Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
It’s happened again. You’ve let yourself slip, whether it was taking a way-too-long “vacation” from the gym, or eating just that one extra French fry or chocolate chip cookie…every day for the past two months.
While it may seem like you’ve fallen off the deep end and that it’s nearly impossible to go back, you absolutely CAN! And all you need is a large dose of some good ol’ motivation!
Yup, that’s right. Motivation is the one surefire way to keep you going and bring you one step closer to your goals, because when you’re motivated (and I mean truly motivated) you won’t want to give up!
So, here is a list of ideas to ingrain in your head that will help you keep going and stay motivated throughout the day. If you follow this positive mindset, you’ll never even have to think about getting to that low point ever again.
1. “I can look like that again”:
So many people I know reveal pictures from months, or even years, ago, saying that they’d only wish they could look like that again. Well you can, that is if you think you can and really, truly believe in it. By looking at pictures of yourself at time when you were in shape and healthy, you will be more motivated to keep going!
Try pinning up a picture in your room or on the fridge of what you desire to look like, and then get moving. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture of you, either. If there’s a celebrity or athlete who motivates you, by all means let them be your role model to get in shape! Just be careful of setting too high expectations, and know your own body type and what your capable of.
2. “I will be more active throughout the day”
When you’re in shape, you’re more apt to stay active all day long. Whether that’s playing outside more with your kids, or going on a hiking trip with your friends that you’d normally skip out on. Getting involved more and setting a good example for your friends or kids is a great reason to stay motivated!
Also, you’ll be less bored because you now have something to work for: being healthy and getting your body back the way you want it to be! This will make you more excited to get up in the morning and go for that jog, rather than your usual routine of setting the alarm on snooze and going back to bed.
3. “I am getting closer to my goals”
Tracking your progress is a great way to keep you going! When you see the results of all that you have accomplished already, you’ll be more likely to continue. After all, if whatever you’re doing is working, you won’t want to stop!
Keep a record of whatever your working toward, whether that be weighing yourself once or twice a week, or timing your run. When you see the scale or stopwatch time go down, you’re goal will seem more realistic and you’ll want to go, go, go!
4. “I can throw out my ‘fat clothes’.”
Those jeans you keep just in case your weight creeps up again embarrass you. Well, good news my friend: you can finally throw those out or pass them on to someone in need! If you stay motivated and keep working toward your goals, you’ll never have to squeeze into your fat jeans ever again.
And that’s not the only thing to look forward to. You’ll also get to buy a whole new wardrobe full of flattering clothes to fit your new figure. (Now, that’s a good excuse to have to go shopping!)
5. “I will gain confidence”
It’s a known fact that when you feel better about yourself and your body, your confidence will boost as well! Seeing how great you look in the mirror, or how wonderful you feel after a long, sweaty workout will make your confidence level peak!
6. “My social life will beam”
Have you ever opted out of a fun evening with friends because you were embarrassed of how you looked, or worried that you wouldn’t look good in any of your outfits?
Once you get motivated, you’ll no longer have the urge to stay in. Instead, to opposite will happen and you’ll want to go out, socialize and show off your new, improved look! Trust me, having confidence works wonders on your social life.
7. “Life is too short to bed sad or depressed. I can be happy again.”
When your overweight or feeling that you’re working toward absolutely nothing, you are bound to feel sad and even depressed at times.
But, if you start braving the gym again (or even just put on your walking sneakers), you are one step closer to reaching your goals. Knowing that your working for something, rather than doing it all for nothing, will encourage you to keep working at it! Plus, those endorphins you’ll get from working out are an instant mood-booster!
8. “I will look and feel beautiful (and others will notice)”
Of course working out is about you and how you feel, and when you stay motivated you’ll feel a heck of a lot healthier and more beautiful.
But, those wonderful compliments here and there from family members or friends don’t hurt either! When others commend you on your amazing results and tell you how great you look, you’re confidence level will soar to the roof and you’ll want to keep at your routine even more.
9. “I can be a role model for others”
Once you get back into shape, this should motivate you to want to help others. You can show a close friend, sibling or coworker what worked for you, and help them to feel great about their body as well! Seeing others look up to you as a role model should make you feel absolutely wonderful about your achievements, and you’ll want to keep up with all your hard work because now the eyes are on Y-O-U!
10. “I will be in charge of my own life”
Forget all the boxes of donuts and negative thoughts that used to run your life. You and only you are now in charge of your life, and it will feel darn good to say so! After all, it was you and a little bit of motivation that got you to where you are today, so congratulate yourself and let that be an example to keep up with all the hard work.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The other day, a family friend came up to me in distress because he had hit a weight-loss plateau. “ I just can’t seem to lose weight or body fat anymore,” he said. “I work out hard every day. What could I possibly be doing wrong?” After I went over the basic checklist for maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, I asked him if he incorporates interval training into his workouts. “Inter-what?” he replied, not having a clue what they were, which is a shame because intervals may very well be the missing ingredient into many peoples efforts to lose weight or tone up.
As it turns out, this friend of mine isn’t alone in his lack of interval knowledge. Many people I’ve spoken with either have no idea what intervals are, don’t know how to execute them the right way, or have never even tried. Let’s just say, if any of these apply to you, you are missing out on one of the best workout secrets out there!
Don’t worry; it’s not too late to get started. I’m here to inform you what exactly intervals are, why they are so good for you, and how to incorporate them into your workout regimen now.
What are Intervals, anyway?
Simply put, intervals are moderate level workouts with high intensity bursts of energy added for short periods of time (hence the name intervals). Because the high intensity bursts don’t last very long, it makes it possible for your body to recover before you increase speed again.
These intervals, rotating between high and low intensity, makes interval training suitable for anybody, no matter what your workout level is. That’s because it’s up to you to control how much speed is added during the exercise and after all, you know your own limits best.
Interval training is different than your regular run of the mill cardio routine because the rest periods incorporated into the routine allow you to work much harder during the short, fast-paced bursts that follow. This also results in burning more calories than you normally would. Also, studies have shown that interval training leads to an extended calorie burn throughout the day, more so than a typical steady-paced cardio workout.
Benefits of Intervals
As I already mentioned above, most often people who practice interval training burn more calories during and after their exercise, working up a nice sweat! But burning calories isn’t the only benefit of interval training. It has also been known to conquer weight-loss plateaus, tone up the body all over, blast fat and increase your metabolism throughout the day! Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?
And the benefits don’t end there. By incorporating intervals into your weekly routine, you’ll be less likely to get bored of your workouts, and have much more fun while working out. Instead of counting down those long, dreadful 30 minutes of steady running on the treadmill that you normally do, you’ll be constantly engaged in your exercise routine, making it go by much faster!
Add Them To Your Routine Today
As I mentioned before, intervals are for anyone, and that means you can get started today. With just a few, short tips, you’ll be on your way to being an interval-expert in no time!
§ Choose Your Terrain:
One of the best things about interval training is that you can do it almost anywhere! Whether it be your favorite cardio machine at the gym or running around your neighborhood, intervals can be modified for whatever environment you’re in.
Actually, most cardio machines at the gym, like the elliptical, have a set interval program that you can choose before you start your workout. It will automatically change the machine’s levels for you to challenge your body and blast that fat off quickly. If you’d like to change your own levels manually, just keep an eye on the time and change speeds accordingly.
If you’re running or biking outside, go at your normal, steady pace for a minute or two, adding short bursts of 30-second speed intervals.
§ Know Your Level:
While all of this may seem intense, interval training doesn’t have to be an extreme, out-of-breath experience. You can alter your intervals based on your personal fitness level. For instance, if you’re used to walking lightly on the treadmill at a steady 3.5 for half an hour a day, try walking at a 3.5 for one minute, with 30 seconds at a 4.0, or even lightly jogging at a 4.5. Once you get comfortable doing that, you can increase the speeds gradually during your next workout.
However, maybe you’re already a fitness guru, who can run 10 miles like it’s a piece of cake. If that’s the case, try running at your normal, steady speed for 2 to 5 minutes at a time, with bursts of 30 second to 1-minute sprints.
§ Change it Up
Just like any other workout, you don’t want to do the same exact thing every time. If you bike one day, try swimming or running the next. This will keep your body guessing what’s next and blast away even more calories!
Also, you don’t need to practice interval training every day. Give your body a rest, and simply incorporate intervals into your routine two to three days a week at first.
Now that you’ve read all about intervals, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Why didn’t I start doing this before?” Well, forget about the past and start living in the present, adding them to your routine today!
Interval training really is a no brainer to get in shape and get that dial on the scale moving down again. After a few sessions, it’s sure to become your new best friend and greatest workout buddy yet!