How To Exercise Without It Feeling Like A Chore


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Want to know a simple way to stay active in your spare time — and burn extra calories without it feeling like a “chore?” It’s easy! Increase your leisure time activity!

Leisure time physical activity is generally considered any exercise, sport or recreational activity that is not job related; is not a household task; and is not fulfilling a transportation need.

Currently, the average adult in the United States spends 90% of their leisure time sitting. While that statistic sounds a bit scary, it’s very simple to stay active and not fall under the “average.”

Increasing leisure time activity not only helps you stay active — it can help you with your weight loss efforts, and can positively impact heart health and longevity.


1) Find something you like. No amount of coaxing, coaching, or fancy accountability programs will motivate you to stick to something in your leisure time that you are not interested in.

Choose activities you enjoy and that rejuvenate you. Some examples include: playing with your kids, walking your dog, hiking with friends, walking by the water, cycling,  or strolling through a botanical garden. These can all be considered leisure time activities.

2) Turn off the screen. Pay attention to how many hours you spend watching TV and/or surfing on the internet. Try turning off the screen for one day on the weekend. Use that time for physically active recreation.

Sometimes it’s difficult to unplug for a whole day. If that’s the case, decide how much time you need for your task, set a timer, and log off when you’re done. Then, go do something more physically active.

3) Exercise with purpose. Local walks/runs for charities are great leisure activities that also raise money for your favorite causes.

4) Ditch the car. Take advantage of any opportunity to leave your car parked and walk.

5) Track your progress. Step counters are a great way to measure an increase in activity. Seeing the effects of walking to the movies, throwing the ball with your kids, or taking the dog to the park will inspire you to keep it up. Whether you are athletic or not, a monitor can also motivate you to be competitive with yourself — which can lead to an increase in activity.

6) Try something new. Have a desire to try a new activity? Commit to trying it one time. Who knows? You may hit the jackpot and find something you want to keep up regularly.

Some examples would be horseback riding, a golf lesson, visiting the museum, surfing, paddle boarding, hiking in a park and having a picnic, or strolling at a mall you’ve never been to.

No matter what you choose, keep it fun. It is leisure time after all!

Here’s to staying active!
Jennifer Ledford

How To Beat The Obstacles That Keep You From Exercising

Whether you have been exercising for a long time or you’re just getting started, obstacles (aka life’s circumstances) can cause you to fall off track from your exercise routine. This is normal and it doesn’t have to sabotage your efforts.

When life throws you a curve ball don’t beat yourself up. Guilt can cause you to become depressed which will make it harder to start back up again. Instead, take a look at the circumstances and identify the reason you haven’t been exercising.

Common obstacles that sabotage exercise and how you can overcome them:

1)  It’s painful.  It’s really difficult to stay motivated to exercise if you are experiencing pain.  Make an appointment to see a doctor to address the issue. Once diagnosed, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate the pain and start exercising again.

2) You’re burning the candle at both ends. Today’s fast paced lifestyle can contribute to a very full calendar. This pace can result in leaving you little, and at times no time to exercise. If that’s you, read I Agree You Are Too Busy To Exercise for tips on how to overcome this challenge.

3) You don’t like it. Is the only thing on your mind, “I can’t wait for this to be over”? If so, you probably don’t like the exercise you’ve chosen. Make a list of the physical activities you enjoy and decide which ones you want to pursue.

For example, you may not like hiking but you really like line dancing. Go for the one that you know you can stick to, not what the current exercise fads are telling you is best for you.

4) You’re exercising to please others. This is a biggie! Often times well meaning family and friends will convince you to engage in an exercise program because they care about your health or want your company.

If you are only doing it to please others, you risk resenting the exercise — and it could potentially strain your relationship. Make sure the exercise routine you choose is the right one for you. Here are tips on how to pick exercise YOU like.

5)  It’s a new season in your life or a schedule change. We all have seasons in our life that can affect our routine. Things like a new job, business, baby, move, or injury can require you to readjust your current exercise plan.

When you are going through a new season in your life that affects your schedule, it is necessary to look at your exercise plan and determine what adjustments will need to be made to maintain your fitness levels while you adapt to your new schedule.

Goals of advancement in fitness may need to be put temporarily on hold to avoid frustration and disappointment. The most important thing is that you maintain what you have already achieved!

I’ve been a personal trainer for over 22 years and I’ve listed the most common obstacles and the solutions for you. If you are experiencing an obstacle that I haven’t covered please feel free to ask me about it by leaving a comment below. If you have a tip you’d like to share on how you have overcome an obstacle that was holding you back from exercise, please share. I’d love to hear what you did!

To your health!






Celebrate This Fourth of July Without The Extra Calories!


This year my dog (Dillon) and I will be marching in our local parade on the Fourth of July. I am super excited to be part of the celebration honoring the birth of our country and the people who fought for our freedom.

I do have a confession to make!

There’s another personal reason I agreed to do it. I wanted the exercise! What a fun way to get my workout in for the morning. It’s always great to find fun ways of exercising so it never feels like a chore.

One of my tricks to weight management without dieting is to get exercise on days I will be indulging.  I don’t use this method only on the Fourth of July — I practice this principle all summer long! For more tips on how to lose weight while enjoying your summer, read Tips for Your Summer Weight Loss Plan.

It is totally possible for you to have fun and avoid the extra calories this year!

1) Exercise! If you are walking in your local parade, this is a great way to get exercise. Committing to an event will help keep you on track when you might be tempted to “blow off” exercise.

You don’t have to be in a parade to get exercise on the fourth! You and your family and/or group could walk or hike before all of the grilling starts. Try calling to set it up in advance. If it’s too tough to fit in — plan fun, active games. This will also prevent the mindless snacking that can occur while visiting.

2)  Go Light! Having a potluck? Bring the lighter version of your traditional dish. Something as simple as substituting regular mayonnaise with the light version can cut back significantly on calories! Google is great for helping you find the lighter fare without compromising taste. Ask other friends if they want to bring light dishes as well. If appropriate, why not make “cooking light” the theme?

Choose leaner meats for the barbecue. A Kielbasa sausage has 330 calories. That doesn’t include the bun! Substitute with a chicken sausage that has 170 calories.

3)  Make calorie conscious choices! Limit foods like chips and dip. Nine chips and two tablespoons of dip is usually a serving and can have 200 calories easy! Load up on fruits, veggies, and green salad. Take smaller “taste size” portions of the heavier dishes like potato salad. This allows you to keep from feeling deprived and stay on target with your weight loss/management goals.

Substitute sparkling water or plain iced tea for sweet tea, energy drinks, and soda. Wine and beer have a lot less calories than blended “umbrella” drinks. If you plan on drinking some of your calories, you may want to skip dessert or vice versa.

Make a plan before the party starts. For example if the tea is sweet, I”ll choose water.

4)  It’s only one day!  You have to really pig out to gain weight in one day. However, the fourth can set the tone for the rest of the week and even the summer. If you overdo it, get right back on your normal eating and exercise plan the following day!

These tips will help you have fun without gaining weight! If you have a great tip you want to share or have a question, please leave a comment below!

Have a super fun and safe Fourth of July!

Blessings to you and your family!