6 Survival Strategies for Fitness Success
Brought to you by Devon Johnson-Porter
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Losing 1-2 pounds of body fat a week ensures healthy and consistent weight loss. An overwhelming task if your goal is to lose 20 pounds for a Caribbean cruise set for next year. With a long term goal set it is as important to establish several measurable, short-term benchmarks as well. An example of a healthy short term goal could be a 6 -10 pound fat loss set for six weeks and rewarded with a pedicure or massage. By setting and rewarding short term goals as well as long term goals, you encourage long term focus and inspire and motivate long term success.
Does it Measure up?
We’ve all, at one time been frustrated by the down a pound yesterday, up two pounds today, reading of a weight measured scale. With daily exercise and good nutrition, how is this possible?
Rest assured you are not going insane. It is possible to lose inches and not pounds because muscle is heavier by volume than fat. It is more important to pay attention to body composition and not body weight. Using a tape measure you can record the circumference of different areas of the body. Suggested areas to measure are the neck, chest, arms, waist, hips and thighs.
Your body mass index is also important because if too high, you’re at an increased risk of many chronic health issues such as; high blood pressure; type-two diabetes and heart disease. Your actual BMI can be found through a simple formula of your height in inches x 2.54 divided by 100 then squared (multiply # by itself). Take the weight in pounds and divide by 2.2. The weight (determined above) divided by height (determined above).
Knowing and understanding your current body’s measurements and your body mass index allows you to see at an instant when you are losing body fat, gaining lean muscle mass and maintaining our body’s health and well being.
You Are What You Think
The power of positive thinking is a concept that many of us are familiar with. By exchanging a negative thought for a positive one we manifest a life in which we attract our heart’s desire. In fact, positive affirmations and positive thinking develop powerful and positive attitudes in life which are essential in life success, and good health. What ever thoughts you hold in your mind persistently will eventually appear in your physical world.
If your thoughts are that you are fat, ugly and undeserving, those negative thoughts will inevitably attract those same situations into your life. Instead focus only on the traits that you like about yourself. This change in thought will provide an environment that will attract more of what you physically want and desire from yourself. In short; unhealthy thoughts create an unhealthy body.
Brown Bag It
Due to busy and hectic lifestyles, over twenty five percent of Americans depend on the convenience of fast food daily. Unfortunately, convenience comes with a steep price of obesity and heart disease. Often, someone can consume all the calories they need for an entire day in one sitting at a fast food restaurant. If you do not have a meal plan you are likely to grab anything when hunger strikes and that will keep you from reaching and maintaining your health and weight loss goals.
Start by planning an entire day’s worth of eating the evening before. Consider all meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a few snacks which will stave off hunger and maintain our body’s energy and metabolism. By planning your meals you will ensure that you are receiving a sensible and balanced diet; reduce the temptation and convenience of fast food; and achieve your health and weight loss goals.
The Biggest Bang for Your Buck
Choosing exercises that give you the most stimulation in the minimum amount of time is the ultimate fitness trainer secret. You can burn an additional 25% more calories by lifting weights. Weight training gives you a metabolic spike for an hour after a workout because your body is trying hard to help your muscles recover. The efficacy of a weight lifting exercise depends on the exercises ability to involve the maximum amount of muscle fibers and its ability to provide neuromuscular stimulation. Below are exercises that are guaranteed to provide the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.
Squat Dead lift
1.Stand with your feet hip distance apart with your toes, knees and hips are in a straight line. 2. Pull your belly button towards your spine and contract your abdominal muscles. 3. Slowly lower your body as though you are sitting in a chair. 4. If you can, go down until your butt is in line with your knees (90 degrees). 5. Make sure your knees are behind your toes. 6. Keep the weight in your heels slowly push your body back to starting position. 7. Keep legs straight and maintain a flat back. 8. Bend forward from the hips until your back is parallel to the ground. 9. As you bend forward your hips and gluteus should be centered through your heels. 10. At the bottom of the movement raise your torso back into an erect starting position. 4 sets of 12-20.
Lateral Plank Pushup
1.Assume a prone position on the floor 2. Position hands palms down on the floor, approximately shoulder width apart, curl your toes upward so that the balls of your feet touch the ground 3. Raise yourself using your arms, making a straight line from your head to your heels 4. Lower your torso to the ground until your elbows form a 90 degree angle 5. Raise yourself by attempting to push the ground away from you 6. Shift one hand to the center and lift the other balancing all the weight on one hand. Turn the shoulders to be perpendicular to the floor. The body should now be a straight diagonal from the feet up through the head 7. Return to starting position and repeat on the other arm. 4 sets of 12-20.
Bosu Bent Low Row
1.With resistance bar in hand, standing with both feet on the bosu ball. Palms facing forward and knees slightly bent, bend at waist with your back flat 2. Bring bent elbows up past back squeezing shoulder blades together.
Stability Ball Prone Iso Abs
1.Face down, put your forearms under your chest and clasp your hands together 2. Place your forearms on the top of a stability ball and position your feet a fist- width apart 3. Curl your toes under you and push up onto your forearms. Your back should be straight and your abdominal muscles engaged. Hold the position for 60 seconds.
Cardiovascular interval training will also add an additional boost to your fitness and weight loss goals. An example of aerobic interval training could be fast – paced running for three minutes then two minutes of fast- paced walking. Continue for the duration of 30- 40 minutes.
Exercises that increase aerobic capacity and involve the maximum amount of muscle fibers will boost the amount of calories burned; lean muscle mass built; and strength gained ultimately shortening the optimal health and fitness achievement timeline.
For more from Devon, contact her via her Perfect Balance email [email protected]