Is Physical Activity All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Fitness Success Weightloss

 

Fitness Doctor

We’ve all heard the benefits of working out, but is it all “they” say it is? Really, there may be less flab and perhaps more muscle mass (under the flab depending on eating habits), but can exercise really provide the massive amounts of physical and emotional benefits? Let’s take a look at a few of the claims to decide:

  1. Weight Maintenance: Most of us have heard that in order to lose weight it is a simple question of burning more calories than you are taking in. It is true that exercise increases calories out, therefore, whether you are attempting to lose weight or maintain your current size, working out is an important piece to that puzzle. Keep in mind the calories we burn do not necessarily directly correlate to weight lost. Often times, especially when beginning a new workout regiment, there may be a gain in weight due to muscle gain or water retention, so do not become discouraged and give up. The CDC has a great website on physical activity and burning calories that is very beneficial you can find here.
  2. Improved Health: Regular physical activity actually lowers a person’s blood pressure, which in turn reduces strain on the heart and increases good (HDL) cholesterol. All of this works together to decrease your chance for heart disease. So far so good! It also helps to keep your blood glucose on target, lowering your risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes (additional info found here). I’m impressed! Studies also suggest weight-bearing exercise helps to maintain bone density which can become an issue over time. The list goes on and on! I’m sold!
  3. Mental Well-Being: Have you ever heard of endorphins? Well, physical activity helps to bump of the production of these “feel good” neurotransmitters. Studies show working out can be as effective as medication for some people who suffer from anxiety and depression. If that isn’t enough, it also helps us to overcome stress. Feeling fatigued? That’s right! Exercise helps us to feel more energized as well! ACE has a great article related to the energy benefits.

So, what it comes down to is this: YES, exercise is exactly what they say it is in relation to how it benefits our bodies! Get started with your daily routine today here!

Winter Weight…What?

Fitness Inspiration Weightloss

Having trouble losing that winter weight? There are many habits we get into that help contribute to the gain: comfort foods and high calorie coffee drinks that warm us up from the inside, darker days that make it hard to get up early for that morning workout and even harder to stop by the gym on the way home. Let’s be real: we just don’t tend to move as much and eat as healthy as we do when the sun it out and it doesn’t seem so bleak and depressing. So, let’s focus on how we can get back on track!

Have you ever kept a food diary or tracked your food consumption? Studies show that people who write down their food intake tend to lose up to twice as much weight as they would by just trying to be more conscientious. There are many benefits to doing so.

The first and most obvious is having to commit to paper (or these days a screen whether it be your phone, tablet or computer) everything that passes your lips. That’s right, EVERYTHING! It really makes one think twice about popping that extra cookie into one’s mouth just because it’s there, doesn’t it?

The second benefit is that it helps you to be more aware of not just the amount of food you eat, but the types of foods you eat. How many veggies are you getting throughout the day? Fruits? How much protein? How much do you actually need? There are many apps and websites that can help with that information as it is not “one size fits all” but tracking your food certainly give you a picture of how you are eating on a daily basis. Speaking of pictures, I’ve attached one of MyPlate that is a simplistic guideline by the US Government that can help:

myplate_grayscale

 

Here are a few questions to consider once you’ve decided to track your food:

  1. What might get in the way and make it challenging?
  2. What do you think might make it easier?
  3. How many days a week is it reasonable to assume you could be successful?

Weight loss is said to be 80% eating habits and 20% exercise. These habits need to be a lifestyle, not just something temporary. Tracking your food can help your awareness so that the habit of tracking does not have to be permanent. Give it a try and see how you like it! There are apps, websites and successful weight-loss programs out there that have mastered this practice and can help you to journal your way to making that winter weight a thing of the past.

Remember, 20% of weight loss is exercise. That is something that cannot be ignored to be successful. Some find it the easier of the healthy habits to begin. Summer is right around the corner! Get started here!

The Three Principles of Success

Fitness Success

Success

Years ago, in a different professional life, I invested in a sales training program for self-betterment and career growth.   This program covered many different topics, one of which was success.  It taught that to become successful, there are three important principles to focus on: behavior, attitude and technique.  The interesting thing is that these three principles can be applied to just about anything in life. Let me briefly explain by using exercise as an example:

Behavior is the act of doing. In its purest form, this is just doing the action. For fitness, it’s basically showing up to the gym on a consistent basis.

Next is attitude which is what you believe and how you approach it. If you don’t believe exercise is beneficial or if you have a negative attitude toward it, chances are you won’t show up to the gym very often. On the other hand, if you have a positive outlook and believe you can achieve your fitness goal, you’ll most likely workout on a consistent basis.

Finally, technique is basically how you do it. There are a lot of different exercises and workout programs out there but not all are optimal for helping you to achieve the results you want. Learn the right exercises for your own personal goals and your chances of success will be dramatically increased.

While I used exercise as an example, these principles can be applied toward all areas of your life.  Want to improve in your career, athletics, or a hobby?  Focus on these principles and you will.  I challenge you to pick an area you want to enhance and give it a try.  Just think of the progress you can make in the next 12 weeks!

If you’re ready to begin building the behavior of exercise, get started by clicking HERE!