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As a Sharecare Transformer, how did you build your exercise endurance?

I have young children who do not understand why all their friends can have junk food but they can't. I follow the principal of Traffic Light Eating which I teach to my clients and other families who ask for advice on incorporating healthy eating into their families everyday lives. Children as young as 3 can understand this concept. Green light foods are "growing" foods, Yellow light is " moderation foods" and red light foods are "on occasion " foods. When my 5 yr. old asks if she can have a snack I will tell her " you may have a green light food" She knows this means any fruit or veggie. When I buy fruits or veggies I prepare them by washing off all chemicals with fruit and veggie wash and place them in a drawer my daughter can access. My Children LOVE fruits and veggies! I do allow what I consider Red light foods like Pop Tarts, pretzels, etc. on occasion. Maybe once or twice a week!

But to keep my family eating healthy I always make meals with the correct combination of nutrients. For breakfast my children get a "brainy" breakfast. This includes protein, carbs and fiber. So they don’t have the insulin spike and crash that can make them feel sluggish and slow their brain down at school.

I include fruit for my children with EVERY meal!

All meals have a protein source! And I buy lean proteins, green and colorful vegetables, and wide array of fruits. I only allow whole grains and i cut out all High fructose corn syrup, transfats, and hydrogenated oils!

I started out really slowly! I started on the treadmill going slow for 20 minutes and then built up the amount of time and speed. When the weather improved (I live in the midwest so winter workouts are not always possible) I moved the workouts outside. Initially I was disappointed when I couldn't go as far or fast as I had been on the treadmill. But, I just kept at it and soon I was going faster and farther than before. I even started a Couch to 5K running program and am currently on a 10K running program. I'll even start training for my first half marathon in a couple of months! Each training program has one common thread - start slowly and build on it. Do not add time or distance too quickly to prevent injury. Most importantly, your body will need time to recover so it's ok to take a rest day.

I build my endurance by doing interval training. I try to do 3 minutes at a good pace followed by 1 minute at a very fast pace. I repeat this throughout my workout. It works on any cardiovascular machine: treadmill, elliptical, bike, rower, etc.

Low, slow and steady! Building your exercise endurance, in my opinion, is not only physical, but quite mental as well. Being a former weight lifter, runner and aerobics instructor 16 years ago I'm no stranger to working out hard. After having let myself go, I knew I would not be able to jump in the deep end. It was going to be real hard to catch back up. I made my mind up late last year that I was going to start my old routines back up, establish some new ones and lose the weight. It was embarrassing at first to work out in the gym because my limitations were very obvious. Where I thought I had the "skinny folk" in the gym glaring at me, it was all in my head. That's the mental block I had to get through first. I kept my head down and pushed through my workouts.

The hour-long cardio circuit classes I now do three times a week were once the dreaded point of my workout week. I started out slow with low weight and low repetitions and steady/gradual growth with weight, both at the gym and at home. It has taken me months to get to the endurance level I am at currently. To develop proper technique and endurance, you need to accept the fact that it will not happen over night. Listen to your body, don't push too hard too fast. Low, slow and steady.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.