Home Fitness Programs to Transform From Fat to Fit This Festive Season

New Year is around the corner, and it is time to make new resolutions. Most people suffering from obesity may set their goals of losing weight but fall short of success as they lack persistent commitment. However, it is never too late to make a fresh attempt. This year, why not take the full benefit of making a steadfast resolution to attain the perfect shape that you always desired. Here are some tips that can make your home fitness program show a big difference without having to reiterate your pledge next season.

A fitness program can offer great results when we have set a measurable, achievable goal and select a realistic time period thereby making it easy to manage and conquer. Whatever the goals might be, they should be short and realistic. Nevertheless, you can possibly add another goal after you have attained the first one.

Goals that we view on paper, we can make it happen. This will help to remind you when you are losing sight of your goal. Most people, who successfully reach their fitness goals, stick their goal sheet in places they can see clearly, such as the bathroom mirror, on the back of the door and even on office desk. Moreover, you can add it to your calendar to check every week, and make sure that you follow it consistently.

It can be a good idea to hire a personal fitness trainer who can motivate and suggest you exercises which are best for your specific body type. A professional trainer can devise a fitness program that would help you to shed your extra pounds. A fitness expert would take into account your eating habits, health issues, working conditions and limitations to design a custom tailored program that is perfect for you. This is the time when you should put your exercise regime on the priority list and take out time to relieve your stress and keep your body fit and healthy.

A healthy body and a strong mind is the essence of a good personality. If we have a healthy body, our mind remains joyful and radiant. We are able to concentrate in our work and perform better. Thus, physical fitness is the key to help us look and feel energetic and do our best. A good fitness program allows us to do our work with full vigor and keeps us active to perform tasks and spend quality time with our family and friends. Fitness training is the foundation of good health and overall well being.

Nowadays, people are badly affected by urbanized lifestyle and poor eating habits, which can lead to health problems. Moreover, hectic work schedules, stress and environment pollution also affect our health. Quite often, we are unable to spare time to go to a gym, or take out some time to relax and meditate. However, if we are concerned about our health, we should take the foremost step for fitness training.

Earlier, the concept of personal fitness training was thought to be a necessity only for athletes and muscle builders. These days, the concept is growing with leaps and bounds in several homes. Personal fitness program focuses on providing personal attention to your fitness goals by assessing your fitness progress regularly and making changes in the process if required.

Personal fitness instructors are certified fitness professionals to guide and design a well-tailored workout chart to help you accomplish your specific fitness aim. They are just like tutors that present you with constant motivation and support to achieve a fit and healthy body. A personal fitness instructor by knowing about your health and medical problems can suggest specific exercises which are right for you.

Home fitness instructors pay visit to your home and provide training on how to achieve a healthy body and get into a better shape through fitness workouts. Voyaging with an ‘exercise routine’ with the help of a personal fitness expert can help you to get into good shape, guided with balanced diet, and loads of motivation to a healthy lifestyle.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Home Fitness Programs to Transform From Fat to Fit This Festive Season

Mental Fitness: The Missing Link for Wellness?

Recently, we experienced another tragic event: a mass stabbing at a Pittsburg-area high school. Just one week prior it was yet another mass shooting at Fort Hood. And before that a long line of devastating and preventable tragedies of the kind that are seemingly becoming more common by the day. The Navy Yard, Aurora, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine: once names that simply brought to mind placid locations across our great nation that, sadly now, conjure devastating memories of unspeakable heartbreak.

In the midst of all of this, a national dialogue has again begun to emerge. It’s one that, given the questionable mental stability of a great many of the shooters in these events, involves discussions revolving around our nation’s attitudes and policies regarding mental health.

~ Are we doing enough to treat the mentally ill?

~ How can we better screen people for mental illness?

~ How can we keep guns out of the hands of those with histories of mental instability?

And so on…

But here’s a question I’ve yet to hear: “What can we do to prevent mental illness to begin with?”

Seems logical. And truthfully, if we were dealing with an epidemic of flu, obesity, or some other physical malady, prevention would be at the top of this list. But strangely, our culture’s attitudes and habits pertaining to mental health differ significantly from those toward physical health.

Consider this.

In the realm of the physical, it’s universally recognized (albeit not always practiced), that if you want a healthy body, you’ve got to do preventative maintenance: brush your teeth, eat reasonably healthy food, exercise, get enough rest. Day in and day out we engage in a host of chores designed to help enhance the well-being and longevity of our physical selves.

In other words, we understand that physical fitness is a precursor to physical health. Yet, in matters pertaining to our mental and emotional selves, we find a different story.

Developing habits to nourish and exercise our mental and emotional selves is not something regularly considered by most Americans. On the contrary, most of our effort aimed at attending to our mental and emotional needs are more about coddling than fitness. Feeling stressed? Grab a beer with friends. Sadness got you down? Go see the latest blockbuster movie. Anxious about work? How about a round of golf?

Rather than increasing our mental capacity, we medicate ourselves. We engage in activities to make us feel better in the short run, but without really addressing the root problem which revolves around an insufficient ability to absorb and cope with life’s difficulties. It’s like addressing your weight gain by removing all the mirrors in the house. Sure it may make you temporarily feel better, but what does it do to solve the problem?

The truth is it’s an approach that all too often produces what can only be described as free-range, feral minds.

Mental Fitness Defined

To be clear, in this context Mental Fitness does not refer to the development of knowledge or even mental acuity. This is an important point. Many of the mental activities we undertake to develop our minds have very little to do with Mental Fitness, as referred to here. Examples of activities that DON’T dramatically increase our Mental Fitness levels include:

~ Digesting data as part of the learning process

~ Exercising one’s cognitive facility to make the mind more nimble

~ Participating in activities that soothe and nurture the agitated mind and emotions

This is not to say that these activities aren’t worthy and valuable, for they obviously are vital in our development as productive and happy human beings. Even so, for the most part, they are not helping to increase our ability to synthesize a relatively ease-filled experience in the most challenging of circumstances. And cultivating that ease-filled experience is heart of Mental Fitness.

The key to the understanding Mental Fitness is the notion of capacity. Mental Fitness is the measure of one’s capacity to weather life’s challenges without being thrown unduly off balance. It’s the capacity to withstand a layoff, to bear a health diagnosis, or to endure a financial challenge with grace, élan, and a sense of confident calm.

We all know people like this, who never seem to be ruffled. A layoff? No problem. IRS audit? Fine. A traffic accident? No biggie. While everyone around them is sent into tailspins, these folks stay calm, cool, and collected no matter what life throws at them. So what is it about these people that makes them so well-equipped to cope artfully with life’s challenges?

You guessed it: they have a level of Mental Fitness that allows them to artfully ride out such things. The greater your Mental Fitness level, the greater your mental and emotional capacity, and the greater your capacity for living happily-despite the curve balls life throws your way.

Clearly, this immunity to being buffeted by life’s ups and downs seems to be more naturally developed in some people than others. And it’s true, some people seem to be born with a natural ability to artfully weather life’s challenges-that is to say, they are endowed with a higher than average Mental Fitness level. But-and this is crucial-this in no way is to say that one’s Mental Fitness level is fixed.

Again, we can take clues from the physical realm. For the same is true of our innate physical fitness levels. Some of us are natural born athletes, others are anything but. Despite the fact that we humans come in shapes and sizes and physical abilities, no matter what one’s natural level of physical fitness is, we ALL can benefit from exercising our physical selves-and improve our physical fitness and live healthier, happier lives.

And so it goes with Mental Fitness.

This means that we are not victims of our natural level of mental fitness, nor of our circumstances. Remember, the greater our Mental Fitness, the easier we can remain undisturbed by the inevitable difficulties that life throws our way. So it paves the way for more happiness and contentment-in good times and bad.

And just as importantly, developing ourselves in this regard can serve as an important component in the health of our communities. Physical fitness aids to stave off physical illness. Mental Fitness aids to stave off mental illness. It’s a simple means to enhance the well-being of us all.

With this understanding, the problem becomes one of increasing our Mental Fitness – our capacity to remain mentally and emotionally undisturbed in more and varied circumstances, especially in situations that have historically thrown us off balance.

How do I increase my Mental Fitness?

So, this all begs the question: “How do we increase our Mental Fitness level?” Surprisingly, it’s more simple and straightforward than you might think, and truly is not all that different from the way we build more physical fitness!

Think about it. To build our physical capacity, for example your capacity to lift weight, you physically challenge yourself. To lift more weight, you need to lift more weight. Strength builds as you deliberately lift just a bit more weight than you’re comfortable with. If you can easily lift 80 pounds, lift 85; once you can lift 85 without difficulty, move up to 90; and so on. You’re expanding your capacity for weight lifting by always lifting just a bit more than is comfortable and by staying with the burn.

The same principle applies when you’re working to expand your mental and emotional capacity. Here, too, the invitation remains the same: do a bit more than is comfortable and stay with the burn. But for the expansion of our mental and emotional capacity, rather than needing physical weight to provide the resistance needed for growth, we need difficulty or challenge.

Here’s the thing: life’s challenges, the ones that typically throw us into a tizzy, are for our Mental Fitness, like the weight is to our physical fitness. They are challenges that can be used to increase our capacity to calmly weather life’s challenges-but only if we see the opportunities for what they are.

I confess. There is much more nuance to effectively increasing our Mental Fitness levels than is presented in this simplistic explanation. Nevertheless, the premise remains sound. And this I know from experience.

You see, helping people cultivate optimum mental and emotional fitness is my life’s work. Over the years I’ve seen thousands upon thousands of people forge lives of great equanimity and fulfillment even amidst torrents of disappointment and challenges. My chosen tools are drawn from the ancient wisdom of yoga (tapping the lesser-known mental and emotional aspects of the practice beyond mere yoga postures and breath), but that is not to say these are the only tools that can be used to this end.

Is this orientation toward Mental Fitness a silver bullet? Will it end mental illness and completely stave off future killings and other such tragedies? Not by a long shot. For the truth is that Mental Fitness can’t completely eradicate mental illness any more than physical fitness can totally end physical illness.

We will always have a need for treatment modalities, facilities, and trained professionals to address the needs of those who have slid into mental illness. Just as we do for those who are physically ill.

But if we could take steps to reduce the incidence of such illness even 5 or 10 or 20 percent, wouldn’t it be worth it?

The invitation here is to look at the tremendous impact that forging greater physical fitness has had on reducing physical illness. And then orient toward employing those same principles as a means to increasing our Mental Fitness to help reduce the incidence mental illness as well.

While the true impact of such a movement is uncertain, it seems clear from where I sit that we owe it to the victims and families of these senseless tragedies to at least give it a try.

Eric Walrabenstein is the founder of Yoga Pura, and is one of the most sought-after authorities on the application of yogic technology for self healing and empowerment in the nation. As an author, speaker, and master teacher of mind/body health, E is famous for making yoga’s ancient wisdom practical and relevant for people from all walks of life.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mental Fitness: The Missing Link for Wellness?

Understanding the Definition of Health Related Fitness

Being a Health and Fitness Professional, it is my job to understand terms and definitions which are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that which they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and to show their respective distinctions.

Is it simply all in a name?

The fitness world seems to use the concept Health Related Fitness like a generic fitness principle – interchangeable with others like “Physical Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness.”

While all of these terms can be included under the broad term Health and Physical Fitness, they individually refer to different aspects – both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” use for them, but individuals often rely on own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

With that said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the term Health Related Physical Fitness come about?

That is a good question. One could probably ask what is this concept all about – can we not simply use the terms “Fitness” or “Physical Fitness” instead?” Why Health “Related”?

The main reason stems from the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from the US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a report of the Surgeon General), there was a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, health practitioners and fitness trainers to grapple with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a working term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the main authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have contributed to confusing the term “Physical Fitness.”

There exists no reliable guide for Health and Fitness Professionals to measure “Physical Fitness”, because the term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the concept of Health Related Fitness. The definition therefore centers on the 5 Components of Physical Fitness which relate to “good health.” These Components are:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness
Body Composition
Flexibility
Muscular Strength
Muscular Endurance

On the other hand, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

Balance
Reaction Time
Coordination
Agility
Speed
Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of Physical Fitness emphasizes the difference between Health Related Physical Fitness and Athletic Ability Physical Fitness. Its point-of-departure is the “health” of the US nation, which is often referred to as the “public health perspective.” In that respect, the 5 Health Related Fitness Components are more important than those related to Athletic Ability (or Skill Related Components).

Although the concept of Health Related Fitness has an integral association with “good health”, the 5 Components are addressed individually by health professionals to allow for their measurement.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the term, what purpose does it serve?

Continuing from where the definition left off, the objective of measuring the 5 Components is to advise clients about their own particular Health Related Fitness, and to use data obtained from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs which can then be evaluated.

The 5 Components contribute evenly to make up a holistic Health Related Fitness, which is of direct interest to the health of the ordinary citizen, in that the concept is normative. In other words, it is a standard which allows for consistent application.

It is therefore important for those working in the health and fitness industry not to mistake “overall physical fitness” with “Health Related Physical fitness.”

To conclude, let us consider this distinction between Physical Fitness and Health Related Fitness

One needs to bear in mind that regular physical exercise can improve overall Physical Fitness, as well as Health Related Fitness. However, overall fitness is a generic term and is up to subjective interpretation, while Health Related Fitness can be assessed.

The distinction therefore, between these two terms, exists in that Health Related Physical Fitness can be measured according to a set of established comparative norms.

This is where the “rubber hits the road.” The guidelines set out by the ACSM enable health professionals to work with clients to assess and measure their response to exercise and prescribe appropriate exercise programs. A client’s progress can then be monitored and adjusted where necessary in order to obtain the desired fitness goals.

Cleto Tirabassi is a certified Fitness Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).

His work centers on the “sensible approach” to Health Related Fitness, which entails the use of practical, flexible and sustainable methods to achieve optimal levels of health and physical fitness.

His clientele belongs mostly to the group he calls “average everyday people”, who in short want to be in excellent shape, yet still lead a conventional life.

Based in Rome, Italy – he is dedicated to guiding the individuals he works with to realize their health and fitness goals. He also understands that the health and fitness industry is constantly evolving and therefore maintains a close watch on trends in his field of expertise.

Posted in Fitness | Comments Off on Understanding the Definition of Health Related Fitness

How To Combat Common Fears In Joining A Group Fitness Class

Group fitness classes are the ideal way to stay fit and healthy. They offer a wide variety of classes to fit the needs of the group and to meet a vast amount of fitness goals. So much can be said for the benefits of joining a fitness class. Group fitness classes are by far the most popular form of exercise, but for many people a group fitness class can also be intimidating.

So much can be said for the benefits of joining a fitness class. Group fitness classes are by far the most popular form of exercise, but for many people a group fitness class can also be intimidating.

Group Fitness Class

Group fitness is a craze that is sweeping across the country. These classes are for anyone and everyone, even you! With hundreds of different types of fitness classes to choose from you are sure to find one that is right for you.

Feeling the group’s energy will help you to stay focused and energized as you workout, it really is an amazing feeling to participate in a group exercise setting.

Here are some types of classes that you might be interested in:

Yoga and Pilates – Yoga and Pilates are great for increasing your balance, flexibility and strengthening your core. A group class is a great way to learn the proper techniques and correct form that is required for each pose.

Zumba – Zumba is an aerobic type class that is ideal for burning calories, strengthening the heart and getting your blood flowing. Zumba is a dance style aerobics class where you will dance to music and have fun. Group classes, like Zumba are very popular and lots of fun, especially because they are in a group setting where the all-around energy is highly contagious. The more the merrier!

CrossFit – CrossFit is an all-around workout class that will push your fitness level to new heights. This class uses a variety of different functional movements, lots of strength training and offers wide variety in classes that change daily with the infamous CrossFit WOD (workout of the day).

It is also one of the most popular group classes out there that can help you lose weight, get strong, improve your functionality in everyday life and build lean muscle tone.

Other Classes

There are many other types of classes available at gyms, studios, community centers and universities across the country. Decide what your fitness goals are and let that guide you to a class. Don’t be afraid to try a few of them out and see which one works best for you.

Dealing With Fear

The most common type of fear is the fear of the unknown. When we allow our fears to control us it can prevent us from experiencing new things and from growing in unique ways. Fear can also keep people from being proactive in their fitness goals and staying away from exercises classes.

Fear not! Keep reading to learn some of the most effective ways to chase your fears away.

Tips To Combat Your Fears

You’re not the only one that feels intimidated, many people feel the same way. Everyone in that fitness class was a first time student. Most likely there will be other first timers in the class with you.

Consider This:

The first time is always the hardest. Once you walk through the door into the class, the hardest part will be over.

Take a friend with you to class. Having someone to keep you company can do wonders to help alleviate that feeling of fear.

Don’t worry about what others think. Everyone is there to workout and is more focused on themselves than anyone else. You might be surprised at how many are worried about what you think of them.

Have fun! Make your experience fun and enjoyable. After the class begins you will be too involved in having fun to remember being scared. Remember that if the classes were not fun people would not go to them. That means that you are very likely to enjoy yourself too!

Focus on your goals. To reach your fitness goals a group fitness class is the way to go. Stay focused on what your fitness goals are and let everything else go.

Get to know the people in your class. The more people you know in the class the more fun the class can be and the less intimidating it will become.

Talk to the instructor before the class starts. They can put your mind at ease and give you some tips so that you will not feel so out of place. Your teacher is a trained professional that is there to help you.

Don’t let fear keep you from participating in improving your health and fitness, and remember that not only will you get the chance to be healthier, you will also conquer your fear, which is one of the most gratifying feelings in the world.

Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. The site encompasses a wide variety of health and fitness activities including general health matters, pilates, yoga, CrossFit, treadmill training, running, kettlebell, swimming, baseball, camping, hunting, HIIT, triathlons, extreme sports, equestrian and more. Should this subject matter be of interest you can visit the HF & S Club home site where you’ll find over 1,300 quality posts with new posts being published daily. To quickly access those that are of interest you can select any of 20 Categories broken down by over 260 Sub-Categories for easy access.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Combat Common Fears In Joining A Group Fitness Class

The Road To Fitness

For most of us, choosing to be fit is more a test of will than a one time decision. Being “fit” covers a change in our lifestyle much more than just embarking upon a new exercise or diet program. For me, the choice came about 15 years ago. I was about 24 years old when friends of mine convinced me to start going to the gym as a group. At that time, I knew I didn’t really like the way I looked, so I thought it would be a good idea. How hard could it be? Well, it didn’t take long before I knew the answer to that question. And to tell you the truth, at that time my workouts were not that difficult. But getting up at 5am to be at the gym by 5:30, certainly was, Also, since there were 4 of us and only 1 really knew what he was doing, the workouts were VERY long. Too long when you mix in the water cooler talk that often took over some workouts.

So, after trying this approach for about 3 weeks I still wasn’t motivated nor did I look forward to working out and was about to quit. As luck would have it for me, 2 guys in the group beat me to it, leaving just myself and the only person who knew anything about working out correctly at that time. That changed everything.

With just 2 of us now, we were much more focused and I got some really good coaching on the basics. After a month of 1-1 time, we started increasing the intensity of the workouts and mixing in some really fun cycle classes. Somewhere within the next month, I saw a change. Not just in my appearance, but my outlook and attitude were all effected. At that point, I was hooked. I worked out consistently at the gym 5 times a week incorporating cardio, running and weights. I looked and felt good thinking this would always be my way of life.

And it was, until about 5 years ago. In 2007, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and turned my life upside down. I quickly lost interest in many of my normal activities including fitness. During the next 2 years, I really let myself go and didn’t much care to get back into the swing of things. A major life changing event will do this to a person, and I was no exception. My wife became really concerned about my decline in fitness and began encouraging me to get back into it. I tried but absolutely could not get motivated. After much research and a hard look in the mirror, I was able to pull back the self discipline I once had. It was not easy, and it took a lot of planning and hard work. So, today, I want to share what helped me conquer my fitness demons. Hope these help you.

The reason I’m giving so much background of my personal fitness experience is to show that each of us will struggle in different ways with choosing fit. Lifetime fitness really isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. We all have different situations that initiate our interest of getting in shape, keeping us motivated and sustaining the lifestyle for the long term. However, I do believe there are some common practices we can all adopt to help us overcome obstacles at any of these stages and become an improved, healthier and fit person.

1. Initiate – This may be the easiest of the 3 stages because it only requires us to decide to get fit, but not actually do anything. That said, don’t underestimate the importance and key factors that should be use to initiate your fitness journey. The main things to remember here are these:

Do this for you! Be sure you’re not just giving in to pressure from others. You need to be willing to take this step and feel good its the right approach for you.

Start with the end in mind. Set goals and imagine what you want your body and health to reflect during the journey. Lose 25 pounds, Get ripped, lower cholesterol, feel better, keep up with the kids.

Choose the right program.- The right fitness program for you is very important and will vary depending on your fitness starting point. Choosing one too hard, or that doesn’t yield results fast enough will quickly discourage you and run the risk of bailing too quickly. Find the balance of enjoyable exercise that challenge you enough to hit early goals. Don’t discount the power of proven favorites like walking, jogging and biking to get started. These can help your body start getting into a routine that will be a base to adopt going forward. Just try to perform your exercise at the same time daily to get your internal clock know what to expect. As you establish a rhythm, and hit some milestones you’ve set, it may be time to try new programs or increase the difficulty of your current routines. For a list of some awesome routines, just leave a comment requesting it.

Accept that your eating habits MUST change. Like it or not, it is part of the game. By not embracing the fact that the workouts alone will not cut it, you’re bound to fail when results do not come. The good news is, the change in eating habits can actually be a very positive experience. You’ll feel great and have the energy to workout the right way. Completely removing everything you like about food is the WRONG way to approach this. You can still eat really good tasting and satisfying foods without sabotaging your hard work. There are even ways to sneak in your favorites and not feel guilty about it, so don’t worry about that. Just know that what and how you eat makes all the difference in the end.

2. Stay Motivated – Everyone is motivated out of the gate when starting a fitness program, but that quickly fades for many people when they realize the process is more difficult than they imagined. Make no mistake, getting fit is HARD, but the challenge is not unlike anything else worth having in life. You must commit and keep motivated using several tactics, of which I’ve tried many. Try these to help you stay on track.

Aim for some quick results. Everyone wants this, but it is key to see some quick results early on so that the momentum of starting the program does not dwindle. Losing a pound or two, dropping a pant size, completing a workout without stopping, whatever makes you feel good. Be realistic about this, but have something you shoot for so you can taste success and drive you to continue.

Read about being fit. This is truly a big motivator as it shows you success stories and gives a lot of ideas about achieving goals. So take the time to read a magazine or internet article about your favorite exercise, or healthy food. You’ll be surprised how engaged you may quickly become.

Get the sweat flowing. For me, a workout that doesn’t do this leaves me somewhat empty. Getting your heart rate up (and sweating) activates all of the key things that makes exercise so effective. It burns calories, strengthen the heart and cardio system, and releases endorphins in the brain that make you feel great. You’ll see!

Never settle – Set, Reset and Reset your PB (Personal Best). Constantly challenging your last record is an awesome way to stay in the game. Run that mile faster, go longer, extra reps, extra sets, higher jumps, deeper lunges, better form. The list can go on and on. You can be your best competition and there’s nothing like competition to motivate the heart and soul. So kick your own butt! You’ll enjoy it.

Do what you can! We all have limits and quite often use them as excuses that interfere with our fitness routines. Time, stress, aches, and tiredness all contribute to our justification to digress or completely stop a program. Don’t let that happen. If you find yourself giving in to one of these temptations, try to at least do something. Convince yourself you can at least do 1/2 or even 1/3 of a workout. (10 minutes? Don’t go as intense or fast. Give yourself a break, without actually giving yourself a break. You may be surprised by convincing yourself to at least get started, you’ll be more willing to push harder during the workout.

Don’t tempt yourself or give in to food junkies. Everyone I know encounters this during their fitness journey. It involves either being introduced to a food situation that makes it difficult to say no, or being encouraged by others to “cheat” even when they know how you feel about staying on track. By giving in to either, you will likely feel guilty afterwards, which oddly enough increases your chances to continue cheating. The negative feeling of guilt are powerful and can actually begin a vicious cycle of continuing the pattern, so don’t let this happen. The first of these is actually easier to deal with by simply planning around it, or modifying the portions of food you have available so they at least meet some of the standards of your diet. For the second, if you find yourself in this situation often, have a gameplan. Either be ready to defend your stance on cheating or plan to deal with it in another way. Maybe use it as your cheat meal, compensate for it on the next day or week, or modify the portions so you can at least control the damage.

Keep a support network. Family, friends, social networks, whatever. Have some person you can confide in about your struggles that can offer positive support. Works wonders in the beginning.

3. Sustain the Life Style. This part can seem a little easier once you achieve your goals, but the long term approach to fitness is actually one that must always be top of mind. While this stage is a practice of discipline, even an “iron will” can be bent when the lifestyle is too far from what a person enjoys. So how can you force yourself to embrace a long term lifestyle that doesn’t match who you are? Well, actually you can’t. I think people are amazing and capable of just about anything. But not allowing yourself to be YOU jeopardizes your character and simply said, is not right for anyone.

Because of this, let’s look at this challenge from a different approach. How do create a lifestyle that is both fit and matches your personality? The answer may be a little different for everyone, but for me, I can provide a few tips that helped. Consider these and possibly modify to suit your own needs.

Find your fit, in fitness! Put another way, find exercise and diet that allow you to be fulfilled. What activities do you enjoy, or for that matter, dislike? Running, walking, lifting, bike riding, Plyometrics, calisthenics, WiiFit, whatever. If nothing lights your fire, you will have a tough road hereJ However, if you’ve read this far into the post, I doubt there’s nothing for you.

Challenge yourself! Once you’ve found the exercise(s) you enjoy, don’t always settle for moderate workout. You need to push yourself for various reasons. It not only keeps your workouts interesting, it provides the edge required to make an impact on your fitness. The level of “intensity” differs from person to person, but you know when you’ve given your all. Don’t cheat yourself out of real benefits. I don’t think someone really taps into the true benefits of fitness until they crank up the volume of the workout. You’ll look better, feel better, and even be more confident and positive.

Learn how to eat clean, then do it 90% of the time. There are a ton of books on the topic of eating right, and they all have some validity. Find a good nutrition plan that works for your body, and learn the framework. Once you understand the basics of nutrition, portion control and the most harmful foods to avoid, the rest can be adapted to your eating habits. Now, eat this way 90% of the time. This gives you the break people need to keep their sanity. I eat approx 5 times a day, which means I have 35 meals per week. In my world, I allow 3 of those meals to stray from my normal eating. I don’t lock myself to a day, or time of day to do this. I choose the right meal to allow this based on “life”. Sometimes it’s a donut breakfast with my daughter or an awesome dinner with my wife. Maybe a good ole fashion home cooked meal from my mother in law. It doesn’t matter, just stay committed not to go beyond this limit and please don’t overdo it. The 90% rule is not a free for all at the dinner table. That could really wreck your progress! It is a way to give yourself the freedom you need to eat foods you really enjoy to make the system work for you.

Variety, Variety, Variety! Did I say that enough? If so, it’s because I believe without variety in your fitness it will inevitably become boring while not allowing enough areas of the body to get attention. If workouts become stale and mundane, you run the risk of disengaging in them and eventually quit. Who wants to do always do something that’s boring and hard..NOT! This doesn’t mean you have to always recreate your entire workout. Most often slight adjustment to your current routine will provide the mix needed to spice them up. If you run/bike, change the route, look at modifying the weights or reps on a lifting routine, even changing the intensity or order of the exercises can help liven things up. Whatever you decide to do to make them a little different helps and you’ll see how quickly it rekindles your interest in staying fit.

Hopefully these tips on “Choosing Fit” will help you Set, Hit and Maintain your fitness goals. They have done wonders for me in my life and I am constantly looking for new items to add in each section. Let me know your own ideas, and feel free to share with all your fit friends. Like I said, it’s a tough road but worth it and doable with a little bit of strategy. Hope this helps you on your journey.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Road To Fitness