Building habits and finding accountability

How long does it take to form a new habit? On average, it takes over two months to form a new habit. 66 days to be exact, but this depends on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. The overall range can be anywhere from 18 days to 254 days. To think you can start…

Building habits and finding accountability was originally published on Self Evolve

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How long does it take to form a new habit?

On average, it takes over two months to form a new habit. 66 days to be exact, but this depends on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. The overall range can be anywhere from 18 days to 254 days. To think you can start a new habit within weeks isn’t completely unrealistic, but it’s unlikely. The key to making a new habit into a routine? Accountability.

Where do you find accountability?

There are several resources you can use to find accountability. For me, I rely on my friends to hold me accountable. I have a great group of running friends who make sure I continue to run. I have an entire gym full of members who provide me daily encouragement. If they can workout before or after work, I have no excuse since I work at the gym. As a personal trainer, I feel like it’s my job to workout and eat healthy. If I don’t practice what I preach then I won’t be able to excel at what I do. This doesn’t mean I don’t have cheat days, though. I am human, after all.

accountabilityA great app to find accountability is HabitShare. You can download it from the Apple or Google Play store. The idea is you put in habits you want to start doing, and you check in daily (or however often you want to do the action). The best part is you add friends who are doing the same thing, and you keep each other accountable. It’s a great tool to keep you on track to reaching your goals.

Do you track your habits and goal progress? How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

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Building habits and finding accountability was originally published on Self Evolve

Skinny-fat: High metabolism and poor diet combo

Some of us are blessed with height, others are blessed with beautiful teeth or perhaps gorgeous eyes. Genes play a huge role in many of our features, and some people are blessed with an extremely high metabolism that seems to never slow down. I have friends who can eat whatever they want and as much…

Skinny-fat: High metabolism and poor diet combo was originally published on Self Evolve

skinny-fatSome of us are blessed with height, others are blessed with beautiful teeth or perhaps gorgeous eyes. Genes play a huge role in many of our features, and some people are blessed with an extremely high metabolism that seems to never slow down. I have friends who can eat whatever they want and as much as they want and not even gain a pound. These people are referred to as skinny-fat. Indeed, they are thin and appear to be healthy when looking at their BMI, but upon further investigation they aren’t as healthy as they look.

Skinny-fat: skinny on the outside

Guys and girls alike who are blessed with high metabolism may feel like they have won the genetic lottery. They can literally eat anything and not gain a pound! I know for some this isn’t the case. Many guys and gals are steering away from the skinny look and prefer the more athletic/muscular/toned look. For those with high metabolisms, it can be a struggle to put on any weight, including muscle weight. They often have to eat even more than the average person just to keep up with their strength training and cardio workouts.

Fat on the inside

While these people look and feel skinny, their insides often tell a different story. Depending on what they’re eating, they may actually be holding on to more fat than what meets the eye. If their diet is high in unhealthy fats and processed foods, i.e. lots of fast food, they’re likely much more unhealthy than one would think. For most of us, fat is visible when we’re overweight. For someone with a high metabolism, their fat may be hidden. Fat can be found surrounding our organs and within our cardiovascular system. Oftentimes, people who look skinny may actually be carrying a lot of extra fat throughout their body systems. To combat this, muscle is needed in order to start burning the extra unseen fat.

Are you skinny-fat? What’s your favorite feature on your body?

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Skinny-fat: High metabolism and poor diet combo was originally published on Self Evolve

Why everyone needs a personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where…

Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where they were able to reach their goals and have the body they wanted. If they’ve never had a personal trainer, I always ask if they have ever considered getting one. I ask this because I feel like most of us, at one time or another, have thought of hiring a personal trainer to help us achieve our goals. But we may have hesitated, likely over the cost of a trainer. Today I’m going to go over why I feel like everyone needs a personal trainer, at some point(s) in their life.

Why you need a personal trainer

  • Workout planning. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin had it right. If you go to the gym without a workout plan, you will just be winging it every time. And with that comes a lot of guessing and free-styling it, but also you’ll likely just do the same routine every time they’re at the gym. This isn’t ideal as our bodies get used to the same exercise and you will stop seeing results.
  • Tracking your progress. Most people only track their progress by weighing themselves, but this can be very discouraging. Especially since muscle is more dense than fat, the number on the scale may not change as much as your measurements and body fat. A personal trainer will take your measurements at least once every month or two to verify you’re seeing results.
  • Proper form and technique. Without any prior training or education in relation to exercise, it’s hard to know the proper form and technique for all exercises. Also, it’s hard to know what type of exercises will help you get to your specific goals. That’s where a certified trainer can help immensely.
  • Health advice. In addition to fitness and exercise advice, personal trainers can also help provide overall guidelines in regards to health. While we aren’t nutritionists or dietitians, we can give our clients a general idea of what they should be focusing on when it comes to their diet.
  • Avoid injury. This is huge. The amount of injuries that occur at the gym is substantial. Without proper form and technique, it is easy to hurt yourself. Having a personal trainer to demonstrate and verify that you’re performing exercises correctly mitigates the risk of injury.
  • Accountability & motivation. Having a trainer keeps you accountable. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay for a trainer and then not show up to my sessions. Money is a great motivator, and once you start seeing results the motivation will just start pouring in!

Exercise is complex

Exercise isn’t just science, it’s also an art form. The key to exercise is variety, and to know not only the right type of exercise but also the different variations is needed to reach your goals. Without proper knowledge and education, it’s hard to walk into a gym without feeling intimated. Big weights and barbells can scare off anyone. That’s where a trainer comes in.

Have you ever had a trainer? Or do you currently have a trainer?

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Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s

In a recent study done on patients with Parkinson’s disease, a huge discovery was found. Patients who partook in exercise three times a week for 45 minutes at a time at 80 to 85% maximum heart rate saw their symptoms slow down. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment…

Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s was originally published on Self Evolve

In a recent study done on patients with Parkinson’s disease, a huge discovery was found. Patients who partook in exercise three times a week for 45 minutes at a time at 80 to 85% maximum heart rate saw their symptoms slow down. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment can delay the worst symptoms, people almost always get worse. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and about a million Americans have Parkinson’s currently.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s

Unfortunately, there’s no medical cure for Parkinson’s. Exercise has always been regarded as a way to help you feel better, but it wasn’t seen as true therapy until recently. It’s not a treatment, but it’s a way to manage the symptoms and help patients feel closer to normal.

In the study, they worked with 128 patients with early stage Parkinson’s. They randomly assigned them to either moderate exercise four days a week, intense exercise four days a week, or no additional exercise. The results showed that for the intense exercise group, their disease wasn’t getting worse. The symptoms remained the same over the 6 months of the study. For the moderate exercise group, their disease worsened slightly. For the non-exercisers, their disease worsened to the point that was noticeable.

Slowing the progression is huge

With only 2 and a half hours a week of high intensity exercise, Parkinson’s patients can slow their disease. It may not cure it, but it’s significant to even slow down the symptoms and to have them feeling better.

parkinson's

About 60 YMCA’s offer a Pedaling for Parkinson’s class to help those with Parkinson’s out by offering spin classes with the proper intensity needed. Check out your local YMCA today!

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Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s was originally published on Self Evolve

What to do with your broken Fitbit: Fitness Trackers

Do you track your steps with a Fitbit? If so, you may be aware of the sad reality that Fitbits break. Whether it’s the strap or the software slowing down, eventually your Fitbit may bite the dust. As long as you’re within the one-year warranty period, you can either get your Fitbit repaired or replaced…

What to do with your broken Fitbit: Fitness Trackers was originally published on Self Evolve

Do you track your steps with a Fitbit?

If so, you may be aware of the sad reality that Fitbits break. Whether it’s the strap or the software slowing down, eventually your Fitbit may bite the dust. As long as you’re within the one-year warranty period, you can either get your Fitbit repaired or replaced by the company. But what should you do with your broken Fitbit if it’s beyond the warranty? First of all, you can prevent breaking it in the first place!

How to prevent a broken Fitbit

Your best bet is to prevent a broken Fitbit in the first place. Here are a few ways to protect your device.

  • Buy a screen protector. This is a great way to prevent screen damage.
  • Buy a protective device cover. These things are great for when you get dirty (i.e. tough mudder) and want to protect your Fitbit.
  • Be careful when wearing the device. Keep it clean and dry. Even if it’s waterproof, be sure to dry it thoroughly after swimming.

Broken Fitbit

If it’s too late to prevent breaking your Fitbit, you have a few options on what to do with that broken Fitbit other than throwing it in the trash.

  • You can fix it! There are many resources online, like this one, that have guides on how to fix your particular fitness tracker. There’s even a store where you can buy tools and parts.
  • You can take it to a repair shop! You know those local phone repair shops? Or you could go online and send it in for repair.
  • Unfortunately, if your Fitbit has water damage as in water inside the device, it’s beyond repairable. I would reach out to the company to see if they could swing you a discount on a new device. Check out this article to read up on the best Fitbit out there.

Has your Fitbit broken? If so, what did you do with it?

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What to do with your broken Fitbit: Fitness Trackers was originally published on Self Evolve

New Year’s Resolutions: What are you waiting for?

New Year, New You New Years is coming up! And what better time than January 1st to start that life change you’ve been wanting to make all year but have decided to wait until next year! Do you make a list of New Year’s resolutions? What’s on the list for 2018? Is it different or…

New Year’s Resolutions: What are you waiting for? was originally published on Self Evolve

New Year, New You

New Years is coming up! And what better time than January 1st to start that life change you’ve been wanting to make all year but have decided to wait until next year! Do you make a list of New Year’s resolutions? What’s on the list for 2018? Is it different or the same as years past? Is losing weight and working out more often on that list? If so, read on!

Don’t wait for 2018!

What is stopping you from starting your fitness goals today? Did you know that New Year’s resolutions, on average, last about 3 to 6 weeks. Early to mid-February, the gym empties out once again and the regulars don’t have to fight for the weight machines anymore. But, if you start today, the gym is empty now! Especially around the holidays. Everyone is out of town visiting family, so the perfect time to start your new workout regime is today!

More Demand = Higher Prices

You may think you’re getting a New Year’s special discount at the gym in January, but what you don’t know is gyms spike their rates in January. They know people are going to buy no matter what, so might as well make an extra buck out of it! If you’re smart, you’ll sign up for that gym membership in December to avoid the long lines and the higher rates.

There’s no better time than now!

Every habit takes about 3 weeks to begin, why not start now and get ahead of the mad gym rush of January 2018? If you’re in the Chicago area, come visit me at LA Fitness in Oak Brook and I’ll work up some awesome deals for you. Mention this blog post and come in before the New Year to get the best rates!

What’s stopping you from starting now? What are your New Year’s goals?

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New Year’s Resolutions: What are you waiting for? was originally published on Self Evolve

How to get abs: 3 important factors to get the core you want

Many people think the more core workouts they do the bigger the abs they’ll get. This is true, but all of us have a thin layer of fat over our abs. This being said, the bigger abs you get will only push out that layer of fat making you look bigger and not in a…

How to get abs: 3 important factors to get the core you want was originally published on Self Evolve

how to get absMany people think the more core workouts they do the bigger the abs they’ll get. This is true, but all of us have a thin layer of fat over our abs. This being said, the bigger abs you get will only push out that layer of fat making you look bigger and not in a good way. I’m here to tell you how to get abs utilizing three important factors.

Abs are made in the kitchen

I’ve heard this saying a million times, and it’s true. What you eat plays a huge role in whether or not your abs show. I’m not talking just six pack, but even just that slender look in the abdominal region. What you want to focus on is eating more whole foods and less sugar and processed foods. I.e. vegetables, fruit, whole grains, white meat, etc. If you don’t know where to start, I’d recommend talking to a registered dietitian or nutritionist.

How to get abs in the gym

In addition to what you’re eating, cardio is also important. While you don’t necessarily need a gym to get your cardio in, it’s a good idea to change up your cardio routine to keep your body guessing. Many of us hit a plateau and to combat this, try to do the stair master instead of the treadmill. Or the elliptical instead of the bike. Spin class, anyone?

Don’t forget your iron!

While core workouts are great, you have to do more than just hit the core. Building up your muscle all over your body will help you burn away your extra pounds of fat. When strength training, be sure to not hit the same body part more than once a week. It’s a good idea to split your body parts up over 3-4 days. One example for a 3 day split is: Upper Body Push (Chest and Triceps), Upper Body Pull (Back and Biceps), and Lower Body (Legs). This way you give your body plenty of time to rest. 

Put it all together

I recommend switching between strength training and cardio every other day. I.e. Monday lift, Tuesday cardio, Wednesday lift, Thursday cardio, Friday lift, Saturday cardio, Sunday active rest (yoga!). And eat clean everyday! Make sure you’re getting plenty of water and protein through the week!

What is your workout regiment like? Post below your workout schedule

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How to get abs: 3 important factors to get the core you want was originally published on Self Evolve