Gyms and fitness centers are fantastic places to work on your physical health. With top-tier equipment, personal trainers to guide you, and the camaraderie of other members, a great gym makes it easy to stay motivated and meet your fitness goals. However, the gym isn’t the only place you can improve your health.
If you’re serious about living a healthy lifestyle, these are three other places you should be focusing on your health.
“You can’t outrun a bad diet.” It’s a catchy phrase, but what does it really mean?
Weight gain or loss is determined by the calories you consume versus the calories you burn. If you eat more calories than you burn through exercise and daily activity, you’ll gain weight, but if you operate in a calorie deficit, you’ll lose weight. So if you’re consistently eating more food than your body needs, you’ll see the numbers on the scale rise even if you’re a dedicated gym-goer.
When it comes to cutting calories, there’s a right way and a wrong way. People who turn to fad diets to lose weight quickly tend to gain it back once they stop the diet. That’s because fad diets don’t address the eating habits that lead to weight gain. If you want your weight to go down and stay down, you need a diet plan that’s sustainable for your lifestyle. Rather than experimenting with diet trends, research which diets are proven to work, and talk to your doctor to determine the diet plan that matches your nutritional needs.
When you want to mix up your workouts, skip the gym and head outside instead. There are countless ways to get active outdoors, from swimming to mountaineering to playing a sport. The best part? Most of them are tons of fun, so you’ll hardly notice you’re working out.
Outdoor exercise is also great for your mental health. Exercising outdoors has been shown to improve self-esteem, moods, and sense of purpose while reducing stress and anxiety. That’s because when you exercise outside, you combine the mental health-boosting powers of exercise with the mood-lifting effects of nature.
Getting active outdoors does have more risks than working out in a gym, so make sure you have the right equipment before heading out, and respect your limitations when venturing into wilderness areas. That’s especially true if you’re heading outdoors in the winter, when a slip on ice or snow could leave you injured in dangerous weather conditions. Crampons are a must in icy weather (you can learn more about crampons and find quality ones here). The Appalachian Mountain Club lists more essential gear you need before heading into the great outdoors.
Odds are that you don’t think of your cubicle as a fitness-focused environment. However, you can do a lot of harm to your body sitting behind a desk if you’re not mindful.
New research is emerging all the time that shows just how terrible sitting behind a desk all day is for your health, and it’s bad news for the gym buffs: Even if you sweat it out at the gym every day, you can’t undo the harmful effects of too much sitting. If you work a desk job, set a timer that reminds you to get up and move for at least 5 minutes every half hour. Better yet, swap your standard desk for a sit-stand desk so you spend part of the workday on your feet.
Muscles are made in the gym, but head-to-toe health happens everywhere you live, work, and play. From your office to your kitchen, a fitness class to a mountain ridge, every place you spend time is an opportunity to improve your health. Pay attention to how your everyday habits influence your health, and you’ll see gains in strength and endurance beyond what you thought was possible.
Image via Unsplash
Time is Your Most Valuable Asset
Author H. Jackson Brown Jr. said that we all have the same amount of hours per day as Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Helen Keller had. And it’s true!
Our excuses for not having enough time are laughable when compared to individuals who have achieved an immense amount within the same parameters. Yet, it’s so easy to grow complacent and convince ourselves that we’re far too busy to achieve just as much as other individuals!
Most of the time, if we would just minimize our daily distractions, focus, turn off the email and social media for a few hours a day, and get to work, we would have more time than we knew what to do with.
Because time is your most precious resource, minimizing the ‘time-wasters’ in your life is absolutely essential.
Let’s look at some of the most prominent things we do that wastes our time.
Social media marketing is a great tool for growing your business, spreading your message, and growing a community around your vision. But spending too much time on your social media feeds can quickly become a problem.
I think we all subscribe to the sentiment that social media in excess is a waste of time. And yes, it can be an absolutely powerful tool for communication and connection, but so many of us wonder where our days go despite habits of checking our social media profiles a few times every hour.
Now don’t get me wrong, I too can get caught up scrolling through a news feed here and there. However, allowing social media to consume your life can be a tad bit overboard. In fact, most people don’t even know that they’re doing it!
If we tally up our daily time spent on social media, we might be shocked. This resource says that on average, 142 minutes a day is spent on social media sites.
Because it’s easy to fall victim to autopilot and the internet’s many clickable distractions, we have to limit ourselves from spending too much time online. Try unplugging for 24 hours. It can be quite invigorating, and I promise, you’re going to survive without it!
Forcing ourselves to not habitually check social media means that we have extra time to hit daily workouts. It also means we can spend time on those projects we never seem to have the energy for. And cultivating discipline towards time management contributes to productivity and less procrastination.
We need to approach our daily tasks with a focused mind. If not, we are bound to spend twice the amount of time on a task than necessary.
Instead of drifting through a workweek, we need to make every minute count. Instead of multitasking and taking our attention to a hundred different places in any given day, we can focus on 2-3 tasks instead.
Now, we all know the dangers of procrastination. As the information on that webpage shows, breaking down a task into smaller sections and putting aside interruptions is key for keeping ourselves focused on what we need to accomplish.
So, instead of avoiding work because it is difficult or makes us uncomfortable, we can learn to break down a formidable task into smaller sections and then force ourselves to finish, no matter what.
You can also try reverse engineering a task to save time. This means you can find the solution to your problem first, that you can determine from the outcome how to tackle a problem and figure out the process. Sometimes working backwards can save you a lot of time!
These strategies for saving time are not easy to practice though! It takes a lot of vigilance and self-accountability to make sure you are forcing yourself to focus. This is also where having team members, friends, mentors, family members, significant others, personal trainers, can keep you on track.
In that sense, consider setting up a system where the important people in your life are also keeping you accountable for the things you want to accomplish. There is strength in numbers!
Also, consider a “will do list”. It will help hold you accountable and at the end of the day when you review. And plus, it’s a great feeling to cross each individual item off your list!
Of course we are going to stress about the future. We are always going to be anxious about something. It’s perfectly normal to worry about finances or our health. It’s also just as normal to fixate on past mistakes as a sort of prophetic look into the future.
I used to have severe anxiety stressing over the future, and to this day, it is personally the hardest thing not to get caught up in. Always feeling like you’re not doing enough is a very common element of being an entrepreneur, so I have my hands full with that on a daily basis!
Not such a great way to spend your life though, when you think about it. Nor is it a productive use of time!
Again, we want to maximize the hours of our life. This means that when we go to bed, we get deep, restorative sleep. If we are up late into the night, worrying about the future and unable to relax, then your work will suffer. This will then start a vicious cycle!
So, this doesn’t mean that we should just wish away our worries. That too is a waste of time!
The point is to actively pay attention to the time you spend worrying. Often time all you need to do is ask yourself: “Am I really being productive right now? Am I wasting precious time I’ll never get back?”
When considering our anxieties about the future, we need to look no further than the padre of positive thinking, Napoleon Hill. In his famous book, Think and Grow Rich, Hill points out this brilliant insight:
This idea is alarming when applied to our worries about the future. It is not only a waste of time, but it is also harmful because our thoughts have the power to dictate the way we perceive and interact with the world.
Minimize this worry means we have more time to use to enrich our lives, and to learn to positively perceive the world (and even teach others to do the same!).
Easier said than done for those with severe anxiety of course! But if you can help it, quit wasting your time by worrying about the future!
Very briefly, when considering our fixations on the past, you need to remember there really is no point crying over spilt milk. No matter how commonplace that sounds, it is essential for maximizing the amount of time you have at your disposal.
If worrying about the future does not make sense after you have analyzed all the time you spend doing so, then by extension, why would regretting the past do any good as well?
Instead, of worrying and wasting our time fragmenting our attention in a thousand different places every day, let’s see what we can do with the time we have NOW, in the present moment, fully focused and ready to take the world by storm...in a good way of course!
We should follow these steps to ensure our time is being used to its maximum potential:
Track and then limit your social media usage every day. If you are using it to boost your influence, to market, or as a means for social outreach, then yes, you should spend a little time every day on each platform. But the next time you reach the end of your day wondering where the time went, look to social media first.
Recruit accountability partners. Whomever you decide to recruit, make sure they are holding you accountable to your weekly goals. This takes a bit of honesty and courage to openly admit to others the areas that you get distracted, but with their help, and your own rock solid resolve, you’d be surprised how much time you really have every day.
Keep focused and stay the course. The next time you are tempted to split up a task into a multiple day endeavor, see if you can actually finish it within one. Don’t underestimate your ability to get ‘in the zone’ and do some really good work in one attempt. This saves up a lot of time where you have to work yourself into a state of focus throughout a multiple-day timeframe.
Try to focus on the present moment. Worrying about the future and fixating on the past is inevitable. But to actively seek to minimize the time we spend in those states is a always a good use of energy. To be sure, where we can do the most good is in the present moment, where we can look to become as engaged as possible.
Don’t waste time complaining! You might have falling into the habit of complaining about every little thing that comes your way. This a form of avoidance. Instead, actively fixing the problems that come your way is much more productive than passively complaining about them.
Plan accordingly and practice self-reflection: If you find yourself not getting as much done as you want during the day, spending the time to self-reflect on your day and measure the effectiveness of how you spent your time is essential for saving time.
So, with this information at your fingertips, the choice is yours to invest your time wisely!
Sometimes in our culture, positivity gets a bad rap. Somewhere along the way we started equating positivity with naiveté, as if the only way to be perceived as intelligent, experienced, or successful, is to be a cynical or pessimistic person.
Here’s the thing though: That type of thinking is complete nonsense!
In fact, success and happiness are not mutually exclusive. What if I told you that positivity could be the wellspring from which all of your strength lies. That despite modern perceptions of positivity, it is actually far more likely you’ll get ahead if you cultivate optimistic habits in your life.
So you can either let someone else tell you the type of story you need to write for yourself--from a place of cynicism and negativity--or you can draw from the words of author Ryan Holiday when he says:
“There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.”
In this way, we can choose frame our decisions, outlook, and overall disposition from a place of positivity. It is wholeheartedly our choice!
Now, it is a fact that human beings have learned to looked at the world through negativity biases for millenia now. And this tendency towards negativity has a lot to do with the anatomy of our brains--which will process a negative input much quicker than a positive one due to the part of the brain called the amygdala (that famous fight-or-flight area).
But if we know that we’re hard-wired to be negative, we can fight against it.
The more we know this fact about ourselves and pay attention to our tendency towards negativity, the more we can stop and deliberately work to turn our thoughts positive.
As is suggested by the best-selling book The Secret, there’s a lot of good that can come from actively focusing your thoughts on a positive outcome, instead of dwelling on the negatives that occur.
“There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstances of your life can change!” - Rhonda Byrne (The Secret)
Instead of letting the negatives take over your brain and override your decision-making process, confidence, and ambitions, you can drastically improve the quality of your life by balancing the negatives with the far more powerful positives!
If we let our natural tendency towards negativity take over our brains, we run the risk of never really striving for greater things.
Embarrassment is a negative emotion; failure has very negative connotations that can prevent us from even trying in the first place; fear is a very negative sensation. The list goes on!
When considering how negativity prevents us from knowing our full potential, there’s an apt quote to remember:
“Someone once told me the definition of hell; on your last day on earth, the person you could have become will meet the person you became.”
Because we are often chronically self-critical and many of us suffer from impostor syndrome, we all run the risk of continually meeting the person we could have become in life. We need to prevent this from happening by actively cultivating positivity in our professional and personal lives.
Here are a few simple tips for doing so.
To truly practice positivity in your life, there are many things you can do. Some of the most crucial are the following:
1. Frame negative emotions like fear, failure, embarrassment, and stress, in a positive way. This means that if we are afraid about a particular life decision, it’s more than likely just our brain activating its self-defense system. That’s all. Remember that if you are nervous, it just means that you care. So, if you can learn to welcome uncomfortable feelings as a necessary step towards succeeding, than you will ultimately be a much more positive person.
2. Acknowledge and recognize others. There’s nothing like a little gratitude and praise to help your team members, friends, or spouse, feel a positive emotion. And through this habit you can start to experience life in a much more positive light because. Focus on the positives and you’ll become positive.
3. Remember the words of Napoleon Hill: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Your failures do not define you but are actually blessings in disguise.
4. Don’t let others bring you down. By standing on guard and choosing to be positive, even when everyone surrounding you is not, you are actively expressing a desire for positivity. Often times you can lead by example, and those around you will look to you for leadership and guidance.
With all of this said, you don’t have to embrace negativity to be a successful person. You don’t have to substitute being nice with working hard. And you can have a positive outlook on life and be wildly more successful than those who don’t care for others’ wellbeing.
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The Reality of Impostor Syndrome: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/real-women/201809/the-reality-imposter-syndrome
Are You Afraid of Success?
A fear of success might sound counterintuitive, but it’s very common, and it doesn’t have to consume your life.
It’s simple. A lot of us are qualified, capable, and driven enough to keep learning and furthering our skills, but a fear of the unknown paralyzes us whenever opportunities present themselves.
Maybe your reasons for not starting a business or pursuing a career path that interests you are completely justified though.
It could be that you have worked really hard at striking a healthy balance between work and time with family, and a new position threatens to take that away from you.
Or maybe you are just unsure of the next move to make. That’s pretty normal after all.
This is where you need to be really honest with yourself and ask the hard questions like:
Is my decision not to pursue my passion in [insert job title here] the result of fear in one of its many forms?
Am I willing to be miserable in the known versus momentarily terrified in the unknown?
Am I afraid that this position will show me how little I actually know about my profession?
Am I afraid of working hard? I mean, to be successful one has to work hard after all.
The point is this: be extremely honest with yourself and ask the questions that you need to ask to break yourself out of self-deception mode.
Oh yeah, and one more thing...quit trying to control what you can’t control, already!
Don’t Stress About What You Can’t Control
First of all, let’s assume your passion in life is something that you can’t really control. You have interests and passions that were cultivated by myriad genetic and environmental factors, and you couldn’t turn those interests off if you wanted to (why would you want to!?)
In that sense, why fight them? Why purposefully move away from what you love to do? Why not follow that stream and see where it takes you?
Yes, financial reasons. Yes, circumstances and responsibilities and family and friends...those are all extremely valid things to consider.
But let’s say you have decided you’re miserable where you’re at. You are financially stable enough and ready to move. Yet you are too terrified to surrender to the unknown because it makes you uncomfortable...it’s something that you can’t control.
My advice is to let yourself relinquish control. Stop trying to have a neat explanation and answer to every little outcome and just follow your passion. Use your passion as an example, a guiding light that you can lean on whenever you’re terrified and life throws obstacles your way.
Once you’re ready and have the means, there’s no excuse. It takes practice and courage on a continual basis, but you’ll eventually get comfortable with not being in control.
Beating Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome is that voice in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough for a promotion or position. Or that at any moment someone is going to stand up at a meeting and point to you, loudly proclaiming that you have been pretending to work since day one and that you don’t belong with the organization.
Paradoxically, it is often the smartest, most talented people who suffer from impostor syndrome.
This doesn’t meant that you aren’t capable or talented if you don’t suffer from impostor syndrome though! Chances are you have learned the self-confidence and perspective needed to quiet the harmful inner-monologue that often runs rampant with negativity.
But for those who are still having a hard time quieting the self-doubt, just recognize it and understand that you hold yourself to a very high standard. This makes you better at your job but also means you are harsh towards yourself.
Keep the intensity that makes you such a hard worker, but at the same time, go easy on yourself and trust that you’re qualified to do what you do. A lot of people are faking it until they make it anyways! Cut yourself some slack.
And speaking of hard work. You really do need to work hard to be successful. And if the prospect of working intensely scares you, that is a very real reason why you are afraid to succeed. Because success often equates to hard work.
Hard Work: Get Used to It!
Yes, even your favorite activity in the world will feel like work. That quote about finding what you love to do and never working a day in your life is a nice sentiment, but not quite correct.
And that’s completely fine!
But telling yourself that one day you’ll find the time to get around to writing that novel or owning your own business is just you avoiding what you could have already started yesterday (most likely at least!).
Most people are just afraid of working hard. Don't’ be that person!
When it comes to your future, you need to invest the time and effort into it, whenever you have the free time to give (which is more often than you might be aware).
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It seems suspicious that New Year's resolutions never really pan out. We make well-laid plans to become new and improved people, but often our motivation bottoms out by the middle of February. What goes wrong? Why do our best intentions often fall short when implemented? There could be many different answers to these questions, but for the most part, the biggest two are these:
(1) We try to do everything ourselves, without help, and without a viable strategy for achieving our goals.
(2) We base our decisions on a New Year’s resolution instead of a strongly-held conviction or desire.
Be it quitting cigarettes, cutting out soda, or joining a gym and achieving your dream body, waiting until New Years to start acting on a fitness plan is a recipe for failure. Because so often we only try due to social pressures and an obligation to adhere to the typical resolution experience, we aren’t really wanting to change our lives. Instead, we are just going through the motions.
In response, one should get a jump on the process by joining the gym a month or two before New Years to beat the rush, as well as hire a personal trainer to make a strategic program for achieving your fitness goals.
Don’t go through the usual routine of loading up on calorie-dense foods during the holiday JUST because you are extremely sure you are going to stick to your fitness goals once the New Year hits. It is best not to take that chance!
It is much too easy to grow complacent and lose all motivation; having a personal trainer can help you get an early jumpstart on achieving your fitness goals before the New Years crowd. But first, it is important to motivate yourself enough to take the initiative.
Plain and simple, the holidays are the perfect time to get a jumpstart on your new diet and fitness program. It is a true test to pit yourself against tempting treats during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just think of how motivated you will be if you successfully stopped yourself from eating like you normally would around the holidays. And even if you fail, you still tried; that puts you at a much more positive position than going into the New Year’s cold instead of warmed-up.
Therein lies a huge part of successfully strategizing to achieve your health goals. 9 times out of 10, the motivation has to come from within yourself. And if you can successfully start your journey, without putting it off for another day, you will be that much more motivated to continue. Much more so than if you had waited until the New Years out of obligation, only to probably fall off the wagon just like the majority of gym-goers. And much more motivated to hire a personal trainer who will help you along the way.
By playing the long game, by setting ourselves up for success over hoping for the best when the New Year comes around, one can be considerably successful over the opposite position.
- Start small by getting yourself acclimated to changing your lifestyle. Don’t go “all-in” right away because you will run the risk of burning yourself out.
- Motivate yourself. Don’t let others influence your decisions completely. A desire for change has to come from deep inside you.
- Start early, get a jump on the Resolutioners by joining a gym and getting a personal trainer.
- Lastly, ditch the resolutions for good. You don’t need them anyways!
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The Path to Success is Rarely Linear
We all have hopes and aspirations; to be human is to strive for something. However large or small the feat, we are spurred by action to achieve our subjective successes. Unfortunately, though, a lot of us assume that our life will be a linear progression towards the realization of our dreams. We put in a ton of work, effort, and elbow grease, but sometimes the results are rather lackluster.
Disappointment can lead to discouragement, hopelessness, and frustration so palpable that dreams are abandoned for the safety net of settling for something with less risk and emotional recoil. And yes, no matter how much you deserve to succeed, no matter how much of your life you invested into a passion project, yourself, or your business, sometimes success is just not in the books at the moment.
But does this reality have to seem so bleak? Of course not! It might seem like it at the time, but these hardships are actually a blessing in disguise. We are meant to get a little lost, and we are definitely not forced to follow a linear trajectory to the fulfillment of our goals.
Can we take our losses in stride and actually use them in positive ways to strengthen our resolve and put us even closer to success? Yes, we most certainly can!
The reasons for why this is so important will be discussed below. Let's explore them!
When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take it
The baseball great Yogi Berra supposedly said this. But his humorous directional advice is actually really relevant in this context. If we see a fork in the road, don’t be paralyzed by the burden of choice: make a decision, commit to it, and understand that it might just be a detour in the grand scheme.
If the path doesn’t amount to much, that’s quite alright; plenty can be learned from taking the scenic route. And some have even found that the ‘wrong turns’ they made along the way actually altered the shape of the long-term goals. In this context, in the grand scheme of things, there are no ‘wrong turns’, just the inevitable detours along the way.
Now, if this sounds sort of cheesy and abstract, it kind of is, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of the principle. Hypothetically, most of us think that our dreams and goals are dangling in the distance, so close but so far away. We can see them, we can taste them, but the more we walk towards them they start to fade like a mirage. We run, we scream, we throw up our fists in aggravation, but the image fades every time. That’s alright!
Often, we just need to approach the goal from a different angle. We need to embrace the non-linear path by moving lateral moves.
Take the Scenic Route: Don’t be Afraid to go Sideways
As this heading implies, sometimes a lateral move is necessary to break through a plateau or to get back on the right track to success. And let’s face it: those sideways ventures can become some of the most life-changing and rewarding moments of one’s life.
With sideways moves, what first looked like an obstacle, actually becomes the perfect time to learn valuable lessons and to improve your overall resolve and character. Plus, it can get you out of your comfort zone. All one has to do is change their perceptions about what a detour in life can do for gaining experience and the necessary skills or resources needed to propel past whatever obstacle is in the way. And even sometimes you can skip the obstacle altogether and explore other routes as they present themselves.
Also, think about it this way: if you have a problem to tackle, you can try approaching it head-on. You can keep working at it, determination is a very important skill to cultivate after all. Or you can instead go around the obstacle that stands in your path and explore a new route. You can then approach whatever challenge that you are hung up on from a different angle. And often, what seemed scary and intimidating from the front, usually doesn’t look so bad from other vantage points.
But the biggest lesson to learn from all of this is that there are many options and pathways that will lead to your goals. Not always will they be linear: they will snake this way and that, deviate, bifurcate, twist, turn, tilt, and sometimes look as convoluted as a labyrinth. That’s just a part of the wonderful ride. Don’t be afraid to explore as many as you can. Even if that means backtracking a bit.
And yes, sometimes moving backwards is the only way forwards!
Take Your Losses in Stride: How to ‘Fail’ Productively While You Backtrack
There’s a reason why the word ‘fail’ is surrounded in quotes. When it comes to striving for greatness or trying to achieve goals, there is no such thing as ‘failing’. Any attempt, no matter how small or large is an automatic win. What you essentially did was you generated the courage, energy, or desire to achieve something that is important to you, and you put forth an honest effort. If you fell short of the mark, that’s completely fine. All that matters are that you tried and will try again.
While on your path in life, you will have to backtrack. You will run into dead-ends that require you to turn around and retrace your steps. Sometimes this can hurt. What looked like the right path was something else entirely. But you undoubtedly learned something along the way. Does it make sense to throw the whole experience away, to essentially chalk up your time spent as just a gigantic waste of time just because you failed? Absolutely not.
Instead of throwing away valuable opportunities, we can fail productively. We can take whatever path we walked, and whatever struggles we encountered on that path, and apply it to our lives in a productive manner. And maybe the next fork in the road that we take will be the right one. We can learn to recognize true paths from those that just appear to be the right directions to take. And most of all, we can learn to trust in the journey itself. No one said it would be easy. And like that well-worn statement of old says, “nothing worth having comes easy.”
If we can stay vigilant on our journey, be curious and not afraid to explore sideways, forwards, and backwards, we will find success in its many forms.
Action Steps and Reminders:
1. Success does not always follow a linear path: We will inevitably run into roadblocks and detours. Don’t let this derail your overall plans. Stay consistent and learn from your struggles whenever possible.
2. When you come to a fork in the road, take it: Understand you will have choices to make; instead of stressing or stalling out, make a choice, see where the path takes you, and make the necessary navigational moves.
3. Moving sideways is always an option: You can take the scenic route by going sideways; sometimes all your mind needs to solve a problem or to move past a plateau is a fresh perspective. A sideways direction can help with that.
4. Backtracking is completely fine: Forward progress is a myth more often than not. Remember, there is no such thing as failure, as long as you keep trying. Learn from your failures by failing productively. And do your best to reorient how you perceive failures in general. Human beings function on a trial-and-error basis; that’s just how we learn. We shouldn’t feel ashamed for trying and missing the mark. At least we tried.
[This blog post was partially inspired by The Obstacle is the Way, which was written by Ryan Holiday. Check it out for more concepts and ideas like those that were discussed.]
To read more about Travis Gil, click his BIO
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You Should Get a Personal Trainer...Just Saying
You should definitely consider getting a personal trainer!
Think about it: New Year's resolutions are just on the horizon--not to mention we have Thanksgiving turkey and pie to contend with--so why not be as proactive as possible this year? Instead of last-minute personal trainer searching, get in the swing of things a couple months before every “resolutioner” and their grandma start piling into the gym.
And if you have already done the kind service of adopting a stray personal trainer, perhaps one who was wandering around aimlessly, with loose coins jingling around in an empty protein shaker, we applaud you. You probably already know the many benefits of having a personal trainer and are reaping the rewards every session. But for those who want convincing, here are the 6 biggest reasons you should hire one!
1. Form Check! For our own safety, we need to perform movements in the most biomechanically advantageous ways. This prevents injuries and means we get the most efficient workout. It also limits muscle imbalances. For example, let’s say you favor one side during squats. You don’t even realize it, but you are going to be asymmetrical in build and strength if never corrected. Plus, you run the risk of injury and of inefficiency i.e. every rep will be harder than it needs to be. A personal trainer is your guide for safe, symmetrical, and proper lifting. They provide an invaluable service in this department.
2. Motivation! Yes, even on days when you don’t want to lift, your trainer will push you to perform. And although it probably only sounds good on paper, having a strong support system in place with another individual is what it’s all about. Not to mention, you will be stronger with someone by your side, cheering you on and pushing you to perform your heart out. Never underestimate the power of motivation!
3. A Friendship! Count on it. Personal trainers are friendly and will become invested in your journey. And the relationship you share with your personal trainer will only grow stronger. Personal trainers also provide the type of friendship you might need whenever you aren’t pushing yourself as hard as you could be in the gym. You’d be surprised at how deep a friendship you can form with the right trainer.
4. Accountability/Focus! Think about this one: you are investing in your own personal development. You care about your own wellbeing enough to drop the cash on hiring someone to help you along your fitness path. There is a considerable amount of accountability in this type of personal trainer/client dynamic. If you keep missing classes, you will feel the sting of wasted money, in addition to the disappointment of your trainer. Hiring a personal trainer also brings focus that you wouldn’t normally have working out by yourself. Distractions happen and your workout programs can get a little hit-or-miss when you are left to your own devices. A trainer will bring a consistent workout full of efficiency and focus.
5. An Exclusive Experience! The great things about getting a personal trainer is that you can choose to get private sessions. Instead of having to deal with a crowded gym full of ooglers and machine-hoggers, you can get a more one-on-one experience with a personal trainer. And that sounds like a great option to have!
6. Results! Let’s face it! All this sounds great, but if you don’t see results, why train? It’s important to have a coach who can help you craft together a plan that gets you the results that you're seeking. Hiring a personal trainer who plans workouts centered around efficiency and your goals is a must. After all, you desire to get to the new you as fast and safe as possible, right?
Staying Motivated Through the Cold
It’s common this time of year to suffer from a lack of motivation. School and sports are back in session, work is picking up…we just tend to be busier at this time of year. So, when we do find ourselves with some free time, exercise might not always be the first thing that comes to mind.
Being in shape is as much a mental state of well-being as it is physical. Working out gets our endorphins flowing and lifts our mood. As many of us know, the mental hurdle of taking that first action can often times be the hardest to overcome. We know we should be exercising and we know it will make us feel better, but where do we find the motivation to start?
We can be each other’s greatest source of motivation. You can accept an excuse from yourself that a friend never would. You can easily take a shortcut when no one is watching. Working out with a friend can ensure that you have each other’s backs and hold each other accountable. Working with a personal trainer is even better as they will know exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals and where you should be focusing your attention and effort.
When there’s a foot of snow outside of your door, it can seem easy to come up with an excuse to skip your workout. Instead, try to think of creative ways you can still exercise at home. For example, you can burn around 233 calories for every half hour that you spend shoveling your sidewalk or driveway. You can also try digging up some old workout videos or finding some online. This way, the whole family can get involved too.
With the holiday season just around the corner, it might seem hard to turn away from your favorite holiday treats. A good way to get around this is coming up with different strategies so that you don’t overindulge. A registered dietitian can assist you in crafting the perfect game plan for keeping your diet on track through the holidays. Remember, you don’t have to deprive yourself, just eat smart and stick to a strategy. One may include smaller portions with healthier sides and cutting down on the alcohol, for example.
With your busier schedule, it might seem hard to find time to fit in your workouts. If you plan ahead and come up with a set schedule, getting in your workouts for the week will seem like just another thing to cross off your to-do list. You can try joining a gym that’s on your way home from work or coordinating with a friend who lives nearby to meet up afterwards.