The holidays are over, the parties have wrapped, the food has been eaten, and the spirits have been consumed. Now you’re looking at that mid-section of yours or maybe you’re standing on the scale beating yourself up because the gluttony has added a few centimeters onto your waist or numbers onto the floor bound weight measurement tool. So, in response you’ve decided to add yourself to that ever growing list of names of that ever so popular resolution – lose weight and get in shape.
Well, first of all, stop beating yourself up, because it was the holidays, and you’re supposed to enjoy them. Now that they’re over, how do you get rid of that spare tire you gave yourself as a holiday gift to find the nirvana that’s known as 6 pack abs? I will tell you this – you already have those 6 pack abs. They’re just hidden right now, and the best way to find them is NOT with an ab workout!
Oh sure, you need to incorporate ab work into your workouts regularly, but doing so will really not burn any fat. You see, the point of an ab workout is to build your core = your midsection. And by building your core, you are strengthening your body’s ability to balance and hold itself upright which in turn will allow you to have better flexibility and agility to partake in other exercises which do cause the calorie burning machine to start churning quickly. Doing 100 crunches or sit-ups regularly will accomplish the core strengthening, but in order to lose fat, you need to incorporate other elements, specifically:
Regular Resistance and Cardio Respiratory Exercise with Diet
So you’ve made the commitment and you’re motivated, but now you’re at the gym, looking at all of these machines and free weights and wondering where do I start? And like most people, you don’t quite know the correct way to go about everything so while you start off motivated, you find that the motivation quickly turns to frustration, and you wind up quitting promising that you’ll start again after that special event or vacation and before you know it, it’s the holidays again, and round and around we go. Hey, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there at one time or another. But fortunately for you, you have me to give you a little help.
I see losing weight in percentages. Meaning your overall goal means 100%, but here is how it breaks down: 75% is diet and 25% is exercise. So, what do you need to do about the diet?
1. First is get rid of as much processed sugars as possible. My saying is “If it’s white, it ain’t right.” This means white bread, white rice, anything where either sugar or corn syrup is listed within the first 5-6 ingredients.
2. Secondly, replace bad fats with good ones…margarine for peanut or almond butter, pork bacon or sausage with turkey bacon or sausage, cheese crackers with almonds or pistachios, etc. Incorporate lots of lean meats, fruits and veggies.
3. More important than all of this is PORTION SIZE. While you read this, put your hand into a fist – that’s the size of your stomach. If your meal(s) or snack(s) fall beyond the size of your fist, put that portion away and eat it later. Yes, you can eat 6 – 8 times per day – in fact, I encourage it. Keep the machine fueled, but don’t weigh the machine down with a bunch of extra fuel you just don’t need at that moment.
Now for the other 25% – the exercise portion. If you’re not sure where to begin, I say begin with a class or if you can afford it, a personal trainer. I had no idea what to do in a gym as little as 10 years ago. So, upon a friend’s recommendation, I signed up for a boot camp class. Since then, I have not only learned what to do by trained professionals, I have run a marathon, competed in a body building competition and became a trained professional group and personal trainer. I’m not bragging. No, I’m simply saying that everybody has to start somewhere. So, my advice to the beginners out there is find some classes that look interesting at your gym or ask a friend what they might recommend.
Good places to start are body works and boot camp style classes, which should offer an ab workout during some portion of the class. Most gyms offer these types or similar classes. If you’re not sure of the difficulty level of the class, ask the staff at the gym or read about it on your gym’s website. Most gym classes are designed for all levels from beginners to advanced, and their website(s) should give you a quick description and difficulty level. If you’re a beginner now, stick with it, and you will become advanced.
I understand that this is a very basic overview of how to find those elusive ab muscles we all desire, and I would recommend additional research and discussions of your own, but at least now you have an idea of where to start and the murky abyss of weight loss will become a clear path. Happy 2013 – get to work!
About the Author: My name is Lando. I’m an e-commerce entrepreneur who recently became a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. In addition to my clients, I currently teach a boot camp style class and kickboxing for a major fitness company based here in California read more →
Sometimes motivation comes from competition. I have to admit… I like to compete. If I’m not competing with someone else, I’m competing with myself. So, when I took a kickboxing class I think it was a match made in heaven. Learn why a kickboxing class might give you the competitive edge you need to stay motivated in your fitness routine!
Kick Box and Kick Butt
I was set on losing weight two years ago so I joined a gym. I went to step classes to build up some endurance and then tried kickboxing. I loved it for its all-over body work-out. It made my arms just as strong as my legs and the kicks loosened up my lower back and hips the same way yoga did. I can’t get into treadmills — too boring. I need a group exercise class to keep me going.
With kickboxing, I had a whole room of people to compete with. Just being in a high energy class like that was inspiring. It’s tougher than any other exercise and I loved that! It took six months, but I lost 35 pounds and I’ve kept it off for a year.
We all have a little black dress in the closet, some of us may wear it more than others. If your dress as been feeling a little too little try these moves to help get you that sexy body fast.
1. Curtsy squat with a shoulder raise (full body exercise, remember to keep your core tight and suck your belly button into your spine) 20 reps each side
2. Plank pose with leg raise( do 10 leg raises each side)
Hold the plank position and slowly lift and lower your leg, keeping your toes flexed to engage the glute.
3. Sumo squats with a shoulder press – go for 20, do a squat with dumbells resting by your shoulders, when you extend your squat do a shoulder press.
About the Author: Fitness guru and mother of 3! Lana helps busy moms find the time and motivation to make exercise a part of their everyday lives without sacrificing family time. read more →
Finding the motivation to exercise can sometimes be difficult. I find myself going in spurts – an on again, off again positive attitude toward exercise. Even though I don’t feel like it, I will usually drag myself into some sort of class or activity.
When you’re experiencing those “off again” moments, it’s important to reinvent your exercise routine so you find a new groove that you enjoy. Our guest blogger suggests this:
Listen, Learn + Walk
Need a reason to get up and walk a few miles every day? Tried leaving your walking shoes out? Tried getting up earlier? Walking after dinner? Walking during lunch break? Well, try listening to a podcast or a book.
Chapter by chapter, mile by mile; the time and the steps add up quickly. Before you know it, in a few weeks, you’ll have listened to (read) a few books. You’ll be smarter, more engaging, more healthy, more fit. Plus, you’ll be building bone density and getting a dose of vitamin D.
If books aren’t your thing, try downloading an entertaining podcast like, “This American Life” on NPR. The weekly show is always interesting and gives you food for thought – - which is calorie free!
About the Author: Geralin Thomas is a certified professional organizer specializing in chronic disorganization and hoarding. She lives in Cary, NC and enjoys helping clients transform their homes from casa de chaos to casa de calm. read more →
Balancing a schedule that includes a regular fitness routine can be a challenge. We know it’s hard work, but we also know that the work pays off in many areas of our lives. Learn how this fit Mom makes the time in her schedule to exercise.
Find a Fitness Routine You Love
…and set the appointments for it in stone!
After the birth of my son, my fitness routine really suffered. Everything else in my life came first and I was suffering as a rsult. The way that I got it back was by finding classes I loved with teachers who inspired me. I have my spot in those classes reserved through the end of the year, they are in my calendar and I book my schedule around them. It has to be some very extraordinary for me to miss class and then I do my best to fill in a different class during that week.
About the Author: Randy Rabney is a board certified holistic health coach, trained chef, food lover and working parent. She is the founder of TheConsciousPlate.com a company dedicated to helping people find the freedom to eat real food without getting fat. She is also the author of “Delicious For Life: Your Everyday Guide to Making Quick & Healthy Meals.” She is a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts as well as The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, both in NYC and has cooked at the Golden Door Spa in California and has taught classes in a variety of places, including Whole Foods Markets. read more →
The mind is an extremely powerful tool and drives us in positive or negative ways it depends on our social conditioning from childhood and our belief structures about ourself. How we apply our thoughts and direct them towards taking actions within the present moment can depend on an individual sustaining motivation.
Most people are externally focused and to learn these two vital life changing techniques to improve inner awareness and external motivation is the key to success in all areas of life.
Be Healthy, Happy, Motivated and Meet Your Full Potential
1. Stillness Meditation: To learn stillness meditation and to be able quiet the mind chatter and get to know yourself from within is one of the crucial keys to success. This technique taps you into your creative self or intuition or higher self beyond thought where all inner wisdom resides. You also learn to focus and become the witness or watcher of your thoughts. In this state you can start to see negative mental patterning which creates negative or positive behaviors when you acknowledge the negative you can learn to let it go. This creates inner peace and better health by creating calmness, lowered blood pressure, mental energy and more. I often say “when you close your eyes and focus within it is like plugging in your mobile phone charger and you energize mentally, emotionally and to your source”. This is one of many simple meditation techniques;
- Sit upright on a chair or on the floor with a cushion and the legs crossed, the hips tilting forward and a straight spine.
- Close the eyes. When you breathe in through the nose, mentally say in. When you breathe through the nose out, mentally say out.
- Keep with this to start for 10-mins and build up to 60 minutes daily. If your mind drifts off to think about something else just bring it back to the in-out technique.
Initially it can be a challenge to close the eyes and go within however if you keep practicing before you know it you’ll be able to just close your eyes and switch off and energize anytime anywhere.
2. Creative Visualization: With this technique individuals use their mind (intellect or data base) to create visual pictures generally focused on their goals. Many athletes use this technique to win races and improve performance. Research suggests that subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between the real experience and the imagination. So by closing the eyes and picturing or visualizing yourself either losing weight or meeting beyond your fitness and wellbeing goals in-conjunction with the physical activity and healthy habits produces profound results.
The important focus is to create a inner sanctuary mentally where you go to start picturing your goal in fine tuned detail including noticing where you are, how you feel, the weather what your wearing and of course you participating in the event. This technique plants data into your subconscious mind so when you are actually participate in the live event you have already practiced it in your mind and have created a subtle blue print that you can act out.
When you have a positive blue print in place and notice motivating or de-motivating thoughts you can start dropping off the negative sabotaging thoughts that turn into behaviors and move forward in positive ways to meet your full potential.
These are two powerful techniques to build a base that will enhance other motivating practices. May you experience fun, happiness and success.
How have you been able to quiet your mind and experience success?
The last couple months we have focused on a number of exercises to improve our bikini bods and have us ready to hit the beach this summer. But, without finding the motivation to take action, those exercises won’t do us a bit of good. Learn how to accept your challenge for a Pretty Hard Workout and find your motivation to exercise using these tips from our expert guest blogger:
We have spent the last couple months posting various pretty hard exercises that will have our bodies looking HOT this swimsuit season. But, writing and reading about exercises won’t do the trick. Taking the actions steps to complete your exercise routine is the hardest part of the process.
Learn how to motivate yourself to action using the following tips from our expert and president of Behavioral Dynamics, Steve Levinson.
The only difference between wanting to be fit and being more fit is a simple decision to do it.
As today’s guest blogger shares with us, you can spend decades telling yourself you “should” be working out… and then one day you can actually just start doing it. See how she found her motivation to workout and turned exercise into a habit.
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