5 Fitness Myths That Are Responsible For Thousands of Fitness Failures

Unfortunately, many people are misinformed and are also misled by the many promises of the fitness perfection/weight loss industry. Everywhere you look, you see or hear of people promising “Dramatic Weight Loss” with products such as “The Fat Trapper”, or “Exercise in a Bottle”.

Then you also have the hundreds of diets out there such as “The Zone”, “Sugar Busters” or “The Atkins Diet”. I’m sure you have heard of many of these yourself. You might have even tried some of them. Unfortunately, these products and diets are not the quick fix, or the miracles they are portrayed as. They are also usually very dangerous.

fitness

Below are some common misconceptions among people with regard to exercise and nutrition.

1. You need to exercise to burn fat.

The truth is you don’t gain body fat because of a lack of exercise. You gain it because your blood sugar levels exceed what you are using. Basically, you are eating too many calories at one time.

2. Your metabolism slows down once you hit 30.

WRONG! Actually, hundreds of research studies have shown that the slow down in metabolism is due to a loss of muscle tissue. And the loss of muscle tissue is directly related to a lack of hard physical activity!

3. Pasta and bread are fattening.

Anything is fattening! Lettuce can be stored as fat! Any food or drink, which contains calories, can be stored as body fat if it causes your blood sugar levels to exceed what the body needs at that time. Bread and pasta are actually great sources of complex carbohydrate! The key is how much you eat and when you eat it.

4. Eating after 7pm will make you fat.

Absolutely false! It all depends on whether or not the body needs that amount of calories at that time. Keep in mind your body is constantly burning calories, 24 hours per day, just the amount varies.

5. Strength training will make you bulk up.

Another NO! It seems as if mostly women are concerned with this one. Muscle size is primarily affected by genetics and hormone production; therefore, most women don’t have the potential to build very large muscles.
Muscle burns calories, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn which makes easier to burn fat and harder to gain it!

By no means is this a complete list! There are so many I could write a whole book just about them. The key is in education, but not by reading fitness magazines!

 

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5 Mistakes People Makes When Doing a Workout Program

When you start out with a workout program – whether the purpose is weight loss exercise or another – you have started a training process that hopefully is going to last for a while. It is important that you are aware of some factors that can decrease your motivation for the exercising or even damage your health – while you are executing your training program.

Even a few minor mistakes in your workout can easily accumulate to bad habits over time, kicking you off track, and that is not the purpose with good exercise. Below I’ll go through a few of these.

workout program

1. Impatience

Impatience is probably most people’s worst enemy when it comes to staying on track with your workout plan. It is so easy to get distracted, especially if you feel the recent progress with your exercise has been slow. You must be aware that physical training won’t do miracles over night. Only faithful and diligent exercising and workout, day after day, week after week, month after month will prove results.

Looking back; maybe you’re one who hasn’t trained or exercised for years, maybe not at all. How many years did it take to put you in the physical shape and fitness condition you were in before you started regular exercising? Do not expect results in one week – take a look back and try to feel the difference after 3 to 6 months of exercising. If you are that patient, you’ll definitely see results of your workout effort.

2. Expectations too high

If you expect to become a Joe Jordan or a Naumi Chambell after a few weeks of exercises, you’ll get disappointed. The purpose with your physical workout is to make yourself feel better and give you a better and richer life, not to compare yourself with others, whoever they are.

The measurement stick should always be the fitness and shape you were in before you started the exercising, and every improvements you do, are with references to this. If you do that, your expectations to the results of your exercise and workouts will be realistic, and you’ll be amazed of how good you really can be.

3. Getting Exhausted

Especially in the start up phase of a training program, some people are exercising so hard that they simply get exhausted or burned out. If you start your training program exceeding your present capabilities, and if you have not been exercising since you were a kid – you probably won’t be able to jog or workout for the next 14 days.

Your muscles will hurt so much and your legs will be so stiff after your mega exercise, that you have to lay down and wait til you are able to exercise again. This is not very motivating. Start out the exercising very carefully and lite – that is especially important if you have not done much training before.

4. Doing exercises the wrong way

This can really be damaging, especially with anaerobic exercises. If you are training at a fitness center you should make sure you’ve got all the instructions you need from the trainer before you do any workout. One little mistake in your exercise can damage your back for a long time, and even permanently.

The best is to have a personal trainer that can follow you through thick and thin throughout the exercise program but for most people this alternative is too expensive. So my advice is; if you are in even the slightest doubt of how to do an exercise, simply ask, ask and ask. The training staff is there to help you with your exercising, that’s their job.

5. Choosing an exercise program that is not exciting enough

I have always been fascinated about people I have seen running up and down roads and streets day after day or people that do all their exercise on trim cycles. How boring must that be? Well, we are all different and have different preferences when it comes to what activities we enjoy. Some people love to run for hours – and that’s fine, let them do it.

I prefer more enjoyable sports like tennis, badminton, football, smashball, squash or training together with other people. Dancing is also a great fat burner. The point is: Chose an exercise plan that include your favorite activities.

If you like and enjoy what you’re doing day in and day out, you’ll be much more likely to stay in the training program for a long time. And the longer you stay in it, the more you’ll enjoy it.

 

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5 Action Ideas To Get Big Fast

Are you sick and tired of reading an online article or picking up that latest body building magazine off the shelve, opening it to the latest program on the current, big bodybuilding star and discovering that he is using a six day split program that has you in the gym for four hours and day!!

What it won’t tell you is that the guy is a professional and probably doesn’t have to hold down a steady job, pay off a mortgage or raise a couple of kids.

The thing is you don’t have to train like an athlete to put on muscle, all you need to do is follow these action ideas below and you will start making big gains fast without spending all your time in the Gym.

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Lets have a look:

1. Back to Basics – To build muscle you must train short and with intensity, you only have a limited amount of energy per session. Tests reveal that blood sugar levels drop dramatically after 20 minutes, so exercise selection is crucial.

Compound multi-joint movements have to be used as these offer more training stimulus, are more functional and heavier loads can be lifted. Examples of compound movements include squats, bench press, dips, and chin-ups. Performing three to four exercises with high intensity during a session are what is needed.
All the main structures of the body are worked hard during this time, remembering that as you get stronger in your upper body exercises i.e. Dips, Lat Pull downs, you will also add size to your upper arms as well as your shoulders.Working on these big compound movements has a knock-on effect throughout the whole body; there is no need for specialization techniques or isolation movements.

The thing is, the whole body is worked hard, rest and recuperation is allowed to take place and at the next exercise session we push out a few more reps than before with the same weight, then we have gotten stronger i.e. more muscle.

2. Perform One Set Per Body Part – Having performed one set of an exercise to total failure then it should be near on impossible to generate the same force and intensity for another set.

If you are able to generate the same force and intensity for this second set then the first set was not worked hard enough.If you give the first set 100% effort and work it to total failure (You cannot move the bar after the last rep) there is no more requirement for further stimulation.Therefore you need to do one set per exercise, remembering to complete the training session in 20 – 30 minutes so to have the most stimulus as possible and then move on to the next exercise. 

Current research shows that single set training is as beneficial as multiple set training, decreasing the chances of over training and saving energy for other lifts required during the workout. Because you are doing one set per exercise, you will have to work it hard and to total failure.

3. Cycle Your Strength Training – The development of muscle and strength is interrelated so the exercise session will have to be designed so that increases in strength are equal to increases in functional muscle. Cycling intensity through changes in repetitions and poundage’s throughout your training program is an effective way to maintain progression and avoid training plateaus.

4. Don’t Train To Long – Training itself causes the breakdown of muscle tissue. When a person trains very intensely cortisol is released into the blood stream, which causes the breakdown of muscle tissue.
The amount of cortisol released is highly dependent upon the length of training time.

Therefore to minimize this effect training should be completed in the absolute minimum time required which is no longer than 20 to 30 minutes max. Your blood sugar levels are also dropping by this time, so do what you have to do in this time and get out of the gym, go home and grow.

5. Don’t Cheat – Do not cheat on your reps! Every strength-training trainee runs into this problem sooner or later and it will grind your gains to a stand still. There are many ways to increase the intensity of your sets and the weights used in order to maximize results.

Cheating to increase your weights actually takes strain off your muscles and places it on your joints, which is counterproductive.

Now that you are armed with this information, you wont need to spend all of your time in the gym, by all means workout hard while you are in there but when you are finished go home and grow and enjoy life.

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Tips For Staying Fit While Working From Home

Despite what many may think, working from home takes a lot of time and a lot of work. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “They don’t really have a job, they just work from home.” That statement couldn’t be farther from the truth! Running a home business takes almost all of your time. Therefore, many other things drop down on your priority list. Probably one of the first ones to drop is fitness.
When you have a never-ending to-do list, a house that never seems to get clean and family and/or friends who demand attention, it’s understandable that exercise can take a back seat. But, it shouldn’t.

Exercise offers so many important benefits that it should always be part of your weekly routine. Of course, we all know that exercise can help you stay slim and fit. But, do you also know about all the other great results of exercising? Daily physical activity reduces stress and can help you sleep better – two things that are especially beneficial to busy at-home workers and business owners. Fitness helps keep you healthy and has been linked to reducing the risk of some diseases and to warding off depression. Researchers also believe that strength training can help prevent osteoporosis. If that still doesn’t convince you to get moving, then keep in mind that exercise also improves self-esteem, increases stamina and ultimately helps you be able to do continuous work for longer. What more could you ask for?

working from home

It all sounds great, right? But you still don’t think that you can find any time in your hectic schedule for staying in shape. Don’t worry. There are a lot of creative ways to fit it in. Below are some tips to help you get started.

Schedule time for working out. When you work at home it’s so easy to work around the clock. To help avoid this think of yourself as having a traditional “office job”. In most “office jobs” when you go home for the night you leave work behind and concentrate on personal things. Even though going home for you may simply be walking down the hall, you need to set boundaries in order to find time for you.

During working hours, take several 5-10 minute breaks and run up and down the stairs (or even just walk). This will also help rejuvenate your mind.

Sitting in front of a computer can be hard on your body, especially your posture. So, find a comfortable place where you can occasionally stand to do your computer work.

It’s not necessary for you to find 30 continuous minutes for working out. You’ll get just as much benefit if you break your exercise into small chunks. Try 10 minutes before you start work, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes after work (re-read # 1 above if you just said you have no “after work” time).

If you don’t won’t to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but still want to eat healthy, cook large portion meals on the weekend that you can freeze. Then simply defrost and warm for dinners during the week. This saves you the time of having to make dinner and you don’t have to compromise calories as you would if you instead opted for take-out.

One great advantage of working at home is that you can workout over your lunch hour while never leaving your office plus you don’t have to pack your workout clothes and toiletries to take with you to work. This saves you travel time, which you can instead spend on grabbing a healthy bite to eat. And, if you don’t have any face-to-face meetings scheduled, then you don’t have to worry about looking perfect after your workout.

If you haven’t already done so, invest in a good hands-free headset for your phone. This is a great way to multi-task because your hands are free to do other things while you concentrate on your conference call. You can even do some simple (but worthwhile) exercise moves. Some good choices are squats, triceps dips, lunges, wall push-ups, etc.

Keep healthy snacks available for when you need an energy boost or simply just need something to chew on to help you get through some tough work. Don’t forget to keep water on hand and sip some all throughout your day.

Purchase an exercise stability ball. While there are dozens of great toning exercises you can do with the ball, it’s also beneficial to simply sit on it. Try sitting on it instead of a chair for even short periods throughout your day. This will help build your core strength (your trunk area).

Don’t forget the importance of stretching. Take a couple of minutes every hour to stand up and stretch your entire body.

As you can see, exercise offers huge benefits even with just a small amount of effort. And if you have kids, by exercising you also set a great example. So, to help you, your business, and your family it’s time to stop making excuses and just start moving!

 

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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!

 

stomach
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10 Tips For Staying Fit While Working From Home

Despite what many may think, working from home takes a lot of time and a lot of work. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “They don’t really have a job, they just work from home.” That statement couldn’t be farther from the truth! Running a home business takes almost all of your time. Therefore, many other things drop down on your priority list. Probably one of the first ones to drop is fitness.
When you have a never-ending to-do list, a house that never seems to get clean and family and/or friends who demand attention, it’s understandable that exercise can take a back seat. But, it shouldn’t.

Exercise offers so many important benefits that it should always be part of your weekly routine. Of course, we all know that exercise can help you stay slim and fit. But, do you also know about all the other great results of exercising? Daily physical activity reduces stress and can help you sleep better – two things that are especially beneficial to busy at-home workers and business owners. Fitness helps keep you healthy and has been linked to reducing the risk of some diseases and to warding off depression. Researchers also believe that strength training can help prevent osteoporosis. If that still doesn’t convince you to get moving, then keep in mind that exercise also improves self-esteem, increases stamina and ultimately helps you be able to do continuous work for longer. What more could you ask for?

home

It all sounds great, right? But you still don’t think that you can find any time in your hectic schedule for staying in shape. Don’t worry. There are a lot of creative ways to fit it in. Below are some tips to help you get started.

Schedule time for working out. When you work at home it’s so easy to work around the clock. To help avoid this think of yourself as having a traditional “office job”. In most “office jobs” when you go home for the night you leave work behind and concentrate on personal things. Even though going home for you may simply be walking down the hall, you need to set boundaries in order to find time for you.

During working hours, take several 5-10 minute breaks and run up and down the stairs (or even just walk). This will also help rejuvenate your mind.

Sitting in front of a computer can be hard on your body, especially your posture. So, find a comfortable place where you can occasionally stand to do your computer work.
It’s not necessary for you to find 30 continuous minutes for working out. You’ll get just as much benefit if you break your exercise into small chunks. Try 10 minutes before you start work, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes after work (re-read # 1 above if you just said you have no “after work” time).

If you don’t won’t to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but still want to eat healthy, cook large portion meals on the weekend that you can freeze. Then simply defrost and warm for dinners during the week. This saves you the time of having to make dinner and you don’t have to compromise calories as you would if you instead opted for take-out.

One great advantage of working at home is that you can workout over your lunch hour while never leaving your office plus you don’t have to pack your workout clothes and toiletries to take with you to work. This saves you travel time, which you can instead spend on grabbing a healthy bite to eat. And, if you don’t have any face-to-face meetings scheduled, then you don’t have to worry about looking perfect after your workout.

If you haven’t already done so, invest in a good hands-free headset for your phone. This is a great way to multi-task because your hands are free to do other things while you concentrate on your conference call. You can even do some simple (but worthwhile) exercise moves. Some good choices are squats, triceps dips, lunges, wall push-ups, etc.

Keep healthy snacks available for when you need an energy boost or simply just need something to chew on to help you get through some tough work. Don’t forget to keep water on hand and sip some all throughout your day.

Purchase an exercise stability ball. While there are dozens of great toning exercises you can do with the ball, it’s also beneficial to simply sit on it. Try sitting on it instead of a chair for even short periods throughout your day. This will help build your core strength (your trunk area).
Don’t forget the importance of stretching. Take a couple of minutes every hour to stand up and stretch your entire body.

As you can see, exercise offers huge benefits even with just a small amount of effort. And if you have kids, by exercising you also set a great example. So, to help you, your business, and your family it’s time to stop making excuses and just start moving!

 

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3 Amazing Ways to Shape Up in Less Than 7 Days

Imagine you need to look great to get all the attention at the biggest party of the year. The cloak has already started ticking and you have got 7 days to fix yourself for the D-Day. If you can take out 15 to 30 minutes in the next few days, you can be ready for action.

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Step 1

  • Exercise: Start with skipping and jogging and chin-ups by hanging from a rod for warming up.
  • Two steps of crunches or sit-ups for strengthening and toning your abdominal muscles.
  • Then go for Flat bench press and dumbbell flyers for the entire chest area, focusing mainly on the      inner chest and followed by 2 sets of push-ups.
  • Work on your trapezium for the collar muscle and shoulder pressing.
  • For biceps the exercise to be followed is standing barbell curl.
  • Next you can work out on your Triceps with Single dumbbell or French press and fore forearms.
  • Skipping will have an effect on your legs, other wise you can go for Squats and back with lat pull down.

Step 2

Diets are just as important as exercise, because it is the most important part of getting the body you want. You have to eat good to look good. You need protein, and you don’t need fat. Stay away from junk and fatty foods. Not all fat is bad; there is a healthy fat. This fat can be found in fish, Nuts and some oils. Have Lots of fibers such as leafy vegetables, salads and daily products.

Step 3

The results though wont come easily and they wont come very fast either, So Stay dedicated, motivated and consistent, and do all 3 steps correctly to get the desired result.

 

days
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3 Biggest Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training is exercise that uses resistance to strengthen and condition the muscular-skeletal system, improving muscle tone and endurance. “Strength training” is used as a general term synonymous with other common terms: “weightlifting” and “resistance training.”

Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscular strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Lifting weights has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.

strength training

Improved Physical Appearance and Performance

One important result of strength training is increased physical performance. Muscles quite literally utilize energy to produce movement, functioning as the engine or powerhouse of the body. Strength training increases the muscles’ size, strength, and endurance, which contribute to improvements in our work, favorite sports hobbies, and our general day-to-day activities.
Another benefit of a good strength-training program is its effect on our overall appearance and body composition. Which can directly influence self-esteem, self-worth, and level of confidence. Take, for example, a 170-pound man who has 20 percent body fat; 34 pounds of fat weight and 136 pounds of lean body weight (muscle, bones, organs, water, etc). By beginning an effective strength training program, he replaces five pounds of fat with five pounds of muscle. He still weighs 170 pounds, but he is now 17 percent fat with 29 pounds of fat weight and 141 pounds of lean body weight. Although his body weight remains the same, his strength, muscle tone, and metabolism have improved, giving him a fit appearance.

Both our physical appearance and our physical performance can be improved by muscle gain or hampered by muscle loss. Research indicates that unless we strength train regularly; we lose about one-half pound of muscle every year of our lives after age 30. Unless we implement a safe and effective weight lifting program, our muscles gradually decrease in size and strength in the process called “atrophy.”

Lifting weights is therefore important for preventing the muscle loss that normally accompanies the aging process. A common misconception is that as we reach the age of senior citizens, it is normal to stop being active and to start using ambulatory aides like canes and wheelchairs. Many people think we have no choice; they think this is normal.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is absolutely no reason why all of us can’t be physically, mentally, socially, and sexually active, living a healthy vibrant life until our last day on Earth! The reason many elderly people rely on ambulatory aides and become slower and fatter is simply that over the years their muscles have been wasting away, so their physical performance and metabolism also decrease, becoming less efficient.

Increased Metabolic Efficiency (your ability to burn excess calories)

That one-half pound of muscle loss every year after age 30 produces a one-half percent reduction in basal metabolic rate (BMR) every year. A reduction in BMR means that our bodies are less able to use the food we consume as energy, thus more gets stored as body fat. “Basal metabolic rate” refers to the energy used by our body at rest to maintain normal body functions.

Our muscles have high-energy requirements. Even when we are sleeping, our muscles use more than 25% of our energy (calories). When you implement the principles of effective strength training and you are consistent in your program, you will achieve an increase in lean muscle mass throughout your body and increase your BMR. In other words, you can actually condition your metabolism to work better and more efficiently even when you are at rest.

An increase in muscle tissue causes an increase in metabolic rate, and a decrease in muscle tissue causes a decrease in metabolic rate. You can see that anyone interested in decreasing body fat percentage and their risk of disease as well as in increasing physical performance and appearance, should be strength training to help condition their metabolism (BMR).

One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a weight-management program is not including a strength training routine with their cardiovascular exercise and low-fat eating regimen. This is unfortunate because when we cut calories without exercise, we can lose muscle as well as fat.

Decreased Risk of Sustaining an Injury

Our muscles also function as shock absorbers and serve as important balancing agents throughout our body. Well-conditioned muscles help to lessen the repetitive landing forces in weight-bearing activities such as jogging or playing basketball. Well-balanced muscles reduce the risk of injuries that result when a muscle is weaker than its opposing muscle group.

To reduce the risk of unbalanced muscle development, you should make sure that when you are training a specific muscle group, the opposing muscle groups are being trained as well (though not necessarily on the same day). For example, if you are doing bench-pressing exercises for your chest, you should include some rowing exercises for your back muscles as well.

By now you have probably realized that weightlifting should be an important part of your exercise routine. Weightlifting provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity. When you begin achieving great results, the excitement and fun you experience will make the change well worth the effort. Good luck; I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of an effective strength training program.

 

Strength training
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3 Principles For Overcoming Fitness Obstacles

If you’re like me, the quest to be in shape and manage weight feels overwhelming. And, as if the quest to be fit isn’t hard enough, there’s often other obstacles to overcome: health issues, time management, mustering up courage or energy. Even if you’ve been exercising for a long time, there’s always new barriers to be broken. So, how to put all of this into perspective?

According to Tom Turner, executive liaison for the Spina Bifida Association that’s exactly it: Perspective. And also, according to him, there’s no mountain too high to climb. Tom would know. Paralyzed from the waist down since birth he’s now 35 and trains about three times a week. In fact, he tells me, he just couldn’t get along without exercise.

obstacles

So in my quest for the last word on overcoming barriers in fitness, Tom sat down with me and together we came up with 3 basic principles that will help break-down fears and intimidation when striving to reach fitness goals. (After all, if he can exercise on a regular basis, shouldn’t that be encouragement enough for anyone to give it a  shot?)

Principle #1 Move Into The Fear.

“Train you mind to believe no mountain is too high or any goal is too difficult to attain,” Tom tells me. Basically, it’s all about meeting your fears and facing them head-on. In this principle, aim to recognize your fears, acknowledge them and then move through them. Ask yourself what is it that makes you uncomfortable? Have you let yourself get out of shape and are afraid you’ll never get back? Do you have an injury that’s caused you to be afraid of your body? If you can visualize creatively, then you can put your fears in check. See your self as you’d like to be. Remember: your body loves you and has the potential to heal itself to perfection. Your only job is to trust it and listen.

Q: What is your body saying to you?

Principle #2 Trust Your Intuition.

It is important when overcoming obstacles and learning to break through barriers that you begin to listen to the still small voice of your body. In most cases, we all want the comfort of having someone telling us what we can and cannot do. However, our highest truth lies within us. This is not to say that the good opinion of others is not important, but ultimately the decision making comes from within.

When facing a challenge or an obstacle look to how you feel. What are your instincts telling you? Often it is simply your instinct that will move you into a new mindset and raise your consciousness. “I wasn’t about to let the wheelchair stand in my way,” Tom tells me. In fact, he says he had to merely change his perspective about it. He says he first had to learn about what his restrictions were then, create a boundary for himself. “We all have boundaries,” he tells me. “Regardless if a person can walk or not, obstacles are as unique as people themselves. Therefore, it’s first best to know your boundaries.”

Next, Tom tells me he aims to meet those boundaries.  “I first reach as high as I can within the confines of what I am able to do. Whether it be more sets, reps or greater endurance, I allow myself as much time as necessary to accomplish my small goals. It always surprises me, with small steps, how quickly I can reach a Big goal.”

Principle #3 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

What then, about fear? I wanted to know. If we move into the fear and meet it eye to eye what if fear meets us there? “So,” I asked Tom: “are you ever afraid? “After 19 operations in my life, I’ve really come to terms with fear,” he says. “It really comes down to our most primal fear; fear of death. Once you realize that death is all part of the divine plan, it’s liberating, you can let it go and, instead, choose how to live. So instead of being afraid of death I decided to choose how to live.”

So what’s the take away message? Talking to Tom, I’m reminded of the poem by Dylan Thomas who said: “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” It seems appropriate here. The bottom line: Staying afraid often keeps us from truly living. Tom reminds me that a positive attitude is key, “Life is all about attitude.” He also says he could let fear beat him down, yet he doesn’t. “I wouldn’t want to miss being part of tomorrow,” he concludes. That said, what fears are getting in your way? Make today the right time to face them.

In conclusion: Life Beyond The Boundaries.

When you’ve faced your fears and pushed your boundaries to the edges, what then? I wanted to know. Tom smiles. “Find a new mountain to climb,” he says matter-of-factly. “It’s what makes life fun. I know I have considerations. I know that there will be days that I’ll need to stay in bed and rest while my braces are getting tuned up. It’s those times when I am with my thoughts that I decide what I am going to set my sights on.”

Author’s Note: In my personal quest to live beyond the boundaries I’ve chosen Tom as my role model (lucky for me, he’s my brother). We so often look to the media for these sources and so often they are illusory. There are “real” people everywhere doing great things…look around you; angels are everywhere! Learn from them. Choose someone you look up to, admire or of whom you appreciate their values. Set goals, climb mountains! Set intention in motion and enjoy the healthy process.

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Ways to Exercise On A Busy Schedule

Most exercise programs are started with the best intentions. So why then, do treadmills turn into storage platforms, and walking shoes are worn only to Saturday night movies? The answer is more of a matter of poor planning then low motivation. For exercise to be viable, it should include activities you enjoy, be accessible, and fit easily into your daily schedule.

Here are 3 three ideas:

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Arm your exercise space for battle.

What would it take for your treadmill to be used? What about the weights? Maybe all you need is for your exercise space/room to be more inviting. You could accomplish this by decorating. Add color, texture, and other elements that will appeal to your senses-sight, smell, and sound. Do simple things like keeping a water pitcher on a table, or adjusting the light to fit your mood. If instead of comfort, your worry is infringing on productive time, consider adding a television with a VCR. This allows you to watch the news or watch a movie that you wouldn’t normally have time to watch. You can view it in 20-30 minute increments. View it only when exercising, forcing you back on the equipment to see what happens next. It might be the motivating factor you’ve been looking for. Another possibility is to listen to a book on tape or recorded meeting notes through a headset. You can also record notes or the next day’s “to do” list as you think of things while exercising.

Walk whenever possible

This includes the old stand by like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking a distance from your destination, and delivering messages in your office by foot instead of by email. You can also walk on your lunch hour and breaks instead of sitting down to eat or snacking. To get your lunchtime nutrition, eat a quick salad at your desk before you take off. Bringing your food from home will save drive time to a restaurant, enabling you to get more from your breaks. Invite co-worker to walk with you.

Choose active family activities

Instead of eating a big dinner out-eat a healthy meal at home and then take a walk around the neighborhood together. You’ll save the calories of the large restaurant portions, the time it takes to drive to an establishment, and gain that much need family time. Other “active” activities include walking around at the zoo, hiking on local nature preserves, bicycling, ice-skating, and swimming. The list is endless. Let these types of activities replace television watching and video games.

Turn your good intentions into action. You’ll be healthier and will improve your overall well-being. You may end up with better work relationships as a result of hand delivering your messages. You will certainly strengthen family relationships by focusing on your time together. By investing a little time each day in the development of a healthy lifestyle, you could add years to your life, enabling you to enjoy the days when you no longer have such a chaotic schedule.

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