Tag: fitness

StairMaster Workout

The StairMaster is a great way to get cardio in and work up a serious sweat! Some may be intimidated by it and some may hate it, but you should definitely give it another try with this workout! I used to hate the StairMaster and couldn’t make it longer than 2 minutes when I first tried. I started doing longer and longer workouts to build up my stamina. Now it’s my favorite form of cardio!

I normally do this workout as a warm-up before leg day. It’s great because you can go through the workout as many times as you’d like depending on how long you want to workout for! I usually go through it once or twice as a warmup.

I put a range of speeds for most of the different exercises. Your speed depends on your skill level and should be a framework to go by, not something you need to stick to exactly. For me, normal walking speed is at least 10 or above but that won’t be the same for a beginner.

Give it a try next time you’re at the gym!

Sticking to a New Year’s Resolution

A little late, but Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fun a safe holiday season! Much like years that have passed, I’m sure you’ve come up with at least one resolution for 2018. And much like years that have passed, that resolution tends to only stick around for a couple of weeks or if you’re lucky, a couple of months, and then disappears completely.

The million dollar question is: how do you turn these resolutions into lasting an entire year…or longer?

I’ve failed at my resolutions each year I’ve made them. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even create them anymore. Instead, I make small goals for myself and once I achieve them, I strive for something bigger. This brings me to my first tip for sticking to a New Year’s resolution.

1. Start Small.

Nothing is more intimidating than setting such a large and broad resolution for yourself and all the pressure that comes with trying to achieve it flawlessly. You can’t just have a resolution of “I want to be healthy”. Sure, that’s a great goal to have but there’s so many components that go into that. Simply, it’s too broad. And also, like I’ve said before, being healthy is a lifestyle and should be something that is fluid for the rest of your life. Going in at 110% all at once sets yourself up for failure shortly down the road. Let’s say you currently don’t have the best nutrition, hardly ever exercise, and have a horrible sleep schedule. You make the resolution to be healthy and go to the gym 5-6 times a week and totally cut out any and all unhealthy foods, it won’t last long. I’m not saying this to discourage you. I’m saying this because it’s realistic. Your body won’t be ready for this drastic change and you’ll feel discouraged and give up or begin to swerve off this path you’ve set for yourself and get back into your unhealthy routine. The best thing to do is start small and work your way up to where you want to be.

Start with a small goal that will contribute to the larger goal you have for yourself. Is your resolution to eat better? Start with drinking an extra glass of water with each meal. Do this throughout the week and increase the amount of water intake each week that follows. You won’t want to snack as much throughout the day when you’re consuming enough water. A lot of the time we think our bodies are hungry when actually they’re dehydrated and need water. Water is also great for bloating and flushing toxins out of your system. Do you see what I mean? This is such a simple and easy goal to obtain!

Do you want to get healthy in 2018? Start with a goal of going to bed 30 minutes to an hour early each night. Or try to wake up early to make time for your workout. You can also try to meal prep for one week and see how you stick to it. Achieve these small goals, master them, and then move on to bigger goals.

This doesn’t just apply to fitness-related resolutions. If you want to watch less TV in 2018, start off by reading a magazine instead. Find another hobby to do and try doing it for at least 30 minutes a day in place of watching TV.

2. Make it a Habit.

Research has shown that forming a habit can take at least 20-30 days. This is not necessarily a concrete number to live by as we are all different and have different strengths and weaknesses. This should, however, be a framework for how long you need to do something consistently for it to become a good habit. For some, it may take longer and for others a little shorter. Try to do what you’re trying to accomplish each day for at least a month and see how you’ve done. It may be waking up in the morning to exercise. Wake up each day for a month and this may already become routine for you. It will get easier and easier each day and start to feel more automatic after time.

3. Don’t self-hate or self-doubt.

Doubting yourself or being hard on yourself if or when you make a mistake will just bring yourself down. You’ll only hurt yourself by squashing your motivation. It’s okay to make a mistake or two, we’re all human – it happens! Instead, move on from it and keep working towards your goal. I know I have eaten one too many cookies in a day. I used to get discouraged and thought this would totally hinder any progress I could make. I realized that this isn’t a healthy way to react to slipping a little bit. Move on from it and keep going!

4. Share your progress. 

Share your progress with your family, friends, or coworkers. Anyone who loves and supports you will support you in your new goals and resolutions. They will want to help you reach your goals and even motivate you to do so. And if you have friends that aren’t supportive in your goals or stray you from where you want to be, you need to let go of them. Let go of any negativity in your life and block it out. This will only hinder your progress and you won’t ever be able to get to where you want to be.

For fitness-related resolutions, document your progress. Take progress pictures. Continuously weighing yourself isn’t the best way to measure your progress. Muscle weighs more than fat so the scale might not say what you are expecting it to. Take pictures throughout your journey to getting fit. Compare pictures over the course of months and see what has changed. Actually seeing the results will motivate you to work even harder!

I hope these tips will help you conquer your 2018 resolutions!

Two Important Lessons About Fitness

Entering the fitness world and changing your life for the better is a bit intimidating. Tack on the new gym, meal prepping, finding workouts to do and I can see why people fall off track. Taking on a completely different lifestyle is challenging, but you can’t get anything if you don’t work for it.

I’ve been going to the gym most of my life but I really got serious about in within the last two years, after graduating college. I started getting into weight lifting and HIIT at the gym and using BodyBuilding.com and fitness YouTubers as resources. I did the meal prep thing and have tried some dieting. There are two core pieces of advice that I heard and have learned along the way that drastically changed my mindset about fitness and health.

This is a lifestyle.

These words made everything click in my head. I would always get in really motivated moods now and then where I would be super strict with what I ate and diligent about going to the gym for at least an hour, most the time even more. After a few months, something would happen and I would quit the schedule I set for myself and go back to working out sparingly and eating whatever I wanted. This cycle would continue over and over and I would continue to get discouraged because I obviously wasn’t getting any results.

When I heard that these healthy habits are part of a lifestyle, everything made sense. Hearing those words really resonated with me and I hope they resonate with you in the same way. Eating well and exercising are something to integrate into your life, something to commit to and make time for. Focus on preparing healthy meals with foods that fuel your body. Make time to go to the gym and give it your all.

Once you realize this is part of a lifestyle, you’ll learn how to make it work for you. You will learn what types of meals work in your schedule and what type of exercise you enjoy. This will be through a lot of trial and error, but you have a lifetime ;).

Putting this into a lifetime perspective, there is room for balance and moderation. You can allow yourself a cookie once a day, or twice, if you want! Anything you’d like to eat, as long as it’s in moderation. This won’t affect your fitness goals in any way. Balance these treats with your healthy meals and you’ll be good to go as long as the bad doesn’t outweigh the good!

Listen to Your Body.

Have you ever pushed yourself so hard that you make yourself sick? Have you ever forced yourself to work out when you’re really not in the mood and then waste your time at the gym?

I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of both of these. I have finally learned that’s what NOT to do. Your body knows what’s best and knows how to show it. We all need to stop and listen to our bodies to know what’s good for it. If you don’t feel like working out, you probably shouldn’t and give your body the rest that it needs. Don’t force it if you’re going to feel worse afterwards or if you’re going to go to the gym only to end up doing nothing the whole time. Are you trying to weight lift just because everyone else is but you hate it? Switch your exercise type to something you do enjoy! Maybe you love swimming or yoga. There’s more ways than one when it comes to fitness. It’s all about enjoying yourself and fitting it into your own personalized schedule.

The bottom line is you’re not going to have the best results when you’re forcing yourself and your body to do something you’re not feeling or that you’re not into. Take the time to listen to your body and you’ll know what to do.