Tag Archives: gym

Stay Motivated !

Have you ever started a new workout  or fitness routine, and then quit soon after?
If the answer is yes, then you are not alone!

We all know that starting a new workout routine is SUPER easy. It’s exciting, its refreshing, and it makes you feel good about yourself.
But what happens next? How many of us actually follow through and continue working out after the initial few days or weeks?

So what goes wrong? We lose motivation!

Motivation is like the fuel you fill up in your car when you are going on a road trip. Without it, you will never reach your destination, no  matter how much meticulously you have planned the trip. But unlike fuel, motivation is something that is very fickle. It fluctuates daily. One day you are all gung-ho about workout and raring to go, and the next day you can’t even drag yourself out of bed.

So, what do you do? Give up?
Of course NOT!

There are 2 main things influence our motivation – generalization and negativity.

Let me elaborate.
Most of us feel this way, “I tried this for 2 weeks, and then gave up. I failed once, so what’s the point of trying again? I’m going to quit again anyway.” That is generalization.

That feeling of feeling discouraged and disappointed not only derails you from your goal, but further stops you from giving it another shot, from trying once again.

Now, negativity may come from other people, or it may come from within you. When people criticise you, saying things like – “Only 10 reps? That’s all you can do? Wow you’re really bad at this!”, are you more willing to succeed, or less?
Or even when you criticise yourself, thinking things like, “oh I couldn’t even do 5 reps of this exercise yesterday! Why did I ever think I can do it!  I should have never tried it.”, you are basically setting yourself up for failure, and killing your motivation.

Criticising yourself is not the great motivator you imagine it to be. Self-compassion, on the other hand, can be a much more powerful tool for change!

If you let yourself be pulled down and beaten up, reaching your goal of a fit lifestyle is going to be very difficult. What you have to do is, keep you motivation levels high! And it really isn’t as difficult as you may think.

There is one very simple trick.

Habits!

Habits are manageable. In our previous blog last week, we spoke about how to build habits and how to sustain them.
Every time you complete a habit, you get a feeling of success. You feel good, feel proud and happy!
This feeling of success becomes a source of constant motivation. If you did it once, if you completed your workout today, then why not tomorrow? And why not the day after?

Rather than beat yourself up when you go off track, realize and acknowledge that what you are doing isn’t easy. It is hard work to build and sustain a fit lifestyle. And you will have setbacks and roadblocks on the way. What’s important is not to give up. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

Motivate yourself to power through!

So, what makes you lose motivation?? And more importantly, what brings it back? Tell us in the comments below!

Mini Habits, Big Changes

At the beginning of any new routine or workout, we all start with so much gusto!
The excitement of it being new and different keeps us going strong. Well, for a few days at least.

And then what? We get bored, tired, and finally, simply stop doing it.

You work very hard to achieve your fitness goals. You plan the workouts, the right eating habits, try to get your sleep pattern in check, but ultimately, it just doesn’t work. Maybe you get overwhelmed with it all. Or just scared that you will fail. So you give up before you can even start getting used to it.

This not only disheartens you, but also plants the seed of doubt and fear in your mind about trying yet another new routine! So, what do you do? Never try another fitness routine, or just quit the idea of getting fitter?

Of course NOT!

There is a very simple, practical solution. Mini Habits!

Mini habits are basically your new routine broken down into small, doable tasks to make it easier for you!

You know that feeling of being on auto-pilot when you are taking a shower or brushing your teeth in the morning? You don’t even need to think about the task while doing it. Why? Simply because you have turned these necessary daily activities into habits – you have done them so often and with such regularity that you now do them automatically!

The same applies to any new fitness routine.

For example, you want to start eating healthier. So, you make changes, make sure all your meals and snacks are healthy and in tune with your new plan.
But it’s not so easy to just change everything, is it?
Instead, try this.
Replace just one snack, like your evening snack of chips with something healthy, like a handful of peanuts!
So, instead of running away from too much change all at once, changing only one meal in a day to a healthy meal is easy, doable, and makes you feel so good! And it gives you the confidence and the desire to keep going!

Turning your fitness routine into a regular habit is not an easy task. But it’s in our hands to MAKE it easier!

So next time you get stuck with a new routine, just turn it into a mini routine instead, and see the magic work!
Do try it out, and let us know how it works for you!

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!

Rant Alert! When you got it, flaunt it

Ladies, let me tell you something. The fact that you work out is a privilege, it’s a good thing, it’s something you ought to shout from the rooftops! Don’t be shy about it, be proud of it! You do it because you are able, and because you have the right idea of taking care of your body and living an active life!

This rant is about why women want to hide it from the world that they workout. Many women refuse to share their videos or photos on social media, and yet they want to be clicked, and worse still – viewing similar stories by strangers online inspires them. Is it that you feel embarrassed? Is it that you believe in the evil eye, and some undeniable force might stop your progress just by viewing a picture of you on social media?

It’s understandable to fear the unknown, the random strangers who don’t know you and yet might enjoy checking out such posts and pictures. That’s something we can’t really avoid in today’s digital age. What you ought to remember is that you could be inspiring another ordinary person with similar challenges as you to take out time for themselves and achieve their goals. Haters are always going to hate, and living in fear of that should not stop you from being accountable for your goals – so ladies, put it out there! Get online!

Think of it this way: you are helping to make the world a happier, healthier and fitter place. People will always talk, so let them. If they talk negative, it could be that they are jealous. If they talk positively, then be glad that you impacted someone in that way. You never know who you might inspire by sharing your journey, so just know that whatever you are doing is not only good for you and your direct family, but for your peer influences as well.
All this aside, be proud of the choices you have made to keep your body moving. Realize that your hard work and progress can motivate and inspire others. Show people your before and after shots, and even your work-in-progress shots. Because the truth is, it’s always going to be a journey. Fitness has no final destination. Once you get a taste of it, you will always and only want to better yourself.

Workout Smarter not Harder

How often should you train? Is 5 days better or 2 days?

These are some of the questions I am often asked at the studio. The truth is, training frequency is a highly debated topic in the fitness industry. Currently the mindset of most women is to work out five days per week because they believe that the more you exercise, the more results will show. This is a MYTH! In fact, many women spend an hour or less a day working out and the rest of the day in a somewhat sedentary fashion – which actually negates the workout benefits!

My philosophy on training for strength and fat loss is simple. I want to do as little as possible to continue making progress. If anything, I’d rather under train than over train. This goes hand-in-hand with another key priority: I always focus on quality of training and movement. What many fail to realize is that for fat loss, we often need a total lifestyle overhaul.

Benefits of training 2 days a week include:

– Prevents gross overtraining

– See progress faster than traditional workout frequencies

– Joints love 2 days per week as it reduces chances of doing something that hurts or injures your joints

– Exercises in the program are more focussed, making you good at what you do and getting you the results you need and want

– Time is freed up to focus on your nourishment (planning, shopping, cooking) and rejuvenation part of your lifestyle. Without nutrition and stress management, you won’t get the maximum benefit from your workouts

Your body builds or gives you the best results when it has time to recover from every workout along with good nutrition and rejuvenation. In any myofascial fitness program, I recommend 48 hours for recovery. But that doesn’t mean your body isn’t working – during recovery your body is actually repairing and becoming stronger on a cellular level, and burning fat to do this!

Now, I don’t advocate that you spend the rest of the days lazing around – in fact you’ll feel the opposite. Your workouts should give you energy on your other days to keep your body moving as it was meant to. You can go for walks, treks, cycle, dance, play with your kids, and feel great that you’re living an active lifestyle. You will see for yourself once you move more frequently – not only are you more in tune with your body, but you tend to “get it” much faster.

At the end of the day, the real question is not how often you should train but how much can you recover from training?

By switching from 5 days to 2 days a week, I have made the best progress in my career for my clients and myself.  Like everything in training, you need to figure out what works best for you and your body. Once you figure it out, you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.

Tell me in the comments below what kind of workout works for you!

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.