Fitness & Wellness

What Is Your Motivation?

What Is Your Motivation?

If your motivation to come to put on your workout clothes or bypass that Danish and grab a tangerine instead has started to slip to the wayside, you’re not alone. As a trainer, I hear this all the time from clients. Getting fit isn’t hard, but it isn’t easy either. It does require hard work at the gym on a consistent basis and let’s face it, sometimes you just would rather chill or follow your cravings for something super sweet. Keeping your motivation high so you can stick to the plan should be at the top of your priority list. Here’s a few things that might help.

Make it fun, so you’ll look forward to your next workout.

Making it fun is one way to change your perspective and change your mind about working out. You don’t have to stick with the same mundane workout, you can do things that are active, but fun. Go out for a night of dancing, but make sure you take a friend so you can dance every fast dance. If you don’t feel like going out, turn on some music and boogie down in the living room. If you have kids, let them join in, they’ll love it. Get a hula hoop or shoot some hoops. You’ll boost your energy and boost your motivation to the sky.

Make sure you put your workout in your schedule and keep a regular workout time.

Putting your workout time on your schedule makes it a higher priority item, not one you’ll get around to when you have a few extra minutes. Whether you use an app for your smartphone, your computer or go old school with a daily planner, creating a block of time for your workout that’s consistent should be a reoccurring high priority item that is always at the same time each day or every other day. That way, you’ll go on auto pilot and feel like something’s missing if you don’t go.

Find a friend who also shares your goals.

Getting a workout buddy isn’t always easy, especially if you’re new to the area or have a limited social life because you work all the time. Why not try some group classes? Group sessions with a personal trainer not only give you all the benefits of private sessions at a far lower price, it also puts you in contact with other like minded individuals. You’ll form bonds with these groups and often find people you’ll connect with immediately. When you workout with a friend, they miss you when you don’t show up, making you more accountable.

  • Write out your goals, make them measurable with a deadline. The clearer you are, the easier it is to follow and also know when you’ve reached a goal so you can celebrate.
  • Do something fun or funky to reward or punish yourself for not working out. Treat yourself to a favorite video when you go to the gym or without social media time (or other treat) if you don’t workout.
  • Focus on how great you’ll look in your new outfit and even how you’ll rub your great new look in the face of your most unfavorite nemesis. Rather than stewing over past insults, making yourself better is the best revenge.
  • Take it day-by-day and step-by-step until it becomes a habit. Vow just to change into workout clothes or go to the gym. Once you get there or get dressed, starting a workout is easy.

Fitness Gear You Can't Live Without

Fitness Gear You Can’t Live Without

Sure, all you need to workout is a plan, comfortable clothes and good shoes, but all the bells and whistles can make it more fun, more effective or more efficient. Here’s some of the latest new fitness gear you can’t live without, or at least ones that will motivate you more to stay focused and achieve your goals. There are innovations in fitness continually occurring, beyond the latest new styles in clothes. You might consider making one of these innovations a special treat for yourself when you reach a fitness goal. It just makes it more fun and can be super motivating.

The Nike Run X2 sunglasses are the best personalized glasses for outside exercise.

You can have these sunglasses made for your prescription if you want. If you’re a runner, these were made especially for you, but they’re also good for golf, tennis and cycling. They adapt to any light conditions and have interchangeable lenses. They provide for coverage for all areas and are extremely comfortable and stable. These are lightweight and fit snuggly with secure temple wrap arms and a ventilated nosepiece. You’ll have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. You’ll have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection and look fabulous when you wear these sunglasses.

iHealth Core Scale will help you track your weight loss.

Maybe scales aren’t exactly what you had in mind when it comes to rewarding yourself, but this one is different. It not only shows your weight, it also measures eight other factors in your fitness. Those include your BMO—body mass index, body fat, bone mass, lean mass, water weight, muscle mass, daily calories and visceral fat—belly fat, the most dangerous and stubborn type— rating. Some come with a indoor temperature and humidity reading to help maintain the healthiest atmosphere for your home. This device holds you accountable and offers so much more information than the traditional scales. It’s actually fun to use too, especially when you combine it with the app that tracks your weight loss goals and monitors your progress.

Fooducate is an app you’ll appreciate if you’re learning to eat healthier.

Get help with your grocery shopping and plans to eat healthier with Fooducate. It analyzes the nutritional value and gives each food a grade. While it offers a free version, the free version only tells you how many calories to eat. To get the good stuff, like the ability to scan food at the grocery to see the nutritional value and alterernative options, you have to pay a small monthly amount.

  • If you need a little pampering, Moji Mini foot massager can provide it. It gives a great foot massage and is both small and portable to take along on fitcations.
  • Choose from the variety of heart rate monitors you wear like a wristwatch, with some less than thirty dollars. Some provide sleep monitoring and more.
  • Hyperice Venom is a portable heat and vibration back device that you can wear. It lets you bask in comfort after a tough workout or soothe sore muscles when you spend too much time at the desk.
  • Stay cool and look fabulous without having to bare your legs. If you prefer to keep your legs covered, but also want to stay cool, Climcacool Knit Workout Pants by Adidas are perfect for you.

How To Stay Healthy When You're Bored

How To Stay Healthy When You’re Bored

Boredom brings with it the urge for sugary treats or crunchy, salty snacks, but seldom the urge to eat a bowl of steamed veggies or an apple. That’s because people often eat when they’re bored to fill that empty gap and get a feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment. The empty gap isn’t in the stomach, but in the situation. If you’re bored, you’re not involved in anything that’s productive, exciting or rewarding, so you’re not getting any feedback from your brain in the form of dopamine, the feel good hormone our brain gives us as a reward. Instead, you turn to food to create that dopamine and not healthy food, but food associated with good times and enjoyment, like sweet sugary treats. You can stay healthy when you’re bored if you learn to identify emotional eating and replace it with other behavior.

Know what causes those binge snacks at night.

You probably don’t binge on snacks all the time. Maybe it’s just at night when you’re alone chilling and watching whatever’s on TV or at family get-togethers when you’ve told Aunt Grace for the hundredth time you’re living in the city and have a great job. Both are situations where you would love a feel good snack just for “something to do that feels good!” That’s when you reach for that Danish or the cake even though your stomach tells you that you’re full. That’s boredom eating.

Set an eating schedule.

Not everyone can eat only when they’re hungry. Too many emotions mix with the act of eating. Most of us need a cue. If boredom or other emotions mix into eating patterns, causing you to chronically overeat, the best way to stop the bingeing is to eat on schedule. Let the clock be your guide or at least close to it. Plan meals and snacks and stick to the schedule until it becomes second nature. Not only will your body tell you when you’re hungry, you won’t end up ravenous because you skipped a meal and overeat.

Make sure you have healthy foods in your diet.

Healthy foods include more than just veggies and fruit. You should also have a source of healthy protein and healthy fat. Both will keep you feeling fuller longer and satisfy hunger. Don’t be shocked about the healthy fat. Some fat is good and it keeps you feeling full. Some examples of foods with healthy fat are cheese, hard boiled eggs, avocados and even dark chocolate.

  • If you find you’re ready to snack because of boredom, take a walk instead. If that’s not possible, do a few exercises or run up and down the stairs. Do anything that gets you moving.
  • Create a list of small jobs you want to get done that take between 15 minutes to an hour. When you get bored, don’t reach for a snack but the list and get busy.
  • Grab a bottle of water. Not only does it give some hand to mouth action, often the signs of thirst are the same as those of hunger.
  • Brush your teeth. Yup, nothing sweet tastes good after you brush your teeth and most people won’t feel like eating once they do it.

Have You Thought About Meal Prep

Have You Thought About Meal Prep

If you’re trying to shed pounds and eat healthier, planning and creating meals ahead could be your best weapon against unhealthy eating and those extra pounds. In fact, meal prep could be the key. At the end of a long day, the last thing you want to do is think. If you’re like most people, your mind goes on rote and you automatically grab the quickest thing to fix—which isn’t always the healthiest. When you plan meals and prepare them ahead, the quickest thing available will be good for you.

There’s no worry about portion size when you make meals ahead.

Having the right serving size in each container makes it easy to eat exactly what your body needs to meet its goal. You don’t have to be on a diet to benefit from this. In fact, I know a client that takes her mother preprepared meals. The mother is older and was losing weight because she wasn’t eating enough. This stopped the shrinking mom syndrome and turned it around to healthier mom. The client helped herself too. She made enough for her mom and herself, so everyone benefited.

Precooking foods saves time.

You can make two or three meals at the same time, doing double duty in the kitchen. Some people prepare larger portions and freeze the extras for the next week or two. I have two clients who are good friends and decided to double it up. Each prepared three meals that included four servings. They kept two and gave their friend two. That meant that for the time and effort of cooking one day, they had twelve healthy meals ready to heat and eat.

You’ll keep more money in your pocket.

You’ll still spend money on food prep, but not as much as purchasing ready made food, whether from a takeout or in the freezer section of the grocery. To make it more fun, calculate what you spend in food before you started meal prep ahead and then track what it costs doing it yourself. You can save even more by planning around grocery sales, couponing and even swapping meals with friends. Keep score of your savings and tuck it away until you have enough to buy something to treat yourself, like new clothes in a smaller size.

  • You might find that meal prep is fun when you’re not rushed and starved. In fact, it could spur the inner healthy cook in you to come out and visit.
  • With the extra time you save on premaking your food, you create time to go to the gym and workout without making huge adjustments to your schedule.
  • Prepping meals ahead keeps you on track. You may feel like splurging one night, but if the meals already made, you normally opt for that.
  • Meal prep includes meal planning. When you have a plan, you can create a grocery list and save time and money at the store.

Teenagers' Nutritional Needs

Teenagers’ Nutritional Needs

Teenagers’ nutritional needs aren’t the same as their mother’s or a sibling who is past their teen years. Unfortunately, today so much emphasis has been on being thin, rather than being fit, that many teens aren’t meeting the nutritional needs they require. Body image issues play a huge role in the creation of eating disorders that were relatively unknown just fifty years ago. To add to the problem, families eat on the run and teens have far more control over what they eat than they did when they were just a few years younger.

Teens go through a growth spurt akin to that of early childhood.

Most teenagers reach their full growth some time during their teen year’s. Most of the growth is achieved in an 1 ½ to 2 year period, even though the teen years last from age 13 through 19. During that time, teens need a high volume of calories and nutrients. Puberty increases female body fat from 19% to the adult level of almost 22%. While boys maintain the same body fat percentage of 15% through adulthood, they do add muscle mass.

Protein and healthy fat are important.

With muscle tissue increase and the growth spurts, teens need at least 15% to 20% of their calories from protein. If your child chooses to become a vegetarian, which is more common than you might expect, you need to be vigilant to ensure there’s an adequate balanced amount from vegetarian sources. Healthy fat is one of the more difficult nutritional needs to fill. While getting fat is easy, since there’s junk food abound from which to choose, you’ll find most teens often fail to get the healthy type. Avocados, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and salmon are a good source of healthy fat.

Calcium and iron are also important for teens.

Teens are growing during those years, which means they need the nutrients for growth, which includes calcium and vitamin D to ensure absorption of the calcium for the proper skeletal growth. For both males and females, the need for iron increases as well. Boys need more because muscle mass increases, so there’s a greater volume of blood. Girls need it to replace the iron they lose during menstruation. Cheese and leafy greens can supply calcium, while spinach and peas are a source of iron.

  • Adding a side dish of a food rich in vitamin C boosts the absorption of iron.
  • Zinc is also necessary for growth. Foods with zinc include dark chocolate, beef and wheat germ.
  • Vitamin B complex is important for converting food to energy and helping with other functions, such as to help prevent the flow of sebum and reduce the potential for acne.
  • One way to ensure teens not only get adequate nutrition, but also maintain a healthy outlook and weight is to promote regular exercise at least three to four days each week. Physical activity is equally important for both males and females.

Can You Lose Fat By Changing What You Eat

Can You Lose Fat By Changing What You Eat

No matter who you are, the principle of weight loss is the same. It’s all about calories. When you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. When you eat fewer than you burn, you lose it. Some people have a higher metabolism, so they burn more calories than others do. Sometimes, it’s not how much we eat, but what we eat that makes a difference. You can lose fat by changing what you eat if you choose that have a high nutritional value, but lower calories. It’s simple, but there are a few extra rules to remember.

Sometimes you eat out of habit rather than hunger.

If you stop for coffee every morning and pick up a Danish each time, you may be adding pounds every year and really not want the Danish in the first place. There are between 250 and 500 calories in that little snack that you may be buying and eating out of habit rather than hunger. For every 14 you eat, if you’re eating the lower calorie one, you’ll gain one pound. It only takes seven for the higher calorie Danish. Prepare ahead of time with a lower calorie, more nutritious option you make the night previously. In fact, have your coffee ready to make if you don’t have a timer on it and start it when you start to get ready for work and avoid the stop entirely. It will save you hundreds of dollars every year and help you lose weight faster.

Eating healthier can help control your appetite and make weight loss faster.

Not only will high sugar consumption boost your cravings for sugar, it leaves you dragged out and tired, so you won’t burn as many calories. Adding arginine to your diet, which is an amino acid, is a super fat burner. One study showed that it helped lead to higher inch and weight loss. You’ll find it in lean grass-fed beef and almonds, for example. Magnesium, also found in almonds, boosts fat burning. Grab a banana and a hard boiled egg for breakfast and you’ll add B-vitamins and potassium to turn off fat storing genes and reduce the bloat.

Eat more whole foods, especially vegetables.

While foods are foods that aren’t processed or lightly processed. One important group is fresh vegetables. While celery may not be your favorite food, or even a substantial base for a healthy diet, it’s great to use as a comparison. You’d have to eat 94 stalks of celery to equal the calories of one Big Mac. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables means that you’ll get more nutrition, filling fiber and have lower your caloric intake.

  • There’s so many nutrients that are important to both your health and weight loss, but you won’t find them in junk food. Get with a healthy food habit to make weight loss easier.
  • Don’t exclude fat from your diet. Healthy fat, such as that from salmon or avocados, are necessary for weight loss and body functions.
  • Learn to make small changes to save calories. Brown rice is lower in calories and higher in nutrition. The saving is small but it all adds up.
  • Exercise is important to losing weight and can make the process easier, but it won’t help if you stop for a high calorie meal or snack after each workout session.

Start On Your Summer Body Now

Start On Your Summer Body Now

If you’re out of shape and covered yourself completely last summer, rather joining the fun at the beach, you need to start on your summer body now rather than wait. While you’ll read many articles that say you can be bikini ready in just twelve weeks, they don’t account for personal differences and levels of fitness. Someone that is fifty pounds or more overweight will look significantly better in twelve weeks but still be overweight. Even if you’re in good shape. For those closer to their ultimate goal, you still can hone your appearance and feel comfortable trying on swimsuits.

A toned body requires strength training.

Strength training not only builds muscle tissue, it boosts your metabolism to make weight loss even easier. You need to do it at least three times a week and it will increase your calorie burning into the next day. Finding strength-building exercises that work multiple muscle groups is your best bet. You’ll get maximum results from these.

A tight booty and flat stomach are strictly manditory for the beach.

If you try on that suit and it doesn’t look great from both the front and back, you need to take a step back and run, not walk to the gym. Nothing looks worse than a droopy derrierre, unless it’s a bulging belly. Both take time to build to perfection, so you’ll get the maximum results when you start immediately. Don’t wait to the last moment and find yourself disappointed.

Start eating healthy now and get the best results.

A healthy diet is just as important as the time you spend at the gym. Eating healthy also helps your complexion, just as regular exercise does. You’ll shed pounds without dieting when you eat healthy and won’t have to worry about them returning. You’ll also have a smoother silhouette and skin that looks so good you’ll be proud to display it.

  • Get rid of cellulite while you workout. Shedding pounds and building muscle tissue helps. Strength training also is important. Getting a head start on working out gives you the time to take care of this problem.
  • Eat most of your calories before three in the afternoon and don’t eat after eight in the evening. Studies show that the earlier you eat, the more you burn calories. Exercising in the morning can also stimulate your metabolism to burn calories all day long.
  • While strength-building is important, so is flexibility. You’ll walk more catlike and avoid injury that can set you back for months when you have flexibility training.
  • Even though endurance training won’t shed pounds as fast, it can boost your energy to keep you more active. Don’t forget to include it in your summer workout.

Ever Thought Of Trying A Triathlon?

Ever Thought Of Trying A Triathlon?

Whether you’re working out to get fitter, shed pounds or look better, sometimes you hit a point where it simply gets boring. That’s when modifying your goals or adding a new one can help rev up your passion and get you back into the groove. The new goal should be something that sets your competitive juices flowing, even though you’ll be competing against your own personal best. It should be big enough to get you excited, but still attainable. That’s why trying a triathlon can be a challenge that is perfect to get your head back into the workout and get back on the road to success.

Training for the triathlon is tough.

The triathlon consists of three events, which are normally biking, swimming and running. It has transition periods between events that are also included in the time. That means you must have good endurance and hone your skills in all areas. While winning the race is one of the goals, most people start with the goal of finishing. With each competition, the goal is increased to finishing in a better spot than the last race. If you finished last, long after other contestants, your goal might be to finish with less of a gap.

Find the triathlon that suits your fitness level

You need at least twelve weeks of training to get in good enough shape to participate. You should also pick your triathlon carefully. Not all are the same. Make the first one a Sprint Tri. That race has a 750 meter swim, 12-mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run. The next step up is the Olympic Triathlon where you boost the distance on all areas. The swim is 1.5 kilometers (about twice as long as the Sprint Tri). It also includes double the distance on the bike ride and run. If it’s your first triathlon, you don’t want to take the Ironman challenge or you might get discouraged from the start. It’s a 3.8-kilometer (2.4 miles) swim, with a 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run. That’s a bit much for a first timer.

You’ll get a full body workout when you train for a triathlon.

While riding bike, running and swimming are important parts of your training, you should include strength-building and flexibility training, too. Staying strong and flexible can help you avoid injury and even make your times faster. If your arms and legs are strong, you’ll ride, swim and run faster. Getting a complete workout is as important for success as training in each area is.

  • Learn to eat healthy for maximum performance. You’ll be burning more calories and need the proper nutrition. A solid combination of protein and carbs is important.
  • Stay hydrated when you workout. While water may be great for the gym, even the shortest triathlons are long, so you may need to focus on drinks that provide electrolytes, nutrients and calories to keep you going.
  • Practice the combinations. Bricking is combining two of the elements of the race. Do one full length of one of the sports and a shorter version of the next to allow your body to learn to make the change.
  • Log your progress so you know where you need more training.

Work Just A Little Harder Today

Work Just A Little Harder Today

One way to get results you want is to work just a little harder today. That’s one reason personal trainers push you to achieve your maximum potential and then when you think you’ve accomplished it, make the workout even more difficult. By raising the stakes, for that short time of working out, you’ll be struggling, but for the other 23+ hours in the day, you’ll find life becomes easier and easier.

Don’t get discouraged by the increasing difficulty.

Some people get a bit disgruntled by the ever increasing demands of their workout, but they fail to see the big picture. Working harder today makes life far easier tomorrow. It help the person working hard to achieve their goals faster and strive to even bigger ones. That’s what it’s all about, giving it your all. The more you sew, the more you’ll reap when it comes to fitness.

You’ll be bursting with energy.

The body is so amazing. The more you work it, the more energy it has. Working out isn’t easy if you’re doing it right, but that difficulty will and the exhaustion you feel if you’ve pushed yourself further than you’ve ever gone before, disappears quickly. You end the workout feeling exhilarated and ready to take on the world. You’ll sleep soundly that night and awake in the morning feeling even more energized than you did the day previously.

Working out to the max busts stress and helps release hormones to make you feel fantastic.

If you’re day has been filled with frustration and stress, the gym is the best place to get rid of that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. The harder you workout, the more you sweat, the better you’ll start to feel. That’s because your body is burning off the hormones created by the fight or flight response. Once those burn off, you’ll start feeling the rush of hormones like dopamine and endorphins that give you an exhilarating feeling. If all you got out of the workout was that, it would make it worth working out hard. Luckily, you get so much more.

  • Only putting in half effort is useless. The more effort you put in, the results grow geometrically and far beyond what you’d expect.
  • Challenging yourself is fun and it makes you look forward to exercising even more.
  • Putting in the extra effort helps you shed weight and look fabulous faster. That keeps you more focused and motivated.
  • When you’re doing everything right and putting in the extra effort, you’ll be amazed at how much you’re capable of achieving.

Discover What You Can Become As You Achieve Your Goals

Discover What You Can Become As You Achieve Your Goals

Each accomplishment in the gym helps you discover what you can become as you achieve your goals. While you may have started working out with an ultimate goal in mind, the more progress you make the more you’ll realize the sky is the limit as you see your body transform and feel the new wave of energy course through your body. What may have started out as begrudgingly going to the gym to shed a few pounds becomes a whole new way of life.

You’ll love the changes you see in the mirror.

If you wanted to look good, after a few months, you’ll notice that the effort was worth it. You’ll start to look better than you ever imagined possible. That can inspire you to even bigger goals that you didn’t think possible before the change. You’ll start to enjoy shopping for bathing suits and loving the image you see each time you try on new clothes. You’ll understand just how much in control you are of your own destiny when it comes to fitness.

With each passing day, you’ll feel more energetic and powerful.

That exhaustion you felt at the end of the day that never was satisfied with a short nap is gone. You’ll no longer have a difficult time falling asleep and doze off immediately when you’re head hits the pillow. You’ll awaken in the morning, feeling rested and ready to take on the world. It’s more than just the energy you build, it’s the strength, too. There will be small daily reminders that you’re stronger and more fit. You’ll be able to carry more groceries into the house at once, manage to move the furniture easily to clean or do tasks that require lifting without having to wait for help.

You’ll build the self-confidence you deserve.

Social situations will still be intimidating at first, but as you realize you’re no longer the powerless person you were, you’ll find them easier and easier to face. Before you know it you’ll start enjoying meeting new people and look forward to new situations and exciting new adventures. You’ll walk tall and your demeanor will demonstrate your new found confidence.

  • You may not notice some of the changes in your attitude, but friends and acquaintances will. They’ll start treating you differently because you’ll look and act more confidently.
  • New goals to tackle that have nothing to do with fitness will be on your list to accomplish.
  • You’ll love the new lifestyle changes you’ve started and find that you no longer enjoy the foods that added pounds and behaviors that were self-defeating.
  • People will look to your for guidance to help them become all they can be.