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At the Gym, We Love Lists

May 22, 2010

21 Ways to Lose Weight and Get Fit in 21 Days

It takes “21 days to adjust to any major life change,” according to Dr. Maxwell Malts, in his book Psycho-Cybernetics. Habits included. Poor diet decisions, inactivity and skipping meals are all choices that have turned into habits, born from repetition and familiarity. Replacing bad habits with good ones, will take time. How much time? Guess.

21 Ways to Lose Weight and Get Fit

In celebration of Crunch Gym’s 21st birthday, Crunch personal trainer Jacqueline Way has shared 21 of her top tips for not only getting (and staying) fit but for losing weight.

1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
According to the website: discoverwalking, you can burn as much as 300 calories in 30 minutes of walking up and down stairs.

2. Sleep a minimum of seven hours each night

Findings in a recent University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study found that people who slept less than seven hours a day had larger increases in body fat than those who slept more.

3. Eat breakfast within the first 30 minutes of waking up in the morning

If you slept seven hours, your body is approaching starvation mode which lowers your metabolism. And, eating breakfast two to three hours in the morning, after waking up, is called “brunch.”

4. Drink at least three liters (13 cups) of water a day

Water regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, carries nutrients and oxygent to cells helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly three liters of total beverages a day and women, about 2.2 liters.

5. Stand on the train to work instead of sitting

A recent University of Missouri, Columbia study found that the average person burns an extra 60 calories an hour just by standing. People who sit around, reduce their HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) by as much as 22 percent.

6. Include darker green vegetables into your diet such as spinach or collard greens and not just romaine lettuce

Dark, green vegetables have been found to prevent certain types of cancers, they are also high in fat-soluble vitamins. Some good choices are broccoli, kale, spinach and arugula.

7. Use non fat milk instead of cream in your coffee or tea

Cream (half and half) can have as much as 200 calories or more per serving and contains roughly 85% saturated fat.

8. Have water or unsweetened tea at restaurants instead of soda or juice

According to Yale University report published in USA Today, “people who drink sugary sodas consume more calories in a typical day than those who don’t.” A separate study by the Harvard School of Public Health discovered that soft drinks and other sugary beverages do contribute to weight gain.

9. Walk to the grocery stores for small items

A study published in Runner’s World found that running is harder than walking at paces slower than 12-minutes-per-mile. At faster paces, walking is harder than running. And here’s an interesting fact: The Amish take about six times as many steps per day as adults in most American communities, and have about 87-percent lower rates of obesity.

10. Limit your alcohol intake to one glass of wine per week

So, you’re 21, but don’t misinterpret wine to be nutritious for having so-called “health benefits.” Alcohol affects digestion and even inactivates some of the enzymes needed to breakdown food absorption. Wine also has more calories per gram that the equivalent carbohydrates.

11. Eat more lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish. Limit your take of red meat to once a week

Some red meats are high in saturated fats. A National Institute of Health study found that people who ate the most red meat were likely to die sooner than those that didn’t.

12. Every 30 minutes, walk to the drinking fountain in your office to get your body moving

See numbers 1, 4 and 9

13. On the couch watching TV? Do three 30-60 second planks during the commercials

Ranked #1 by American Council on Exercise (ACE), the plank exercise builds endurance in both the abs and the back. What the plank exercise looks like.

14. Park further from the entrance at the grocery store or shopping mall

Did I mention walking? Parking further actually saves you time. According to the Productivity 501 website, “sometimes the most productive thing to do is to pick a spot a reasonable distance from the store and walk. It is good for your health, keeps your car away from where it is likely to get hit and scratched, and often saves time.

15. Sit on a stability ball at work and not your office chair

Capable of supporting 600 to 700 pounds, stability balls originated in rehabilitation programs. Stability balls help to improve strength of the abs and the lower back (pictured).At the gym:

16. Perform multi joint movements such as a squat to overhead dumbbell press

A movement that causes your body to change the angles of more than one joint while performing the motion. So, the more joints that are worked, the better the overall effect. See for more info on Multi-Joint Exercises.

17. Include jumping jacks or a jump rope for 30-60 seconds between sets to kick-up the calorie burn in your workout

Did you know, you can burn 20 calories or more, per minute, jumping rope?

18. Instead of the usual treadmill for 30 minutes, try the Concept 2 rower for a challenge

Unlike the treadmill, rowing machines work both the upper and lower body, including the arms, the thighs and the buttocks. Here’s what a Conept 2 machine looks like.

19. Stretch daily before and after your workouts

The Mayo Clinic recommends stretching on a regular basis for increased flexibility (improves overall workout performance), a greater range of motion (for balance and stability), improved circulation (for speedy muscle recovery) and to relieve stress (relaxes the muscles).

20. Schedule yourself for at least 30 minutes each day at the gym

If your calendar doesn’t permit 30 minutes, consider scheduling the gym first thing in the morning or after work. FYI: You could be a workaholic.

21. Have an extra 30 minutes during lunch?

Take a class at Crunch (click here for a one-week guest pass)

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