Losing weight is an endless battle for some people, but it doesn’t have to be. The process is by no means easy, but if you aren’t seeing progress, it’s time to change up your approach. If the current methods aren’t working, try something new: a new diet or a new workout routine. For change to happen, you yourself might have to change.
Taking The First Step
The first thing to keep in mind is this: there is no shortcut to weight loss. Any miracle diet that advertises a massive amount of fat loss in just a few days is a scam. While it’s possible to lose a massive amount of weight in a short time, most of that will be water weight, which runs the risk of dehydration and will be gained back quickly. The proper rate of weight loss should be around 2 pounds per week to prevent muscle atrophy, although extremely overweight people can safely lose a bit more. The specific amount varies from person to person.
The next thing to remember is to take baby steps. If you try to take on a huge workout regimen when you aren’t used to working out at all, you’re likely to fail. Start with something small – run for thirty seconds a day. Work your way up until you can run a mile. Start eating an apple in place of a fatty snack. The small steps will allow you to build healthy habits, but it’s important to take them one at a time. A five minute workout every day is better than a thirty minute workout one day of the week.
Lose Weight and Build Muscle
The third thing to keep in mind is that it’s acceptable to lift weights while trying to lose weight. This can help to build muscle underneath the fat; when you burn it off, you’ll have a nice layer of toned, firm muscle underneath that will make you look even better. As an added benefit, lifting weights can work just as well as large amounts of cardio for burning fat.
When it comes to cardio, running on a treadmill or elliptical will help lose weight and net results, but the better approach might be to employ HIIT into your workout. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training; you go all-out for about ten seconds, then move at a resting pace for twenty. Repeat this process for five or ten minutes. While it’s less time spent on a machine than if you ran a mile on a treadmill, you will end up burning more fat and increasing your metabolism for several days to come.
The key to extreme weight loss is an extreme change in the pattern of thought. Dedicate yourself to losing weight and obtaining a healthier lifestyle; not only will you look better, but you’ll feel better too – physically and emotionally. There’s nothing like weight loss and getting fit for gaining more self confidence than you know what to do with.
As we head into the colder fall and winter months, we also head into cold and flu season. Bolstering your immune system takes more than simply keeping warm and taking your vitamins—in fact, consistent exercise is an incredible boon for your health, and can even help strengthen your immune system. Here are three ways you can use exercise and fitness to help stay ahead of the common cold.
- Do: stick to your routine, even if it’s cold and dark outside. As with any other time of the year, increased circulation, the release of endorphins and opportunity to release stress all contribute to your overall physical and mental health. Though there are plenty of questions remaining about exactly how exercise helps boost your immune system, it is known that physical activity may help flush out bacteria from the lungs as well as other wastes through sweat and urine. Also, the temporary rise in body temperature may help you fight off bacteria as well.
- Do: make sure you fuel your body properly both before and after exercise, and don’t skimp on sleep. No matter why you exercise—whether it’s to lose weight or maintain fitness—you should be providing yourself with proper nutrition and energy for your workouts and recovery. At Smooth Fitness, we can’t emphasize this enough.
- Don’t: overdo it. If you exhaust yourself and don’t properly refuel, you can actually wear down your body and become more susceptible to sickness. If you’re already faithful to a workout routine, then don’t fall prey to the ‘more is better’ fallacy—if it already works for you, stick with it, and reap the benefits.
Whether you work out on a smooth elliptical or a treadmill, or if you’re taking advantage of fitness accessories to get a full-body cross-training workout, that exercise will be on your side when the coughing and sneezing starts.
I recently had an eye opening conversation with a great friend. This friend is active with fitness and has been around wellness for most of his life. He discussed with me some recent medical concerns he had been working through. These medical concerns included high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The topic came up when he told me that he would miss our workout because he had a doctor’s appointment. Of course, out of general concern for a friend, I asked him if it was anything serious. He said, “Nothing too serious, but I am going to see my cardiologist for high cholesterol and high blood pressure.” Since any appointment with a cardiologist is meaningful, I had some questions. One of the more important questions I asked was, “What course of action are you taking to bring these issues under control.” His answer was the same answer I hear from most of my new training clients who face similar concerns, “The doctor gave me some medication and I’m eating better.”