Tracking Fitness Progress 101

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Measure Backwards Progress Tracking Article

If you can measure it, you can manage it. And that is why tracking fitness progress is so important. It enables you to see when you are taking the right steps forward towards your goals, and when you are not. The problem with progress is that sometimes it’s so incremental, it’s hard to see with the naked eye. Progress can be only matter of a few ounces a day or maybe a pound a week, and if you don’t see or notice these small changes it can get quite discouraging.

When you have a SuPeRSMART goal, tracking fitness progress, successes, and failures can have a large impact on how successful you are with reaching your end goal. For example, if you don’t track your workouts and healthy eating, how do you know what works and what doesn’t for you? Tracking goals and having a way to analyze your successes and failures provides you with useful data to analyze and adjust so you can succeed.

When it comes to measuring success and tracking fitness progress, there is not one perfect way to do it. Rather, there are several measurements that you can combine to view the whole picture. These measurements could include; bodyweight tracking, body measurements, food tracking, and a fitness journal. The combination of these measurements creates a recipe for success.

Tracking Your Bodyweight

With weight loss or muscle gain, tracking your start weight and repeatedly measuring each week or every few weeks can help you track your fitness progress, discover what is working, and discover what may need adjusted. Scales may provide different body weight readings at different times of the day, but that doesn’t point to inaccuracy. Scale weight will fluctuate day to day, and throughout each day.

Here are a few common reasons for overnight weight gain:

  • Foods/beverages consumed
  • Hydration status
  • Type/duration of training
  • Duration/quality of sleep
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Bowel regularity
  • Stress

Body Measurements

Often times our body image of ourselves is skewed, tracking your body measurements with tape can bring clarity to the actual changes in your body. For example, your overall weight on the scale is the same number but over the past 6-months you’ve gained 10 pounds of muscle and lost 10 pounds of fat. Using tape to measure, you would be able to see a visible change in circumference around the body. It would visually explain why your clothes are fitting better despite the same number on the scale. Losing inches without losing weight on the scale is a general indicator you’re losing fat and gaining muscle.

The measuring of body parts can be tricky when wanting to record the precise size and measurements of specific muscles. To ensure accuracy when tracking fitness progress, measure in exactly the same place and under the same conditions each time.

Below are a few tips to help you take accurate measurements:

  • Stay completely relaxed and still during measurements. By performing measurements in a relaxed state, this guarantees instant and correct results rather than having to judge from flexed or full muscles.
  • Avoid exercising before taking measurements. Exercising before measuring body parts can cause uneven measurements due to certain muscles being fuller and distorting the overall result of the readings.
  • Measure both sides. It is important to measure both sides of the body to make sure that all measurements are in perfect symmetry and that there is a balance between your body parts.
  • Do not tighten the tape. Tightening the tape during measurements can tighten the muscles as well as stretch the tape thus giving false readings.
  • Keep track of your measurements. It is important to record and keep track of all measurements and readings to see the progress and growth in your muscles from workouts.

Food Tracking

A food diary can be a useful tool in tracking fitness progress. It can help you understand your eating habits and patterns, and help you identify the good and not-so-good foods that you eat on a regular basis. In order to be successful in food journaling, you must be accurate and consist.

A food journal should include:

  • What you are eating?
  • How much you are eating?
  • When you are eating?
  • Where you are eating?
  • What else are you doing while eating?
  • Who are you eating with?
  • How are you feeling as you are eating?

Here are a few tips to help you be successful in tracking fitness progress and maintaining a food diary:

  • Write down the food or beverage immediately after consuming it. Don’t wait until the end of the day because your recollection is likely to be less accurate.
  • Be as specific about the size, type, and weight as you can with the food or beverage.
  • Be sure to include any alcoholic beverages you consume.
  • To simplify this process, use an online app to help you track.

Fitness Journal

Staying on track with your workouts and nutrition can be challenging for a variety of reasons. Whether your goal is to build muscle, decrease your body fat percentage, or simply trying to keep track of your workouts, there are plenty of benefits of keeping a fitness journal. There are many benefits of recording your workouts to not only move forward towards your goal, but also to reflect while tracking fitness progress.

Accuracy

Maintaining a fitness journal will enable you to always know what you did the previous session, the session before that, and so on. Recording your workouts means that a Personal Trainer can properly plan your next session in a way that further improves your progress on a consistent basis, as opposed to just throwing together a random workout. Ultimately, it removes the guesswork out of your workout program to get you actual results.

 Accountability

If you had a long stressful day at work, it can be easy to skip your workout you had planned. This is why using a fitness journal to track fitness progress can help keep you stick to your workout program. By having to keep track of everything, it holds you accountable for all your workout sessions.

Focuses Your Attention

People are more likely to stay on track stay because they are paying attention to their behavior. When you track fitness progress, it may seem like a bit of chore at first, but that’s kind of the point to build a healthier habit. It forces you to pay attention to the behavior you’re trying to change. It forces you to keep it at the top of your mind and doesn’t allow you to push it down on your list of priorities. Similar to developing any new habit, over time, tracking consistently does get easier, and soon you will be spending less time thinking about it and more time just naturally doing it.

Motivation

A fitness journal can be motivational by showing you your fitness progress and how far you have come. It can also enhance your confidence and determination to keep going and maintain focus on your fitness goals.

Evaluation

A fitness journal can provide you with valuable insight into your past training sessions which is fundamental in evaluating after you track fitness progress. By keeping track of your workouts, you will be able to see what has worked best for you and what needs improvement. It will also help segment each area for analysis. This way you can maintain consistent progress across your entire body and muscle groups.

Consistency

Another important factor that a fitness journal can assist with is determining how your lifestyle and other external factors affect your sessions. This is something that is not typically given much thought but it can play a significant role in your progress. A key to fitness success is having consistently good workouts. There may be some days where you do not get enough sleep the night before, or you may have longer work hours on specific days because it is the peak period. By recording this information, you can adjust your program to accommodate to this. It may mean doing a lighter session these days and then making up for it on other days where you have more energy.

Injury Prevention

Unfortunately, injuries do happen but there are ways to minimize this risk. If you experience nagging signs of an injury, you can review your workouts recorded in your fitness journal to identify which workout may have caused it.

Bottom Line

Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to accurately track fitness progress in your fitness journey. However, you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of developing your own workout program, nutrition plan, and use several methods to track your progress. For this reason, collaborating with a Personal Trainer is an excellent option.

A Personal Trainer can help you to see and evaluate progress by tracking and logging your workouts to see where you currently are, and what you need to do moving forward in order to reach your goals. Both the mental and physical benefits to be made from this simple act are too great to ignore.

Since there are no shortcuts to losing weight, gaining muscle in a very short amount of time, working with a Personal Trainer to help track your progress over time is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you reach your health and fitness goals.

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A Professional Fitness Coach is Your Best Partner

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Measure Backwards - We're Professional Online Coaches

We Are Professional Fitness Coaches

It’s not easy finding a professional fitness coach these days! There are SO MANY online coaching programs and software being marketed to coaches. SO MANY promise to make it easy to manage clients and promise to help coaches be on their way to financial freedom. SO MANY of these do NOT have the client’s specific needs in mind.

How would you feel if you were easily managed and seen as a few more dollars to help someone become financially free?

Here are some great questions and thoughts to keep in mind to help you select a professional coach that has YOUR best interests in mind.

How much time have they invested in becoming a coach? Did they get a degree in a relevant coaching field? Have they obtained professional and accredited certifications? Do they continue their education every year? The more time they invested in becoming a coach, the more qualified they are, and the more time they will invest in YOU! Subscribing to online coaching software only takes a few clicks, and that may be all you get from some coaches.

How much money have they invested to build their coaching business? Do they have an LLC? Are they trademarked? Are they copyrighted? Do they have insurance? Do they have their own website domain? Do they have their own email domain? The more you can see they are investing in their business, the more serious they are taking their business, the more time they will invest in you!

What is the first thing they do when you choose them as a coach? Do they give you their programs and tell you to go? Do they ask you a few questions then give you a canned program? Do they give you several forms to complete (waivers, PAR-Q, client agreement, fitness assessment)? Qualified coaches understand not only do they need to find out your goals, but they need to identify possible risks in achieving them. The last thing a qualified coach wants to do is put your goals or your health at risk, and they mitigate this risk by understanding you and your health.

These are just three areas to look for as you find the right coach for you.

When you look for a professional fitness coach, you should first look at work ethic.  A person’s work ethic is a representation of one’s character. A strong work ethic suggests that a person places a high value on producing quality work, as well as respecting others and functioning with integrity. Professionalism is a component of the concept of work ethic, which can be described as an outward display of your attitude toward your job and company.

Professionals are the kind of people that others respect and trust. True professionals possess inner drive, passion and focus, which allows them to establish and achieve their personal and career goals. As a result, with the right set of skills combined with compassion, integrity and a positive mindset, professionals excel in what they do, how they do it and the value they provide.

So, what makes Measure Backwards professional? There are several ways in which we exemplify professionalism each and every day.

Characteristics of Measure Backwards Coaches

We believe that the way you conduct yourself, relate to others and approach tasks all factor into your degree of being a professional fitness coach. Being professional allows us to build and maintain trusting relationships by having a self-awareness of what we say, how we say it, and how we physically present ourselves.

Below are a few of the top characteristics of professionalism that MB is proud to demonstrate while working with their clients and in their daily lives.

Reliability

Reliability is crucial. Being reliable means that people know that they can trust you to do what you said you will do, when you said you will do it. It also means being consistent with your work and not giving people any unwanted surprises.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates reliability by:

  • Always following up on requests or questions in a timely manner.
  • Arriving on time or early for meetings and events.
  • Producing a consistent quality-of-work.
  • Responding to issues in a consistent manner.
  • Being organized and prepared.

Integrity

Integrity is an important part of being a professional fitness coach because it assures others that you hold yourself to a high standard of morality. Those who have great integrity are honest and ethical at all times. People demonstrate integrity by delivering on their promises and taking responsibility for their actions. They take a proactive approach to challenges rather than waiting for issues to be discovered. The key to integrity is remaining the same person wherever you are.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates integrity by:

  • Keeping our word at all times.
  • Being honest.
  • Maintaining confidentiality.
  • Avoiding discussing sensitive topics not relevant to the job.
  • Adhering to all company policies and procedures, even when no one is watching.

Communication

Effective communication goes beyond talking and listening. A professional fitness coach with great communication takes into account the situation and the specific person you are in conversation with. Strong communication skills are a must when it comes to articulating clear instructions and information. Additionally, inquiring about others preferred communication channels – text, email, or phone calls – in order to help establish rapport and accountability.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates communication by:

  • Building rapport and trusting relationships.
  • Strengthening client motivation and self-efficacy.
  • Providing clients with education and skill development.
  • Setting clear expectations.

Good Listener

Listening is an important characteristic of a professional fitness coach as it helps them connect with and learn from others. Being a good listener means focusing on the person who is speaking by not interrupting or responding and just hearing them out. Good listeners play a more passive speaking role in the conversation, but they actively engage with the other person using body language and follow-up questions.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates listening skills by:

  • Being approachable and present.
  • Remembering details most would forget.
  • Keeping an open mind.
  • Asking relevant follow-up questions.

Patient

Having patience is the ability to tolerate waiting and delays without becoming frustrated or agitated. Moreover, it is the ability to remain calm when facing difficulties and adversity. By controlling one’s restlessness and emotions the patient person is able to effectively control their natural impulses that can often lead them astray. Patience is not something we are born with; it is something we consciously do.

The Measure Backwards team of professional fitness coaches demonstrate patience by:

  • Being empathetic when there are delays, listen patiently and without judgment to understand the causes.
  • Tailoring coaching techniques to each client.
  • Bringing perspective that important things are not always urgent things.

 Accountability

Demonstrating accountability shows others you take responsibility for your actions and their results at all times. Accountability requires you to accept your role in mistakes or failures, which can be challenging to do at times. However, this also proves your self-awareness and commitment to honesty and integrity.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates accountability by:

  • Completing all tasks in a timely manner.
  • Communicating clear expectations about what needs to be done and when.
  • Willingly take on responsibility and actively manage it.
  • Striving to achieve goals.

Expertise

An expert is someone who is an authority on a particular subject or has mastered a specific technique or skill. Essentially, when you become an expert, you are the go-to person for help or advice. Being a certified professional fitness coach requires receiving yearly continued education credits to maintain a high level of industry expertise. Also, it is important for people to understand their audience when sharing their expertise to effectively communicate information and ensure a clear understanding.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates expertise by:

  • Staying current on new health and fitness developments.
  • Creating credible content and resources for clients.
  • Maintaining active certifications by completing required continuing education credits.
  • Practicing essential skills often.

Consideration

People who show consideration for those around them are mindful of the thoughts, feelings and needs of others. Being considerate is simply having the next person in mind, it is remembering to put things back the way you found them, or simply holding the door for the next person who will pass through. When you are considerate of others, you do things with empathy and sensitivity. In other words, it’s simply being nice to people because you want to be, not because it’s what you have to do.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates consideration by:

  • Being polite and kind.
  • Empathizing before judging.
  • Considering other people’s time.
  • Remaining tolerant and respectful of others and their feelings.
  • Listening intently to your thoughts and opinions carefully before responding.

Work Ethic

Work ethic is something that emanates from within a professional fitness coach. Demonstrating work ethic shows loyalty and commitment by delivering positive outcomes through your work. We prove that we are dependable by our willingness to put in extra effort to meet the needs of our clients.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates a strong work ethic by:

  • Taking initiative.
  • Exhibiting a positive work ethic.
  • Delivering high-quality work.
  • Being punctual.
  • Meeting all deadlines.

Organization

Organization plays a significant role in helping people achieve their goals. When you are organized, you get a sense of control and it allows for increased productivity by having a clear grasp of what you are supposed to be doing at any given time. Therefore, important details are not missed, and you can make the best use of your time.

The Measure Backwards team demonstrates organization by:

  • Maintaining clear agendas.
  • Creating and updating to-do lists daily.
  • Staying focused.
  • Preparing for tasks by gathering the proper tools and information ahead of time.

What Is Unprofessional?

Unfortunately, there are people in the fitness industry who do not value or strive to be professional. Working with someone who is unprofessional can have a negative impact on your goals and overall experience.

Below are a few examples of unprofessional behaviors that you should avoid when selecting a coach.

  • Unresponsive – Failing to answer emails or calls in a timely manner.
  • Blaming Others – Blaming external factors for problems instead of owning up to mistakes.
  • Not Keeping Promises – Saying something will get done, but it never does.
  • Being Fake – Fakeness prevents the truth from emerging, which often results in problems being concealed and poor decision making.
  • Procrastinating – Having too many tasks and not truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task, which results in getting nothing done.
  • Overpromising – Overpromising is dangerous, because it either creates an abundance of extra work or fail to deliver.
  • Running Late – Having some reason or excuse of constantly being late is never acceptable.
  • Cutting Corners – Taking the easy road might save a little extra time and money, but it is usually not the best route to take.
  • Fail to Connect with Clients – When clients feel that their coach has not put forth a strong enough effort to establish a connection with them, they will likely give up or never fully reach their goal.

All of the qualities associated with unprofessionalism are negative and dangerous to your ability to be successful in accomplishing your personal goals. Do you really want to risk putting your health and wellness into the hands of a fitness coach who is unprofessional?

Choose A Professional Fitness Coach from Measure Backwards

At Measure Backwards, we hold ourselves at a high standard and make it a top priority to provide the best quality experience possible to each of our clients. These characteristics not only define who we are as professional fitness coaches, but they are also qualities we value and practice in our everyday lives.

When you work with Measure Backwards, you can expect a consistent level of professionalism throughout the coaching process that will positively impact your ability to achieve your goals.

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What to do When You Struggle Staying Motivated

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Struggle Staying Motivated

Do You Struggle Staying Motivated?

Staying motivated can be very difficult. Have you ever had the desire and interest to do something, but you lack the motivation to actually do it? This can be an extremely frustrating situation, since you want to do a certain thing, but cannot find the inner strength and motivation to act. Don’t worry, if you have trouble keeping up your levels of motivation, you are certainly not alone.

Everyone has days where motivation is nonexistent. Off days happen and it’s unrealistic to think that you will be motivated every single day of your life. There are bound to be times when you procrastinate too much, lack focus, or struggle to even start important goals. This is why you cannot solely rely on motivation to achieve your goals and it is important for you to learn how to develop grit to help get you through, especially on the days you don’t want to do it at all.

Taking some time to do a little exploration and reflection, you can identify what is really going on with your lack of motivation and make some changes.

Below are a few common reasons why people struggle to stay motivated and how to fix them.

Don’t Feel Worthy

Sometimes, people have been beaten down through much of their life. It might have been in school, their family might not have been supportive, or they might not have had any support through other parts of their life. This can develop a negative attitude inside of the person when it comes to their own self-worth. They do not feel as though they deserve to accomplish the things that they set out to do. They do not feel worthy of achieving certain accomplishments, and this can wear and tear on their motivation levels. They might be excited when they first start out, but that excitement starts to fade as soon as the doubt in themselves starts to weigh on their mind.

It is very important for people to try to build up their self-esteem to prevent this mental block from stopping them from doing things. Once a person is able to improve the way they feel about themselves, it will often become easier to stay motivated about their goals and projects.

Lack of a Detailed Plan

One of the other reasons that people have trouble staying motivated is because they start something without actually having a detailed plan on how to proceed. They know what they want to have as their end goal, but they find themselves facing a twisted forest that they do not know how to navigate. Trying to accomplish anything without having a clear action plan in place will often lead to failure.

When a defined plan does not exist, it is rather difficult to stay motivated because there is no real way to measure your progress or know how much further you have to go until you reach your goal. With a specific plan, you will be able to track your progress, and you will know what to expect next. Knowing and understanding each step will help keep you motivated instead of just going with the flow and feeling completely lost.

Feeling Overwhelmed

When you have a lot to do and feel overwhelmed, your body and mind shuts down. Instead of trying to figure out the details, it seems easier to do nothing. When you struggle staying motivated, this can be a result having too much to do. When you feel like there’s so much to do that you can’t possibly get to it all, you might not want to even get started.

If this is relevant to you, try breaking your tasks into small pieces. When you divide up your big tasks into smaller tasks, you have items that you can realistically accomplish in a short amount of time. As you complete each small task, you’re moving in the direction of completing your big task. Your detailed list will help your mind to rest because you can see exactly what still needs to be done. As you complete each small task, you’ll achieve the victory of crossing it off the list and feel proud of what you have achieved.

Lack of Focus

One of the other dangers of trying to stay motivated that many people struggle with is having too many projects or goals that you want to complete at the same time. You might be motivated for the first project as you are getting into it, but then you have another idea that starts to steal the focus and motivation. You no longer want to work on the first project because the other project(s) start to seem more attractive to you. The motivation starts to diminish on the first project, which means that it will likely never be finished. Then, you start to develop other project ideas and goals, and the second and third projects fall by the wayside.

Often, these people believe that they are efficiently multitasking, but the reality is that they are just not getting anything done. The motivation they feel simply jumps from one project to another until they get bored with it or things become too difficult. They might promise themselves that they will come back to it, but that rarely happens.

You Don’t Have A Strong Enough Why

Most people have a reason as to why they are doing what they are doing. Often, however, that reason is not strong or emotional enough. This is frequently a big reason why you might have lost motivation for something.

You may want to ask yourself what made you think about wanting to achieve this goal in the first place? If your answer is weak and lacks a genuine personal connection, then perhaps your why is not quite strong enough to provide you with the fuel you need when you struggle staying motivated.

Trying to Please Everyone

If you are a people pleaser, you have most likely experienced a lack of motivation before. When you’re busy trying to keep everyone else happy, it’s difficult to clearly identify your own wants and needs. When you have no idea what you want, there’s no reason to be motivated.

It is just not possible to make everyone happy and if you try to please other people all of the time, you’re going to let yourself down constantly. Take time to self-reflect to learn who you are and what you want to do. Set your own goals and then create your own beautiful path. Try not to worry so much about what others think and give yourself permission to focus on you.  Focusing more on yourself and what you’re most passionate about will help you when you struggle staying motivated as this might bring relief and allow you to bring out the best in yourself.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Interestingly, many problems in life can be attributed to a lack of sleep, a poor diet, and not enough exercise. Sleeping less than seven hours a night and living on fast food will inevitably, eventually, lead to burnout and loss of motivation. Motivation and energy levels are often tied closely together. Being healthy and having more energy can help people to stay more focused on their goals and to stay more motivated. Getting healthy physically and emotionally can help with motivation.  Improving your lifestyle will not only help you when you struggle staying motivated, but it will also improve your health!

You Are Impatient

We live in a fast food, broadband society today. This means that people want to have things quickly and easily. They are motivated by their idea initially, but when they realize that it is going to take time to accomplish, the motivation can falter. People are often too impatient when it comes to the things they are trying to do in life, and it can be hard to stay motivated for as long as it takes. You won’t add 20 pounds of muscle to your frame in a week and you won’t finish your novel overnight. Additionally, it’s important to realize that success is a marathon, not a sprint. Everything good in life takes time and patience. Shortcuts in life usually aren’t shortcuts at all.

What to Do When You Lose Motivation

Setbacks happen but learning how to develop resilience can help you carry on and pick up where you left off. Remember that it can take up to 3 months to form a new habit. Here are some tips to use when you struggle staying motivated to help you find your motivation again:

  • Review your goals and see if the timeline is realistic. You may need to break your goals down further into smaller and more achievable goals.
  • Remember your personal why you wanted to get motivated or reach that goal in the first place.
  • Use motivation from others – feel inspired by reading a book, talk with your friends or family who have reached similar goals to the ones you have set.
  • Sometimes you just need to take a break and start afresh.

What About You?

When you struggle staying motivated, it can be a challenge, but when you make a conscious effort to change your perspective and response when your motivation is low, it can be life changing. However, you don’t have to do this alone. Working with a certified Health & Wellness Coach can be highly beneficial in helping you to analyze your situation and identify a strategy to strengthen your level of motivation. Instead of continuing to struggle with a lack of motivation, choose to partner with a Health & Wellness Coach and make the commitment to making a positive change in your life.

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Not Sure What Exercise Program is Best for You?

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You Don't Know What Exercise Program to Choose

Are you overwhelmed by the multitude of all of the exercise programs that are out there? If you’re interested in improving your health, you may have already self-educated on the different workouts and programs out there. You likely understand that cardio and strength training is important, but how do you build a workout routine? What is the most effective way to tackle your goals? This article describes several different types of exercises and workout programs, to give you a better understanding of the what exercise programs may be best for you and how they may help you reach your goals.

Types of Exercises

There are 4 main types of exercise: strength, aerobic, balance, and flexibility. Completing exercises in each of these categories leads to a well-rounded level of fitness.

Strength Exercises

Strength training is the process of increasing skeletal muscle or the muscle tissue that comprises your arms, legs, and core. This exercise program is built around challenging these muscles on a regular basis forces the fibers to tear and rebuild. Increase the intensity of your workout, and those same fibers will become stronger and stronger, resulting in increased strength and muscle mass.

Common examples of strength training include weightlifting and body weight exercises. Weightlifting involves using either free weights, such as barbells or kettlebells, or weight machines. Both forms of exercise use equipment to provide resistance for your muscles to work against. Body weight exercises rely on manipulating your body weight, often without any extra equipment. These types of workouts may include planks, push-ups, and pull-ups.

Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercise is often referred to as cardio, because of its positive impact on cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular muscle includes your heart; when you strengthen this muscle, you’ll develop better blood pressure and a better resting heart rate, among other benefits. To challenge your heart, you must maintain a raised heart rate throughout your workout. Each person will have a different target range to improve their cardiovascular health, which should be calculated and tracked regularly for optimum benefit.

Cardiovascular exercises abound, since any activity that maintains a raised heart rate qualifies as cardio. These exercise programs can range from running or bicycling to Zumba, step aerobics, jumping rope, boxing, and swimming.

Balance Exercises

Balance exercise programs are those that increase your coordination and ability to maintain balance throughout daily life. As you age, your balance usually worsens without training, which can lead to falls and injuries. It’s important to train your body in order to prevent falls and return your body to an upright position when you do lose your balance. Common balance exercises include walking heel-to-toe in a straight line, standing on a balance ball, or plank on a stability ball.

Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility is a vital underpinning of overall fitness. Flexibility exercises can focus on nearly any part of your body and help improve your range of motion. This, in turn, allows you to build strength by engaging new muscles or challenging them across a broader range. Additionally, flexibility is an important part of good spinal health and preventing lower back pain, stiffness, or herniated disks.

Flexibility exercise programs can include static or dynamic stretching. Static stretching refers to stretching and holding your position, such as reaching for your toes and holding that pose for 15 to 20 seconds. Dynamic stretching involves continuous movement through your full range of motion, as happens when completing a yoga sequence.

Types of Strength Training Workout Splits

There are countless possible ways to set up your training week, but don’t let this confuse you. The only thing you need to focus on is finding a workout split that aligns with your goals, training experience, and preferences.

Body Part Split

Body Part Split exercise programs work each major muscle group—or body part—on a separate day each week.

For example:

  • Monday: Chest
  • Tuesday: Back
  • Wednesday: Shoulders
  • Thursday: Arms and Abs
  • Friday: Legs
  • Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Upper/Lower Workout Split

Upper/Lower Workout Split exercise programs split training into 2 different types of workouts: upper-body workouts and lower-body workouts. Normally, the upper/lower split has you working out in the gym 4 days per week—2 upper-body days and 2 lower-body days.

For example:

  • Monday: Upper
  • Tuesday: Lower
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Upper
  • Friday: Lower
  • Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Push Pull Legs Workout Split

Push/Pull Legs Workout Split exercise programs are one of the most proven workout splits of all time. On push days you train all the pushing muscles in the upper body, like the pecs, delts, and triceps. On pull days you train all the pulling muscles of the upper body, like your back muscles and biceps. On leg days you train all the muscles of the legs, including glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

For example:

  • Monday: Push
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Pull
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Legs
  • Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Full-Body Workout Split

Full Body Workout Split is a simple exercise program, involves just a handful of exercises, doesn’t take too much time, and hit every major muscle group in the body in every workout. They normally include 3 workouts per week and are broken up by plenty of rest.

For example:

  • Monday: Full Body
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Full Body
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Full Body
  • Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Which one you choose largely boils down to how much time you have available to train, whether you’re new to weightlifting or an old hand, or which one you prefer. However, if you are new to weightlifting, start off with a full-body or push pull legs workout split. Or if you have a few years of weightlifting under your belt, try an upper/lower workout split.

Types of Workouts to Consider

While there are only four classifications for exercise, there are dozens of ways to enact and combine them to create a training regimen. These include:

  • HIIT programs
  • Circuit training
  • Cross training
  • Supersets
  • Isometrics

These types of exercise programs can either 1) help you focus on one form of exercise and create variance in your routine or 2) combine 2 or more types of exercise for a well-rounded regimen.

HIIT Programs

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, means that you perform an exercise with maximum effort, and then follow it with a short rest period. By forcing your body to alternate between bursts of high effort activity and low effort activity, you utilize multiple forms of stored energy within your body. Because you complete a lot of work at once, these workouts are typically short in comparison to other types of training.

Due to the overall flexible nature of HIIT, it can also be adapted to different exercise goals and skill levels. For example, someone who wants to improve their endurance while running can alternate sprinting and walking. Those who are looking to strength-train can alternate sets of lifting heavy weights with longer rest periods. HIIT programs are excellent for those who want to fit a tough workout into a short time period or want to maximize their energy expenditure.

However, HIIT is not for everyone, especially beginners, and you should always check in with your doctor before starting HIIT, as with any exercise program.

Circuit Training

A typical circuit training exercise program includes about 8 to 10 exercise stations. After completing a station, instead of resting, you move quickly to the next station. A muscular strength and endurance circuit alternates muscle groups, such as upper body, lower body and core, so little or no rest is needed in between stations. Another form of circuit training is aerobic + strength. This type of circuit alternates 1 to 2 sets of resistance exercise (body weight, free weights, dumbbells, kettle bells, bands, etc.), with brief bouts of cardiovascular exercise (jogging in place, stationary cycling, rowing, etc.) lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Depending on your goals and the number of circuit stations, you can complete 1 or more circuits in a 30 to 60-minute session.

Circuit training offers a practical solution for both. It’s a creative and flexible way to keep exercise interesting and saves time while boosting cardiovascular and muscular fitness. You’ll burn a decent amount of calories too.

Cross Training

Cross training refers to the incorporation of different types of exercises into your exercise program. It’s not so much of a workout program as it is a basis for planning your training regimen. Those who cross train purposefully engage in 2 or more types of exercise on a regular basis, to help round out their overall fitness. These exercise types do not need to mix into one workout to be considered cross training.

One of the easiest ways to start cross-training is to alternate between activities—walking one day and swimming or bicycling the next. Or, you can alternate these activities within a single workout, spending 5-minutes on a treadmill, 5-minutes on a stationary cycle, and so on for a total of 30 minutes. The benefit of this type of workout can be two-fold. On one hand, cross training is a great way to round out any fitness plan and make sure you’re developing all aspects of your physical health. Additionally, mixing types of exercises can help you obtain longer-term goals. If you’re hoping to run a marathon, you’ll find that yoga may help improve your flexibility and balance. In turn, that can lead to a better running posture and reduce your chance of injury.

Supersets

Performing supersets in your exercise program involves combining two strengthening exercises to maximize your workout in a shorter time frame. Sometimes supersets are used to target the same muscle group, with the goal of more fully activating all of the muscle fibers. For example, you might superset cable curls with dumbbell hammer curls, which both target the biceps (but in slightly different ways). Supersets are also often used to target different (usually opposing) muscle groups, usually to save time. For example, you might superset a bench press with barbell rows, which target your “push” and “pull” muscles. After completing a superset, you’ll generally rest for a 1 or 2-minutes before moving on to the next set, exercise, or superset in your workout.

Isometrics

An isometric workout is any exercise where you tense your muscles and stay still. Although it might sound easy, these workouts can be particularly challenging for certain muscle groups. Workouts in this group include wall sits, planks, and low squats. In each of these exercises, you assume a position that stresses a set of muscles, such as your abdominals. The goal is to remain there for as long as possible and support the position by exerting maximum tension. Although isometrics don’t include any equipment, they are an excellent tool for using your bodyweight to improve your strength. Another bonus: because these don’t rely on a range of motion, isometrics are a great option for people who are alter-abled or new to working out.

Building A Better Workout

After learning about various types of exercises and styles, you might be left scratching your head. How do you decide which exercises to include when building your training regimen? How do you know which workouts will be best for you?

The truth of the matter is that building a workout program takes training of its own. A comprehensive program is tailored to your individual goals, and there isn’t any singular training regimen or schedule that works for everyone. However, there is a training regimen that will work best for you.

Ideally, any high-quality exercise program is going to include multiple types of exercises, various workout methods, and will continually adapt as your strength, cardiovascular fitness, balance, and flexibility improve. A certified Personal Trainer will help build a workout plan for you that encompasses each of these aspects and will guide you to success.

Whatever your goals and preferences are, a Personal Trainer can help assess your current level of fitness and design a program suitable for you. As you progress and become stronger, your Personal Trainer will help you develop a tailored plan that keeps pushing you forward.

If you don’t want to stress about where you should start, what you should do and what you should not do, then make your life easier by letting a certified Personal Trainer figure out all of those answers for you.

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You Want Your Own Fitness Program

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You Want Your Own Fitness Program

So you want your own fitness program, but you don’t know where to start.  Where do you get most of your daily information? If you’re searching for local events, news updates, or product recommendations, where do you turn?

If your answer is “social media,” you’re keeping company with the majority of Americans. It’s not hard to understand why so many people rely on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for information; after all, your feed is a compilation of people you admire, care about and trust. Whether it’s your bestie or a celebrity, you have the option to follow their daily life and enjoy a feeling of closeness.

But what happens when someone you trust makes exciting progress in their fitness journey – and promises that you can enjoy that same success, too? It’s tempting to watch somebody successfully transform their body and decide you want the exact same thing for yourself.

More and more social influencers are releasing their “one of a kind” diet and workout plans, along with a guarantee that anyone can easily duplicate the same results. To prevent you from wasting your valuable time and hard earned money, read this article to understand exactly why one-size-fits-all programs are not the best option compared to your own fitness program.

Don’t Be Fooled by Fitness Influencers

Scrolling through social media you can easily find influencers posting their workouts, meal plans, products, and inspirational messages while looking ripped and flawless. Remember these are their programs that worked for them.  They have different body types.  They have different diets.  It is much different than what could be your own fitness program.  Although it may appear that they are trustworthy and knowledgeable about fitness, are they really? Unfortunately, a lot of what you hear and read in the news and on social media is not as black and white as some would have you believe.

What Are the Qualifications of the Fitness Influencer?

The biggest concern with most influencers is that although they have a huge following, they have zero qualifications to share credible information and recommendations. Also, a governing body regulating or questioning their advice does not exist. Therefore, people assume that these influencers must know what they are talking about because they have a great physique themselves.  Most of them sell what they know to be true for them.  They are not selling your own fitness program.

However, just because someone has a six-pack or has an amazing booty, it doesn’t automatically mean they have the expertise to be a qualified coach. The programming they offer could be based on what simply works for them and does not guarantee that you will achieve the same results. We are all different and respond to different training and nutrition methods. A ‘cookie cutter’ approach is potentially damaging for the fitness industry and for the general public who don’t know otherwise. Not only could it damage your health, but it could also damage your wallet too.  How many of these cookie cutter programs would you buy and not see the results before you eventually learned you needed your own fitness program?

What Are the Program Details?

If the details of the program aren’t very thorough or if the details are vague, this should be a red flag. Workout programs can include a wide range of services and many that are available online do not offer personalized virtual training programs. For example, many influencers create a virtual program with the purpose to scale their business. And in order to grow this type of business that doesn’t require to be there every step of the way, they create programs once and sell to many people. Do you feel this style of workout programming is the best way for you to achieve your personal goals?  How can they give you confidence that they deeply understand your needs and sell your their program, not your own fitness program?

Below are a few important questions to consider before investing in any workout plan:

  • Are the workout plans and nutrition for bulking up or cutting?
  • How exactly are the workout plans personalized?
  • Is there phone or email support available?
  • Are there videos demonstrating the exercises?
  • What does the format look like?
  • How many workout plans are there?
  • Are there recipes that come with the nutrition plans?

Beware of Unsafe Exercises

People will often try to re-invent the wheel by creating exercises to be different and separate themselves from every other fitness influencer. Unfortunately, these inventive exercises often lead to potentially unsafe technique that will likely result in injury. This is especially important to be mindful of for those who are newer to working out as it may be difficult to identify which exercises are safe and which ones to avoid.

Not only will people try to come up with unsafe exercise variations for the sole purpose to be different, but it is also important to watch out for poor form and technique that is performed on traditional exercises. You will see numerous poorly performed squats, planks, pull ups, and bench press on social media with incorrect technique for the sake to claim they have lifted a certain weight and then get validation from others online. Someone who lacks knowledge on correct technique might watch these videos and think that this is acceptable. As mentioned earlier a beginner won’t know the difference between good and bad training, which is why individual programming is the best option.

If you are ever unsure about which exercises are standard, conduct your own research using a credible websites or verified social media platforms from accredited organizations in the fitness industry, such as: NASM – National Academy of Sports Medicine, ACE – The American Council on Exercise, NSCA – National Strength and Conditioning Association, ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine, or NETA – National Exercise Trainers Association.

Reality: Fitness Is Not Sexy

Influencers frequently post on social media to persuade you into believing that their programming is exactly what you need to reach your goal of losing fat, building muscle, or improving your health habits. After all, it is more believable when you see posts of delicious healthy meals, flawless workouts, desirable physique photos, and how happy they are living their life. But, is that really what your life will be like after you purchase one of their plans?

The truth is fitness success is about doing the little things that are not posted on social media. You may be wondering why don’t people post the truth then? The answer is simple. People don’t want to scroll through their feeds and see these boring, tedious, difficult, annoying, and unattractive things that require time, effort, and dedication. That is why most influencers will glam it up to look more appealing and sexy by using filters, angles, lighting, photoshop, and hours of editing to make you believe it is true.

Build Your Own Customized Program

Sure, it might be tempting to buy a generic workout program, but have you ever considered designing your own fitness program? If this is something that interests you, keep these basic points in mind:

  • Consider and identify your fitness goals. Are you starting a fitness program to help lose body fat? Or do you have another motivation, such as preparing for an upcoming race?
  • How much time can you realistically devote to exercising each day?
  • Create a balanced and sustainable routine. Spread out exercises during the course of a week. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week.
  • Start low and progress slowly. If you’re just beginning to exercise, start cautiously and progress slowly. If you have an injury or a medical condition, consult your doctor or an exercise therapist for help designing a fitness program that gradually improves your range of motion, strength and endurance.
  • Build activity into your daily routine. Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment.
  • Allow time for recovery. Plan time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.
  • Put it down on paper and keep track of your progress.

Developing your own fitness program requires time, dedication, and self-motivation. If you feel like this may not be the best route for you to take, there is another option for you to consider.

Seek Guidance from a Certified Personal Trainer

When it comes to fitness, everyone is different. Your unique body mechanics, experience, goals, fitness level, likes and dislikes can guide your trainer in creating your own fitness program that is specific to your needs. Additionally, these plans are created to be realistic and flexible, meaning it can be adjusted as you change. With a program that fits, you are more likely to maintain the habit and see results.

Here are a few additional benefits of working with a Personal Trainer who will create a customized plan for you:

  • Motivation – Working with a trainer can provide the support, energy and motivation you need
  • Consistency – A Personal Trainer can hold you accountable and help you overcome excuses
  • Clarity – Removes any guesswork and provides credible information and direction on your fitness journey
  • Confidence – Strengthen your self-confidence on understanding and performing various exercises
  • Avoid Injury – Learn proper exercise technique to improve your results and prevent injuries

Wherever you are in your fitness journey, hiring a certified Personal Trainer will be highly beneficial. If you are willing to commit to following your trainer’s advice, it’s a worthwhile investment in your health and fitness that could pay dividends long after your session is over. Investing in your health with the help of a Personal Trainer may be one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make.

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You Need Accountability in Your Fitness Journey

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You Need Accountability

You Need Accountability

Most people are really good at setting goals, but very few effectively create a realistic plan to be held accountable for achieving them. Perhaps this is because accountability is one of the hardest parts when it comes to successfully reaching goals.

If your mind-set is that you are at least 85% responsible for your own success and that just 15% depends on which way the wind blows, you’ll likely be successful.  If you tend to have a negative attitude and blame all of your problems on other people, circumstances beyond your control, or just plain bad luck, you will more than likely fail.

The good news is that accountability is not just a mind-set, it’s also a skillset that everyone can learn and strengthen. Below are a few helpful tips to help you improve your own self accountability.

Get in the Right Mindset

Before setting your goals, you must identify your “why.” It is critical for you to take some time to reflect on why accomplishing this goal is important to you, and how it will impact your life. Keeping this in mind on a daily basis will enable you to shift your mindset from dreading to complete a task to instead feeling grateful for the opportunity to do a meaningful task that will help you get one step closer to reaching your goal.  Getting in the right mindset is the first step in improving your accountability.

Prepare What You Need in Advance

Planning to workout after work? Pack your gym bag the night before and put it in your car. Want to stop ordering takeout for lunches during the work week? Meal prep your weekly lunches on Sunday so that you can effortlessly grab it and go to work each day. By taking the time to prepare everything ahead of time, you will make it so much easier on yourself to stay committed toward achieving your goals.  This is a simple step in improving self accountability.

Have an Accountability Buddy

Ask someone you care about such as a close friend, family member, or spouse to be your accountability buddy. This can be helpful to keep each other motivated by exchanging healthy recipes, sending motivational quotes, and checking in to see how the other is feeling or keeping up with their goal. Although you should be holding yourself accountable, it can only help you to have someone else hold you accountable too.

Set Sub Goals Each Week

If you want to be successful in tackling your goal, set smaller, more specific goals throughout each week. Write down in a planner at the beginning of each week small realistic goals you want to achieve each day. The goals can be as small or as big as you want them to be, as long as they are realistic for you to accomplish. Then by the time the week is over, you will feel accomplished, proud of yourself, and even more motivated to continue setting smaller goals for the next week.  Goals are an excellent accountability enhancement as you have clear standards to which you will measure yourself by.

Track Your Progress

Whether you use an app or a fitness tracker, it is a great idea to monitor your progress throughout your journey. When you are able to see your stats, you will gain a better understanding of whether or not you have reached your goal. Although fitness trackers are not 100% accurate in counting the exact amount of calories burned or the number of daily steps, it is still an excellent resource for you to use.

Prioritize Your Goals

Try signing yourself up for a group class, the cancellation fee in itself will be enough to keep you accountable to show up. When you have a set plan in place to hold yourself accountable, it makes it harder for you to come up with an excuse to get out of doing it. Treat your goals as you would to a doctor’s appointment, schedule your workouts in advance, write them down into your planner, be prepared and show up on time.

Treat Yourself

If you crushed your monthly goal of working out 5 days each week and stuck to your 30-minute limit on social media each day, you deserve a reward! Of course, your rewards should not be counterintuitive to your goal, like a “cheat meal” or a large piece of ice-cream cake. That’s a dangerous path that leads into developing an unhealthy relationship with food by training your brain to see your efforts as a “have to” instead of a “want to” and making unhealthy food the ultimate goal. Instead, try rewarding yourself with some new workout gear, a deep tissue massage, or whatever makes your heart happy.

Workout with Friends

Instead of doing the normal happy hour or weekend dinner with your friends, why not suggest a healthier option? For example, you can offer to go on a long hike together or go kayaking to enjoy some quality time together. Not only will you and your friends reap the health benefits together, but they will also improve your accountability as they will make sure you don’t skip the workout.

Have a Backup Plan

Have you ever slept through your alarm and missed your morning workout? Or have you ever had a massive headache and just the thought of running made you nauseous? If you can relate, you are certainly not alone. Prepare an easy and flexible backup plan so that you just don’t completely give up when your original plan goes out the window. For example, you could make time for a 30-minute walk, stretch, or switch your rest day. By having a backup plan, you are able to keep yourself feeling motivated and good about your goals, even when your original plan doesn’t work out.

Create A Vision Board

Surround yourself with images and words that you find inspirational by posting them on something you see frequently throughout your day. You can place it in your car, office, bedroom, kitchen, or take a picture of it and set it as the background on your computer or phone. You can also start a vision board by adding motivational images that relate to your goal. Visually seeing your goal as often as possible will keep you motivated.

Do What You Find Enjoyable

If you hate running, then don’t force yourself to run. If the taste of beets makes you gag, don’t eat beets. Instead, make accountability easier and find the exercises and foods that you enjoy and build them into your plan. Developing new healthy habits is much easier to do when you actually enjoy achieving your goals instead of forcing yourself to eat or do things you strongly dislike. Keep an open mind with trying new workouts to find one that you’ll not only enjoy but will look forward to doing.

Create Your Healthy Habits

Commit to developing small daily healthy habits. These could be as simple as no screen time 2-hours before bed, eating a serving of vegetables with dinner every night, or drinking 4 bottles of water a day. Choosing which healthy habits to add into your daily routine is completely in your control and something that is absolutely worth doing.  You accountability is improved as you will be naturally inclined to follow habits you have formed.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

Listen to a motivating podcast during your morning and afternoon commute, read a chapter from a self-improvement book before bed, or start writing in a gratitude journal. By filling your time with things you find to be inspirational and motivational, you will stay focused and excited to reach your goals.

Celebrate Yourself

At the end of each day, spend some time to reflect on the progress you made towards your end goal. This could be something as small as resisting the temptation to eat a freshly baked pastry during your staff meeting or it could be fitting back into a pair of jeans you haven’t worn in years. Once you start acknowledging each of your daily accomplishments that you have made towards your end goal, you will feel incredibly proud and motivated to continue making progress.

A Personal Trainer Can Be Your Accountability Partner

Accountability is a crucial component of any successful health and fitness journey. When choosing the ideal accountability partner, you want to make sure that they are a good fit and will show up for you, each and every day. Your ideal partner should be someone who has proven knowledge, skills, experience, and, perhaps most importantly, someone who is comfortable providing you with honest feedback.

If you are not sure who would be the best person for you to trust as an accountability partner, a certified Personal Trainer might be a great option for you. A Personal Trainer can help assess the challenges you face by determining where you lack accountability and identify how working with a partner will help you achieve your goals.

If you’re having trouble defining your goals, a Personal Trainer will take the time to speak with you to gain a deeper understanding of what you are trying to accomplish to then create a sustainable action plan. Throughout your fitness journey, you can rely on a Personal Trainer to provide you with honest feedback, science-based knowledge, and continuous support through the good and challenging days. If you feel working with a certified Personal Trainer will be the best option for your accountability partner, now is the time to make that happen.

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You Can’t Accomplish A Goal

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You Can't Accomplish a Goal

Why Some People Have Trouble Accomplishing Goals and How to Fix the Problem

Setting your goals is usually not too difficult. However, the journey that leads to your destination is where it gets a little muddy. People fail to meet their goals for various reasons. Has this ever happened to you? If yes, then this is a great opportunity for you to learn from your mistakes and understand what needs to be fixed to achieve your goals in the future.

This article discusses common reasons people struggle to accomplish their goals and recommendations on how to fix them.

Your Action Plan is Weak

Planning is essential to accomplishing your goals. Without an efficient plan in place, it is incredibly difficult to stay on track. This problem occurs mostly with long-term goals that are best accomplished when broken down into smaller goals to reach the full goal.

When you have a goal with a deadline three months from now, a lot can happen between now and then. When you track your progress through goal segments, it helps you to stay on track, measure your progress, and make adjustments as needed. Without a strong plan, you will quickly lose focus and it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.

Give Up Too Soon

Accomplishing any goal requires time, and the larger the goal, the longer it will take to achieve. The problem is that people tend to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task. It’s easy to get frustrated if you initially think you will reach your goal in a few short months, but then realize it will take twice as long. Too often this is where people throw in the towel.

Instead of calling it quits, reevaluate the goal. Reflect upon the progress you have made and identify any roadblocks that may have come up. By doing this, you will be able to figure out what’s helping you move forward and what’s holding you back. Next, evaluate the amount of time you need based on the amount of time it took you to reach the place where you are currently at now. Remember to be realistic with the new timeframe and make adjustments accordingly.

You Take Criticism Too Personally

If you’re struggling to achieve a personal goal you have set, it’s helpful to get an outside perspective. This outside perspective is best delivered in the form of constructive feedback to help you move forward. The mistake most people make with receiving constructive feedback is taking the criticism personally, rather than productively.

When given correctly, people offer criticism as a means of providing help through critiquing the work you have completed, not you personally. Be open-minded and take the critiques to heart while trying to improve on them. If what you are currently doing is not working, it is in your best interest to try a new approach to get you the results you desire.

The Goal Isn’t Being Tracked

If you aren’t keeping track of the goal that you are hoping to achieve, how do you know how close you are getting. If your goal is to lose weight and get healthy, you might be able to see a difference in the mirror, but that’s not enough. You need to quantify your goals and make sure that you are tracking your progression no matter the type of goal you want to achieve. Whether you are writing a book, losing weight, trying to increase your bench press, or anything else, track it. Not only will it be easier to see your progress, but it can serve as motivation for you.

You Don’t Have Patience

Achieving goals, even reaching the steppingstones that you have created, takes time. One of the problems with many people in today’s world is that they want everything tomorrow. It’s a world of fast food and next-day delivery that has started to condition our minds like this. Reaching your goals takes time, and that means that you need to have patience. Not having patient affects many of us, though, which is why it is important to keep track of your progress toward your goals mentioned earlier. When you feel that you aren’t any closer to your goal, look back to when you first started tracking the goal to see how far you have come.

Lacking Consistency

Consistency and sustainability are both required to successfully accomplish any goal. If you casually work on your goals periodically, you will likely not see the results you desire, or worse, you may not see any results at all. To ensure progress, stay focused and dedicate the appropriate amount of time to your goal.

Consistency does not necessarily mean that you need to work on your goal for a certain amount of time each day. The amount of time you allot to a goal depends on the type of goal and the timeframe you have set to accomplish it. For examples, some goals might only require 20-minutes one day per week, while others might require 20 hours per week. Regardless of how little or how much time you need to spend, strive to be consistent.

You Are Surrounded by Negative People

Negative people are toxic and often hold you back from reaching your goals. Consider who you are spending your time with and ask yourself if they energize you or suck the life right out of you.

Try to surround yourself with like-minded people who support and encourage you to accelerate towards your goals. If these types of people are not currently in your life, think about where you could meet these people — online, work, gym, volunteering, etc.

You Struggle with Change

Change is an inherent part of goal-getting. When you set a personal goal, it automatically challenges you and makes you confront some of your limiting beliefs and decisions. In other words, it forces you to become the kind of person who has or does whatever your goal is. However, you can’t expect to achieve your goals or make progress unless you are willing and embrace making necessary changes.

Start slow and ease into change. Don’t try to change your whole life routine all at once. There’s no point, because adjusting to sustainable long-term change should always be a gradual process. Start with making small modifications and go at your own pace to build from there.

You Don’t Celebrate Your Wins

It’s important to celebrate your successes each step of the way. Remember, this is about the journey as much as it is about the end goal. If all you do is fret about the future, you’ll surely hit burnout before you hit success.

Give yourself a pat on the back for all those little wins because they are a big deal. And when you reach a major milestone, take time to acknowledge it. This reinforces that all of your hard work is paying off and you should be proud of yourself. Also, celebrating your accomplishments will help keep you motivated and focused to keep moving forward in accomplishing your goal.

Negative Self-Talk

If the conversations in your head are negative, then the chances are high that you may have developed a habit of negative self-talk—putting yourself down, kicking yourself over mistakes, blaming yourself for not doing better—that only makes you feel hopeless and defeated. If you form a negative opinion of yourself, you won’t think you deserve better than what you have, and you’ll eventually struggle to reach your goals.

To make changes in your life, you often have to start by shifting your perspective. Instead of beating yourself up, focus on things you have accomplished. Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good about yourself.

Distractions Are Getting in the Way

Distractions can seem impossible to avoid and the more distractions that you have, the less likely that you will be able to focus.

If you want to achieve great things in life, the first thing that you need to do is remove all distractions. The trick is to eliminate the possibility of temptations occurring altogether. Text messages, social media, and emails all have one purpose – they take your attention away from something that needs to get done. Don’t fall victim to becoming addicted to distraction. Rather, carve out specific blocks of time when you turn off your phone or computer. By putting yourself into a focused state, you will surprise yourself how much you can accomplish in a short period of time.

Work with a Coach for the Best Results

As you can see, there are many different factors that could be involved when it comes to reasons why you are struggling to achieve your goals. Once you are able to identify these issues, it will start to become easier to identify potential solutions to ultimately achieve your goal. However, this is often easier said than done when doing this alone.

This is an ideal opportunity for you to partner with a certified Health & Wellness Coach. A coach will be able to help you identify the problems that are preventing you from reaching your goals and offer guidance on how you can get back on track. It can be extremely helpful to work with a supportive coach who genuinely wants the best for you, especially during difficult times. It is truly okay to ask for help and a Health & Wellness Coach is the perfect person who would be beyond delighted to have the opportunity to work with someone like you.

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You Can’t Pick A Diet & What You Can Do About It

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You Can't Pick a Diet

You Can’t Pick a Diet

Every year, Americans spend a whopping $60 billion on following weight loss programs and fad diets.

But do these programs and diets really work?

For a regular consumer who is trying to find the most healthy and sustainable way to shed unwanted pounds, the struggle to pick the best diet is real. Since every diet comes with its pros and cons, you should choose a weight loss program only if it fits your lifestyle needs and does not pose any risks to your health. In many of today’s most popular diets, dieters have to eliminate an entire food group, leading to complications.

No cookie-cutter solution can guarantee weight loss for the masses. That’s because we are all unique and what works for your friend may not produce any significant results in your case.

If you want to know some of the best and worst things about today’s most popular diets, here is a brief review of each. One of the best ways to determine the best diet that will deliver long-term results is to partner with a certified Nutrition and Fitness Coach who will help you choose the best weight loss program or diet for you to lose weight in the healthiest way possible.

Let’s find out if you know about the pros and cons of these popular diets so you can be better informed as you pick a diet.

Ketogenic Diet (Keto)

Who doesn’t know about the Keto diet? If you want to pick a diet that revolves around the concept of consuming a high-fat diet with moderate protein and very low in carbs, then the Keto is it. However, most followers fail to differentiate between good and bad fats. In this diet, the body goes into ketosis or fat-burning mode to produce ketones, which are fuel molecules. When we don’t incorporate too many carbs in our diet, our body turns to ketones as an alternative source of fuel.

Pros of the Keto Diet

The keto diet helps reduce seizures in pediatric patients with epilepsy. Millions of people have witnessed miraculous results, thanks to the Keto diet. Avoiding sugary treats and cutting calories help you feel less bloated, and you are able to lose weight quickly. You also stay fuller for longer hours, resulting in a caloric deficit.

Cons of the Keto Diet

Because of the stringent food restrictions, many find the keto diet hard to stick to. Due to whole food groups being excluded, nutrients typically found in foods like whole grains and fruit that are restricted from the diet can lead to deficiencies, especially if the diet is followed incorrectly or without proper guidance. Many followers complain that the diet leads to frequent constipation as it has low fiber. There is also a possibility that you experience the common symptoms of ‘keto flu.’ Some of these symptoms include a headache, an upset stomach, dizzy spells, and fatigue.

Intermittent Fasting

This fasting method is often a crucial part of a weight loss program. However, if you want to pick a diet that you can also adopt it as a lifestyle, then intermittent fasting may be for you. Intermittent fasting involves an eating pattern that shuffles between eating and fasting. While you are free to decide the kinds of food you decide to eat during a certain ‘window,’ you should include whole grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as vegetables in your diet. There are different types of IF. For example, some people like to fast for 16 hours with an 8-hour eating window.

Pros of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in). IF also improves memory and reduces inflammation.

Cons of Intermittent Fasting

The diet can cause harm if you don’t make wise food choices. Some followers can binge or overeat during the eating window, while others experience a lack of energy due to poor nutrition. IF is not a good fit for anyone with an unhealthy relationship with food, or a history of eating disorders or disordered eating habits. Also, it is not for anyone with diabetes, or who experiences low blood sugar.

Alkaline Diet

This diet claims that since diseases develop in an acidic environment, we should replace acid-forming foods with alkaline-forming foods. As you pick a diet, know that on the alkaline diet, you are expected to eat more fruits and vegetables, and increase your water intake, all while avoiding highly acidic items such as sugars, alcohol, coffee and processed foods.

Pros of Alkaline Diet

The benefits of a plant-based diet are many, from lower cholesterol levels to less risk of obesity and many cancers. More vegetables and fruits in your diet reduce the intake of refined sugar and red meat in your diet, leading to various health benefits such as improved bone health.

Cons of Alkaline Diet

There is no scientific evidence to support the claims of this diet. The diet also claims that it protects us from various types of cancers. However, cancer cells also grow in alkaline environments, and there is no data to suggest that there is a link between cancer and an acid-forming diet.

Baby Food Diet

The baby food diet encourages the consumption of baby food to lose weight. Dieters are recommended to eat a combination of pureed vegetables, meat and fruit for breakfast and lunch, and one well-rounded adult meal for dinner.

Pros of Baby Food Diet

Since baby foods are often advertised as being organic, additive-free and full of vitamins, this makes them seem like an easy, convenient way to eat healthily with limited calories (jars consist of 15 to 100 calories each) and control portion size.

Cons of Baby Food Diet

Baby food is made specifically for babies and does not meet the nutrition needs of adults. Plus, if a dieter eats 14 jars of baby food per day, that person could consume up to 1400 calories and still be hungry. This may happen because part of what lets our brains know we are feeling full is the act of chewing, which baby food does not require.

Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten is a protein that is found in barley, rye, and wheat. You may pick a diet that is gluten-free because advocates of this diet suggest that since gluten is inflammatory, consuming a gluten-free diet speeds up weight loss efforts, prevents bloating, and boosts health.

Pros of Gluten-Free Diet

If you suffer from celiac disease, the diet offers the best way to prevent any further damage to your intestinal lining. This diet also improves cholesterol levels and gives more energy.

Cons of Gluten Free Diet

Some followers find the gluten-free diet too restrictive as it leads to insufficient intake of dietary fiber and B vitamins. Moreover, some gluten-free versions of foods are higher in saturated fat, sugar, and calories.

Grapefruit Diet

This diet is based on the claim that grapefruit has properties that increase fat-burning. When you pick a diet, know the grapefruit diet calls for the consumption of half a grapefruit at every meal.

Pros of Grapefruit Diet

The grapefruit diet restricts high-carb and starchy foods like beans, corn and potatoes. Since these foods contribute to water gain, dieters may notice some weight loss due to retaining less water. Plus, grapefruit is a great source of fiber, so it may help fill you up prior to eating a meal.

Cons of Grapefruit Diet 

This diet is very restrictive. While it promotes eating meat and other high-protein foods, the only carbs allowed—besides grapefruit—are greens and milk. A few versions of this diet also eliminate snacking between meals. Anytime you start a diet that restricts carbs, you’ll see a lot of water weight loss, but once you reintroduce carbs, the weight comes right back.

The Flexitarian Diet

A Flexitarian Diet can be generally defined as a semi-vegetarian diet with moderate consumption of animal products. When you pick a diet that is Flexitarian, understand this diet is a play on two words: flexible and vegetarian. The flexitarian diet is based on the idea that we can receive the health benefits of a vegetarian diet without being 100 percent vegetarian. It focuses more on what plants we can add to our diets rather than on what animal sources to take away.

Pros of Flexitarian Diet

The Flexitarian Diet emphasizes nutritious foods and it is easy to accommodate personal preferences. It is also budget-friendly and sustainable for the right individual.

Cons of Flexitarian Diet

This diet may be difficult for daily meat-eaters to follow. If you have diabetes and want to follow a Flexitarian Diet, it would be best to consult with a dietitian who can help you plan meals that fit the correct carb counts for your body.

DASH Diet

The DASH diet, which stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”, is an eating plan that is recommended for the prevention and treatment of hypertension (or high blood pressure). If you have to pick a diet that considers hypertension, your health care provider may advise you to use the DASH diet alone or combined with medication in order to decrease your blood pressure to a healthy level. However, even if you don’t have hypertension, the DASH eating plan is also ideal for shedding unwanted pounds as well as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is a flexible plan that does not require any special foods and offers a variety of choices to fit individual tastes.

Pros of DASH Diet

The DASH diet could lower blood pressure and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. The DASH diet has the approval of many medical institutions and has been ranked as a top diet plan.

Cons of DASH Diet

The DASH diet doesn’t have many cons unless you are looking for immediate weight-loss results. Unlike many diets that come with extensive information in the form of recipes and premade foods the DASH diet differs in that you are more or less on your own. Once you have figured out your calorie count for the day and the number of servings of each food group you need each day, it is up to you to plan, buy, and prepare your meals.

Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet is a restrictive diet that only includes meat, fish, and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products. When you pick a diet that is carnivore, you’ll have to exclude all other foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Pros of Carnivore Diet

Since the Carnivore Diet excludes carbs, it eliminates cookies, cakes, candy, sodas, pastries, and similar high-carb foods.

Cons of Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet eliminates highly nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, all of which contain beneficial vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the Carnivore Diet contains no fiber, which may cause constipation in some people.

The Paleo Diet

Also known as the caveman diet, the Paleo Diet encourages eating foods that were available during the Paleolithic era, which ended thousands of years ago. Today, that diet would include lean, grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood, organic fruits and vegetables, eggs, roots and nuts. Paleo dieters drink water, coconut water or green tea.

Pros of Paleo Diet

This diet promotes eating organic, wholesome, homemade and even raw foods that are protein-rich and filled with fiber, which could lead to weight loss.

Cons of Paleo Diet

Due to the lack of dairy products, calcium and vitamin D intake can be particularly low on this eating plan, which can be harmful to bone health.

Mediterranean Diet

This diet revolves around foods that people living around the Mediterranean Sea consume on a regular basis. Following this diet means that you must consume plenty of beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The diet emphasizes consuming seafood, fish, poultry, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. This diet also allows you to enjoy a small glass of red wine with dinner.

Pros of Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet covers all major food groups and has diverse flavors and variety. Inexpensive vegetables, such as onions, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers, are used widely in Mediterranean cuisine. Beans, legumes, pasta and cheese are also relatively inexpensive. This even may be easier to adhere to than more limiting diets. Many studies highlight the benefits of consuming this diet for reversing cognitive decline and improving cardiovascular health.

Cons of Mediterranean Diet

Food intake may end up being low in protein, particularly if not enough seeds, nuts, dairy, and fish are consumed on a regular basis. Craving for red meat can render it difficult to stick with this diet in the long run. Blood sugar levels can fluctuate if the wrong types of carbohydrates are chosen. Since you have to prepare your meals every day, following this diet can be a challenge for busy individuals.

How to Choose the Best Diet

When it comes to picking the best diet, there is no shortage of advice. Websites, magazines, social media, the news and books seem to offer convincing advice for which method will be the best for you to lose weight. However, you don’t know where to even start or who to believe when choosing the right diet, with so many conflicting options.

At the end of the day, cutting calories is a sure-fire way to help you quickly lose weight if your goal is to fit into a particular outfit for an important upcoming event. But that weight loss primarily comes from water and muscle, with very little coming from actual body fat. Such diets are not sustainable and are potentially dangerous.

Ultimately, choosing a diet that is balanced in macronutrients and built around real, whole, clean food, and that does not have you counting calories for the rest of your life, is a more realistic way to eat for a lifestyle. But diet is not the only player when it comes to weight loss—exercise, sleep, stress reduction, socializing and mindful eating are equally important parts to long-term success.

Choosing to work with a certified Nutrition Coach can be highly beneficial in guiding you through the teach you credible nutrition education and answer any of your specific questions.

Final Thoughts

Losing weight can be possible when you select the right diet and the right Nutrition Coach. If you are hesitant to pick a diet and don’t want to be a yo-yo dieter, partnering with a professional Nutrition Coach can help you create an individualized plan to achieve sustainable results.

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Why You Always Feel Hungry & What You Can Do

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Why You Always Feel Hungry

Hunger is the body’s signal indicating the biological need for food, but most people feel hungry and often eat for reasons that reflect other forms of hunger. Many things, beyond a physical need for fuel, can present as an urge to eat. Understanding the complex nature of hunger and cravings can help you differentiate between when you’re truly hungry and when your hunger signals may reflect other needs.

Reasons You Feel Hungry

Here are some of the most common reasons why you always feel hungry and strategies to help you learn how to practice eating mindfully.

Recently Altered Your Workout Program

Changes in your exercise routine may lead to fluctuations in your appetite. Exercise seems to affect people differently, stimulating appetite in some and decreasing it in others. When you increase your exercise routine, you may need to monitor your calorie intake for several weeks to identify any unintentional changes in your eating patterns.

Too Many Refined Carbs

Refined carbs have been processed and stripped of their fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One of the most popular sources of refined carbs is white flour, which is found in many grain-based foods like bread, pasta, and cereals. Foods like soda, candy, and baked goods, which are made with processed sugars, are also considered to be refined carbs. Since refined carbs lack fiber, your body digests them very quickly. This is a major reason why you may be feeling hungry frequently if you eat a lot of refined carbs, as they do not promote significant feelings of fullness.

Low Sleep

Getting adequate sleep is extremely important for your health. Sleep is essential for the proper functioning of your brain and immune system and getting enough of it is associated with a lower risk of several chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. Additionally, sleeping enough is a factor in appetite control, as it helps regulate ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone. Lack of sleep leads to increased ghrelin levels, which might explain why you feel hungrier when you are sleep deprived Getting enough sleep also helps ensure adequate levels of leptin, a hormone that promotes feelings of fullness.

You Are Not Eating Enough Protein

Protein has hunger-reducing properties that may help you automatically consume fewer calories during the day. It works by increasing the production of hormones that signal fullness and reducing the levels of hormones that stimulate hunger. Due to these effects, you may feel hungry more frequently if you’re not eating an appropriate amount of protein each day.

Your Emotions

Are you actually hungry, or are you just bored? Many people can’t really tell the difference. Are you hungry for an apple and some Greek yogurt? No? Then perhaps you’re not really hungry, but just looking for something to keep you busy. You may also think you are hungry because of feeling loneliness, anger, anxiousness, frustration, sadness, or stress. By eating in response to your “emotional appetite,” these emotional eating patterns may affect your true sense of hunger.

You Are Not Eating Enough Fat

Eating fat does not actually make you fat, eating too many calories does. Therefore, you may feel hungry if you don’t eat enough fat because it plays a role in slowing digestion and increasing the production of fullness-promoting hormones. Certain types of fats, such as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and omega-3 fatty acids, have been studied the most for their ability to decrease appetite. The richest food source of MCT is coconut oil, while omega-3 fatty acids are mostly found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. However, you can also get omega-3s from plant-based foods, such as walnuts and flaxseeds.

You Mistake Thirst for Hunger

You may always feel hungry if you’re not drinking enough water. Water has appetite-reducing properties and you may be mistaking feelings of thirst for feelings of hunger. Make sure to drink plenty of water and when you start to feel hungry, try to drink some water first before eating.

You Don’t Eat Mindfully

Mindful eating can be described as slowing down while eating, noticing hunger and fullness cues, and eating until feeling satisfied. When you practice mindful eating, it can help you gain control over your eating habits by being more aware of your overall eating experience, hunger, satiety, triggers, senses and gratitude for food. It may not only prevent weight gain, but it may also address problematic eating behaviors such as binge and emotional eating, as well as eating as a response to external cues.

Overcome Stress

Excessive stress is known to increase your appetite. This is mostly due to its effects on increasing levels of cortisol, a hormone that has been shown to promote hunger and food cravings. Cortisol can make you crave sugary, salty and fatty foods, because your brain thinks it needs fuel to fight whatever threat is causing the stress. For this reason, you might find that you are always hungry if you experience frequent stress.

You Are Not Eating Enough Fiber

Since fiber stays in the stomach longer than other foods, that feeling of fullness will stay with you much longer, helping you to consume less food. Additionally, a high fiber intake influences the release of appetite-reducing hormones and the production of short-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to have fullness-promoting effects. It’s important to note that there are different types of fiber, and some are better than others at keeping you full and preventing hunger. Several studies have found soluble fiber (found in barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears), or fiber that dissolves in water, is more filling than insoluble fiber (found in whole grains, wheat cereals, carrots, celery, and tomatoes).

You Eat While Being Distracted

If you have a busy lifestyle, you may frequently eat when you are distracted. Although it may add minutes back into your day, distracted eating can be detrimental to your health. It’s associated with greater appetite, increased calorie intake, and weight gain. This happens because distracted eating reduces your awareness of how much you’re consuming and prevents you from recognizing your body’s fullness signals as efficiently as when you’re not distracted.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol

What do most people do when they leave the bar at 2am? They are likely asking their Uber to go through a fast food drive-thru or ordering a pizza to scarf down when they get home. Drinking too much alcohol may cause you to feel hungry frequently due to its role in decreasing the production of hormones that promote fullness. Alcohol may not only make you hungrier but also impair the part of your brain that controls judgment and self-control. This may lead you to eat more, regardless of how hungry you truly are.

Drink Your Calories

A protein smoothie always hits the spot on a hot summer day. However, it likely only takes you 5 minutes to drink it and then you feel hungry shortly after having it. This happens because liquid and solid foods affect your appetite in different ways. If you consume a lot of liquid foods, such as smoothies, protein shakes, and soups, you may be hungrier more often than you would be if you ate more solid foods. One major reason for this is that liquids pass through your stomach more quickly than solid foods do. Eating liquid foods also tends to take less time than eating solid foods. This may lead you to want to eat more, only because your brain hasn’t had enough time to process fullness signals.

You are on Medication

Many drugs or medications can lead to weight gain due to an increased appetite. The most common appetite-inducing medications include antipsychotics, such as clozapine and olanzapine, as well as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, corticosteroids, and anti-seizure drugs. If you suspect that medications are the cause of your frequent hunger, it may help to talk to your healthcare provider about other treatment options. There may be alternative medications that don’t make you feel hungry.

You Eat Too Fast

Several studies have shown that fast eaters have greater appetites and a tendency to overeat, compared to slow eaters. These effects are partly due to the lack of chewing and reduced awareness that occur when you eat too fast, both of which are necessary to alleviate feelings of hunger. Additionally, eating slowly and chewing thoroughly gives your body and brain more time to release anti-hunger hormones and convey fullness signals.

Learn How to Control Your Hunger

If you do not have any underlying medical conditions, there are ways for you to control your hunger.

Don’t Let Emotions Get in the Way

As mentioned above, many people learn to use food as a way to cope, find comfort, escape from life problems or to reward successes, which can be a problem for people who want to lose weight. If you struggle with emotional eating, here are a few tips to help you:

  • Recognize emotional eating and the trigger emotion.
  • Express the emotion to a friend, a pet or yourself in writing, starting with “I feel …”
  • Acknowledge and accept the emotion.
  • Love yourself. Supporting yourself puts your mind at ease and takes away the desire to eat.

Pay Attention to All of Your Hunger Cues

If you’re waiting for your stomach to growl, you may be setting yourself up to overeat, because we don’t all experience the same hunger cues. Sometimes it shows up as a headache or a bad mood that comes on suddenly.

Understanding how hunger can show up in your body is key to recognizing it before it’s too late and you’re starving. Other potential hunger signals include:

  • Growling stomach
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Low energy
  • Suddenly irritable (“hangry”)

Habit-Based Goals

Below are additional suggestions to help you become more mindful while you eat and control your feeling of hungry.

  • Stop eating when you feel 80% full.
  • Put the fork/spoon down in between bites.
  • Turn off screens while eating all meals and snacks
  • Eat meals and snacks at the table without distractions as much as possible.
  • Begin each meal with a glass of water to avoid feeling overly hungry and eating too quickly.

Final Thoughts

There could be several reasons why you always feel hungry and it can be quite overwhelming to try and figure out which one pertains to you. Additionally, it is extremely difficult to navigate this process alone in learning how to successfully control your hunger to avoid overeating. Instead of going through this alone, opt to work with a certified Nutrition Coach who can help you to stop the vicious cycle of overeating once and for all. A Nutrition Coach will focus on supporting you to build a healthier relationship with food by discovering what works best for you. Although creating healthy sustainable habits requires time and patience, working with a certified coach will guide you through each step of the way towards reaching your goal.

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How to Exercise Correctly for Your Fitness Goals

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Measure Backwards You Want to Learn How to Exercise Correctly

Are the exercises you are performing the best options when it comes to reaching your goal? How confident do you feel about your form when you exercise? Do you know how to make proper adjustments to your plan? Although doing something is better than nothing, if you are like most people, you are doing a lot of guesswork when it comes to exercising. In order to reap the health benefits and achieve optimal results with exercise, you need to strengthen your knowledge from a credible source. This article outlines a few key elements that are important for you to know and understand when it comes to learning how to exercise correctly.

What Should Be Included in A Fitness Plan

All effective fitness plans should include these 3 activities to address the complete picture of physical fitness which are:

  • Aerobic
  • Muscular Strength
  • Flexibility

Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercise is great for your cardiovascular system and is an important part of weight management.

Health Benefits:

  • Increases your endurance by speeding up your heart rate and breathing
  • Helps to relax blood vessel walls
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Burns body fat
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Boosts mood
  • Raises “good” HDL cholesterol
  • Reduces risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and depression

Aerobic exercises can be as simple as walking, jogging, jumping rope and dance-exercising. You should aim for 150-minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity or 75-minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both spread throughout the week to exercise correctly.

Muscular Strength

You do not need to be a bodybuilder to add strength training into your workout regimen, and people of any age can greatly benefit from strength training.

Health Benefits:

  • Maintain your independence as you age
  • Improve your quality of life
  • Strengthen and preserve your muscle tissue
  • Strengthen your bones
  • Reduce your risk of falling
  • Improve control of blood sugar
  • Increase your metabolism
  • Improve your body composition to less fat and more muscle
  • Reduce your resting blood pressure
  • Speed up the rate at which food moves through your digestive system, reducing risk of colon cancer
  • Reduce your risk of low back injury
  • Elevate your mood and your self-confidence
  • Relieve pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Enhance recovery from stroke or heart attack

Strength training can include using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or your own body weight. To exercise correctly, you’ll need to add moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening exercises into your routine at least 2 days per week.

Flexibility

Flexibility is primarily due to one’s genetics, gender, age, body shape and level of physical activity. As people grow older, they tend to lose flexibility, usually as a result of inactivity, but partially because of the aging process itself.

Health Benefits:

  • Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion
  • May reduce your risk of injury
  • Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains
  • Improves posture
  • Helps reduce or manage stress
  • Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation
  • Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance
  • Prepares the body for the stress of exercise
  • Promotes circulation
  • Decreases the risk of low-back pain

Try to add at least 5-minutes of post-workout static stretches at least 3 days per week by stretching to the point of mild discomfort (no pain) for 3 sets of each stretch and hold for 20 – 30 seconds.  Increasing your flexibility will support other areas of your fitness routine and help you exercise correctly.

Factors to Consider When Exercising

There are quite a few factors that contribute to a well-executed workout such as:

  • Maintaining good form
  • Variation in your workout
  • Adjusting weights
  • Reaching your target heart rate

Maintaining Good Form

Incorrect weight training form can lead to sprains, strains, fractures and other painful injuries that you want to prevent from happening. Take time to learn how to do each exercise correctly by moving through the full range of motion in your joints. The better form you have, the better your results, and the less likely you are to hurt yourself. If you’re unable to maintain good form, try to decrease the weight or lower the number of repetitions. Don’t forget that proper form matters even when you pick up and replace your weights on the racks. It’s important to work with an individual who is educated in body mechanics; doing so allows you to work out safely and make steady progress toward your long-term goals.

Variation in Your Workout

Working out challenges your muscle fibers to the breaking point and creates an opportunity for them to rebuild. These rebuilt fibers are thicker and stronger than before. When you do the same workout over and over, your body adapts to that form of stress, but eventually that exercise will no longer benefit you the way it used to. This causes stagnation in your progress.

As such, it’s important to incorporate variation into your fitness regimen. This might mean changing the number of sets and repetitions, combination of exercises, intensity, amount of days you workout, or the amount of time you spend on an activity. There are a handful of other ways to introduce variety into your workout routine, but they require precision. If you work with a Personal Trainer, you have someone at hand who can help manipulate the details of your exercise plan on a weekly basis to ensure success

Adjusting Weights

Adjusting weights requires that perfect blend of variation and consistency. Developing a steady trajectory for your lifting plan will allow you to build upon previous progress and increase overall muscle tone. However, the impact of your choices stretches even further. Lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions, versus lighter weights for more repetitions, can have drastically different impacts on your body.

Lifting heavier weights is an excellent way to protect and strengthen your bones. In turn, stronger bones can prevent or reduce your chance of developing osteoporosis later in life. Evidence also shows that those who exercise with heavier weights build muscles that burn more energy, even while at rest. If you’re hoping to increase your metabolism, you need the know-how to find that threshold where your body is stressed enough. A trainer can help you determine the minimum weight needed for someone of your stature and strength.

On the other hand, completing more repetitions with lower weights can count as cardiovascular exercise. Consequently, it burns more calories during your workout. Incorporating this type of lifting can be a great addition to a program geared toward increasing endurance or improving heart health. Again, determining how many repetitions you should aim to complete is crucial to exercise correctly and achieving your desired results. Regardless of your goals, guidance toward how to incorporate different weights into your program will ensure your entire plan is geared toward your goals.

Reaching Your Target Heart Rate

Cardiovascular exercises are geared toward strengthen your heart, which provides life-long benefits and may prevent cardiac injury as you grow older. However, the key to improving your cardiovascular health lies in reaching and maintaining an appropriate heart rate. Depending on your long-term goals, there are a range of target heart rates that you can aim for during your workout.

If you aren’t familiar with how to determine your current heart rate, working with a knowledgeable individual can help. A personal trainer can teach you how to find your resting rate, as well as the ideal target range for mild, moderate, or intense workouts. Maintaining an appropriate heart rate while exercising improves the safety of your workout and the effectiveness of your routine.

Do You Lack the Knowledge You Need?

Being equipped with knowledge on how to exercise correctly can positively contribute and ease the process towards reaching your goals. On the other hand, here are a few common areas people struggle with the most when they don’t know what they are doing.

Unfamiliar with Equipment

Whatever your physical goals are, there are many paths to achieve the strength, speed, and agility you seek. As such, most gyms come stocked with numerous types of equipment to help you reach your goals. Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weight machines, and barbells are all common sights. You may also find kettlebells, medicine balls, squat racks, and dip bars.

Each option requires some knowledge of their function. You need to know how to adjust each piece of equipment for your body in order to target the right muscles in a safe manner. Many cardio machines have adjustable speeds, preset programs, and resistance options, but it can be challenging to figure out what it all means and how it will impact your body. Likewise, the variety of benches and free weights can be daunting when you aren’t sure how you’re supposed to use them. If you step into a workout space and feel overwhelmed or confused by the endless possibilities available, you will benefit from being taught how to operate and interact with each device.

Overwhelmed by Conflicting Advice

When seeking to build a workout plan on your own, it’s easy to get lost in the countless cookie-cutter programs available. Everyone, from your friends to your favorite celebrities, has “expert” advice to share. Incorporating advice that is appropriate to your specific fitness level and goals is crucial to achieving successful progress.

How do you determine which exercises incorporate? Although every exercise provides its own benefits, it’s unrealistic to try and incorporate every possible physical activity on a weekly basis. Sifting through advice on which exercises to try and how to link them together into a cohesive plan is challenging. Working with a professional allows you to target your specific goals and ensure the training program is tailored to you.

Feeling Uncomfortable

Whenever you try something new, you need to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable until you get the hang of what you are doing. When it comes to being new to exercising, many people feel discomfort in sweating, being out of breath, soreness, people watching them, and working out alone. Learning and strengthening your knowledge is the solution on how you can face and overcome your discomforts to ultimately crush your goals.

How A Personal Trainer Can Help

What it all comes down to is that you need a tailored plan to reach your goals and learn how to properly execute that plan from each week. When you aren’t sure how to workout properly, you not only put your health at risk, but you also risk accomplishing your goals. Don’t stress yourself out trying to figure all of this out on your own – let a certified Personal Trainer help you.

A Personal Trainer can develop an effective workout plan that is aligned with your specific goals and preferences while keeping you safe. If it is important for you to learn how to feel more confident and comfortable with your exercise program, working with a Personal Trainer can turn that into a reality for you.

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