Getting into a solid fitness routine can be as easy as taking a stroll down the street while listening to an Ipod and watching the sun set. But all too often we overwhelm ourselves with unrealistic goals and ideals that we quickly lose motivation when we don’t see results. Television bombards us with an unrealistic social ideal of a self image and trashes our self esteem in the process. Then we further get the message that “in just 20 minutes you can have the body you’ve always dreamed of,” making us feel like failures when we don’t see any change after 6 weeks. So it’s easy to see why we lose our motivation to exercise quickly.

So the first step in staying motivated is to try to maintain a positive self image. The very fact that you want to improve says a lot about your character. You’re taking the time to read this, so you obviously care about yourself. So start with something simple that you know that you can accomplish. Load up that ipod and get out there for that sunset walk for 20 minutes a day, which may turn into a jog or a run in time. If the weather is a problem, consider a treadmill. Add a free-weight routine or a yoga class when you’re ready for it. 20 minutes is 4-5 songs on that Ipod. Less than the total run-time of half of an episode of American Idol or Survivor. It is a very small commitment to make to start living a health life. Walking is also a grade baseline exercise that is simple and can lead into other things you may enjoy.

A healthy lifestyle is the key to a fit body. Take away the time constraint of “just 20 minutes a day for 6 weeks”, which we hear all the time. That is unrealistic. Think of it more like a lifelong investment rather than a short term goal. That way, when you miss a day or a week, don’t feel badly. You’re just one stroll down the street away from being right back on track.

Posted under Health, Treadmills, fitness

This post was written by Joseph Mackay on January 21, 2009

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Keeping that New Years Resolution

Well we’re about two weeks into the new year now, and that is just about the amount of time that many of us are beginning to slack on our New Years Resolutions. We all go through this at some point in our lives; we get all psyched to start working out, eating right, saving money, getting organized, getting out of debt and quitting old bad habits… etc. You can probably see the problem with this already, it’s completely overwhelming to change yourself entirely. 

Let’s get re-motivated here. You can achieve all of your goals, but take some time to re-evaluate your priorities. Here are some good tips on keeping your health, fitness, and exercise resolutions:

1. Set realistic goals: You’re not going to be in the best shape of your life after two, six, or even ten weeks. So don’t set a pace that you can’t handle. Start slow, and think, “lifestyle change.” You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) go from “no exercise schedule” to a “full time exercise schedule” over night. 

2. Write it down: Give yourself a little encouragement. Get a blue 3×5 card, and a dark blue pen and write down what you want. “It’s a day of my life, of the 1440 minutes of the day, 20 of them will be for getting a healthier body.” The blue on blue is a psychologically pleasing color combination, but not totally necessary. 

3. Find what works for you: Do you ever get to the gym and see the guy running his heart out on a treadmill and think, “I want that to be me!”? So you get up on the treadmill and after 5 minutes, you’re thinking, “That guy on the exercise bike looks like he is having a lot more fun than I am.” The point is, not everything is right for everybody. So find something you enjoy doing. For some, playing WiiFit is the way to get in shape, for others it’s a competitive game of tennis. Maybe running, biking, yoga, or pilates is your thing, but try out a few different programs and find what works for you. When it stops being fun, try something new. 

4. Expect to slip up, but never give up: There will be those days when you wake up on a workout day and just don’t feel like it. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, or its just particularly cold. Whatever the reason, don’t feel guilty about it. Everyone has their slip ups. Just don’t let the slip up define who you are. You can only fail at a resolution if you give up.

5. Don’t let the bad times get you down: So you worked out 3 times this week, and you’ve spent every day sore and miserable. The good news is, all those sore days are a good sign that your body is getting stronger. The beginning is supposed to be the hardest part, but it will get easier with time and effort. 

One last thought: don’t make new years resolutions. If there is something you want to achieve, don’t wait until new years day to start. Today is your day, and now is your time. So make the most of it!


Posted under Health, Other, fitness

This post was written by Joseph Mackay on January 14, 2009

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Winter Workout tips

If you want to have a great body when springtime rolls around sticking with a good workout program during the winter months is critically important. But when it’s cold and wet outside ourselves to the gym seems that much more difficult. The Garmin blog has a great post with some excellent tips to help you stick with your workouts through the winter months you can read it here.

Another great way to keep yourself motivated is to create a workout calendar ahead of time and set both weekly and monthly goals for yourself.

Getting a fitness magazine and cutting out a photo or two of what your body is going to look like is another great idea. you can tape the photo up in your bathroom for inspiration. 

Rewarding yourself after a great workout is a good way to apply a little pavlovian conditioning. If you own a juicer a fresh juice can make a great reward.

Hands down the most effective way to keep yourself going to the gym is to find a good workout partner who will not let you off the hook on those days you are feeling less than motivated.

Posted under Health, Juicers, Other, fitness

This post was written by David White on December 28, 2008

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