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Tips and Motivational Advice for Keeping Fit One Day at a Time
By: Beverley Brooke

Let's face it...

Losing weight and feeling great isn't easy.

BUT the journey is well worth it!

Many people commit to their health and well being via a New Years resolution. Why not? The New Year is a great time to make a fresh start and commitment to your health.

How do you remain motivated however for an entire year?

The single most important piece of advice I can offer you is this:

Don't give up, and pick yourself back up when you stumble or fall.

Everyone slips here and there. Just because you had one cheat day doesn't mean your entire fitness and exercise program needs to be ruined.

On the contrary. Everyone slips now and again.

The key to sticking with a program is to make the slips MUCH less frequent than the days you are firmly committed to your program.

So have that piece of chocolate on occasion and don't beat yourself up for it.

Here are some additional great ideas for staying motivated throughout the year:

Tip 1

Don't make a habit of skipping breakfast.

You should never skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day, and revs your metabolism to burn calories each and every day.

When you skip breakfast, you are more likely to overeat and then feel guilty later in the day.

Tip 2

Don't weigh yourself every day. In fact, you should weigh yourself only once a week, and when you do you should do it at the same time wearing nothing.

Why? Your weight actually fluctuates a good 2-5 pounds from day to day.

Much of this is associated with fluid retention, thus has nothing to do with your actual fat gain or loss. Weighing yourself too often can be discouraging rather than encouraging.

Tip 3

Grab a partner in crime.

Find someone that can be your partner in fitness. Call them when you are feeling unmotivated, and have them do the same.

You are more likely to stay motivated if you have someone to lean on when times get tough.

Tip 4

Don't skip a workout because you are tired.

Did you know that working out will actually help invigorate you? If you are truly exhausted, consider toning down your workout, but never give it up completely!

Tip 5

Reward yourself on occasion.

All work and no play is not the way to go when it comes to your overall health and well being.

Consider booking yourself for a massage or other pampering treat each month to keep you feeling great mentally and physically.

Last but not least, remember to take small steps.

Don't set outrageous goals. You won't lose 10 pounds in one week, but you might lose up to 2.

Over inflated goals will only serve to defeat you in the long run. Set reasonable goals and you will find yourself much more motivated throughout the year!

About the Author

Beverley Brooke, Editor of Health & Finesse - Free health, diet and fitness articles and weekly newsletter
http://www.healthandfinesse.com


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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
shocks.

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
speaking.

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

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

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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