Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Top 10 Fitness Tips For 2010

TOP 10 Fitness Tips to Stay on Track in 2010

1. Get real and be specific. Write down three or four realistic goals that you can stick to. For example, "I will try to lose one pound of body fat every week. I will walk for 30 minutes minimum five days a week." Avoid fantasy-land goals that will only frustrate you.

2. Get prepared. Throw away all the junk, the processed, and the "bingeable" foods now and replace them with fresh, whole foods like lots of water and veggies. Buy a new pair of walking shoes and find some clothes in your closet you feel comfortable to walk in. During a lifestyle change, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!

3. Get support. Whether it's your best friend, spouse, or pet, it helps to have some nonjudgmental and nurturing support when trying to lose weight, especially during trying times.

4. Make daily notes. Research has shown that keeping track of your daily exercise and food intake in a journal or notebook will increase the likelihood of success. Keep it simple, or if you're inspired, write a novel! The key is to hold yourself accountable.

5. Create a food-free reward system. How about a new workout outfit, pair of jeans, shoes -- or what the heck, even a spa treatment, shopping spree, or weekend getaway? You deserve this kind of treatment when you reach your goals.

6. Buy a pedometer. A pedometer keeps track of how many steps you take daily. Wear it every day, around home, work, and while exercising. Your National Body Challenge goal is to increase your steps by 10,000 or more daily! Remember this: You'll burn roughly 100 to 125 calories by taking 2,500 steps (about one mile). The goal during the challenge is to burn 300 extra calories and to eat roughly 200 calories less in a day. This 500-calorie deficit is equivalent to one pound of body fat per week and a healthy boost to your self-esteem.

7. Don't skip breakfast. Research shows that the most successful "losers" never skip it. Try to keep it balanced with some protein, a healthy carb, and a small amount of fat. Here are some examples: an egg-white omelet with fresh berries and a piece of whole-wheat toast, or a skim milk shake with fruit and yogurt.

8. Have a mid-afternoon snack and nix the late-night eating.This will curb your appetite and provide fuel for your after-work walk or workout at the gym. Some great snack ideas include: reduced-fat peanut butter on a multi-grain cracker, a couple of pieces of low-fat string cheese and an apple, cottage cheese with pineapple, or try a low-fat cheese microwaved in a whole-wheat pita. Remember, if you eat a lot of excess calories after 8 p.m., you wear them the next morning. Put a stop to this by making sure you have a healthy dinner consisting of lean protein, veggies, and fruit.

9. Eliminate processed sugars. Processed sugars are carbs that have been stripped of their valuable nutrients. How can you identify these sugars? They are all white: table sugar, pasta, rice, and bread, and they're nothing but trouble, since they kick up your appetite for more of the same.

10. Strength training is very important. I've heard it 1,000 times, "I'm just going to do cardio and I'll lose weight." Well, yes at first you will. In fact, cardio workouts burn more calories at a given time than do strength training sessions. However, strength training sessions will suck up more calories throughout the day because your body will be continuing to recover from the muscle break down well after your session has ended. Furthermore, while cardiovascular workouts are ideal for improved heart health, they do nothing for bone density and muscle mass, both ideal for an aesthetic looking physique and overall wellness.

Hopefully you're able to update your current program with these tips. Or, for following the blog, go download free copies of my fitness reports (typically $72 value- yours free) at www.FT6Reports.viprespond.com.

Happy lifting.

Michael Watkins

Fitness Together- 97th and Riverside
918.392.FITT (3488)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What is your last chance workout?

Do you watch the Biggest Loser?

Now, let me preface by saying I don't totally agree with everything portrayed on that show, but the life-changing transformations are impressive nonetheless. One of the highlights of the show for me is the of a Last Chance Workout. I love seeing peopled being pushed to their limits and beyond. But after seeing this over and again on every episode, I must admit that this workout has really started to wear out in significance but not importance in my opinion.

If you're unfamiliar with the show, the last chance workout is the workout performed the day of or just before the weigh in. This is the last chance participants have to burn every last calorie and ensure that the players have nothing left and are going to weigh as little as possible at the weigh in.

I have no idea how long the last chance workout is but it's the idea that is important. My buddy was telling me last night that he is really just going through the motions at the gym lately and is kind of discouraged with his overall progress. And it's true, we start working out really hard and then over time we become more fit and stop pushing ourselves so hard. This is a great reason why plateaus happen in weight loss as well as strength training.

The reason I bring this up is to try and motivate you to push harder. Think about you last few workouts at the gym. Where you on the verge of throwing up? Did you push yourself so hard that you had trouble showering and moving your arms and legs? Did you workout so hard that you were in tears in pain as you got into the car?

Well I know that this is very extreme. Nearly no one relishes pushing themselves that hard (not even me), but the thing to remember is how hard you worked out when you started your getting in shape journey.

So why not today when you go to workout do a last chance workout. Push yourself harder and longer than ever before. Once you get a tasted of a crazy hard workout you will realize just how far you have come, you will be doing a personal best and that is something that will bring you so much pride that you will want to do it again soon.

With the "NEW" year wearing off, almost half way through February- your motivation may begin to slip... Just remember why you started training in the first place. To be healthy, fit and improve your quality of life. Stay the course and you will succeed.

Finally, FIND YOUR MOTIVATION! Personally, I love movies. And nothing beats a sport movie in my book. I love the stories, trials, camaraderie, and motivation and will to succeed that is portrayed in these movies. The following clip is one that really gets my engine going and after watching I can't wait to hit the gym.

This one is of Mr. Rocky himself training for his next movie at age 62... tell me your too old to be in shape!

This clip is AWESOME regarding how life's a game of inches. Just like in fitness, everything you do will add up and will either aid you in your quest for a better life or derail you. You decide.

NOTE: the following clip does have some choice words- not too bad, but just FYI.

Train Harder.