17 Secrets to Sticking to Your Exercise Routine

A quick tip guide to help with your daily or weekly exercise routine.

 

1. Make natural food choices – go through the pantry and donate anything that is in a box, can or frozen from a processed source. The more natural the foods you eat – in their most raw states, the more energy you will derive from it. Avoid anything that has a wrapper or if your tongue has to do gymnastics to pronounce the ingredients. Food shop often to keep fresh organic foods readily available. Shop only around the outside of the grocery store. The more money spent on marketing a food item, the worse off it is for you. If the food was around 100+ years ago, it’s most likely good for you and not genetically modified, fortified or altered from its natural state.

2. Rely on the Thermic Effect of Food – Ten to 35 % of our metabolism can come from the Thermic Effect of Food – which is the energy needed to process the food consumed. If you eat 5 – 6 smaller meals a day, you will never feel like you are on a diet, your energy will be steady, you will never go into a hyperglycemic state and your body will become a fat burning machine which will be prepared to exercise at any give time. Each meal should be a mini version of what you are likely used to if you currently eat 3 meals a day. Every meal should contain a lean protein, a starchy carbohydrate and a fibrous carbohydrate.

exercise routine

3. Change Your State – Once you make up your mind about something, become relentless about it and the process of achieving the result is much more seamless. When you decide you want to feel and look better and acquire the knowledge to do so, making the right decisions regarding eating and exercising becomes effortless. Relate your health to other accomplishments you have achieved in your life. To decide means to cut off any other possibility. Make your health a must in your schedule and in all of your decisions.

4. Apply the 90 / 10 rule – If 90 percent of the time you are making healthful food choices in the right amounts and you are exercising regularly and intensely, enjoy the other 10% of the time without an ounce of guilt. You can plan ahead for your 10% if you know a party is coming up over the weekend or if you will be traveling and have to miss a workout. But in the event that you are overcome by the dessert menu, indulge without any remorse and know the very next meal that you will be back on track.

5. Warm up before a strength training session – Warming up increases blood flow to muscles by about 55%, giving you better muscle contraction. You’ll sweat earlier, which helps to regulate your body temperature. It also jump starts the neuromuscular connection which initiates the release of carbohydrate and fat enzymes and hormones while reducing your perceived exertion during strength training. Just 5 minutes of walking or cycling will meet this requirement.

6. Vary your cardio exercises – Alternate between two or more cardiovascular activities like walking and cycling or kickboxing and step aerobics. This will help to optimally develop your cardiovascular fitness, maintain the element of fun in exercise, help you avoid over-training, as well as injury. Bottom line, you will expend more calories.

7. Incorporate several cardio techniques – Use a combination of continuous, interval, circuit and Fartlek (speed play) training. Changing techniques forces your body to adapt and become more efficient. Vary the intensity and modify impact styles. For example, if you have been walking the same path at the same pace every day, begin to incorporate bursts of acceleration intermittently. The underlying principle is that change is what keeps the body progressing, making improvements and burning fat.

8. Plan your workouts in Phases – Organize your workouts into a cyclic structure. For example, for two to three weeks, exercise at a lower intensity for 45 to 60 minutes, and then, for the next two to three weeks, perform 20 to 30 minutes at your highest intensity. The following 2 to 3 weeks, workout at a moderate intensity for 30 to 45 minutes. This system allows you to maintain a high level of fitness and not over-train. This cycling of workout structures will help your body become more efficient at fat burning.

9. Circuit Train – Perform several strengthening exercises interspersed with a short cardio segments. For example perform a leg press, lateral pull down and abdominal crunch followed by 3 minutes of cycling. Then repeat another 3 strength exercises followed by 3 minutes of walking. Circuit training has a lower dropout rate, is an efficient calorie burner, increases muscular strength and decreases body fat.

10. Strength Train with Multi Joint exercises – Choose exercises that work compound muscle groups – meaning more than one muscle group at a time. This will give you the most mileage per exercise. Examples include squats, lunges, and push ups. For every pound of muscle on your body you need 35 to 50 calories per day to sustain it, while every pound of fat on your body requires only a modest 2 calories per day.

11. Exercise first thing in the morning – Morning exercisers have a higher likelihood of showing up. Later in the day, the odds that you’ll skip your workout increase as interruptions arise and fatigue sets in. Morning exercise also helps regulate your hormone response, telling your body to release fat and kick start your metabolism.

12. Eat a “primer” meal prior to working out – Having a small balanced meal prior to exercise will help you burn fat. After you eat, your blood sugar rises and exercise acts like insulin to help regulate blood glucose. Eating will also give you the energy for a more intense workout – you will therefore burn more calories.

13. Train with intensity – To get the full benefits of exercise, you must graduate from the “pink weights” and moderate walking. Do not be afraid to increase your resistance and challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. In order to change, you have to push your physical limits beyond what you are accustomed to.

14. Stay hydrated. In order for fat to be metabolized, it must first be released from the fat cell and then be transported by the bloodstream where it is shunted to the liver and other active tissues to be used as fuel. If you are in a dehydrated state, the liver has to come to the aid of the kidneys and can’t focus on it’s role of releasing fat. A general rule of thumb is to take your body weight and multiply it by .55 to estimate how many ounces of water you should consume daily.

15. Exercise using bursts of acceleration and recovery. Research shows that heart rate variability is the greatest predictor of health. To train for the greatest heart rate ranges, perform bursts of activity throughout the day. For example, you can sprint out to the mail box, run in place for 60 seconds while your food is heating up or burst up 3 flights of stairs. Bursts of acceleration can last up to 60 seconds and can be repeated 5 – 7 times daily every other day. Your metabolism will remain raised after the burst (known as the after-burn) and will remain elevated for up to an hour or more depending on how intense the burst was. Overall, performing short bursts throughout the day contributes to calories burned, fat lost, improved health and mental clarity.

16. Journal – writing down your goals, having a mission, recording physical activity and logging food consumed are a proven way to get results. Those who commit goals and a plan to paper have a higher success rate. You can use a journal that is specifically developed to walk you through the fat loss process  or use a new blank document or notebook to record your feelings, successes, obstacles and achievements.

17. Exercise with a buddy – your chances of sticking to your exercise program are higher when you enlist a significant other. Having accountability to a partner is more motivating than exercising alone. Choose a partner who is important to you, who shares in your goals and is of a similar physical ability (or slightly better).

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4 Secrets to A Flat Stomach

Do you want a flat stomach? I don’t know a person who doesn’t!

People spend millions, if not billions of dollars, each year in the quest for a flat stomach. Right now there are about 200 or more ab exercise devices out there. There’s the ab do-it, the ab rock-it, the ab roller, the ab dolly, and so many more. You would think that with all of these amazing new products that most people would be walking around with that nice, lean mid-section they’ve always wanted. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Most, if not all of these products, will do little or nothing to flatten your stomach. And that’s because these exercise contraptions cannot eliminate the layer of fat that lies on top of your abs.

stomach

In order to be successful at thinning your waistline you must have a basic under standing of how the ab muscles function and how your body burns fat. The first thing that needs to be understood is the difference between fat and muscle. Fat is excess calories and is primarily stored in layers on top of muscle tissue. Muscle is made up of fibers that contract or shorten to produce movement. Fat cannot turn into muscle and muscle cannot turn into fat! However, you can lose muscle and you can gain fat. That’s what happens to most people.

So if your goal is to thin your waist line and have a nice flat stomach, the first thing you need to do is decrease / eliminate the layers of fat that are on top of your abs. We all have a flat stomach; it’s just some of oar’s are covered by excess fat.

The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).

1. You must do some form of progressive strength training

The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However, there are also muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups.
If you want to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate the following types of exercises:
•1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)
•1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)
•1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)

The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times per week. You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.

2. Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism

Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less likely to store any excess calories as body fat because they are more likely to be used by your elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more likely to burn off some excess body fat.

Below is a sample interval workout that can be done with just about any activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).

Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes, Perform 30 seconds of hard work (almost as hard as possible)  perform 1 minute of moderate work (recovery time-catch breath) Repeat this process 6-10 times Cool down at an easy pace for 2-5 minutes

3. Stable blood sugar is the key

And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the most important factor when it comes to burning away that excess body fat and keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would you only feed it once or twice a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, whole grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).

Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesn’t matter where they come from. If there’s extra… where’s it going? Yup, you guessed it… body fat!

This is not to say that what you eat is not important because it is, it just doesn’t have that much of an affect when it comes to fat loss. Try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but don’t feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it is guaranteed to be stored as fat.

4. Get the help of a professional

Unfortunately, most people don’t know enough about the human body, nutrition, or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this one question, “Am I happy with my current progress or condition?” If you’re not, you should consider getting the help of a qualified personal fitness professional. Don’t depend on the information you get from magazines or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified fitness professional can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and in less time than you would imagine.

If you are serious about your health and fitness goals, and you are ready for that flat stomach, I recommend you start implementing the 4 strategies listed in this article. These 4 strategies can help you take control of your metabolism and burn off that excess body fat and having you looking and feeling great!

 

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Exercise And Stress

Even though exercise may not be the most exciting word in your vocabulary, it sure is a word with a
lot of benefits. Participating in daily exercise will not only make you healthier in general, but it can also diminish the effects of stress on your body as well.

Think about all the times you have heard someone say “the doctor says it’s stress related”. Normally
people will laugh it off, concluding that doctors say that when they don’t know the real answers or
diagnosis. The truth of the matter is that too much stress will play a role in many diseases.

exercise

To help increase your immune system and decrease your stress level as well, try exercise, as movement is the key word here. Bending, stretching, reaching and walking. There’s really no need to buy any expensive equipment either, as you can implement more movement into your daily routine and reap the benefits.

If you like aerobic exercise, you should grab a partner and have a blast with one of the basic aerobic videos. Or, you can simply go out for a walk and enjoy spending time together. As you may have heard, walking really is the best overall exercise you can do for your health. As long as you have a pair of walking shoes, you’ll be fine.

As you go through your daily activities, make it a point to walk a little farther, bend down and pick something up without using a pick up stick or moving the item towards you with your foot. While you are sitting, you should also do some simple and quick stretches for your neck and shoulders.

If you enjoy sitting around watching television, you should consider buying a jogging board. These padded boards will make running, jumping, or walking in place less stressful on your knees and joints. They are easy to store as well and also very portable.

In many people’s opinions, jogging boards are the best pieces of equipment you can buy. They are also far cheaper than bulky treadmills and stationary bikes.

There are several different exercises that you can do to help you eliminate the stress in your life. Walking is by far the best, as you can easily lose yourself and your troubles by walking. Even if it is just around the block, walking can do wonders for your health as well as stress.

If you have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to consider a gym. Working out then sitting in the sauna is also a good way to relieve tension. If your gym has a pool, you may find swimming to be very beneficial as well, as it helps you to relax.

 

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Exercise And Sleeping Better

The amount of physical exercise that you exert during the day is one of the key ingredients to helping you get a good sleep at night. The more active your body is during the day, the more likely you are to relax at night and fall asleep faster.

With regular exercise you’ll notice that your quality of sleep is improved and the transition between the cycles and phases of sleep will become smoother and more regular. By keeping up your physical activity during the day, you may find it easier to deal with the stress and worries of your life.

exercise

Research and studies indicate that there is a direct correlation between how much we exercise and how we feel afterwards.

You should try and increase your physical activity during the day. The goal here is to give your body
enough stimulation during the day so that you aren’t full of energy at night.

Your body requires a certain amount of physical activity in order to keep functioning in a healthy
manner. It is also important to note that you should not be exercising three or four hours before you go to bed.

The ideal exercise time is in the late afternoon or early evening. You want to make sure you expend
your physical energy long before it is time for your body to rest and ready itself for sleep.

You should attempt to exercise at least three or four times a week for a period of 30 minutes or so.
You can include walking or something simple. If you prefer, you can include strenuous activities
such as running as well.

The goal here is to increase your heart rate and strengthen the capacity of your lungs. By adding a regular exercise activity to your daily schedule will help you to improve your overall health and help you emotionally as well.

Along with running and walking there are several other physical activities that you can add to your
daily life to increase your level of physical activity. If you are battling not sleeping, you’ll find aerobic exercise to be the best.

Your goal with exercise is to increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your blood stream. Overall,
there are many types of aerobic exercise for you to choose from. The activities include running,
biking, using a treadmill, dancing, and jumping rope.

There are some non aerobic exercises that you may find beneficial to help you solve your amnesia
problem.

Yoga

Yoga is an exercise that has a stimulatory effect on your nervous system, especially the brain. Yoga
utilizes breathing techniques and yoga postures to increase the blood circulation to the brain, promoting regular and restful sleeping patterns. The regular practice of yoga will help you to relax as well as relieve tension and stress.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient art of breathing and movement that was developed by the Chinese monks. The
movements involved are slow and precise, which is ideal if you have joint pains or you are unable
to participate in high aerobic exercises. Research has shown that Tai Chi can help with insomnia by
promoting relaxation.

If you discover that you don’t have any time to exercise on a regular basis, you should try to sneak moments of activity into your schedule. Whenever possible, you should take the stairs instead of the elevator, as little things like that will do wonders for your body.

You should also park your car around the corner and walk that extra block or two to get to your
destination. As you may know, there are many small things you can add to increase the activity in
your life. Your overall goal here is to have a healthy and well balanced life – with plenty of sleep.

 

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Tips on Exercising Properly

There are two main types of exercise that you can do aerobic and anaerobic. The first one, aerobic, means with oxygen. Aerobic type exercising has an important distinction, it burns fat as the main fuel.

Anaerobic on the other hand, burns sugar as the main source of fuel. Despite common myths, exercise doesn’t have to be drastic in any way to provide massive benefits. Even if you choose light exercise, you will still burn fat.

exercising

Light exercise will clear out lactic acid, which is a waste of the body, and stimulate your cells to
regenerate. To be sure that you are burning fat rather than sugar, it’s very important to make sure
that you are doing several things as you exercise.

The most important thing you can do as you exercise is breathe deep. You should always breathe in deep into your stomach through your nose, hold it for a few seconds and then exhale hard through your mouth.

Second, you should make sure that you exercise at a comfortable level. You should exercise at a level of 7 out of 10, and still be able to carry on a normal conversation while you exercise. You should do this for 45 minutes or so each day, then you’ll begin to notice just how much your energy
will explode.

Even if you don’t think you have the time to exercise, rest assured that there is always time. If you have to, use the time that you would normally spend sleeping. With exercising, you’ll actually need less sleep than before.

You can also use the time of your lunch break to exercise as well. The increase in productivity will have you more on the ball, and you can save your time through the dramatic increase in your overall productivity.

Cellularise, or rebounding, is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise there is. If you have access to a rebounder, you shouldn’t hesitate to use it. Use any break you have at work to engage in some type of movement and deep breathing.

Any type of exercise you do will strongly benefit your heart. It will make it a stronger and larger organ. Deep breathing will help your lungs become stronger and larger as well. There is research now that links exercise to helping benefit and almost prevent each and every type of disease
or ailment.

Movement of the joints will promote proper blood flow and create energy, as sitting down all day will rob your body of much needed energy. If you sit down all day, it’s very important that you promote blood flow, circulation, energy, brain flow, and the strength of your heart. With just a little bit of your time devoted to exercise, you’ll find yourself healthier than you have ever been in the past.

 

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Water And Exercise

The human body is made up of over 75% of water, and as we all know, we cannot live without water. The fact is, we can only survive for a total of 3 days without water. Water has however, been replaced in most diets by soft drinks and other sugar sweetened refreshments. Keep in mind that water is a healthier and necessary for leading yourself towards a better health and longevity.

Your own personal need for water can vary greatly due to exercise, weight, and temperature. Research has proven that over 2/3 of adults don’t get the water they need on a daily basis. By drinking water on a regular basis you can replenish your body and keep it well hydrated and functioning as it should be.

water

A majority of us wait until we are thirsty before we drink water. Keep in mind, this way isn’t a reliable gauge of the water needs for the body. By the time you are thirsty you have already lost two
of more cups of the body’s water supply. Therefore, drinking water regularly is much better than simply waiting until you are thirsty.

It is very important that you don’t substitute beverages with alcohol and caffeine for water. The
reason behind this is that those types of beverages act as a diuretic and can cause you to lose more
weight through increased urination. You may think and feel as if you are getting more water through
these beverages, although the fact is that you are letting it go almost as fast as you consume it.

Anytime you exercise, you need more water. Due to perspiration, your body will lose quite a bit of
water. For each pound lost due to exercise, you need to drink 2 cups of water. Even when you lay down to sleep, your body loses water. By drinking a glass or more of water before you go to sleep, you can wake up with your body functioning as it should be.

It should become more obvious that when you are sick you’ll need more water than any other tine. When you get a cold or the flu, your body can become dehydrated quite quickly. You can help to prevent this by drinking more water at times when you become sick.

There are several mixed opinions as to whether purified water will actually provide benefit. This is a subject you should explore yourself as you determine the best type of water for yourself.

Always make it a habit to drink water on a daily basis. You should keep a bottle of water with you at all times and drink it throughout the day. You should also teach yourself to drink water instead of other beverages that don’t replenish the nutrients your body needs.

 

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Making Exercise More Fun

Nothing beats waking up in the morning with the thought of going to the gym to lift weights or jog on the treadmill. After a hard days work, a quick exercise at the gym is one place you don’t even want to think about. Sometimes, even the thought of exercising at home with your own equipment can be less than desirable.

Sometimes, just trying to get and stay motivated to exercise on a regular basis can be a challenge. No matter how you look at it, exercise can be downright boring and even tedious at times.

exercise

So, you may be wondering just how you can get the motivation you need to exercise on a regular basis. If you’ve been wondering what you can do to make exercise more fun, you’ll find some ideas below that just may help to make exercise more fun and a little bit easier.

First things first, you should exercise with a friend. You can challenge each other, help each other out, keep each other motivated and on track, make each other laugh or just make a game out of your exercise programs.

You can also try something different. If you go to the gym each and every day and use the same
piece of equipment or use the same piece of equipment at home, you should try mixing things up.
Reverse your routine or just change the order of your exercises.

Go to a city park that has playground equipment and use the slide, climb on the monkey bars, do pull-ups, hang from your knees, just let your imagination guide you. You don’t always need to follow a strict routine, just get out there and have fun working your muscles.

An outdoor circuit in the park is also something you can try. There are some parks that have circuit
courses set up with a planned course where all you have to do is walk or jog to each station and
then follow the instructions. If there isn’t a planned course, then you should do a combination
of jogging and walking, picking a distance of a couple hundred feet. Jog 100 feet then drop and
do a couple of push-ups, walk the next 100 feet and then drop to do sit ups.

You can also ride a bike around your neighborhood or hike on a hiking trail. A walk in the park or
around your neighborhood is also a great way to get some exercise. Doing yoga in the park or on
a beach is also a nice and relaxing way to exercise both your body and your mind.

Playing a competitive sport is also something you can try. A lot of cities have team activities such as softball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and so on. These types of activities will not only provide you with good exercise but they will also help you to meet new people as well.

When you exercise, try to picture your muscles getting bigger. Research has shown that if you focus all of your thoughts on the muscles that you are working, they will respond better. Try to watch them work with each repetition as your muscles contract and relax.

As you can tell, there are plenty of ways you can make exercise more fun and interesting. You don’t
need to follow the same routine day after day, as you can do many other things to get in some
exercise.

The important thing is that you should always try to incorporate exercise in any various form into
your everyday life and make these habits the kind of habits that will last a lifetime.

 

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