active_summerThe beginning of the summer season is coming up in about 6 weeks on June 20th. I bet you are wondering, “What the heck is she talking about summer for?” Well, can you feel the “fever” in the air? Are you excited and anxious about the weather being warm and being able to spend some time outside? Are you looking forward to all the wonderful fresh vegetables that are awaiting us? Are you thinking about vacation, the beach, shorts, bathing suites? Don’t fret – you have six weeks to plan and prepare and create the summer of your dreams!!!

I really recommend everyone take some time to revisit their “why.” What do you want to create by following the Take Shape For Life program?
Here are some pointers to take a look at as we refocus on what we want to create and move into the fun summer season!
Exercise: What a great time to get moving! The temperature is warm. Things are growing and budding! You can have a start fresh too.
Like most other adults, people who are obese or overweight can benefit from a quality exercise program designed to manage their weight, increase aerobic endurance, lower blood pressure and make positive changes to their health. However, unlike others who are already hovering around their ideal weight, obese individuals have special needs, needs that are important to address to avoid physical injuries and medical mishaps.
If you’re obese or overweight, the first step you should take before beginning an exercise program is to make an appointment with your physician for a complete physical examination.
Choosing the Best Exercise:  Obese and overweight individuals have special needs. They carry additional weight on their bodies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year that places extraordinary demands on their musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. For many, the best place to start a fitness program is in the pool. The water works with the natural buoyancy of our body’s fat to help relieve stress from the ankles, knees and hips. If the thought of swimming laps turns you off, look into water aerobics classes at your gym. The pool is a great place to begin an exercise program.
Other good exercise choices are none weight-bearing activities like bicycling. Look for activities that are gentle on the muscles but demanding on the lungs.
After your first month in your exercise program, discuss alternative modes of exercise with your health coach, a TSFL trainer or your own personal trainer. It’s a good idea to have several things you can do — indoors or outdoors. Look for things you can do while traveling. Don’t let business travel or your vacation derail your exercise program.
Regardless of what exercises you choose, you’ll approach them the same way. Start slowly, progress slowly and stay consistent.
Begin by exercising 10 to 15 minutes at a time. If you can manage more, all the better. Listen to your body and avoid putting undue stress on your musculoskeletal system, especially in the beginning.
After you’ve passed the first hurdle of sticking with a consistent aerobic exercise program for several months, start adding 10 to 15 minutes of weight training to your routine several times a week. Weight training will not only burn more calories while you exercise, it will also build more metabolically active muscle tissue that will help you to shed the extra pounds.
Vegetables:  Another great thing that happens in the summer is the arrival of fresh vegetables. Let’s discuss a few summer time vegetables that are allowed on the Take Shape For Life 5&1 weight loss program.
Cucumbers: Cool as a cucumber is no exaggeration. Cucumbers can be up to 20 degrees cooler inside than the ambient air. Cucumbers are available at grocery stores all the year round, but are at their best during their natural season of summer and early fall.
Eggplant: As with almost all fruits and vegetables, look for eggplants that feel heavy for their size. You want smooth, tight, shiny skin – avoid any eggplants with soft spots or wrinkled bits.
Green Beans: Whatever bean you’re buying, be sure to look for firm, smooth specimens.
Okra: Okra has gotten a bad rap from many corners. “Slimy” is how some people describe it. But when these lovely little grassy pods are dry-cooked or combined with something acidic, like tomatoes, that effect it mitigated and their seedy yet soft texture shines through. Look for bright, firm okra pods – the less browning the better (some is all but unavoidable unless you grow it yourself).
Sweet Peppers: There are many, many types of sweet peppers, and most are delicious roasted or grilled. They can also be used in salads. Even the less popular (but more common) green bell pepper can shine when treated with a bit of respect.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are the poster vegetable – the cause célèbre, if you will – of seasonal and local eating. Finding tomatoes that taste like tomatoes may be the biggest single draw to farmers markets around the country. I always look for dry-farmed, vine-ripened, locally grown tomatoes. Sometimes the best available tomatoes are heirloom varieties, but many hybrid varieties have a lot to recommend them. I think truly ripe tomatoes are best left simple, salted or put in a salad!
Zucchini & Summer Squash: Famously prolific, zucchini and other summer squash overwhelm many home gardeners and farmers markets. Look for smaller squash for a more tender texture, and choose zucchini with firm, unblemished skin.

May – The “Gateway” to Summer!

05.16.13 |