30-Minute Workouts for Any Schedule
By Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN
Published February 3, 2020
Reviewed January 2020
Even with the best intentions, it's easy to let a busy weekly routine crowd out regular physical activity. Yet, the beneficial effects of exercise are undeniable. Current recommendations suggest that in a week, adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as such as brisk walking or cycling, and two to three days of muscle-strengthening activities.
It doesn't have to be done all at one time. The 150 minutes can be spread out throughout during the week, and even broken into smaller chunks of time throughout the day. Research suggests that small bouts of exercise throughout the day compared to one prolonged bout can be equally beneficial to one's health. In addition, smaller bouts may be easier for people to implement and maintain. So, if you can't seem to find 30 consecutive minutes in a day for your workout, you can still fit it in by splitting up the time.
To help keep exercise a priority, schedule it into your calendar like any other appointment or task. Scheduling is a straightforward way of converting an intention or activity into a long-lasting habit.
Try taking 10 minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening to do some form of activity. This can include 10 minutes of body weight exercises (push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats, etc.) in the morning, a 10-minute brisk walk during your lunch break at work and 10 minutes of yoga-inspired stretching in the evening.
Involve the Family in Daily Fitness
Thirty minutes will fly by if you get the kids engaged in something that they, too, can enjoy. Grab the family and head out for a walk, game of tag or bike ride.
Clean with Purpose
Don't just sweep the floor, scrub the floor. Don't just unload the dishwasher, dance with the dishes. Minutes add up fast when you move more during your clean-up time.
Look for Opportunities to Walk
Suggest work meetings on the go. Moving while meeting can foster creativity and communication often is improved when conducted side-by-side compared to face-to-face. Outdoor air also improves mood and enhancing collaboration. If your job has you hanging out in airports on a regular basis, make that an activity for you, too. Walking while waiting in the airport can easily add thousands of steps to your day.
Thirty minutes of activity accumulates quickly when you seek out opportunities, such as taking the stairs, parking far away or doing yard work.
If you can't seem to find the self-motivation needed to make it happen, consider recruiting a workout partner or hiring a fitness professional. Knowing that someone is expecting you at a certain place or time can help to enhance accountability for being more active.
Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics based in Pittsburgh, PA.
My coworker and fellow dietitian, Aftan, told me about a Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse she made for a cardiac class. I thought that sounded like a great recipe for Valentine’s Day so I gave it a try. I decided I like a stronger chocolate taste and made some adjustments.
2 T Hershey’s sugar free chocolate chips
¼ c Skim milk
2 c Fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 t vanilla extract
1.5 t Lakanto Monkfruit sweetner or sugar
3 T Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c Raspberries
Reddi Whip Dairy Topping (fat free)* optional
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute, then stir. If not completely melted, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir.
In a mixing bowl add the Greek yogurt and whip with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the skim milk, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and monkfruit sweetener or sugar. Beat until incorporated into yogurt. Next add the melted chocolate a little bit at a time beating in between additions.
Divide the mousse into 6 portions and top with raspberries and whipped dairy topping.
Adapted from diabetesfoodhub.org greek-yogurt-chocolate-mousse
By Jen Leone
Motivation is a Fickle Friend
Motivation and Determination
Motivation and willpower are fickle friends. They come on strong and propel you into action. Until something bumps you off track. Could be the cold weather or long day at work and then you find motivation and willpower are nowhere in sight. How do some stay on track when their motivation leaves them high and dry? What gets them to the gym or out for that walk or keeps them on track with their plan on the days that they lack motivation and willpower? Determination!
They have a determination that drives them. A force of feelings that won’t distract them from their goal or new way of life. Determination will drive you into action more so than motivation. Don’t get me wrong, motivation is essential but being determined will help you stay on course. But how does one become determined. Here are some steps to take to develop your determination.
Create a strong and specific goal. I am determined to ________. Your decision is now set and this will help motivate you through difficult and stressful times. Mentally brush away doubts or excuses and stay focused on your goal.
Don’t let fear crush your determination. Fears can drain your energy, destroy your creativity, and can blast away your concentration. Face your fears head on and you will be more determined. Have positive affirmations on hand to help wash away pesky fears. Your affirmation could be as simple as “I can do this!”
It’s important to know your “why”. Why did you choose this goal? To feel better? To avoid diabetes or a heart attack? Having a strong “why” will keep you focused. Make sure your “why” is strong so it holds up against days you are feeling less motivated. Your why will help create your determination and your determination will drive your motivation and willpower.
by Jen Leone
Another year has ended, which means it’s time for New Year’s resolutions in the hopes of making the next year better than the one before.
New year new me…right?
Studies have shown that in the first 30 days of the year less than 25% of people stay committed to their New Year’s resolutions. One of the most common resolutions millions of people set every year is to exercise more and lose weight. Many people fail to create a plan to achieve these goals and get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results. One of the most helpful tools in planning for weight loss is to use SMART goal setting framework.
Specific- Make a clear statement about what you’re trying to achieve. For example, lose weight for my health is more specific than be healthy.
Measurable- Make your resolution quantifiable. For example, I will lose 10% of my body weight.
Attainable- Set a realistic goal for yourself that is still challenging. I will exercise for 1 hour
7 days/week is likely not attainable and will cause stress when not achieved. I will exercise for 30 minutes 5x/week is more realistic.
Relevant- Make sure losing weight and exercising more is a goal that is truly important to you and not dictated by a friend, family member, or spouse.
Time-sensitive- Give yourself a deadline to create urgency and so that you can look forward to celebrating your success.
Now that you’ve thought of some goals, write them down! We live in a world full of distractions and it can be easy to get distracted or forget your resolutions throughout the year. Writing down your resolutions helps you clarify what it is you want to achieve, establishes intention, and will act as a guide throughout the year.
Many of us tend to be over eager and ambitious when it comes to resolutions. It’s important to break up big goals into smaller goals. For example, if losing 100 lbs is your end goal, it can be hard to set a deadline. Break it up into smaller goals such as I will lose 15 lbs by my birthday in 4 months. This way you can celebrate small successes, which will motivate you to meet your big end goal.
Find a friend or family member that shares the same resolution or wants to support you in yours. Telling someone about your goal will hold you accountable and give a sense of obligation. Having a partner also makes exercise and weight loss more fun. Going for walks together, to the gym, or to an exercise class will feel like a fun day with a friend.
Prepare yourself for the possibility of mistakes and setbacks. Setbacks happen, especially when on a weight loss journey. Weight loss can be hard through holidays, birthdays, busy work schedules, and unexpected life events. Avoid thinking of a mistake as defeat such as “I missed going to the gym 3 days in a row, I’m never going to lose weight anyway”. Instead, own the mistake, and make up for it the next day and move forward with your schedule and goals you have set.
Here’s to a new year of health, happiness, and success in 2020!
Happy New Year!
I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I tend to relax and spend time with family and friends. Lots of food and fun too. Of course, having Type I Diabetes makes me plan and reflect more than most folks without diabetes.
The holidays in general are challenging when it comes to food, cocktails, parties, etc. I have an insulin pump, but it does not give me free rein on food choices. I do taste and indulge more than usual, so after I’ve had all the deliousness and usually higher blood sugars for a couple of weeks, how do I come back. What tools do I have available to help get back on track?
The most valuable is my glucometer. I make sure I am keeping a log of blood sugar readings so I can take the appropriate amount of medication for my food intake before and after meals if needed. Everyone follows a different routine, but I count carbohydrates and I use insulin to combat the rise in blood sugars. Knowing how certain types of carbohydrates affect me is determined by using my glucometer one or two hours after I have consumed something. Knowing what will happen gives me more freedom in my choices and not having to fight highs and/or lows.
Another tool I have is reading labels. Knowing what is in something gives me freedom to by-pass one brand versus another brand of the same type of product. It is surprising how big a difference there can be. Carbohydrates come from many sources meaning more eventual glucose breaking down into my system. Added sugars are in most foods that have been processed and reading the label will help me know how much per serving. If I want to eat more than recommended I can. I just need to count my carbohydrates so I can then medicate for the correct amount.
Probably the best tool I have available is exercise. I have never been an athlete but love to play sports like bowling, tennis, golf, and softball. As I age, I find it more difficult to actually get out and do these sports so I am finding walking, swimming, extra movement when cleaning house can meet my needs. I also like simple yoga and stretching routines. Making sure I get my heartrate up is a good idea but not my entire focus. I just want to make sure I am moving! Some days I do better than others, but I know my blood sugars reflect when I have made an effort! I also just feel happier and healthier. I can have an extra snack too when I am exercising! I love my snacks.
Exercise is a stress reliever. Like meditation or prayer works on the mind, physical exercise helps relieve bodily stress. My muscles will feel stronger, my bowels work better (always important as I get older), my blood pressure lowers, food tastes better to me. A mind body connection I use to make me more efficient and happier is something I can get behind.
Finally, a tool very under rated is just giving myself a break. I am not perfect and having Diabetes is a 24/7 endurance of constant maintenance. My mental health is affected by my physical health. My physical health is affected by my mental health. Hand-in-hand every moment of every day. So sometimes I just allow myself the freedom to feel normal. I allow myself to not think about my blood sugar for a few hours every day. I have found gratitude helps. I am grateful I have tools to keep me on track and just go about my day. I am grateful I have a support team of family, medical professionals, and nutrition specialist to keep me motivated when I struggle to find balance.
I am looking forward to a new year and a new decade to enjoy my life with family, work, hobbies, and things to keep my mind and body occupied. I am willing to accept I have diabetes, but diabetes does not have me. I alone determine how I chose to use my tools for myself.
Have wonderful New Year,
(Wife, mother, grandmother, friend, chef, artist, and administrator)
Healthy Holiday Eating
Holiday meals are meant to be enjoyed! Spending time with family and friends, sharing traditions and remembering the tastes and smells of times gone by. But it is all too easy to overindulge and make yourself miserable by over-eating or drinking. This year try slowing down, savoring the flavors, smells, colors and textures of the foods. Put your fork down and talk with friends. Enjoy the season and experiences, not the stretched out waistband. Remember, you only have taste buds in your mouth, not in your stomach, so relish the flavor of the food instead of wolfing it down. Bon Appetite!
Cabbage Rolls Made with Turkey
Portions: 6 Serving Size: 2 cabbage rolls
Nutrients per serving
Protein 17 g
Carbohydrates 26 g
Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 96 mg
Sodium 112 mg
Potassium 581 mg
Phosphorus 190 mg
Calcium 80 mg
Fiber 3.5 g
11/8/19- Positive talk.
Use positive self-talk. Instead of thinking poorly about yourself, start finding ways to think positively. When we talk negatively about ourselves, it feeds that demon and supports the downward spiral.
Change how you think about food. Instead of using the terms “good” and “bad” as it relates to food, use words like “treats” or “snacks”. The more negatively you talk about your food, the more guilt, shame, and regret you will create and the sabotage cycle will continue.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
FOR THE PASTA
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 large eggs
FOR THE FILLING
1 (10-oz.) container butternut squash puree
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 c. ricotta
1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SAUCE
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage
2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
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