Fitness

Walking for Weight Loss: How to Get Your Steps In and Shed Pounds

Walking for Weight Loss: How to Get Your Steps In and Shed Pounds

Those people who obsess about getting their steps in have a good reason. Here’s how walking for weight loss works and some tips to make it work for you.

When you want to lose weight, you’ve probably researching gym memberships and crash diets. But sometimes all it takes is a few steps. Literally!

If the thought of high-impact exercise is overwhelming, walking could be the solution. Walking for weight loss is effective and low-intensity. This could be the perfect exercise regimen if you’re starting your fitness journey.Â

A brisk walk can reduce stress, burn calories and build muscle-so why shouldn’t this be a part of your fitness plan?

Walking is a great form of physical activity that’s free and easily accessible for most people.

However, there are certain factors that can improve your results. How often you walk, at what speed and where you walk all play a factor.

This article explores how you can walk your way to fitness!

How Long to Walk Each Day for Weight Loss

So how often do you need to walk to lose weight? Less than you may think. A good goal is 30 minutes per day for weight loss.

At a brisk pace, the distance you could cover in 30 minutes cover should be 1.5 – 2 miles or 3,000 to 4,500 steps.

Some days are busier than others so feel free to walk more or less on some days. By the end of the week, you should have walked for at least 150 minutes.

How Fast Should I Walk for Weight Loss

The great thing about walking for weight loss is that you don’t have to overexert yourself. Walk at a moderately brisk pace. A great investment would be a heart rate monitor. There are plenty of smartwatches that have them built in.

While walking, your heart rate should be at 60 – 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should be breathing heavily enough to make speaking difficult.

Keep in mind that the higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn. You’ll get more benefit by increasing the intensity for 10 minutes. But listen to your body. If you need a break, take one. Ignoring your body’s signs can cause injury later.

If you’re new to exercise, start with shorter periods and build up over time. You could also designate three days each week for your lower-intensity walks.

When it comes to health and fitness, consistency is key. Make it your goal to never go three days without taking your walk. If you find yourself unmotivated, this podcast might inspire you.

This will help improve your fitness level and your metabolism. Your body will begin to learn your new habits. Mental health is just as important as physical. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off.

How Can I Fit Walking in My Schedule?

We get it. Life is busy! Here are some tips to make walking fit in your schedule:

  • Break it up into walking two or three times a day for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Break it up into bigger chunks and take your walks twice or three times per week
  • Make it a family activity. Take a walk after dinner and use this time to bond with your family.
  • Start a fitness challenge at work to motivate co-workers. Walk as a group during lunch or other breaks. Accountability can help you reach your goals.
  • Park further at the grocery store! You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in large parking lots.
  • Skip the elevator. Stair climbing burns more calories than you may think.
  • Take a brisk walk on your lunch break or after dinner. This will help with that post-meal slump.
  • Make casual meetings walking meetings instead of meeting in a conference room. Having a change of scenery might even help with creative thinking.Â

Make a plan and write it down! If you fall off for a day or so, don’t stress out. You can always pick back up where you left off tomorrow!

How Walking Burns Calories

If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s a simple formula that you need to know. Weight Loss = Calories Burned > Calories Consumed. You need to burn more than you eat.

Walking is one of the activities you can do to increase the number of calories that you burn.

Think of calories as energy for your body. You need calories for daily activities like moving, breathing, and sleeping. However, some people eat more calories than their body needs.

People who are physically active will burn more calories and lose weight. But, everyone doesn’t have the time to lift weights at the gym or cross train. Simply finding a little time to walk each day can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Let’s break it down. Walking for 30 minutes equals 1.5- 2.0 miles. This will burn approximately 200 calories, depending on your sex and weight.

The more you weigh the more calories you will burn. Your body is exerting more energy to exercise so you will burn even more on a 30-minute walk. Another way you can increase the number of calories burned is by adding weights. You can also walk on hills or on an inclined treadmill.

A lot of beginners become discouraged when they aren’t able to run for long periods of time. Yes, running will burn more calories, but only about 23 more calories per mile.

Don’t worry about running quite yet, walking can burn a significant amount of calories.

If you choose to take longer walks, this can increase your calories burned as well. During the first 30 minutes of exercise, your body burns sugar for energy. After 30 minutes, your body starts using fat as fuel.

Make it a goal to take at least on extended walk per week. This will build your endurance and help you get rid of fat cells!

How Walking Builds Muscle

Most people are unaware of the benefits of building muscle. Building muscle doesn’t always mean you’re training for a bodybuilding competition. Building lean muscle can help you lose body fat.

Even though walking doesn’t involve barbells and weights, it still helps build muscle. It can also reduce age-related muscle loss. This helps you keep more of your physical strength and reduce age-related weight gain.

You may have noticed that walkers have strong and toned legs. Walking builds, shapes, and tones the legs and buttocks. If you’re consistent in your walking, you’ll notice stronger calves, quads, and hamstrings.

This isn’t the best way to “buff up” though. If you want to pack on some serious muscle, consider weight training.

How Walking Improves Mood

Been in a funk lately? Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but it could actually help you feel better. Exercise can do wonders for your mood.

All kinds of physical activity can decrease feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. It makes your brain more sensitive to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.

These hormones relieve sad feelings while releasing endorphins, which make you feel happy!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you enjoy a physical activity, you’ll continue to do it.

This makes walking an excellent choice. It’s a moderate-intensity exercise that won’t be too physically demanding. Over time, you’ll look forward to your scheduled walk and feel great about doing it.

How Walking Keeps Weight Off

Let’s fast forward a bit. You’ve been walking for some time now and you’ve lost weight. You’re happy with your results and simply want to keep the weight off. Walking can play a major role in helping you maintain weight loss.

Remember, people who exercise frequently are usually better at maintaining their weight loss.

When you lose weight, your metabolic rate will drop. This means it will be harder to keep the pounds off. Walking can help prevent muscle loss and help you maintain your results over time. Lean muscle we mentioned earlier will also help you burn more calories, even at rest.

To maintain a stable weight, aim to walk at least 150 minutes per week. Increase this number if you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. 200 minutes per week should be a good goal for you.

10,000 steps per day is a good goal for most people. Stay active by walking throughout your week so that your progress isn’t lost.

How to Start Walking For Weight Loss

So where do you start? Walking for weight loss can help you improve your muscle, reduce fat, increase mood and more.

The bottom line is that physical activity can help you live a healthier, longer life. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise like walking per week is ideal.

Walk for around 30 minutes at a time at a brisk pace. When this becomes easier for you, go the extra mile (pun intended). You can only reap more health and fitness benefits.

Remember, every little step helps, so start small and increase the amount you walk over time.

If you want to lose weight, you’ll get the best results by combining physical activity with a healthy diet. Check out these healthy eating tips.

Cardio For Weight Loss: 6 Crucial Facts To Keep In Mind

Cardio For Weight Loss: 6 Crucial Facts To Keep In Mind

If you’re just establishing your exercise routine, here are some crucial facts about cardio for weight loss. Keep them in mind when developing your routine.

If you immediately turned to cardio when you started trying to lose weight, you’re not alone. When it comes to weight loss, it seems like most people associate the treadmill or the track with their path to a smaller waistline.

Cardio is definitely an important part of any workout routine, but there are some important things to keep in mind if you want to use cardio for weight loss. You have to make sure that you plan your workouts effectively to get the maximum benefit.

When you’re developing your routine, keep these six crucial facts in mind. They’ll help you get the results you want!

1. You Can’t Just Do Cardio

This first fact might seem like a weird choice to start off with. After all, isn’t the whole post about using cardio for weight loss?

Here’s the thing, though — if you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you can’t have a workout routine that’s 100% cardio. You’re going to need to incorporate strength training into your schedule if you really want to see results.

Strength training helps to build muscle mass, which will help you out down the line by speeding up your metabolism and burning additional fat. Basically, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn on a regular basis.

Great, right?

If you’re only doing cardio, on the other hand, you won’t just be burning fat — you’ll be burning muscle, too. The last thing you want to do is to burn what will help you lose weight.

If you really want to go all in for both your strength training and your cardio, we recommend putting those workouts on separate days. (Think cardio on Monday, strength training on Tuesday.) If you really want to do both on the same day, though, do your strength training before your cardio. Strength training uses more energy, so you’ll need to be at 100% before you start.

2. You Don’t Have To Stay In The Fat-Burning Zone

We’ve all fallen victim to that pesky little display on the treadmill, or checked our Fitbits religiously to make sure that we’re in the golden “fat burn” zone. What does that even mean, anyway?

It’s easy to believe that you won’t burn any fat unless your heart rate is in that magic zone. That’s not completely true, though.

The name for the zone is a little misleading. It’s not that you’ll only burn fat in that zone, it’s that a larger percentage of the calories burned comes from fat. You’ll still be burning fat in the cardio or peak zones.

What’s most important isn’t the percentage of burned calories that come from fat. If you’re going to pay attention to one of the numbers lighting up your screen, it should be total calories burned. The number of calories you burn is way more important when it comes to the big picture.

And speaking of the number of calories you burn…

3. You Don’t Have To Burn 500 Calories

We can understand where this number came from. It’s a nice, round number, it sounds like a lot, and people feel accomplished when they can say that they burned 500 calories over the course of their workouts.

What’s problematic, though, is when people think that they have to burn 500 calories for their workouts to have any effect. Depending on the type of workout you’re doing, your cardio workouts can burn fewer than 500 calories and still be great for you.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), for example, is a series of high-intensity workouts done in short bursts. You might not burn 500 calories during your thirty-minute workout, but you’ll keep burning calories at a higher rate for hours after you leave the gym.

4. Your Workouts Don’t Need To Be Long

When you think of cardio, do you think of long runs that take a ton of time out of your day? There’s a common misconception that your cardio has to be long, slow and steady to mean anything.

Even if you don’t have an hour to spare for your workout, go for a HIIT workout instead. The quick workout will still get your heart rate up, burn calories, and give you the cardio training that you need.

People who swear by the treadmill can still get the benefit of a shorter workout. Doing shorter sessions at a higher intensity will help you get more out of your workout in less time.

5. You Should Snack Before Your Workout

There are lots of runners who enjoy waking up early in the morning and going for a run first thing. That’s a great way to start your day…as long as you eat something before you head out the door.

When you’re in a calorie-burning mindset, it’s easy to think that to burn more calories, you shouldn’t eat before you workout. If you don’t eat ahead of time, your body has to burn off the fat that’s already on your body for energy, right?

Nope, not for cardio. Your body needs something to fuel it, and it will turn to the carbs and fat in your muscles, not the fat in your fat cells.

We’re not saying to eat a full meal and then go for a run — just eat a light snack to give your body something to work with.

6. You Still Have To Eat Right

Speaking of eating, you still have to have a proper diet if you’re planning on using cardio to lose weight. Just running an extra mile every time you opt for a cookie instead of a carrot stick won’t really help you out.

If your diet is still poor, doing lots of cardio will only do so much. Nourish your body with the right foods for the workouts you’re doing. For example, you incorporate a lot of strength training into your routine, make sure you eat enough protein.

Cardio combined with eating well can help you sculpt your body into the shape you want to see.

Use Cardio For Weight Loss Effectively

If you keep these crucial facts about cardio for weight loss in mind, you’ll be able to see better results. Make the most of your workouts and use your cardio effectively. Your body will thank you.

Need a little bit of an extra push? Register for our Body Transformation Challenge to take your body to the next level.

8 Mini Workout Tips To Try If You Have No Time To Exercise

8 Mini Workout Tips To Try If You Have No Time To Exercise

Too busy to exercise? Here are some mini workout routines to hack your weight loss plan even if your schedule shows zero downtime.

In between work, school, or taking care of the kids, you’re lucky if you find one second to yourself. You still want to exercise and stay fit, but your schedule is so busy that you just can’t seem to squeeze it in.

Only an alarming 23% of Americans get the exercise that they need. Don’t be a part of the population who struggle to work out. If you don’t have time–don’t worry.

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend hours on an elliptical just to get your daily exercise. Doing small exercises throughout the day only take a few minutes, and some can even be incorporated into your daily routine.

Who needs the gym to get in shape? Here are 8 mini workout tips you should try if you have no time to exercise:

1. Workout With Your Chores

Why not make chores your daily workout routine? Instead of dreading your chores, view them as part of an exercise routine. You may not think of chores as a workout, but the reality is that you’re doing work and getting physical activity.

Put extra effort into doing your daily tasks. Doing laundry involves heavy lifting, vacuuming your carpet works your arms and legs, and wiping down your bathroom can tone your biceps. Even something as simple as scrubbing the floor can give you an effective cardio workout.

2. Avoid Elevators

Yes, elevators are very convenient, but you don’t really need them to get where you need to go. Don’t take the elevator up to the eighth floor–go up the stairs instead.

Need more convincing to use the stairs? Simply climbing 2 flights of stairs per day can lead to a weight loss of 6lbs in one year. Now, just think how much weight you can lose if you climb 10 flights of stairs each day.

You can even try this exercise when you’re out shopping. Skip out on escalators when you’re at a store and work towards your weight loss goals on the stairs.

3. Break Parking Habits

Are you guilty of always trying to find the closest parking spot? Now is the time to stop that habit. Instead of searching for the spot closest to your destination, you should be looking for the farthest.

Parking far away forces you to walk a longer distance to the building’s entrance. If you have multiple places that you’re driving to that day, all that walking adds up. Just one simple adjustment can turn into an easy daily workout.

4. Take Advantage of Lunch Breaks

Maybe you’re stuck at work all day. By the time you get home, you have no time or energy left for your daily fitness routine. That’s why you should start taking advantage of your lunch breaks.

You might cherish your lunch break as a time when you can relax, have a bite to eat or chat with your coworkers, but you can also use this as a time to squeeze in a quick workout. You could go for a 20 or 30-minute walk outside your building depending on how long your lunch breaks are. Bring along a few coworkers and start a fun daily workout.

5. Don’t Drive to Work

Getting stuck in traffic during your morning commute is probably nothing new to you. But what if this irritating traffic can be avoided altogether? If you live close enough to your job, consider biking, jogging, or walking to work.

Spending all day behind your desk is just as bad as spending several minutes or hours behind the wheel. Your body just won’t get the daily workout it needs.

You could also try hopping off the bus or train early so you have a farther walking distance to your home or work. You might even find out that you’ll get to work on foot faster than if you were to take a vehicle.

6. Use Commercial Breaks to Your Advantage

Everyone knows that commercials are annoying–they interrupt your favorite shows and are incredibly boring. The next time you find time to relax in front of your TV, don’t sit through the commercial breaks. Make it a habit to get up and do an aerobic exercise while the commercials are on.

Commercial breaks are around a few minutes long and can occur several times during a show. Doing a variety of jumping jacks, push-ups, and crunches, as the commercials play can really make you sweat, and can even get you toned over time.

7. Learn to Multi-Task

Many people tend to avoid workouts because they have to get some other task done, but it’s really easy to do both at the same time.

Have to take your dog out? Go for a walk with him around the neighborhood. Maybe you’ve been meaning to get around to reading that book or finishing a TV show–read the book or watch your show while you’re on a treadmill or hitting the gym.

Having entertainment while working out can be your motivation to start incorporating a daily exercise plan into your busy schedule. Better yet, you’ll be accomplishing a task, while also reaching your fitness goals.

8. Have Fun with the Kids

Daily workout routines can be boring, but kids definitely aren’t. They’re bundles of energy, and never seem to tire no matter how many laps they run around your yard. Next time your kid wants to get outside and play, go with them.

Suggest playing a game of tag or catch. You’ll be surprised at how tired you are after the fun and games end. Not only will you get your heart pumping, but you’ll be having a great time with your kid.

You Can Still Get Fit with No Time to Exercise

Having no time to exercise isn’t an excuse for not working out. You don’t have to dread timely trips to the gym when you can do quick workouts throughout your day. Before you know it, you’ll notice yourself losing more weight and having more defined muscles.

If you’re still struggling to lose that stubborn weight, we can help. Our Body Transformation Challenge can help you achieve your fitness goals in as little as 9 weeks. Visit our website to learn more.

Gym Couples: 6 Reasons Why It Pays To Work Out With Your Partner

Gym Couples: 6 Reasons Why It Pays To Work Out With Your Partner

Have you ever considered becoming one of those gym couples? You know the kind — the partners who lose weight and look great together. Here’s why you should.

For optimum ‘fitness goals‘ and ‘couple goals’ in one, nothing beats exercising with your partner.

But, couples working out together doesn’t just mean plenty of opportunities for Instagram-friendly hashtags and gym selfies featuring coordinating workout gear.

Becoming one of those gym couples can actually be a great way to strengthen your relationship while you both get stronger too!

Here are six great reasons why you and your partner should work out together.

1. Built-In Accountability

It’s all too easy to skip a workout when you only have to answer to yourself. Training with someone else keeps you accountable, meaning you’re more likely to stick to your exercise plan. And, who better to hold you accountable than your partner?

No one knows you and your usual excuses like your partner. And, no one knows just how to get you motivated when you’re having a bad day or don’t feel like exercising.

Couples that work out together can encourage and inspire each other. Not only will this bring you closer together, you’re both more likely to get a great workout in too.

2. Achieve Fitness Goals Faster

As author Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry said, “love is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.” This is a great metaphor to describe how sharing goals with your partner – such as a desire to be healthier – can bring you closer, and makes it easier for you both to achieve those goals.

Bringing exercise and shared fitness goals into the relationship makes you both more aware of health and nutrition as a couple too. That means both of you are less likely to unintentionally sabotage your fitness goals with offers of takeouts or wine.

And, couples working out together also get to enjoy quality time with each other while getting in shape. Which is much more conducive to achieving your health goals than spending every night on the sofa with pizza and beer.

3. Increase Workout Efficiency

For those of you who are already confident in the gym, exercising with your partner can actually result in a more efficient workout.

Without us necessarily being aware of it, the presence of someone else increases performance. Through a combination of motivation and competition, performing a couples gym workout is a great way to boost your energy levels and improve your speed and efficiency.

Ideally, you’ll both be working out in tandem and switching between machines during super sets to save time. But, it’s also helpful having your partner there to spot you or keep an eye on your form. This ensures that you’re completing moves the right way, meaning better workout efficiency.

4. Have Fun

Having a workout buddy helps you enjoy working out and often makes gym sessions feel like less of a chore.

And, while there are plenty of solo gym moves, a great way to have fun during a couples gym workout is to incorporate some partner exercises. From simple in-sync squats to those brutal double dare crunches, partner exercises offer unique and exciting ways to challenge each other as a team.

You’re also more likely to try new methods and exercises if you have the support of your partner. That could mean going heavier on the weights, trying a new tactic such as a HIIT run, or attempting your first Pilates class together. As a result, you get to shake up your old solo routine and find different and enjoyable ways to work out in the process.

5. Boost Love and Attraction

Exercise results in the same symptoms of physiological arousal, such as shortness of breath, sweaty hands and a racing pulse. This has the effect of mirroring the thrill of romantic attraction. As a result, people often mistake physical arousal for romantic attraction.

In fact, studies show that couples report greater relationship satisfaction and increased feelings of romantic love after participating in an exciting physical activity together. The reason for this is the physiological arousal of the activity rather than the difficulty or novelty of the challenge itself.

So, while getting sweaty together might not seem a great way to make you appear more attractive in your partner’s eyes, psychological research shows that it actually does!

Working out as a couple gives you the chance to take advantage of this physiological arousal. And, it means that exercising doesn’t just make you and your partner healthier. Your relationship also becomes healthier and stronger as a result.

6. Reconnect as A Couple

The gym might not be the most romantic setting, but exercising together can be a great way for busy couples to reconnect.

Couples that work out together provide encouragement and support for each other. They also get to witness each other’s success, build trust and have fun as a team. Even suffering through a grueling workout routine or new class can be a great way to strengthen your relationship. Especially when you can both laugh about it afterwards, or console each other with soothing massages.

And, the very act of exercising together can help you reconnect as a couple. That’s because coordinating your actions, such as running at the same pace, creates nonverbal matching, or mimicry.

This nonverbal mimicry helps couples feel emotionally in tune with each other. And, through this, couples working out together report greater a greater sensation of bonding. A couples gym workout gives you both an opportunity to create this connection, benefiting your relationship and your health in the process.

Gym Couples Who Work Out Together Stay Together

If you’re both into health and fitness then it makes sense to combine your passion for exercise with your passion for each other!

And, with all these great benefits to becoming one of those gym couples, what are you waiting for?!

For more information, check out our FAQs, or contact us to find out how you and your partner can become the healthiest versions of yourselves!

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

There’s no shame in being a foodie. Still, large portions or a junk food addiction can harm weight loss. Here’s to developing a healthy relationship with food.

Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Many people think that, just because they don’t struggle with an obvious eating disorder, such as anorexia or binge eating disorder, that their relationship with food is a healthy one.

In reality, though, a lot of people have issues when it comes to the food they eat.

They might be obsessed with eating clean and flinch at the sight of a doughnut. Or, they might have an aversion to anything remotely healthy and choose to eat only junk food. They might claim to eat whatever they want with no concern about the scale, only to turn around and spend hours on the treadmill working it off.

An unhealthy relationship with food can manifest itself in many different ways, and it’s not always easy to spot.

The good news, though, is that it’s never too late to turn things around.

Read on to learn more about what a healthy relationship with food looks like. You’ll also learn some important skills regarding developing a healthy relationship with food.

Why Does Your Relationship with Food Matter?

Depending on where you’re at in your health journey, you might be wondering why having a good relationship with food is so important.

First, let’s start with the facts. Approximately 71.6 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. And, at least 30 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of eating disorder.

Clearly, there are a lot of people in this country who have a hard time eating in a way that nourishes and fuels their body appropriately. They may be eating too much or eating too little, but, at the end of the day, the result is the same — a poor relationship with food.

If you have a poor relationship with food, you’re likely going to have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight.

You might go through binge and restrict cycles or fall victim to crash diets. Or, you may look physically healthy on the outside but feel bogged down on the inside by the stress associated with constantly worrying about the food you’re eating.

Before you can make lasting changes and work toward your health and fitness goals — no matter what they are — you need to make sure you’re also working on improving your relationship with food.

What Does a Healthy Relationship with Food Look Like?

It’s hard to pin down exactly what a healthy relationship with food looks like. It’s kind of like asking someone what it means to be fit. Everyone has a different definition in mind based on their past experiences.

You can’t tell, just by looking at someone, whether or not they have a healthy relationship with food. Instead, a more accurate measure is their habits and behaviors.

There may not be one definitive method for measuring a healthy relationship with food, but the following are some common, positive traits to look for.

Ask yourself honestly whether you possess at least some of these traits. If you don’t, it might be time to work on changing your relationship with food.

You Avoid Emotional Eating

You don’t eat out of sadness, loneliness, anger, or boredom. When something bad or difficult happens, you don’t turn to food for comfort.

You Can Eat Intuitively

You’re not constantly worrying about the number of calories or grams of carbohydrates in a particular food. You’re able to recognize hunger, eat what satisfies you, and stop when you’re full.

You Don’t Try to “Make Up” for Unhealthy Choices

In the event that you do indulge and consume something that isn’t technically healthy, you don’t feel the need to “undo the damage” you’ve caused.

You have a good grasp on the concept of being “cyclically fit.” You don’t try to burn off the number of calories you just ate or fast the next day to make up for your decision.

You Avoid Comparison Traps

You understand that, when it comes to food, everyone’s needs and preferences are different.

You don’t compare your body or your food choices to others’. Instead, you just focus on making decisions that make sense for yourself and your lifestyle.

You Focus on Other Things Besides Food

One trait that almost always presents itself in people with an unhealthy relationship with food is the amount of time they spend thinking about food. They’re almost always thinking about when they’re going to eat next, what they’re going to eat next, how it’s going to affect the scale, etc.

If you have a healthy relationship with food, you likely aren’t constantly planning your next meal. You see eating as a necessary part of life and you eat when you’re hungry, end of story.

You Don’t Eat Foods That Will Make You Feel Bad

In some circles, there’s a mindset that, if you avoid certain kinds of food, it’s because you have an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food.

If you truly have a positive relationship with food, though, you understand and respect the fact that some foods don’t make you feel your best.

For you, this might mean avoiding sugar because you don’t like the blood sugar crash that comes with it. Or, you might avoid eating dairy because it upsets your stomach.

A truly positive relationship with food involves eating foods that make you feel good and avoiding foods that don’t, even if everyone else is eating them.

10 Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food

It’s okay if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point. It can be hard to acknowledge that your relationship with food isn’t the healthiest. It’s also easy to feel as though you’ll never be able to flip the script and make things better.

You absolutely can make a positive change in your life, though. Start by implementing these ten tips into your lifestyle to start changing the way you look at and consume food.

1. Eat Mindfully

How do you typically eat your meals?

Do you eat standing at the counter or over the sink? Do you plop down on the couch with the TV on while scrolling through Instagram, doing your best not to drop food on your phone or tablet?

Eating mindfully can help you get in touch with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues. It can also help you enjoy your meal more and feel more satiated. If you have a tendency to overeat, this is an especially great benefit.

The next time you have a snack or meal, start by sitting down in a chair at the table. Don’t turn on the TV or look at your phone. Simply eat your meal with no distractions.

2. Express Gratitude for Your Food

Before you start to eat, take a moment to express gratitude for your food. You can do this out loud or silently to yourself.

If you’re a religious person, this can be an actual prayer. Or, you can simply say “thank you” and think for a minute about the work that went into the meal.

By pausing for a second before you dig in, you can get into a calmer, more mindful state. You may also appreciate your food more if you take a minute to think about where it came from and the work people had to do to get it to you.

3. Ask Yourself if You’re Truly Hungry

Many people start eating, not because they’re hungry, but because they’re experiencing a troubling emotion. They might be feeling lonely or sad, or they might be anxious or stressed out.

Before you reach for your food — especially if it is a highly palatable, processed food like chips or cookies — ask yourself if you’re actually hungry.

Another way to assess your hunger is to ask yourself if you could eat broccoli right now. If you’re actually hungry, broccoli will sound appealing. If you’re not willing to eat broccoli, you’re not really hungry, you’re having a craving.

4. Release the Need for Perfection

Accept that there are going to be times when you slip up. There will be times when you eat out of emotion or let yourself get distracted during a meal. It’s okay.

Once you realize where you made a mistake, take a step back and figure out why. Then, release yourself from shame and guilt and move on with your life.

Remember, you wouldn’t slash the other three tires on your car just because you got one flat.

5. Stop Labeling Foods as Good or Bad

Most people who have an unhealthy relationship with food have a tendency to label foods as good or bad. If this sounds familiar to you, try changing the way you talk about the food you eat.

Instead of seeing foods as good or bad, try looking at them as good, better, and best. Try to make most of your foods come from the “better” and “best” categories, but allow yourself to have some “good” foods every once in a while, too.

6. Don’t Keep Problematic Foods in Your House

When it comes to these “good” foods, many people find that it’s helpful not to keep them in their house, at least for a while. This is especially true for people who struggle with binge eating disorders.

If there’s a food that you have a hard time saying “no” to, do yourself a favor and reduce the number of times you need to say “no” to it. You’re less likely to overconsume ice cream if you don’t have it in the freezer at all.

Make ice cream an occasional treat that you have to go out to get. Then, when you have it, you’ll enjoy it, but won’t always be there in the freezer tempting you.

7. Keep a Food Journal

Keeping a food journal is another useful tool. Don’t just write down the number of calories or grams of carbs in the foods you eat, though.

Instead, pay attention to the emotions you experienced surrounding your meals and snacks.

Were you eating because you were hungry, or were you trying to cover up an unpleasant emotion?

Writing things down can make them more tangible. It also makes it easier for you to spot patterns and look objectively at your situation.

8. Try Cooking Your Own Food

If you have a tendency to order out several times per week, try cooking for yourself for a while instead.

Cooking at home can help you gain a better appreciation for your food. You’ll also appreciate yourself and the effort you put into cooking a nice meal.

Your meals will almost always be healthier when you cook them yourself than when you order out. You’ll save money, too!

9. Measure Out Servings

If you do keep certain foods in the house that you tend to overeat, measure out a serving instead of eating straight from the box or bag.

Even if you don’t actually put your food on a scale, just putting it into a bowl before eating will help you moderate your consumption and avoid overeating.

10. Learn to Differentiate Between “Snacks” and “Treats”

Finally, it’s important to learn the difference between a snack and a treat.

How often have you wanted a snack and reached for something that you knew wouldn’t be filling, like a cookie or a doughnut? That wasn’t really a snack. It was a treat.

Snacks should satisfy your hunger. Treats, on the other hand, are for pleasure.

If you’re hungry and have a couple of hours before you can make dinner, snack on a hard-boiled egg or an apple with almond butter.

 

Save cookies, doughnuts, and other highly palatable foods for when you want a treat.

Looking for More Inspiration?

If you’re not happy with your relationship with food, you can turn things around today. Now is the perfect opportunity to start.

Keep these ten tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to developing a healthy relationship with food.

If you’re looking for more information, check out our podcast for a variety of episodes related to health, fitness, and wellness.

Don’t forget to look into out our 9-week challenge, too. When you sign up, you’ll get one-on-one with a qualified coach who is dedicated to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals.

12 Brilliant Gym Tips For A More Efficient Workout

12 Brilliant Gym Tips For A More Efficient Workout

Do you think you’re wasting time at the gym? Efficient workouts equal fewer excuses. Here are some gym tips to help you trim the fat off your workout routine.

Do you workout regularly? If so, you’re already in an elite group.

According to new research, although more than 75% of people claim they want to get in shape and look great, only 31% actually make exercise a routine habit.

Yet, are you getting the most from your time at the gym? Do you leave with sweat dripping, adrenaline pumping and those exertion-fueled endorphins running in your veins? Or, are you still struggling to see the results you crave?

If it’s the latter, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing 12 simple gym tips that can help you supercharge your workouts and bump up the ROI on that membership.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

1. Start with a Plan

You walk into the gym and take a long look around. There are treadmills on one wall, ellipticals on another and a giant weightlifting area. It’s inspiring. It’s exciting. It’s also incredibly overwhelming.

You spend more than a few minutes figuring out which area you want to visit first and which part of your workout you want to prioritize.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

If so, try planning out your next gym workout. Before you even get in the car and head out, jot down what you want to focus on, how long you want to spend there and in what order you’re going to tackle it all.

Doing so not only helps you stay organized and start your workout quicker. It also makes sure your heart rate doesn’t drop as you spend time perusing the options. One way to ensure you’re always ready to go? Have a backup plan ready in case the machines you want are full.

2. Shorten and Strengthen Your Workouts

It seems like simple logic: The longer you workout, the better you’ll look and feel, right?

Not quite.

If your usual gym session includes exercising for an hour or two at a slow, moderate pace, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Studies show that interval training, or working out in smaller, 10-30 minute bursts with rests in between, is more beneficial than marathon sweat sessions.

Why? You’ll increase your heart rate, build your endurance and maximize your speed when you focus on working your body to its top capacity. When you go for longer, something has to give and it’s usually your body’s performance.

So, the next time you’re looking at the indoor track and dreading that five-mile stretch you’ve been doing, try tackling one mile instead and see how much more powerful you feel.

High-Intensity Interval Training

A popular way to add shorter, more powerful workouts to your gym routine is to try high-intensity interval training or HIIT training. Put simply, this is the method of dividing your overall workout into blocks of intense exertion along with designated times for rest.

Focus on exercises that get your heart rate and lungs working to their top capacity, and sustain the movements for a few minutes at a time. Of course, if you have any cardio or health concerns, talk to your doctor before trying a HIIT routine. It is also recommended against for those just starting out in their fitness routine.

3. Add Protein

After an especially exhausting workout, your muscles need to rebuild themselves. This is true for both cardio-centric exercises as well as strength-building ones. To amplify the results you’ll see and improve your body’s ability to bounce back, it can be helpful to add an element of protein into your post-workout meal or snack.

A simple protein shake, made with either whey or soy, is a great way to recharge and refuel after your time at the gym. You can also find protein bars and other snacks that make refilling on the go both simple and quick.

While you sip or munch, you’ll be helping your body repair any damage it sustained during your workout. You’ll also give your immune system a boost, rebuild your stored glycogen, and regrow your muscles. It’s a simple trick that can cap off a great session and help you see results quicker.

4. Pump the Right Tunes

It might sound unimportant, but the idea that the right music can affect your workout is backed by science.

While there is no one-size-fits-all playlist that will make you magically grow those muscles you want, your best bet is to stick to jams that make you feel seriously inspired. From the soundtrack to Space Jam to Madonna, anything goes. One rule? If it puts you to sleep or makes you want to cry, save it for another time.

Instead, invest in a great pair of workout headphones and turn up the dial on those energy-infused rockers that make you want to holler, howl and show your strength. Start the playlist while you’re on the way to the gym and let that feeling follow you.

5. Do a Digital Detox

One surefire way to get less from your workout? Hop off the treadmill every five minutes to respond to that group chat, take a picture of your gear or post on social media.

Not only are you allowing your heart rate to fluctuate as you momentarily disengage, but you’re also losing that valuable mental focus. If you must have your phone on you, activate airplane or vibrate mode. Otherwise, leave it in the locker room.

6. Know Your Weights

You might be tempted to grab the heaviest weight at the gym to push yourself and look cool, but take a step back from those dumbells.

Using a too-heavy weight is just as ineffective as using one that’s too light. When you try to lift a boulder, chances are you can’t do many repetitions, if any at all. The ones you are able to manage are likely not executed properly.

On the other hand, a too-small weight isn’t activating your muscles effectively. The key is to find that sweet spot. Ideally, you want a weight that requires effort to lift and move but isn’t uncomfortable to curl.

It might take some trial and error but look for one that allows you to finish out your rep set. You want to challenged and struggling just a bit on the last few reps, but not throughout.

7. Journal Your Workouts

Just as a dieter monitors what he or she eats, if you want to get the most from your gym exercises, it’s helpful to write down your progress.

Keep track of when you exercised, what you did and how you felt. You might keep your notes in an old-fashioned notebook or on a fitness app. Either way, be specific. Note how many reps you did, what weights you used and any other important details.

When you go back the next time, take a look at your notes and see where you can push yourself a little. Add a few more reps, use a slightly heavier weight or incorporate a new machine you haven’t used yet.

8. Focus on Compound Movements

Wondering what to do at the gym? Your best bet is to find exercises that pull double or triple duty.

Known as compound movements, these are ones that work more than one muscle group at a time and at least two of your joints. While there is a time and place for bicep curls and other routines that laser-focus on one area, compound workouts are a great way to maximize your time.

As you do these moves, you’ll build muscle mass, exert more energy, and burn more calories. Not sure where to start? Try a simple lunge or squat. Or, take that bicep curl a step further and flow into a shoulder press.

9. Find an Exercise You Love

It sounds simple, but one of our best workout tips is to find a workout routine you actually enjoy doing. If you aren’t passionate about something, your initial enthusiasm will only take you so far. After that, you’re just going through the motions, often to no avail.

Our interests and goals change over time, so don’t be afraid to reexamine your routine every so often to make sure it’s still enjoyable.

Whether you love running, biking, hiking, lifting or anything in between, find a workout that brings you alive both physically and mentally. That’s the only way to ensure you stick with it in the long run.

Still need a little motivation to summit that mountain ahead of you? Try reaching out to a personal challenge coach who can encourage you to push ahead on your fitness journey.

10. Fine-Tune Your Form

All the repetitions in the world won’t give you results if you’re not doing them correctly. While it’s fine to add on more weight as you grow stronger, make sure you’re not sacrificing your form as you do so.

This is where a personal trainer can be valuable. Work with one at your gym to make sure you’re performing each exercise the right way. Doing so can help you prevent injury and safely engage all the muscles you’re supposed to be working.

While you’re still learning, stick with a lighter weight and focus on maneuvering it before you build up to a higher level.

11. Train Your Brain

Exercise is as much about mental strength as it is about physical. To this end, it’s helpful to focus your mind on each part of your workout as you’re going through it. Think about the muscles you’re activating, your posture, and the form you’re trying to maintain.

As you do so, you’ll automatically become more invested in the routine rather than just going through the motions. If you find yourself spacing out, talking with others around you or watching the television screen too often, take a break to re-center.

12. Get More Rest

If you think your muscles are working during your workout, you should see them afterward. As your body repairs itself from the exertion and strain you put on it, this is a valuable and important time in your fitness regimen.

If you’re pushing through back-to-back workouts without resting in between sessions, you’re denying your body that vital time. It’s no wonder, then, that you haven’t seen the immediate results you’re looking for. As your muscle fibers are put to the test, they develop small tears that must heal to grow.

Moreover, the next time you visit the gym, you’re not only sleep-deprived and sloppy, but you’re also setting yourself up for injury.

Though it might be against your nature to indulge in rest, it’s essential that you do so. If you suffer from insomnia or have a difficult time falling and staying asleep, it’s worth a call to your doctor to address any underlying health conditions that might be attributed to the issue.

Ace Your Next Workout With These Gym Tips

We all want to make the best use of our time at the gym. It’s why we make the trek up there, gear up and carve out space in our schedule to sweat. Yet, it’s frustrating to think that you can put so much into your workout and still feel dissatisfied with the results.

That’s where we come in.

Our team of coaches is dedicated to making sure you don’t run through your next workout aimlessly. We’ll work one-on-one with you to help you define, refine and achieve your fitness goals. From the foods you eat to the routines you perform, we understand that great health is a lifestyle, not a fad.

If you’re just getting started, our nine-week challenge is a great place to begin. You’ll transform your physique from the inside out, learn valuable gym tips and amaze yourself in the process. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions. Your transformation is our motivation!

How To Create A Daily Exercise Plan That Works For You

How To Create A Daily Exercise Plan That Works For You

If you’ve started working out countless times but you can’t quite stick to the routine, don’t give up. Here’s how to create a daily exercise plan just for you

Who hasn’t decided to lose weight at one point and time in their life? In the beginning, there is a lot of enthusiasm, but as time goes on it becomes harder to stay motivated. Even if you’re paying for a monthly gym membership, you may not stay the course and it becomes money down the drain.

Creating a workout plan and sticking with it requires commitment and motivation. You may want to hire a fitness trainer, but he won’t be with you seven days a week.

Asking friends and family members to hold you accountable is a good idea, but is it realistic. If they see you are not taking their encouragement to heart, you will be left to figure it out on your own.

So what is your going to do to stay focused and engaged? Continue reading for our tips on creating a daily exercise plan.

Create a Plan with Realistic Goals

The first step to make a workout plan that is suited for you is to include realistic goals. It is easy to say you will run five miles every day. But how likely are you to do it if you don’t even own running shoes?

Get real with yourself and consider goals that you can actually reach. Start small and increase exercises, repetitions and time limits as you go.

At the end of each month reassess your goals and adjust according.

Make a Personal Pledge

Creating a workout plan is a great decision. Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is to be commended.

Before sharing your goals with others, make a commitment to yourself to reach your ultimate goal. You can do this by creating a personal pledge.

The pledge can include a mission and vision statement that outlines the reason you are on this journey. It can also include what it will mean to you to reach your ultimate goal.

Next, include a few specific things you want to commit to. Examples could include things like working out three times a week, eating healthily or losing at least five pounds a month.

Date and sign the pledge, and then place it somewhere you can see it daily. You can also be creative and decorate the pledge or place it in a unique frame.

Create a Work-out Calendar

Establishing set times to work-out can help keep you moving forward. Whether you are working out at a set time of the day, or sessions scheduled at varied times, having a calendar is a good idea. Calendars also help you stay organized.

Your calendar can be a physical paper calendar that you hang on a wall or place on your desk. It can be something on your computer or a digital calendar on your phone.

Calendars can be used to set schedules for your work-outs. You can also use it to notate that you exercised and what exercises you performed.

Make your calendar a source of motivation by writing accolades for a job well done.

Get an Accountability Partner for your Daily Exercise Plan

Accountability partners aren’t necessarily people interested in working out but should be individuals that understand the importance of doing so. It can be a friend, relative, coworker or acquaintance.

You want someone who is genuinely committed to helping you reach your goals and will be empathetic when you struggle. You do not want an accountability partner who is judgmental or will quit if you don’t reach your goals.

For the partnership to work the two of you would need to sit down and come up with a plan that is mutually acceptable. Next, you will determine effective ways to help keep you motivated and accountable to your milestones.

Keep in mind that the accountability partner is only a part of your daily exercise plan, not a requirement. If the relationship with the partner is not working, you can always find someone new. Before severing ties, make sure you are not self-sabotaging because you’re being called to task.

It doesn’t hurt to have multiple accountability partners.

Try an Exercise App

In the digital-driven world, there is an app for everything. If you have a smartphone, you can always have fitness tips and instructions at your fingertips.

Apps like Fitbit helps users track their activity, exercise, sleep, and weight. It is an ideal workout companion worth looking into.

Some work-out apps offer users a community they can connect with to share ideas. Some even offer playlists, maps, recipes, and other healthy lifestyle tips. More importantly, you have a means for automatically tracking your work-out activities.

If you are really good with apps and digital gadgets, you will want to make a comparison of the numerous apps on the market. You may find one to eliminate the need for a paper calendar and act as an accountability partner.

Join a Workout Group

Workout groups are a good way to stay motivated. They also make work-outs fun and engaging. Having the opportunity to meet new people can also lead to new friendships and openings to network professional.

Exercise groups can make a workout plan more enjoyable. They can also expose you to new ways of exercising.

When most people hear the work-out group, they immediately think of a group of people at the gym participating in exercises led by an instructor. Not today. In the world of exercise, a work-out group can mean cycling, Taekwondo or a Zumba class.

Don’t limit your search for workout groups to the local gym. Consider looking into meet-ups and other social sites that bring people together.

Incorporate New Activities

Exercise comes in many forms. At its core, it is a physical activity that promotes good health and physical fitness.

One reason people don’t stay engaged or committed to their workout plans is that they often become boring and repetitive. If you want to keep exercise exciting create a workout plan that includes multiple activities.

This is perfect for people with flexible schedules and free time in the early mornings, evenings and weekends.

Tennis

Tennis is a great way to exercise. You can get a great workout learning to play tennis if you’ve never played before. Or you can sign-up for cardio tennis, which gets the heart pumping while learning tennis drills.

Cycling

Cycling is something you can do with a partner or alone. Many cities are installing bike trails as well as making city streets bicycle safe. Purchasing a bike is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Cycling also gets you outdoors and can take you on many adventures.

Swimming

Like tennis, swimming is an activity that has just as many benefits for the novice as it does the experienced participant. Gyms and fitness centers that have swimming pools often offer water aerobics, which is a great way to exercise.

Some local governments offer free or low-cost swimming lessons at recreation centers that have swimming pools.

These are just a few suggestions. Any sport or activity that increases your cardio can be used to keep you moving.

Plan Your Meals

Part of a successful exercise plan is monitoring what you eat. It makes no sense put all that work into exercising, losing weight and toning up, to keep the same poor eating habits.

Having a meal plan helps you monitor your calories. It also helps you keep a set schedule for your meals.

As you build your own workout plan, consider looking into meal prep. This way you have pre-planned, prepared meals that allow for portion control. With meal prep, the focus is on nutritious low-calorie meals that include a protein, starch, and vegetable.

The ultimate goal is to stay away from menus that require too many ingredients.

Take Part in a Fitness Challenge

Fitness challenges are a good way to jumpstart your daily exercise plan. These challenges are typically designed to provide everything you need from a daily schedule to menu ideas and guidance from a trained professional.

During the challenge, which usually lasts several weeks or a few months, you will learn everything you need to build your own workout plan. The fitness instructors will teach you everything you need to succeed.

Do your research ahead of time to ensure the challenge you choose is right for you and your fitness level. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by thinking the exercises or daily schedule is too advanced. Ask the trainer to recommend a different challenge.

Once you have the right plan, take what you learn from the personal fitness coaches and incorporate the techniques into a personal plan. Modify the plan to create an ongoing strategy for the fitness lifestyle you can continue going forward.

Later on, if you find yourself falling off the wagon by doing it on your own, take a moment and regroup. Don’t be afraid to return to a more structured challenge under the supervision of a fitness coach.

Make Sure You have Recovery Days

Exercise doesn’t have to be all work. Truth be told, you should have a couple of days that are not focused on specific exercise activities. When creating a workout plan always incorporate recovery days.

To some, the best thing to do on recovery days is to relax and not think about exercise. In reality, recovery days are days set aside to recover from intense activities or training.

Your recovery days can be the weekend, or they can be dispersed throughout the week. Here are two good activities that can be done on these days.

Nature Walks

If the city you live in has a good parks system, they usually include a walking trail. Set aside time to walk the trail and enjoy nature. This can also be a good out for couples to have some time together or to get the kids outside.

Nature preserves are also a good way to relax and unwind, while still partaking in low-impact exercise.

Yoga

Not only does yoga improve your mental, physical but also spiritual well-being, it also improves your flexibility and muscle strength.

Yoga is an activity you can do from the comfort of your home, at the beach or in a yoga studio. Because it can be done alone you can decide how to incorporate it into your daily exercise plan.

Dancing

Ballroom dancing, country line dancing, and Stepping are all fun activities that are also relaxing and fun. There are other dance types, but you want one that is low impact. Some dancing requires a partner so the added bonus can be a night out on the time with a loved one.

The ultimate goal of recovery days is to stay active while allowing the muscles to recover from intense workouts.

Give Yourself Accolades

As you continue on your journey celebrate your accomplishments. It’s a great motivator to keep moving forward on your journey.

Accolades can be as simple as a Post-it note attached to the bathroom mirror, stating “You Did It!” You could also buy celebratory stickers to notate the days you reach your daily goals. If every day has a sticker, reward yourself with a treat or gift.

If you have a favorite motivational saying, produce t-shirts with the quote to wear to the gym. Customize your work-out gear with personal mission statements.

Another way to stay motivated is to purchase a dream outfit. Keep it in a garment bag, but attach a letter from a loved one acknowledging your accomplishment. When you reach your goal plan an outing to wear your outfit, and then read the letter.

It’s all about motivating yourself and staying the course. Celebrate yourself whenever you can, to remain positive.

We Hope You Found These Tips Useful

Creating a daily exercise plan has many variables. Exercise is key, but there are other components that bring your healthy lifestyle full circle. Most importantly, you will need a positive state of mind and a commitment to change your overall approach to exercise, eating and goal-setting.

If you enjoyed these tips and would be interested in participating in a body transformation challenge, contact us today.

No More Fitness Chores: How To Enjoy Working Out For Lasting Health

No More Fitness Chores: How To Enjoy Working Out For Lasting Health

Do you actually love exercise? Probably not, and you’re not alone. Most don’t know how to enjoy working out. Here’s the secret to loving workouts for life.

Do you hate working out?

Your genes might be to blame! Studies have shown that there are some people who are genetically predisposed to hating exercise. That might help to explain why only about 20 percent of Americans meet the federal government’s recommendations for physical activity.

But you can’t put all the blame on genetics when it comes to America’s exercise problem. There are also lots of people out there who don’t have fun while exercising simply because they haven’t taken the time to learn how to enjoy working out.

If you’re one of these people, you could be missing out on all the potential benefits of establishing a regular exercise routine. You could also be cutting years off your life and skipping the chance to make yourself a more physically fit person over time.

Here are 11 tips that’ll help you snap out of it and embrace working out.

Set Fitness Goals for Yourself From the Beginning

Most people know they should get more exercise than they do. So every now and then, they’ll sign up for a gym membership and start going to the gym every day after work. Or they’ll get into the habit of going for a walk or a run at the park.

There is (obviously!) nothing wrong with trying to make a commitment to working out. But you’re going to have a heck of a time keeping up with the commitment if you don’t have any goals in mind before you begin.

Is your goal to:

  • Lose the extra 20 pounds you’ve been carrying around for a few years now?
  • Build up your upper body strength and core so that you don’t have back problems anymore?
  • Run five miles every few days to break a sweat and break out of the monotony of spending all day in an office?

Setting goals is arguably the most important part of starting a successful workout routine. Goals will keep you on track and help you avoid running into a wall at some point when your initial motivation runs out.

It’s also important to set new goals for yourself along the way. Once you’ve lost weight, gotten stronger, and run five miles, you should push yourself to set and meet other goals. You’ll find out how to enjoy working out by taking this approach to exercise.

Start Slow and Avoid Trying to Hit All Your Goals at Once

The biggest mistake people make when they first start working out is that they often try to accomplish all the goals they set for themselves at once.

They want to lose 20 pounds in a week so they spend three hours in the gym every day. They want to be able to improve their bench press by 50 pounds after just a few workouts so they work their muscles to the point of sheer exhaustion every time they’re lifting. They want to run five miles so they run each and every day for a few weeks.

If you haven’t worked out regularly in a long time, you could put your body at real risk by overdoing it at the beginning. Your muscles and the other parts of your body aren’t ready for workouts this intense.

You’re also going to expend all your mental energy if you aren’t careful. You might reach your goals, but you could also burn out in the process and stop working out once you do. That’ll be counterproductive and won’t allow you to develop lifelong workout habits.

Start off slow instead and ease your way into working out. It’ll be better for your mind and body and motivate you to continue coming back for more.

Find Someone Who Wants to Work Out With You on a Regular Basis

If you know that you struggle to motivate yourself to go to the gym or the park to work out, it might be a good idea for you to put out feelers and find a workout buddy.

Studies have suggested that those who work out with someone else tend to work out more often and have better workouts. This is especially true when people find workout buddies who are capable of providing them with emotional support.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you just want to choose anyone to be your workout buddy. In some cases, your workout buddy might actually end up dragging you down if you have to do all the heavy lifting as far as emotional support is concerned.

Before you agree to work out regularly with a person, make sure they’re as committed to exercising as you are. Make sure they want to do similar workouts to you as well.

By teaming up with someone else, you can make it easier to get motivated to go to the gym and swap workout stories with someone who can relate to you. It’ll make working out more enjoyable for both of you and make it feel more fun.

Experiment With Different Workout Routines (and Switch Up Your Routine Regularly!)

When you first start working out on a regular basis, you’re likely going to fall into some kind of routine. Whether you’re lifting weights, running, or doing some other activity, you’re going to find yourself doing the same exercises all the time.

It’s OK to do this for a little while, but you should try to switch up your routine from time to time. It can help you:

  • Steer clear of overworking certain muscles
  • Strengthen muscles you’re not using now
  • Breakthrough a weight loss goal you’ve been struggling to reach
  • Inject some life back into your workouts
  • Prevent you from simply going through the motions and not giving it your all

It’s also not a bad idea to try out different workout routines that you might not normally think to do.

For example, if you’re someone who spends a lot of time lifting weights, why not try a yoga class on for size? It could provide you with benefits like the flexibility that will help you during your regular workouts.

Or if you’re someone who spends a lot of time running, sign up for an intramural sport. It’ll build up your teamwork skills while allowing you to stay active in a different environment.

The key is to switch up your exercise routines to keep them feeling fresh. You’ll be a lot more motivated to go work out when you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen when you do.

Keep a Workout Journal

It can be difficult to see the strides you’re making when you work out on a day-to-day basis. Others around you might see that you’re looking more fit, but you yourself might not notice your improvements.

Keep track of the progress you’re making by starting a workout journal, ideally when you first start working out. Write down the different exercises you do during each workout, the number of reps you complete, and more.

This will give you something to reference back to whenever you’re feeling like your workouts aren’t making a difference. You’ll be able to see proof that your workouts are paying off and turning you into a person who is substantially more fit.

Incorporate Music and Podcasts into Your Workouts

Does it feel like there’s more music being released these days than ever before?

You’re not just imagining things! People are listening to more new music today than in years past and struggling to keep up with all of it.

If you find yourself caught in this predicament, working out is a great way to give yourself the time you need to catch up on new music. You can give the latest Lil Wayne album a spin or see what the new Twenty One Pilots record is all about.

Working out is also a great way to enjoy all the best podcasts the world has to offer. Just imagine how much more motivated you’ll be to go work out when you know you have a great podcast waiting for you.

Try Not to Focus Too Much on How Much Weight You’re Losing (or Not Losing!)

If one of your goals when it comes to working out is to lose weight, listen up. You will lose weight when you work out regularly…but it might not always happen as quickly as you want it to.

Everyone loses weight at a different rate. Some people can work out for a week and drop 10 pounds, while others can work out for a month and lose two pounds.

With this in mind, you shouldn’t make losing weight your only motivating factor. Otherwise, you could end up quitting just when you’re about to make a big breakthrough simply because you aren’t patient enough.

Focus on enjoying working out and getting better at exercising as opposed to using the scale as a barometer for how well your workouts are going.

Use Your Workouts to Reduce Any Stress You’re Feeling

It’s safe to say that just about everyone in America is stressed out to some degree right now. A 2017 study found that people are stressed out over everything from health care and the economy to crime and terrorist attacks.

Rather than allowing whatever stress you feel to gnaw at you, why not use it for good? Teach yourself to reduce your stress levels by working out and eliminating a lot of your biggest stresses.

You’ll find that you think more clearly and process stress better after a great workout. You’ll also have a more positive outlook on your life and everything in it when exercise is a major part of your life.

That alone should be enough to inspire you to continue working out over and over again once you start doing it regularly.

Reward Yourself Every Now and Then

There are a lot of sacrifices that are going to come along with working out on a regular basis.

You’re obviously going to be giving up a lot of your time to work out. You’re also going to be giving up money for gym memberships, workout gear, and more. You might even decide to start eating healthier to hit more of your fitness goals.

This is all great! And before long, it won’t even feel like you’re sacrificing anymore. You’ll be gaining so much from working out that your sacrifices will feel small compared to what you’re getting in return.

But don’t forget to reward yourself every now and then for putting in the time, effort, and money to work out. Have an extra slice of cake every now and then or take a day off if you feel like your body could use it.

Avoid Being Too Hard on Yourself If You Miss a Workout or Two

Believe it or not, there’s going to come a time when you–yes, you!–are going to miss a workout and feel guilty about it. There is an anxiety that washes over a lot of people when they’re forced to miss a workout for whatever reason.

It’s easy to beat yourself up over it. Even if you had a completely reasonable excuse for skipping the gym or a run, you’re going to convince yourself otherwise and feel awful.

Don’t worry too much about it. The great thing about exercising is that it’s about more than one or two individual workouts. It’s about committing yourself to lead a healthier lifestyle and then sticking to it over the long haul.

Just don’t let one or two missed workouts turn into one or two months of not working out. It can be tough to get back on the right track once you veer off it. So get back in the gym as soon as you can and continue living your best life.

Enroll Yourself in a Fitness Challenge

Have you tried everything else and found that you still can’t seem to muster up the strength to work out? A fitness challenge might be exactly what you need.

The 9-Week Challenge, in particular, can prove to be beneficial for those who don’t necessarily love to work out. In less than two months, you can totally transform your body by working with a fitness coach while still eating delicious food.

You’ll love the way you look and feel at the end of the challenge, and it’ll put a good foundation in place for you to continue to eat right and work out more than you did before.

Once You Know How to Enjoy Working Out, It Won’t Feel Like a Chore

It’s not as hard to learn how to enjoy working out as you might think. Even if you absolutely hate the idea of doing it now, you can transform yourself into a workout warrior in no time.

Start by setting some goals for yourself and easing your way into a routine. Then, try some different workouts and set up a workout journal, and before you know it, you’ll be a regular. It’ll turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Read our blog for more information on setting up a workout routine for yourself or contact us with any questions you might have.

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