Monthly Archives: September 2017

5 Steps to Your Body Fitness Success

Despite what you might see on TV infomercials or in newspaper ads, there is no magic bullet or miracle pill that will get you fit overnight. No matter what any glamorous hard-body spokesperson says about the newest “revolutionary” exercise machine, diet, or supplementation program- the fact is that achieving fitness success takes time and energy. You can bet that the spokesperson did not get his or her physique by using the “new, amazing de-fat-alizer” machine for 30 seconds a day! He or she is undoubtedly engaged in a fitness program that includes sensible diet and lots of exercise.

On the other hand, we believe that achieving fitness success is well within everyone’s reach. This article will provide you with powerful, effective steps you can take RIGHT NOW that will jump-start your fitness program and get you on track to fitness success.

THE FIVE STEPS TO FITNESS SUCCESS

1. Make Changes TODAY!

2. Decide & Commit

3. Define Goals

4. Design Your Road Map

5. Feel Good!

Step 1: Make Changes TODAY!

Achieving FITNESS SUCCESS is all about making consistent incremental improvements over time. Like the power of compounding interest, implementing even small improvements can result in a cumulative snow-balling effect that generates momentum, enthusiasm and results!

There are specific, immediate changes you can make that will deliver meaningful results:

MOVE!

It sounds obvious, but it’s truly amazing how much potential is in this simple step. Park at the far end of the parking lot; take the stairs instead of the elevator; chase your grandchildren around. Our bodies were built for movement, and the simple act of moving more is a great way to start your fitness program. Walking is a vastly underrated form of exercise. So is dancing!

DRINK WATER

You’ll hear different target quantities from different experts, but a good rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water per day. It’s a good practice to drink a glass ½ hour before and after meals. Substituting water for less healthy drinks (like soda) will cut calories and reduce intake of artificial flavoring, coloring, etc. Also, increasing water intake will help curb your appetite.

EAT LESS, MORE OFTEN

Studies have shown that our bodies operate more efficiently when we spread our food intake our over five or six smaller meals per day, versus the three larger meals to which we’ve become accustomed. And what grandma told you about eating your vegetables was right on target! Most Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables regularly. It’s surprisingly easy to shrink the size of meals when you increase your water intake and include more fruits and vegetables.

KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU EAT

Another simple yet very powerful tip! Whether you go “all the way” and actually maintain a log of everything you eat, or simply try to do a mental recap periodically during the day, this is a great way to manage your diet. For example, when you get ready to eat dinner, doing a quick review of what you’ve eaten so far that day will help you make intelligent menu choices.

STRETCH

Flexibility is a very important component of overall fitness. A daily routine of basic stretches can greatly improve your mobility in a very short period of time. Just remember: stretching movements should be gentle and gradual, and never jerky or bouncy.

Once you’ve made the simple lifestyle changes listed above, you will begin building the positive momentum that will empower you to move aggressively toward your fitness goals!

Remember:

It’s not about big, sweeping changes: the fact is you CAN NOT become fit in one day. But you can decide TODAY to make a commitment to incremental, consistent improvement that will get you on track IMMEDIATELY.

Step 2: Decide to Take Better Care of Yourself

You probably know someone who has experienced health problems that could have been avoided if the person had taken better care of him or herself. How many times have you resolved to begin taking better care of yourself?

But what does that mean?

Ask virtually anyone what it means to “take better care of yourself”, and undoubtedly you’ll hear something like “Get more exercise and eat sensibly”. Everyone seems to know that exercise is important to overall health and well-being, and is a big part of taking better care of yourself. We’ve all seen the reports on TV, in magazines, on the internet: it’s an irrefutable fact that people of all ages and fitness levels can reap compelling physical and psychological benefits by engaging in a sensible exercise regimen.

So…Why are so many people neglecting to engage in an exercise program, when they KNOW that this behavior will improve their health, appearance, attitude, and overall quality of life?

The answer is simple. They have not yet DECIDED TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF THEMSELVES.

You already know many good reasons to begin an exercise program. You have probably heard (or even used!) at least one of the most common excuses for not beginning a fitness program:

“I don’t have enough time”. (probably the number 1 excuse)

“I won’t feel comfortable working out with a bunch of “hard-bodies”.

“It’s too expensive”.

Let’s BUST these mythical excuses right now!

“I don’t have enough time”.
There are plenty of busy people who are fit, and plenty of fit people who are busy. The fact is that people who DECIDE to make the time, make the time. It’s hard to imagine there are many things in your life more important than your physical well-being, which is what enables you to enjoy all other aspects of your life.

“I won’t feel comfortable working out with a bunch of “hard-bodies”.
This is an easy one. If you’re not comfortable working out in any particular health club, THEN DON’T! There are so many different venues in which you can exercise that you are certain to find the right one with a little homework. See “Should I Join a Health Club”.

“It’s too expensive”.
The expense associated with a fitness program can vary from a multi-thousand dollar investment in home exercise equipment to a zero-cost program that includes walking, jogging and/or calisthenics. If you decide to join a health club, or seek out the services of a personal trainer, then there are of course associated costs. But once again, there are many health clubs with varying fee structures. Do some comparison shopping!

Consider the following:

a) What is the ROI (return on investment) for an effective fitness program? How much is it worth to you to improve your overall health and wellness; to have more energy and stamina; to feel better? What is the long-term price of NOT engaging in a fitness program?

b) What constitutes “expensive”? A health club costing $60 per month breaks out to roughly $14 per week. That’s something like $3 per workout, or what most people spend on coffee every day.

c) Perhaps you fall into a category that qualifies for a discount at a local health club. For example, many clubs have discount membership programs for seniors, employees of local companies (“Corporate Memberships”), referral discounts, etc. Again, doing a little homework can really pay off!

Now it’s just a matter of making the decision that you will Take Better Care of Yourself. That means making a commitment to take action.

Remember:

We’re using the word “commitment” here for a reason. The dictionary defines “Commitment” as “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future”. A commitment is a PROMISE. We’re talking about making a promise to yourself that you will begin taking better care of yourself. And nothing is as gratifying as fulfilling a promise!

Step 3: Define Your Fitness Goals

Start with YOUR definition of fitness. What does it mean to you? It could be reaching and maintaining a more healthy body weight. It could be lowering your blood pressure, gaining lean muscle mass, or being able to walk a brisk mile without getting overly winded. Your goal could be being fit enough to carry your grandson up the stairs. For some, it’s bench-pressing 400 lbs. or running a marathon. It doesn’t matter.

Define what you want out of a fitness program.

It might be helpful to talk to people you know who are already actively engaged in exercise, or to have an assessment consultation with a Personal Trainer/Fitness Specialist at a local health club.

Make sure your goals are realistic, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Keep in mind that fitness is REALLY about one thing: feeling better!

So, when you define your goal, be sure to think about how reaching this goal will make you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. That will make the goal feel more “real”, and give you a motivational tool you can use throughout your fitness journey.

Hard vs. Soft goals:
It really pays to establish “hard” goals. That is, goals that are as specific and measurable as possible.
“Soft” goals on the other hand are more vague and general.

For example…

Soft Goal:
I want to get in shape. (how will you measure your success? What does “in shape” mean?)

Measurable, Specific Goal:
By June 30th, I want to lose 10 lbs, and increase my endurance to the point where I can jog two miles without stopping.

Setting specific fitness goals is also a great motivator, because you can track your success and see progress as you move toward your goal.

Step 4: Lay Out Your Road Map

You’ve decided to make a real commitment to take action, and to start taking better care of yourself. AND you’ve taken the next important step by defining your fitness goals.

For many people, those first steps are the most difficult. It’s important to understand that without a real commitment (Step 2) and clearly-defined goals (Step 3), there is no way to develop a plan. That would be like building a house without a blue-print!

But once you’ve completed these crucial steps, you are ready to develop your road map.

Your fitness road map must answer the BIG THREE questions:

What is my goal (where am I going?)

What is my plan (how do I get there?)

How to I track progress (how do I tell where am I now?)

It is absolutely critical that you lay out a road map that addresses these BIG THREE questions. The road map should outline the actual exercise routines to be performed, the scheduling of workouts, and a procedure for measuring progress at prescribed intervals.
The best approach is to start with a high-level outline, and then fill in details as you gather information. The outline should include:

workout frequency (e.g. 4 times per week)

approximate mix of flexibility, strength and cardio training (based on goals)

actual exercise programs (*)

check points (e.g. weigh-ins every 3 weeks)

The more specific you are in this planning phase, the BETTER your chances for success!

(*) There are many sources for help in designing your exercise program. Workout programs are available over the internet or in book stores. Our best advice is: GET HELP. Whether it’s from a fitness-minded friend or trained professional at a health club, by getting skilled assistance you can easily build a road map that includes enough variation to ward of the potential boredom of a fixed routine.

Also consider whether you’d like to enlist someone as a workout partner. Some people find it motivating to have a partner; it might even occasionally “guilt” you into working out when you know your partner is counting on you. And two heads are usually better than one!

Once you have your road map, you can determine what workout venues will make sense. Depending on your goals, there may be several effective paths for you to follow. You might join a walking club, or sign up for dance lessons. You might begin an independent exercise program at home, or join a friend who jogs regularly.

Remember: You should consult your physician before beginning an exercise regimen.

Step 5: Feel Good!

Fitness is, above all, about FEELING GOOD!

Once you have designed a fitness road map, the best way to succeed is to enjoy the challenge. Our bodies WANT to be fit! And once you start your program, you will feel the exhilaration that comes when you get moving.

Nothing is more motivating than knowing that you’ve defined a goal, have an action plan, and are WORKING YOUR PLAN. While you’re working your plan, always remember to:

Enjoy the ride

Track progress

Set challenging new goals for yourself.

That last point is important: you’re not “done” when your reach your goals. Fitness is not a destination, it’s a lifestyle. So, when you reach a goal, congratulate yourself and raise the bar!

You’ll find that you will look forward to workout days, and even on those rare occasions when you have to “force” yourself to work out, you’ll be glad you did. Enjoying the ride is the biggest key to success in fitness.

Is Franchise Right for My Fitness?

Fitness franchises are among the most popular type of franchise businesses. When you own your own fitness franchise, you’ll be tapping into a major need for the vast majority of the population. Each year more and more people want to lose weight and get in shape. As the nation looks at rising obesity rates, especially in children, fitness is going to become a bigger concern.

If your background is in the fitness industry, or you’ve been a lifelong athlete, owning a fitness business could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. Consider the following fitness industry statistics:

* There are over 30,000 health clubs across the United States
* Over 42 million Americans belong to a type the fitness club
* Adults 55 years of age and older make up about a quarter of fitness club memberships

When you own a fitness business, people trust you with their health. Unlike other types of businesses, your fitness franchise can have a lasting impact on the quality of life of your customers. With this in mind, it takes a lot of trust in order to build a customer base. When you own a fitness franchise business you’ll be backed by the familiarity and high-level professionalism that comes from the fitness franchise. Instead of working hard to prove to the public that you’re running a legitimate fitness business, they’ll know instantly that yours is a gym that they can trust.

Fitness franchises come in many different shapes and sizes, no pun intended. There are fitness businesses that cater to women only. Women-only fitness franchise businesses are growing in popularity and there are many from which to choose. One of the most popular is Curves, but there are many other fitness franchises that have taken advantage of this popular trend. If you want to offer women a secure place to work out and lose weight you may want to consider one of these fitness franchises. While Curves focuses on low impact circuit training, others like Fit Zone for Women offer a wide variety of fitness classes.

Twist Sports Conditioning Centres have been offering athletic training in a gym environment since 1999. This fitness franchise offers personalized training that helps athletes achieve better performance on the court, the field or the ice. The professional trainers focus on challenging customers to push their bodies to new limits. If you’re coming from an amateur or professional sports background, Twist Sports Conditioning may be the perfect franchise for you.

Fitness businesses aren’t just for the young and fit; they are also for the young at heart. Nifty After Fifty is a fitness franchise that allows you to cater to the growing population of older Americans who want to stay fit. While this franchise business is just two years old, it will allow you to tap into a hungry market and offer a facility that will allow them to exercise in a non-judgmental environment. Nifty After 50 offers exercise classes, nutritional training and other services that help customers improve their health and overall quality of life.

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What do you think of when you hear the term “sports fitness”? Do you see football players on the field, soccer players scuffling over a ball, a volleyball team at the beach, or a tennis match? There is a tendency to understand the term to mean the sport itself, rather than a way to stay fit.

People engage in sports for specific recreation-related reasons like entertainment, competition, or self-satisfaction. Because sports involve physical activity, most fitness experts and health care professionals know that sports is one way to stay fit and healthy. Sports fitness, as opposed to “exercise” or “physical fitness,” however, involves developing a skill or ability. Sports fitness is an opportunity for personal growth.

Sports enthusiasts may be more likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle (although some would question that assertion) because of the inherent discipline and physical demands. But sports fitness can also mean weight loss, better mobility, greater energy, and a host of the things we use to describe good health. Sports fitness is a character-building pursuit.

Sports do teach people to value their health. Without health, they couldn’t maintain the energy and vitality necessary to participate. Especially if they are in professional sports, their livelihood may depend on their fitness and health. Sports fitness is a lifestyle.

Let’s assume, for a minute, that you are a person who needs more exercise to get or stay physically fit and healthy. You have many options: gyms, health centers, home exercise. You can do aerobic exercise routines, undertake a weight training program, or spend hours on an exercise bike or treadmill. Those are all beneficial activities. But some of us find them boring. We won’t stick to them because we’re not having fun. Sports fitness is fun!

One way to get healthy and have fun at the same time is to pursue sports fitness. You can get your workout on the basketball court or baseball field. You can enter swimming competitions or run marathons. These exercise routines involve other people, interaction, and FUN! So, let’s say you’ve decided to get your exercise through sports fitness.

There are some things you should know about things you can do to assure sports fitness is a safe, healthy program for you:

1. Get a Lot of Fluids

We can go days, even months, without food. But we can’t live without frequent drinking water. It’s the most important nutrient we’ll ever consume. And when you’re engaged in sports, you perspire more, losing that precious liquid gold. In fact, if you lose too many fluids without replacing them, you could have very serious health problems. In the extreme, you could die.

So when you’re engaged in strenuous exercise, you should always drink water to replace what you’re losing through sweat. Some sports involve losing fluids so rapidly that it would not be possible to replace them with water alone. In fact, drinking too much plain water at once can lead to a toxic reaction (water intoxication) due to an unhealthy balance of electrolytes in the body. To avoid dehydration and water intoxication while playing sports, experts recommend sports drinks. They come in three categories.

Isotonic sports drinks contain a similar balance of water and other nutrients as in the human body, including 6-8% sugar. Hypertonic sports drinks contain less water and more sugar than the human body. Hypotonic sports drinks contain more water and less sugar than the human body. Most of the sports drinks on the market are isotonic.

No matter which you choose, sports drinks have two important ingredients you won’t find in plain water: carbohydrates and electrolytes. Carbohydrates help keep energy levels up, and a proper balance of electrolytes (made up of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, and hydrogen carbonate) is essential to well-being. Drinking a lot of fluids is essential for sports fitness.

2. Eat more Fruits and Vegetables

The strenuous exercise involved in sports rapidly depletes the body of essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables contain essential nutrients. When you’re engaged in sports fitness program, make it a habit every day to eat a dark green vegetable, a yellow or orange fruit or vegetable, a red fruit or vegetable, beans or nuts, and a citrus fruit like oranges. Sports fitness involves a healthy, balanced diet.

3. Protect your Bones

Obviously, people involved in sports fitness are at a higher risk of injuries, including broken bones. The more you can do to keep your bones strong, the better off you will be. Be sure your diet includes calcium sources like sardines, tofu, and dairy products, etc. You might also consider adding a calcium supplement to your daily routine. Not only will your bones withstand the bumps and crashes you get on the court or field, you’ll be getting a head start in fending off the dreaded osteoporosis.

4. Warm Up and Cool Down

You may strain a muscle or fall prey to another type of injury if you’re body isn’t loose and limber when you start playing any kind of rigorous sport. Like runners, stretching routines are a great way to get limber. And more active warm-ups get your heart rate going gradually.

After the game is over, don’t go straight to the clubhouse or bar. Do a few cool down exercises to gradually release tension and transition to less activity. You have fewer sore muscles and less tightness if you do. Sports fitness involves responsible preparation and follow-through.

Participating sports is a great way to get and stay physically fit and to have an active, interesting social life. Sports fitness allows you to meet more active people interested in health and fitness who can help you stay motivated and involved. The best thing about sports fitness is that you get a great workout while you’re having a great time.

How To Choose The Right Fitness Program

It is an exciting time where so many people are engaging in a wide range of fitness programs. The number of programs available today is the greatest that it has ever been and everyone can find a program that suits them. Programs based on speed, strength, endurance and flexibility will improve any area of your fitness level through active and consistent participation. Before signing up for that next fitness class some preliminary thought could help making your choice of a suitable fitness program easier and allow you to select a program with sustainability. Those that have made the right choice of fitness programs have reported ongoing benefits including; more energy, vitality and quality of life. Here are a number of areas to consider before choosing a fitness program.

o State of Health
o Lifestyle
o Body Type
o Objectives

State of Health

When choosing the right fitness program at any age should include an evaluation and assessment of any health issue concerns at the time. There are various fitness avenues a person can take and each will place different demands on the mind and body. Health issues should be considered when looking at each discipline and how the individual will be impacted by the demands. It is prudent to involve your primary care physician in making a selection so that any health issues may be addressed and a plan of recommendation can be used to make a wise decision. Because there is such a large selection of fitness programs available most limitations caused by health issues which may impose restrictions on an individual can be accommodated. Exercise is basically moving the body and any type of consistent movement is going to provide benefits as a result.

Participants in exercise programs who may have joint limitations can select a program with low impact on the joints and receive a whole host of fitness and health benefits. Programs are available at all levels including beginner, intermediate or advanced and can accommodate many individuals with various health issues. If there is a will, then there is a way to meet your fitness goals but it must be done logically and intelligently.

Lifestyle

Various fitness routines require different levels of activity and assessing which routine fits best into the lifestyle of the participant is an important selection criteria. Fitness is a change of lifestyle which includes the fitness routine merging into the daily activities of the participant. If your lifestyle is moderately active then a fitness routine which promotes moderate levels of energy will be a choice which is better suited for you and has the best chances of being sustained over the long-term. Another fact is the time you have available to devote to a fitness program. Some regimes require more time then others to achieve results. If you have 2 days a week available for working out then look for programs that can accommodate you and still provide timely benefits which are achievable. A mistake many people make is shooting too high at first and selecting a fitness routine completely off the scale in relation to their lifestyle. What they find is they are unable to sustain the regime, get discouraged and discontinue the program. Assess your lifestyle pace and the venue in which you would like to workout. There’s indoor, outdoor, individual and group programs available and you can find one that requires a pace and environment you will enjoy and be able to sustain as part of a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Body Type

The reason that so many exercise and fitness programs have been developed is simply to accommodate the individuals participating in those programs. One of the criteria for selecting a fitness program is body type. Understand that different fitness programs place different demands on the body and require different energy levels from the participants also. Those of a larger stature have gravitated traditionally toward the strength based programs and those of a smaller stature have moved in the direction of the cardio based programs. All these individuals have made what they would consider programs which best suited them. If you ever considered a football team you don’t see the larger linemen body types doubling as wide receivers. Their body types make them more suitable for the pace and demands which are placed on them as linemen. Fitness programs are the same. If you are choosing a fitness program that will best fit in with your lifestyle then your body type is a factor to consider as well. All body types can find regimes that best suit them and are able to provide ongoing health and fitness benefits derived from the programs. Those with higher energy levels are going to select those programs with high energy demands then those with lower energy levels. Programs exist which require short intense energy expenditures and also routines which require longer durations and less intensity. When selecting a fitness program consider your level of energy and the demands the regime or program will place on your energy level.

Objectives

Gaining long-term benefits from a fitness program does require setting objectives you want to accomplish from the effort and consistency you put into the regime. Of course many individuals take a less organized approached to fitness and that is alright as long as they are comfortable with that kind of approach. Of course the power of setting goals and moving toward their accomplishment is proven effective for a long time and is recommended. If losing weight, building strength or gaining flexibility are some of the goals to be attained selecting programs which address these areas is made much simpler. Not all programs can deliver all benefits and meet all goals. Many programs specialize in the benefits attained from participation in them. Cardio programs are great for producing weight loss, energy and endurance but are limited when it comes to developing high levels of strength. Weight training would be more suitable if increasing levels of strength is your goal. Whatever program you decide to choose identifying objectives and setting goals will make your choose of program easier and more effective. And whatever program you choose be certain you are capable, the goals are obtainable and participation is enjoyable.