3 HABITS OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T SKIP WORKOUTS

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By Cherri Megasko
Have you ever wondered why it seems so easy for some people to stick to their workout schedule? It’s almost like they have some sort of special gene that gives them the extra motivation they need to keep going month after month. But in reality, there’s no magic or mystery involved. These people have just developed good habits that make exercising a more natural part of their lives. Here are three habits of people who don’t skip workouts — and how you can adopt them, too.

Habit 1 – They integrate workouts into other parts of life.
Each of us has a routine that we follow day after day. Maybe we work five days a week or volunteer three days a week. Whatever these tasks are, they’re mandatory and not up for negotiation. The trick is to integrate your exercise into one of these mandatory tasks. Workout on your way home from work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or before you pick the kids up from school. Associating one of these tasks with your circuit training workout will make it more disruptive to skip.

Habit 2 – They workout with a buddy.
It’s far easier to skip a workout if you’re committed to no one but yourself. So, one way to be more successful is to recruit a buddy to join you. If you’ve committed to meeting someone on specific days at specific times, skipping a workout not only lets yourself down, it lets your buddy down as well.

Habit 3 – They keep a fitness diary.
Keeping a fitness diary is an excellent habit to keep you working out regularly. First, you get satisfaction from just writing it down … “Look! I did that!” But it also gives you a chance to record how you feel on days you exercise as well as on days you don’t. When you’re able to make the connection for yourself that you feel better when you’re exercising regularly, it makes your workouts a higher priority. Keep track of the Curves classes you take to make sure you’re trying a variety of levels and keep your workouts interesting.

You can take the excuses out of working out regularly just by adopting some or all of these habits. Give them a try and you’ll soon be the person others look at and say, “I wonder how she does it?”

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5 HEALTHY WAYS TO START YOUR DAY RIGHT

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By Sabah Karimi
Do your days always seem to start off in a state of chaos? If you feel frazzled or stressed before the workday even begins, or you just find yourself in a constant state of rushing each morning, make some healthy changes to your daily routine. Making the time to slow down and ease yourself into the day can work wonders for your physical and mental health. Simple habits like being outside for ten minutes or drinking lemon water first thing in the morning can help to get yourself on a healthy track.

Here are five healthy ways to start your day right:

1. Get moving
Whether it’s a brisk walk outside or a full circuit training workout at Curves, exercising in the morning can give your mood a boost and help you get through a stressful day with ease. Schedule more intensive workouts in the morning for an endorphin boost that lasts for hours. Even something as simple as a 20-minute walk on your off days can be enough to enjoy some lasting wellness benefits.

2. Drink water
Drinking water can help you feel more energized. Drinking water first thing helps with hydration and getting a start on the 64+ oz recommended each day. Add lemon to the water for an invigorating twist.

3. Eat a well-balanced breakfast
Fueling up with the right combination of protein and healthy carbs can give you plenty of energy to get through a busy morning and can also help you keep your appetite in check the rest of the day. If you don’t usually eat breakfast, start with a nutrient-packed smoothie or aCurves protein shake that will give your body the nutrients it needs after a long night fasting. Steer clear of sugar-laden cereals and fast food in favor of fresh fruit with yogurt, oatmeal, or scrambled eggs.

4. Stretch
Get into the habit of stretching for at least 10 full minutes as soon as your alarm rings. Go easy and stretch gently as your muscles and joints aren’t warm like they are after exercise. Stretching can increase circulation and can also be a centering activity. Even though you might be feeling groggy or even a little tired when you’re getting up early, stretching can strengthen the mind-body connection and help you feel alert and focused – without the cup of coffee! This is a simple habit that will help you feel better almost instantly.

5. Skip the media ‘breakfast’
Refrain from turning on the television, radio, or even jumping online first thing in the morning. Tune in to yourself instead with a short journaling session, or read a few pages of an inspirational book. Filling your head with media reports and random social media bits first thing in the morning can make it that much harder to stay focused and feel balanced. Skip the media ‘breakfast’ in favor of more mindful activities that will help you feel focused and refreshed

5 BEAUTIFUL WAYS STRETCHING BENEFITS YOUR BODY

Have you noticed that after a good night’s sleep or afternoon nap, the first thing your dog does when she gets up is stretch? Ahhh…that feels good. But more importantly, it restores flexibility to muscles that have tightened up during sleep so she can move fluidly and comfortably as she trots over to her bowl of kibble. Stretching is a natural daily habit for our canine companions, and it should be for you too. Hannah Karass, Vice President of Programs and Science for Curves and Jenny Craig tells you why.

1. Not only does it restore flexibility to muscles that have been inactive and become stiff (think about how you feel after a long car ride), it prevents your muscles from tightening up after your vigorous Curves workout. “Exercising without proper stretching can lead to injury, muscle imbalance, and stalling of results,” says Karass.

2. As we age, our muscles naturally lose flexibility making them more prone to injury. Think about it: An elastic band is less likely to tear or break than an inelastic one.

3. Consistent stretching relieves joint stiffness and improves your range of motion making everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable.

4. Your muscles are linked—interdependent—from head to toe. When one muscle is tight, it affects other areas of your body. Your hamstrings (the muscles at the back of your thigh), for instance, become shortened and tight if you do a lot of sitting and that tension stresses muscles in your lower back. Stretching prevents muscle imbalances that can lead to pain and injury.

5. By stretching all major muscle groups, you’ll have balanced flexibility throughout your body, which improves your posture and creates mechanical efficiency for optimal functional movement, meaning that whether you’re doing a Curves workout, going up and down stairs, putting away groceries, or taking a walk with friends, you’ll enjoy full, fluid, and comfortable motion.

“Improving flexibility takes time,” says Karass. “Keep with it, and your muscles will become more supple.”

And you will feel…ahhh…so good!

MEDICAL FACTS ABOUT IRON DEFICIENCIES

Did you know that although anyone can suffer from an iron deficiency, women in their 30s are particularly at risk? We all have our days where we feel tired and would rather take a nap, where that gym session feels near impossible or when getting out of bed feels like climbing Kilimanjaro. But when you’re feeling like that more often than not, it’s important to try to pinpoint whether there’s an underlying issue and, especially if you’re female, whether a lack of iron exists.

Iron is a very important mineral involved the transport of oxygen in the body. When your iron stores are low, less oxygen is circulated, which causes the associated fatigue. This condition is called anemia. Some of the other common symptoms of anemia include dizziness, trouble concentrating, shortness of breath, brittle nails and hair loss, and pale skin. Studies have also shown that iron deficiency is linked to ADHD in children.

A healthy, balanced diet that includes iron-rich foods such as lean meat, fish, fortified cereals, dark green vegetables, pulses and beans, eggs, and dried fruits (particularly raisins, prunes and apricots) will be sufficient to meet most people’s iron needs. However, in some cases an iron supplement is indicated, for instance in the case of women who experience heavy menstrual periods, long distance runners or as a result of other conditions that cause bleeding in the body, such as ulcers or hemorrhoids. Diseases, such as Coeliac disease which damages the small intestine, can also interfere with the absorption of iron, as can certain medications.

It’s important to note that our iron needs change throughout life: children, teens and pregnant women tend to have higher iron needs. Keep in mind that iron obtained from plant sources is not as easily absorbed as iron from animal sources, which implies that vegetarians and vegans may need to consider supplementation, especially if they are exhibiting symptoms of anemia. Avoid taking an iron supplement with tea, coffee or dairy as these can reduce the amount of iron that the body absorbs. Rather take it with a glass of orange juice – vitamin C has been shown to help the body better absorb iron.

While iron supplements are available over the counter, it is important to not just start buying a supplement when you are tired. It is important to discuss starting any new treatment with your doctor before you begin, since iron levels need to be tested beforehand in order to confirm the anemia diagnosis. The appropriate therapeutic dosage will be recommended, and progress can be tracked. Any possible drug interactions can also be determined.