Tag Archives: workouts

Cravings…we can CHANGE them!

I wonder how many calories I've burned off with these! (Photo by Ann Maniscalco

I’ve been working on a fixer-upper house. Patching walls and shopping for new fixtures isn’t exactly aerobic exercise (now, wielding a paint roller… maybe). But as my days and hours were spent on such tasks, my exercise routine went down the drain (wait, is that sink leaking?!?). As a few pounds crept back on, I realized that, although I was eating carefully most of the time, I wasn’t balancing the nutrition with the perspiration.

About two weeks ago, I determined to go back to baby steps and learn to “walk” again. After being up to an average of about 45 mins of aerobic exercise five days a week and smokin’ that, I found myself struggling to do 20 to 30 minutes three times a week. Strength training had disappeared totally, and what had been firming up was flabbing out:(  My body had begun to CRAVE inactivity!

But just this week, I’ve been able to get some 30 minute, and a couple of 45-minute workouts in, and after just getting going, I’ve noticed my craves have changed again…my body now WANTS to move, and it feels SO good to be back!

So I encourage you, if you are enduring your exercise instead of enjoying it, perhaps your crave-change hasn’t kicked in yet. Assuming that you are sweating to some calorie-burning routine that YOU chose above other less-desirable options, just keep at it. Before long, I’ll bet you’ll crave breaking a sweat!

And I’ve found this works for food as well… by making good choices over less-healthy ones, and keeping it up for a couple of weeks, what we are consuming will begin to become what we desire to take in, and those junk-bars will lose their hold!

(This is my 99th blog…trying to decide what #100 will be!)

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Filed under balance, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities, victory, walking

Workouts pay off!

Pay yourself when you have a good workout…a simple and fun incentive!


A fellow WordPress blogger (Spagate) shared this neat idea to help motivate her to exercise. She created an exercise jar, and paid herself when she engaged in a good workout. Although she had seen the idea elsewhere suggesting putting $1.00 in the jar for each exercise session, she puts in a quarter for each 15 minutes, stating that “not  every workout is worth the same!”

I decided to get a bit creative with mine, making a colorful design on my computer. I’ve thought about subtracting $1.00 for days I don’t exercise when I should, but decided not to go there! Spagate made the suggestion to “save up for something special”, and I like that idea. Now, what will I buy when my jar is full? A new piece of exercise equipment, perhaps?

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Filed under calorie reduction, creativity, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities

The crawling swimmer – what an inspiration!

Went with my husband to the YMCA this evening; he hit the pool while I was doing my thing in the gym. When I came to the pool area, showered off my sweat and donned my bathing suit, he was in the whirlpool, but got out to swim again with me.

While catching my breath between laps, I noticed a very overweight middle-aged guy on hands and knees, crawling across the concrete surrounding the pool. Determined not to stare, I swam another lap. As I got back, I noticed he was reaching up and opening a certain door, through which he disappeared.

“Wonder what that was all about?” I asked my husband. He said the man didn’t have good use of his legs. He had seen him crawl out of the room (obviously a specially-equipped dressing area) and laboriously make his way to the end of the pool, where the life guard helped him with a special seat that lowered the man into the water. Once in the pool, he was able to do a form of swimming unassisted.

Chlorinated water was dripping from my wet head, but that wasn’t what burned hot in my eyes at that moment. I realized I was getting a great visual of someone who was going all out – doing whatever it took (no matter how little that may seem to others) – to get as fit as possible. The next time I want to whine (externally or internally) about what’s involved in my fitness routine, I hope this man’s “just do it” determination will quickly come to mind, giving me the needed impetus to follow his powerful example.

Just some thoughts from Slimvictory:)


Filed under abilities, contentment, decisions, example, mindset, perspective, victory

Exercise for weight loss: think half-and-half

I wonder how many calories I've burned off with these! (Photo by Ann ManiscalcoTo see our weight loss progress gain momentum, we’d do well to combine eating better (not necessarily “less”) and exercising more. According to the www.mayoclinic.com web site:

 “Because 3500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories). Exercise along with cutting calories helps boost your weight loss. Exercise is also important for maintaining your weight and not regaining weight.”

The article goes a bit further with crunching the caloric numbers. In stating the recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services for healthy adults, it suggests at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate aerobic activity weekly, which could average out to 30 minutes, five days a week. It also suggests we “include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in [our] daily routine”.

 So think half-and-half to balance your calorie expenditure – half-an-hour of aerobic exercise (one that gets your heart rate up: brisk walking, swimming, jumping rope, jogging, bicycling, for example) and half-an-hour of other activities such as housework, shopping, or gardening…whatever “moves” you).

 Wondering how many calories you burn with various activities? It really depends on age, weight, intensity and other factors, but here are a couple of sites that can help you gauge the effectiveness of your activity:

 Consuming 250 calories less a day (it’s not hard – think approximately one 20-ounce cola, 1 large hamburger bun, 2 ounces of ranch-type dressing, or about 2/3 cup of ice cream, for starters) and burning 250 through an exercise you enjoy will result in the 3500-calorie weekly deficit required to lose a pound. Of course, results vary, but this is a helpful guideline to make sure your caloric output exceeds your input!

 ***A couple of questions  from slimvictory: What are some of your favorite exercises? Do you find it hard to commit to a regular program of physical activity?


Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, exercise, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, nutrition data, physical fitness, walking

35 Flimsy, faulty and/or funny excuses for not getting fit!

The only thing excuses are good for is keeping the scale numbers from going down. (Photo by Ann Maniscalco)

When faced with doing something we don’t really want to do, or aren’t willing to adapt our lifestyle to accomplish, or don’t think we CAN do, we human beings are quite adept at making excuses.

Carole Carson, author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction, asked members of the AARP Fat 2 Fit community group to share some of the excuses for not getting fit. Some were funny, some were sad, but all revealed this quirky aspect of human nature.

I picked several I particularly liked (some may have been slightly edited), and created more of my own. Here’s hoping that reading this list will give you a laugh, but also provide the impetus (if  you’ve used some of these excuses) to realize that’s just what they are – excuses – and be willing to put them aside, as you pursue plans to lose weight and get fit.


 If I’m going to eat at a buffet, I want to get my money’s worth.

 I don’t have anyone to watch the kids.

 I inherited the “fat” gene.

 My mother always made me clean my plate, and I can’t break the habit.

 If I start doing things to lose weight and get healthier, my overweight (pick one) spouse, friends, sister, child will feel intimidated.

 My friends like to go out to fancy restaurants, and I don’t want to be the only one nibbling on rabbit food!

 That gym equipment made me so sore – I’m never gonna do THAT again!

 I’ve got to keep snacks around the house for my kids. I’m sure I can resist those chips, cookies and ice cream.

 I’m getting older. Everyone gains weight as they age.

 I always fail. What’s the use of trying again?

 I don’t want to deprive myself of anything. You only get to live once!

 I can’t work it into my busy schedule.

 I never have had any self-control.

 Just one more slice of pizza won’t make a difference if I skip the cookies for dessert.

 I’m a meat and potatoes man; never have liked vegetables.

 No matter what I do, I don’t lose. What’s the point? I might as well eat if not eating doesn’t help me lose weight.

 I can’t stand the taste of diet sodas. Besides, what’s it gonna hurt to have a couple of soft drinks a day?

 It’s genetic. These big hips are German hips. I’m built like my dad’s family. I can’t do anything about it.

 It’s too hot out. (OR) It’s too cold out.

 Gym memberships are too expensive.

 I wouldn’t enjoy making all the changes required to eat better.

 My mother always fixes our favorite desserts for Sunday dinner. I can’t hurt her feelings by refusing them.

 I’ll be working in the garden this afternoon so I’ll be burning off the calories from this huge breakfast.

 After a hard day at work, I can’t get myself motivated.

 My family won’t eat that way, and I’m not about to prepare two different meals!

 I’m so overweight, it takes all my energy to do the things that must be done.

 I’d have to get rid of some of my favorite clothes, and I’ve spent a lot of money on that wardrobe!

 It doesn’t matter, no one will ever love me anyway. 

 Healthy food is (take your pick) too expensive/ too time-consuming to prepare/ too bland.

 How dare he tell me to exercise? I’ll show him who’s boss!

 Some people actually prefer partners who are large.

 I don’t like exercise; I sweat too much and it makes my makeup run.

 I don’t want to get muscle-bound – it’s so unattractive!

 Watching every little thing I eat is too stressful, and stress makes me gain weight.

 I’ll get back on track tomorrow. (If not tomorrow, the next day…week…month…after Christmas…when school’s out…after I complete this project…when life isn’t so complicated…by my 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th birthday………..)

 “I was always going to start to lose weight “tomorrow”. But now, tomorrow has arrived.” (Quote from a member of the AARP Community Group Fat 2 Fit)

***A note from Slimvictory: If you are interested in learning more about the Fat2 fit support group sponsored by AARP (any age can join the online group), see the “resource faves” link on my home page.



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Filed under exercise, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, physical fitness

Expensive equipment not necessary for effective exercise

The beach near our home... a lovely place to walk, don't you think? (Photo by Ann Maniscalco)

Gym memberships may be nice, and can be quite beneficial, but aren’t essential to keeping on top of one’s exercise game.  A pair of sturdy walking shoes, a bottle of water, and enough gas in the car to get me there are all I need to take advantage of this delightful walking area. From the bridge (seen in the distance) to our harbor is around a mile, so a round-trip provides a good workout.

Walking routes are only limited by our imagination. I’ll often ride my bike to our city’s hospital, which is a half-mile from our house. Hubby and I use the professional scales set up in a hallway there to check our weight, and I’ll often (especially if it is just way too hot outside) take to the halls and stairs for a 30 minute walk. I recently read a post from a woman who said she’ll walk the perimeter of her local warehouse store a few times to get her steps in, and of course, many can take an after-dinner stroll (or power-walk) in their own neighborhood.

Swimming is a cheap or free way to experience a mega-calorie burn. There’s a lake about half an hour away from us, and we sometimes swim at a friend’s pool. A large natatorium in a neighboring city costs a reasonable $3.00 per adult as well.

Stretch bands are inexpensive, and give us a chance to engage in strength training, which along with aerobic/cardio and stretching, comprises  a good three-prong approach to physical fitness.  And lunges, squats, jumping jacks and crunches can be done without any equipement other than our own muscles, bones and will-power!

What are some of your favorite exercises that help you head toward your weight-loss goal by burning more calories than you consume?

Thought for the day:

         Invite someone to exercise with you;  you can burn calories and build a friendship at the same time!

 *** A note from Slimvictory: your thoughts and comments are appreciated. If you’d like to receive email update of new articles as they post, you can sign up on my home page.


Filed under calorie reduction, exercise, healthy weight loss, physical fitness