This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Category Archives: Fitness

The Tummy Tuck: What to Expect from Recovery

The tummy tuck, also referred to as abdominoplasty, is a procedure that is carried out to make the abdomen leaner or to tighten one’s abdominal muscles. It is a surgical procedure that is mostly undertaken by people who have experienced massive weight loss or after pregnancy. A lot of people know when and how the procedure is undertaken, but they do not know what to expect after surgery. The following article gives you a glimpse of what is likely to happen after having a tummy tuck.

Recovery time

Although it is not as complex as heart surgery a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that needs to be treated with due seriousness. After the procedure is done, you will need about three to six months to make a full recovery. During this time, it is advisable to take time off work or to have the procedure done when you have vacation days. This will ensure that you have ample time to nurse the injury and make a full recovery.

No exercise

This is most common for people who have the procedure done specifically because they have sagging tissues as a result of weight loss. More often than not, people who have the procedure done after weight loss have had a strict workout routine. After the surgery, it is not advisable to participate in any strenuous activities because the wounds sustained during the surgery will take a while to heal. This is because there have been cases where the stitches come undone when people who have had a tummy tuck participate in any demanding activities which in turn leads to serious medical issues.

Abdominal binders

This is an important tip that anyone who is looking to have a tummy tuck should have. After the tummy tuck, you are likely to have a lot of bruising around the area where the procedure was done. This is because the tissues will not repair immediately after the surgery. During this time, it is recommended that one should consider wearing an abdominal binder. An abdominal binder is a garment that is used to provide support to the abdomen. It is wrapped around the area where the procedure took place. The reason why this garment is highly recommended is because it provides support to the abdominal muscles which takes off the pressure from the repaired abdominal tissues. The reduction in pressure will reduce the time taken for the wound to heal. It also comes highly recommended because it is instrumental in ensuring that the skin and abdominal muscles conform to their new shape after surgery.

Diet

Last but not least, you will need to pay closer attention to what you eat. In order to make a full recovery, the cells that were damaged during the surgery need to regenerate. For this to happen, one has to ensure that they eat a balanced diet at all times. This will enable them to have all the necessary nutrients and also to boost their general state of health which is ideal for recovery. One will also have to refrain from harmful habits such as excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking because they hinder the recovery process

In conclusion, a tummy tuck is a delicate surgical procedure. To be able to undergo it and make a full recovery depends on your lifestyle. There are a number of things that you may need to change immediately after the surgery. These changes are the things that will enable one to have a successful tummy tuck as well as a smooth and easy recovery after the surgery.

Dr. Gregory H. Croll is the owner of his own practice, and the leading doctor for tummy tucks Columbia MO has to offer.

Helpful Diet Tips

Losing pounds doesn’t have to be torture (we’re looking at you, cayenne-pepper cleanse). Adopt at least three of these behaviors — they’re simple to integrate into your day-to-day routine, and all are enthusiastically backed by nutritionists — and you’ll be thinner and healthier in days. (Plus, the weight will stay off.)

1. SNACK, BUT SMARTLY

Grazing between meals used to be on the weight-loss hit list. But nutritionists now know that it’s better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignore it and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling, protein-packed snacks, such as one stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut butter on a piece of fruit, or a medium-size bowl of edamame.

2. TURN OFF THE TV

Dining while viewing can make you take in 40 percent more calories than usual, reports a new study. And texting, driving, or any other distracting activity during a meal can also result in your eating too much. Instead, make each meal something you put on a plate and sit down to, even if you’re eating solo.

3. STEP ON THE SCALE DAILY

If your regular weight increases several days in a row, it’s a red flag letting you know you need to cut back a little or beef up your workouts slightly.

4. SCULPT THREE TIMES A WEEK

Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) will help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you’ll torch more calories as you go about your day.

5. REACH FOR YOUR CELL

Next time your mind gets stuck on a certain food, call a friend and redirect your brain by asking how her day’s going. Research shows that cravings only last about 5 minutes, so by the time you hang up, the urge to devour junk will have subsided.

6. EAT A BIG, BALANCED BREAKFAST

An a.m. meal made up mostly of carbs and protein with some fat keeps blood-sugar levels steady and hunger pangs away so you’re not susceptible to pigging out come lunch, studies show. Opt for something satisfying for your stomach and taste buds — like egg whites and turkey bacon with whole-wheat toast.

7. WATCH THE BOOZE

One innocent-looking margarita or cosmopolitan can rack up hundreds of calories that do nothing to quench your appetite. Treat yourself just on the weekends and cut back somewhere else or stick to a glass of wine, light beer, or vodka and soda — three drinks that each have about 100 calories per serving.

8. HAVE FRUIT TWICE A DAY

Fruit has no fat and is mostly water, so it’ll fill you up while leaving less room on your plate (and in your stomach) for high-cal fare. Don’t freak about fruit’s carb count — we’re talking the good kind of carbohydrates that contain lots of healthy fiber.

9. STAY ASLEEP LONGER

Getting to bed just 30 minutes earlier and waking up 30 minutes later than you normally do can help you make better food choices, researchers report. Also, when you’re well-rested, you’re less prone to snacking out of fatigue or stress.

10. VISUALIZE YOURSELF THIN

When you feel your willpower breaking, conjure up a mental picture of yourself when you looked and felt slim. The visual motivation keeps you focused on your goal weight and reminds you that itis attainable, since you’ve achieved it before.

Build Your Muscle using This Helpful Tips

Maybe you’ve had sand kicked in your face. Maybe you’ve lost one too many attainable women to beefier guys. Or maybe you’ve read so much about weight loss that actually admitting you want to gain weight is a societal taboo.

Here’s your fix: Follow these 10 principles to pack on as much as a pound of muscle each week.

1. Maximize muscle building. The more protein your body stores—in a process called protein synthesis—the larger your muscles grow. But your body is constantly draining its protein reserves for other uses—making hormones, for instance.

The result is less protein available for muscle building. To counteract that, you need to “build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins,” says Michael Houston, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech University.

2. Eat meat. Shoot for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day, according to a landmark study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

For example, a 160-pound man should consume 160 grams of protein a day—the amount he’d get from an 8-ounce chicken breast, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a roast-beef sandwich, two eggs, a glass of milk, and 2 ounces of peanuts.

Split the rest of your daily calories equally between carbohydrates and fats.

3. Eat more. In addition to adequate protein, you need more calories. Use the following formula to calculate the number you need to take in daily to gain 1 pound a week. (Give yourself 2 weeks for results to show up on the bathroom scale. If you haven’t gained by then, increase your calories by 500 a day.)

A. Your weight in pounds: _____
B. Multiply A by 12 to get your basic calorie needs: _____
C. Multiply B by 1.6 to estimate your resting metabolic rate (calorie burn without factoring in exercise): _____
D. Strength training: Multiply the number of minutes you lift weights per week by 5: _____
E. Aerobic training: Multiply the number of minutes per week that you run, cycle, and play sports by 8: _____
F. Add D and E, and divide by 7: _____
G. Add C and F to get your daily calorie needs: _____
H. Add 500 to G: _____. This is your estimated daily calorie needs to gain 1 pound a week.

4. Work your biggest muscles. If you’re a beginner, just about any workout will be intense enough to increase protein synthesis. But if you’ve been lifting for a while, you’ll build the most muscle quickest if you focus on the large muscle groups, like the chest, back, and legs.

Add squats, deadlifts, pullups, bent-over rows, bench presses, dips, and military presses to your workout. Do two or three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, with about 60 seconds’ rest between sets.

5. But first, have a stiff drink. A 2001 study at the University of Texas found that lifters who drank a shake containing amino acids and carbohydrates before working out increased their protein synthesis more than lifters who drank the same shake after exercising.

The shake contained 6 grams of essential amino acids—the muscle-building blocks of protein—and 35 grams of carbohydrates.

“Since exercise increases bloodflow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles,” says Kevin Tipton, Ph.D., an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Texas in Galveston.

For your shake, you’ll need about 10 to 20 grams of protein—usually about one scoop of a whey-protein powder.  Can’t stomach protein drinks? You can get the same nutrients from a sandwich made with 4 ounces of deli turkey and a slice of American cheese on whole wheat bread. But a drink is better.

“Liquid meals are absorbed faster,” says Kalman. So tough it out. Drink one 30 to 60 minutes before your workout.

6. Lift every other day. Do a full-body workout followed by a day of rest. Studies show that a challenging weight workout increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours immediately after your exercise session.

“Your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out,” says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health exercise advisor and a former skinny guy who packed on 40 pounds of muscle using this very program.

7. Down the carbs after your workout. Research shows that you’ll rebuild muscle faster on your rest days if you feed your body carbohydrates.

“Post-workout meals with carbs increase your insulin levels,” which, in turn, slows the rate of protein breakdown, says Kalman. Have a banana, a sports drink, a peanut-butter sandwich.

8. Eat something every 3 hours. “If you don’t eat often enough, you can limit the rate at which your body builds new proteins,” says Houston.

Take the number of calories you need in a day and divide by six. That’s roughly the number you should eat at each meal. Make sure you consume some protein—around 20 grams—every 3 hours.

9. Make one snack ice cream. Have a bowl of ice cream (any kind) 2 hours after your workout.

According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , this snack triggers a surge of insulin better than most foods do. And that’ll put a damper on post-workout protein breakdown.

10. Have some milk before bed. Eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein 30 minutes before you go to bed. The calories are more likely to stick with you during sleep and reduce protein breakdown in your muscles, says Kalman.

Try a cup of raisin bran with a cup of skim milk or a cup of cottage cheese and a small bowl of fruit. Eat again as soon as you wake up.

“The more diligent you are, the better results you’ll get,” says Kalman.

Benefits of Walking

1. Walking strengthens your heart

Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent.

2. Walking lowers disease risk

A regular walking habit slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, and you’re 20 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb with an active hobby such as walking.

3. Walking helps you lose weight

You’ll burn around 75 calories simply by walking at 2mph for 30 minutes. Up your speed to 3mph and it’s 99 calories, while 4mph is 150 calories (equivalent to three Jaffa cakes and a jam doughnut!). Work that short walk into your daily routine and you’ll shed the pounds in no time.

4. Walking prevents dementia

Older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass. Since dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80, we reckon that’s a pretty great idea.

5. Walking tones up legs, bums and tums

Give definition to calves, quads and hamstrings while lifting your glutes (bum muscles) with a good, regular walk. Add hill walking into the mix and it’s even more effective. Pay attention to your posture and you’ll also tone your abs and waist.

6. Walking boosts vitamin D

We all need to get outside more. Many people in the UK are vitamin D deficient, affecting important things like bone health and our immune systems. Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.

7. Walking gives you energy

You’ll get more done with more energy, and a brisk walk is one of the best natural energisers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon.

8. Walking makes you happy

It’s true – exercise boosts your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression, releasing feel-good endorphins while reducing stress and anxiety. So for positive mental health, walking’s an absolute must.

Why Strength Training is Important?

Many people who’ve decided to get fit or lose weight are great at getting out and going for a walk or a run, and maybe you’ve grown to love doing cardio at the gym. But if you’re not including strength exercises as part of your exercise program, you’re missing out on a key component of health and fitness.

Completing regular strength exercises has been shown to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories during and after exercise!

Benefits of Strength Exercises

  • Improved muscle strength and tone
  • Weight control
  • Increased bone density and strength
  • Boosted metabolism
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Prevention and control of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis

Options for Strength Exercises

  • Using your own body weight – easy and free! Strength exercises include push-ups, chin-ups and abdominal crunches
  • Free weights such as dumbbells or barbells
  • Resistance bands – light and portable, these bands provide continuous resistance throughout a movement
  • Weight machines such as those found in gyms

Research into Strength Exercises

A recent study showed that 10 weeks of strength training can increase your resting metabolic rate by seven percent and reduce fat by 1.8kg. Strength exercises also improved the study participants’ physical performance, movement control, walking speed, cognitive abilities and self-esteem.

On top of that, a US study found that we lose muscle mass at a rate of 10 to 15 percent after 50 years of age if we don’t do anything to slow the process, and this rate of loss increases after 65 years of age. So a 70-year-old woman could have 50 to 70 percent less strength than she had at 30 years old.

However, the rate of muscle decline is dependent on physical activity, with those who are physically inactive losing muscle mass and strength more quickly.

What more evidence do you need to get started on building up those muscles? Include them in your regular mix of ways of working out and you’ll soon see the benefits for yourself.

A 12WBT Strength Workout

To show how easy it is to bring strength training into your routine, we’ve given you a sample 20-minute strength workout using exercises from our 12 Week Body Transformation program.

This workout focuses on the legs, back, triceps and ab muscles using a gym set-up. The secret to strength training is to focus on different body parts each day of the week, so on other days you’d want to work the chest, biceps and shoulders.

Warming Up

Do a five-minute warm-up on any cardio machine and work at approximately 70 percent intensity. For example:

  • Cross trainer, level 5 to 8, hill program.
  • Treadmill, steady state jog (7.5 to 9km per hour).

Your strength workout

These exercises should take 10 to 20 minutes. Run through the whole program twice if you’re feeling game!

Assisted chin-ups:

  • Set the equipment to weigh 60 to 80 percent of your body weight.
  • Exhale as you pull yourself up until your chin is level with the bar, then lower yourself down to a full stretch.
  • Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps, resting for 30 seconds between each set.

Pullover on a fitball:

  • Sit on the fitball holding one dumbbell, with both hands pressed against your chest. Carefully roll down the fitball so you are lying with your head and shoulders on the ball, hips off the ball in a straight line.
  • Raise the dumbbell with both hands so your arms are almost fully extended above your chest. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  • Bracing your core muscles, lower the dumbbell behind your head, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Exhale as you pull the dumbbell back up over your head.
  • Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps, resting for 30 seconds between each set.

Hamstring curls on a fitball:

  • Lie on the floor with your arms alongside your body, palms facing down. With straight legs, place your heels and calf muscles on the fitball. Have your feet hip width apart and flex your toes back towards you. Lift your hips up off the floor and lock your midsection tight so that your body is straight and is supported by the shoulders.
  • Keeping your torso straight and stiff, bend your legs and roll the ball towards your butt. Keep your feet flexed and squeeze the backs of your legs and your inner thighs. Use core strength to maintain your balance and hold your body in place.
  • Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps, resting for 30 seconds between each set.

Tricep push-ups:

  • Get down on all fours, placing your hands directly under your shoulders. Draw your abs in, lift your chest up between your arms and drop your shoulders back and down (away from your ears). Tuck your chin in slightly and look directly ahead at the floor. Your toes can be hip width apart or together.
  • Keeping your core muscles activated, inhale as you bend your arms and lower your upper body so that your chest is about 10cm off the floor. Exhale as you straighten the arms to return to the start position.
  • Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps, resting for 30 seconds between each set.

Squat jumps:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Switch on your core.
  • Squat down by sitting your butt behind you (imagine you are sitting down on a kiddie seat) and swing your arms back as though you’re going to touch the ground with both hands. Spring up off the ground and swing your arms above your head as if you’re about to shoot a basketball.
  • Do as many squat jumps as you can in 60 seconds.

Stretching: Ensure you stretch for a good five minutes after strength exercises, focusing on all the muscle groups used.

Burn Your Fat using These Cardio Excercise

The best exercises are those you can do daily, so choose ones you enjoy and don’t be afraid to mix things up. Adding interval training to your fitness regime will not only burn the calories faster, it will keep your workout fresh.

1. Running

While a daily walk can improve fitness levels and relieve stress and anxiety, if weight loss is your goal, running – not walking – is one of the quickest, most efficient exercises to help you lose weight and increase fitness.

Running burns about 650 calories per hour. As it’s difficult to run consistently for an hour though, interval training will help you reach a high-intensity burn faster, increasing your endurance, lowering your heart-rate recovery time and torching fat. Add in hill or stair sprints to your program, then recover with slower-paced runs.

2. Cycling

Whether stationary or outdoors, cycling is one of the best forms of exercises for fitness. Sports physiologists have found that the body’s metabolic rate – the efficiency with which it burns calories and fat – is not only raised during a ride, but for several hours afterwards.

Even after cycling for 30 minutes, you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you stop,” says sports physiologist Mark Simpson of Loughborough University in the UK.

As with running, make sure you include both high- and low-intensity in your session. The more intense the workout, the quicker the calories will burn away.

A study by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, showed that cyclists who incorporated fast intervals into their ride burned significantly more body fat than those who cycled constantly at a moderate pace.

3. Boxing

If it’s rapid tone and weight loss you’re after, boxing is the fitness choice for you. Many people think boxing only strengthens the arms but if done correctly, it’s a cardio workout for the whole body.

It’s a particularly good exercise for toning glutes and quadriceps – perfect if you’re trying to lose weight around your hips and thighs.

Boxing won’t make you bulk up – it’s a high-repetition fitness workout so you’ll see tone rather than muscle. Combine high-intensity rounds with short rests and the calorie burn will continue after you’ve completed the workout.

4. Weights

The key to weight loss is to keep rest periods as short as possible. Many people take too much time between weightlifting sets, allowing the heart rate to slow down to a resting rate, which doesn’t burn as many calories.

Super-set weights – where you do two exercises one after the other with no rest in between – can increase the amount of calories you burn by 25 per cent compared to traditional straight sets, according to a study reported in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning

Do bicep curls super-setted with tricep push-downs. The first exercise works the pulling muscle and the second works the opposite muscle, using a pushing movement. You’ll get a greater calorie burn while strengthening, toning and improving your overall fitness. If you don’t have weights on hand, use soup cans or filled water bottles.

5. Skipping

This is one of the simplest yet most effective exercises you can do. In just 15 to 20 minutes, skipping will give you an unparalleled total body workout, burning around 700 calories an hour. It’s ideal for cardiovascular endurance and it enhances performance in many sports – tennis, basketball, football, skiing and more.

Set yourself measurable goals such as 50 double-paced skips followed by 20 slower ones. You’ll definitely feel the burn.

Don’t forget to spend time stretching at the end of every workout. Those last five to ten minutes will help prevent injury and stop you feeling sore the next day. Mix things up with circuit training and, most importantly, one of the best fitness tips around is to find a form of exercise you love. That will definitely keep you coming back for more.

Do These Stretches Every Day

Many of us spend our nighttime hours flailing from side to side, flipping from stomach to back, yanking covers, doubling flat pillows, putting on socks, taking socks off, etc, etc. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that we wake up feeling a little bit…discombobulated. And even those of us who sleep peacefully need a good stretch after 7 to 9 hours of slepp. All that time on your back is bound to make you feel a little creaky. Here, a 5-minute stretching routine that will start your day off right.

Perform 20 repetitions of exercises 1 and 2. Hold exercises 3 and 4 for 20 seconds on each side. Then perform 10 repetitions of exercise 5. At the very end, take one final deep breath, smile, and embrace the gift of another day.

Good Mornings

Place hands behind head with elbows wedged wide open. Bend at hips, slightly bend knees, and reach butt back—not down!—as far as possible. As you do this, allow torso to tip forward. Be sure to engage core and tip forward at torso, and avoid rounding back. Hold momentarily then draw hips forward, raise torso, and stand upright into starting position. This move stretches the hamstrings and lower back

Frankensteins

Reach arms straight out in front, slightly below shoulders. Walk forward across length of room, kicking one leg straight up with flexed foot, drawing shin to hand. If kicking that high causes rounding of back, simply lower arms and kick to height that stops posture from arching forward. Keep hips squared as you walk forward in this “Frankenstein” motion, and you’ll get a great stretch in your hamstrings.

Child’s Pose with Rotation

Sit on shins with knees out and heels right under butt. Reach one arm across center of torso, and take other arm up toward ceiling, holding 20 seconds. You should feel a stretch in the hips, shoulders, chest, and back. Repeat on opposite side.

Optional: Bind the other arm around the back to the opposite hip while holding the pose for a deeper stretch.

Supine Twists

Lie flat on back. Bring one knee in toward belly and cradle it with opposite hand. Applying light pressure, pull that knee across body and to floor. Try to keep both shoulders on ground. The goal is to gently twist the spine; it’s OK if knee does not make it all the way down to floor. Stop when you start to feel resistance from your lower back—you should also feel this stretch in the glutes. Repeat on opposite side.

Long Stretch

Inhale and reach arms high up overhead. Exhale and return to starting standing position. Match movement pattern to rhythm of breath, and feel stretch in shoulders, back, and torso as you flow through 10 repetitions.

Simple Fitness Tips

1. Mental attitude

Having the right mental attitude to fitness is critical. Your fitness goals are achievable if you have a positive attitude. Start by believing that you can get in shape and achieve the level of fitness you want.

2. Find a fitness regimen that works for you

There are hundreds of workout styles and gym classes. Do you want to do cardio fitness? Interval training? Resistance workouts? Do you want a personal trainer who can develop a personalised fitness routine for you? All fitness classes have their benefits, so do your research and find out what will work for you. Most importantly – try it out! You’ll quickly discover what kind of fitness exerciseyou enjoy.

3. Work on your fitness with a buddy

Join a fitness class or workout with a friend, sharing tips and inspiring each other along the way. It’s much easier to meet your health and fitness goals if you have a buddy motivating you.

4. Anytime is fitness time

You don’t have to hit the gym to get fit. Make the most of your commute by walking or cycling to work. Likewise, swap your chair for a fitball. Use your lunchbreaks to slot in an extra workout and your tea breaks for a stretching session. If your goal is weight loss, look for opportunities to stand rather than sitting, as this burns more calories.

5. Exercise in short bursts

You don’t have to exercise for hours at a time to have an impact. Findings from Arizona State University show that exercising in short bursts of 10 minutes, three times a day, can have similar positive effects to doing one 30-minute session, so if you can’t get to the gym or out for a run, do what you can in your available time.

6. Take the stairs

Burn calories and get a cardiovascular workout by taking the stairs instead of the lift. At home, use the stairs like a treadmill. Running up them will increase your heart rate and help you on your way to fitness.

7. Make use of commercial breaks

Add in a quick workout during commercial breaks while watching television to improve your fitness. Get up and do some squats, crunches or press-ups. Or grab a resistance band and start building up your biceps.

8. Family fitness

Make family time fitness time. Grab your partner or kids and jump on your bikes, walk to the supermarket or even play tag in the garden. Getting the whole family on board your fitness wagon will make it a lot easier to stay motivated.

9. Hydrate to the max

For optimum health and fitness, your body needs water. Studies show that water helps detox the body and can help with weight loss, so be sure to drink at least eight glasses a day.

10. Set goals

Whether you’re aiming for weight loss or just want to improve your general fitness, be sure to set SMART goals. That’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. This way they’ll be much easier to reach.

11. Eat well

There’s no point in taking on board all these fitness tips and exercising your way to the perfect body if you keep eating junk food. Combine exercise [add link to Exercise article] with a healthy diet, filled with lots of fruit and veg. Conversely, a healthy diet will give you the energy you need to exercise.

12. Sleep well

Your body needs at least seven hours of sleep a night to perform at its best, so make sure you hit the hay early. You’ll be amazed by how much a good night’s rest can boost your energy levels and improve your fitness.

13. Sweat your way to fitness

Sweating might not feel like one of the best fitness tips, but it’s actually good for you in a number of ways (so long as you remember to hydrate). Sweating helps the body release toxins, increases your heart rate and helps with weight loss.

14. Be happy

We exercise better when we’re in a good mood, so put a smile on your dial and dive into that workout. And even if you’re not happy at the start of your workout, remember that exercise will change your mood so you’re far more likely to be happy by the end!

15. Don’t quit in winter

Put in the hard work over the cooler months and you’ll be looking and feeling your best come spring. Then you can enjoy summer socialising knowing you’ve done the hard yards.

16. Focus on your core

Without a strong core it’s easy to injure yourself. Doing exercises – particularly Pilates exercises – will help strengthen this area of the body and also help enhance your posture and general fitness.

17. Practise good form

Make sure you’re performing all your exercises correctly, otherwise you could hurt yourself and ruin all your fitness efforts. 12WBT Members have access to an Exercise Index, giving detailed explanations and video demonstrations of hundreds of exercises.

18. Do some interval training

Short bursts of high-intensity activity can be more beneficial than long, slow workouts. So add 30 or 60-second blocks of sprinting to your runs.

19. Embrace technology

Make the most of all the technology designed to improve your fitness. Buy a heart rate monitor so you can count how many calories you’re burning, a Fitbit activity tracker to count your daily steps, distance moved and calories burnt, and a good set of scales so you can weigh yourself regularly and find out if you’re on track with your weight loss.

20. Go easy on yourself

Health and fitness needn’t be all or nothing. No-one can keep up their routine 100 percent of the time. Instead of feeling guilty, consider approaching it as if you’re doing a test. So, 80 percent would be a great result – if you can stay on track for 80 percent of the time, you’re doing really well. Then it’s just a matter of trying to improve.

Aerobic and Strength Training

stock-vector-illustration-of-types-of-exercises-flexibility-aerobic-and-strength-training-295434236Regular aerobic exercise can help you live longer and healthier. After all, aerobic exercise reduces health risks, keeps excess pounds at bay, strengthens your heart and boosts your mood.

Healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. That doesn’t have to be all at one time, though. Aerobic exercise can even be done in 10-minute increments.

And recent studies report significant health benefits from interval training, which means exercising at your near maximal intensity for short periods of 60 to 90 seconds.

For many people, walking is a great choice for aerobic exercise. In fact, walking is one of the most natural forms of exercise. It’s safe, it’s simple and all it takes to get started is a good pair of walking shoes and a commitment to include aerobic exercise in your daily routine.

Of course, there’s more to aerobic exercise than walking. Other popular choices include swimming, bicycling and jogging. Activities such as dancing and jumping rope count, too. Get creative.

Strength training can help you tone your muscles and improve your appearance. With a regular strength training program, you can reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently.

Better yet, strength training doesn’t have to take as long as you might think. For most people, one set of strength exercises for major muscle groups performed two to three times a week is sufficient.

 Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Free weights and weight machines are popular strength training tools, but they’re not the only options.

You can do strength training with inexpensive resistance tubing or even your own body weight. With proper technique, you may enjoy noticeable improvements in your strength and stamina over time.

About Weigh Loss

diet-tipsYour weight is a balancing act, and calories are part of that equation. Fad diets may promise you that counting carbs or eating a mountain of grapefruit will make the pounds drop off. But when it comes to weight loss, it’s calories that count. Weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you take in. You can do that by reducing extra calories from food and beverages, and increasing calories burned through physical activity.

 Once you understand that equation, you’re ready to set your weight-loss goals and make a plan for reaching them. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to your doctor, family and friends for support. Ask yourself if now is a good time and if you’re ready to make some necessary changes. Also, plan smart: Anticipate how you’ll handle situations that challenge your resolve and the inevitable minor setbacks.

If you have serious health problems because of your weight, your doctor may suggest weight-loss surgery or medications for you. In this case, you and your doctor will need to thoroughly discuss the potential benefits and the possible risks.

But don’t forget the bottom line: The key to successful weight loss is a commitment to making indefinite changes in your diet and exercise habits.

How can you lose weight? With diet and physical activity. The key to successful weight loss is developing healthy diet and exercise habits. You may not like those words — diet and exercise. Don’t get hung up on the words. Diet just means eating healthy, lower calorie meals. Exercise means being more active.

Although people appropriately focus on diet when they’re trying to lose weight, being active also is an essential component of a weight-loss program. When you’re active, your body uses energy (calories) to work, helping to burn the calories you take in with food you eat.

Cleaning the house, making the bed, shopping, mowing and gardening are all forms of physical activity. Exercise, on the other hand, is a structured and repetitive form of physical activity that you do on a regular basis.

Whatever activity you choose, do it regularly. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week. Keep in mind that you may need more physical activity to lose weight and keep it off.