Have you ever wondered how a person can be going through a rough patch in their lives and still be happy? It’s called optimism. It’s an attitude and a choice that you make! You see those that look on the bright side of things, no matter what life throws at them. They are constantly complimenting people and helping others, which in turn that benefits them both. These people also seem to get sick less often and be in better health, in general. Why is that? By reaching out to other people and putting the focus on them, it makes you see that your own problems aren’t as bad in comparison. Being a giving person doesn’t just help the person you are assisting, it helps you too.
So try to take a break from yourself and for a week or two, quit trying to figure everything out. Get your mind on doing a kind deed for someone, help someone with a project, get involved with children. Children are great, they are constantly seeking to do something new. You need to do that, too. Get out of your rut and jump in with both feet, just like a kid would. What happens to your health and your weight might surprise you. Here are a few simple steps toward changing your attitude & reaching your goals:
1. Surround yourself with a new environment or a different task to do that will challenge you mentally, as well as physically. Get your mind off your same old problems. Look at life in a different way. If you find yourself trying to climb the same proverbial mountain, day after day, it might be time to realize that the mountain is not going away. Try to just avoid the annoying coworker. If you’re stuck waiting in a line that’s not moving, just breathe. It’s time for a change and a new perspective.
2. Go outside and observe your environment. What do you see? What do you hear? Do you see certain colors that inspire you? Even though it’s winter, now is a great time to get outdoors and experience nature. Quiet your mind. Stop and really look at your neighborhood, park or right outside your window. Then grab a pen or pencil and jot down what you see.
3. Take it even further, talk with people, see what new adventures they are taking. Limit time with negative people and seek out positive ones. Surround yourself with happy people doing interesting things and in time, their zest for life will rub off on you.
4. Register for a new class at your local school or recreation centers. This keeps your mind fresh and gets you excited about a new experience.
5. Volunteer at schools, hospitals, library and surround yourself with new items to force your eyes and brain to look at different objects and your senses will be tuned in to your new environment. Challenge yourself. You will be a new person, with optimism abounding, no matter what life throws at you. This could be your day that is met with challenge, excitement and a new adventure to enhance your life! “Over time, your mind became more accustomed to elicit positive thoughts because you have stretched it to comfortably receive them. Train your own mind to be receptive to expect positive outcomes.
No matter what your fitness level is, yoga can help you in many ways. Not only does yoga affect the physical aspect of the body, it addresses the mind and spirit as well. Yoga exercises are a great way to help relieve the stress of your day and can bring a sense of well-being to your life. Now we all can use a little of that! Here are the top ten benefits of yoga.
Stress Relief – Yoga can help reduce the effects of stress on your body. One of the benefits of yoga is that it encourages relaxation and can lower the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Studies show that prolonged high levels of cortisol can lead to heart disease and other health problems.
Improved Circulation – Yoga will help improve your body’s circulation. In turn, with daily exercises, you will see the benefits of yoga with lowered blood pressure and pulse rates.
Increased Cardiovascular Conditioning – Even the gentlest style of yoga will help to lower your resting heart rate and increase your overall endurance. This is one of the important benefits of yoga to help improve the amount of oxygen taken in during the daily exercises.
Relief from Pain – Daily exercises of yoga can help ease the aches and pains of the body. Many people with very serious diseases have reported less pain after these daily exercises or meditation.
Better Breathing – You will learn to take deeper, slower breaths with daily exercises of yoga. It will help to increase your lung function and set off the body’s relaxation response. This can be one of the most powerful benefits of yoga.
More Flexibility – You will notice your level of flexibility will increase, which will help you with your range of motion. Sometimes in the yoga daily exercises, people cannot even touch their toes. The benefits of yoga will include lengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your body to help you become more flexible.
Increased Muscular Strength – Yoga poses use all the muscles in your body and help you increase your strength level from head to toe. Yoga and daily exercises will help you strengthen your muscles close to the bones, which increase the support of your skeletal system.
Weight Management – You will see the benefits of yoga begin to affect your scale. Daily exercises are always recommended, but yoga helps reduce the level of cortisol in your body which aids in weight loss and weight maintenance.
Improved Mental Clarity and Focus – You can have greater coordination, memory skills, reaction times, and improved concentration skills by utilizing yoga for daily exercises. These benefits of yoga will extend far out of the yoga class.
Inner Peace – What more could you want. This is one of the primary reasons that people do daily exercises of yoga. This is one of the most important benefits of yoga and is also one of the more easy ones to attain.
If you haven’t tried yoga, you should! You may find it is just what you need.
Join us Thursday evenings at 6 p.m.—your first class is free!
We’ve made a few changes within our Weight Loss Mobile App. If you have it on your mobile device then you’ve no doubt already noticed! Are you using all of the features that it offers? We have a short tutorial video that explains how to make the most of its features and enjoy your weight loss journey.
Everyone understands how great exercise is for you. Sometimes it’s just the issue of finding the time and/or the motivation. Or, it could be the matter of finances. Taking fitness classes at the gym can be very motivating, especially when a loud and inspiring Aerobics Instructor is commanding you to push “out of your comfort zone.” However, the gym scene is not for everyone. Some people find it an intimidating environment. So, how are you going to get your workout in?….. At home!!!
For most people, saying “I don’t have time to exercise” is obviously an excuse because it’s truly about FINDING the time. If you aren’t able to hit the gym, or are unable to free up time during your lunch hour, the final option is working out in the convenience of your own home. It takes motivation to either get up earlier in the morning, or commit to exercising when you get home. That means putting everything aside: dirty dishes, folding laundry, doing the bills, etc… There will always be distractions. Let’s start making home workouts fun!
A 30-minute home circuit workout can be done three times a week and will provide you with cardio and resistance. Circuit classes are fun and the time goes by quickly. This workout can be done without having to purchase any equipment! AND, you can watch your favorite TV program at the same time!
First, warm up for 5 minutes. Example: walking quickly in place or briskly around the house. Or, stand in place and do knee lifts and ham curls. Shoulder rolls, back rolls, and step touches. Stations are 45 seconds and should be performed three times. Catch your breath between stations as needed.
Station 1: PUSH-UPS (hands on the wall, a table, or a couch for modification)
Station 2: STAIRS (step up and down or run up and down)
Station 3: TRICEP DIPS (sitting on a couch)
Station 4: MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS (hands on a table or couch for modification)
Station 5: SQUATS (either against the wall or in front of a chair or couch)
Station 6: PLANK HOLDS (hands on a table or couch for a modification)
Station 7: JUMPING JACKS (step out one leg at a time for a modification)
Station 8: RUN IN PLACE/HIGH KNEES
No workout should feel easy. Results come by pushing past your comfort zone and challenging yourself. The last 5 minutes is for cool down. Stretch all major muscle groups for 20-30 seconds. Stations should be switched out every few months to avoid exercise plateaus.
Finally, I would suggest purchasing a punching bag (the kind that sits on the floor). It adds fun and challenge to your circuit. Punching bags are great for your arms, legs, and core.
Our Sit & Get Fit DVD offers 2 great workouts that you can do at home – 30 minutes of cardio fun and a 30 minute strength training session to build lean body mass – get yours today!
I was talking with a client the other day and I asked how many times they had attempted to lose weight and they replied “Every Monday”. Perhaps this resonates with you. You know how it goes. Over the weekend you over-indulge and then feel bad on Sunday and sort of beat yourself up until you are “over yourself” and vow that Monday you will change and get back on track or get a fresh start. That works great until around Wednesday (or hopefully even longer) and then you get stressed, someone/something upsets you, a saboteur in your life influences you and your efforts are all but over and you are back to your old ways of coping which often involves food.
So what do you do? What will make that initial desire and zest to accomplish your goal become a reality and enjoyable way of life? What will make the dynamic duo of desire and motivation sustainable? Here are some steps that will help you keep your motivation going.
Start with setting a realistic goal. What is it you want to accomplish? Don’t make it too complicated but if it is a long-term goal (i.e. lose 20 pounds by January 1, 2013), you are going to need to set short term goals for each week so that you are not overwhelmed and set up for failure from the start. If you don’t know where you are going, it’s hard to be very motivated.
Only you can determine what your motivation is – it is different for everyone. It needs to be strong enough to sustain you. Understand that your motivation can/will change as you progress towards your goal. For example, you might have started out wanting to lose 20 pounds for a reunion but find that you feel so great and you have positively influenced the habits of your family that you want to incorporate additional fitness and increase your lean body mass by a few percentage points and then run that 5K you have always wanted to do.
Envision yourself at your goal and focus on that during challenging times. Surround yourself with like-minded people who positively influence you rather than sabotage your efforts.
Focus on the here and now and talk to yourself (you have to read Penny’s article). Focus on the positive – the more you stay committed to each minute/hour/day…the closer you are to lifelong healthy habits and meeting/exceeding your goal.
Keep yourself in check with daily weights and a full body composition at CFWLS once a week.
Get help if you need it! You don’t have to go it alone. Weight loss shouldn’t be about deprivation. It is about being satisfied, learning how what you eat affects you and your metabolism and having fun – really! Life is too short otherwise. If you are stuck, we are here to help!
Reward yourself along the way with a new class, fitness center membership, personal training, pedicure, new outfit – your choice. You deserve to be happy!
While it is true that a lot of people want to lose weight for health reasons, it is also true that people want to lose weight to look good. How we look on the outside greatly affects how we feel about ourselves inside. People who are at a healthy weight receive compliments from family and friends, and this improves their self-esteem in one way or another.
In contrast, overweight people are often criticized for being heavy or excluded from activities and this usually has a negative impact on their self esteem. It may also lead to depression. Hearing hurtful words like, “you are ugly”, or “we don’t have your size”, could pull your self-esteem to the ground. Experts point out that people with low self-esteem tend to eat more. Using this as a defense mechanism and they may not have the will power needed to exercise to help lose the extra weight. This means, if you are serious about shedding the excess weight, you should start conditioning your mind first. Here are 6 positive actions you can start right now:
- Convert negative thoughts to positive ones. Negativity prevents you from achieving your goals. A good dose of positive thought will increase your drive to lose weight and be physically fit. Instead of saying, “I can’t do it”, say, “I can do it”. Instead of saying “I do not have time for workouts”, say “I WILL find time to workout”.
- Forgive yourself. Focus on progress instead of perfection. Losing weight and maintaining it is a gradual process.
- Don’t blame your genes. Though your genetic makeup may play a part in your body shape and tendencies to gain weight, it is still YOU who makes the decisions on what to eat and how much you workout.
- Keep track of your progress to help get you motivated. Keep a journal or a scrapbook where you post your weight losses and your feelings on your progress. It will act as an additional motivator in your weight loss journey.
- Seek out positive people who have the type of lifestyle habits you are looking for. They provide inspiration and will have a great influence on your behavior. Receiving compliments from them can greatly boost your self-image. We all love recognition for our efforts and this adds to our motivation.
- Be Happy. Your choice to be happy, healthy & positive is reflection of your love of yourself!