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Health and Fitness Tips
Six Ways to Keep the Weight Off and Look Good for Spring
With Spring quickly approaching, I wanted to give my readers six helpful tips on how to look their best for the change of season.
To help prepare you for warmer weather, short sleeves, and shorts, I have outlined some "best practices" to follow in the weeks leading-up to the first days of Spring. So read on...
One Size Fits All - I Don't Think So!
Many of us think we need to look like superfit models, actors and athletes we see on television or in the movies. Thinking that the more you exercise the more you'll look like Arnold is like believing that reading more will change your eye color. The truth is, we're all very different from one another. Everyone's bodyweight and shape are influenced by factors we can't control, including genetics, which play a big part in your body's composition. This doesn't mean you're destined to be overweight or can't be in shape. It only means your progress toward a sensible weight management program and healthy lifestyle will be unique and might take some time.
Develop a Positive Self-Image
Weight management has often been promoted as learning to change what you like about yourself. This attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy by making you focus on disliking yourself. Don't follow this course. Dislike your eating habits or other factors you can control and change. Maintain a positive self-image and look toward the long-term rewards instead of trying to see success day-to-day. Effective weight management won't happen overnight and weighing and measuring yourself after each meal will only discourage you. Don't play mind games by saying "If I lose thirty pounds, then I'll be happy!" Instead, practice being a person with the ability to nurture and care for yourself and results will follow.
Lift Weights Three Days A Week
Have you always avoided lifting weights or thought they won't help you lose weight? Think Again. Resistance training not only aids in weight control, it also helps maintain good posture and reduces the risk of diseases such as osteoporosis. Resistance training can be performed many ways; weather free weights, resistance machines, elastic bands or tubing. Strength training three times a week will make you feel better, look better and your overall health will benefit greatly. For example, having stronger muscles burn more calories even when they are at rest.
It's important to practice good technique when lifting weights, so consider working with a qualified trainer at least a few times before setting-out on your own. A lot of changes have taken place within the gym and yourself since you last trained with weights so train smart.
Many weight control programs focus on what you eat instead of emphasizing and active living. The problem with this is people have a tendency to look at eating with rigid, always/never perspective. This won't work too long for most people. Instead, practice the 80/20 approach to eating. Consume what you know you should 80 percent of the time, and leave 20 percent for acknowledging and accepting that you're not perfect. This way, you won't set yourself up for feeling guilty or test your willpower against cravings for foods you know you don't need much of.
Don't Rely on the Tooth Fairy
There's no magic way to achieve a healthy body weight. By magic, I mean consuming weight loss pills, potions, and powders. Although they can lead to significant weight loss, it's only for a short period of time. A vast majority of the people who shed some pounds regain their original weight within a couple of months and usually gain more as a result. Only regular activity, healthy eating and maintaining a positive attitude and self-image will determine your ability to stay at a healthy weight.
Set Realistic Goals
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important for good health. But having a healthy weight isn't necessarily the one that's suggested by a height/weight chart. If you feel and look good to yourself and others, then maybe you've reached a healthy weight. There are many techniques for estimating this. One of the easiest is to shoot for the lowest weight you've been able to maintain for at least one full year since age 21 - when you were active and eating a prudent diet. But remember, you'll never look as you did when you were 21. As you grow older your metabolism slows down and your body changes. The important thing is you change your diet and set realistic goals with the changes.
We are all different and making healthy changes for your body and mind are as unique as you are.
A few final notse, remember to stretch before and after workouts, go easy on yourself, and set realistic goals -- have a safe wonderful Spring!
Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at www.guslerbodysculpting.com.
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