6 Ways to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

When people say they want to lose weight, what they usually mean is they want to reduce fat and increase muscle and strength. It’s technically impossible to “lose” fat without surgery, since fat cells simply shrink and grow.

If you’re wanting to decrease fat, keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to do so while simultaneously increasing muscle (if that’s your goal).

The scale can also be your worst enemy—instead rely on measuring key parts of your body including calves, hips (widest part), waist (smallest part), chest (widest part), upper arms and perhaps neck. You can also keep track of your progress with how non-stretchy clothes fit.

Avoiding the scale is an absolute must if you’ll also be toggling between regimens to reduce fat and increase muscle size, also known as hypertrophy training.

However, before you begin, you need to take care of a few tasks. First, motivation needs to be in place. Most of us have heard of successful fat reduction stories in which the person just knew they were ready. In other words, they’d found motivation.

What can you do if motivation doesn’t seem to be coming your way?

Here are a few tips and tricks from professionals on how to gain the motivation necessary for a successful, safe and long-term fat reduction lifestyle:

1. Start with cognitive reconditioning.

Self-talk is a major pillar of cognitive reconditioning, and it’s key because our brains do a fantastic job of making what we think come true.

In a society where sarcasm and self-deprecation is revered, it’s unfortunately common to think thoughts like, “There’s no way I can ever lose weight” or “I’ve already had a fattening breakfast. What’s the point in eating healthy the rest of the day?”

Talk kindly to yourself and tell yourself motivating thoughts. It might sound cheesy and even feel a bit strange at first, but practicing it over time will help make it part of your daily routine.

self talk motivation

Particularly focus on motivating self-talk. A simple thought such as “You can do this” as you contemplate a new gym membership or online support group to complete a 5k can do wonders. Speaking of online support …

2. Surround yourself with cheerleaders as well as those living healthy lifestyles.

Who you surround yourself with plays a huge role in your own behavior and thoughts. Sadly, it’s common to have loved ones try to derail you from your efforts, whether out of good intentions gone wrong or jealousy.

You might have friends with whom relationships are founded on binging together, giving each other permission to eat unhealthily. They might get scared or anxious with your new approach to healthy living and make snide comments.

Depending on how much you value them in your life, you can try talking to them—or it may be best to avoid them while you’re on the start of your journey.

3. Adopt the ladder approach to goal setting.

Writing down your goals, with an actual pen and paper, has been proven highly effective with any dream including weight loss.

Why pen and paper? It forces your thoughts to better match the speed of your goal setting list.

ColorOptions

The ladder approach is a means of using baby steps and short term goals that all lead to the bigger, long-term goal. The ladder approach is a lot less intimidating, and you’ll get the rush of finishing more goals in less amount of time.

4. Create a list of positive, healthy reasons you want to reduce fat and keep it visible.

Some of you peeps reading this might want to reduce fat so you look good in a swimsuit– this is a dangerous short term approach that can set a precedence for a negative self-image.

Instead, focus on genuine reasons such as lowering high blood pressure, getting to enjoy more time with your family or friends due to a healthier weight, or being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.

If you’re really craving the motivation of “looking better,” try to avoid items that might tarnish your self-esteem when there are setbacks (and there will be setbacks).

For example, include “The fun of shopping at more stores for clothes I like” instead of “Looking smashing on my wedding day.” Shopping will always be there, but if you don’t make a goal weight by your wedding, it can ruin the day.

5. Choose healthy exercise activities that you really like, and shake it up.

You might have heard that running, swimming or another activity is the “best way” to reduce fat.

There’s only one best way: The one you’ll actually stick with.

Try them all from dance classes to cycling or rowing. Studies have shown, and it’s no surprise, that you tend to do activities you like more than those you dread. However, the body is very good at adapting to certain movements.

Change your exercise or schedule at least every eight weeks.

6. Exercise when you have the time and motivation, and find a healthy eating lifestyle—not a diet—that’s manageable.

Just like exercise, there’s no “best time” to work out.

The best time is when you have the energy and time, whether it’s early in the morning, during your lunch break or after work.

However, exercise is only part of the equation. Eating healthy and for your body’s needs is key for fat reduction.

Research approaches that you can customize, that you’re excited about, and which seem manageable. A great motivator is actually looking forward to your new lifestyle, but knowing it’s always up for a modification.

Where to go from here..

Starting on a new, healthy path begins with having the motivation, support and knowledge necessary to succeed. No matter where you are on the path, from the planning stages to the preparation, know that the journey isn’t linear. You might take some steps back or make big leaps and bounds in one fell swoop. Remember: with motivation, you’ll surely succeed.

Tell us a bit about what you use to motivate yourself in the comments below!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Walters is a content writer for fitnessedge.net. When she is not writing, Emily enjoys practicing yoga and running along the beaches in San Diego.

 

 

21 Ways To Make Every Day A Masterpiece

By Tommy B.

If you’ve ever sat out to watch a sunrise, you feel the energy of a new day, a new opportunity, and a blank slate.

It’s a reminder that this experience is short and what we did yesterday doesn’t matter — meaning, it mattered yesterday, but today is a new chance.

It’s a new chance to live a life of intention, enthusiasm and moving forward towards our dreams.

In other words, we have an opportunity to craft a masterpiece.

For many, the word masterpiece may trigger them and make them think they shouldn’t be included in the same sentence…nonsense.

We’ve all had those days where we truly moved the needle of our life forward, we connected with others in a deep, vulnerable way and we had an experience that left us laying with our heads on our pillow saying…

Wow, that was awesome.

In this post, I’ll share 21 ways to craft your own masterpiece, every single day.

Have An Epic Attitude

In this timeless work, On The Shortness of Life, Stoic philosopher Seneca spoke about today being the day.

How every single day is our day, a chance to embrace a new experience and live out the life of our dreams.

To me, that means having an amazing attitude, despite our circumstances and truly understanding that yesterday’s events have no real impact on what may happen today.

We all have that friend that has a contagious attitude no matter if we’re stuck in hours of traffic and there’s something special about harnessing that energy.

Via WGNTV

Via WGNTV

Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier

Waking up earlier is my #1 productivity and fulfillment tip for those who are looking to make incremental, yet impactful steps in their life.

It doesn’t matter what you do during this time, as long as it’s important to one person: you.

You may take time to read, write, or simply sit on your couch and contemplate life for a few minutes – as long as you’re intentional, it’s all that matters.

According to this article on the Huffington Post, “One study conducted by The University of Toronto, found that “people who wake up early in the morning are generally happier and have higher satisfaction overall in their lives.”

Get Your Namaste On

Taking anywhere from 3-20 minutes to establish a breathing practice, or yes, meditation will set the tone for the rest of your day to react less out of emotion and having the ability to choose how you see negative events.

Breathing has immense physiological and mental benefits, and there’s no way to do this wrong.

Bonus points for those who “OMMMMM.”

Via Stephenlifecoach

Via Stephenlifecoach

Complete One High Level Task

Completing one action first thing in the morning is one of the most powerful tools to harness momentum.

For example, writing, editing and shipping this blog post is the task I’m using to create momentum today.

The key word here is: completion.

Don’t start something in the morning unless you’re going to finish it and keep it very simple.

Get Moving!

Energy creates energy and getting moving in the morning will dissolve any negative emotions and get you focused on the present.

It doesn’t matter what you do — a traditional gym training session, a high intensity workout, yoga, pilates, sprinting, hiking, it’s the simple action of blood flow that stimulates your creativity and connection to your physical body.

Craft A Plan

Crafting a plan is essential to having a masterpiece type of day – even if you’re not the planning type.

Knowing what’s on your plate leads to clarity which allows you to easily make decisions and move forward with your life.

One powerful tool to add is to schedule time to “let go” and block out spaces during your day to do whatever you feel like doing, combining the certainty of planning with the addition of spontaneous activity.

Via HuffingtonPost

Via HuffingtonPost

Don’t Check Email or Snapchat!

Whatever you do, do not check email in the morning and better yet, keep your phone on airplane mode.

This is likely one of the most essential tools of the day, especially in the morning.

The further you can push this, the more clarity you will have.

Set a minimum time to check email, for me it’s 9:00AM at the earliest when I’m up at 5:00, yet many days it can be 11:00 or 12:00PM by the time I get around to it.

Sid Savara mentions the countless reasons why you shouldn’t check email or social media in the morning in a great article here.

When you start your day with an influx of messages, you lose the ability to control your own thinking and start to react instead of act.

Turn Up Some Music You Love

Listening to music you love will increase your energy and put you in an awesome mood, use your intuition to pick something random and truly listen to the music.

Dance if you feel so inclined.

Use The Power Of Gratitude

One of my favorite quotes of all time is:

Your biggest problem or obstacle is someone’s dream luxury.

Any time you can truly, authentically dig deep and find all the amazing things in your life you can be grateful for, your internal and external state will shift and you will be open to receive more.

Via Abcnews

Via Abcnews

Lift Others Up With An Abundance Mentality

Send a few messages, texts, notes, tweets, and handwritten cards, whatever it may be to other people.

Using this as a consistent habit shifts you into a mindset into abundance.

Additionally, we all have “those days” — and we never know what someone else is going through.

Have At Least One Meaningful Conversation

Every single day, have a deep, meaningful conversation with someone in which you both truly connect.

To establish a connection that goes deeper than the surface area, it requires vulnerability and letting your guard down.

That means telling someone how you really feel, unveiling a belief or a challenge and simply being real.

Complete One Action That Scares You

This one’s easy, because we all have extreme resistance on a daily level.

Pushing through this resistance is an amazing feeling and will get you in a powerful state.

This could be anything, to be honest: posting a video on social media, talking to a stranger, trying a new fitness class with your friend — your choice.

Via Lesserknownfeatsofawesomeness

Via Lesserknownfeatsofawesomeness

Laugh, Really Hard

Some of the tips above are somewhat serious; yet embracing humor is essential to not taking yourself too seriously.

Finding the comedic angle in situations, surrounding yourself with others who make you laugh and having a light heartedness about life is crucial to feeling amazing.

Fight Negativity With Love

We can’t control what people say about us and at some point, conflicts will arise.

It may be your roommate, a co-worker, someone gossiping or a fight about politics online (note: don’t engage, please).

When you feel triggered, rise above and fight negativity with love and kindness, you will feel amazing for being in control of your emotions and the other person will soon regret anything that was said, even if they don’t admit it.

Ground

Walking in nature is one of the best ways to connect with the Earth and you in a deep way — walking barefoot in grass for a few minutes have been proven to increase fulfillment and happiness.

Getting a few minutes outside no matter what you do is an essential part of crafting your masterpiece.

Via Greatist

Via Greatist

Eat Food That Nourishes You

We’ve all had those meals that seemed amazing at the time, yet we knew were full of processed food, sugar and a host of other things we don’t want to know about.

And then it hit us: energy slump, digestive issues and negative feelings.

Nourishing our bodies every day with food that makes us feel good and is nutritious is crucial for our mental energy and clarity.

Perform A Random Act Of Kindness

Every day we encounter opportunities to help someone out, yet a lot of times we stop ourselves short because of our own ego, i.e. thinking:

What will they think?

Scratch that and do it anyways!

Maybe you help an elderly person with his or her groceries to the car, maybe you ship someone a book by surprise or smile and compliment a stranger.

Force Yourself To Perform

This one’s different and it’s all about putting you out there.

This can be anything — an important meeting, an interview, filming a video, dancing in public, doing a fitness event, etc.

There is something so powerful about putting yourself out there and showing up to some type of performance, no matter how small or seemingly simple it may be.

Journal Your Emotions

At the end of the day, use a journal to get everything you’re thinking and feeling out of your head onto paper.

This will help you unload the weight off your shoulders and see that most of what you’re feeling isn’t really too important.

By making it real and putting it to paper, you can question each one and reflect on if it’s worth keeping it in your headspace or not.

Create A Shut It Down Time

At around 9PM, I go on Airplane mode on my phone and stop watching TV…it’s not easy, but this will increase the quality of your sleep in a major way.

Training your body to have a time to start the process of recovery and rejuvenation is crucial, which is our next one.

Establish An Evening Ritual

While morning rituals get all the love, an evening ritual is just as important to wind down and let the day go.

Some favorites include a warm bath with candles, getting a self-massage or foam roller, stretching, dimming the lights and reading and a combination of all of these.

Our minds and bodies are extremely habitual and routine based and this will signal to your body…

It’s time.

MindBodyGreen has a fantastic article on 7 things you can do in the evening to create a powerful experience the next day.

What’s Yours?

There you have it…some easy ways to make today or the next day a masterpiece and find more energy, love, connection and fulfillment.

Of course, not every day is going to wind up perfect but the more we will our day with things and people we love, productivity, kindness and energy, the less space there is for all the other stuff.

What’s your favorite from above or do you have one of your own to add?

We’d love to hear – post to comments.

How To Stay On Track During The Distractions Of Summer Fun

By Tommy B.

Ahhhh, summer — warm weather, sandy beaches, and one too many cocktails.

It’s life, and it’s bound to happen.

Summer, for many people, is a time to relax a little bit more, let their hair down and turn up some of the best road trip tunes.

It’s that time of year we’ve all been waiting for and never gets old.

And these are all good, no, actually – great things.

Yet, going overboard and waking up in September 10 pounds overweight, sluggish and completely out of sync with our bodies is not anything we ever plan.

According to PopSugar, there are many reasons why, including longer days, the availability of cocktails and endless dinner invites.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and you know that.

We’ll explore fun, practical and simple ways for you to stay on track while still enjoying all the awesomeness that comes with summer.

Let’s get rolling.

Via 7-themes

Via 7-themes

But First, Psychology

Before we get started, there’s one thing we need to address:

Your mind and viewpoint in regards to summer do matter.

What happens to most people is they have an “all in” or “all out” approach, which, as you can guess — means they seriously let go during summer.

Adopting this attitude simply isn’t worth it because you’re getting rid of one of the most powerful tools of results:

Momentum.

So the first shift is a simple mindset shift, acknowledging that yes, you’re going to likely change your routine and that it will impact your health, fitness and maybe even the scale a little bit.

And that’s okay…but you’re committed to not completely letting go.

Because you know that when you take care of yourself physically, you feel better, you have more energy, confidence and even more fun.

Via Posterjack

Via Posterjack

Embrace The Season

If you’re in the Northeast or Midwest, you’ve likely been hibernating for a little while.

Every year, the winters seem a little longer, no matter how much snow we got or didn’t get.

That first 75-degree, sunshine soaked day sure feels good, doesn’t it?

One of the best ways to stay fit during the summer is to simply do activities that are based on being outdoors and challenging yourself in new, exciting ways.

These activities also work well because instead of mentally telling yourself that you’re headed to the gym, you’re simply doing something outside that also happens to get you fit.

Try to think outside the box with this one and make it a fun, social event with your friends or family.

Some activities include:

  • Swimming
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Surfing
  • Hiking
  • Sprinting
  • Beach volleyball
  • Playing with the kids

…and so much more.

Via Weightlossvillage

Via Weightlossvillage

Control Your First Meal Of The Day

Nutrition is often the main culprit that impacts people during summer because our willpower is limited and there’s usually an abundance of amazing food.

One great thing you can do is to simply start your day with a healthy meal you’re able to control.

This sets the tone for the day, fuels your body in a fantastic way and will give you some momentum — think of it as a keystone habit.

Keystone habits are habits that create a domino effect in life, leading us to likely add in supporting activities without thinking about them.

So if you’re able to have a healthy meal to start you day, you’re also more likely to drink enough water, hit your workout, and have less processed food and sugars.

Speaking of…

Via Tasteofhome

Via Tasteofhome

Pass The Sugary Drinks, Be A Cheap Date

The summertime means sunset cocktails, cold beers at the beach and delicious dinner dates.

Alcohol isn’t going to make or break you in most cases, it’s what’s in the actual drinks that make you feel terrible.

Your typical margarita drink is going to contain roughly 30-60 grams of sugar — yes, you read that right, and many times more.

When you combine alcohol and sugar, you’re in for a world of pain the next day, leading to headaches, digestive issues, and never wanting to leave the couch.

Instead, keep it simple and be a cheap date.

I always recommend the Norcal Margarita, simply because, well it’s awesome and was developed by Rob Wolff of the Paleo Solution.

This simple drink involves:

  • 3 ounces 100% agave tequila
  • Juice and pulp from one lime
  • Add ice and shake
  • Fill glass with soda water
  • Garnish with salt

Simple, yet delicious.

Always opt for clear drinks with as minimal ingredients as possible and if you must order a traditional drink, ask for the “skinny” version.

Via  Usattravel

Via Usattravel

Make Fitness Part Of The Trip

I remember landing in Paris with my family a couple summers ago and we all made fitness part of our experience.

There’s no better way to explore a new city, cure jetlag and rust off sitting in a tiny plane seat than by getting some blood flow and getting out there.

If you’re headed somewhere new, research in advance and book a yoga class at a popular spot, or take a surfing lesson excursion that will force you to get moving.

Even though you may be tired, and feel like you’d rather relax…we all know, once you get moving you’re going to feel amazing and inspired to immerse yourself further in this new place.

Via Fwallpapers

Via Fwallpapers

OMM, Or Mindful Weight Loss

We know the amount of lifestyle stress we experience on a daily basis effects our hormones, which directly impact whether we burn fat or gain weight.

Use the relaxation of summer to get some you time, you know — a spa day, a massage, a walk on the beach without a phone, being in nature, maybe picking up the meditation practice you’ve been putting off.

This will do so much for your clarity and mindset, leading to a healthy, mind and spirit – and in many cases, a faster rate of weight loss.

MindbodyGreen talks about mindfulness and weight loss, with simple practices you can incorporate daily.

Via Shopnewshoes

Via Shopnewshoes

Walk As Much As Possible

Going back to my Eurotrip last summer, I don’t think I’ve ever walked so much.

Whether it was spending the day observing unbelievable architecture, or going to museums or parks in town, by the end of the day we had walked miles and miles.

Use this to your advantage and ditch your car – using walking or renting a bike instead.

This small change may not seem like much on the surface but truly adds up over the course of a season.

Via Sites.psu

Via Sites.psu

Drink Inordinate Amounts Of Water

We all know the importance of water, especially during the summer heat that can leave many people dehydrated.

Dehydration means your body isn’t focused on fat loss or anything else that makes you look and feel healthier.

Going the extra mile and having 1, 2 or 3 more cups a day can have a big impact on the way you feel and your body’s ability to flush out toxins and improve everything from your skin to your energy.

The bare minimum should be half your bodyweight in ounces, but shoot for 3/4th of your bodyweight in ounces instead.

You may not be able to make it through a feature length film without going to the bathroom, but hey – priorities matter.

Via Stephenlifecoach

Via Stephenlifecoach

Craft A Plan!

We all know the value of preparation and what it can do for us in a bind.

Summer brings different routines, days and places where our most familiar food may not be available.

By realizing this in advance, we can plan ahead and avoid getting so hungry we splurge on something we don’t even like.

Even being mindful of the upcoming BBQ and bringing healthier food options such as chicken, or creating burgers in a lettuce wrap, extra vegetables, etc. – goes a very long way.

What Are You Going To Do?

Summer 2016 is in full swing and it’s the best time of year, no questions asked.

Given the above, we’ve shared some ideas, tricks and ways of both having a blast this summer and also staying healthy and on track with your fitness.

Because at the end of the day, you deserve to look, feel and show up as your best self, no matter what time of year it is.

Summer Fitness: 13 Tips for Exercising in the Heat

You’ve waited all winter for the weather to warm up. Now that it has, the sweltering temperatures are forcing you back indoors. Instead of retreating to your comfortable air-conditioned abode, venture out into the heat.

Exercising outdoors during the dog days of summer can have numerous advantages. The heat can improve your fitness level by challenging your body and mind. It can also increase your tolerance to heat, making future outdoor workouts more tolerable.

Of course, you don’t want to set out into scorching weather without taking the proper precautions. When the temperatures near three-digits, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are your enemies. Follow these tips for exercising in the heat safely this summer.

Via Latimes

Via Latimes

Dress Appropriately

While it’s common sense to dress in light clothing during summer workouts, there’s more to it than that. When it’s hot and humid, your basic shorts and tee won’t do.

Turn in your everyday summer attire for weather-appropriate athletic wear. Moisture-wicking materials are ideal, as they contain tiny tubes that absorb moisture to prevent sweat from sticking to your skin.

For your base layer, opt for synthetic-based fibers as they are lightweight and easy to clean. If you prefer a natural material, bamboo is breathable, soft and repels odors. Nylon and polypropylene are also popular due to their water-resistant nature and ability to contour comfortably to the male or female form.

Stay Hydrated

We all know the benefits of drinking plenty of water, but when it comes to summer workouts, water can be lifesaving. When you work out in hot temperatures, you lose a lot of body moisture in the form of sweat. In fact, the average person sweats between 0.8 and 1.4 liters per hour during exercise – and that’s in normal conditions.

Experts recommend drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before exercising, followed by another 8 ounces during your warm-up. Down another 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, and then 8 more ounces about 30 minutes following your workout.

When determining adequate water intake, you’ll also want to consider replenishing your electrolyte and salt intake. A sports drink can get the job done in a pinch.

Via Workout-artist

Via Workout-artist

Take It Slow

New to outdoor summer workouts? Remember to take it slow. Until you become more accustomed to exercising in heated conditions, you’ll want to limit your time in the sun.

Begin by performing mini-workouts, consisting of just 10 to 15 minutes. Over the weeks, slowly add time outdoors. In addition to increasing your time outside, you’ll also want to gradually increase the volume and intensity of your workouts. For example, start by walking along your usual route, then slowly transition to jogging and eventually running.

The key is to not overexert yourself. If your usual workout is too demanding in the heat, dial it down to something more manageable.

Avoid Peak Hours

If you really want to get healthier, you have to make fitness a priority in your life. That means putting aside a block of time each day to work out – no excuses.

When scheduling your daily workout, think practical. Don’t hit the pavement during mid-day peak hours when the sun is at its hottest, which is typically between noon and 6 PM. Instead, save your workout for the early morning or late evening.

By saving your workouts for the earlier or later parts of the day, your exercise session will be more comfortable and you’ll lower your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Via Empowher

Via Empowher

Eat Up

Exercising in normal conditions can quickly lead to exhaustion and fatigue. When you work out in the heat, these side effects are often magnified.

When you need to power through a workout, depend on healthy snacks for energy. Dry snacks like nuts, crackers or energy bars are fine for normal conditions, but when you’re facing high outdoor temperatures, opt for something a bit juicer.

Fresh fruits are fantastic snacks for when the weather is hot. Not only are you consuming an abundance of essential nutrients, you’re also hydrating your body with the fruit’s replenishing juices.

Need ideas? Try watermelon, mango, pineapple, nectarines, or peaches. Yum.

Slather on Sunscreen

While there’s a slew of information regarding sun safety out there, many people still do not fully understand the dangers of UV rays. Any tan is a bad tan. The darkening of the skin is essentially the body’s response to damage.

Sunscreen is critical for keeping your skin safe while you exercise outdoors. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen between 30 and 50 for optimal coverage. Rub about 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen on all exposed skin approximately 20 minutes before going outdoors to allow plenty of time for the product to ‘soak’ in.

Remember that you’re going to sweat, so apply liberally. If you’re working out away from home, bring a bottle of sunscreen with you and reapply as needed.

Break It Up

If you’re not used to exercising outdoors in the summer, you’ll want to start slow. Consider breaking up your exercise routine into several smaller chunks instead of one extended workout session.

Try 30 minutes in the morning, followed by another 30 minutes in the evening. Or break it up even further with three 20 minute sessions in the morning, afternoon and evening.

These small spurts are not only great for people with chaotic schedules and little time to exercise, but also for those looking to exercise in the heat. While it may be too hot to fit in a full hour of running, you can probably power through a 20 minute run.

Via Shockingfitness

Via Shockingfitness

Check the Forecast

There’s not a cloud in the sky. However, a sunny day doesn’t always mean it’s safe to exercise outdoors. Before spending time outside, check the weather forecast.

If there is a heat advisory, high ozone, or air pollution warning, you may want to limit your exercise to indoor activities.

Not only will it be ultra-uncomfortable to work out in these harsh conditions, you can also harm your body. Pollutants in the air can cause damage to your lungs and the high heat puts you at a higher risk for heat cramps and other heat exhaustion symptoms.

Seek Shade

If you want to exercise outside in the summer but don’t like the hot sun beating down on you, seek out a shaded route. Search your area for running or biking routes that are primarily made up of shaded areas, such as public tree-lined parks or wooded land with canopied trees.

Ride your bike along streets or roads with tons of trees for shade, or take a long hike in the woods.

If you can’t find areas that offer sufficient shade, be sure to take frequent breaks. During these breaks, go indoors or find a place to sit and cool down, such as under a tree or in the shadow of a building.

Monitor Your Heart Rate

The heart goes into overdrive when exercising in the heat. In fact, the heart beats about 10 bpm (beats per minute) faster for every degree the body’s internal temperature rises.

Keep an eye on your heart rate by utilizing a heart rate monitor when you work out outdoors. Monitoring your heart rate allows you to better understand how your cardiovascular system responds to dehydration and heat stress, and what tools and treatments work to reverse these ailments.

To obtain the full benefits of a heart rate monitor, you must know what the numbers mean. The highest number is the maximum heart rate (MHR), which is the fastest rate in which your heart beats in one minute.

As you become accustomed to a certain type of exercise, your maximum heart rate will gradually lower, as well as your resting heart rate.

Via Twuhealthstudies

Via Twuhealthstudies

Take a Dip

Just too hot to exercise outdoors? Beat the heat by taking a dip at the pool or beach. Swimming is a fun and effective way to cool off and work out at the same time, and best of all, time spent in the water doesn’t even seem like work.

Did you know that swimming is actually a full-body workout? It keeps your heart rate up while taking stress off your body. It helps you to build endurance, cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength. It builds strength and tones muscles. It also helps you to support a healthy heart and lungs, as well as maintain a healthy weight.

Grab a Workout Buddy

Having a workout buddy is not just beneficial for when boredom strikes, it can also be advantageous to your health.

If you start to feel the effects of heat poisoning, having a friend by your side can ensure that you quickly get the treatment you need. Your workout buddy may even see the signs of heat exhaustion before you do.

Having a workout buddy is especially important if you’re exercising in an area that you’re not familiar with. The last thing you want to do is get sick while all alone in an unfamiliar place.

Via Livestrong

Via Livestrong

Know Your Limits

Before traveling out into the heat, do your homework. Do you know the signs of heat exhaustion, and do you think you would recognize them if they happened to you?

Confusion, dizziness, fatigue, headache, and fainting are all common symptoms that can occur when your body overheats. You may also suffer from muscle or abdominal cramps, as well as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

If you start to feel under the weather while exercising outdoors, don’t ignore your body. Immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in a cool room. Drink some water and remove any unnecessary clothing. If possible, cool off in the shower of bath.

Final Thoughts

Outdoor summer activities are not just limited to jogging and yard work. As long as you’re careful, exercising in the heat can be fun and add variety to your routine. Enjoy the warm summer sun all season long by taking the proper precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses and injuries. Don’t let the sweltering summer temperatures put a snag in your workout routine. Sweat it out and reap the benefits of a healthier, leaner physique.

Why Having a Gym Buddy is the Best Way to Go

In a fitness slump? It happens from time to time. You may lose your motivation to work out and pretty soon, you’re packing on the pounds. When your enthusiasm for physical fitness starts to plummet, partner up.

While some people thrive on solo exercise, others need the extra push that comes from a supportive workout partner.

Research shows there’s strength in numbers. One study found that couples that worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate, compared to the 6.3 percent dropout rate of couples who exercised together at the gym.

Here’s a few other great reasons why having a gym buddy is the best way to go.

Via Watchfit

Via Watchfit

Stop the Excuses

Excuses can derail your fitness journey. Sure, it’s easy to stay in bed when you have plans to go to the gym on your own, but when you’ve made plans with a friend, backing out gets a little tricky.

A workout buddy holds you accountable for your fitness, or lack thereof. He or she will likely stop you from making lame excuses on why you can’t go the gym. If your buddy is really motivated, he or she may even come to your home and drag you out of bed.

In short, the buddy system encourages you to get things done.

Get Excited Again

Remember when you used to get excited about going to the gym? Well that excitement probably took a nosedive after months of training.

The same old routine can get boring. The good news is that small changes can make hitting up the gym feel invigorating again.

Having a gym buddy by your side is an easy way to make your workouts more enjoyable. By persuading a friend to come along, you have something in your day to look forward to.

Whether you’re gossiping as you run on the side-by-side treadmills, or celebrating a small victory after a gym session, having a friend/gym buddy along for the ride can keep you engaged in your fitness.

Via Calisthenicsdaily

Via Calisthenicsdaily

Challenge Yourself

If you have a competitive streak, a workout buddy may be just what you need. With a great competitor in tow, you’ll likely have the urge to challenge yourself to keep up.

When you get bored of your workout routine, a new challenge is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe you’ll compete to see who can do more pushups, or perhaps you’ll square off and see who can hold a squat longer.

Who wins doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you’re challenging yourself and giving your motivation a much-needed kick.

Have a Spotter Present

If you’re not overly socialable, you may feel awkward asking strangers at the gym to spot you. With a workout buddy available, you’ll always have a spotter.

Your spotter can help you with all sorts of things, from counting your reps to watching your form.

With a spotter in your presence, you’re also less likely to get injured. You can test your newfound strength without the worry that you won’t be able to lift that added weight.

With someone watching, you’ll feel more encouraged to power through your workouts, resulting in a longer, more intense weight lifting session.

Via Muscleandfitness

Via Muscleandfitness

Get Motivated

Drumming up self-motivation can be tough after weeks or months of grueling workouts. Having a gym buddy can not only skyrocket your motivation, but can also give your confidence a major boost.

For many people, having someone in your corner can make a significant difference in the way you perform and your overall commitment to your fitness goals.

One study found this concept to be true. Researchers at the Society of Behavioral Medicine discovered that participants that trained with a partner were more likely to workout longer than participants that exercised alone.

Over time, this motivation will stick and you’ll get in the habit of working out to the best of your ability without relying on outside encouragement.

Experience Variety

Working out with a gym buddy adds variety to your fitness routine. Your exercise partner can teach you fresh workouts and introduce you to new machines.

When you work out alone, it’s easy to fall back to the same-old exercises. Overtime, you may find that you experience a fitness plateau. As you become accustomed to a certain exercise or machine, it no longer presents a challenge. By increasing the intensity, adding weights, or adding in new exercises to your regimen, you can challenge yourself again.

Learning new workouts at the gym also keep things interesting long-term.

Via Ymcansw

Via Ymcansw

Reach Goals Faster

Motivation is a powerful thing. One study found that simply receiving a phone call every two weeks can increase your amount of exercise by up to 78 percent.

If a phone call from a machine, trainer or friend is able to produce such amazing results, the outcome of a gym buddy should be two-fold.

With a workout partner there to keep you accountable, you’ll stay more consistent with your fitness routine and push yourself harder to reach your goals. This will inevitable allow you to reach your goals faster, whether it’s losing weight or toning your physique.

Schedule Workouts

Face it, life can get hectic. When you’re trying to work out with a gym buddy, you’ll most likely have to schedule your workouts so that it conveniences both parties.

As time is likely a luxury, you’ll be more likely to schedule your workouts and stick to them. You don’t want to disappoint your friend by skipping out on your gym date, so you make time in your schedule to be there.

Scheduling workouts is key to maintaining a regular fitness regimen. When you know time is precious, you’ll push yourself harder and not waste time during your gym visits.

Relieve Stress

With a gym buddy, your workouts double as therapy sessions. Not only are you getting the benefits of physical health, but also emotional health.

We all know that exercise has natural stress-relieving properties. With friends involved, your stress levels dwindle even more.

In a study conducted to determine the stress-reducing benefits of exercise, it was found that exercising with others versus exercising alone can result in greater stress relief.

Even if you don’t like to talk when you work out, exercising with a friend nearby can create good vibes and a comfortable energy that can be advantageous to your bottom line.

Save Money

There’s no denying that a gym membership can get costly, forcing many people to look for alternative fitness avenues.

You’ll be glad to know that many gyms offer discounts when you and a gym buddy sign up together. A personal trainer may also charge less per person when you book a session with someone else.

Persuade a friend to join the gym with you and get the perks of having a gym buddy, while saving a few bucks.

Form a Stronger Bond

Whether it’s with a friend, partner or spouse, working out together can help form a special bond between two people. The road to better health and fitness is a journey that two people care share together.

This bond can be especially beneficial for couples, as the time spent together during exercise can bring two individuals closer together. When couples work out together, it can have both a physical and emotional impact.

That special bond also breaks down to an intimate level. The physical symptoms you experience after exercise, such as faster heart rate and an adrenaline rush, are similar to effects associated with arousal. This may be why some studies suggest that men and women feel more attracted to one another after an adrenaline-driven activity.

Shop Together

What’s better than working out together? Shopping together. If desired, your gym partner can easily double as your shopping buddy.

Get excited to go back to the gym by shopping for some new athletic wear and accessories. Get advice from one another on the best materials and styles to wear. Try out new health gadgets that may take your fitness to the next level.

Whether you’re shopping for a new pair of running shoes or a spacious fitness bag to lug all of your gym essentials back and forth from the gym, shopping together can help foster motivation.

Via Februaryexclusiveoffers

Via Februaryexclusiveoffers

Celebrate Successes

Reaching your fitness goals is a great reason to celebrate. However, celebrating your progress alone is not as fun as celebrating with a partner.

Make your fitness journey more exciting by setting small goals and celebrating every few weeks when you reach them. A small victory could mean a trip to the spa or a splurge at a pricy restaurant.

Celebration is significant for many reasons. Your partner has seen you through your highs and your lows, and when you finally reach your desired goal, it’s due to a team effort.

Final Words

Having the right ymym buddy can make all the difference in your motivation, confidence and ability to reach your goals. The buddy system means more than just driving to the gym together. It refers to the encouragement that two partners give to one another and the successes that they share together. If you need a push to stay on track with your fitness, grab a buddy.

11 Confessions From A Personal Trainer

By Tommy B.

Trainers, coaches, fitness pro’s…its all the same thing.

Like any industry, there are some unbelievable people out there and many more times shady ones that you wonder how anyone ever signed a check with their name on it.

There’s the:

  • Trainer who wants all their clients to walk around with Tupperware all day
  • The one size fits all person who found one discipline and never expanded or learned more
  • Shady one who walks a fine line and may be sleeping with half their clientele

Or worse of all, the one who is 40 pounds overweight and has a massive beer belly (true story, I hired this person once.)

However, the coaching and training industry does attract quality people who truly want to help others.

They come in with positive intentions and although few last for a while, the cream always rises to the top.

I’m going to share 11 confessions from a decade of training, running my own gym(s) and having conversations with the best of the best.

It’ll include common thoughts and misconceptions about fitness, training and unveil some of the truths of what it’s like to be on our side.

Via Canifitness

Via Canifitness

1: Training Isn’t That Important

There, I said it.

The training aspect of the entire deal truly isn’t that important.

Sure — training matters, but if you think of a pyramid-style hierarchy, it doesn’t matter that much.

The base of the hierarchy is going to rely on nutrition, lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep, habits and routine.

I’d argue we’ve become a culture that emphasizes too much training as a badge of honor — leading the average person to believe they have to train 6 times a week and be carried out of the gym to see results.

Adam Bornstein, trainer, speaker and author of Born Fitness sums it up here:

“First of all, the idea that you need to burn an enormous number of calories through exercise – or that you even can—can be considered a myth.”

Instead, focus on the work in the kitchen; trade a workout for an hour on a Sunday prepping some healthy meals.

Via Viphomepersonaltraining

Via Viphomepersonaltraining

2: Everything works, to a certain extent.

Let’s be honest…everything works, up to a point of course.

Most people who have struggled with their fitness have always blamed the program, the trainer, the gym or maybe even possibly the weather or a bad hair day.

And I get it…there’s better programs for different types of people, zero doubt about that.

However, if you apply consistency, accountability and truly trust the process — it’s going to work.

So if you see a trainer that harps on the fact that his or her program is on the cutting edge and never done or seen before, you can smile.

It may be great, but so is someone else’s program online or countless other trainers.

Via Careclubusa

Via Careclubusa

3: We don’t love training all the time.

I was recently talking to a new client who signed up and the topic was on motivation and mindset, two of my favorites.

I told him flat out: if you’re inspired to go train, drop everything and use that energy now!

I also reminded him that even though deep down at my core I love fitness, I only feel very motivated to workout about 70% of the time.

Mind you, that’s a lot, but there’s sessions where we feel exactly like you: sluggish and don’t want to do it.

4: You may never achieve your dream body

Fitness marketing has led most to believe that if they work hard enough or take that specific pill or diet, they will look like the cover models or instagram folks.

Truth is, that’s impossible.

First, most of those models are on chemicals and high doses of drugs, that’s an absolute fact.

Second, they have been spray tanned, dehydrated and manipulated their nutrition in such a way that they show up as cut as possible for that day’s shoot.

A few days later, they are unrecognizable as compared to the pictures.

The contrast to this is you can become the best possible you and achieve ridiculous results on a long enough timeline.

Via Mindly

Via Mindly

5: We have it far from figured out, but we’re learning.

The best words a trainer can utter can sometimes be:

I don’t know.

Seriously — most trainers would rather make something up they read online than to admit they don’t know something.

One of my missions and quests in the field was to enter every world from endurance to powerlifting and in between, to truly learn about every type of training so I could achieve perspective and the pursuit of mastery.

The double-edged sword that occurs when you do that is you realize the more you know, the more you don’t actually know.

Now, this is what you want to find in a trainer instead of those who claim they know it all.

6: Our clients are very often guinea pigs

At one point or another during their career, trainers will use their clients as guinea pigs; it’s part of the process.

I don’t consider this a negative thing — research and data can only work so far.

For example, we understand and it’s been proven through countless research that resistance training is essential to keeping and building lean body mass and improving all the hormones that help us shed fat and look and feel amazing.

However, 47-year old Jane and 22 year old Michael are going to respond very differently to a resistance program and using clients to gather data and see what works (and for whom) is part of the process.

7: We have some very crappy nutrition days.

I’m definitely not a fan of trainers and coaches who binge on alcohol, poor food and all sorts of other things.

To me, there’s a lack of integrity in there and leading by example is an important trait.

However, it doesn’t mean we are perfect and we all struggle with our nutrition at one point or another.

We’ll make bad decisions and we’re human too — travel gets in the way and we have something super unhealthy or drank one too many beers at our friend’s wedding.

Via Personaltrainingbiz

Via Personaltrainingbiz

8: We started for our own self-interest

No trainer ever started training with the priority being to help others that was part of their growth, learning and journey.

We all started for self-interest; we wanted to look better on the beach, have more energy and use fitness as a way of making life better.

This isn’t a shocker, but it’s the truth.

9: We don’t doubt our program, but we doubt the trust in your ability to do it

Over the years I’ve realized the single biggest roadblock to anyone achieving any type of fitness result:

Themselves!

I can recall countless meetings at my prior gyms where they would state an objection to starting after having gone deep into what a problem their current state of their body was.

However, the objection masked a pretty obvious theme:

Their ability to trust themselves to complete the program, not the program itself.

Leo Babuta of Zen Habits discusses why we begin to lose trust in ourselves, thus perpetuating this cycle in all different life endeavors.

10:  Sometimes, we don’t want to be there either.

There are times when we don’t want to be at your training session either – something came up, our dog died, we went through a break up or on little or no sleep.

In person training, in particular, requires a certain level of emotional bandwidth – because it’s never only about the training.

However, a true professional will never let you in on that secret and will do everything to give you a fantastic experience.

Via NASM

Via NASM

11: We wish we could sell you a 5-year program

In an industry that is based on getting results as quickly as possible, the best professionals wish we could sell you a 5-year program.

The reason is simple: we want this to become a new way of operating for you and truly impact your life on a grand scale, adding years to your life, allowing you to take more family adventures and basically level up who you already are.

However, a 5-year program is nearly impossible to sell and goes directly in line with 99% of fitness marketing.

Final Words

There you have it, some of the most common confessions from a decade in the training and coaching industry and what we truly believe.

At the end of the day, most trainers have developed a wide array of skills, which allow others to breakthrough in their personal fitness, nutrition and lifestyle factors and finding someone who you connect with is crucial.

As Precision Nutrition states, it’s important to do your homework when looking to hire someone who can directly impact how you look, feel and perform on a daily basis.

Understanding we’re all human and doing our best – much like you, isn’t something negative, rather, allows for us to both relate to one another.

How to Get Yourself to Go to the Gym (When You Don’t Want To)

Low on motivation? It happens to the best of us. While skipping today’s workout may have short-term benefits (a few extra hours of sleep, perhaps?), just look at the bigger picture.

In the long-term, you’ll feel more confident, shed that extra weight, and boost your energy levels and mood. With better health also comes a noticeable drop in certain health conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer and depression.

So how exactly do you get yourself to the gym when you’re just not feeling it?

Via Bellaskin

Via Bellaskin

Reward Yourself

Remember when you were a kid and got a sticker or toy from the treasure box after a successful trip to the doctor or dentist? The same concept applies here. Do something you don’t really want to do, and get rewarded.

While the proof is in the pudding, studies has shown the reward system to be highly effective. Research conducted by the Copper Institute showed that people who reward themselves for their hard work are two to three times more likely to meet the physical activity guidelines set by the ACSM then people who don’t treat themselves.

So what type of rewards are we talking about here? It can be as simple as a soothing fruit smoothie with a drizzle of chocolate or a rousing episode of Game of Thrones. If food or TV is not enough to prompt a trip to the gym, think bigger. Maybe you’ll be more eager to do those 20 reps of sit-ups if there’s a trip to the spa or beach in your future.

In time, you may not need a reward system at all. The brain is a fascinating thing. As you begin to associate the pain, sweat and hard work of exercise to a healthier, stronger and toner physique, your motivation to workout will come naturally.

Via Anytimefitness

Via Anytimefitness

Call a Friend

Friends can be great motivational tools. Sure, you could go to the gym by yourself, but with a friend in town, you’re more likely to push yourself to the limit.

Going to the gym gives you accountability. It’s easy to back out of a scheduled gym date when you’re going solo, but cancelling plans with a friend is a bit more complicated. Exercising with friends also means that you’re forced to schedule your plans ahead of time, reducing the likelihood of a skipped workout.

Exercising with friends is also a fantastic motivation booster. Instead of calling it quits, your friend will likely push you to finish a rep or keep going for “just 10 more minutes”. These extras can really add up. Don’t forget to be a good friend and return the favor.

Need that competitive edge to really up your drive? Burning more calories is easier when you’re working out with someone that you perceive to be better and can increase your workout time and intensity by up to 200 percent, according to a Kansas State University study.

Who’s up for a little friendly competition?

Via Nfpa.publishpath

Via Nfpa.publishpath

Hire a Personal Trainer

Not all of us have fitness enthusiasts as friends, which can make it a little difficult to call one when we want accountability at the gym. What’s even better than a friend? A personal trainer. You’ll no doubt feel obligated to go, even if you really don’t feel like it.

Of course, there’s other perks of hiring a personal trainer besides accountability. He or she can likely help you work towards your goal, whether it’s shedding extra belly fat or toning up your midsection. An experienced personal trainer will also know the right way to proceed. For example, he or she may recommend breaking down your goal into more manageable, realistic chunks.

If you’re a newcomer to the gym, a personal trainer can also help you find your bearings. Sure, you’ve might have heard negative things about personal trainers, but don’t worry. Most are not as scary as you would presume. Many are friendly individuals who are able to provide newbies like you the “tough love” you need to get in shape.

Maybe you don’t want to go to the gym because you don’t really know what you’re doing? Yeah, it can be embarrassing when you don’t quite know what a machine is for or you don’t know how many reps to do, but that’s what personal trainers are for.

When you hire a personal trainer, you can get step-by-step instructions how to perform each exercise the right way. Not only can you master some complicated workouts, you can also significantly reduce your risk of injury.

Via Wtvox

Via Wtvox

Track Your Progress

There’s no bigger motivation zapper than lack of progress. If you’re working out consistently and watching your diet, you’re probably getting healthier, thinner and toner. However, you may not be seeing results as fast as you’d like.

While you can’t always speed up your weight loss, you can enhance your enthusiasm to keep chugging along. Just track your progress. Even a small but steady decline in your weight can help persuade you to hit the gym.

With modern technology, tracking your fitness progress is easier than ever. No need to manually count calories. The Lose It! app connects you with other folks looking to melt away excess fat and provides an easy-to-use program for counting calories. Other apps like MyFitnessPal make keeping a daily food journal a cinch.

0F5A9575Dress the Part

We’ve all heard the phrase “dress for success.” But does it really apply to working out at the gym? According to a couple of Northwestern researchers, the answer is yes it can. According to their reasoning, when you wear athletic clothing, you become more active and more inclined to go to the gym.

Dressing for the gym should contain elements of both style and practicality. You don’t want your shirt to be too loose as it could catch in a machine, causing a safety hazard. You also don’t want your clothes to be too tight and uncomfortable. Just as important, you want to feel strong and confident in your own skin. So where’s the perfect balance?

For men, shorts are the obvious choice. Keep your top simple with a comfy t-shirt made from a moisture-wicking material. For the ladies, a pair of athletic pants will do in a pinch. Skip the short-shorts that can make you feel self-conscious and draw unwanted attention. For your top, stick to a sleeveless top or athletic shirt.

Having the right accessories can also up your exercise game. A pair of quality athletic shoes are a must, as well as a water bottle and iPod stocked with your go-to songs for getting “in the zone.” Throw all of your workout gear essentials in one of our nifty fitness bags and you’re ready to go.

Via Lafitness

Via Lafitness

Eat Breakfast

With depleted energy levels, the last thing you want to do is exercise at the gym. Did you know that eating breakfast can supercharge your fat burning abilities and fuel your body for an intense gym workout?

Your diet can have a significant impact on your fitness regimen. When you skip breakfast, you’re not going to have the energy to run on the treadmill or lift weights.

If you’re having difficulty with your meal choices, keep a food journal. When it’s in writing, you’ll be less likely to eat junk and more likely to choose healthy foods that will help give your energy and performance a kick start.

The best post-workout breakfast is light, fresh and low in carbs. While a little fat and protein is okay, it’s best to keep it minimal as they are harder for the body to digest which can lead to cramping. You’ll also want to hold off on any high fiber foods too.

For your mini breakfast, choose small portions of simple meals using whole, healthy ingredients. Examples include a cup of yogurt sprinkled with granola, a whole wheat English muffin smeared with nut butter, a cup of low-fat cottage cheese mixed with chunks of fresh fruit, or a smoothie with a blend of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Remember, skipping breakfast is not worth the extra calories saved. When you skip a meal, you’ll be more likely to overindulge during your next meal. You also run the risk of chowing down some mid-morning snacks rich in fats and sugar.

Via Sheknows

Via Sheknows

Switch It Up

Performing the same exercises over and over can quickly become dull. Not only are you not challenging yourself to your full potential, you’re also not getting the results you could be by switching up your fitness regimen.

If you’re feeling uninspired, venture off to a new part of the gym. If you usually run on the treadmill, try the indoor bike or rowing machine. If you’re bored of the machines at your gym, see if there is a workout class you can join that will spark your interest.

If your gym is just not doing it for you anymore, consider switching gyms altogether. A short break from the monotony may be all you need to get enthusiastic about working out again.

How often should you switch up your workouts? While there is no cut and dried answer, some fitness professionals recommend every four to six weeks.

The Bottom Line

Like anything in life, doing the same thing again and again can become boring. When it comes to working out, boredom can be catastrophic to your success. We begin to make up excuses to skip the gym, and when we do make it, we often don’t put the same amount of effort and enthusiasm into our workouts as we once did. Fortunately, it is possible to get back on track. Sometimes, all you need is a push to get re-motivated to go the gym.

26 Unconventional Ways To Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life

By Tommy B.

Even the most dedicated of gym people likely only spend 5-6 hours a week in the gym doing physical training – and that’s a lot. The average of gym goers is around 2.5 – which is minuscule to the 168 hours we have in a week.

That means what we do outside of the gym in daily life matters, and it matters a lot when we’re pushing to create new results, break plateaus and looking to look and feel the part.

Fitness makes life better, that’s hard to argue.

What it does for our self-esteem, energy, the way we connect with others and of course the physical benefits are countless.

By using unconventional methods that we’re detailing below, you can stack up an impressive amount of results without being in the gym.

Via Adrants

Via Adrants

#1: PARK VERY FAR AWAY

I’ve been relegated to the last possible person anyone wants to drive somewhere with, particularly to watch a movie or go grocery shopping.

Why? I park as far as humanely possible, especially when I know I’m going to carry something in the process.

Use this technique to add in steps and fat burning to your day, especially if you live somewhere that requires a car – this will add up in a major way.

#2: TAKE A FREEZING COLD SHOWER!

Cold showers are an amazing way to start your day with energy (trust me, it’s like a natural caffeine shot) and due to your body being shocked by the cold and needing to raise temperature quickly, you’ll increase your metabolic rate.

If you’re feeling super intense, check out the Whim Hof method that uses cold therapy to increase fat loss and build an unbreakable immune system.

#3: INTERMITTENT FASTING

Although not as controversial as it once was, intermittent fasting still sounds crazy to most people.

In a nutshell, it involves not eating any food for up to 16-20 hours per day to stimulate fat loss and increase secretion of hormones that keep us lean and fit.

Even a planned fast every couple weeks can have tremendous benefits, but do your research ahead of time.

In this article, John Romaniello details the 4 main ways to make this happen.

Via Gadgetreview

Via Gadgetreview

#4: GET A STAND UP DESK

Work a traditional 9-5? The latest research on sitting is astounding and points to increased weight gain, low energy, tight muscles and lower back pain.

Stand up desks will increase blood flow, circulation, vitality and naturally raise the energy of your body, stimulating your metabolic rate.

#5: EAT SPICY FOODS!

Spices not only add amazing flavor to virtually any meal, they can boost your metabolism, increase your fat burning rate and build up your immune system.

Even if you’re not traditionally a fan of it, start incorporating it into your meals with spices such as cayenne pepper.

You’ll start building your tolerance for them and notice the effects on how they make you feel.

#6: DRINK A SUPERHUMAN SHAKE

Starting your day off with a mix of powerful super-foods, along with greens – is not only a great way to boost your immune system and overall health but promote fat burning activities.

Some of my favorite ingredients include: pea protein, chia seeds, cacao nibs, cayenne, ginger, greens, turmeric and more.

Via Fitwithmeshelby

Via Fitwithmeshelby

#7: NEVER JOG AGAIN

Jogging, as described in Anchorman — or even medium intensity exercise (including long circuits) can have a negative impact on body composition due to the release of high levels of cortisol.

Hormones are all about balance and the right amount of each, which can easily be manipulated through lifestyle, nutrition and how we train our bodies.

Instead of going on that 30-minute jog, find a hill and do some sprints or hop on your gym’s bike machine. Go hard for 10-15 seconds, rest a couple minutes and repeat until you can’t anymore.

#8: MEDITATE DAILY

The benefits of meditation are endless but they also include rebalancing our emotional stress, lowering cortisol and impact our bodies on a cellular level.

Meditation is a practice and there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

Start simple with a few minutes and make it non-negotiable, even on weekends or family vacations.

#9: EAT MORE!

Ladies, I’m looking at you. After years of running gyms and online programs, I’ve noticed it’s the ladies who are the ones who cut calories to a point where they are depleted.

Think about this from an evolutionary perspective: our bodies, without knowing when the next meal is coming, want to keep as much fat on us as possible just in case.

When you are sending this signal all the time, the fat burning processes naturally stop.

Remember, with fat loss we want to eat as much as we can while still burning slow, consistent fat – hopefully that makes sense.

#10: MAKE FITNESS RELATED BETS

One of the super fun things you can do to increase your activity is to make fitness related bets with your friends.

Instead of dinner bets, go for 50 burpees instead – or whatever you love doing. You can have them pay for your next spinning class or buy the next healthy smoothie.

Via Thelingeriejournal

Via Thelingeriejournal

#11: DITCH TRADITIONAL DATES & MEETINGS

Got a business meeting or a hot date? Ditch the usual drinks and dinner and sweat together – this will not only get both of you healthier but we all know what happens after a workout.

We’re more level-headed, inspired, feel clearer and open. Hit a class or workout instead and meet after with a delicious healthy smoothie…win-win.

#12: BECOME A CLEANING MACHINE!

Cleaning isn’t necessarily fun to me, but I’ve made it fun – and used it to shed more calories.

Pump up your favorite tunes and podcast, set a clock and see how long it takes you to clean your place.

It’ll be fun, plus the intense scrubbing and clock will keep you moving and it’ll feel like a pseudo-workout once you’re done.

#13: DRINK A GALLON OF WATER

If I ever don’t get an aisle seat on a plane, I feel bad for that person. That means I’ll be getting up at least 10 times, because I’m super hydrated.

Hydration is simple, yet often overlooked – front load it, and have most of your day’s liquids before 6PM to avoid interrupted sleep.

The fact is more than 75% of people walking around are dehydrated and your body halts all fat burning once you reach this state.

If you’re thirsty, it’s too late.

#14: DANCE, DANCE & DANCE SOME MORE

Dancing is not only a great way to have fun and experience life, but to burn tons of calories in the process.

Building body awareness, agility and physical confidence are part of the endless benefits.

Maybe it’s a live music show or a night out on the town – regardless, own the dance floor.

#15: STAY ACTIVE ON A ROAD TRIP

Got a long drive ahead of you?

Strategically plan to stop every 45-60 minutes for some fresh air or even a quick circuit of air squats, pushups and lunges.

Your hips will thank you, you’ll see an uptick in energy and feel amazing once you arrive at your destination.

#16: CURE JET LAG WITH AN INTENSE WORKOUT

You just traveled across a huge number of time zones and want to pass out upon arriving – don’t.

An amazing cure for jet lag is to get your body moving – even a 10 minute, intense workout will usually cause a faster adaptation to your new time zone and wake you up feeling more refreshed.

Via Doctoroz

Via Doctoroz

#17: OWN THE BEDROOM!

The bedroom should be for only two things – pure rest and well, you know.

Make sure you’re setting time aside for connection – and in the process, burning some extra calories and setting off a cascade of powerful hormones.

#18: MAKE IT A GAME!

Fitness apps and tracking devices have made fitness into a game where you can track steps, calories burned and everything in between.

This increases accountability and wanting to create new ways to add 1,000 steps to beat your best friends.

Use these apps to keep you dialed in on a daily basis.

#19: CRUSH YOUR CAFFEINE

Coffee lovers will love this one, that’s for sure.

Make sure to have your caffeine without all the usual, unhealthy additives such as sugar, cream and flavoring (always check nutrition facts on pre-made drinks too).

However, caffeine will boost your metabolism and helps mobilize fat tissue at a faster rate than without it.

Additionally, it can curb normal appetite cravings so use it wisely!

Via Energygrrl

Via Energygrrl

#20: CREATE YOUR PERFECT GYM PLAYLIST

For most people, music can be an inspiring tool to get them to work harder, faster and more focused during workouts.

Creating the perfect training playlist when you hit the gym will make you more efficient, pumped up and excited to train.

#21: DRINK WITH SELTZER AND LIME!

Having a delicious summer cocktail? Good for you.

Add in some seltzer which will improve the rate of alcohol absorption (meaning you’ll need less empty calories to feel good) and the lime will blunt insulin response, signaling less fat storage from the alcohol.

Have you tried the NorCal margarita?

#22: ASK FOR NO AGAVE

Agave sounds healthy – but your body will treat is just like any other sugar, causing a high insulin response.

If you’re getting a smoothie, Acai bowl or anywhere else where agave is plentiful, go without and save yourself the extra calories and fat storage.

#23: DRINK BCAA’S TO CURB CRAVINGS

Craving food at night? It happens to most people and they can come on quite strong, adding 300 calories a night, which adds up big time.

A great way to curb cravings is to have some BCAAs’ – powdered branch chain amino acids that have been proven to signal satiety and keep you from grabbing whatever’s around before you go to bed.

#24: EAT MORE FAT!

Although less controversial, most people still shy away from fats – even the high quality ones.

Proper use of high quality fats such as raw nuts, avocado, MCT oil, coconut oil and more will keep you satisfied longer plus provides a direct hit of raw energy due to the way it’s digested.

#25: INTEGRATE PHYSICAL BREAKS!

Research has proven that sitting down for hours at a time is not only terrible for our bodies, but lowers our productivity in major ways.

Set alarms every 45-60 minutes to walk up and down stairs, crank out some pushups or simply get some fresh air.

If you do 3-4 of these every day you’ll feel happier, more connected, increase your workflow and look and feel better too.

Via @frances_elizabeth22

Via @frances_elizabeth22

#26: BUY SOME NEW GEAR!

One major psychological hack for improving your fitness and fat loss goals is to buy some new gym swag that makes you feel and look the part.

Investing some money into your fitness wardrobe will inspire you to, you know, make good use of it.

Our fitness bags can have the same exact effect, designed for people just like you.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Well, there you have it.

Remember: what you do outside of the gym, while seemingly small – adds up in a major, major way.

The above activities over the course of a year and that can easily be the difference between losing those last, stubborn annoying 10 pounds of fat that seem to creep up year after year.

What’s one thing you can incorporate starting today? Post below and share with your friends.

7 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Fit

By Tommy B.

You’re hitting the gym, shifting your nutrition habits, and feel like you should be further along than you are.
It’s time…you’ve told yourself and taken some actions to start moving towards the fitness goals you not only want, but also feel you deserve and have been longing for.
That’s great and you should celebrate the win of taking action because most people don’t.

Via Well.blogs.nytimes

Via Well.blogs.nytimes

However, it’s possible you haven’t seen the results you’d hoped for or maybe you’ve hit a big time plateau where you’re doing the same things that got you the initial surge but now it seems you’re totally stagnant and feeling frustrated.

It happens…and many times training harder or cutting more calories isn’t the answer.

We’re going to address 7 reasons why you’re not getting fit, have plateaued or feel stuck with your fitness and the exact ways to breakthrough them and keep moving forward.

Let’s get rolling.

#1: YOU DO GREAT DURING THE WEEK, THEN BLOW IT ON THE WEEKENDS

Here’s a common thread that occurs all the time:

Someone has a fantastic week as part of his or her routine; nutrition, hydration and fitness are all going great and then Thursday night hits with a social event.

That starts a cascade of alcohol-fuel decisions, which turns into the weekend and a 3-day complete derailment of the awesome work they’d done during the week.

Why is this a problem?

Well, 3 out of 7 days is 42% of the week – which can completely reverse the momentum they had created.

Additionally, it takes our bodies a few days to recover and recalibrate back to normal – so our fat burning processes may not even be back to full force by the following Tuesday or Wednesday, only for the cycle to be repeated again.

Ben Greenfield of Greenfield Fitness, details the side effects of drinking alcohol on our body and appetite in “How Alcohol Makes You Fat.”

This doesn’t mean you can’t live your life – but do it in a conscious way and remember that taking control of your next meal can minimize even one really bad night.

ACTION STEP: Aim for 80% compliance throughout your week to find the sweet spot of results while having a fun lifestyle and doing the things you love.

Via Syattfitness

Via Syattfitness

#2: YOU’RE IN WAY TOO MUCH OF A CALORIC DEFICIT

Ahhhh, we see this all the time – this person is cutting calories all the time with the goal of finally losing those last 12 pounds.

They are almost starving yet they’ve hit a plateau that hasn’t budged in a while – leaving them to cut an extra 250 or 300 calories per day.

This actually has a complete reverse effect …and they’ve hit the starvation zone.

Here’s the deal: cutting more calories isn’t always the answer and in fact can be the biggest hindrance to achieving the next level of results.

Our bodies are evolutionary mechanisms desired to keep us alive – that’s what they are designed to do 24/7.

When you’re always in a large caloric deficit you’ll undoubtedly have low energy, vitality and feel sluggish.

Beyond that, when your body is in this starvation mode, it will halt its body fat burning processes because it’s worried about how much food it’s going to have and wants to keep its reserves, because, you know – evolution.

Although sounding very counterintuitive, eating more can re-ignite this process and remember the golden rule below.

Precision Nutrition, one of the leading nutrition coaches authorities, talks about rapid, starvation mode dieting by saying “lose weight quickly while nearly starving, only to gain most of it back (or more) and feel hungrier than when you started.”

ACTION STEP: Calculate your BMR — as a starting point, for Men, multiply your bodyweight x 11 to get your BMR, for Women, multiply x 10 to get your BMR. BMR is the number required to keep you alive and maintain (without physical activity).

Via Theodysseyonline

Via Theodysseyonline

#3: YOU’RE WINGING EVERYTHING

One of the biggest culprits is the fact that you’re simply winging it.

You’ve done it before and it worked, so why not again? This means you don’t plan your workouts or nutrition; you go by feel and what’s around.

Although this can be a ton of fun because it exposes you to a bunch of different fitness activities such as yoga, running, functional fitness, gym training, boxing, etc. – it leaves you completely scattered.

Since you’re not planning and scheduling your workouts, life often gets “in the way” and you skip sessions.

Sure, it sounds boring and mechanical to plan things – but as we know, if you fail to plan, plan to fail.

ACTION STEP: Plan your upcoming workouts a week in advance. Schedule the day/time and the activity you are doing and don’t let anything interfere with it on your calendar.

Via Thetruecare

Via Thetruecare

#4: YOUR TRAVEL RESEMBLES SPRING BREAK

Similar to the prior reason, a lot of us spend a good amount of time traveling.

This can be business, pleasure, vacations, seminars and everything in between – time spent on planes, cars, trains and more.

One of the biggest factors of success with staying on track during travel is one word:

Availability.

If we don’t have healthy food available and we’re starving – we’re going to eat whatever we can which means junk food, processed food, and anything in between.

It’s also quite common to just “go with the flow” during travel and eat completely different than normal, skip workouts and come home exhausted and jetlagged.

Being prepared while traveling by prepping food for the flight, scoping out restaurants that taste amazing and are healthy, bringing a travel bag designed specifically for this reason and using fitness to enhance your experience is an amazing way to stay on track.

ACTION STEP: Shop our fitness travel bags designed for you to keep your active lifestyle organized on the road.

Via Shawngarcia

Via Shawngarcia

#5: LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY, THE “SECRET” SAUCE OF RESULTS

Without a doubt, the secret to long-term results in almost every area of life is the power of accountability.

Accountability is the power of having to report back to someone – it could be a workout partner, a coach, trainer or online fitness community.

Think about a time where you had a long, exhausting day – you were running around, never had a moment to stop and remember you had a dinner with an old friend who was in your city that night.

Deep down, you didn’t want to go…you much rather completely rest and relax after your day.

But you ended up showing up anyway, meeting up with your friend, catching up on old, amazing times and feeling amazing by the end of your night.

This simple dinner example highlights the power of accountability: having someone else you have to show up or report to that forces you to take action where if it was just you, you wouldn’t.

Here’s the deal: everyone thrives on accountability and it’s truly an essential part of any program, any time.

Craig Ballantyne from Early To Rise, has accountability in his 5 pillars of transformation, stating, “you need to check-in with someone each day and admit what you did wrong, and boast about what you did right.”

ACTION STEP: Find at least 1-2 ways to be accountable…maybe you join a nutrition challenge offered by a local gym or decide that every Saturday you meet your friends for a hike. Whatever it is, stay consistent with it.

#6: YOU NEVER USE YOUR FITNESS IN THE REAL WORLD

Unless you absolutely love the gym (and most people don’t), it’s crucial for you to try new activities and ways of testing your fitness.

This could be taking a rock climbing class, doing a short sprint triathlon or anything in between.

What this will do is reinforce the importance of leaving your comfort zone and excite you to keep pushing the envelope with your fitness, understanding that looking great is awesome but so is the ability to experience life and new things.

ACTION STEP: Pick one new activity every month that you’re going to try – rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding, surfing – you name it. You can also sign up for an event to fuel your intensity and consistency.

Via Bodyambition

Via Bodyambition

#7: YOU HAVEN’T BECOME HOOKED TO FEELING GREAT

The last reason is simple and it comes down to awareness: many people have built a set of habits and rituals in regards to their health, fitness and body that are not maximizing the way they feel on a daily basis.

Plain and simple: you haven’t gotten hooked on feeling awesome.

Let’s be honest…life is better when you dedicate time to your fitness, body and health.

It makes your relationships better, your confidence, the way you walk into a room and your mental and physical confidence to complete a task you’d like to do.

ACTION STEP: Be aware of how you feel on a daily basis and create small changes to your routine to start feeling better.

FINAL WORDS

It’s very likely that one, two, or even more of the reasons above are currently holding you back from breaking through that next level of fitness.

And now you know, which means you have the power to change them.

Remember: start small and simple, be consistent with the changes, and find a system to track your progress to know if something is working or not.

We’d love to hear from you: Which of the above are you going to implement? Post to comments.

Why Being Uncomfortable Is The Path To Results

By Tommy B.

We’ve all felt the edge of discomfort and for some of us it comes on a daily basis. It’s that threshold of nervousness, fear and excitement – trying a new activity, showing up to a new social group, striking a conversation with someone new or even jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet.

In that moment, we have a simple choice: we grow and expand ourselves, stretching the proverbial rubber band of our life experience or sit back, miss out and go back to what’s familiar and routine.

In the process of studying anyone who has ever achieved a substantial metric of success, however they may define it – all roads lead to a simple conclusion:

Constantly being uncomfortable and taking action regardless of this feeling is the straight path to fulfillment, success and an incredible life experience.

In this post, we’re going to explore why this is so crucial and learn 5 ways to harness this power, become aware of it and obliterate it time and time again, discovering yourself through the process and looking back in awe.

Via Likesuccess.com

Via Likesuccess.com

INCREASING CAPACITY

If we think of the concept of leaving our comfort zone in the context of athletics and fitness, it’s quite simple to see how it works.

Early on, you have a set capacity – this is the limit of your current potential in this area of your life.

If you stay well below your capacity and never test it, your behaviors will become automatic, mechanical and boring.

Because they are no longer testing you, your body will stop adapting and stay in almost complete homeostasis – balanced but stagnant and never progressing.

Growth is exactly the opposite and requires us to inch closer and closer to our capacity and going to a place where we experience the powerful, universal force called resistance.

Via Cornerstone-group

Via Cornerstone-group

THE FEEDBACK MECHANISM

Resistance, as detailed unbelievably in Stephen Pressfield’s War Of Art, is a feedback mechanism that lets us know we’re doing something right.

Specifically, the emotions of fear and avoidance are signs that there is something incredible to be earned, achieved or learned by pushing through this force that holds most of us back.

The truth is, most people experience resistance and run away from it on a daily basis, using the amazing power of our brains to rationalize why it made sense to.

Think of one time in your life where you were compelled to have a conversation with a stranger – perhaps you were at a networking event or even at a coffee shop.

At the last second, you experienced resistance – doubts and thoughts about what the other person may think, if the context was right and maybe even if they would notice the stain on your shirt.

But you pushed through anyway and established a connection that was empowering and almost impossible to have even remotely imagined before you took action.

This small, seemingly insignificant example shows the power of pushing through and taking action regardless of how you feel.

Via Bubblespan

Via Bubblespan

TRANSCENDING THE FOUR BARRIERS

Thoughts, feelings, moods and emotions are the four main mental triggers that hold us back from breaking through our comfort zones.

The truth is most people live in their own thoughts and heads, which are largely unexamined, meaning, we never ask the simple question:

Is that true?

Say, the person who wants to launch a business, gets passionate and excited with a business plan and recruits the help of others but then sets out on a Monday to start creating and may have the following:

“I can’t do this…”

“Who am I to create this?”

“I don’t feel great, I have low energy.”

We’ve all been there and it’s a daily experience.

What you need to know is that no one is immune to these self-sabotaging thoughts – from the highest achiever in your industry or anyone else you look up to who seems half normal and half out of the latest Avengers flick.

The only difference is answering the question:

Are you listening to these thoughts, feelings, moods and emotions?

As time goes on and your behavior transcends the four barriers, you’ll gain both momentum and confidence.

The voices of doubts won’t completely leave you, that’s impossible – but what will happen is they will be drowned out by positive and empowering ones instead and you’ll create an internal snowball of success that you’re able to prove to yourself time and time again.

Via Gbputtingacademy

Via Gbputtingacademy

OBLITERING THE COMFORT ZONE

The next step is to harness the comfort zone killer, which is simply to take action.

Susan Jeffers describes this in her book, Feel The Fear And Do it Anyway by saying:

“Every time you encounter something that forces you to “handle it,” your self-esteem is raised considerably. You learn to trust that you will survive, no matter what happens. And in this way your fears are diminished immeasurably.” 

Taking action will begin to change the way you perceive and handle fear on a daily basis –both at a micro level and macro level for your life.

For example…

  • You’ve been researching a fitness program or gym and keep putting off the day and time to show up to the gym.
  • You experienced a conflict with a co-worker or boss and instead of having the conversation that will clear it, you’ve gone to avoidance.
  • You say want to become a public speaker but keep avoiding the weekly Toastermaster’s meeting you identified as being the first step to getting rolling.

5 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE TODAY

We’ve gone through the importance of stretching your life’s rubber band, continuing to practice by taking action and now it’s time to get practical so you can incorporate this into your life and not have it be more information that goes unused.

Here are 5 ways to start moving forward with getting uncomfortable in your life:

  1. Define one fear and face it. Pick something: maybe it’s sharing a vulnerable moment, public speaking or doing something adventurous. Write it down and put it out into the world – commit to it by setting a date, paying someone (if there’s a financial component) and working towards it.
  1. Do one small action that scares you every day. You’ve likely heard of this before, but establishing this as part of your daily routine will re-wire the way you think about fear, failure and your personal growth. Keep it practical and manageable, maybe you talk to 1 stranger every day and establish a connection with them.
  1. Understand what’s holding you back and write it down. If you have a fear of launching and creating your own business, write down every single reason why you’re being held back. Getting these thoughts out of your own head is crucial for you to move forward with it.
  1. Take each component of #3 and break it down. First, ask yourself if it really is an obstacle or if it’s an opportunity. Then, create 2-5 resources or actions you could take to breakthrough it – such as leveraging your network, asking for help, studying someone who’s doing it and more.
  1. Embrace and re-frame failure. Lastly, embracing failure and having fun with it is a crucial way of not taking everything so seriously. Failure is simply feedback – it allows you to learn on the fly instead of analyzing and dreaming what may or may not happen. Plus, rejection isn’t so bad…just ask Jia Jang who set out to be rejected for 100 days straight in his book, Rejection Proof.
Via Orphansafrica

Via Orphansafrica

CONCLUSION

Most of us have seen how children operate on a playground: running, making friends, exploring and living in the moment.

They don’t have issues of self worth or overanalyzing what may or may not happen: they simply take action and keep going, all while having a pretty awesome time.

Many times when exploring what we don’t have or the reason why we’re still in the same place it can come down to the lack of expanding our comfort zones.

If we dig in and look at life – it’s designed for us to stretch, grow and learn from every single experience.

Start crafting your personal action plan to obliterate your comfort zone, smile at fear and start living the life you’ve imagined and have been waiting for…it’s yours to take.

Post one action you’re going to implement to comments, we want to hear from you!

9 Easy Hacks to Boost Your Metabolism Today

Boosting your metabolism allows you to burn more calories with less effort. While gender, age, and genetics all factor into your metabolic rate, there is still some wiggle room that allows you some control over how fast you shed those extra pounds. Turbocharge your metabolism today with these simple diet, exercise, and lifestyle tips.

Drink Water Before Meals

While most people know that sufficient water intake is key to better health, many don’t realize the direct effect it has on your metabolism. Research has shown that drinking water can increase the metabolic rate in healthy men and women by up to 30 percent. Gain the full benefits of water by drinking one to two glasses before each meal. Not only can you fight dehydration and boost your metabolism, but water will naturally fill you up so you end up eating less.

Soak Up Some Sunrays

Spending time in the sunshine can help burn excess calories. Moderate exposure to UV rays releases nitric oxide in the body, which plays a key role in metabolic rate. Choose to venture outdoors when the UV rays are most powerful, which is generally between 10 am and 4 pm, or when the sun is at its highest in the sky.

Protein-shake

Increase your protein intake to boost your metabolism.

Up Your Protein Intake

If you want to boost your metabolism, you’ll no doubt what to look closely at your diet. Are you getting enough protein? All types of protein are effective at accelerating your metabolism due to its thermogenic effect. When you eat sources of protein like eggs, chicken breast, oats, or even supplement with a protein shake, your body produces more heat and in turn, burns more calories.

Make the Switch to Tea

Instead of your usual cup of coffee in the morning, sip on a healthy herbal tea. Tea has been shown to help your body burn up to 100 additional calories over the course of a day. Besides tasting good, tea also has other significant health benefits. It can lower your cholesterol and cortisol levels, reduce inflammatory reactions, increase memory and concentration, and may decrease allergic reactions to pollen. Tea is also chock-full of healthy antioxidants referred to as catechins.

Chew your food and slow down when eating. Via Health-hazard

Chew your food and slow down when eating. Via Health-hazard

Slow Down When Eating

Living a busy life means doing things fast. You likely shower fast, work fast, and probably eat fast. Unfortunately, wolfing down your meals can lead to extra weight gain. On average, it takes about 20 minutes before a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) sends a signal to your brain to stop eating. When you eat quickly, it’s easier to overeat because you haven’t given your body enough time to register that it’s full. The next time you eat a meal, slow down, chew more carefully, and take smaller bites.

Savor a Square of Dark Chocolate

Eating chocolate to lose weight may seem counterproductive, but dark chocolate is not your average sweet treat. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are believed to play a role in regulating metabolism. Indulging in one or two squares of dark chocolate can also lower stress hormone levels, which can deter stress-induced eating behaviors.

people-laughing

Laughter is the best medicine! Via Successyeti

Take Time to Laugh

While it may seem simple, laughing can be significantly beneficial to your overall health. Not only does laughter promote happiness and wellbeing, it can also act as a workout. As few as 10 minutes of laughing can help you burn 10 to 20 percent more calories as you would if you remained laughter-free. That’s enough laughs to burn 10 to 40 calories.

Stand Instead of Sit

You may spend a lot of your day sitting, whether you’re at home in front of the TV or at work at your desk. Sitting for extended periods of time is not just bad for your posture. A sedentary lifestyle also doesn’t allow for much energy consumption. Keep your metabolism moving at peak velocity by spending more time standing instead of sitting. If you must spend long hours at a desk for work, consider converting your office desk to a standing desk by placing boxes under your laptop or keyboard.

people-sleeping

Sufficient rest is key to a steady metabolism. Via Scitechdaily

Get Enough Shut-Eye

How many hours a night do you sleep? If it’s fewer than seven, you’re likely suffering from some level of sleep deprivation. Skimping on sleep can have a major impact on all aspects of your health, including your metabolism. Studies have shown that adults who sleep at least nine hours a night typically have healthier metabolisms, crave fewer sweet and salty foods, and are generally less hungry compared to those who sleep fewer hours.

In Conclusion…

Sure, your metabolism may slow down as you get older, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t beat the system. Simple changes in the way that you eat, exercise, and complete day-to-day activities can have a major impact on your metabolic rate. When you need a boost, try these simple hacks to rev up your metabolism.

What other life hacks do you use to super-charge your metabolism?

 


 

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How to Get Motivated in 4 Simple Steps

Lacking motivation? Even the best of us need an extra boost once in a while to revamp our productivity and drive. If life has got you down, it can be hard to stay on track with all of your day-to-day responsibilities.

If your motivation is dwindling or depleted, it’s time to make some necessary changes in your life. Try the following simple tricks to get out of your funk and jump-start your mood and motivation.

1. Get Started Now

1. Get started now

If you wait for the perfect time to complete a task or project, you’ll never get anything done.

When you have a lack of motivation, it’s common to feel uninspired to do anything that you don’t thoroughly enjoy.

However, the most motivated people are the ones that don’t wait around until they’re in the right mood. They simply get started and push through their lack of motivation, and soon enough, they’re immersed in their project.

Tackling the hardest task first may give you the incentive you need to power through the rest of your work. “Hardest” doesn’t necessarily mean the longest or more demanding task.

It can simply mean a task that you’ve been avoiding, such as filing paperwork or making an important phone call. Getting an unfavorable task out of the way can help encourage you to take on the rest of the things you need to get done.

2. Move Your Body

2. Exercise

Exercise is a wonderful thing. It can decrease stress levels, enhance creativity, sharpen your thinking skills, and even foster motivation.

Many experts agree that exercise is one of the best ways to lift your mood and generate energy. While you may not feel like getting up and moving, force yourself to walk, dance, work out, or simply move around.

To get the full benefits of physical activity, you need to engage in exercise that causes your heart to beat faster.

If you’re limited on time, or simply can’t conjure up the motivation to workout longer than a few minutes, try short bursts of exercise in between other tasks. Set a timer for 5 minutes and get moving. Dance to the end of a song or jog around the block.

Once you get going, you’ll likely see your motivation begin to soar.

3. Take a Power Nap

3. Take a Nap.

You know that a lack of sleep can put you in fog. However, the impact of sleep deprivation is much more serious.

Poor sleep can affect everything from your sex life and memory to your health and weight loss efforts. While most of us know that sleep is paramount for good health and wellness, many of us don’t get the sleep we need to stay energized and motivated throughout the day.

Research shows that a whopping 48 percent of Americans don’t get enough sleep.

If more shut-eye isn’t in the cards for you, try to fit in a few nap sessions. When adding extra hours to your nighttime sleep is not possible, power naps of 15 to 20 minutes max can do wonders for your motivation.

A brief power nap can essentially help reset your system, giving you the burst of alertness you need to get through the rest of your day.

4. Reward Yourself

4. Reward Yourself

Incentives are a powerful thing.

Think about it – you probably don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn each morning to go to work, but the incentive of getting a fat paycheck on Friday motivates you to get dressed and drive to your job.

Rewards can be used in all aspects of day-to-day life to help motivate you to complete something that you’d otherwise put off until later.

Remember that your rewards should be something you really enjoy, such as a trip to your favorite restaurant, an evening out drinking with a friend or colleague, or a trip out of town for the night with your significant other.

Write down your goal on a piece of paper and put it on the fridge. Whenever you walk pass and see it, it will remind you to keep yourself on track.

Life is what you make of it. Don’t waste time sulking when there’s so much to do. Everyone has days when they feel uninspired. However, productivity can be achieved by changing your state-of-mind.

If your motivation is lagging, try some new tricks to lift your mood and enthusiasm. Most take only seconds to do, but the results can be substantial. Discover what gets you motivated, and use this information to your advantage.

Question of the day:

Do you have any life hacks on how to get motivated? Let us know in the comments below!

 


 

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10 Must-Know Habits Successful People Have

Successful people possess more than just good luck. Most contribute their prosperity to a healthy, organized lifestyle.

By making small changes in your everyday routines, you too can maximize productivity, minimize distractions, and reach goals you never thought possible.

Not sure how to get started? Check out these 10 habits of successful people:

how_to_stay_organized_in_your_job_search

1. THEY STAY ORGANIZED

Organization is important to the average person, but to a successful individual, staying organized is pivotal. Successful people are natural list makers, calendar markers, and document filers.

They have a system for everything, from the way they pay their bills to the way they remember birthdays and events.

Regular exercise will help set the tone for the day. Via Thesource

2. THEY WORK OUT

Most successful people know the advantages of daily exercise. Even before breakfast, many engage in a workout to boost their energy levels and prepare them for the long day ahead.

Whether it’s a quick session of yoga or a trip to the gym, a morning exercise session creates a sense of accomplishment. Of course, working out will also keep you in shape, which helps to skyrocket your self-confidence.

Dish of broccoli and lemon pieces in tomato sauce

Eating healthy can set you up for success. Via Mamabee

3. THEY EAT HEALTHY

Exercise and healthy eating go hand-in-hand. If you want to get things done, you have to have energy.

And what does the body use to create energy? Food.

Successful people not only make healthy food choices, they also maintain a healthy eating schedule, which includes a nutrient-rich breakfast. You’ll also want to stick with whole, unprocessed foods, limited sugary snacks, and plenty of H20.

4. THEY FOLLOW A SCHEDULE

Most people have a daily routine, but have you ever sat down and prioritized your day from morning to night?

Successful people often carry a daily agenda that lists their goals for the day, helping them to visualize what they need to accomplish.

A schedule written down on paper or set into your cell phone calendar can help ensure that you don’t neglect important tasks, meetings, and appointments.

Get a head start on your day

Get a head start on your day by waking up early. Via Lifehacklane

5. THEY WAKE UP EARLY

Are you a morning person? Some of the most successful people are.

Waking up in the wee morning hours allow you to get a head-start on your day. In turn, you may find that you have an increase in productivity due to more motivation to use your time wisely and get things done.

With all of life’s ups and downs, the tranquil morning hours are also a great time to enjoy yourself without disturbances, which fosters a sense of well-being.

Be sure to take the time to refresh and eat lunch mid-day. Via Jobisjob

6. THEY TAKE LONG LUNCHES

Most successful people aim to work smarter, not harder. They know that draining themselves will only lead to sabotage. This is where long lunches come into play.

Taking a long lunch mid-day allows you to step away from work and the chaos of life to enjoy a hearty, healthy meal. During lunch, you have the opportunity to refresh before returning to work.

7. THEY TAKE RISKS

Taking risks is not always a good idea, but when the risk is deemed worth the reward, most are willing to go out on a limb. However, successful people do not typically take reckless risks, they take calculated ones. They consider the possible outcomes and have a backup plan in place in case they fail.

Keep a positive attitude. Via Grasshopper

8. THEY MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Negativity can suck the life right out of you. If you want to be successful, it’s essential to always look on the bright side.

Having a positive attitude is not only a result of being successful, it’s also one of the primary causes. You must constantly remind yourself of what you have accomplished in the past, even if you are currently going through a difficult time.

Maintaining a positive mindset can have a deeper effect than you think.

9. THEY EFFECTIVELY NETWORK

Successful people know the value of networking, and use this knowledge to their advantage.

Why work alone when you can exchange ideas and collaborate with others?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, socialize with new people, and build your social circle. Most importantly, you want to surround yourself with other successful people who have the same mindset as you.

Create a logical savings plan. Via Onproperty

10. THEY ARE FRUGAL

Successful people don’t stay successful by simply wasting their resources. Frugality is a habit of being thrifty, but that doesn’t mean stingy.

In fact, many successful people are generous with their money and often donate to charities and organizations. What many successful people try to do is avoid overspending.

Instead, they compare products and negotiate for the things they want. Any extra funds are typically saved or invested.

In Conclusion…

Do you want to be more successful? Take a page from a successful person’s handbook and make the necessary changes needed to reach your goals.

What are some tips that help you with your own success?

 


 

 

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