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

Don’t be a starter, be a finisher

It’s easy to start.. You start out every year strong. This is the year I’ll… (insert New Year’s Resolution here). You have great intentions. Lose ten pounds, start working out, eat better, write a book, finish that thesis, etc. But how many of us actually finish what we start? Are you a finisher? I’m not…

Don’t be a starter, be a finisher was originally published on Self Evolve

It’s easy to start..

finisherYou start out every year strong. This is the year I’ll… (insert New Year’s Resolution here). You have great intentions. Lose ten pounds, start working out, eat better, write a book, finish that thesis, etc. But how many of us actually finish what we start? Are you a finisher?

I’m not pointing any fingers since I’ve definitely started many projects and goals only to stop and never finish them. It’s easy to start something, but way more satisfying to finish something. To crush that goal, no matter how small. To complete that big project, and be able to move onward and upward. The feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. But sometimes we lose motivation, discipline, or lack knowledge in regards to finishing our goals.

Stay motivated

Motivation is key to finishing any goal or project. If we see results, we tend to stay motivated. For example, if you continue to lose body fat week after week while dieting and exercising, you’ll continue dieting and working out. Staying motivated is one of the biggest hurdles we face. I like to look to positive social media accounts for motivational quotes and images. I try to share them on my social media as well in order to motivate others.

Be disciplined

There will be days where you don’t feel like eating well or working out. There will be days when you don’t feel like working on your projects. But you have to push through the thoughts that are holding you back. Most of the time, it’s mental. If you can push yourself to work towards your goals and projects despite not wanting to, you’ll be making progress towards being a finisher.

Do your research

If you get stuck halfway through your project, do your research. If you’ve been doing the same workout and stop seeing results, look up some new exercises to change your workouts. Research helps us expand our knowledge and make progress in reaching our goals. The more you know, the more you’ll accomplish.

What projects and goals are you working on?

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Don’t be a starter, be a finisher was originally published on Self Evolve

Supersets and why you should do them

What is a superset? And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use…

Supersets and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

What is a superset?

And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use different muscle groups or movement patterns, though not always. Here’s why you should incorporate this method in your workout routine.

Benefits of supersets

  1. Short on time? The idea is that you’re doing exercises on different muscle groups during the time you’d normally be resting. So you get the same amount of exercises done in half the time.
  2. Build muscle! Supersets are a good protocol for hypertrophy as they help create the biological and hormonal environment necessary for muscle growth. By using your rest periods to do more work, the exercises in effect serve as active recovery for each other.
  3. Increase intensity! Shortening the rest period between sets will increase intensity by performing more work in less time. This is especially true if you are used to long periods of rest between sets.

How to build good supersets

supersetsAlternating upper body with lower body is a great way to get a total body workout done quickly. Put together three or four supersets using multi-joint exercises and do each for 8 to 12 reps and two to three times through. This is a solid resistance workout that’ll take 30 minutes or less. Other ideas include a push/pull upper body workout, utilizing antagonistic muscles. A sample superset workout is below:

2 Sets, 12 Reps

  • Squats
  • Lateral lunges (12 each leg)
  • 1 min rest
  • Barbell row
  • Push ups
  • 1 min rest
  • Shoulder press
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • 1 min rest

Do you use supersets as a part of your fitness regime?

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Supersets and why you should do them 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

8 exercise habits that are holding you back

There’s nothing more satisfying than conquering a great workout. The feeling of pride after smashing a challenging new exercise or activity is pretty incomparable. In addition to the emotional benefits of working out, there are also a ton of physical benefits to fitness. Many people incorporate workouts into their daily routines, but what they may…

8 exercise habits that are holding you back was originally published on Self Evolve

There’s nothing more satisfying than conquering a great workout. The feeling of pride after smashing a challenging new exercise or activity is pretty incomparable. In addition to the emotional benefits of working out, there are also a ton of physical benefits to fitness. Many people incorporate workouts into their daily routines, but what they may not know is how seemingly harmless habits can affect their health. These eight exercise habits could be doing more harm than good when hitting the gym.

Eight Exercise Habits

  1. Doing way too much cardio. While it may seem like the key exercise habitsto getting in shape and maintaining weight loss, cardio should be done in moderation in order to see overall changes.
  2. Watching the calorie counter. One of the most harmful things you can do is focus on burning tons of calories and not on developing your individual sense of physical health. Instead of watching numbers and playing the calorie guessing game, focus on doing activities that help you feel your best.
  3. Setting unrealistic goals. Ok, so you want to lose five pounds and/or attempt shredding your abs into that six-pack you’ve always wanted. That’s great. Do you want to do it in a week? Not so much. Instead of focusing on a big resolution, focus on small daily steps that help you get towards your overall goal.
  4. Hitting the gym every single day. There’s such a thing as too much working out. Rest and recovery days are just as important as those workout days. There are many bad side effects to training everyday, such as trouble sleeping, weight loss plateaus, and exhaustion.
  5. Skipping stretches. Stretching improves posture, increases flexibility, and even preps the body for later in life when the hips and legs tend to become a bit sorer. Stretching can help avoid cramps, muscle imbalances, and muscle spasms.
  6. Saying “no” to cooling down. The American Heart Association warns that cooling down is nearly almost as important as the workout itself. Incorporating a walk, stretch, and deep breathing into the end of a routine will allow the body to gradually decrease its heightened blood pressure, temperature and heart rate.
  7. Not drinking enough water. Water keeps your body moving and adequately fueled during workouts, so you need a ton of it to keep going, before, during, and after your workouts. It’s smart to bring your own reusable water bottle in order to fill up and keep moving.
  8. Sticking to the same routine. Once you find something you love, it’s easy to make it into a habit. But if you do the same thing day-in and day-out your body will hit a plateau. Switching up workouts every few weeks is ideal, it’s best to keep your body guessing.

Do you do any of these exercise habits?

Next time you’re in the gym, keep these in mind. At the end of the day, it’s all about you feeling your best. Keep it fun and don’t focus so much on the numbers.

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8 exercise habits that are holding you back was originally published on Self Evolve

Pro Results: New Year New You!

New Year’s Resolutions! Next week is not only a new week, it’s also a brand new year. With the new year, many people set out new goals to get back into shape, lose weight, or start eating healthier.  New year new you! Almost everyone sets out with great goals, but many fall short of achieving…

Pro Results: New Year New You! was originally published on Self Evolve

New Year’s Resolutions!

new year new youNext week is not only a new week, it’s also a brand new year. With the new year, many people set out new goals to get back into shape, lose weight, or start eating healthier.  New year new you! Almost everyone sets out with great goals, but many fall short of achieving them. Today I’m going to go over some great ways to set up your new year goals and to achieve them this year.

Resolution tips

  • Write down all of your New Year resolutions. Writing your goals down is the first step in making them real. Keep your list short: starting out with one goal makes it more achievable rather than overwhelming yourself with too many goals.
  • Put a number on it! For every resolution, give it an amount by a certain time. For example, if you want to run, write “I will run 3 miles a week starting January 1st and until March 31st.” Or, if you want to eat better, write “I will cook at home 5 days a week starting January 1st.” These are action items to lead you to your overall goals.
  • Bite-sized pieces. Break your overall big goals into bite-sized pieces. Don’t expect to completely change your life overnight. Instead, cut back on certain indulgences as you ease into eating healthier. For example, write “I will lose 5 pounds by February 1st.” Then, once you achieve your first goal, you can create a new goal. Build upon your success rather than setting yourself up for failure.
  • Start now! Don’t wait for the new year! There are some amazing deals going on at all gyms, and prices generally increase for the new year. Also, clothes are on sale as well. You can stock up on all your gear, shoes included, before the new year!

New Year New You!

The best part of starting out your new goals is seeing the results. Once you start seeing and feeling better, you’ll be fueled to continue on your New Year’s resolution. And with the money you’re saving from not eating out at fast food restaurants all the time you can treat yourself, perhaps with a spa day or a nice weekend trip somewhere. The best part is getting friends and family in to join you at the gym. LA Fitness in Oak Brook, IL has a special going on right now where you can add a family member to your account for only $10!

We also have very affordable Personal Training packages, some coming in the lowest they’ve been all year! Come visit me today to go over your fitness and health goals for the new years. I’ll take you through a killer workout as well!

Call me at 630-684-0176 for more information. Just ask for Jen, I’m there almost every day of the week and weekends too!

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Pro Results: New Year New You! was originally published on Self Evolve

Never skip a day: Gyms open on Christmas

Merry Christmas! Ho ho ho! I hope the holiday season has been treating you well. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all I wish the very best for you. If you don’t care for the parties or want to combat those extra calories, you may want to hit the gym today for…

Never skip a day: Gyms open on Christmas was originally published on Self Evolve

Merry Christmas!

Ho ho ho! I hope the holiday season has been treating you well. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all I wish the very best for you. If you don’t care for the parties or want to combat those extra calories, you may want to hit the gym today for a holiday workout. But what gyms are open today (gyms open on Christmas)?

Gyms open on Christmas

  • X Sport: Known to be 24/7, they are also 365 days a year.
  • Snap Fitness: Another 24/7 gym that is open year-round thanks to their key-card security system. Call your local Snap before heading over just in case, but I’d say it’s safe to say this one will be open.
  • Anytime Fitness: If you don’t see a trend here, it’s generally only the 24/7 gyms that are open on Christmas Day. The only exception is 24 Hour Fitness which is closed on Christmas Day.

Most other gyms are closed on Christmas Day. LA Fitness closes on Christmas Day, the only day of the year that they close. All other holidays they’re open but usually with shortened hours. And almost every gym is open on Christmas Eve, and of course the day after Christmas. So realistically, you could likely get away with skipping one day at the gym and taking a rest day. But, if you’re a die-hard gym junkie it may be hard for you to sit still for a day. In that case, do a fun workout at home if your gym is closed. See some great exercise ideas below that you can do anywhere!

Workout at home!

  • 60 seconds of butt kicks
  • 60 seconds of high knees/running in place
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of mountain climbers
  • 3 sets of 5 burpees
  • 3 sets of 10 push ups
  • 3 sets of 10 mountain climbers 
  • 3 sets of 10 leg lifts
  • 3 sets of 10 bicycles
  • cool down/stretch

Do you plan on working out today? Is your gym open on Christmas?

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Never skip a day: Gyms open on Christmas was originally published on Self Evolve