So how are you doing on your New Year's resolutions so far?
I have some tips for you that can help you in your health and fitness endeavors wherever you are on your path to wellness. These tips should help you get leaner, stronger, and healthier over time. Your success depends on you, though.
The key to any program is simply the willingness to commit to the process. Be willing to do a few things that will help change your body forever.
Albert Einstein said, “to achieve something you have never achieved before you must be willing to become something you have never been before.”
Don’t Go Soft – The sugar content in soft drinks alone is enough for me on this. And it’s almost always not “sugar” but rather high fructose corn syrup – even worse. Think diet is ok? Wrong. The artificial sweeteners like aspartame in these cans of sickness literally turn to poison in the body. Stay away.
One Hour Is All I’m Asking – I know everyone is busy, but all you need to do is put 2 30-minute workouts in your calendar for this week. If you go to the gym and lift heavy enough weights in a circuit-style routine - where 8 reps is about all you can do – you can stimulate enough of a hormone response to keep that metabolism burning and those muscles looking good.
This Isn’t Communion – At least one day this week, don’t eat any bread or bread products. Croutons on salads, muffins, donuts, pretzels, crackers, pasta – bread is everywhere. And bread makes us feel like we’re “everywhere” when we eat enough of it. That’s because too much bread can make us fat. Did you know the glycemic index is based on one piece of white bread? So avoid it to keep your insulin from spiking and you from packing on the pounds! And when you can do one day per week, can you do two?? And then three??? And what about four???? Ok! Now we’re getting somewhere!
Go Green – Vegetables that are green in color are loaded with all sorts of vitamins and tons of fiber. Fiber can actually cause you to eat fewer calories in general because it curbs your appetite by suppressing ghrelin – a hormone that stimulates hunger. So do what I tell my clients – eat green vegetables in unlimited quantities.
Ok, I’m Asking for Two – Spend 20 minutes after your two weight training sessions and another 20 minute stand-alone session doing your favorite cardio modality in interval style. Crank up the pace then rest. Then repeat until you get to the 20 minute mark. This will increase growth hormone and keep your metabolism fired up. Also it’s better for your ticker than low intensity cardio like jogging.
Stretch it Out – Tight muscles lead to imbalances and pain. Range of motion is taken for granted. People think they are supposed to live in pain. But the reality is that they just don’t take care of their bodies. You can make it easy and do it while you’re watching tv or reading a book. Stretch while watching your kids in the bathtub or helping them with their homework. Don’t know where to start? If you don’t like stretching a specific muscle it’s probably because it’s too tight. So get stretching!
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About Phil Gephart:
Phil Gephart is a certified personal trainer with a Master's Degree (MS) in Exercise Science with a focus in Coaching & Athletic Administration, received in 2009 from Concordia University in beautiful Irvine, California. Phil’s passion for fitness is reflected in his involvement in sports throughout his life—in high school, he played basketball, baseball and soccer, in college he continued playing basketball and soccer. Phil also played basketball professionally for five years.
Phil Gephart is currently a professor in the exercise science department at Concordia University, where he teaches an Advanced Personal Training course to undergraduate students.