Category: Fitness

How to Keep Fit

We can all keep fit – or at least keep in shape. We all know that the majority of us aren’t living in our bodies at their peak condition. As humans, we live in a constant state of exhaustion. That’s because most of us don’t exercise often enough. With that said, here are some ways to keep fit:

A gym is an excellent way to stay in shape. But if you’re like most of us, it’s also one of the most expensive places in town. So, what’s the solution? Jump into your local gym, pick up a workout book, purchase a couple of dumb bells (or whatever), and start skipping. There are all kinds of new workout routines and fast-body diets out there, but the best and most reliable method to keep fit, especially for those of us who don’t have a lot of money, is to cut down on junk food and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

A gym isn’t the only way to keep-fit. There are a ton of new ideas out there on how to keep fit, from keeping fit by walking to keeping fit by doing yoga. Yoga has recently gained popularity as an exercise method that can help you lose weight and tone your body. These yoga classes are now available in many local studios.

One of my personal favorites is called “board ship,” which involves taking long walks on a tall, narrow board. The downside to this method is that you will probably be wearing a helmet, as well as sneakers, and you won’t be able to take along your iPod and listen to music while walking. I like board ship because the walk can be a bitotonous. It really keeps my energy up and gets me ready for another long walk in the next few days.

Other alternatives to going to the gym would include skipping the gym, such as I have done a few times before. Skipping the gym has its advantages, such as being able to exercise at your own time and in your own environment. The disadvantage is that it also involves a lot of planning and determination, since you will need to make sure that you can get to and from the gym. You may not even be able to make it to the gym on certain days because of work or family commitments. In addition, skipping the gym can actually be quite harmful because you don’t burn as many calories as if you did regular exercises. Board-ship classes or other fitness classes are certainly a great way to stay fit.

If you are thinking of skipping the gym, I recommend that you start out slow, either with a half hour or one hour workout. Just start getting used to walking around. Walking is a great exercise because it is low impact, aerobic and cardio, which are all components of the perfect fitness program. Walking to a class is a great way to build up your stamina, while also developing good posture and hand/eye coordination. After a few weeks of doing this, you should start to notice a difference in how your body feels, and you’ll start to enjoy skipping on your exercise bike a little more.

Click here for more ideas on how to keep fit and healthy

Carb Cycling

Tips For Carb Cycling As Diet Plan

https://www.figure-competition.com/When it comes to dieting and trying to lose weight, one of the most effective strategies to do so successfully is by implementing a carb cycling approach. Essentially, carb cycling is a program where you effectively mix high carbohydrate intake days with low intake days in an effort to consistently shock the system without suffering from some of the different negative symptoms and consequences of a purely low carbohydrate diet. Some of the main side effects can manifest into lower overall performance during exercise, increased hunger and craving, lowered metabolic rate, and even having difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. By cycling your intake of carbs, you should be able to properly off-set some of the factors that will help minimize the overall impact of them. In this article, we will be discussing some of the benefits and things you should know about this kind of diet plan.

Tips For Carb Cycling As A Diet Plan:

1. High Carb Days Should Be Placed On Heavy Training Days.

One of the most important tips involves knowing when to place your high carbohydrate intake days. Your high carb days should always be placed on your heavy training days. These are the days in which you plan on really training a significant amount of lifting heavy weights. After all, if you are not putting carbs into your body, your body is likely going to be working much less effectively overall. Thus, you want to make sure that you are giving yourself the most amount of energy and sustained output by maximizing the amount of carbohydrates you eat on workout heavy days.

2. Expect To Gain Water Weight.

When it comes to carb cycling, you should expect to gain a good amount of water weight throughout the process. This is an important thing to be prepared for so you don’t go thinking that the diet is ruining your figure and fitness goals. Whenever you are eating high carbohydrates, you are going to end up absorbing and retaining more water. For every gram of carbohydrate you take into your body, you will end up storing around 4 grams of water along with it. Therefore, if you happen to be consuming 200 to 300 grams of carbohydrates on high carb days, you will end up having that add up extremely quickly.

3. Choose Carbohydrates High In Glucose.

Another important thing that you are going to want to do when you are carb cycling is choose foods that are highest in glucose values. That way, you will be able to get the foods absorbed as quick as possible. What you do want to avoid within the diet is fructose. Especially high fructose corn syrup. You want to get glucose and not fructose because fructose behaves much differently within the body and there is a greater chance of it getting converted into fat which can actually inhibit your fitness goals.

In the end, you want to try to maximize the effectiveness of the diet if you are going to implement it. Follow the tips above to really get the most out of your carb cycling as diet plan.

Figure Competitions

Female Figure Competition

https://www.figure-competition.com/Have you ever thought about entering a women’s figure competition? Or even a men’s competition, come to that, because most of what this article is about applies equally to anyone interested in body building.

https://www.figure-competition.com/

For some people, it is a scary but exciting thought. Having the opportunity to display the results of weeks and months of training, exercise and clean eating can be highly motivating and the competition aspect can keep you working at your skills and diet long after you might have given up without it. Of course, on the other hand, getting up on stage in front of hundreds of people, in a figure competition suit that is little more than a bikini (or swim trunks) and high heels (or bare feet) could be pretty scary to some people.

Dream Big

If fitness, a strong toned body and the opportunity to display the results of your body building diet and hard work are important to you, then go for it. What sort of legacy could you leave behind with all this? Many of those who take part in these types of figure competition, whether male or female become interested in nutrition and sports coaching or life coaching or even coaching others to enter these competitions. The very fact of taking part in these events provokes in some the wish to know more about how their body works, what foods suit it best and even how to push it harder than many others in this day and age will ever do. (Interesting fact: did you know that men these days are not as strong as their fathers were? The amount of physical work done is much less and children don’t get out as much as in previous generations. The same probably holds true for women.)

Go For It

If fitness, exercise and good nutrition interests you, then dream high  and get what you want. Sounds too good to be true? Remember, you have to believe in your dreams to actually achieve them.

Evaluate What You Want

The formula for getting what you want is to multiply YOU by your thoughts and actions and that will lead to success in whatever field you try. Of course, you need to be clear about what you want in the first place.  Try relaxing back in peace and quiet, whether on a beach or in your favorite place, closing your eyes and just dreaming about it. You may see many things you don’t actually want to do but as you relax and stop “thinking”, your true wants and desires should appear and provide inspiration for achieving what you want from life. This might be competitive body building or it might be something else.

Believe In Yourself

Belief in yourself is the first step towards achieving anything. You have to believe in your efforts, your skills and your capabilities. Even sticking to a figure competition diet requires belief in yourself, the fact that you CAN do it and the worth of doing it.

Be with positive people

Evaluate the people you associate with. Make sure they are positive and encourage you in what you want to achieve, as you do with them. Connect with those who help you in both good and bad times. They may be coaches, friends, mentors or family.

Take the plunge

If you have chosen what you truly want to do, then make a plan about HOW you will achieve it and stick to it. Enjoy your journey towards your goal and you will be successful with everything that you ever wished for.

Cycling For Everyone

www.figure-competition.comCycling is for everyone

Anyone can cycle, from toddlers in a seat on the back of a parent’s bike to four-year-olds whose bike is attached to an adult’s by a bar, to seniors of any age. Not only is it an excellent way to have great fun, but it also has a great many health benefits:

Cardio Exercise For The Heart
1. Cycling is one of the best cardio exercises for the heart, to keep it healthy without putting a lot of strain on your joints.

Weight reduction / maintenance
2. Riding a bike can help with weight loss or with maintaining a healthy weight because of the additional energy expenditure . The activity also helps keep your muscles working and fit muscles help you look leaner.

Improve Happiness
3. As with many physical activities, a cycling workout can stimulate your brain to produce endorphins which can give you those positive, uplifting, “feel-good” emotions. And it does not need to be extreme cycling with a possible adrenaline rush to get the endorphins pumping.

Resilience
4. Exercise can make your body more resilient to injury. Exercise helps strengthen your bones and muscles and cycling can also help improve balance and coordination. All of these can help you avoid injuries, such as fractures, and bounce back from injuries that would otherwise incapacitate you for much longer.

Fitness
5. In addition to resilience, regular exercise can improve your fitness levels, meaning that you can live your ordinary day-to-day life more easily, with fewer problems running for a train or bus, or climbing stairs or bending down or reaching up high.

Stress Reduction.
6. Almost any and every physical activity can relieve stress. Cycling is no exception. The constant exercise, the muscle fatigue, the calorie-burning all contribute to reducing overall stress levels. Stress can build up chemicals in your muscles and intensive exercise can help to disperse these. Along with endorphin production (see point 3 above) a good workout, whether on your cycle or running or dance class, etc., can help reduce stress.

Sleep Better
7. A good cycle, combined with time outside in the fresh air can make it much easier to get to sleep and stay in the land of nod!  Some research has found that insomniacs who cycled more than 30 minutes per day went to sleep in half the time of those who didn’t.

Better Health and Immunity
8. Overall, you are more likely to have excellent health and be more likely to be illness and disease free. Cycling helps heart health, so the risk of cardiovascular disease is decreased by a significant margin. Fresh air and stress reduction also contribute to a better immune system: and resilience, that is, bouncing back from illness and injury has been covered at point 4 above.

Motivation Boost.
9. Nearly any physical activity you engage in will increase your overall energy levels. When you make cycling a regular part of your week, or make it part of your social fitness program with friends, you will be more motivated to go for a regular cycle. And once you become even more proficient at it, because of regular practice, you will boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Positive Hobby.
10. Instead of sitting in front of a TV screen or checking your phone every 5 seconds, you now have a healthier and more beneficial hobby that you can engage in without hangovers or any other negative effects. If you are unable to get outside to cycle, it is possible to get an indoor stationary bike that you could use while watching TV. It is also possible to get a small machine with pedals that is easy to bring out and put away if a stationary cycle is not suitable. While you may not be getting fresh air, you are still giving your muscles a boost and getting exercise.

While cycling is more often done for recreation, more people are now moving to cycling as a way to get to work and avoid traffic jams. Some employers are helping with this move by providing cycle storage facilities and shower and changing units. Some are even providing loans for cycle purchase. And why not? Cycling can help burn fat, reduce blood pressure, increase the body’s protection against infections and diseases and help you stay healthy. So employers get a LOT of benefit from encouraging their employees to cycle to work.

Vitamin C

www.figure-competition.comThe Best Known Vitamin

Even for the least-knowledgeable person on medicine and vitamins, Vitamin C tends to be the solution turned to when that niggling sore throat or blocked-up sinus makes its appearance.

Deeming Vitamin C as having benefits solely for when we are coming down with the common cold, is really not giving this vitamin even a tiny bit of the credit it truly deserves! So what exactly is Vitamin C? What other benefits can we derive from it? Let’s find out.

What Exactly Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C can also be called ascorbic acid. This vitamin comes under the umbrella of water-soluble vitamins. Since our body is unable to store it, we need to ensure that our diet provides us with it each day.

What Other Benefits Can We Derive From Vitamin C?

Boosts Cell Health And Protection

Vitamin C plays a role in the production of collagen, this in turn helps the body to maintain healthy connective tissues. When connective tissues within the body are strong and healthy, organs such as the bones, skin and blood vessels are better supported.

Increased Iron Absorption

Many people are aware of the need to include iron-rich foods in their daily diet. However vitamin C is also needed at the same time to help our bodies absorb the iron as well as possible. A fact that is often overlooked is how we can assist our body in absorbing the iron and making the best use of it. Combining Vitamin C with iron-rich foods, helps our body to absorb and use the iron in a more effective way.

A Strong Antioxidant

Free radicals are molecules that can cause damage and havoc within our body. In fact a build up of these harmful molecules can contribute to the development of arthritis, cancer, heart disease and other serious health conditions. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant, protecting against damage, not only from free radicals, but also from pollutants and toxic chemicals.

Certainly it is clear that the humble Vitamin C can provide a wealth of health benefits to our body. How then can we ensure that we are getting enough Vitamin C? One way is to analyse our diet, and ensure that we give ourselves a generous serving of Vitamin C-rich foods every day. Here comes a guide to foods that will boost your Vitamin C intake.

www.figure-competition.comFoods Rich In Vitamin C

– Oranges
– Grapefruit
– Red and green peppers
– Kiwifruit
– Citrus fruit juices
– Broccoli
– Strawberries
– Baked Potatoes
– Tomatoes
– Cantaloupe
– Foods that have been fortified with Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is jam-packed with health and nutritional benefits, meaning none of us should wait until we feel symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, before giving this vital vitamin some attention.

With health benefits that include boosting cell health and protection, increasing iron absorption and acting as a strong antioxidant, Vitamin C should be a part of everyone’s daily diet.

Many foods are rich in Vitamin C from tasty and refreshing citrus fruits, to tender greens and foods already Vitamin C-fortified. Add them to your daily diet without delay, and your body will have a lot of thanks to say!

Supplements

Of course, it is also possible to take vitamin C as a supplement and this may be necessary for some people although most people can obtain the necessary levels of vitamin C from food. If you want to boost your immunity or increase your ability to absorb iron or you need additional levels for your workout, then Vitamin C supplements are readily and cheaply available online or over the counter.

Important To Keep Fit

www.figure-competition.comIs It Really Important To Keep Fit?

Yes, (you knew this all along, didn’t you?) keeping fit has a great effect on keeping healthy but many people only realize the many benefits of regular exercise when health problems start to wear them down and by that time, they often believe (wrongly) that it is “too late” or they are “too old”. Not so! You can start exercising at just about any age and any condition of health, though you will need to consult your doctor if you have any worries or concerns about your health or age but regular exercise started as soon as possible, like yesterday will give you great benefits:

Burn Excess Fat

Regular exercise can help you burn excess body fat and keep your body lean, though if you are very overweight, you will need to consult your medical advisers: start out slow on the exercise and lose weight through eating healthily. Too much body fat can cause or contribute to many health complications including heart disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and diabetes to name just a few. Diabetes can lead to stroke, heart attack and limb amputation!

Great Physique

Many overweight people struggle with issues of body image yet seem to be unwilling to do anything about it, even though it may be hard to find nice clothes that fit, or they hide from the camera or don’t want to take a beach holiday. Even if you hate the thought of going on a diet, a regular fitness routine can help you develop a great physique by shedding excess fat and gaining a great body. Muscle burns more fat, so if you build muscle, you can lose weight more easily. Muscle is also denser than fat and firmer, so you look leaner and don’t “jiggle” as much. Exercising can help you get rid of cellulite and have a flat tummy. Weightlifting is a great way of gaining muscle and molding a great body. And no, it will NOT make women look unfeminine! Women cannot bulk up muscle like men, they will look leaner.

Mental Strength

Keeping your body active improves brain function. Exercising keeps your mind sharp and alert and can help develop mental strength and increase overall awareness.  Exercise has also been shown to improve mood, and can help relieve depression, possibly through the release of dopamine and endorphins. Work out your favorite form of exercise. Maybe it’s running or jogging or lifting weights. Make a commitment (and keep it) to do a regular exercise routine and see how much good it does your mind.

www.figure-competition.comBuild Your Physical Strength

A regular fitness routine is ideal for strength building. It will build body muscle and improve physical strength, as well as strengthening your back for good posture. Many people become less active as they grow older. But you do not need to lose your strength, even if your speed slows.  Fitness routines will help you keep your strength and agility to keep up with your children or even grandchildren. Exercise can also slow the ageing process by tightening your skin and increasing your body’s metabolic rate.

Motivation And Fitness Tracking

These are just four of the benefits of a fitness routine. Ignoring your body’s NEED for physical exercise can lead to developing lifestyle diseases later in life. Exercise is very important and the consequences of not taking exercise can be catastrophic. How can you motivate yourself to exercise and maintain a disciplined fitness schedule? One way is by having fitness goals that mean something to you, so you WANT to achieve them. Another is by using fitness trackers, to monitor your general physical activity and evaluate your progress.

Forming Good Habits

www.figure-competition.comIt Takes Willpower & Discipline to Form Good Habits

As you probably already know, it takes willpower, discipline and good habits to really get the most out of life. These three things work together.  While this may sound just too simple; it isn’t always easy, in fact it can be downright difficult. It’s all very well to KNOW what should be done. Doing it is different, as you may already have experienced.

If you have willpower, it will be much easier to commit to doing the necessary tasks that are needed to achieve the goals you want to meet. Willpower is not always easy to apply. It takes time, effort and self-control to use it effectively and the results are not always seen immediately. This can be a little daunting to some people because you are putting in maybe a lot of real, hard work without seeing any results. This might make you feel like giving up.

Willpower includes self-discipline. This helps you keep on with the tasks you need to carry out in order to reach your goals, for instance with weight loss and exercise. You have to eat healthily and exercise regularly to achieve results.

Developing Good Habits

To develop ANY habit, good or bad, you need to repeat the task or activity over and over again. The more you do something the easier it becomes. You no longer see it as a chore: you begin to see it as part of your normal routine.

When you repeat something you are creating a new routine. When your new routine becomes second nature, then you have formed a good habit. This doesn’t always have to take that long either. If you are determined to form a new habit , it is said that you can do so in as little as 21 days. The “21 days to a new habit” is a popular idea but it doesn’t always work. For some habits or some people, it may take 60 days of repetition to develop the habit. If the habit is worth developing, then that 60 days is a good investment and there are many ways in which you can keep your repetition going.

The other necessary  ingredient to help you form and keep your good habits is that of motivation. You need motivation to (a) develop willpower and (b) to stay disciplined.

Motivation to become healthy can be negative, for instance, if your doctor tells you that you are heading for a heart attack if you don’t lose weight or improve your fitness levels.

Positive motivation comes from deep within you. With this type of motivation your willpower and discipline levels may well seem easy to use because you are so determined to achieve your goal. As you start your journey you will find that nothing can stop you, you are totally focused on your end goal. That is forming a new, lifelong habit of health.

Ab exercises for women

The Abs are one body part everyone wants to focus on. Men or women, it’s the abs. A flat stomach is like the “bad boy” of the fitness world because it’s hard to get ripped abs.

For many women, getting and keeping a lean midsection is not easy. Men and women’s muscles aren’t significantly different, but women tend to be wider through the pelvis and have a longer waist. They also carry more body fat naturally, so though they may have top toned abs, they may not always be visible. Women also want to ensure they stay looking feminine as well as strong and fit.

Visible abdominal muscles aren’t impossible, but you may need to do more than just standard sit-ups or crunches.

There are three sections to the abs, the upper abs, the obliques, and the lower abs.

You need exercises for all three parts and combine these with regular cardio and clean eating to keep flat abs throughout the year.

There is a Pilates technique in which you pull the belly button in while exercising to ensure you work the deepest ab muscle (known as the transverse).

Crunches are one of the main causes of back injuries in athletes.They put pressure on your discs and may throw your spine out of alignment. Unless you are used to doing them correctly and have no back problems, try these instead.

Bird dog.

Start on hands and knees, with your knees aligned under your hips and your wrists directly under your shoulders.

Reach your left arm forward at shoulder height and your right leg backwards at hip height. This leaves you resting on the floor on just your right arm and left knee

Hold for a count of 2 counts, making sure you reach forward with your fingers and back with your toes.

Repeat on the opposite side.

Do 10 reps on each side.

 

Plank

Yes, don’t groan. It’s super simple, just hard, but it builds the core muscles like almost nothing else.

Get into the pushup position. Make sure your palms are on the floor beneath your shoulders and your head is aligned with your spine. Contract your abs.

Hold for 30 seconds. Over time, gradually increase to two minutes total, as you get stronger.

There are some additional moves you can try as you get better. Try lifting one arm at a time, touching your fist to your chest. If you have room, do crab walks, moving your arms and legs sideways.

Abs

We all want them, and there are interesting exercises to build them, combined with diet and cardio.

New Year’s Resolutions

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www.figure-competition.comTop New Year’s Resolutions

About half of us make at least one New Year Resolution every year: and out of the top five New Year’s Resolutions, Weight loss, exercise and healthier eating are numbers 1, 3 and 5!

But by mid January each year, 25 per cent of those who made resolutions have already abandoned them, increasing to 50% by the end of January, though the abandonment rate slows dramatically after that, with only 54% having dropped the ball after six months. So it looks like if you can manage to stick to your resolutions to the end of January, there is a good chance you will be able to stick to them for at least 6 months.

Why Do People Abandon Their Resolutions?

Making a resolution is a kind of goal setting: but if you fail to reach those goals, is that a sign of being weak willed or lazy? Not necessarily. Making a resolution or setting a goal without being willing to change the habits bound up with the situation you want to make different, means the failure rate is bound to be high. And sometimes, we are highly unrealistic about what we can achieve. This is called the “false hope syndrome” and you can look at it in two ways. One way to consider it, is that the goal we have set doesn’t match our own view of ourselves. So if we “see” ourselves as fat, lazy and an eater of junk food, then making a resolution to change that is unlikely to work: and chanting all the positive affirmations in the world probably won’t change it either. It is important in this case to actually believe that you can lose weight, keep up with an exercise program and eat more healthily.

The other way to look at this, is that it’s also important to be realistic in the sense that planning on running a marathon in two months time, losing 5 stone in weight in one month or eating 3 home-prepared meals a day, every day, may not be possible in your current lifestyle. Of course, there is the argument that if you shoot for the stars you might reach the moon but for many people, “only” reaching the moon is seen as “failure”, rather than the great success it really is. Reaching the moon, as you define it, is a great success to be celebrated, but planning on something more may definitely be false hope that can lead to giving up because the goal seems to be too hard to reach.

So while making changes is possible and making BIG changes can be done, it is important to believe that you can actually do it (as opposed to just “saying” that you can do it) and to plan for the other changes that will also be necessary in order for you to reach that goal.

A second reason for abandoning a resolution is that it hasn’t magically changed your life. Some people may think that losing weight or eating more healthily will change their lives and when it doesn’t, become discouraged and go back to the old behaviors. One example of weight loss “failure” came from an old-time actress, Hattie Jacques, now long dead. She was very overweight and set out once to lose weight. She explained in a later interview that she had once lost 5 stone in weight (70 pounds, 32 Kgs) but gave up slimming “because no one had noticed”. She was slimming to be seen differently by other people, rather than for herself.

One example of someone transforming their life comes from the area of personal finance, another big resolution that many people make for the New Year. Pam Young is a writer and was asked to write a book on improving your personal finances. The only problem was, as she explains herself, in her book, the GOOD book (Get Out Of Debt), her own personal finances, were in a mess. She had what she called the “windfall” mentality, that whenever she owed a lot on her credit cards, a “windfall” would magically appear and allow her to pay them off. In her book she describes how she suddenly realised WHY this was happening and how she met her inner child (that we all have) and worked with her to get out of debt. That meeting most certainly transformed her life for the better and the techniques she now teaches have allowed many others to become debt free also. Pam is a very funny writer and all her books are interesting and VERY useful, definitely not the usual, “just make a budget” waffle that many other writers produce which is no help to most of those in debt!


You may also enjoy watching a video on “The Credit Card Funeral” which Pam Young and her friend Marla Cilley (The FlyLady) did with Judge Cilley. This is extremely funny and shows credit cards being got rid of.

How to Achieve Your Dreams

It starts with a plan – of course – don’t groan. To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. And this plan is an EASY one to follow, no big unrealistic, wishy-washy “wouldn’t it be nice…” ideas.

Take Five.

If your resolution was to eat food that is healthier than at present, then take five minutes to plan a grocery list that includes fruit and veg and meals that include them. Or plan to drink water or milk instead of soda, or plan how to cut down on sugar in your tea or coffee. Or plan to have healthy snacks with you so you don’t visit the vending machine for chocolate or candy.

If you wanted to take more exercise, plan how to add five minutes additional movement here and there in your day, such as parking further away, running a short distance or taking an evening walk.

If you want to lose weight, then take five minutes to decide what you can replace any particular food with, for instance, can you replace one of your potatoes with an extra serving of green vegetables?

Take 10

“Just ten” means doing something for just ten minutes rather than thirty, or perhaps 10% rather than 100%. It’s another way of creating an easy small step, so if your goal is to get healthier and fitter, set a goal of 10 minutes exercise a day. You can gradually work up to a longer time, or even do another 10 minutes, later in the day but sometimes just getting started is the hardest part. Knowing you only have to do 10 minutes means you don’t have the “lack of time” excuse not to do it.

It’s the same with healthy eating and weight loss. Instead of totally changing your way of eating all at once, add fruit, or more vegetables to your diet or cut down your sugar intake a day by 10% (such as not eating 1 donut), and then gradually decrease that again until you’ve eliminated sugar from your diet. Or cook extra at one meal, so you have enough to put in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick and easy meal at another time.

These kinds of “take 5” and “take 10” small changes keep you moving in the right direction and can help you get unstuck if you begin to slide off track.

Get a Resolution Buddy

Find someone else who is trying to reach the same goal as you and help each other to stay on track. Having someone else to go jogging or swimming with, keeps you to your goal, because you won’t want to let your buddy down.

Make A Vision Board

A vision board is basically just a notice board with pictures of what you want to achieve. You can create one online if you don’t want to hang one in your house. If your goal is more exercise, you might include pictures of the running shoes you would like or of a particular area you would like to go running or of someone running and looking happy and free. Anything that makes you want to do that exercise regularly and that makes you want to achieve your goal.

Write In Your Bullet Journal

A bullet journal has different sections for different areas you want to work on. It’s a place to keep a motivational record of what you have done or visions of what you want to achieve (like the vision board). You can keep a record of how far you walked in each of your ten minute spells in “take 10” or of your green veggie or fruit intake for healthy eating. You can also keep a record of things you HAVEN’T done. For instance, if you normally have a donut for your break, keep a record of all the times you made a healthier choice, such as a piece of fruit. You can even give yourself points to add up to give yourself a reward of some kind.

Pre-commit

Piggy-back something you want to change onto something already being done. For instance, add one more vegetable to your plate each day, or carry small hand weights on your ten minute walk.

Put It On Your Calendar

You schedule meetings and dentist appointments. Schedule exercise and healthy shopping trips too.

Make it Easy

Set out your workout clothes before you go to bed at night, so they are the only things available to put on when you get up. That starts you out on your (planned) morning exercise.

Get Back On Track

Dropping the ball is easy but it’s also possible to get back on track again. Remember, once you have carried out your resolution for a month, you are much less likely to drop it.

HIIT High Intensity Interval Training

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High Intensity Interval Training is a method of training where you use short, high-intensity bursts of effort, together with short rest intervals. It could be as simple as really intense running on the spot or cycling on a stationary cycle for 10 seconds, paired with 20 seconds of walking on the spot or slow cycling. If you’re working out with a friend, you could switch between the two, using your switch-over time as your rest interval.

1. You don’t need gadgets or equipment for HIIT. You can use any exercise you like and adapt to work with HIIT. You don’t have to join a gym or buy any kind of equipment to get the benefits of HIIT training.

2. Begin Slowly. Work your way up with HIIT Levels – Don’t risk injuries by thinking you can go “just a bit longer” with your HIIT workout. Measure your capacity and work at the level you’re capable of rather than trying to rev it up before you’re ready.

HIIT WORKOUTS

Here is a beginners’ HIIT Workout Program available to watch on Amazon Prime, if you already have that available. Or alternatively a DVD with cardio and HIIT workouts.


3. The Tabata HIIT Method – In only 4 minutes of a Tabata-style workout you can achieve the same results you would with an hour long cardio-only workout.

4. Challenge Yourself. HIIT is both the most difficult workout you’ll ever experience and the shortest and most gratifying. It only takes a few minutes out of your day so watching the clock and getting results is never a problem.

5. Melt Fat And Make Your Core Lean And Mean – You can almost look in the mirror and watch the fat on your body melt away when you incorporate HIIT in your workout routine. You’ll also see the difference in your core and notice that your endurance and strength improves.

6. Super-Charge Your Metabolism – It’s a fact that your metabolism has everything to do with burning fat. You’ll be excited to know that HIIT helps your metabolism burn more calories even after the workout is long over.

7. Build Muscle. HIIT workouts are scientifically known to build more muscle mass than those long aerobic workout routines. The reason is that HIIT workouts produce higher levels of oxidation than other forms of exercise routines.


8. HIIT Adapts To A Busy Lifestyle – While exercise is important, it shouldn’t have to take up so much of your valuable time. Opt for a 20 minute Tabata workout instead of a 40 minute run and burn twice the calories.

9. Aerobic And Anaerobic Method– With HIIT, you’ll work out smarter and get faster and better results. The combined use of aerobic and anaerobic exercises speed up your metabolism and sculpts your body at the same time.

10. Enjoy Your Life As You Enjoy Your HIIT Workouts – You’ll begin to enjoy the health benefits of HIIT as you progress, and the way your body looks. You’ll enjoy life more because you’re not spending all your time working out. HIIT workouts are short and sweet – and produce results!

 

Sports Massage

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Sports Massage

Regular exercise increases your energy and gives you a sense of well-being. In moderation, it helps relieve stress, and may help decrease psychological depression. It will increase strength and endurance, give you greater flexibility, and make your heart and lungs more efficient.

After Exercise

After exercise, however, you may feel stiff and sore and this is where sports massage is beneficial. You don’t necessarily have to be an athlete or even a weekend sports player to benefit from sports massage. This type of massage can help with preventing injuries to muscles and tendons and also with healing them. It can also be beneficial for people with injuries, or chronic pain or who have a restricted range of motion.

Injury

If, however, you have a serious injury, and you have not got a diagnosis for it, you should definitely first see a sports doctor before going for massage. Massage therapists do not diagnose. A therapist can identify and try to help with any tightness or inflammation in the body. But if the problem area does not feel significantly better by about three days after a massage, you should see a sports doctor. Once the doctor has provided you with a diagnosis (and this may involve some time and possibly X-rays or scans) the massage therapist can use massage to help you recover.

For Everyone

Sports massage therapy is for athletes of every kind, whether you make your living at it or you are a weekend warrior. It focuses on treating pain and soft tissue injuries that are likely to have come from recreational or professional activities. It can reduce muscle stiffness and can improve relaxation with reductions in heart rate and blood pressure.

Not Just Athletes

But it’s not only for athletes. Anyone that pushes their physical limits through any movement whether aerobic (running, cycling, etc), strength training (weight lifting, for example) or stretching can benefit from a massage. Some activities are not always classed as exercise, even though these people are also challenging their bodies. For example, gardeners, dancers, delivery workers, shelf stackers and others who may use their muscles and bend or stretch a lot in their work or everyday life.

Preparation

Sports massage therapy can also be used for enhancing pre-event preparation as well as for reducing recovery time after an event. Sports massage will promote flexibility, reduce fatigue, improve endurance and boost the circulatory system. These all help with injury prevention and help produce optimal performance.


Muscle Tendon Junctions

A key benefit of Sports massage is the way it can target the muscle and tendon junctions in the body. This is important because that can improve the range of motion in the hip-flexor for example.

 

Not Just Before A Big Event

If you have never had a sports massage before, do not try it out for the first time just before a race or an event. Schedule it for a few weeks before. or wait until the day after. After all, just as you wouldn’t test out new socks or shoes on the day of race, (would you?) don’t try new bodywork immediately prior. Even if you have had sports massage previously, you should not have it less than 48 hours before a big event, you may get sore muscles.

Hydrate

Make sure you drink adequate amounts of water before going for a massage, because dehydration can stiffen the fascia and muscles. If you are well hydrated, your sports massage should be an enjoyable, relaxing and health promoting event.