Chicago’s best health & fitness expert Stephanie Mansour stopped by WGN TV Chicago to share which healthy habit is better for your New Year’s Resolution:
Short on time in the New Year, but looking to lose weight or be healthier? Instead of completely overhauling your life, our Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour says to focus on a few specific goals and then you’ll be more likely to reach them. So, in the spirit of the New Year, being successful, healthier, and saving time, Steph’s here to share with us the healthier of two healthy habits, if you had to choose:
What’s better Steph? Doing more cardio, or doing more strength training?
Doing more strength training. The reason is that when you’re building muscle, you’re better able to burn fat because you’ll actually be burning fat in your sleep! As opposed to more cardio, when you’re only burning calories while you’re exercising.
OK, let’s talk about an early morning workout! What’s better, sleeping in for an extra hour, or waking up early to work out?
If you are sleep deprived, or chronically feeling tired, you MUST sleep! Getting at least 7 hours per sleep is recommended and is in fact necessary to help your body function properly. You need sleep to burn fat and feel energized. Waking up early for a workout may just be too draining. Set yourself up for success by scheduling in a workout when you know you won’t be too tired!
If you are trying to go to bed earlier, get into a nighttime ritual. Put lotion on your hands and feet, light a candle, and get into the “mood” to go to sleep. Then you’ll feel well rested and ready to wake up in the morning.
Focusing on cutting down on sugar, or stress?
Focus on cutting down on sugar if possible. By consuming so much processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and sugary junk food, you’re feeding the body’s hamster wheel of fat storage and unhealthiness. Reduce your sugar intake and notice how your mood may mellow out, which may in turn reduce stress.
Check the sugar intake on your “healthy” items – for example, many granola bars, protein bars, and snack bars have TONS of sugar in them! Check the labels of your processed frozen foods, too.
Drinking more water, or cutting down on caffeine?
Drink more water! Why? Many of my clients who’ve given up their caffeine addiction didn’t realize that they were actually THIRSTY, which was causing them to drink so much coffee in the mornings. Your body needs to be hydrated – we are 2/3 water!
Finally, should we stretch more with yoga, or strengthen more with core exercises?
Focus on your core! There was just an article in the Wall Street Journal talking about how sit-ups are becoming more and more correlated with low back pain.