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4 Practical hacks to overcome fitness roadblocks

Do you get all excited about starting a new fitness routine? New routine, new plans, new you! You feel motivated and ready to go!
How long does it last? How long before you start finding excuses to take a break, or reschedule (and there are so many, aren’t there?)?

When we start any new fitness and health routine, we all hit roadblocks. We lose motivation, feel overwhelmed, or just keep procrastinating.
It’s natural for you to be excited about something fresh and new, and then lose your resolve over time. What’s important is getting it back!

There are always going to be roadblocks on your way, but you have to know how to knock them down and keep going!
Here are a few hacks you can try.

#1 Attach something you already love to your new routine!

This works great if are a master at procrastinating, or just aren’t feeling up for it today.
Imagine this. It’s been a week since you started exercising regularly.
Today, you want to workout, but are just not getting the motivation to do so. Rather than feel low and bleh, why not play your favorite songs while you exercise? Not only will it get you up and running, and lift your mood, it will also make the new routine itself more rewarding for you. And isn’t that the whole point of it?

#2 Limit your choices

When we start a new routine, there is SO much to do! New exercises, new food habits, new everything! It gets really overwhelming sometimes, and that feeling makes us want to fall facedown on our bed and quit!
Too many options create anxiety and leave us feeling less satisfied! So, what can we do about it?
REDUCE our choices!
Let’s look at an example. If you are building a habit of eating breakfast daily, reduce your options to 1-2 for the entire week. Sounds boring?
It really isn’t, if being overwhelmed is something you are struggling with. Instead, it makes your life much easier, and helps you stay on track with your fitness routine.


#3 Choose an activity you enjoy.

Exercise is one of the most difficult habits to develop. And it is even worse when you are not enjoying what you are doing!
But, exercise doesn’t only mean going to the gym and doing the same reps on the same machines over and over again!
Today, we have the opportunity to do SO much more than just gymming! So, choose what you enjoy doing. If you like dancing, join a dance class! Go trekking! Or maybe join power yoga!
Go swimming, go shopping, go hula hooping! Just keep moving.

#4 One at a time!

When we plan to start exercising, or start a new routine, we are trying to build new habits. Healthier, fitter habits.
Building a new habit is tough, we all know that. But building 20 new ones at the same time? OVERWHELMING, and enough to drive you crazy!
If you want to start exercising regularly, eat better, have more water every day, sleep better, what do you do? You start ALL of this together. That’s just setting yourself up for failure!
Solution? Start with just one!
Just begin with trying to exercise regularly maybe. Once you have got that down, move on to the next one!

When starting any new fitness routine, the goal is to make it fun and EASY for yourself, not mind-numbingly tough!
So, next time you are confronted with a roadblock, try one of these hacks!

Have any other hacks that you use to make life, and fitness, simpler?
Tell us in the comments below!

How do Electronics Affect Your Posture?

The proliferation and use of PDAs & touchscreen smartphones, and the significant increase in time spent at computer keyboards or engaging in video gaming has created a whole new generation of people of all ages experiencing RSI(Repetitive Stress Injury). More and more, people are depending on these devices to stay in touch with friends and family. However, an increasing number are beginning to pay the price for such ready access to the world.

As mobile phone technology develops, mobiles are getting smaller, with buttons closer together. Small, fine movements tend to aggravate more than larger movements-this coupled with the smaller buttons can lead to injury as smaller buttons are harder to activate.

When you are text messaging, you tend to hold your shoulders and upper arms tense. This cuts down the circulation to the forearm, when in fact it needs a greater than normal blood flow to achieve the fine movements of the thumbs and fingers.

One of the commonest RSIs, popularly called “Blackberry Thumb” occurs because these devices rely almost solely on the use of your thumbs (not all of your fingers) for typing. Any device that relies on the thumbs for typing can cause this type of injury because the thumbs simply weren’t designed for such use. Additionally, there are also other stress injuries reported — wrist, forearm, shoulder, upper back and neck — as a result of constant texting.While it’s hard to use mobiles & tablets in the same way you’d use a computer, the risks of injury are the same – Repeated motion, Unnatural postures and Bright screens, can all cause injury if you aren’t careful.

The problem with smartphones and tablets is that you can literally use them in a million different positions—most of which probably aren’t very good for your body.

Tips to Follow

  • Holding your mobile/tablet flat is bad for your neck, but holding it completely perpendicular is bad for your wrists. As such, you’ll want to compromise by holding it at a 30 degree angle when you’re typing or using the touch screen. If you’re just reading, you can position it more perpendicular, at whatever angle makes it easy to see.
  • Tap lightly on the keyboard. Many people have a tendency to tap very hard on touch screen keyboards because they lack tactile feedback, like real physical keyboards do, and this is bad for your fingers, wrists, and forearms. If you’re typing something longer than just a few sentences at a time, it’s probably worth investing in a Bluetooth keyboard.
  • As you type or use the touch screen, be sure to keep your wrists straight, while keeping your arms and fingers loose and relaxed.
  • Avoid eye strain by making the font larger when possible. If you’re using a program that doesn’t allow you to set the font size, you can buy glasses specifically made for reading tablet displays. If you’re doing a lot of reading, try eye-friendly E-Ink readers like the Kindle or Nook as opposed to the iPad or Kindle Fire.

Its best to…

  • If texting starts to hurt. Stop. Use the other hand or call instead
  • Vary the hand you use
  • Vary the fingers you use
  • Don’t text for more than a few minutes without a break
  • The best option when it comes to touchscreen phones is to use a Stylus while using the phone, as it uses larger muscle groups compared to using only a finger. Hold the stylus like you would hold a pen.

The biggest sufferers are college students and young adults. Plus, there’s not enough attention paid to ergonomics. RSI is preventable. It happens because it’s not taken seriously.

And an increase in miniaturization, and decreased usability–rates of aching thumbs among today’s people is likely…to swell.

If you’ve found any tricks that work especially well for you, share them in the comments below.

Busting Women’s Strength Training Myths

Being a physiotherapist and fitness coach, I’ve come across so many women for whom working out with help of free weights or machines is a strict No-No. There are so many myths in their minds about working out with weights. Most of them feel that weight training is only for men who aim to have a 20 inch biceps or a 6 -pack abs.

If you want to get stronger, leaner and healthy you have to supplement your aerobic workout with the key component of fitness and that’s “weight training”.
 
“USE IT OR LOSE IT”
As we age our muscle mass gradually decreases and hence our metabolism (i.e the energy our body spends in normal functioning of our important physiological systems). So when muscle is depleted, your fat percentage increases.
 
MYTHS RELATED TO WEIGHT TRAINING
 
Myth I : Weight training will make you bulky or masculine
My dear ladies the hormone to be blamed for bulking up is testesterone, which is in abundance in males but is in very minimal quantity in females. Our oestrogen abundance prevents us from developing a masculine body, unless you take steroids externally.
 
Myth II : Weight training will increase chest size
Breast size can never be increased or decreased. But yes it will surely make your chest look firm.
 
Myth III : Weight training will make your body stiff
There are many exercises such as dead lifts, chin ups, etc which will make you use your complete muscle length and hence maintain flexibility.
 
Myth IV : If you stop exercising your muscles will turn into fat
This myth is just like someone saying you can turn gold into brass!! Remember, both are different types of tissues so it cannot interchange.
 
Myth V : Women should do only cardio and if they want to do weight training they should only do so with lighter weights
Cardio is a very important component but if you are doing cardio for long hours it will not only burn your fat but your muscles too. And, if you are weight training with light weights then its not of much use as there won’t be any muscle breakdown. You need to overload your muscles to get the desired result of toning up.
 
BENEFITS OF WEIGHT TRAINING
  • Increases bone density thus preventing osteoporosis.
  • Increases your resting metabolism and burning more calories even when you are at rest (increase in Basal Metabolic Rate).
  • Decreases the risk of injuries by making your bone, muscles and ligaments stronger.
  • Helps to improve balance and coordination.
  • Improves your stamina.
  • And above all for most of the women it gives you a fabulous toned body .
Always make sure you adopt the right posture/form and correct breathing (exhale on exertion) before focusing on repetitions and intensity of weights.