What Will Help You To Lose More Weight: Diet Or Exercise?

There are plenty of reasons why someone would like to lose weight. Whether it’s to fit more comfortably in your jeans that are a little too tight, become more defined and toned, feel more comfortable in their own skin – some may even be losing weight in order to meet the requirements for weight loss surgery. If this is the case, Dr. Steve Tersigni, founder of Bay Bariatrics Weight Loss Surgery Center, says that the qualifications for bariatric surgery are basically the same for all procedures, meaning that no matter your destination, you will still find handy tips in this blog to help your journey along. Regardless of the reason why you want to lose weight, there are some simple tips and tricks that will help everyone’s journey, regardless of their starting point.

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Realistic Goals

Your overall goal may be to lose four stone, but that can seem like an overwhelming and monumental goal, especially when you are only just starting out. Breaking down the main goal into smaller fortnightly or monthly goals can help everything to seem a lot more manageable, and give you small achievements along the way that will motivate you to keep going. It is recommended that you lose between one and two pounds per week to ensure you are losing weight at a healthy and sustainable pace, helping you to keep it off for good.  

Calorie Intake Deficit

There are plenty of myths out there that have been widely discredited by industry professionals, however, some still seem to be trending. Barely eating anything and starving yourself may make you lose weight at first, but you will gain it straight back as you start to eat properly again. On the other hand, going hard at that gym and then settling down to a Mcdonalds every night won’t help you to lose weight either, let alone reach your goals. Whilst it is important to focus on both your eating and exercise, it is essential that you do not cut anything out of your diet. Those previously mentioned myths happen to contain advice like cutting out carbohydrates, sugar, gluten, dairy etc. from your diet will make the weight fall off with no other encouragement. However, to healthily lose weight and create a balanced lifestyle, all of the food groups are important. The five food groups are fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy or dairy alternative, and grain/cereals. These should be represented in almost every meal you consume. The amounts of each group you need are dictated by your macronutrients, which are carbs, fat, and protein. It is recommended that your diet is made up of 50-60% carbs, and around 20-25% of protein and fat. Having all of these is essential for helping your body to function properly, ensure you receive all your minerals and vitamins, and therefore contribute to your weight loss. Carbs are not your enemy, but your fuel to get up off the sofa and burn some calories. The only way to lose weight is a calorie intake deficit, meaning you burn off more in a day then what you intake. Intuitively eating – only eating when you are actually hungry and not just bored – and regular exercise is the best way to achieve this.  

Exercise That You Enjoy

To lose weight, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to get on a treadmill and run until you can’t feel your legs. You can actually do something you enjoy. Now you may be thinking there is no exercise you could ever enjoy as it can be gruelling, especially if you are unfit. But have you looked at all your options? HIIT is short high-intensity workouts that will fit easily into a busy schedule, and weight lifting burns more calories after you have worked out due to the energy your body uses to repair muscles. If you have tried both and hated them, there are group exercise options like Zumba and Yoga, or you could even ask a friend if they would like to take up a new hobby with you. There is swimming, badminton, dancing, tennis, netball – all great activities that will burn calories while you enjoy yourself. It really is a case of trial and error – if you don’t like something, try something else. Do your research and find out what activities and facilities are local to you for you to try. It is important to find something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore to exercise. When you enjoy something, you are more likely to stick to it and start to see results.

If you are hoping to lose weight through the start of 2018, hopefully, this has given you a few tips and tricks on how you can best achieve your goals. Best of luck.  

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Restore, Revitalise and Relax: How To Feel Fabulous With Food and Fitness

You stare into the mirror each morning and you aren’t happy with what is standing in front of you. Everyday you inspect your curvy hips, wobbly thighs and squishy cheeks. Overcoming these insecurities will never be easy. We all have hang-ups when it comes to our bodies, but often we don’t realise that they are what make us fabulous. You should never what to change who you are, but it is important to be healthy. I bet you didn’t know that most of the things you don’t like about yourself can be tweaked and tightened up in a flash. No surgery or drastic diets needed, all you need to do is adjust your lifestyle little by little. The beauty will shine out from within and you will feel goodinstantly. Start today and use food and fitness to live a brighter life.

Glamourous and Glowing

You’re skin look dull, tired and full of blemishes. You can’t remember a time you woke up and felt flawless and free of make-up. Did you know that food can influence the way your skin looks and feels? It doesn’t matter if you’ve invested your savings into the most expensive, premium skincare brand on the market; if you aren’t feeding your body the correct nutrients your skin will suffer.

Make sure you incorporate skin-plumping foods into your diet, such as avocados and fresh salmon. The rich, good fats in these foods will feed your skin from the inside and give you a glow in no time. If you’re suffering from inflamed zits or skin blemishes try starting your day with a hot mug of water with a slice of fresh lemon. Lemon contains antioxidants that will instantly relieve your skin of bacteria causing blemishes. Blueberries are another amazing antioxidants so try and get these into at least one of your meals each day. Make sure you’re drinking enough water too to keep your skin hydrated and your body functioning well.

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Fuel Your Fitness Regime

You might have started a new exercise plan which promises quick and easy results, but you’re just not seeing on yourself. You’ve been sticking to it religiously and your body just doesn’t seem to be responding. No matter how hard you’re working in the gym, you need to complement that hard work with the correct nutrients. You need to feed your body the correct products at the correct times in order to see those results in the gym.

Before you head to the gym try and make sure you’ve had some form of complex carbohydrates, this will fuel your body with the energy it needs to work hard in that spin class. You could have organic porridge, wholemeal toast with peanut butter or even some Greek yogurt with homemade granola sprinkled on top. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs, they are you friend if you’re going to the gym! After a hard workout your body will need adequate supplements to repair its muscles. You’re going to need high protein foods such as eggs, lean meats and green veggies after you hit the gym. If you’re opting for a smoothie try adding a supplement of protein powder for an extra boost of muscle repairing formula. If you are consuming protein powder and building muscle you’re more likely to feel leaner and more energized. So if you’re looking to lose fat and gain muscle this would be a great idea for you.

Be Kind To Yourself

Stop beating yourself up for skipping a gym class or indulging in a slice of cake at your friend’s birthday. We all have a life and we should be allowed to live it to the fullest without consequences. Life is about balance and as long as you are having healthy meals and exercising often, you should never feel bad about giving yourself a treat. We all have goals we want to reach, but try and make them tangible. Stop looking at numbers on a scale or measuring tape for a start. Try and set goals such as, fitting into a new pair of skinny jeans, rather than reaching a certain weight. You will never truly know your weight as it fluctuates so much throughout one day. Do yourself a favour and throw away the scales, they are not your friend!

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Mindful Movement

Stop snoozing your alarm in the morning and start your day peacefully. Forget the rushing around and barely brushing your hair before you leave for work or college. Start your day with a relaxed mindset and your body will feel happier straight away. Practice yoga and meditations for a few minutes each day to allow your mind to escape to a world of calm serenity. If you’re unsure where to start, there are tonnes of awesome apps which can help you to start up a routine of meditation and yoga. Deep breathing techniques and calming poses will help your body to reset. You will see a noticeable difference if you suffer from anxiety and you will feel stress free as soon as the day begins. Give it a go and try it with a friend if you need a little helping hand.

Revel In Relaxation

Always allow yourself time to relax and recuperate after a stressful situation. Maybe you have a crazy deadline to meet at work or you’ve been staying up late working on a project. If you have a long, hard stint of work today make sure you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Reward yourself and you will feel more motivated to get to the end.

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Try Something New

It’s always fun to take up a new hobby or pursuit. Whether it’s a new sport or healthy recipe, it’s a great idea to keep you occupied and get your body into gear. The chances are you’ll make a new friend or even start up a hobby that develops into a career. Don’t be afraid to give anything a go and get the moral support you need from your friends and family.

Don’t delay in starting your health and fitness journey today. Your body will feel the love it deserves and as long as you’re living a fulfilled and happy lifestyle you’re definitely on the right track.

Running Injuries That Are Easy To Avoid

Running is a great way to stay in shape and it doesn’t come with a lot of the same dangers as competitive team sports, but that doesn’t mean you can’t injure yourself. Runners have their own set of risks to deal with and if you don’t run with good form, using the right gear, you could put yourself out of action and it’ll take a while to recover. There are a couple of injuries that runners often fall prey to, here’s what they are and how you can avoid them.

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Plantar Fasciitis

This is just a fancy name for an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. It usually gives you a sharp pain in the heel or the arch of the foot. It can be a slight annoyance but if you leave it untreated for too long, it’ll soon become incredibly painful. The two main causes are overworking and lack of proper footwear. If you haven’t got proper running shoes on, you won’t have enough support and you open yourself up to injury. Choosing the right one is a bit of a minefield but if you check out the Running Shoes Guru you’ll find plenty of great reviews to help you find the right ones. Good support should stop you from getting Plantar Fasciitis, as long as you aren’t running too often.

It’s tempting to get out and run every day when you’re constantly competing with yourself and trying to smash your best time. But you’ve got no chance of beating your record if you can’t run at all. Even with the best running shoes, your feet can only take so much. If you overwork them you’ll almost certainly end up with problems, so always take a couple of days off throughout the week.

Achilles Tendinitis   

This one is the Achilles heel of runners everywhere. All it means is that you’ve got inflammation in your Achilles tendon. It takes a long while to heal because there isn’t that much blood flow to the area so preventing it is vital. You’ll get pain around your heel and up the back of your foot, there’s also a lot of swelling that can make it unbearable to walk, let alone run.

Tight calves are one of the main culprits of an Achilles injury because if your calves aren’t taking enough of the impact, it all gets put on the Achilles tendon. If you overtrain and your calves are suffering because of it, you’re likely to develop an Achilles injury. You’re also at risk if there are sudden increases in the intensity of your training. If you’ve decided that your current training regimes just aren’t pushing you hard enough, you’ll want to take things up a notch. But if you go from running twice a week to five times a week and increase the distance at the same time, you’ll hurt yourself. Always increase the intensity gradually over a few weeks and you should be fine.

Iliotibial Tendon

This is a tendon that runs from your hip to your knee and there are all sorts of ways that you can damage it. If you’re feeling a sharp stabbing pain in the side of your knee when you run, that’s a sure sign of an IT injury.

Running downhill a lot is one of the causes because the angle of the incline puts extra stress on your IT. When you run, you usually run with a slight lean, even if you don’t notice it. Running on different sides of the roads helps you to balance it out a bit but if you’re always taking the same route, you could be putting extra stress on your legs. Changing up your route to cut out hills and run in different directions is the best way to avoid an IT injury.

Runner’s Knee

If you experience a dull ache under the kneecap whenever you run, you’ve got runner’s knee. It’s caused by different things in different people but there are a couple of common causes. Not wearing proper footwear is one, but that can be said of pretty much any running injury. Running on uneven ground is another big cause of runner’s knee that can be solved fairly easily by changing your route or buying running shoes with a spongier sole. If you’ve got weak quads or hips, your knees are picking up all the slack.

When it comes to sorting the problem the bottom line is, don’t run if it hurts. Try new footwear and always put an ice pack on it when you’ve got pain.

Most running injuries are caused by overwork, bad form, and lack of proper footwear. If you know what you’re doing and you invest in the right gear, you should be fine.  

Things to Consider Before Investing in Expensive Gym Equipments

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Gym equipment is not cheap by any means, and just for start up at home equipment can cost you a few hundred dollars. No one wants to invest a huge amount of money and then see it waste away on equipment you rarely use or equipment that has to be upgraded. Here are a few things you should consider before choosing to invest in any expensive gym equipments.

Budget

Before you choose to even start looking into workout equipment you should always set a budget for yourself. Gym equipment can range from high to low prices for the exact same features, thus making it difficult at times to choose between models.

For example if you plan on buying a treadmill, you can find many that are cheaper and offer less functions than others, however you can also find higher end models that offer LED screens with TV, apps, etc. These are some examples of cheaper treadmills that still are effective.

Features

Before even beginning to look at all the type of fancy features offered in recumbent bike models, make sure to have a good idea of which features you value more. Do you want basic functions with minimalistic features? Do you want a higher end equipment that includes extras like a fan, HD screen, and app customization and tracking?

Remember the most important aspect of gym equipment is going to be its effectiveness, not its features. There’s no point in investing in a piece of equipment because it looks fancy and can perform more functions than it’s meant to do. It’s no use to buy a piece of equipment if it’s going to fail at what it’s meant to do.

Gym membership

Sometimes investing in equipment for at home use can be more trouble than it’s worth. Getting a monthly gym membership might be more ideal for your individual needs.

If you keep racking your brain struggling to decide what budget you have, and which features you want, you can easily take these considerations out by purchasing a gym membership that includes a variety of different equipment.

Gym memberships can also range from high end to low end, but are most likely going to have a range of workout equipment options for you to use. An added benefit with a gym membership is that you may even be opening yourself up to a bigger variety of equipment than you would originally have if you were to personally invest, and also open yourself up to classes.

Usage

There’re almost 0 reasons to invest in a piece of gym equipment you’re not even going to use it on a regular basis. Think about your fitness goals, are you going to want to prioritize cardio over strength training? Does the equipment you want to invest in have a longer or shorter time span use?

Maintenance

Not all equipment is going to require maintenance, however occasionally you’re going to run into gym equipment that will have to be replaced or maintained.

A few examples of this is like a recumbent bikes band need to be replaced depending on the make and brand. Stretch bands can lose their effectiveness and resistance over time. Basically, if the equipment has any bolts or screws, those also may need to be tightened on a regular basis.

So just make sure before you purchase equipment that you know what type of maintenance it needs. Sometimes these fixes will have to be sent in instead of being manually done by yourself. These issues are always going to end up in extra time, effort, and money.

In conclusion

Thinking about all these expectations before you purchase any equipment is going to save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Many people fall victim in believing that spending more money is better, more features result in better longevity, and that every equipment is built equally as long as they fall in the same price range.

Taking all these factors into consideration will not only save you a bunch of struggles and frustrations, but will also save your wallet from falling victim to many commercial gimmicks that try and tempt you to shell out more money for what something is not worth.

I’m James Hood from FitnessAbout.com. I’m a vegan bodybuilder. I believe in holistic development. I believe in workout body and as well as mind

Don’t Get In Your Own Way, Tackle Your Motivation Issues

Some people occasionally feel like the wind has been taken from their sails. Others feel like it has never been there to begin with. Motivation is a key factor in life, one that we don’t always take as seriously as we should. If we’re motivated, we might not find it easier to work through the strain in life, but we find ourselves more equipped to dig in and keep doing it. So, if you feel like you have the get-up-and-go that others do, what do you do to get it?

 

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Make your goals clear

Naturally, finding what motivates you is key to your motivation. You might very well have a sense of what kind of life you want to lead and what aspects you don’t like and want to change. But if you don’t take the time to actually create actionable goals out of them, it’s very easy to treat them like something nebulous and far away. Whatever your long-term wants are, start taking them seriously. Break them up into goals and give yourself a place to start even if you don’t know the whole journey yet. Actually writing them down, reading them aloud, and acknowledging them is important, too. It gives you the sense that you’re laying out something concrete rather than dreaming up a what-if scenario.

Find your mantra

When you write them down, they can also become something more valuable. You can call it a mantra, you can call it inspiration, you can call it support. Finding a source to replenish your motivation over time is crucial. It can come from all kinds of places. A supportive group of friends to help keep you accountable. A role model or mentor who inspires you to keep going. You might even serve as your own mantra. For instance, you can create a journal in which you recount every attempt and every bit of progress you make towards your next goal. Seeing how far you’ve come and getting a positive emotional kick for seeing what you’ve accomplished can keep you engaged with the goal.

The body matters

Motivation isn’t all mental, either. Our physical reserves of energy, the balance of hormones in our body, these are also important. For instance, exercising helps you not only become more physically active. It also sharpens the mind. Carb-heavy foods are well known to make people feel mentally sluggish as well, so they might be worth avoiding. There are even supplements that can help you improve your energy and motivation, too. Testosterone might be considered a “male hormone”, but even women can benefit from balancing their body with a Tongkat Ali dosage. The body and the mind are intrinsically linked. If you make changes to one of them, you’re going to feel some effect on the other as well.

Motivation is vital to exercise, to career, to your personal pursuits and development. It helps us focus on what’s important in life and the feeling of using that motivation to get a “win” is the kind of fulfillment that can stop us from getting in a rut. Take your motivation seriously.

The Three P’s Of Getting Into Fitness


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Getting into a healthy fitness routine can be tricky, but the payoffs are worth it. Staying healthy is something you need to do for yourself. Getting into fitness isn’t something that you can only do if you’re in your 20s, or that you can only do if you can afford a personal trainer at the gym, or have time to workout for three hours every day. It doesn’t work like that – there is no particular time in your life where you shouldn’t be working on your fitness, the earlier you start, the better your health will be, but getting into a good routine is just as important later in life too.

But being fit and healthy doesn’t happen overnight with minimal effort. One rep of sit-ups won’t give you a six-pack, here are the three Ps to getting into fitness

Patience

You need to dedicate time to get healthy. You will need to find some time in your busy life to workout, whether it’s a 20 minute home gym session or a half-hour run. Find the time and book it in like an appointment that can’t be missed. You have to wait for your body to get where you want it to be, but remember that it will get there and the journey is just as important as the goal.

You may get setbacks through illness or injury, but don’t rush into getting back to it too soon. If you need to take some time and a step back, then do so. You need to listen to your body, learn it’s limitation and work with it, not against it, to get to the new healthy you.

Perseverance

It will seem hard and impossible at times, but you can do it. The pain you feel is your body tearing to remake itself stronger. It sounds brutal, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. And the flood of endorphins exercise gives you helps to wipe out that pain.

You might find one of the hardest things is staying away from temptation with your food. Working out isn’t enough you need to eat the right things, and that does mean cutting out a lot of your favorite foods, and eating stuff, you’re not that fond of. However, you do get used to it. Feeding your body the right stuff eventually stops it craving the bad stuff. And after a while, treating yourself to a greasy burger will make you feel ill rather than satisfied.

Protein

Your biggest food-friend when getting fit is protein. You need to eat a balanced diet, but if you are geared towards building muscle, that scale does tip towards protein. This doesn’t just mean throwing a steak onto your salad – you need to mix up the meat. Red meat in large quantities isn’t great for you, so mix it up with chicken and fish. Salmon is high in Omega 3 which is one of the more vital vitamins your body needs. You can also use things like nuts for a non-meat option. Things like Sportsfuel supplements are a great way of getting that extra protein without upping your meat intake. You can get a one-a-day shake, or ones that you take before and after your workout.

Should You Eat Back Your Exercise Calories?


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When you exercise, you burn calories. That’s a pretty well known fact. If you’re trying to lose weight, then you’ll be familiar with this simple exchange: if you use more calories than you eat, then weight loss will swiftly follow. By increasing your exercise, you’re using even more calories, increasing your chances of successful weight loss. It’s fairly basic biological fact.

However, there is one question that anyone who is exercising and trying to lose weight needs to ponder: should you “eat back” your exercise calories?

“What does that mean?” you may be wondering. Well, it’s pretty simple.

If you’ve exercised, then you can input the exercise you have done into a calorie burn calculator. This will show you just how many calories your exercise has burned. Let’s say you’ve done a half hour of situps and toning work, burning around 150 calories (though the amount does vary depending on your weight).

Now, if you follow the weight loss exchange, that means you could technically eat 150 calories and still lose weight. You’re eating back the calories that you’ve burned off through the exercise. A lot of people treat exercise calories as earned calories; i.e. “I’ve jogged for an hour so now I can afford to have a creamy milkshake!”

What’s so wrong with that?

Nothing, in principle. Provided you’re still eating at a calorie deficit for the day — anything beneath 2,000 calories if a deficit for most people — then you can eat back your calories and still lose weight.

However… if you don’t eat back those calories, then you potentially stand to lose even more weight. Your exercise will be even more beneficial.

So it’s bad to eat back your calories?

It’s not as clear cut as that.

The simple fact is that if you have been exercising hard, you’re going to need to eat after exercising. You will have used energy and electrolytes to exercise; if you’ve exercised hard, then it’s important to consult a what to eat after a workout guide to find the right foods to eat to help rebalance your system. Do this in addition to your regular planned meals, using some of the “earned” calories to help replenish what has been lost by exercising. In fact, if you exercise and then don’t eat, you might find yourself feeling unwell.

However, it’s worth questioning whether or not you should eat back all of the calories that you expended. If your focus is on losing weight, then the bigger your calorie deficit, the better.

So… eat back a percentage of the earned calories?

This might be the best choice. It ensures you’re going to get enough nutrients to stave off hunger, while still allowing you to reap a weight loss benefit from the exercise that you’ve done. Allow yourself to eat back 50 percent of the calories you have used while exercising; this ensures you can have a treat, get your body nourished, but still see the benefit the next time you weigh yourself.

Prevention Or Attention – Which Approach To Health & Beauty Is Right For You?


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Looking and feeling great is a priority for us all. Unfortunately, for most people, it doesn’t come naturally. Achieving the best health and image requires a lot of hard work, and there are various ways to handle it. One of the key questions, however, is whether to prevent issues or attend to them once they surface.

In truth, there is no one size fits all solution. As such, it’s imperative that you analyze each of the key elements on their individual merits. Focus on each of the key points below, and you won’t go far wrong.

Skincare

 

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The skin isn’t only the largest organ of the human body. It’s also a central focus of all beauty rituals due to the fact it’s something that people continually see. Sadly, time will eventually take its toll on your natural appearances. Thankfully, the best anti-aging creams can slow the process. While it doesn’t prevent the effects altogether, it does stop this from becoming an issue prematurely.

Preventive care is essential for long-term healthy skin. However, it’s equally vital to identify and rectify any current issues. Overcoming dryness and similar issues can be achieved via simple ideas like a better night’s sleep or increased your water intake. Meanwhile, foundations and other makeup choices can be used to cover spots and other blemishes for short-term beauty.

Ultimately, skincare is one of the most complex elements of all. As such, it should embrace elements of both prevention and attention. More importantly, though, those routines must extend beyond the face. They can range from treating the feet to wearing sun lotion when it’s hot. Either way, those tasks can make all the difference for immediate and long-term health and appearances.

Physical Fitness

 

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Size matters and staying in good shape is crucial for ongoing health. Furthermore, it can have a telling impact on our body image too. After all, physique is the one element that you will be judged for on a daily basis. From friends and work colleague to complete strangers, everyone will form an opinion about you based on this one factor.

 When choosing an exercise plan, you must appreciate your personal requirements and limitations. Only then will you find a mix of cardio and strength training that works for you. In reality, items such as injury management fall into both prevention and attention. Quite frankly, that’s the way it has to be.

For those with an active need to lose weight or increase their fitness, a reaction is required. This can also include fixing postural problems with office back braces. If you are already quite fit, though, maintaining your health and fitness is an ongoing prevention of future problems. In reality, the exact strategies utilized will vary from person to person.

Oral Health & Appearance

 

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The mouth plays a key role in all human communication as well as eating. Therefore, keeping your in the best possible shape should be a priority from health and image perspectives. A winning smile is one of the greatest things that anyone can ever possess.

 A white smile is acquired through a combination of reactionary treatments and preventive methods. Professional whitening should be coupled with daily cleaning and flossing. This will give you the very best results for both immediate and sustained benefits.

Misaligned or chipped teeth can be even more problematic. Not only do they look bad, but they can cause problems for speech and eating. Invisible braces are a great solution without impacting your appearance. There’s not much that can be done to prevent teeth growing in bad positions. But you can at least help them remain healthy with daily care and regular dental checkups. Make sure that you do.

Mental Health   

 

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Falling into the trap of focusing solely on physical elements is very easily done. However, mental issues are just as vital to your overall health. Perhaps surprisingly, they also hold a significant influence over personal appearances too. Overlooking this key factor is no longer a solution.

Spotting the signs of depression or other mental health conditions is the hardest but most important task. Treatments are available, both medically and from psychiatric experts. A problem shared is a problem halved. As such, the sooner you act upon the issue, the sooner you’ll find a winning solution. Whatever happens, you needn’t feel alone in this fight. And simply knowing that support is available can restore that smile.

As for preventing mental health issues, simply living the life you wish to lead can help. While it is a far more complex situation than this alone, happiness is the greatest weapon against those problems.  Use this as another incentive to take greater care of the physical aspects, and you will not regret it.

 The Final Word

 By now, you should realize that the title question has no black and white answer. The human body is the most complex thing imaginable. Keeping it in the best condition requires preventive treatments as well as response to all problems that surface.

 Only then will it gain the comprehensive care that you deserve.   

 

Feeling Confident With Fitness: How To Learn To Love Exercise


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Working out is something that we all know we need to do, but don’t always want to do. And it’s the latter than tends to hold us up. Because exercise can be hard, and there’s nothing like being faced with something difficult and that we don’t feel all that confident with to just stop doing it altogether. Or worse – just not even start.

So when you’re a little intimidated by the idea of exercising, you tend to put it to the back of your mind and just forget about it altogether. But when you realize that you never have any energy, or that you’re starting to put on a bit too much weight, you know that you need to take action. And fast. So let’s take a look at how you can get your confidence back and learn to love exercise.

Start Off Small

The best way to do this, is to start off small. Because if you try to get out there and take on anything too big, you’re likely to find that you’re just going to burn out and scare yourself again. So, forget about going to the gym or joining a scary boot camp, just get out there and do something. Go for a walk or attend a fun dance class with friends. The idea of this is to get your fitness levels up and get you used to the idea of exercising regularly.

Dress To Impress

Now that you’re exercising a little more regularly, you need to think about wearing the kind of clothes that are going to make you feel confident. Although you think hiding in those baggy clothes cover you up, they can actually make you feel worse. Instead, you need to find the right sports bra, workout leggings and shirts that are going to help you move and feel comfortable. Because when you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’ll feel 100 times more confident.

 

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Challenge Yourself

Do you enjoy a challenge? If so, then you’re going to want to think about pushing yourself when it comes to your fitness. If you want to be able to improve your strength, or increase your cardiovascular fitness, set yourself a challenge or two. You may find that you fall in love with the results and it spurs you to go on.

Take A Friend

You could also think about working out with a friend. Because when you have a fitness buddy, it can often motivate you to stay on track, to push yourself in terms of your abilities and how hard you work, and it can be a lot of fun too!

Find Your Feet

But at the same time, you should also be working out for you, and not for anyone else. Maybe the reason you’ve struggled in the past is that you’re doing things that others do – like going to the gym or running, when they’re not what you really love. So, whether it’s doing something active and adventurous like watersports, or trying belly dancing, you need to do the kind of exercise and workouts that you’re going to love!

Sculpting Your Strength

Running, aerobics, and team sports are all great for building up your fitness level and helping you to lose some weight, but there is a missing ingredient if you’re hoping to build your dream body; weight training. Underneath the layers of fat in your body, is a lot of muscle just waiting to be sculpted. Most women leave out strength training because they don’t want to look like body-builders, but this isn’t as likely to happen as it is with men. According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, high levels of estrogen make it very difficult for women to become overly muscular. All that awaits you at the end of the strength building tunnel is a lean, strong, and well-toned body. Here are a few exercises to help you achieve this goal.

Yoga


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When you first sign up for a yoga class, you might be expecting a lot of sitting, emphasis on breathing, and working to improve your mental health. However, any seasoned yogis will know that yoga can be a really intensive exercise. When your posture is correct, and you engage all the correct muscles, even the most basic poses can leave you feeling breathless and weak after 30 minutes. But each time you hold a pose for a few more breaths, you can feel yourself getting stronger. After a few months of yoga, you find it easier to support your body in Downward Facing Dog, or stay upright when doing Eagle pose. Every plank lasts a little longer, and sooner or later you will see that your biceps and abdominal muscles are a little bit more defined in your body. The best part about yoga is that you don’t have to do it for an hour each evening. Just 10 or 20 minutes will provide an effect strength training workout.

Weights


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A more obvious way to incorporate weight training into your workout is to actually use weights. One piece of equipment growing in popularity are rep fitness kettlebells, because they can also improve motion and stamina, and they have a better grip for beginners. However, if you want to gradually increase your weight training, adjustable dumbbells give you a lot of different weight selections for less money than a bunch of individual weights, and they take up a lot less space than a full set. If you can’t afford dumbbells yet, a resistance band will provide the same effect in a full-body workout.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


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Even with your added weight training, you should make sure you don’t neglect your cardio. An excellent way to combine the two is through HIIT classes, which combines 30 seconds of weights and 30 seconds of cardio in three minute increments for a 30 minute workout. It’s intense, but it can fit into even the busiest schedules, targets all your muscles, and has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts. HIIT also helps to boost your metabolism, so you keep burning fat even after your workout is complete.