Dangers of Too Much Sitting Down


Why Sitting is More Dangerous Than You Realize

Lets admit it, we’re all guilty of sitting down too much nowadays. It’s 2015, most of us are glued to our smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. We are plopped down for the majority of our day.

Add in the fact that a lot of us now work in comfy computer chairs, and it only makes matters worse. Think about how long our ancestors sat down in chairs… Not very long, they were either up and about walking or laying down. Excessive sitting is a fairly new phenomenon in human society and we are just now realizing the dangerous side effects that come along with it.

Lack of Exercise

One of the major causes of ill health is being inactive by not exercising the body. Most of the people would prefer jobs and activities that don’t involve physical activity and instead opt for nice comfy chair jobs.

One needs to ask themselves about the health dangers that the nature of their jobs could be exposing them to.

Office jobs require one to spend most of the time seated. We all have heard about the dangers of low activity levels. Those are obvious. What isn’t obvious is how much worse you make it if you don’t exercise AND you sit around too much in one position.

Getting Fat

This one is pretty obvious. Excessive sitting leads to being overweight and even becoming obese. It is also linked to several other problems such as diabetes, premature death, some varieties of cancer and even heart attacks. Not moving around and getting physical activity prohibits your body from burning extra calories which are then stored as fat.

Due to the prolonged sitting down, the rate at which metabolism is done in the body is slowed down. The body fails to regulate some of its system functioning such as regulation of blood sugar, the breaking down of the body fats and also the regulation of blood pressure.

Accelerated Aging

Accelerated aging has also been observed in people who are less active. Being inactive accelerates the loss of bones and muscles and eventual aging in humans.

Activities such as using computers, doing excessive studying and assignments without a pause, traveling by other means other than walking or riding bikes, watching television or even reading, increase the periods that people stay seated. However sleeping is not included in these behaviors, because sleeping is a natural thing that are bodies have accustomed to over thousands of years.

More Risk for Disease

Scientists from Leicester and Loughborough Universities have stated that the damages of sitting affects even people who exercise, so you can see it’s pretty serious. The study, which was published in Diabetologia, took a look at 18  studies that involved almost 800,000 people.

Diabetes UK stated that anyone who spent a lot of time sitting or lying down would “obviously benefit” from being more active and fit.

In a 1950’s study, London researches concluded that the link between poor health and the amount of time sitting was becoming more apparent, when they discovered that seated bus drivers were almost twice as likely to have heart problems than the bus conductors who stood more often.

Researched worried that changes in lifestyle and employment were going to increase these risks for a lot of the population. In 2011 a study found that the average adult now spends almost half their day in a seated position.

The primary conclusions of the study were that longer sedentary times were associated with:

  • 112% increased risk of diabetes
  • 147% increased cardiovascular events
  • 90% increased death due to cardiovascular events
  • 49% increased death due to any cause

How Much Sitting is too Much?

Experts have determined that we should stand up from a seated position every 25 minutes to encourage healthy circulation of blood throughout our bodies. This makes sense since a lot of our joints are bent when we are sitting, which blocks healthy blood flow.

So think about that, how often do you get up?

Some countries have even gone to the extents of setting up policies that govern the lengths of periods that children in schools should remain seated. Often, not more than two hours and then there is a break of about 30 minutes.

In summary, sitting down for too long increases ones chances of suffering from lifestyle diseases which can be avoided by leading a more active lifestyle.





The Benefits of Having a Partner in Fitness


Benefits of Having a Workout Partner

Some people love to go it alone when they workout. Being a lone wolf might not be the answer for you.

It’s too easy to make excuses, to go back to bed, eat that piece of cake, or skip your exercise routine. It’s time to consider having a partner in fitness. The payback will be worth it when you have someone else who is cheering you on and counting on you.

There are many perks of having a workout partner. Not only is it more motivating, but you also have someone to spot you on your lifts, to keep you engaged and someone to just talk to in between sets. When workouts are fun, you’re more likely to not skip them.

Here are a few more reasons why working out with someone on the regular might be good for you.

Give Yourself a Reason to Show Up

When you have a workout partner, you can become more motivated. There’s going to be someone else who is waiting on you.

You might be able to say no to a DVD or your morning run when you’re on your own. You’re not only in it for yourself. Your fitness buddy needs you just as much as you need them. You can give each other a pep talk, pick each other up when you fall, and know that someone else is in it with you.

Have More Fun

If your workout feels like a chore, you are more likely to give up. Exercise doesn’t have to be painful. Some people love extreme fitness and they want to push themselves to the limit. Others just want to enjoy themselves.

Whatever your preference is in fitness, your workout partner can make it a more positive experience. When you have a true friend in fitness, it can truly be adventure. Choose activities that you both look forward to and stick with it day after day.

Try new gyms, take a class together, or go on a retreat. Plan breakfast, lunch or dinner as a reward after your session, capping off your workout in a way that is satisfying. You’ll have something to look forward to as you make positive changes in your lives together.

Get the Results You Both Want

Start working out with a partner and you’ll start seeing results. You can build each other up as you increase your stamina, strength, and endurance. Set goals and celebrate each time you reach them. Consider changing up your routine and going the distance.

If you’ve walked a mile a day together, shoot for two. Try jogging and find out if you and your partner are ready for a mud run. Consider doing something daring or more extreme. You will have a partner to give you that added incentive. You’ll have someone by your side every step of the way.

Find Your Competitive Side

Get a workout partner, and experience the benefits of some healthy competition. Workout alone and you only have yourself to go up against.

When you have a friend by your side, you can both start to push your boundaries. Try harder, workout longer, and jump new hurdles. Try new things together and see who excels. You may surprise yourself and discover that you have talents you didn’t know about.

If your buddy is better at something, encourage them and find out what works best for you. Your partner will be your cheerleader too.

Help each other find the flaws in your methods. Communicate what each of you could be doing better, what your strengths are, where are your weaknesses and how to tackle them.

Make a Commitment to Better Health

When you have a workout partner, you are making a promise to each other to take care of yourselves. You are both improving your health every, single session. Picture a long life ahead of you and know that you are not only helping yourself.

You are helping a good friend to stick around for those golden years. You’ll have physical, mental, and emotional benefits when you exercise on a regular basis. Having a partner will make it easier to keep a daily appointment with your fitness regimen.


Staying Motivated When Forming a New Habit


How to Stay Motivated When Doing Something New

Before you begin looking for ways to stay motivated when forming a new habit, you need to have a specific type of change in mind. It’s difficult to commit to an abstract goal. For example, saying, “I’d like to lose weight” is a little too vague.

You need to be specific amount the number of pounds you want to lose and the time frame you’re going to give yourself to establish new dietary habits.

This is not only going to help you stay on track, but also help you achieve your goals in the long run.

Instead of telling yourself that you’re going to run 20 miles a day, tell yourself you’re going to run 5mins the first day. Running 20 miles a day is such a ridiculous goal that you’re going to get so tired on the first day, you’ll never want to run again. See how that can mess you up?

This can also be applied to any of the new habits you want to build.

Want to wake up earlier? You aren’t going to be able to do it if you wake up 3 hours earlier the first day, you’ll just be groggy and tired and hate yourself. Instead wake up a few mins earlier each day and build up to those 3 extra hours.

Want to quit smoking? You aren’t going to be able to throw your entire pack away easily. Instead try something like this. Every time you buy a pack of cigs, throw 1 cig away as soon as you open it, then throw 2 away, then 3, then 4, and so on until you’ve thrown the entire pack away. Sure it takes a while, but in the end you’ll actually accomplish something as opposed to going cold turkey, which will only make you miserable.

Read on for some more tips.

Think Positively

Positive reinforcement is a key to successfully forming a new habit. By tracking your progress each day, you can congratulate yourself for each small step you take toward your goal. In his article, “How to Build Good Habits (and Make Them Stick)”, Gregory Ciotti refers to these small steps toward change as “Macro Goals” and directly connects achieving those goals with a process called “Micro Quotas.”

Gather Support

When you resolve to make some type of change in your life, it’s helpful to have a support team. You’re less likely to backslide on your committed to a new habit if you’re held accountable for your actions.

You might be able to fool yourself to a certain degree, but your family and friends are not easily fooled and won’t let you get slack with your commitment.

Small Steps Can Get You There

When you’re at the starting line for developing a new habit, the finish line may seem like a faraway destination. In his article “How to Build Good Habits (and Make Them Stick), Gregory Ciotti discusses a system he refers to as “Macro goals and Micro quotas.”

The general premise is that even by setting low quotas for daily achievements, you can and will ultimately reach your goal of establishing a new habit. Each small step you take, gets you one step closer to your goal.

Visual Encouragement

Another way to stay motivated when forming a new habit is to post quotes or pictures in various places to remind you of your goal. The quotes should provide encouragement. The photos should provide inspiration.

You’ll need to post the quotes or pictures in locations where you are sure to see them throughout the day. The refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, your closet door, your desk, your computer monitor and numerous other locations are good places to add visual motivation.

Reward Yourself

If you backslide on your goal, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Put the moment of regression out of your mind and reaffirm your commitment to the new habit. You might want to give yourself a nice reward for getting back on track.

James Clear emphasized the importance of rewards in his article, “The Three R’s of Habit Change: How to Star New Habits That Actually Stick.” Frequent small rewards are a fantastic motivational tool. Just be sure the reward doesn’t negate the good habit you’re working toward. A doughnut isn’t an appropriate reward when you’re developing a healthy eating habit.

Make it Fun

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to make the journey to the new destination fun. If you are trying to get into the habit of eating healthy foods, explore new fruits and vegetables and have fun creating healthy recipes and visiting new restaurants.

If you want to get into the habit of exercising regularly, find a method of exercise that you enjoy. Walking the dog each day can be a fun habit and a great way to get some exercise. If getting organized is the habit you’re striving for, have a major house-clearing, sell your surplus and use the money you make to do something you consider fun.

Machines at the Gym You Should Avoid


Six Machines at the Gym You Really Don’t Need

Because no two bodies are the same, various parts of exercise equipment work differently on different people. That’s why there are some machines at the gym that you should stop using. In fact, injuries from using gym equipment has increased by 45 percent. If you’re worried about which exercise machines are more prone to be harmful, here are some machines that you should avoid.

Abdominal Exercise Machines

The most uncomfortable exercise machines are the abdominal ones. Also known as the ab machines, these machines can hurt your spine. Beware of false claims that you need to focus on the abdominal exercise machines for losing stomach fat or getting rid of love handles. Regardless of the number of exercise repetitions done of these machines, they’re ineffective in trimming stomach fat of losing those unsightly love handles. What you need to do is use abdominal exercise designed for more than only working your stomach.

Stick to crunches, sit ups, leg lifts, side bends and the hundreds of other ab exercises that don’t require a machine. These work better anyways.

Hip Abduction Machines

After sitting down and straightening your legs out, you push away from your body when using a hip abduction machine. Although many women think that using a seated hip abduction machine is effective in tightening and toning the outer thighs, they’re deceived. When you push out, pressure is placed on the hip bones and thighs, causing discomfort. Even worse, they’re also dangerous, leading to hernias or sciatica symptoms, which is leg pain and numbness. A better solution is to use small ankle weights that range from two to five pounds.

Pec Deck Machines

Another misconception is that the peck deck machines are effective and exceptionally safe for working the chest muscles. Unfortunately, this machine, also known as the chest fly machine, can actually overly stretch your shoulder, which results in muscle stiffening near the back of your shoulder. As a result, this can cause shoulder impingement syndrome. Instead, do push-ups, dumbbell presses or dumbbell bench presses. These exercises are gentler on the shoulders and work better at building up the chest.

Seated Leg Extension Machines

Another common myth is that the seated leg extension machine is the safest method for working the thigh muscles or quadriceps. However, this machine creates more stress on the knees than doing squats. The reason is because it’s near the ankles where the resistance occurs. As a result, the knee joints undergo too much of a twisting force each time a user lowers the weight. Safe alternatives include doing lunges, split squats and free weight squats as these are better for your knees and working the quads.

Inner/ Outer Thigh Machines

It’s not unusual to see people waiting in line to use the inner/out thigh machines. These machines are popular because it’s commonly believed that they’re good for hip and thigh toning. The truth is that these machines don’t work for toning any part of the body that’s wrapped in fat. For the most part they’re a useless motion that can be replaced by squats, deadlifts or simply running on an incline.

Treadmills (Sorta)

A lot of injuries occur on treadmills.

Don’t use the same speed and resistance when running on a treadmill. Doing so can actually hurt, rather than benefit your joints. Instead of the length of time spent on a treadmill, it’s actually the intensity of the workout that makes a difference in a treadmill workout’s effectiveness.

Ideally you should do all of your running on a track or better yea outside through nature. Not only is it healthier on you and your joints, its also a lot more fun and will keep you more motivated and engaged.

Wrapping Up

While these exercise machines are considered some that you don’t really need to use, they’re not totally useless. There are, however, better options, especially for people new to working out and those with certain goals.

Beginners to working out at the gym are always going to benefit more from traditional and more compound movements, such as bench pressing, squatting, deadlifting, shoulder pressing, etc. This is because these exercises workout your entire body and build up stabilizer muscles that are needed for your muscles to work and function properly.

If you have any questions regarding which exercise machines are the best to use, don’t hesitate to consult a professional trainer. You want to make the most of the time you invest in the gym.

Setting Realistic Goals and Why it’s Important to Do So


Why It’s Important to Set Realistic Goals for Yourself

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same holds true for your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight, get in shape, or run a marathon, you can’t expect it to happen overnight. You need to set goals for yourself that are obtainable. Otherwise, you can set yourself up for failure if you set the bar too high at the beginning.

As you make progress, you can work toward your next goal. With persistence, you will accomplish what you set out to do when it comes to your health and fitness.

Why it’s Important

Giving up is not some unique thing that happens to the worst of us. Almost everyone gives up on something at some point. One of the biggest reasons why is because they bit off more than they could chew.

Setting a goal of climbing Mount Everest as your FIRST mountain without any experience or training sounds stupid right? Of course, yet so many of us do it proverbially. We get this ridiculous notions stuck in our heads that we should run a sprint before we even know how to crawl.

Then as soon as the first obstacle hits us, which it will, we get discouraged and give up because it’s not as easy as we thought.

This is what happens so many times, I see it with so many people, and especially with fitness related goals.

Take it One Step at a Time

The first step is to set your goals. You can use the SMART method. You need goals that are specific. In other words, don’t be too general. State clearly what you want to do, such as lose ten pounds or run a mile.

You need something that you can measure. Don’t pick a goal to take a walk. Say you are going to walk a certain distance. Choose goals that are attainable.

Instead of vowing to climb Mount Everest, shoot for the hiking trail that is close to home. You can always work your way up!

Your goals should be relevant to your life. In other words, choose something that is practical, meaningful, and will suit your lifestyle.

Finally, set a time frame for your goal, stating when you want to achieve it, within a reasonable amount of time. In addition to using guidelines for your goals, consider aiming for one goal at a time. As you reach one benchmark, pick a new one. Check them off along the way and feel the pride of your accomplishments.

Don’t Only Focus on the End Results

Many people get hung up on where they want to go with their goals that they forget the journey itself.

For example, you might want to lose 25 pounds. If you are so focused on that final figure, you can get bogged down as you are striving to reach your goal. It can get to the point that you lose your motivation because you aren’t there yet. You don’t even give yourself credit for losing the first pound, or the second or the third. You forget that you had those 3 extra pounds at all. You get so caught up in the 25 number you forget that you’re going to have to pass 24 other numbers to get there

Concentrate on the process that is involved instead. The journey is often much sweeter than the destination, you’ll realize this when you are near the end of it.

Take a picture of yourself at the beginning of your journey and post it in a visible place where you will face it each day. A visual aid will help you to keep a promise to yourself to keep working toward your goal.

As you make progress, take more pictures and hang them up, proving that the process is working. It might take you several months or even two years, but you’ll see the improvement staring back at you every day.

Choose Something You Know is Possible

When you pick realistic goals that pertain to your fitness, you know with absolute certainty that you can do it. You have to clear your mind of any doubt and stick with it until you cross the finish line. D

on’t pick a wall that is too high for you to climb. You don’t want a mental barrier that will knock you down and steal the wind from your sails. By choosing a goal that is something you can achieve, you will feel great satisfaction when you get there.

You’ll have the courage to branch out and set more goals for yourself with each one that you check off your list. Realistic goals make you stronger and build up your confidence. They make you feel good about yourself and your body.

If you are on a mission and aspire to new heights, think about your next goal. Take yourself to a new level of accomplishment.


How to Break Free of Emotional Overeating



Some Tips to Stop Emotional Overeating

It’s a well-known reality that thirst can sometimes feel to our bodies like hunger; this is why it’s recommended that those trying to cut calories drink a glass of water before eating to see if that satisfies the craving. In a similar vein, we can feel hunger—or we can simply want to engage in the act of eating—when the need isn’t related to the fullness of our stomachs at all.

If you’re feeling stressed, drained, empty, or any number of other strong emotions, the temptation can be to make it feel better by indulging in an extra plate of nachos or a late-night chocolate chip cookie binge.

If you regularly find yourself eating even after you feel full, rewarding or soothing yourself with food, turning to food when you don’t feel you can talk to anyone, or simply feeling powerless over your own reaction to food, you may very well be an emotional eater.

The good news is, there are several ways you can break free of that pattern and reestablish a healthy relationship with food.

Realize the Cause

Since many different factors can impact the way we interact with food, it can be helpful to figure out what’s triggering your times of overeating. Possible contributing factors include biology, tuning out while eating, a belief (conscious or otherwise) in the therapeutic nature of food, convenience, entertainment, or a general feeling of happiness and good memories upon consuming certain foods, according to psychologist Susan Albers in “Tips to Stop Emotional Eating” on the Dr. Oz website. If you’re having trouble pinpointing the exact reason behind your sessions of overeating, keeping a food diary can help. Try to record not only what types of food you’re eating but also the way you feel before and after eating.

Deal With Depression and/or Loneliness

When you feel depressed or lonely, it’s easy to turn to food as a temporary fix. Unfortunately, overeating not only fails to address the true underlying problem but it can also make you feel worse in the long run. It’s best, of course, to handle serious matters such as depression with long-term solutions, such a therapy, but there are also short-term tactics you can use to help boost your spirits and stave off feelings of isolation.

This can be a simple as calling a good friend, taking a walk in the park to see children playing, spending time with pets, or getting out a photo album or other keepsake that brings up pleasant memories.

The most important thing to realize is that you’re not alone. There are people out there who want to help you. Reaching out can be tough for a depressed person, hell, it can be tough for anyone, but it’s a crucial step to getting better. Depression is one of those things that can exist without any rhyme or reason, you may not even realize the reasons for your depression, let alone understand them. But you have to remember that it’s better to seek help from friends or professionals than it is to self medicate with things like food or drugs.

Distract Yourself

Sometimes the problem doesn’t necessarily stem from a deep-seating emotional problem but from boredom. To figure out of ennui is triggering your desire to eat, engage in a different activity before you snack. This could mean reading a book, taking care of a few household chores, or breaking out a board game. You may find that once your attention is engaged in something pleasurable, the urge to eat passes.

Another word of caution regarding distraction: make sure you aren’t unduly preoccupied when eating. It’s easy to eat past the point of hunger when you’re distracted.

The best distraction you can possibly have to overcome your emotions is exercise and fitness. Join a gym, or a yoga studio or a dance studio, run a marathon, etc. Anything that will keep you physically active is going to help you tremendously in the long run. Not to mention you’ll meet new people!

No More Anxious Eating

Anxiety is another common emotional trigger of overeating. Consider taking a two-pronged approach if anxiety seems to be a problem for you. Stop it before it starts by making sure to a get a full night’s sleep, prioritizing your own health with a sensible diet and hydration, and taking breaks to simply relax throughout the day. Try meditation, jogging, or sitting somewhere comfortable and listening to soothing music.





How To Start A Morning Workout Routine



Start a Morning Workout Routine

Not everyone loves waking up in the morning. Only a few of us may love to wake up early to attend their various tasks in the course of the day, let alone to workout or lift weights.

How you get up in the morning and what you do afterwards can be essential to your health, and may set a good precedent for the rest of your day.

There are many benefits to working out as soon as you wake up. First of, if you workout or lift weights before you eat breakfast, your body will be burning strictly stored fat as energy, which can result in a lot of quick weight loss. This isn’t recommended for anyone who isn’t looking to lose weight though. It’s best to have some food before you workout to prevent over-exhaustion.

Also, working out in the morning is going to get you ready for the rest of your day since it builds discipline and releases dopamine which makes you feel good.

How to Get in the Habit of Working Out Early

Get the Right Amount of Sleep

This is a crucial step. The number one reason people can’t wake up period, let alone to workout, is because they simply are too exhausted too. Which almost always stems from the fact that they didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

Aim to get at least 7-8hrs of sleep so that you can get up much easier without the morning grogginess.

Set Two Alarms

Set one alarm to wake you up and the second alarm to make sure you’re up. A good trick is to set your alarm clock far away from your bed so that you are forced to get up to turn it off. This is going to force you out of bed which will in turn, hopefully, wake you up enough to start your day.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Thirdly, eating a healthy breakfast is one of the best nutritious healthy routines which should be considered in the morning, taking a healthy breakfast provides your body with enough energy that you need to help you go on with the activities of the day.

Food and fruits that are very rich in protein have been found to work nicely as they provide your body with enough food substance, and helps it start metabolism process.

For those who are tea  or coffee addicts, grabbing a cup of tea or coffee very early in the mornings makes their minds work better hence improving their level of concentration. However, this may not apply to everyone, especially those with caffeine sensitivity.

Start Small

This is an important step. One of the biggest reasons people fail is because they bite off more than they can chew.

Start small with your routine, form a habit. You don’t have to build Rome in that single day. You don’t have to just wake up one day and workout for 3 hours. You’ll only hate it and quit so fast, you’ll forgot that you even started.

Instead tell yourself that you’re going to walk or run for 5 mins the first day, then 6 mins the next day and so on. Then after a week or two, tell yourself that you’re going to add in 1 day in the gym per week, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5, 6 or 7.

Everything you do should start small and build up. This is how things get done.

Benefits of Morning Exercise

Exercise in the morning will energize your body and also raise your self–esteem, knowing that what you have done is good for your body and that you have accomplished something.

Studies have also shown that exercising increases your mental capacity and normally lasts for five to ten hours after your workout comes to an end. This is also supplemented by the fact that exercise releases dopamine in our brains, which is what makes us happy.

Exercise in the morning helps you harness your brain power, which you may have wasted if you decided to snooze.

When you make morning exercise a habit, it will adjust your circadian rhythms and body endocrine in a way that your body learns to do the same activity each and every day, hence waking up in the morning never become a problem. The hormones also prepare your body for exercise as they regulate blood flow to muscles, blood pressure and, heart rate.

Think Positively

Lastly, if you find yourself in a bad mood early in the morning, you should sit upright on your bed and do some appreciation mediation. Think of the people you love such as your family, the work you do and the best hobbies that you love.

Spend about fifteen minutes thinking about the good things that you have in your life. In conclusion, a good workout routine is very beneficial to your life and should be a huge part of it.







How to Let Go of Negativity and Start Your Fitness Journey



Letting go of Negativity and Starting a Fitness Routine

When it comes to starting an exercise regimen, you can be your greatest enemy. You have too many excuses about why you can’t do it. You’re too busy, you aren’t strong enough, or you have too many health problems.

Sometimes your biggest enemy is yourself. This is particularly true when it comes to doing things that are sometimes hard and do not show immediate results. Such as fitness.

It takes a long time and determination to look like a shredded model in a magazine, so most of us just never even try. We say things like, “well that person has better genetics” or “they have more time than me” or worse yet “that person is on something”. We’ll say anything to make ourselves feel better about the fact that we lack the will to start, let alone finish something such as a workout routine.

Not only do we keep making up excuses, we actually delude ourselves into believing in them, to the point where we being to feel resentment towards those who don’t feel the same way or share the same views. This is why the fat acceptance movement is such a big thing nowadays.

The list keeps adding up, keeping you in the same place. It’s time to move forward. You have to shut the door on negativity and embrace your fitness journey. Make the first move and start now.

It Begins with Determination

You have to focus. Dig deep inside of yourself and think about all of the reasons that you need to become active. Start keeping a journal and tell yourself that today is the day that you begin a positive change. Write down how exercise can become a habit and all of the benefits that come with it.

Break down what you have to do and make a plan of action. When it’s staring at you in black and white on the page, it gives you something tangible to hold on to. You can do this. Take a lesson from Noah Galloway and tell yourself, “No excuses.”

Start Small

In order to begin your fitness journey, begin with small steps. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and overwhelm yourself. Otherwise, you’re more likely to give up. Break down what you need to do one goal at a time. If you haven’t been exercising at all, begin with a short workout session of 20 minutes. You can gradually build up more time.

Try something low impact, like walking. As you become stronger and your stamina improves, pump up the intensity, even if it means walking faster and for longer distances. You can make it work.

Find Something that Excites You

Light a spark of excitement inside of you. Finding your passion isn’t only important when it comes to making a living. You need to choose a fitness plan that inspires you to keep going. Choose activities that you really enjoy, whether it’s swimming, hiking, riding your bike in the countryside, or taking up a dance class.

When you love it, you won’t mind putting in the work, sweat, and energy. It’s a reciprocal relationship. You’ll feel good about your exercise regimen and your fitness plan will make you feel good in every way imaginable.

Change it Up

You need variety. Your body will become accustomed to patterns and you won’t see results over time. Make sure you do a variety of exercises, including strength and cardio. You could lift weights on one day, walk on another day, go for a swim, and try interval training as another option.

Try new things. You never know what type of exercise is going to get you pumped up. Don’t forget to include physical activity throughout your day, from taking the stairs to parking your car far away from the building to give yourself an additional workout. A body in motion will stay in motion.

There’s Strength in Numbers

Don’t go it alone. A fitness partner can be like having a personal trainer. You’re more likely to stick with it if you have a friend by your side who has similar goals. You’ll keep each other going and it will be harder to say no when someone else is counting on you.

Build each other up and remind yourselves that you are in this together. Keep your eye on the prize and never forget that your fitness journey can extend your life. Take care of your body and you can be in it for the long haul.



How To Change Your Fast-Food Breakfast Habit



Fast Food Breakfast and Why It’s so Popular

The facts are indisputable: while fast-food sales in general are going down, breakfast menus and sales are growing in numbers. According to one recent Los Angeles Times article, where once breakfast meals made up only a small percentage of the sales, as of last year, they produced $34.5 billion making up 25 percent of the 45 billion fast-food customers world-wide.

Fast breakfast is booming and it’s no surprise. People are working harder, working earlier, working more in general. The American people don’t sit down at the breakfast table anymore and take their times to eat. Mostly because they don’t have the time.

The Reason For Increased Fast Food Breakfast Sales:

Why this increase in fast-food breakfast meals? There’s only one word that comes to mind: convenience. In a world of microwave meals, snooze buttons and digital devices to check emails, text and other means of present day communication, people are just too hurried to stop and eat that vitally important meal.(1)

A quick drive through a drive-in window at fast-food eateries for that morning coffee, chocolate glazed doughnut and/or Danish pastry has virtually eliminated the time needed for preparing that hearty breakfast at home.

How To Break The Fast-Food Breakfast Habit

Let’s begin by saying that it won’t be easy. A bad habit that’s been done for years is not going to vacate the premises without a struggle. Howbeit, it is not impossible, and there are means to break those nasty bad breakfast fast-food habits–now!

Take Inventory And Get Serious

Do you want to eat at home for breakfast, or take it to work with you? Either way, you’ll have to plan ahead. To start off, what are the foods and beverages you can part with, and what are those you can’t do without–for now?

Plan Ahead

Making an impromptu breakfast meal the night before may be your best plan for this meal. Making your own one-handed breakfast food the night or week before and keeping it in the freezer for a quick microwave nuking session is one good way to go.

You could also put some yogurt and fruit into plastic or glass containers, and grab them in the morning along with your own rendition of Egg McMuffin–minus all the trans fats, salt and Lord knows what else.

Know Thyself And Keep A Journal

One article published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommended keeping a journal.(2) This really needs discipline, but keep a piece of paper handy and mark down every item that goes into your mouth. Make note of the time you ate it, how you felt after eating it 20 minutes after the meal and/or 2 hours later. Learn to listen to your body.

Now, review your diary at the end of the week. Check your eating pattern while eating, and decide what you can drop from your menu. Even if it’s a small item, like one tiny Dunkin Donut Munchkin donut–drop it!

Slow And Easy

While some nutritionists feel one should go cold turkey with nutritional changes, others feel it is best to gradually change the habits as you taper off. Don’t overwhelm yourself with wanting to shift gears too quickly; moreover, your mind and body will try to revert back to its former eating habits.

Never Skip Breakfast

Eat something within the first 30 minutes after waking up. Always try to include some food that is high in protein such as bacon, sausage links or a cheese/egg omelet.

Avoiding that mid-morning cup of coffee will help regulate your blood glucose level and lessen the cravings for more high-starch carbs and high-sugary meals at the fast-food restaurant come lunchtime.

Don’t Judge Yourself Too Harshly

No two body types are the same. What is right for one person is not necessarily the best diet for another. Experience and listening to your body may be the only true gauge we can go by in regulating our bodies to its proper nutritional type.

Tweak Yourself

Let’s say you start off your new breakfast regimen and find it hard to adjust. If this is the case, then eat several small portions of nutritious foods every two or three hours. A protein shake, a spoonful of non-fat cottage cheese or a hard-boiled egg are all excellent choices.

In a nutshell, that’s how we can all break the fast-food breakfast habits, save money and live longer starting–tomorrow morning.

Reference Sources:
(1) http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-breakfast-wars-20150421-story.html
(2) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000349.htm

The Hidden Benefits of Hiking



Hiking and Its Hidden Benefits

Hiking is great way to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the outdoors. One of the main advantages of hiking is that it is an activity that is highly adaptable to many individual circumstances, such as fitness level, free time, monetary constraints, and length of travel desired.

In fact, this sport is one of the easiest physical pastimes to begin enjoying. Aside from providing a great source of physical activity and exercise, this fun hobby also has many hidden benefits that you will enjoy as you explore the hiking opportunities available in your locality.

Fight Stress With Each Hike

The modern world is demanding and nearly everyone must adhere to hectic work and family schedules. Taking time out to relax is important, and most people are already aware of the stress relieving properties of exercise.

Hiking not only provides the physical relief of other exercise options, but spending time outdoors and in nature has been shown to be a powerful stress and anxiety reliever. People who spend more time in outdoor green spaces exhibit lower levels of a stress hormone called cortisol, which translates into a happier, healthier and more relaxed state of mind. Hiking perfectly combines exercise with time in nature.

Improved Quality of Sleep

Sleep deprivation has almost become the norm in today’s society. Whether you’re kept awake from stress, a constant flow of emails or an inability to shut off the TV, computer or mobile device, you’re not alone.

Nearly 20 percent of Americans report getting 6 hours or less of sleep a night. Most people need, on average, about 6-7 hours of sleep nightly to be adequately rested. Hiking, along with the benefits of aiding relaxation and reducing anxiety, can also help people to achieve a higher quality of sleep.

Regular physical activity has been shown to improve sleep by over 50 percent in those who engage in a regular schedule of exercise. Thus, hiking can be an important part of getting a better night’s sleep.

Bonus Sleep Benefits of Camping

If you choose to take your hike to the next level and decide to spend an entire night in nature, or a few nights, you are helping your sleep cycle tremendously.

Most of us in the modern world have gotten so used to the artificial lights, noises and distractions of modern technology that our bodies have forgotten how and when it’s time to sleep. A night under the stars is a good way to reset that.

Your body will be in complete darkness at night and teach itself to wake up with the sun, as you’re meant to naturally. Just remember to not bring any electronic gadgets that you don’t absolutely need. Having a phone and GPS for emergencies is the only one I’d suggest, and only turn them on when you need them.

Hiking Helps to Build Stronger, Healthier Bones

Not only does hiking strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility, it also helps to build stronger bones. Exercise that is weight bearing, meaning that you are on your feet and supporting your entire body weight with your legs,causes new bone tissue to form.

Adding to your bone mass helps to avoid accidental breaks or fractures, reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis and strengthens your entire body. Hiking is a low-impact weight bearing exercise, making it appropriate for nearly any age group or level of fitness.

Hiking – A Whole Body & Mind Workout

Hiking requires that you utilize every part of your body, improves your balance and coordination and helps to build overall core strength. It also stimulates your senses as you bask in the beauty of nature, improves your mental capabilities as you maintain your trail route and creates an increased awareness of your surroundings.

Hiking lets you take full control of your workout, because you can go as fast or slow as you want and can control the level of intensity you experience. Because of the adaptability of hiking, both beginners and seasoned fitness aficionados can benefit from and achieve a satisfying workout.

You don’t need any special equipment other than a sturdy pair of shoes, you don’t need to pay for a fitness club membership and you don’t have to deal with the anxiety of learning how to operate exercise machines.

Hiking is good for your body, mind and soul.