7 Techniques to Stay Committed to Your Fitness Goals

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Beginning and sticking to an exercise program can be quite challenging, in fact about 50% of those who start an exercise program drop out within 6 months.  If you can manage to continue a fitness routine it can be very rewarding and can change your life. Setting realistic goals is a key factor to staying motivated.  There are two types of goals that should be addressed, behavioral goals and outcome goals.  An example of a behavioral goal is, “I am going to walk on the treadmill at 6 a.m. for 45 minutes, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.”  An example of an outcome goal is, “I am going to lose 12 pounds in six weeks.”  Focus on your behavioral goals as these are the goals you have control over and the outcome goals will follow.  Re-evaluate your goals regularly and make changes when you realize something is not working.

Commit to your goals! Initially you may be extremely motivated but as time goes on this usually slacks off and you may find yourself contemplating quitting. Try these 7 tips to help you stay committed:

1. Establish a routine. Set a definite time and location where you will workout.  Set an appointment with yourself and don’t break it.

2. A short workout is better than no workout.  If you are short on time or just don’t feel like exercising, make it to the gym and do a shorter version.  Many times you will end up doing a full workout.

3. Perform a variety of activities. Even something as little as changing the music you workout to will keep you motivated.

4. Plan your workouts in advance.  Weekly and monthly schedules should be prepared.  Change your resistance program every few weeks to alleviate boredom and shock your muscles, you will see gains in strength and size faster.

5. Find an exercise partner.  Join a class, hire a personal trainer, or exercise with your family or a friend.  Having a partner really is a lot of fun, just make sure you compare yourself to yourself not to others.

6. List your goals on paper and post them where you will see them everyday.

7. Monitor your progress.  Weigh yourself weekly, take measurements and body fat every 3 months.  Regular tests will measure the progress of your program.

Reaching your goals is the most motivating factor in continuing on your fitness journey.  The sense of accomplishment will give you the strength to move forward and keep that fire lit.  Short term goals and long terms goals should be set, if only long-term goals are set it can be overwhelming.  Starting an exercise regime is the hardest part of the program so if you started you have already reached your first goal.  Following these tips can help you adhere to your exercise program so keep them handy for days when  motivation takes a dip.

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Pumpkin is the New Bran

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My clients and I are gearing up for Eating Clean in 2014, a three-week program, beginning the first Monday in January – tomorrow! Lately, nutrition has been more in our conversation than training. I reminded them (and me) of the importance of fiber in weight management, and general good health.

When you track your nutrition, you quickly realize you’ll need to make a conscious effort to get the 25 – 35 grams of fiber per day recommended by most nutritional guidelines. I find the very best way to make sure I’m getting enough fiber is to be sure I get enough at breakfast. Somehow, when breakfast is in line, all the other meals seem to follow.

A great source of important nutrients, including soluble and insoluble fiber, comes from pumpkin. One half-cup of canned pumpkin provides 5 grams of fiber in a total of 9 grams of carbohydrates. Half of these 5 grams of fiber is soluble fiber, which absorbs water and contributes to a feeling of fullness for several hours after eating, in addition to aiding digestion and reducing blood sugar levels. We haven’t even talked about the beta-carotene, vitamin A, magnesium, and other nutrients in that half-cup of canned pumpkin, packed in 40 calories. Wow!

If you have a smoothie in the morning, you’ll hardly notice a half-cup of pumpkin thrown in. The taste and texture are easily disguised by most ingredients. If you use one-third of a 15 oz. can, the rest can be frozen in two portions.

Here’s a recipe I’ve used that I love, found on http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-great-pumpkin-recipes.html

Coconut – Pumpkin Ice Cream:

  • 1/2 cup Low-fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Low-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup Skim Milk
  • 3-5 drops Stevia
  • 1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place mixture in a covered container in the freezer. Stir every half hour until desired consistency is reached.

Pumpkin is a thickener that can substitute in many recipes. Check for recipes using it in soups, tomato sauces, and desserts for a much healthier alternative to creams and oils.