Monthly Archives: January 2012

3 Weight Loss Lies That Are Keeping You Fat

By Justin Devonshire, Fat-Loss & Body-Toning Expert

 

In my years as a fitness coach I’ve seen fad diets and gimmicky workout routines come and go. Most people eventually get bored of these fads and ditch them for the latest ‘magic bullet’ secret where they hope it will make them lose 50lbs and get 6-pack abs get 6-pack abs within days.

Yet, disturbingly there are a few myths that don’t seem to budge. There is definitely a reason why 90% of people who take up fitness classes never get the results they want, and even more reasons why most people who start any weight loss program usually fail.

Right now I am going to expose some of the biggest lies the fitness industry has ever told you…

 

Big-Fat Lie #1: “Weight Loss is All About Calories In vs. Calories Out

I love this one. Whenever I tell people this is a myth all I see is astounded faces. It’s so deep-rooted in tradition that it seems it MUST be true. Well, let’s apply some common sense and put it to the test shall we?

Let’s say I have twin sisters come to me to get in shape and transform their bodies. They are identical in age, ability, fitness, size, eating habits – everything.

Conventional wisdom would say that they should cut their calories by 500 and eat around 1,200kcals per day (this is the usual recommended amount).

Now, twin A goes home and indeed eats only 1,200kcals per day – but she gets to that amount with nothing but chocolate, cakes, and junk food.

Twin B on the other hand gets her 1,200kcals from lean meats, fruits, vegetables, eggs and drinks water.

After a month on this diet, do you really think they will have both lost the same amount of weight?

I can tell you from experience – when someone eats junk food all day, they don’t lose much weight.

The truth is, weight loss comes down to hormones in the body. Controlling your blood sugar with fibrous foods such as vegetables, and reducing everyday stress will kick-start your fat-burning enzymes.

Forget the quantity of food and calories. Focus on eating good quality food and the calories take care of themselves.

 

Big-Fat Lie #2: “You Need to Run to Lose Weight

This is a cracker! (Before go on, I’ll just state for the record that NONE of my clients in my 8 years’ experience have ever used a treadmill, bike, or any form of aerobic exercise machinery, and they have dropped massive amounts of fat)

Doing the miles is inefficient for losing weight for a few key reasons. Firstly, exercise at an aerobic level does not significantly increase your metabolic rate (the amount of energy burned each day).

In contrast, resistance training – such as body-weight circuits – done in the right manner has been shown in studies to elevate your metabolism for up to 38 hours following a workout. So if you did a 30 minute circuit workout on Monday morning, you could still be burning fat while resting on Tuesday afternoon.

This is because fast-paced, high-intensity training in this way uses all your body’s muscle groups. Repairing these muscles then takes the body a couple of days and requires a huge load of energy. You can find out more about boosting your metabolism here.

Secondly, jogging gives you a far higher chance of getting injured. Runners routinely experience back, hip, knee and ankle pains as a result of putting so much impact through their joints.

The last reason I’ll site as to why you shouldn’t be running to lose weight is that most people find it… boring (that’s why they put TVs in front of the cardio area in gyms).

If you’re not motivated to continue and don’t enjoy your exercise routine, it won’t be long until you throw in the towel and look for the next fad diet.

 

Big-Fat Lie #3: “You Must Eliminate Fat From Your Diet

The confusion here – that led to the original low-fat revolution – comes from the fact that many years ago when the low-fat recommendations were first made, we had very little understanding of fats.

More specifically, when the low-fat recommendation was made in the 1950s we had no idea there were ‘good’ and ‘bad ‘fats. Fats get a bad reputation because they have more calories per gram than do carbohydrate and protein foods. Although, as we’ve already seen, the amounts of calories in foods are not the determining factor in losing fat we once thought.

Isn’t it strange that in this decade we eat far less fat than ever before, yet obesity is still rising? Fat isn’t – and never was – the main problem.

Another thing that we didn’t realize years ago is that excess sugar can also be turned into fat by body. Indeed the reason most people are overweight is because of excess sugar in their diets, not excess fat.

In fact, most people need to include more healthy fats in their diets – even though they are higher in calories! But here’s the thing that many people don’t understand: There are more calories in fat because fat is broken down to perform more tasks within your body.

For example, healthy fat is required for brain power, memory, and mood; it’s used to regulate hormones (and produce testosterone in men), and it also boosts metabolism and gives you healthy skin, nails and hair.

Because of all these functions, those 9 calories per gram are easily broken up and used for energy. Therefore, eating a higher calorie intake from healthy fats will not end up around your waistline.

I hope this article has helped you see that when some common sense is applied, many of the traditional myths about fitness and weight loss simply don’t hold up. Most guidelines on fitness where created decades ago. Since then science and understanding of how the human body works has come leaps and bounds – unfortunately this information rarely makes it to the mainstream.

Don’t be left spinning your wheels! Take on board these tips to shed fat and get lean and toned faster than ever before.

 

Author Bio:

Justin Devonshire is a women’s fat-loss & body-toning expert. He is the owner of Bodyshape Fitness – Personal Training & Bootcamp, which is run in both the UK and Cyprus.

For more free quick tips on weight loss, toning & motivation for women, visit the Bodyshape Fitness Blog.

Go here right now for a FREE copy of Justin’s “Little Black Dress Transformation Guide

 

Hope

 

Terence Mckenna was a writer, philosopher, public speaker, psychonautethnobotanist, art historian, and self-described anarchist, anti-materialist, environmentalist, Platonist and skeptic that passed away back in 2000. His words are truly inspirational to me and are probably a part of the reason why I decided to take up writing on a more public level. He could be one of the most insightful human beings to ever live and I encourage everyone to check out his writings and teachings. 

 

Hope could very well be my favorite word. It translates to so many things. The first time I came across this video on Youtube I didn’t actually know who Terence was. Sure enough, 2 years later he has attained the status of idol in my book. I felt like the more I listened and learned from him, the smarter I became. It is a simple equation really. The more you surround yourself with intelligent people, the more likely it will rub off onto you. The more you surround yourself with idiotic numb skulls, the more it will rub off on you.

I feel like I was about as sharp as a bowling ball until I started listening to Mckenna. Its like he’s the alarm clock that’s shouting trying to wake up your mind. Snap out of it! Culture has us in a trance sometimes and people like Mckenna remind us of this. I would say his overall message was that what’s most important in the world is your immediate universe. The relationships that we have with others in our lives are much more important than caring about external things that exist in the media. But this really doesn’t even scratch the surface of his ultimate message or general philosophy.

In the video he talks about hope. He talks about how hope is a runaway train. When you think about, don’t we all need some aspect of our lives to be completely out of control at all times? I think we do. Living a predictable life without any variance whatsoever would turn us all into complete drones. When you have no hopes or dreams for the future, what do you have? We can even play this idea on the winning side of things and it still makes sense. What if your a person who has already attained everything you want in your life, or have accomplished your biggest goal? Let’s say you envisioned owning your own successful company when you were young. Fast forward 30 years. Now you’re older and have that successful company up and running. Now what?

If you have fulfilled a lifelong dream like this, there’s really no need to stop setting new goals for yourself. Besides, already making a life long dream or operation like a self started company should only give you more confidence in setting out new goals and aspirations. Turning your dreams into reality is the most satisfying thing anyone could possibly ask for is it not? Even if you no longer have to work, if your work is your passion, why would you ever want to stop working? Say you’re that person that got that company up and running and has turned it into a successful business 30 years later. Just because your operation and your original hopes and dreams have been met doesn’t mean you can’t take things even further. Why not take things above and beyond. Your company could be a national supplier which is something more than you could have ever hoped for. But think of how you’d feel if it became internationally recognized. You see the bar can never be set too high.

Always giving yourself something new to hope for is a healthy state of mind. Mckenna really confirms this train of thought being positive although I’m not sure I’ve ever heard him actually say so directly. Living a life without any aspirations regardless if you’ve already met and achieved some would be an existence not worth living I’d say. And again, being successful and already having met certain goals shouldn’t be an excuse to not be hopeful or to set out to attain more goals for the future. Its a very progressive and productive way of thinking and living. Constantly setting up new projects and activities that are work related or not will give you a good sense of self pride and accomplishment.

For those that are out of shape and looking to lose weight but are struggling need understand that hope isn’t the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope gives us direction, but doesn’t have any answers for us. You need to put your heart and soul into something like getting back into shape. Going half speed with this will only frustrate you more because this will only slow the process. Let yourself become fully immersed into dieting techniques where you are learning ever single day. With your exercise, constant improvement should be meticulously tracked and sometimes even recorded to help give you a better sense of where you are, where your going, and how fast your going to get there.

When it comes to our health, having something like hope locked in the back of your mind is fine. Just don’t have hope as the front running word to represent your getting back into shape philosophy. Try words like relentlessness, fighter, productive, positive, or focused to be the representative word of choice. Nevertheless, we still need hope. Its things like having hope that keep us going. Its what helps us wake up in the morning and tackle every challenges head on in the day.

Culture and society can have such a pull and tug on who we are. In many cases its an inevitability. Sometimes its good to get away from it all and back off of the whole humanized realm of living. Nature is of course what I’m talking about here. Getting out and away, perhaps even alone sometimes can really change a general perspective on life almost instantaneously. The birds, the bees, the flowers, and the trees can indeed communicate to us, but the language isn’t based in words, its through feelings. Reconnecting with your spirituality can be an emotionally overwhelming thing; especially when you haven’t connected with it in a long time and are way overdue. Looking at yourself from an outside view is sometimes in order.

I used to go out like this a lot when I was a young kid. When I had a busy or hectic schedule with soccer, studying, camps, this and that, I needed time to slow it all down. The best way I found to do this was by going outside for a ride on my bike or jogging to a new place I’ve never been before. I would breath in deeply taking in the fresh air like I was fish pulling water through its gills. Sometimes I’d even go out late at night just because I needed a solitary get away. These kinds of things are something I think we all could benefit from in the long run. Its good to be a busy little bee that’s social, hard working, loving, proactive, and all that good stuff. But its also good to get back to you and connecting your mind with your spirit. I believe the best way to do this is by being alone for an extended amount of time depending on how much you need, for a certain amount of times per week.

So why hope Terence says. Its wonderfully ironic when he mentioned that it is completely out of control but who’s control is it out of? We need to depend on certain things to get us out of certain ditches that we fall into down the path of our lives. As Mckenna so eloquently put, human institutions like to claim that they have all the answers but the reality is none of them actually do. No one knows what’s really going on. How could one human or group know what this life is all about and why we are all here in this universe, in this galaxy, in this solar system, on this rocky little planet floating around a giant fireball?

Its better to embrace the fact that life is a massive mystery and enjoying the this simple fact alone should be the first step. Its exciting not to know if aliens will land on the White House lawn tomorrow. Its exciting not to know why the Mayan calendar ends this year (2012) and what that exactly will mean for us living in this time. Its exciting to know that technology has been rapidly improving at an exponential rate that we never could have anticipated before, and what this will mean for future humans.

Hope can also give us direction because it can relate to things like positivity. It can also fuel productivity because the more hope we have towards the arrival, finished product, or attained goal, the more we look forward to the celebration at the finish line. And I always say on here its always better to look forward than behind and this is a perfect example of why. You’ll only work harder at achieving success by being positive/hopeful, and constantly reminding yourself of how it would make you feel to live in that moment of crossing whatever finish line you put in front of yourself. And that my friends, is what hope is all about.

 

Visualizing the Healthier You

Do you ever just ask yourself what you’d ultimately like to look like? Do you ever just sit back for a second, take a deep breath and ask yourself what is the person you’d really like to see in the mirror? I think this is only half of the real question here guys. Because its not just the finished product of all your hard work exercising and dieting for months to years on end. This is about how you feel about yourself on the outside and the inside. This is the complete package we’re all looking for I think. There are many beautiful and fit people out there that don’t lead fulfilling and satisfying lives by way of their own standards. They could have other seriously troubling issues like marriage problems, work related issues, and other self manifesting anxieties.

But isn’t this the dream for us all? To live a beautiful life, surrounding ourselves with positive and healthy minded, and healthy living people. Where we are active and clear in mind, body, and spirit. Many like to focus solely on their bodies leaving out the other two. If your reading sites and blogs like mine that’s good! It’s showing an initiative in your quest in improving your body and physical health.

But only devoting your time and focus towards just your body isn’t going to get you to where you think it will. Self improvement is about molding yourself into the best version of yourself. Improving your overall state of well being is comprised of many areas and aspects of life.

Visualizing the healthier version of yourself is yes about creating a mental depiction of that shiny near perfect physical specimen. But as previously stated, we want to feel this way about our bodies and our inner selves. Inner self being is equally as important as the physical us, and  can be directly related to the physical when you really think about it. Our mood can even sometimes dictate whether our bodies are healthy or not.

A bad mood can influence things like lethargic behavior and emotional eating. Food and lounging around is what the body signals to the brain as easiest and relieving. That’s why so many believe that that’s just the way they should live when they’re not going to work or school. De-stressing ourselves is important. But what most don’t realize is that dieting and especially exercise can also play a role in de-stressing.

Wait, dieting and exercise can help us de-stress? Maybe you think I’m completely mental at this point, and that’s fine because your not the first. Allow me to explain. The more obvious of the two is exercising. Exercise or any physical activity that you enjoy I’ve probably at this point stated over a thousand times on here why and how it is good for you, so I won’t be the broken record again today. At this point we all should have a general understanding as to why though.

Something that I haven’t mentioned before that has just occurred to me mid-post here believe it or not about exercise is pretty obvious and I’m surprised this hasn’t struck me sooner. When we actually do exercise in the moment itself we forget about a lot if not all of our regular daily stresses. We’re so focused on the physical task at hand we become absorbed into the activity pretty deeply and our attention isn’t easily diverted is it?

At least for me, the more I think about this, more truth I see in it. When we shift our attention in different directions throughout the day, I believe this is very healthy for brain function and stress management. Dwelling and lingering on a single issue or stressing thought needs to be countered and exercise is probably the best counterattack we can against it.

Now what about dieting? I bet most of you would say it does the exact opposite of relieving stress right? That it frustrates you because you can only eat certain things and you have to limit yourself from certain pleasures right? Well I guess its all how you look at it. For me, I see it as something that is very satisfying that can be enjoyable.

Finding new healthy things to put into your body that give you energy and strength all while knowing that your losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight (depending on your goals) is the best part. When you think about it, this will give you far more satisfaction in the long run (which is more important than short term) than moping around and digging into a tub of ice cream all day. Then again, off the top of my head I know a 1,001 people that would have to disagree with me here, but to each his own.

Another good way of looking at this is with money and fame. I recently heard some celebrity talk about this. How they always thought that when they reach adulthood being famous and wealthy would mean happiness and an overall better quality of life. They talked about how this wasn’t the case at all. This celeb was a heavy drug addict for a long time and has now been sober for many years. Only after being sober for many years I think he realized that he still was not happy with who he was even though he did attain certain goals career wise. Drugs often times enter a persons life as a sort of escape from reality so that the individual doesn’t have to comfort themselves on a conscious level.

So even though people including those of fame and great fortune can have success in one part of their life, it doesn’t mean automatic happiness in ever other. Visualizing the healthiest version of yourself has to be the complete package. Having a clear unwavering mind that isn’t easily distracted, having emotional wholeness (or as whole as you can as I know this can be a tough one), having strength and drive in whatever you do, and listening and understanding what your body needs to function at its peak optimal level of performance which includes better understanding areas like the brain, muscle, respiratory, and others.

And lastly, learning and understanding how they all work together synchronously so that you can further develop them to create the absolute healthiest kind of you, and sustain this energized yet smooth running version of yourself for many years to come.  Only when we’re consistently as equally happy with who we are on the outside as with who we are on the inside have we truly won and reached what I believe is near perfection.

 

Getting a Healthier Head

Sometimes all it takes for some folks is simply talking about something frequently which will eventually translate to them doing it. The more I think we talk about these things the better. The more health and wellness related things you discuss with others, the more inclined you’ll be in following through with whatever was recommended or discussed. Some say that language is the most powerful thing in our lives almost as if its the most important component. I would agree as I am writer and believe that written language holds just as much value as spoken language

I think the same thing goes for all the bad though. The more we acknowledge the bad pains, aches, stresses, and things like this, the more of our attention gets diverted to them. We want are attention to be on things for the future. We always want to be moving and looking forward. The more we dwell on issues of the past, the more of our mental energy is spent on things we should be trying to avoid thinking about.

Its such a multiplicative cycle when you think about it. I see it in people everyday. Someones current focus usually shows where their priorities and emotions lie. And when this focus is on something that has had a negative impact on them regardless of its magnitude from their past, this always seems to drag a person down from what I’ve seen. If you’ve had a loss or failure in your life that’s been difficult to get over, you should get as much emotion out when it occurs. Whether its finding a new activity that can always help you distress, or just crying the issue out, you should eventually come to a point where you have to be strong enough to tell yourself that its time to move on and move forward with your life.

The sooner your able to accept that this sadness is occurring and can get all or at least the majority of these negative emotions out of your system, the better. Don’t let it stay with you. Even if deep down you know there will always remain a twinkle of a deeply saddening memory, at the very least never acknowledge that it is there. Eventually, throughout the course of your future you’ll drift in and out of actually thinking about it more, and sooner than later you’ll be revisiting the memory less and less because you’ll be busy replacing it with new and more pleasant memories.

So how does this all translate to healthy living? Its all about attitude. The better we can mold our attitudes to be geared more towards positive and hopeful outlooks, the better are chances are at improving our overall quality of life (I really do believe that). There are so many different and complex attitudes people have. Some (like a buddy of mine) you can never tell exactly where true emotions lie. They seem to be in a pleasant mood accompanied with a warm demeanor, but they speak only in a derogatory tone. This usually means the real person inside is being hidden.

Many people today like to project their negative emotions out onto others comparing how their lives trump someone else’s on a qualitative scale. This projection is only a temporary escape from how they truly feel about their own reflection in the mirror. This temporary fix on attitude is only good for so long and isn’t really an intelligent approach to solving any deeply troubling emotional problem or complication. Its better to confront problems in life head on, and then do away with them as quickly and as best as we can.

The idea that attitude can actually shape the foundation of someones life isn’t too far fetched I think. If you make it a repetitive process where you keep telling yourself to look towards the better, that’s the first step. The rest is always having a plan mapped out in your head or somewhere else physical (or digital). For our health, its the same way. Here’s a simple way of looking at it (or yourself). Your mind can be the product or a huge influence on the way you look physically. How you dress, how you groom, and of course what your physique is like. There are people out there that I’ve seen that have made complete bodily and stylistic self makeovers to where they completely change their look in under 2 years (to the point of where they are nearly unrecognizable from before). When you think about it that’s not that long for a complete transformation. After all 2 years is only a small fraction of your entire life expectancy.

Think of it like this. Your mind is the captain of the body/vessel, your brain is the control tower, your heart is the engine, and your spirit defines the rest of who you are. So the mind (like a captain) is really what influences you to do all the things you do, and this often times shines through with physical appearances. Remember, repetition of productive and positive thought patterns will resonate into the real world and into real actions. The more and more you make a habit out of this type of positive repetitious thinking, you’ll eventually see a healthier and even happier person in the mirror.


How to Eat Out and Stay Healthy

There’s no getting around the fact that eating in restaurants is something we all do. Whether your a regular at your local Diner, or an occasional wine and dine enthusiast, it is an inevitability for most of us. Our friends are probably the biggest influence in eating at restaurants I’d say. Well, them or your significant other (if you are currently & unfortunately blessed with one). Families more often than not tend to enjoy the occasional restaurant atmosphere. So the first point here is that whether your on a diet or not, someone or even something will always try to influence you to eat out in public sooner than later. This is okay I think, even for those that are on a diet. Think of it as a challenge for you to find a way to keep up with your light grazing patterns as you would at home, only now having to get creative with your menu selections.

What about restaurant types?

- Asian

- Mexican

- American

- Cajun

- Italian

- Arabic

Can one be potentially more unhealthy, or more specifically fattening than the other? It all depends on how you look at them. Food from the orient is presented to us in so many ways that its really hard to define whether or not its actually good for us when  trying to make a generalization about it. For example, greasy fried takeout in boxes usually isn’t ideal for a dieter. However, as an alternative if you do appreciate foods from the orient, try Japanese sushi. This is a much less threatening and fatty alternative to traditional Chinese American takeout. I’m sure if you’re not American and are from South Africa, France, or anywhere else in the world, you most definitely have something similar to the Chinese takeout that we have here in the states.

Mexican, South Western (America), and South American foods of all kinds are a personal favorite of mine. So simple, yet so flavorful. Chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, salsa, all wrapped up into a hot flour tortilla always tantalizes my man hunger senses. The incorporation of vegetables and other fresh ingredients give this genre of food not only a visual appeal, but a healthy one as well. On the contrary, Mexican food can be some of the most fattening chum out there depending on your menu selection. Steer clear from thick queso cremes or sauces as this is in my opinion the Achilles heel for this food category. If you watch the cheeses and sauces, eating light and smart here couldn’t get any easier (granted with a little bit of research on their meat preparations and among other things).

American food by design is what I believe to be food category created to intentionally make all humans fat. I always envisioned some conniving corporate fat cat somewhere rubbing his hands together seeing his master plan of turning Americans into the fattest race on the planet (which we are) and profiting hugely because of it. Like the CEO of a fast food chain that was created in the states (I won’t use any names, don’t want to get sued). If your going to an American restaurant with some family or friends, well good luck with trying to healthy is just about all I can say. Indulge here, if it isn’t a regular occurrence in your life, I say pop a beer and get the biggest juiciest looking burger or steak on the menu. Then again, there’s always salad.

I’d keep going with these categories but I think you already get the picture by now, or at least I hope. I’m trying to convey a relatively simple message here. Don’t let restaurant going stop you from your regular patterns of eating. An occasional celebratory dinner is different. A birthday, going away party, or wedding is an occurrence where I say cut loose and let your inner naughty take hold of the situation.

Another point here is don’t let dieting deter, or even stop you from being socially active. If everyone’s going for fast food, don’t think that you can’t go with them just because you won’t fully indulge and partake in the way that they do. Spend quality time with the people that matter most in your life as much as you can. Go with them and have no fear. Self control will obviously come into play and that is something you must always try to have regardless. So watching your friends or family woof down a couple soggy burgers shouldn’t tempt you in any way. Think, your above and beyond in this particular scenario.

Cooking is an acquired skill. Maybe you think restaurant food will forever taste better because food at home whether cooked by you or whoever you live with doesn’t even compare in taste. Well, that just means you or whoever cooked for you has some room for improvement in their cooking prowess. In many cases home cooked meals can actually taste far better than anything ordered off a menu in a reasonably priced restaurant.

So the next time your out think these things through, clearly, and thoroughly. Remember you have to take complete control of the situation and to do that its all about choice. There are many options, that’s why there’s a menu remember? Now just try giving yourself in the future the very best option, every single time.

 

What is Cardio Exercise Best For?

I think that there are a lot of questions tied to this main question at hand. Like why should I do cardiovascular exercise to begin with? What is the best kind anyway? How often should I do it? Why isn’t it working for me in the way that I thought it would? The list of questions goes on and on so I’m going to try to put it all into crystal clear perspective as best as I can for you today. Cardio is about making a sweat. Its purpose isn’t necessarily to lose weight. I’d say overall it helps develop ones endurance. And the better your endurance becomes overtime, the easier all types of physcial activity will become. This is a gradual progression obviously so don’t think that running a lot for a few weeks will make any exercise easy. It goes a little bit deeper than that.

If you were to ask me, cardio as a whole is best for developing your endurance, or your stamina. Especially once you start actually noticing that you get less and less tired during exercise. This is a very exciting feeling. It’s showing that your getting into a better condition because of all the conditioning your doing. And the better conditioning, the better shape you eventually acquire. What a beautiful concept right?

But maybe your confused a bit still. You hate running so you try swimming. You later realize you hate swimming so you turn to tennis. And then tennis comes and so on and so on. Maybe you just hate every kind of exercise there is right? Wrong! Everyone has at least one exercise out there waiting for them to fall in love with. I know this because I’ve actually gotten people to find these loves for them because they needed a little extra guidance. Of course your here because you need a little extra guidance as well.

Well, I can’t hold your hand, but I do think I can do something for you here. Of course my first recommendation is maybe trying to find someone else that can help guide you on a more personable and hands on level. There are plenty of products and programs on here so please feel free to take a look around and see if any tickle your fancy. If your not looking for some direct paid help (I understand, times are tough) then keep doing exactly what your doing now, which is reading and absorbing information. The “Research and Development” stage is one of the most important parts in understanding what exercise is all about for beginners.

I must shout out this warning though before I continue on. Don’t linger too much in this stage. Don’t spend too much time on this stage as I’ve seen many folks drag on and on about what they’re going to do and never actually do it. Its better to read it, learn it, memorize it, log it, and then go out and apply it as quickly as possible. You know, to get the ball rolling.

Cardiovascular activity is best for increasing stamina and endurance, I said that. But what other benefits does it actually have? Maybe your focus isn’t endurance at all, maybe your looking to build and tone certain muscle groups. It has increasingly been occurring to me lately that the better stamina and endurance I get from doing cardio, the less gassed I get from doing targeted muscle exercising. See the big picture guys?

Fitness as a whole can really intertwine and be interwoven throughout itself and I’m starting more and more to believe that everyday. Perhaps one exercise that you excel at could potentially be a gateway to your success in learning and excelling at another. I don’t know about this though so don’t quote me. I just got really excited earlier this week when I believe this very occurrence happened for me. As a result, a surge of motivation and confidence rushed through every fiber of my being. I had unmistakably brilliant workout.

I know a lot of people that have sharp physiques like body builders don’t do much if any cardio whatsoever. A female body builder is actually a shinning example of an in shape person who doesn’t do much or any cardio at all yet still manages to keep a tip top physique. How can this be? Because they are so good and dedicated at doing all the other facets of exercise that they don’t have to partake. But this does bring me to my final point.

Maybe intense and relentless cardio practicing isn’t the ticket. Doing it on a regular basis is good, but not a necessity or key to a fit body (like a female body builder). By the way the reason for mentioning a female body builder as my example over a male is because a male body builders exercise schedule and diet look completely different than a woman’s. Men go crazy with protein supplementation and power lifting as size is their main goal where the women body contests don’t primarily focus on actual raw size and bulkiness. Maybe a post for another day.

Back to the final point. So maybe crazy amounts of cardio isn’t the ticket. Maybe a nice blend of weight and resistance training and cardio evenly distributed time wise all into one workout altogether is better. Maybe try the following. Do hard cardio for a few days, then back off it for a few while switching to exclusively weight and resistance training. Again mixing it up and not having a consistently identical routine every day is the only way to consistently continue exercising without growing tired and irritated by your regime.

 

A Healthier New Year?

Every year we are obligated to make a new years resolution right? Its almost as if we’re expected to pick one thing that we want to accomplish. At the start of every new year this was always expected of me growing up. Now that all the growing is done I look back and think did I ever really accomplish any of those goals or plans I set out for myself? The answer is no. If my memory serves correctly I never actually followed through with any new years resolution. And if I did attempt one or two of them, I recall not really seeing them all the way through.

What about you? Just think, does this social norm of expectation really have a drastic impact on you? I’d assume it doesn’t. Although I could be wrong. Maybe you’ve set out new years resolutions in the past and have completed and followed through with them 100%. If that’s the case I salute you. Whether you wanted to lose 10 lbs or find a new hobby that keeps your mind and body active, and then of course sticking with it. Either way, I always thought the new years resolution concept was more of another excuse to be made for yourself pushing back certain goals and expectations.

This allows me to arrive at today’s point rather quickly. There is sometimes no need for a mark or point in your life for a new goal to be set. There is no need for a rearrangement of your lifestyle. There is no need for change if your already on the path to changing. If your already trying to lose weight, change your diet, get into better shape, burn fat, gain and tone muscle, or act on any type of self improvement that I talk about here on this site, then there’s no need for a new years resolution. Telling yourself that your going to do better this year and setting new goals shouldn’t be the focus here.

I know what your thinking. I’m completely contradicting probably over dozen previous posts on setting goals, getting organized, and meeting deadlines. Of course you should be doing these things on a constant basis anyway. But using something like a holiday or birthday as a new starting point for a new goal is worthless. Set new goals when your ready and you feel it is the right time. You could be in paradise on vacation. Suddenly it hits you that you want to start getting back into shape by revisiting an old sport you played, or maybe just finding an exercise that emulates the sport well. This is the moment in time when you truly realize you’re ready for change and that you should start mapping out a plan now (regardless of when and where you are). That is the time to start formulating a strategy (not a holiday).

The new years holiday is marker in time no doubt. Its the start of 365 new days in our lives. And many of these days, we don’t know what will come, and what they will bring. What we do know is that being prepared and ready for them is essential if we plan to have a positive and productive year.

Go ahead, if you made a new years resolution I’m not saying bag it, just look at it a little more closely. I’ve seen people make there new years resolution the same thing as a goal they made for themselves in October. Because I’ve seen this actually more than once, this is why I feel the way I do about all this. Especially regarding my specialty, or area of expertise. Again, your just praying to the winds.

The new year shouldn’t be about making false promises to yourself, it should be about staying on track. Don’t forget about the past year, learn from it! Take that knowledge with you. In the past year alone, I’ve learned more than in the past 3 before it. This might be an ongoing trend as we get older we get wiser. The wiser we get, the easier it is to absorb and store new information. Maybe this is simply my case. Or maybe we all just have more knowledge rich years than others and its a thing of randomness and variance.

Don’t get me wrong, for the most part it is good to look more forward than back. But all I’m saying here is not to entirely forget the past. Only looking forward isn’t the right approach either. A huge reason why you are who you are today is because of your past. And that is something you should never forget. Maybe certain things of our past are better forgotten than others. Still, finding that balance of applied past to future perspective is key.

So keep staying on track even if you almost came off of it last year. And don’t let the new years holiday influence you into creating some new socially acceptable fantasy. No more fantasies. Its time to get real. Its time to wake up and dig deep guys. A new year is starting. Healthy behavior breeds more healthy behavior. It just takes a little longer than oh I don’t know, an unhealthy behavior pattern. A healthier new year should be a general point of interest for you, not a goal. A change in the way you live entirely. Not dissecting dieting and fitness routines and schedules as if there tedious chores that are only an inconvenience to you.

A new year means a new chapter, and like a book no 2 chapters are the same. You decide your own fate as its up to you to write the chapter you truly desire this year. Good luck guys, and happy new year.

 

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