONE RIGHT

★★★★★
By Megan Othersen Gorman
Have you found that your initially steely resolve to stick with your New Year’s resolutions typically drops at relatively the same rate the ball drops in Times Square—and just a few measly weeks afterward? If so, you’re not alone. Most resolutions fail, actually. But not yours—not this year. Because your strategy just got a lot smarter. We asked three of our most insightful experts how to 1) frame your 2015 resolutions for success and 2) stick to them stubbornly. Consider their tips your resolution solutions, and make it your first (and most important) resolution to follow them.

RESOLUTION: Resolve to do more of what you love. “Instead of making the same old resolutions you can never seem to keep, choose something that you’re already doing and simply resolve to do it more often, with more vigor, or with the intention of improving your technique,” suggests Julie Hergott, owner of the thriving Mont-Tremblant Curves in Quebec.
SOLUTION: “If you already walk during your lunch break three times a week with a co-worker, walk faster or come up with a route that has more hills,” says Julie. “Or, if you already work out three times a week at Curves, add a fourth day, or even show up for the Jillian workout you’ve been avoiding.” There’s no need to reinvent the wheel—just make the wheel you’ve already got spin a little faster.

RESOLUTION: Resolve to build a team. “Setting realistic, measurable goals is critical,” says Pam Peeke, MD, author of Body For Life For Women and chair of the Curves Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board, “but building a solid team—in any form—is just as important. Your team can consist of you and your dog, you and your walking friends, you and an online partner—even you and an app. It doesn’t matter what your support system looks like, only that you have one in place. It’s so much harder to do it alone—why even try?”
SOLUTION: Ask a pal from Curves to be resolution teammate. Share your individual resolutions, then agree to check in with each other every time you see each other at Curves. Track your progress together, teammate to teammate, whether your resolutions are the same or completely dissimilar.

RESOLUTION: Resolve to do whatever it takes to maintain your resolve. “There’s a technique that we’ve found in research is tremendously associated with losing weight, the problem is, just 15 to 20 percent of the population is willing to do it,” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, New York, and author of the new book Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions to Everyday Life. “Honestly, it’s a little gooby—but sometimes, gooby is good. And this is one of those times—because it works.”
SOLUTION: “If you’re faced with a snack and you’re not hungry, say to yourself out loud: ‘I’m really full, but I’m going to eat this anyway,’” says Wansink. “That’s it—that’s all you have to do, but you do have to say it aloud. If you do, you’re likely to transform the way you snack and the way you eat in general. We’ve found that when people make the statement aloud, two-thirds of the time, they don’t eat the food. One-third of the time, they do—but that’s far less often than they would have otherwise.”

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5 WAYS TO AVOID GERMS WHILE EXERCISING

★★★★★
By Sabah Karimi
You workout regularly to improve your health, so make sure you’re not doing the opposite by exposing yourself to germs that could make you sick. Taking a few precautions — and packing the right gear — before you head into that workout session will help you keep germs at bay, so you can stick with your exercise routine for the long haul.

Here are five tips to help you avoid germs while working out:

1. Skip the water fountain.
Bring your own water bottle and make sure you’re filing it at home so you aren’t picking up germs that may be lurking around the water fountains. Avoid using water bottles that require turning a cap because you will end up having to use sweaty — and possibly germ-ridden — hands to open and close the bottle. Stick with a squeeze-top bottle for this reason.

2. Bring your own towels.
Keep sweat at bay and ward off germs by packing your own clean towels. Pack your towels in a small tote bag that you carry to your workouts; make sure you bring a clean towel each time. Try a Curves magnetic fitness towel so you don’t leave it on the floor during exercises.

3. Don’t work out when you’re sick.
Even though a sweat-inducing workout can make you feel better when you’re sick, you will be spreading germs and may even end up picking up more viruses because of a weakened immune system. Steer clear of vigorous workouts until you are fully recovered, but do take time to get a walk in the fresh air or stretch while at home.

4. Pack hand sanitizer.
Some locations have sanitizer stations set up around the floor but that doesn’t mean everybody uses them. Make sure you keep your hands clean by using your own hand sanitizer as you leave the facility or exit the restroom.

5. Do your laundry!
While you don’t necessarily need to change out of your workout clothes immediately after a workout, it is good practice to make sure you wash them after each use, especially during cold and flu season. Don’t let germs linger on clothes for multiple wears; wash pants, tops, bras and socks in hot water and put on a fresh, clean outfit for your next workout!

Take care of your health with these healthy exercise habits. Use these tips to avoid germs so you can enjoy healthy workouts this winter.

How To Start A New Exercise Program

The key to making your exercise program work for you is consistency. You need to choose a program and schedule that you can see yourself sticking with for weeks and months at a time. You’ll also need to make some tweaks to your current lifestyle to ensure you stay on track. Changes like these can be overwhelming — especially if you’re a busy mum with a tight schedule as it is. Here are some ways to integrate a new exercise program into your weekly routine.

1. Plot out your calendar.

Make an appointment with yourself to complete your new exercise routine and workouts at least one week in advance. Booking yourself for a 30-minute workout (as if you had an appointment you could not cancel) will help you make this new routine a habit in no time. That’s why Curves is perfect for busy women – our strength training workouts are just 30 minutes.

2. Get the right gear!

Make sure you’re not setting yourself up for injuries and pain when starting a new exercise program. Take the time to purchase the right types of shoes, clothing and any accessories you need to do your routine with good form. Even simple things like the wrong type of shoes or wearing clothes that are too restrictive can make it hard to get through your workout and may prevent you from enjoying the benefits of your new exercise regimen.

3. Set realistic goals.

Be realistic about how much weight you want to lose, what size you want to be, or what energy level you want to have with this new exercise program. Start slowly and track your results. If you think you can push harder after a few weeks, increase the intensity and continue working out on schedule. Setting goals that are too far out of reach can be discouraging, so set small, attainable goals and build from there.

4. Plan for a rest day.

Avoid workout burnout when starting a new exercise program by giving yourself plenty of time to rest. If your body and mind don’t have a chance to rest and recuperate from the new routine, you could end up avoiding exercise altogether and may even injure yourself. Recognise your limits and plan to work out only a few days a week if you’re just starting out. If you’re already very active, schedule at least one complete day of rest so that your body can heal.

5. Pay attention to nutrition.

Make sure you’re eating a variety of healthy, energy-boosting foods that support your training routine. Cutting out too many calories can be dangerous and may even prevent you from getting the most out of your workouts. Make the most of the Curves Complete meal plan as it works hand-in-hand with our strength-training and cardio fitness program to help you increase metabolism and burn fat. It’s simple to use, but flexible enough to help you incorporate your favourite foods.

By Sabah Karimi

STRENGTH TRAINING HELPS PREVENT DIABETES IN WOMEN

★★★★★
By Claire Kowalchik
November is National Diabetes Month!!! however we should always be reminded of why we should prevent this disease and how to do so. Diabetes, left unmanaged, can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure, and its prevalence is of epidemic proportions globally.

The good news is that you can prevent and manage this disease starting with regular exercise. We’ve known that aerobic exercise helps prevent diabetes, and that strength-training lowers the risk among men. Now, research shows that resistance training reduces risk of diabetes among women!

Anders Grøntved, PhD and colleagues at the University of Southern Denmark and Harvard School of Public Health examined data for 99,316 women over an 8-year period during their participation in the Nurses’ Health Study and learned the following:

* Women who did 60 to 150 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercise (that’s three or four Curves workouts) a week had a 25 percent lower risk of developing diabetes compared with sedentary women.

* Women who did at least 60 minutes of resistance training a week plus at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a week had a 66 percent reduced risk of developing diabetes. What qualifies as 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity? Walking for 30 minutes at a 3- to 4-mile-per-hour pace five days a week fits the bill.

How does strength-training reduce your risk of diabetes? Let us count the ways:

1. One of the causes of diabetes is insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone in your body that knocks on the door of your cells and guides glucose (blood sugar) inside. When your cells stop responding to insulin, you are insulin resistant, and sugar builds up in your blood and travels around your body causing trouble. “Engaging in muscle-strengthening or aerobic activity improves and maintains the insulin sensitivity of your body’s tissues,” explains Grøntved.

2. Strength training builds muscle, and because muscle tissue burns glucose even while you are at rest, it is a key contributor to your body’s overall uptake of glucose from your bloodstream adds Grøntved.

3. Finally, obesity is a significant risk factor for diabetes, and resistance training helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

“An important message from our study’s findings,” says Grøntved, “is that for those women who have difficulty in engaging or adhering to aerobic exercise, muscle-strengthening activity like resistance training can serve as an alternative protection from type 2 diabetes.”

About Curves

Created specifically for women, Curves offers a complete fitness and nutrition solution. The Curves 30 minute workout exercises every major muscle group and burns up to 500 calories through a proven program of strength training, cardio and stretching. In addition, club promotions and events encourage women to support charitable causes, learn about health-related issues and forge lasting friendships as part of the global Curves community.

Curves also provides weight management classes with the Curves 30 Day Diet Plan. This in-club program provides nutritional guidance to help you reach your goals. Click here to contact a club near your to learn more.

 

Why Choose Curves:

 

  • Curves is the largest fitness franchise in the world.
  • Curves has nearly 10,000 locations in over 80 countries.
  • Curves is the first fitness and weight-loss facility designed for women.
  • Curves provides one-stop, affordable exercise and nutritional information.
  • Curves works every major muscle group with strength training, cardio and stretching in just 30 minutes, three times a week.
  • Curves’ 30 minute workout can burn up to 500 calories.
  • Curves presents the Curves Weight Management Plan, a diet and nutrition plan that shows you how to get permanent results without permanent dieting.
  • Curves funded the largest women’s fitness study in history in partnership with Avon.
  • A Curves membership is good at any location worldwide.

The Weight Loss Benefits of Coffee

”A coffee with skim milk, soy milk, or just black can boost your metabolism to help you burn up to 100 extra calories a day. “

Can’t wake up without your morning cup of coffee? We can barely function until we get a sniff of the good stuff!

Mornings aren’t an isolated incident, though. We get that feeling throughout the day, most days, at all times of the year (don’t tell anybody…).

That isn’t a problem, believe it or not. We were talking to one of our members the other day about coffee and she said she were trying to cut it out of her daily routine to “lose weight”.

We didn’t have a problem with her giving up coffee, of course, but the thought that coffee alone was responsible for her piling on the kilos has moved us to make a public service announcement: coffee can actually help you lose weight.

The key lies in how you drink your coffee and what you have with it. If you drink six coffees a day with two sugars and full-fat milk or cream then of course you’re going to put weight on.

And most coffees from chains are completely unrecognisable from the coffee you make at home. Some contain syrups, some have other flavourings, most are full of sugar and many are topped with whipped cream.

Though tempting a lot of these coffees can equal a whopping 500+ calories. Can you really rack up a quarter of your daily calorie count just for one drink, especially when you don’t have a good weight loss plan?

There are other problems not confined just to the coffee shop, though. Having a sneaky snack with your coffee is also a sure-fire way to gain weight without realising it.

A drink at your coffee shop will usually come with a biscuit or two on the side. Are you nibbling without thinking? That small treat may lead to other sugary cravings – keep away from the counter and stick to your diet!

The same goes for when you’re at home or at the office. Does your coffee come with a biscuit or two, or a bag of chips? It’s easy to fall into small traps that all add to weight gain.

So how can coffee help you lose weight? Think of the salad conundrum; a salad in itself is healthy but gets worse when you add heavy dressings, mayonnaise, cheese…

A coffee with skim milk, soy milk, or just black can boost your metabolism to help you burn up to 100 extra calories a day. Sweetener is the perfect substitute for sugar and helps keep the calorie count in single figures.

The caffeine in coffee can help improve the body’s thermogenesis to burn calories, while the extra pep it provides can give people more energy to work harder to shed more ounces.

The most important point though is moderation. The same goes for teas – though water is preferable there’s no need to totally cut the former out of your diet.

If you’d like to know more about how to control your diet and enjoy the things you love contact us at Curves Middle East today!

Schedule “Me Time” Into Your Routine

 There’s something about January that makes you feel the urge to get your ducks in a row.

If getting your ducks in a row means you want to start a new health and wellness routine, now is the time to buckle down and commit. If you begin now, you will be prepared for summer and time on the beach, cocktail parties. And of course those Christmas get-togethers. Why not make it a goal to start the new season on the right foot, instead of with the old ‘lose weight’ resolution that plagues so many of us year after year.

It’s time to carve out space in your schedule for things that make you feel good!

If you want some tips on how to get started in a new “me time” routine right now, look no further—encouragement is here:

Get motivated.

Of course you know that the healthier you are the happier you feel. But have you considered the energy boost you get from exercising? Women who live busy lives often make the mistake of thinking that exercise will zap the extra energy they’ve got, but the opposite is actually true. Working out generates more energy;  it’s like adding fuel to the fire. If you’re feeling lethargic or stuck in a rut, you can break the cycle—simply get motivated to move!

Put it on your calendar and stick to it.

It’s a big step to pencil in time for yourself. But the really huge accomplishment is when you stick to that plan. Especially if you notice the house really could use a vacuum. Those things are important and we are not trying to make light of dust bunnies — but you are important, too! You wouldn’t drop out of a commitment you made to someone else, so treat yourself with that same respect.

Reward yourself for success.

If you’re anything like the other thousands of women we know, then you are probably too hard on yourself.  The point of “me time” is to take time every day to enjoy the skin you are in. So when you accomplish something—whether it’s a workout completed with gusto or just making it through an especially difficult meeting — pat yourself on the back.

Think about what you love to do, then do more of it.

We hope you love working out, because we want to see you on the circuit. But whatever your other passions are — whether walking your dog, doing a scrapbook, shopping with a girlfriend, or spending time with family — work a little more of that good stuff into your routine. The joy you experience will spill over into the rest of your life and everyone around you will benefit.

So many women look to Curves as a supportive, friendly environment where they can go to change their lives. Whether you are looking for improved fitness or just making some “me time,”  our coaches would love to help you achieve your goals.

Don’t put off getting into your Curves club at least three times a week. If you’re not yet a member, then find a club in your area and come see what Curves can offer you.