Money is important, but your health is by far your most valuable asset. The benefits of exercise are obvious and well known. If you don’t maintain your body and your health you’ll be left feeling tired, sick, depressed or stressed. Oh, you say, I don’t want to make the effort. It’s boring. It’s hard work. I don’t have the time.
Instead of regarding fitness as an annual New Year’s resolution you will soon discard, rethink how you approach it. Think of it as designing a life around your well being, not “fixing” yourself. Remember that in tough economic times like these, nothing is more important than your good health. If you are fit, you will be able to approach problems in other parts of your life with better judgment and more resilience. Once you’ve made the commitment, stick to it until you can see results. Les Brown says, “Keep your commitment to your commitment”. Joining a gym is successful for some people if you can afford to do that. Some prepay for sessions with a personal trainer. Others join a pool. Some just buy a pair of sneakers. Do whatever your budget will allow but do something. You’ll feel better almost immediately.
The second step is to determine the “Workability” of your goals and objectives.. Pay attention to what doesn't work for you as much as what does work. Don’t pick a goal that dooms you to failure. If you want to lose 15 pounds, it isn’t too realistic to accomplish that task in 4 weeks. However, you can do that in 4 months if you put your mind to it, change your diet, and exercise. The latter goal is an attainable loss of just one pound each week. You will see slow and steady progress if your goals are attainable.
If you’ve never run a race, maybe you should aim for a short 2 Km race and not a 26 mile marathon the first time out. If you never work out, maybe the idea of working out once or twice a week will get you onto the path of working out at all. If you’ve always been a couch potato, then it is hard to suddenly become a gym rat with strenuous workouts many times a week. Remember, you are changing your “lifestyle” and your attitude about it. Small steps are better than aggressive ones in which you might hurt yourself by trying exercises for which you body isn’t ready.
Here’s the key. Establish goals that are realistic for your personality and that fit your lifestyle. Set yourself up for success. More than losing weight or getting flat abs, maybe you want to focus on having more vitality? As you get older, the more you move, the better you will feel. Once you sit down and stop moving and exercising, you will find that eventually your range of motion will become restricted. Age doesn’t have to define who you are. You can work on your posture, your balance and your mobility more than you work on lifting 100 lb. weights or running 3 miles.
When you have that private conversation with yourself about your health, ask yourself, two questions. The first is, “What do I want to accomplish?” The second is “What do I have to give up? Be really clear about your goals. When you decide to take action, tell others so they can check in on your progress and also encourage you to continue on your path. You might not have the Knicks City Dancers or the gals in sexy outfits cheering you along the sidelines at some professional game. Better yet, your friends and family can be your support group, cheer you along the way and share in your accomplishments.
You call it: Heads or tails? Do you want to lose fat or weight? Should you focus your thoughts on losing pounds or losing fat?
What happens when you lose pounds? When you lose weight, you lose more than just fat. You lose water and more importantly you lose muscle, too. Losing muscle is the fastest way to slow down your metabolism which works counter to your goal of losing weight. Muscle loss is not the best approach for those who want to have a flat tummy. For that you need to build up your core muscles.
It’s easy to lose weight. In the extreme, you can cut off a limb or have lipo-suction to suck fat tissue and other cells out of the body. Outside of having fat phobia, most of us don't think about the weight of connective tissue, bones, cartilage, water, internal organs, our blood, capillaries, blood vessels, arteries and muscle tissue. Some people think about how many pounds their shoes weigh when they step onto a scale.
Losing weight for some people can be challenging. Most people are taught to eat less and burn more calories. Trying to eat less will increase the physiological load on your body and create a world of undernourishment: sweet cravings, frequent urination, headaches, overeating, depression, anxiety, no morning appetite, dinner as the biggest meal, urination in the middle of the night, being impatient, anxiety, mood swings, constipation, low sex drive, infertility, irritability, and pain in the neck, back, shoulder, knee, or lower leg.
You will help yourself the most if you stop trying to lose weight and put your weight scale in the rubbish bin. Instead, measure your progress by taking your body fat percentage with electrical impedance, skin calipers, or circumference measurements.
Because it is far healthier to focus on losing fat, fat loss and not weight loss should really be your goal. It would be more appropriate for your friends and your doctor to say “Congratulations on losing 17.6% body fat.” Then your revised mental image would be one of a “fat loss program” with success being measured as some participants losing as much as 32% of their body fat? Once you understand how to prevent muscle loss you will become a lean machine with time.
Don't stress yourself out. A stressful lifestyle weakens your immune system and causes a multitude of major health issues and diseases. Having any kind of stress in your life will make it very difficult to lose fat.
Do yourself a favor and start lifting weights. Be sure to incorporate variety in your exercise program. Don’t repeat the same routine day after day. Remember, as you feed your body well, it will be happier. When your gas tank is full, your car can go farther down the road. The same is true for you. The more you feed your body with nutritious food, the harder you can work out. The more energy you burn, the faster you become leaner. The more conditioned the muscles are, the more fuel is stored as muscle and the appetite naturally increases.
Secondly, after a great workout it is imperative that you eat within 2 hours to prevent muscle loss. You want the body to replenish itself from the food you eat after a workout, not deplete its own muscle tissue. The post workout meal or snack should include some protein, not processed or refined foods like sugar or white flour foods. Eating certified organic and minimally processed foods will also aid your efforts at fat loss. Processed foods have virtually no nutritional value and lots of additives, preservatives and chemicals. Your internal organs protect themselves by producing fat and sending these toxins to other parts of your body for storage (think your hips, your torso, and your butt).
“The obesity epidemic of the past century has mirrored the rise in consumption of processed, devitalized foods. Dr. Weston A. Price's non-industrialized people, however, did not have weight problems on their traditional diets.” To read more…https://www.westonaprice.org/Obesity-Weight-Loss.html
Lastly, make sure you rest and relax at least 2 consecutive days each week
without workout activity. Excessive aerobic activities such as running on a
treadmill or riding a bike at a consistent steady pace for more than 45 minutes
creates a catabolic response in the body. Catabolic means “breakdown” so instead
of building muscle, working out too much has the opposite effect. You actually
build muscle when you are lying on the couch in your recovery mode which is
an anabolic activity that leads to muscle repair and rebuilding.
You have to “rest to progress” so be sure to give your body sufficient time to recuperate at least once a week. Allowing time to repair and rebuild your muscles will keep you lean.
Good luck on your journey to fat loss. Remember your good health is more valuable than money. In that regard, it is your most important asset.