Month: March 2016

Don't give up on your workout goals. Use these guidelines to develop goals that stick. These three tips will help you start your fitness journey. Read them now or save them for later!

3 guidelines for sticky goals

I want to start off this post by saying no matter what your fitness goal is, there is no one right way to go about achieving that goal. But, there are certain universal rules like you can’t eat 2 pizzas and drink a case a beer a day and not have a beer gut.

I just moved to Columbus a few weeks ago and during that weekend the Arnold Sports Festival was in town. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this festival, it’s a 4-day event that draws in fitness fanatics from around the world, specifically those interested in body building and fitness competitions.

Now, normally this is my cup of tea since I am a personal trainer and sport performance coach. But I found myself seeing all that is wrong with what this festival promotes. Don’t get me wrong, I do think seeing the models and competitors striving to look fit and ‘perfect’ is not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t believe it’s a sustainable lifestyle for a normal person.

If that is not your lifestyle, here are some general guidelines to start a plan and then stick to it. Just remember to start small and then build on these goals. Expecting yourself to run before you walk will lead to small let-downs that can discourage you right off the bat.

be consistent

Whatever your goal: weight loss, muscle building, or even just a start at a healthy lifestyle, you have to start being consistent. This could start as small as eating a low calorie dinner 3 times a week and nothing after, to going for a 1 mile walk before work in the morning. They can be extreme like not eating over 1400 calories for all 7 days. The more often you do something, the easier it will be to continue. If your goal is to work out 4 times a week, try making it a goal to just be physically in a gym 6 days a week. Getting there is the first step and the more often you do it, the more likely you will feel like something is missing if you don’t do it.

Related: 6 common workout beginner mistakes

Set fitness goals you don’t hate

I love having goals and aspirations. I think they apply to every facet of life and fitness and health is no different. But your fitnesss goals must be most firstly: attainable and secondly: fun to do. An example of a bad goal is: I want to lose 20 lbs. in two weeks and do nothing but starve myself and do cardio.

This is bad for a couple of reasons. One: that’s no fun at all. (I’ll be the first to tell you I hate cardio). And two: if you are somehow successfully, when you go back to a regular diet and lifestyle you’ll gain everything back and more. An example of a good goal is: I want to lose 5 lbs. in two weeks. It’s getting to be spring outside so I’ll obtain this by going for an extra walk or jog or walk outside and I’ll swap my usual high calorie lunch out for a lower calorie salad. When you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll enjoy seeing the results and you will be more motivated to build from there.

Do things together

Having someone else to serve as a support system can be a very powerful weapon. Finding someone who will motivate you and not convince you that it’s OK to miss your mark is key. If you and your other person are on the same page then the goals are much easier to achieve, and not to mention much more fun. Walk the halls on your lunch break at work or commit to going for that dreaded 6am run before work. An accountability partner will make you feel like you’re committed to somebody other than yourself.

I hope this helps and remember, no matter how you approach your first goals, be consistent, make it fun and do it together.

-Aaron

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It’s so easy to ignore healthy habits while your brain is saying ‘mmm, piña colada!’ We think it’s actually MORE important to stay active and healthy during vacation so that you don’t spend the week feeling off balance. These 5 tips will help you enjoy vacay even more. Read now or save this for later!

5 ways to stay healthy on vacation

Vacation is hard work.

We know we deserve it and we know it’s necessary to take a break, relax and indulge a little (or a lot). Unfortunately, the easiest way to put a damper on a beach vacay is the sluggishness that hits you at 2pm. That’s when you realized you’re hot, sweaty and 3 margaritas in and all you want to do is take a siesta–air conditioning on full-blast.

It’s so easy to forget that while your brain is saying ‘mmm, piña colada!’ today, usually at this time you’re about to hop on a treadmill. We think it’s actually MORE important to stay active and healthy during vacation so that you don’t spend the week feeling off balance or worse… just asleep. Think about it, exercise gives you energy and endorphins. Take those away and add some drinks, a little dehydration and the hot sun and you’re definitely not set up for a superb holiday.

Aaron and I took a quick trip to Cancun last week. We booked it 2 weeks in advance and found an awesome deal. Apparently, so did about 2,000 college spring breakers. Let me be honest. We saw a lot of boobs. Luckily, we’re both only slightly out of our college years and not yet NOT down with the times, I guess. We were able to park ourselves on a sun bed by the beach were the college kids were prohibited and enjoyed observing the chaos.

My favorite time of day was waking up long before the hungover college partiers for a quick workout and a walk on the beach. It was gorgeous. The early wake-up call (we’re talking 8am, nothing crazy) set us up for an awesome vacation day. While there’s no way I’m going to lie to you and say we didn’t eat like a million calories and forget to count our margaritas, we were able to make the most of our 5 days with a few tricks. By the end of this post you’ll be ready for your own holiday in the sun.

Use the beach (or the trails, cliffs or parks)

Double up and forget you’re exercising by exploring your surroundings. Even just walking on a sandy beach not only works your leg muscles harder than you would on a flat surface, but you also use your core to stabilize yourself. You worked your abs pre-vacay, don’t stop now!

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Don’t underestimate the hotel gym

At first glance, our hotel gym was terrible. It was tiny and about 20 degrees hotter than it was outside (sweat more, burn more calories!). Luckily though, we went early. Tiny gyms are great for quick circuits that get you in and out quickly. There were a couple of stationary bikes so we did this circuit: 1 minute bike, 10 squats, 10 jump lunges for 15 minutes. We followed that with 10 shoulder presses followed by 10 crunches for an additional 10 minutes.

Related: Our three best 30 minute workouts!

Join in

Vacation is the best time to dip your toes into things like Water Aerobics and Zumba. Why? Because if you look like a fool no one knows you and everyone’s drunk anyway. Check with the front desk or the concierge to ask if there’s a class schedule. Some hotels also have partnerships with gyms in the area to provide discounts to guests

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Jump (and walk) the Waves

Don’t knock it until you know how many calories you’ll burn. Water walking burns 563 calories per hour. Add some wave jumping to that and you’re doing even better. Yes. You’ll look silly. Yes. People will laugh at you. Just hang on to your shorts.

Go for a Swim

There aren’t many exercises that work almost all of the muscles in your body at the same time. I’ve always been a fan of swimming (I’m an Aquarius). Get up before there are children in the pool and get your workout in.

Add just one or two of these tricks to your vacation routine. We promise we won’t ask you to do anything else during your time off! And leave a comment with your own tips for the best vacation day ever!

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