10 Ways to Get Your Steps in No Matter What

When the weather is less than ideal, or you’re stuck inside for some other reason, it can be tough to get those steps in. The good news is that there are lots of ways you can get your steps in!

Don’t give up because you can still get those steps in. Make it fun and challenge yourself, or a friend, to get in as many steps as you can. The Fitbit app allows you to start and join challenges such as these and is an awesome way to keep that motivation alive! Or you can simply take a picture of your pedometer and post it on Facebook, send it to a friend you want to challenge, etc. Make it work for you and have fun with it!

Here are some of my favorite ways to get my steps in when I’m stuck indoors:

  1. Treadmill or elliptical: If you have access to one or both of these machines, they can be a wonderful way to get your steps in where it’s warmer and more comfortable. You can make it more interesting by listening to music, watching videos, creating a photo album on your phone of motivating pictures, or browsing Pinterest for inspiration!
  2. Pacing through your house or other indoor setting: This works anywhere you have the ability to walk back and forth. Your house, a game or other event your child has, while your children play indoors, etc. It can be done almost anywhere and almost anytime.
  3. Walking in place: Again this can work anywhere and anytime. You can walk in place while your children play nearby, while you watch an entertaining TV show or movie, while you listen to music, folding laundry, etc.
  4. Indoor walking videos: Leslie Sansone, on demand fitness videos, etc. Almost everyone has a walking video of some sort out these days. Even Biggest Loser has a Power Walking DVD.
  5. Store or mall walking: Walking the aisles of a store or walking cycles around a mall might be slower going unless they aren’t busy at the time, but is a great way to get those steps in while keeping warm and safe. Just try to avoid those food aisles if it’s too much temptation. Some good ideas where there isn’t much food for sale include home improvement stores, office supply stores, electronics stores, etc.
  6. Indoor walking tracks: These are not available everywhere, but typically in an area where weather is bad there should be at least one option. It could also be a mall that someone has mapped a route around or a high school gymnasium.
  7. Run after or play with the little ones in your life: If you have any young children in your life, simply chasing after them and/or playing with them can really give you a workout… and help you accumulate those steps!
  8. Dancing: You can dance anywhere. Not only does this get your heart rate up, but it also adds up to plenty of steps! The good news is that you don’t have to have any fancy dance moves for it. Just go with the flow and dance to your favorite music. Dance like no one’s watching, as the saying goes!
  9. Be inefficient as you go about your day: Take multiple trips to do housework or to get items you need from different areas of the house. Take clothing from your laundry basket to the washer one at a time, and then from the dryer to where you want to fold them one at a time. Carry in those groceries one bag at a time.
  10. Short walking bursts outdoors: Too cold to be outside more than 5-15 minutes? Walk to your nearest corner and back, or walk five minutes out and five minutes back. Go at your own pace and set a five-minute timer if you need to, so that you know when to turn back again. Short bursts outdoors should be okay and if that sun is shining, you are getting the added benefit of Vitamin D which is something many of us can lack in the winter!

 

~Bonnie~

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Holiday Season

You may or may not have wondered where I had ventured off to since I have been MIA for a few weeks. Life just got to me and I had to take a step back from the blog and my business. Too much has been going on lately in my life, add to that the holidays and everything else, I’m still not back to normal but I am slowly getting there.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed their time with family and/or friends! Personally I had the best Christmas I had had in a long, long time. It wasn’t anything spectacular by any means but it was special to me and I really lived it up and enjoyed it as much as I could.

This post is short, and hopefully sweet, because I just wanted to get back out there and post something. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. I promise you that I will be making more of an effort to get awesome posts published these coming weeks, particularly with the New Year coming up. We will make 2016 our best year yet. Here are some posts to help you make it until my next ones, a three part series about how to survive winter while focusing on your health (just click on the links in the captions of the images to view the blog posts):

winter fitness tips
Winter Fitness Tips
Winter healthy comfort tips
Winter Healthy Comfort Tips
Winter Motivation Tips
Winter Motivation Tips

 

How was your Christmas? Did you get any gifts that you’re particularly happy for? Or did you realize that all the gifts you really need are in your life already such as your family, friends, pets, etc.?

~Bonnie~

Winter Motivation Tips

This is Part 3 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness. You can find Part 1 here: Winter Fitness Tips and Part 2 here: Winter Healthy Comfort Tips.

Today I am discussing ways to keep your motivation strong throughout winter. Here are some tips that have helped me presently as well as last year:

  1. Keep your eyes on the goal: keep focused on your WHY:
    Why you want to lose weight, but also why doing your best throughout the winter to lose weight and improve your health is so important to you personally. What are you most looking forward to this coming spring or summer? Would you like to be healthier and be able to enjoy it even more?
  2. Think about each event coming up and focus on each one at a time:
    Holidays, seasons themselves, events, vacations, etc. Any kind of special occasion you’re looking forward to or have a party for. Use it to your advantage to keep you focused and on track.
  3. Stay focused on your goals:
    Think about your short-term goals. Make weekly and/or monthly goals that will help you stay focused on the here and now. If you have a long-term goal, breaking it into smaller and more manageable goals that you can focus on weekly will help immensely. That way you have something to look forward to but aren’t overwhelming yourself.
  4. Find supportive support:
    Having support is pretty important, but having the right support is even more important. Make sure you are choosing people that will support you and have your back no matter what. If you don’t have those kinds of people in your life already, try online support such as SparkPeople. You can find all kinds of support there: chat forum (even on the mobile app), friends, blogging feedback. Of course take everything with a grain of salt because where there are people, there are going to be negative nellies or just downright troublemakers.
  5. Create a motivation board just for winter:
    Have you ever heard of a “vision board?” Well, I prefer to call mine a motivation board because that’s how I see it. I fully plan on making a winter motivation board for short-term visualization purposes and have even started collecting pictures for it. So I encourage you to include all the things that motivate you: pictures, certain words/phrases, or other items that symbolize your WHY.
  6. Create and/or work on your Weight Loss Journal:
    There are so many ways to go about this and you can include anything at all that you want to. You should include the things that motivate and inspire you, as well as including some of your accomplishments. You can also include your progress pictures here, letters to yourself, descriptions of your healthy living goals and dreams or experiences themselves, pictures of things you like that represent healthy living. Starting my own weight loss journal saved me last winter. It helped keep me motivated and was very therapeutic to work on.

 

Some general life tips for getting through winter as well:

  • Do things you enjoy doing: read a good book, go to an indoor game place such as an arcade or bowling alley, go ice skating… just do anything fun that makes you excited and happy!
  • Keep warm: If you have a fireplace, sit in front of it or roast some marshmallows. Pretend you’re camping in your own living room. Remember what it was like to be a kid! Drink hot beverages (caloric ones in moderation), snuggle up with the pets/loved ones, get moving to get the blood flowing, etc.
  • Get out once in a while. If you’re like me, you might spend too much time indoors. So if you need to get out, get out. If the weather is bad, go somewhere indoors: the library, a mall, bowling alley/pool hall/arcade or something else, or simply make an enjoyable outing of your trip to the grocery store.
  • Sit and breathe. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and let your thoughts take you wherever they want… but guide them with positive vibes/thoughts. I guess you could call this meditating in a sense. I’m not sure about “meditating” myself but definitely enjoy a quiet moment just being.
  • Keep your hands and mind busy: Board games, puzzles, word searches/crossword puzzles/Sudoku, online games especially ones you need to play with actual people, active video games, and much much more!

 

What is your favorite way to combat the winter blues? Would you like to share any tips on keeping motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the colder and darker months?

~Bonnie~

Winter Healthy Comfort Tips

This is Part 2 in my series of Winter Health and Fitness Tips!

(Here is Part 1: “Winter Fitness Tips” if you want to check it out!)

Here are some warm comfort foods that are healthy, or at least lower calorie:

  • Hot cocoa, add in some mini marshmallows which are low calorie and you’ve got yourself a treat!
  • Coffee, just be sure what you’re adding to it is low in calories and not high sugar/fat. Some ideas are nut milks, cinnamon, and honey.
  • Hot tea (same goes for what you add as above).
  • Warm milk
  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Toast or English muffin: as long as you don’t put a ton of butter or something else on your them, whole grain/wheat toast is a healthy warm food. English muffins are also somewhat lower in calories than some other breakfast foods and if you toast them can also make a nice comforting, warm food.
  • Soups (make sure to check the nutrition label for sodium though!)
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches with whole grain/wheat bread and minimal butter.
  • Chili: ground turkey chili, chicken chili, meatless chili.
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Healthy lasagna (the opportunities are endless with this, look for some recipes).
  • Meatloaf made healthily, again there are many recipes for this online.
  • Crockpot meals: there are so many recipes out there for this as well.
  • Popcorn (yes, popcorn is a healthier snack choice than some snacks, just be careful of all the additives such as butter or salt).

It’s good to spend some time just chilling too: curling up with a good book and a hot cup of your choice beverage. That is an ultimate comfort for a lot of us. So cozy! Time spent putting your own wellbeing first is time well spent, and very healthy. You can also cuddle with pets, your kids, or other loved ones. I love snuggling with my nephews on a cold morning, it helps warm me warm up faster and also keeps them warm which is true of pets and other loved ones as well. It’s a mutually beneficial activity!

The more you move, the warmer you’ll feel. Of course this is only temporary, but at least you’re killing two birds with one stone: getting warmer and burning calories! Plus you also get things done as well, which means you’re multitasking, such as cleaning or other housework or even getting your exercise in!

Imagine popping in a good movie to watch, with a bowl of popcorn (portioned out so you know how much you’re eating)… maybe even some hot tea or coffee to drink… curled up with loved ones or even by yourself. So comfortable and cozy!

What is your favorite way to stay warm and feel cozy during the winter? Mine is curling up with a book and just letting the story take me away. It helps me to not think of the freezing weather outside!

 

~Bonnie~

P.S. If you want to make 2016 your best year yet, check out my New Year’s product: Best Year for the Best You 2016 Package. It’s up for pre-order right now for a limited time price of $259! It will be going up to full price once it’s released on December 17th, but if you order it now, you’re saving sixty dollars and you will receive the full package on the release date! If you purchase from this link, your card won’t be charged until the day it’s released!

Winter Fitness Tips

This is Part 1 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness.

(And here is Part 2: “Winter Healthy Comfort Tips” if you want to check that out as well!)

Today I am bringing you winter fitness tips. It can be quite hard to continue your exercise plan as the weather gets colder and colder. You’re used to warm weather and being able to get out more. Now all of a sudden it’s dark earlier, cutting your available exercise time even shorter. Not to mention the chilly air and low temperatures. Those can really present a challenge for many of us.

  • First of all, if you’re going to exercise outdoors, bundle up and layer your clothes too. I personally like to do a tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a coat when it’s super cold. Also try leggings under your pants, or use thermal underwear to wear under your clothes. Plus a hat, gloves, and scarf as necessary.
    • Ideally you should get exercise clothes that wick away moisture (sweat) to keep you warmer. However, if you’re like me and even bundled up can’t manage to spend much time outside, regular clothes work just fine.
  • If it’s icy outside, be extra careful. Shoes with good traction in the treads are necessary, maybe even good fitting snow boots specifically for walks in the snow/ice would be beneficial. Walking sticks might be a good option as well.
Now obviously you can choose to exercise indoors as well:
  • Join a gym. If you want to and can afford it, this is a valid option. Weigh the pros and cons though. If you feel you really will go and will make it a priority, then invest. If not, then choose some alternative exercise options. You don’t want to waste money.
  • Exercise videos: stock up on exercise videos that interest you, either physical DVDs/discs or online subscription, or even free services such as On Demand or YouTube!
  • Dance around your house. You can do this anytime, with children or pets or some other loved one… or even by yourself! It’s very versatile. You can even dance with or without music. Let the moves just carry you away.
  • Walking in place. You can do this almost literally anywhere. If you have pedometer or fitness tracker, set a goal for yourself… or set a time minimum instead. Use the timer on your phone to make sure you’re moving for a certain amount of time.
  • Get more steps in everyday life. Be “inefficient.” Take extra steps to accomplish your daily chores in order to increase your activity. Instead of grabbing as much as you can to carry in one trip (such as laundry or grocery bags), take them one at a time. It adds up, trust me!
  • Small equipment: Dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, hula hoops, mini trampoline, step up stool, a small stepper, and sometimes even a stationary bike are smaller and take up less room to store in your house except at times of use.
  • Clean or organize! You can certainly work up quite a sweat and get your heartrate up just by cleaning and organizing your house. Clean and organize in stages if necessary, but use the things you don’t do on a daily or weekly basis as exercise! Plus all extra activity is a great idea and good for your health! It’s hard work physically and you also get the added bonus of a clean and orderly house!
  • Mall walking. Grab a friend to go walking around the mall just to get your walking in… or even go by yourself! Depending on the size of your mall, you can get quite a few steps in just walking a couple loops!

 

There you have it, some tips to at least get you started and/or get the mental juices flowing.

Do you have a plan for winter exercise? If so, what is it? If not, do these tips help you?

~Bonnie~

How to Beat the Winter Blahs

Yes, I’m aware it’s not even winter yet, but it has been getting colder this month for many of us. Some areas of the country (and world) are colder than others, but temperatures have been dropping all over the place.

When it gets cold, sometimes our first instinct is to stay inside and curl up in bed. Sometimes it is so pronounced that we actually get the “winter blahs.” Seeing gloomy, cloudy, and windy weather makes me personally want to curl up under some blankets and cuddle with my cat… or sit and read nonstop while sipping my coffee. I don’t want to do anything!

I know I’m not alone in this. What is it that causes so many of us to have such a drastic reaction to cold weather? Maybe some kind of survival mechanism or our bodies instinctual reaction to cold… who knows? I’m sure there is some kind of scientific theory for this, but I don’t care to find it because either way, my purpose here is to share some tips with you all about how to beat these winter blahs.

Plan some active projects for yourself. Start cleaning and organizing the house. Shovel snow, if necessary. Prepare your yard/garden for winter: put things in your shed or indoors, cover what you can’t put away, transfer plants indoors, etc. Motivate yourself to get out for walks or runs before it gets too cold to be enjoyable. Anything active that gives you purpose.

Listen to upbeat music. This is sometimes my favorite way to get motivated to workout, and works really well when it’s cold. Nothing gets you excited like your favorite, upbeat music. It makes you want to dance or simply move! So turn it up and dance for your workout or just use it to get you inspired to do another workout!

Read some books about weight loss such as health, nutrition, or fitness topics. These types of books will help you learn more about weight loss while also getting you pumped to do what you need to do in order to lose weight and improve your health. Valuable information + inspiration, you can’t beat that!

On the book topic, read a book about characters that are active in some form. This could mean fighting an apocalypse type scenario, a sporty character, crime fighting, etc. Believe it or not, I found reading the Divergent series motivational with all the physical training the characters went through, as well as the fighting for their lives part. Those kinds of books aren’t for everyone but it was interesting while I read it.

Any books about a character pursuing their dreams. You want to pursue your dream of weight loss and improved health, which means a book about someone pursuing their dreams (especially against all odds) may inspire you to chase your own dream.

Read some weight loss related magazines or blogs. There are some really inspiring and motivational magazines, as well as blogs, out there. Peruse them when you’re in a slump or just in the mood to read. They will inspire you to do what you need to do to lose weight and improve your health. They might also give you some ideas and information you didn’t have before!

Simply get moving. Walk around your house and clean things up a bit. Look for lost items. Do anything remotely active that gets the blood and mental juices flowing in the right direction.

Remind yourself that moving helps you get and stay warm. It’s true, moving around helps you get and stay warm, with all the blood pumping through your veins while you’re being active. It helps a ton!

Use the time to write. Journal, blog, just write. It’s not only therapeutic, but writing out your thoughts and feelings can actually motivate you to act! It helps you process everything and convince yourself to get moving!

Bundle up. If all else fails, bundle up and force yourself out the door… into the cold! Once you get moving and are out there for a little while, you will warm up and you may even have fun getting your fitness in. Not to mention the sheer feeling of triumph once you’ve completed a workout you didn’t feel like doing in the first place!

What is your game plan for cold weather or winter? Do you have one? Planning ahead really helps because then you know what you need to do in each situation. Sometimes the I don’t want to do anything in the cold feeling will win, but if you have a plan then YOU will win more often than not!


If you find it difficult to make and pursue your goals, or you get discouraged easily, then my Goals to Become the Best You $30 e-course is for you! You can find it here: goals e-course or purchase the goals workbook + guide for $15 by itself here: workbook + guide. Both will allow you to work at your own pace with the workbook + guide, a step-by-step process to make and pursue your goals in a way that works for you! The e-course has an added bonus of a Community where you can ask for individual help as needed. The workbook + guide is an independent product.

If you need personalized help to keep you motivated through the winter months, I also offer Personalized Coaching. You can learn more about it and get started with a free email coaching consultation after reading my blog post about it here: Now Open for Personalized Coaching. It is like having a coach to motivate you and an accountability partner all rolled into one, someone who has been there and done that and can help you find a way to make it all work for you!

~Bonnie~