The Six Phases of Forming a New Healthy Habit

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Most weight loss candidates start out saying: “I weigh X pounds, I’m trying diet Y, and I’d like to weigh Z to be happy.” Most diets books, pills, and programs echo this by suggesting, “If you weigh X and you buy Y from us, you will weigh Z and be very happy.” Yet most ‘diets’ have only a 9 percent rate of success! What we can learn from specialists in behavior change can provide “secret weapons” to long term weight loss, and the six phases described below is one of them.

February 28, 2012, Choice Magazine webinar by Jonathan Bates, the chief experience officer of The Paper Room & trade; Institute, the theory he presented explains the self-defeating emotional highs and lows that accompany most all personal change. Even with the very best of intentions, one’s healthy habits efforts usually fail after phase two, causing goals to be discarded and self-doubt to take over. This outline helps to illuminate his theory:

1. Phase one is characterized by initial high spirits and optimism, otherwise known as “Uninformed Optimism”: An example would be the first step of signing up for a gym, buying a full gym kit, happily imagining the great times ahead, a general glee around the potential of fulfilling the desire of physical fitness.

2. First days and weeks go by, and obstacles begin to present themselves, both inner and outer. Problems such as muscle ache, lack of time, boredom, conflicting priorities, slow results – these can lead to a questioning if it isn’t better to just give up and forget the whole thing, what Mr. Bates calls “Uninformed Pessimism.” This is the point when many individuals give up entirely.

3. Phase three is the turnaround to make necessary changes: to re-establish one’s outlook, refine the program and goals, be realistic about the outcome, re-identify with one’s inner and outer motivation, analyze how everything is going, make adjustments where necessary, incorporate new strategies, and re-kindle hope.

4. The resulting sense of resolve is described as “Informed Pessimism”: a renewed understanding that the desire for physical fitness can and will be accomplished, just not exactly as it seemed back in phase one. Things are not as bad as they seemed in phase two, but physical fitness requires some “stick-to-it” attitude and not every day will be exciting and glorious at the gym! With inner motivation re-ignited and outer obstacles kept in check, one can get back to the task at hand.

5. A renewed and realistic viewpoint does not only raise the low emotional state of mind found in phase two, but is fundamental to creating an “Informed Optimism.” New habits are not as bad as they seem, which would have been learned in points three and four and new habits might not be as glorified as they may have seemed at the very outset, back in phase one.

6. What one will accomplish is phase six, a “Stability,” as put forth by Mr. Bates. In the same way a rock thrown into a still lake will create waves that diminish as they travel along the surface of the water, a new lifestyle goal will inevitably pass through ever diminishing emotional and mental highs and lows if one expects, understands, and sees these through. Habit change is a fascinating study, and understanding basic processes can be the difference between personal success or continual, unfulfilling changes of course.

Continual progress towards accomplishing one’s goal of being physically fit and healthy takes time, effort and continued strategies to create a desired outcome. Continually strive to improve your health in any way you can, and in the run it can really pay off.

To Maximize the Results in Exercise It Is Critical to Not Do This

stretching exercise

When it comes to your physical fitness, exercise, diet, and rest (recovery period) are essential ingredients in becoming your physical fitness best. These three ingredients must be mixed properly in order to lose weight or gain weight or gain lean muscle mass. Some people will have a proper diet with plenty of rest but with little or no exercise. Some people will have a bad diet with plenty of rest and adequate exercise. Some people will have a proper diet with plenty of rest but too much exercise.

Is that possible to have too much exercise?

Is it possible to be too eager to get results and thus exercise yourself to poor health? Yes, it is very possible and highly probable especially if you always experience soreness, anxiety, excessive pain, etc. In order to maximize the results of your exercise, it is absolutely critical that you do not overly exercise. Although it is more common to have people to under exercise (rather than over exercise), it is still harmful to your overall health and fitness when you overly exert yourself for a prolonged period of time. If you are exercising at a high level of intensity for more than an hour for several days in a row, you will exhaust your body by over exercising.

What could happen if you overly exercise?

* You could tear muscles such as your rotator cuffs in your shoulder that will hinder any progress you make.

* You could damage ligaments in your elbows and knees because they do not have enough recovery time.

*You could cause harm to your nervous system because you have shocked your body for an extended period of time.

* You could hurt your confidence because your strength will dwindle due to limited or no recovery for your muscles.

* You could cause damages to your joints since your joints needs to be decompressed during recovery time.

* Your muscles can only grow when you are resting or recovering.

Thus, your muscles may even lose size. There are many other issues if you overly exercise. Recovery and rest are an important ingredient in succeeding in your physical fitness. Thus, it is important to know how to handle your intensity during your workouts. In most cases, you only need to have an intense workouts once or twice a week (at most). Also, it is important to not have a prolonged intense workout. Depending on how you do your workout intensity, thirty minutes to 1 hour is long enough in most cases. Then, the proceeding day, you can have little or no intensity during your workouts by focusing on decompressing your joints through yoga movements, ballistic stretches, and static stretches.

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Fitness Exercises: 3 Kinds I Love

With the way people are getting more and more intent in being more conscious about themselves and their personal physical fitness and health, memberships in the gym, yoga classes’ enrolment, and even dietary subscriptions and plans have been getting the most of their attention these days. They had been skyrocketing during these previous years. These methods and techniques are all saying that they are really helping people to become more fit, healthier, and happier, and they all introduce healthy and more active lifestyles. And since it is everyone’s goal to achieve a healthy and fit body, there are some physical fitness exercises that work best for most people. In fact there are really a lot of these that can you choose from.

If you still want better suggestions, try reading to the very end of this article and find out what fitness exercise will work best and will make things easier for you, too.

Aerobic Exercise

These can certainly help you in having an elevated heart rate over such sustainable period of time. By doing this, you will get an improved and fully functioning cardiovascular system especially when you try the correct breathing techniques. It would also be fun if you will do this within a group. Aerobic exercises will help promote toning of muscles and in keeping a healthy lungs and heart.

Stretching Exercise

This type will help you in extending your limbs and your muscles so that they can reach their maximum possible length. These types of exercises will also help you in loosening you up and is preferred as warm up exercises for a more complicated work out and gym sessions.

Resistance Training Exercise

This is designed to help a person toughen up and to create a taut, lean, and an overall toning of the body. This exercise will definitely require the utilization of free weights while doing the training of building up endurance and strength. It would be difficult at first; you may even feel pain and the feeling of being sore all over because of the exertion that your muscles did and since your body is actually rebuilding itself. But the next instance you go to the gym again, you will be going to be better prepared so that you can tackle and face the hard road towards your desire for overall fitness.

Take note, regular exercise will definitely produce faster and more positive results that you have to be certain that you will be disciplined enough to maintain your regimen, as it relates to your routine. Don’t worry, results will surely come; you will have to put in the work to start seeing results but it always come in time. Your patience and consistency as well as all your hard work will surely pay off, don’t 2nd guess and wonder if your fitness and appearance will ever improve; it always does. However, do not over exert yourself, because this might lead to much bigger troubles.

If you feel that your muscles are getting too sore from over training or if a specific routine has brought you a lot of pain that you cannot manage anymore, you can try switching to a much lighter one and start again from there. Or else, you might be doing something wrong. Keep in mind that you have to warm up before doing any rigid exercise so that you will be loosening up your muscles and minimize your chances of injury. Now go get the body and health you deserve because you’ve signed up to put in the work needed to accomplish it.

Why Physical Fitness

diet and exercise

Who Invented Physical Fitness To Keep Us On Our Toes?

 

 

A hale and hearty human is akin to a well-oiled machine. It takes more than air, rain and sunshine to keep the clogs turning. Otherwise, one had better be prepared for it to draw a last breath before squeaking to an unexpected halt. None can be accorded as the sole party who invented physical fitness as daily life requires the average man to display some level of vigor. Even chess players need healthy bodies although most of their physical moments seem to extend no further than their fingers. The Greeks were probably best proponents of keeping fit. No better way exists in expressing their love of it than in the invention of the Olympics. As various parties sought to qualify for the games to achieve acclaim and victory, the call to improve speeds, distances, heights, lengths and whatever other measurement was apparent.

 

Even though one may defeat others, it takes constant practice to maintain winning levels. One slip in step or weight gain is a sure path for second placing, the first of losers. Oriental versions of maintaining good health veered towards balancing energy flows in addition to muscular growth and strength. The Chinese masters who invented physical fitness often incorporated moves drawn from martial arts. Although the purpose was to maintain healthy bodies, one could also defend himself or his family if the need arose. As such, the love of sports was accompanied by the need to maintain military defenses against opposing forces. Foot soldiers were subject to hours of exercise and practice to ensure they were always ready to rise to the call. Increasing influence towards sedentary lifestyles causes men and women of today to view keeping fit as an additional activity out of the norm. Gym memberships and lifestyle reality shows hit top notes as they rake in millions to address current day issues related to lack of exercise, bad dietary decisions and spiraling health statistics. The current state of health in our society today is outright poor; non-the-less if you are out of shape you can turn your health around by making a conscious choice to do so. Decide to get in shape!

 

fitness exercises

Fitness Tips To Get You Started, Get You Motivated and Get You Fit!

 

Setting realistic goals gives you achievement checkpoints, allowing you to stay focused, energized, and productive. Achieving goals makes you happy, and it keeps you motivated to fulfill your dreams in life. You should always keep track of your progress, and you can do this using several different methods.

One way you can keep track of your progress is by keeping a journal. You can keep this information in your daily journal, or you can keep a fitness journal exclusively.

You can also keep a chart and add stats to it daily. Use stickers, make it colorful, add a calendar, and whatever else you need to keep you motivated. Keeping a chart is very helpful because it displays your results for convenient use. It is easy to see where you are and what you have accomplished-keeping you motivated to keep going and do more. If you keep a log of your workouts, then you know how much time you worked out each day and what you are doing as far as your nutrition as well. This is part of staying organized, and if you are organized, then you will be more focused and strategic.

Find what works for you. Does an exercise bike workout pump you up and leave you wanting to come back for more? Or is a workout on a tread mill or elliptical machine your thing? Running, walking, racquetball or soccer? You need to find what makes you happy, keeps you motivated and gives you the results you are looking for.

 

Resting is an important part of your fitness. Resting in between workouts is very important because it gives you a chance to give everything in your body a break before the next workout. It gives your body the chance to re-energize and recuperate. You should also get plenty of sleep each day. When you sleep, your body repairs itself. Sleep is an important part of a healthy, properly functioning body. Warming up gets your body ready for a workout. Stretches are great to do before a workout, and they should always be part of the warm up. You can do breathing exercises and many other things that help you warm up before working out.

You have to cool down after working out because it lets your body return to normal as far as your heart rate, breathing, etc. Your body is able to take a break and refuel for the next workout. Stretching both before and after a workout will help prevent injury and muscle soreness. One way you can stay motivated is by having a workout partner. Have them start a nutrition plan or diet with you. Keeping track of your nutritional intake and any results you notice or feel is also another way to stay motivated.

Read books and journals that have to do with fitness in order to find new workouts. There are many different things to do in order to keep yourself motivated. The best thing to do is find a combination of things. By following the steps listed throughout this article, you are going to enjoy your workouts and also maximize your potential. It is time to step it up and make sure you are giving it everything you have. Your physical fitness is counting on you, and it is time to take your stand and choose good health! It’s really a choice.

Combat Stress With Physical Fitness

beat stress with exercise

Exercise To Reduce Stress

 

As we all know, times are tough these days. With the global economy not being fair, lack of jobs, and people losing their jobs; it’s no wonder why so many people are feeling the pressure from these stressful conditions. Whether you’re experiencing stress from work, issues at home, being unemployed, unable to pay the bills, childcare, divorce, no time for yourself, facing loss of your home or the overall day-to-day struggle to make ends meet; these are all examples of stress related concerns that a lot of us face daily. You may or may not be facing any of those exact unfortunate situation, but you have a friend or family member who is, this can be stressful for anyone.

 

Just because we have to deal with tough situations that life throws at us all at one point or another it doesn’t mean that stress should consume our quality of life. There are a lot of disadvantages from being stressed, which may be the most obvious concept, but there are a lot of ways stress affects you; to include emotionally and physically. Such examples are: mood swings, being irritated often, thinking negative thoughts, headaches, loss/increased sleep, bodily pain or discomfort, loss of sexual desire and a serious impact on your immune system which would increase sickness. These examples can also lead to depression or substance abuse… which is not a good look! Who needs that! I know I don’t! And neither do you! So do yourself some justice and do your best to stop stressing. I know it’s easier said than done, don’t get me wrong, but it is to your benefit.

 

One way to help fight against being stressed or at least bring your stress levels down is by being physically active. Physical activity for at least 30 minutes or more releases endorphins from the brain which make you feel good. I’ve experienced stress reduction personally many times by exercising and it just evaporates, or at least for the moment. Exercise combats stress. If you have not exercised after a stressful situation, just try it and you will see exactly what I am talking about. You will feel so much better after pounding the pavement and sweating it out at your local gym or anywhere else you might exercise at. And who does not want to feel good… outstanding! I see no hands up in the air! Feeling good is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

power lifting

You will not only feel better but you will also strengthen your mind, immune system, increased sleep recovery, have more energy, enhanced ability to tell yourself “Yes” instead on no, more focus, increased sex drive, more positive attitude, less or no headaches and an overall increased well-being about yourself. NOW I know, despite all the above, the next thing said maybe… “that’s all well and good but when do I have the time to do this?” The answer is, when you designate it!! Start with a target time of 30 min. That’s it. Just 30 minutes to start with. You put in 8, 9, 10, 12 hours for work, more hours with friends and family and the remaining time is for sleep. Out of a 24 hour period, you can at least find 30 minutes to an hour to de-stress and make sure you do so.

 

After going over some of the benefits of physical activity how could you not want to find 30 minutes to a hour a few days a week to dedicate to your health! So let’s get a moving people… alleviate the stress and dedicate at least 30 minutes to be your best!! Here is a few activities you can do, right at home no less: push-ups, jumping jacks, jump-rope, burpees, run-in-place, stretching (yoga), lunges, pull-ups (if you have a bar), sit-ups, crunches and mountain climbers to name a few. If you can, speed walk, jog or ride your bike around your neighborhood. (make sure you have safety gear) It’s all up to you.

So it’s time to take the trash out. What do you do when your trash gets full… you tie it up and take it out. And that is what you need to do before stress ties you up and takes you out. The hardships, uncertainties and obstacles in life will always be there without a doubt. Instead of stressing over things you can’t change, focus on the things you can. Bad things will happen to good people in life; it’s not always what happens to you in life, but it is the way you re-act to it that make a huge difference. You only live once!! Get fit and get on with your life!

Overview on Some of the Most Common Exercise Mistakes

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Avoid Costly Exercise Mistakes

 

 

While spending close to 9 or 10 hours in a working setting is becoming very common, it becomes vital that you perform physical fitness exercise on a daily basis. Doing exercise can make you make you feel better. It is the best method that may help you in reducing stress, anxiety and depression as well. In fact, it is the best alternative that may even allow you develop a better frame of mind.

 

Perhaps performing daily exercise is more like driving a car. There are different ways of performing exercises and when you do your daily workout with incorrect posture, it may lead you very serious injuries and at times serious consequences. When you do physical fitness it is important that you get the most out it. It must be noted that there are right ways as well as wrong ways of doing exercise. In fact, these days many young men and women have the misconception that as long they are getting their adrenaline pumping and blood flowing, they are correctly performing their exercises. But, because you are getting pumped and are feeling good does not necessarily mean you are performing your exercises safely and in the right form.

 

There are plenty of errors that many people usually make during physical fitness workouts and so they should learn to become aware of bad form which makes one injury prone. Here are some of the most common exercise mistakes that people generally make:

Improper Stretching – No exercise is complete without proper pre-workout stretching. It is always important that you stretch properly. So, it is highly recommendable to stretch for few minutes prior to exercise, depending upon the muscles that will be used during the fitness activity. You must note that muscles that are generally supple, the probability is that it is less likely to get injured in comparison to the tight ones.

 

Improper set-up of Machine- If you are performing exercises by using different equipment then it’s  advisable to make sure any workout equipment you use is safe and set up well. Always adjust machines to fit your stature before using them. For example, if you are at the gym make sure you have a general idea of how the machine works before jumping on any machine blindly. Use a machine carefully and methodically at first, especially if you are not accustomed to such a workout equipment. And if you don’t know how to use it then it is always better to ask a staff member to demonstrate proper usage of any machine so that you don’t get injured or make a fool out of yourself.

gym injury

Instant Progression – Exercising too hard to early and even increasing the intensity too quickly is yet another common mistake that newbies make to try to get a toned-up body superfast; I would suggest taking it easy for the first few month if you are new to exercising or if you have not exercised in months or longer. Muscle tears and injuries are no fun, they don’t just happen to professional athletes, anyone can get injured at any time. So, the most vital thing that you need to focus on is consistency and gradual progression. The key here is gradual improvement in your body and health when you are new or just returning back from a long break.

 

If you are willing to put in the work by exercising regularly, you will reap the benefits of exercise in many ways from things such as improved stamina, strength, leanness, a higher sex drive, a more attractive body, better health, more confidence, and the list goes on and on.  In fact, gradual progression is important and may help in avoiding injury as well as making improvements in many other areas of one’s life, automatically just from performing regular exercise a minimum of 2 to 3 times a week.

 

Improper Breathing – This is another common mistake that many of us generally do. Many of us generally don’t pay any attention to our breathing when we perform physical fitness exercises, but you must incorporate proper breathing techniques into each exercise move. Proper breathing can regulate your exercise speed, concentration and work on your core muscles at the same time.

 

Avoiding Drinking Enough Water- Most of us generally drink water only when we are thirsty, but we need to understand that being thirsty is an indicator that your body needs water. Dehydrated condition can lead to cramps and even at times muscle tightness which can result in muscle tears. So it is always better to drink even more water to rehydrate your body.

 

Apart from those thing mentioned above, other areas that you need to be very careful in is to pace yourself and keep safety in mind at all times to avoid serious injuries or even worse. Always remember that even the best athletes didn’t become so overnight, it takes regular practice over time. It takes proper training and endurance. So enjoy your exercise, but at the same time make sure you do it safely.

 

How to Train to Get Six Pack Abs

Getting The Elusive Six Pack Abs

 

Whether they admit it or not, almost everyone has the desire to have six pack abs, and wonders how long does it take to get abs. Somewhere deep down, we hold an ideal of what our bodies should look like. This ideal is influenced by the media. The celebrities have their personal trainers and their physiques are often phenomenal. With the societal norms being based on the media, we are inundated with images of people with six pack abs, toned arms and legs, and the “perfect body.” If we were not so influenced by societal ideals, we may not want six pack abs nearly as much, but we would likely still have a deep down desire to be in good physical condition.

 

Our bodies function better when we are physically fit, that’s a fact stemming from our caveman days to present. Our bodies are built to be in prime physical condition. Whether you have six pack abs or not, you will be better off to be physically fit it improves you in many ways including your mental state of mind. When a person is physically fit, they will have much lower chances of suffering from mental illness. A person who has regular physical activity will have increased brain function and will have lower chances of physical ailments. These people will additionally be less likely to suffer from various diseases as they age. Physical activity and more so, physical fitness are a benefit to any person as a whole, not just to the appearance of your body and your improved self confidence. Ideally a person would want to be in excellent physical condition, so that they are healthy, and not just to have six pack abs. When you are striving to get six pack abs, you need to train your body as a whole, you cannot just train your abs, you have to look at the big picture. Focusing solely on one part of your body is not healthy, and will not work, the body isn’t designed to change that way.

 

The first and foremost thing that you have to do to get desirable six pack abs is to increase your cardio vascular fitness, therefore you have to do more physical activities as a whole. The reason that you need excellent cardio vascular fitness when you are trying to get six pack abs is that you will need to be running or doing other aerobic activity a lot to burn the fat layers covering your abdominal muscles. You might already have great abs hidden up under those layers of fat, but they are going to keep hidden. If you do not do aerobic activity, for example, you are only lifting weight and not getting enough cardio then you are building muscle under the fat; so you are not doing anything to burn the fat away. The first step in getting those great abs you desire so much to show is to get busy burning away the fat that is getting in your way, by way of adding more cardio. More cardio will burn into the fat layer covering those great abs you might have been working on for weeks, or longer.

The next step for achieving your great abs is to exercise properly. First, you need to learn which muscles you want to focus on to create your six pack abs. Once you have learned this, you have to learn which exercises focus on which muscles. When you have all of this information, you need to practice the exercises, and train yourself to perform them properly. Improper performance of an exercise will have two consequences. The first consequence is that you will not be targeting the muscles you are aiming to target as well as you want to. The other consequence is much worse, you could injure yourself by not using proper form when exercising. If you are exercising, but doing it wrong, you won’t be getting those great abs that you want. You may even be counter productive in your quest for six pack abs.

 

Do not just train for six pack abs, train for well rounded physical fitness. When you are training in this manner, you will be able to make physical fitness a part of your life and improve many areas of your body all at once. You can create a routine that has physical fitness built into it, and you will need to make sure that you stick to your routine, at least for a month or 2 before mixing it up. Sticking to a routine which includes activities to increase your physical fitness will be very difficult at first if it is new you but it gets better with time. Starting work outs is easy, but sticking to them is difficult. The key is to be committed to not quitting, and not procrastinating. Once you start procrastinating, you will keep procrastinating, until all of a sudden you realize that you have quit your workouts altogether. Procrastination is the nemesis of your great abs.

 

Another thing that you need to keep in mind in your quest for great six pack abs is that your body needs to rest. When you are sick or when you have a serious injury, you will make sure that your body has time to rest and recuperate. You need to realize that when you work out to build a leaner body the muscles becomes injured in minor ways, and when you rest and eat the right types of food that’s when your muscles repair and grow. You should allow a day or two of rest for your body each week. This will give you better results from your work outs and you will be closer to having your six pack abs. Know that your muscles grow after you’ve worked out, ate and slept. If you have not had enough high quality food or rest your body will let you know that, you will not feel fully recovered and at your best. Also remember it takes most body parts about 2-3 days to fully recover from a fairly strenuous workout session, so allow some time for recovery after each serious workout on any body part.

6 pack abs

Six pack abs are not as elusive as you might think, it’s a science. Adequate resistance training, rest, and proper nutrition leads to beautiful changes in your body in little time; then just keep repeating the process to empathize the results, or just coast along to maintain whatever you already have. If you have commitment to achieving your goal, you can make it happen. You need to have a good work ethic when it comes to your workout routine, remember you have muscles that needs to be work in order to keep them as hard muscles, or else they will begin to soften if there is no workload being placed upon them regularly. I always make time for my workouts, like an appointment. I even have a little bit of abs and if I want more leaness I just workout more intensly and more regularly and I have what I sought for; I’m not ashamed to show you that’s I don’t always have the most perfect abs. I usually have abs, but there are certainly times when they look better or worst than other times based on my workout intensity and frequency as mentioned before, anyhow i’ve attached my actual ab photo above. 

So schedule your work outs as if they were an appointments in your work week. You need to figure out how to ensure that you will do you work out to get your desired six pack abs. It usually helps to have a partner to work out with, so that you both can hold each other accountable to your workout schedule and it often keeps you both more motivated. When you have someone to commiserate with and someone you would be letting down, you will not be as likely to skip your workouts. There is a simple answer to the question of, “how long does it take to get abs?” The answer is that you will get your great abs faster if you commit to your work outs, work hard, and do not start procrastinating. The more you keep your workout schedules and actually workout, the better and faster results you will see. Now go get yours!