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Thinking Too Much: How to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight
By: The Icon Diet Reader

By: Icon Diet Reader

It's winter and it's cold. In the winter the mornings are very humbling. The nights are long, the floor is cold and it sucks leaving the house in the dark. Getting the morning paper involves a blast of cold air from the front door that really motivates one to crawl back into bed. It's days like these that getting beyond the duvet is hard. It's even harder to drag yourself through the wintry morning to the gym. It's the kind of thing I think about before I go to bed. I think about it when I'm waking up and I really think about it when I am trudging through the icy air en route to the gym. But see that's the problem. I think about it too much. Imagine if you could wake up every day with a clean slate and not remember the bone shaking cold and wind chill. Imagine you could only retain the positive memories of working out and improving your overall fitness. Then getting out of bed even on the coldest, most miserable days, would be easy. Instead we have to fight tooth and nail to resist the urge to go back to bed. It's our minds that want to be cozy.

For a fair portion of North America, this article will have little barring on your life as you fortunate few live in more temperate climates. But you look beyond the references to cold and see that what is really at stake is the ability of our minds to convince us that going to the gym is just far too difficult. It may not be a weather issue but your mind is a creative thing and will find some creative ways keep you from the gym.

This struggle can be fought on many fronts but be aware, you are fighting the most powerful force in the world: your mind. Your mind is responsible for determining your perception of reality; it literally defines the world in which you live. This power makes the mind a strong enemy of getting to the gym. There really is only one sure fire method to defeat this powerful foe. Stop thinking. Really. Give up the idea of beating your mind. On those frigid, bluster and bitter mornings, I don't even attempt to beat my mind. There is no way I can argue myself to the gym. I cannot win, my mind and its desire for the warmth of my cozy bed beats me every time. I win because I simply just don't engage it. I don't even let on that I am going to the gym. I don't even think about the cold, or the trip through it. I just don't think. It amazing how much you can accomplish without thinking. What's more, its easy not to think in the morning. I think most of you will agree that first thing in the morning is when the mind is still at its foggiest. Kick it when its down.

The point is, you cannot give yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of going to the gym. Forget about it, stop thinking and go. While your mind might feel a little neglected, your body will love you for it.

About the Author

The Icon Diet offers a step by step weight loss guideto help people lose weight quickly, naturally and effectively. Visit the site by going to...

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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