As much as you may look forward to your daily workout, sometimes you find yourself tiring of the same old routine. You find yourself looking for excuses to skip the gym, or you end up leaving before you’ve finished. It seems you’ve become unmotivated. That may not be the case, though; you may be mistaking a lack of motivation for boredom.
How Can I Keep My Exercise Routine Interesting?
Fitness may be hard work sometimes, but it should also be fun. Doing the same routine day after day is bound to get boring. Keeping your routine fresh and fun is the best way to stay motivated to stick with your health and fitness goals.
Changing up your routine may be as simple as a change of scenery. If you always work out at the gym, get outside and exercise at the park. A change of scenery can make a world of difference. Another option is to try something new. If you typically go jogging, and do strength training, then try swimming and rock climbing. Other activities to incorporate into your routine to keep it fresh are yoga, dance and sports.
Do The Opposite
Take whatever it is you’ve been doing, and do the opposite. Here are some examples:
How Can I Make Jogging More Fun?
Again, change is good. Do you have a set route you take every day? No wonder you’re bored! Here are some ways to spice up your running routine:
If you’re feeling stuck in your fitness routine, don't give up. You may find that a personal trainer can help you keep up your motivation and momentum. Ralph Roberts is a personal trainer in Amarillo who has years of experience helping people meet their personal fitness goals.
If there is one universal body-related complaint that women of all shapes and sizes can agree on, it’s the dreaded "arm jiggle." This problem seems to plague women in particular, and is not solved by merely losing weight. Overcoming arm flab requires specific, targeted exercises to tone up the muscles and get rid of those bat wings once and for all!
How Do I Get Rid Of Arm Jiggle?
Again, losing weight alone will not combat arm jiggle. In fact, if you have recently lost quite a bit of weight, you may have found that the extra skin has gotten worse. There are several exercise moves that can help, thankfully. Here are five of them:
1. Reverse Curls
Holding a light dumbbell in each hand, standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward about 45 degrees and hold arms parallel to your upper body, close to your sides. Keep elbows stationary, and let forearms hang relaxed. Now, push your forearm backwards, straightening out your arm. Repeat 10 to 12 times or until your arms are tired.
2. Crab Sit With Dip
Sit down on the floor with knees bent in front of you and both feet planted on the floor wider than shoulder width apart. Put your arms behind you with hands on floor, also more than shoulder width apart. Now raise your body off of the floor until you are in the "crab sit" position. Keep your core tight. Slowly lower your elbows down toward the floor, and then raise back up. Repeat until arms are tired.
3. Triangle Pushups
This is a highly effective move that not only tones your triceps, but also your chest and back. Instead of the standard pushup hand placement, place your hands with fingers facing inward. Your thumbs and forefingers should form a triangle.
As with any pushup, your shoulders, back, buttocks and legs should form a straight line. Keep your abdominal muscles contracted and your pelvis tucked in. Slowly lower your chest to the floor. Your elbows will flare outward. Raise back up and repeat for 10 to 12 reps. If this move is too difficult, you can lower your knees to the floor.
Dips are a similar concept to the crab dip, but use a weight bench. Sit on the bench, hands next to you gripping the edge of the bench. Lower your body down off the bench, and then push back up.
5. Standard Pushups
The pushup is a great overall upper body toning exercise that should be a part of everyone's routine.
If you are struggling with your fitness goals, an Amarillo personal trainer can make all the difference. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club can help keep you focused and create a personalized fitness plan that meets your needs. Whether you are looking to tone up your arms, strengthen your core, lose weight or increase stamina, Ralph can help!
A warm-up and a cool-down are essential for any workout. Warming up helps to reduce the risk of injury and excessive soreness after your workout. A cool down increases flexibility and range of motion and gradually slows down your heart rate.
A warm-up should be just enough to stretch and heat up your muscles, but not anything too vigorous. It's okay to break a light sweat, but it's just a warm-up, so don't over do it. Traditionally, static stretches have been the go-to, pre-workout warm-up, but they just don't do the trick like dynamic warm-ups do.
What Are Some Dynamic Exercises For Warming Up?
Jumping jacks/jump rope. This is a great way to get your body warm and your heart pumping a bit. Do it for about 2-3 minutes.
Body weight squats. Body weight squats are a good way to stretch and warm up the lower body. Do about 20 of them.
Push ups. Start with 10 and work up to 20 depending on your level of fitness.
Lunges. Do several on each leg.
Hip rotations. While standing, bring one knee up to a 90 degree angle and then swing it outward. Repeat and alternate with the other leg.
Arm swings and shoulder rotations.
Now, if you are new to fitness, this may seem like an actual workout, not just a warm-up. Go ahead and start slow, do what you are comfortable with. The important thing is that you effectively warm up your muscle groups and get moving.
How Do I Cool Down After A Workout?
Cooling down is about slowing down your heart rate. Take advantage of those now-heated up muscles and really stretch them to increase range of motion. A good cool-down is a satisfying way to end a good workout.
Slow your pace. If you’ve been running, don't just abruptly stop after your time/miles are up. Slow down your pace, and then walk for a bit to get your heart rate back to normal.
Calf stretches. While standing, press the ball of your foot against a walk to stretch out your calf. repeat on the other foot.
Hamstring stretch. Sit down on the floor with legs straight in front of you, then lean forward to gradually stretch out your hamstrings.
Knees to chest stretch. Lie on your back, bringing your knees up to your chest. Hold for a few moments.
Be sure to hydrate.
It is always a good idea to warm-up and cool-down, you should not take a shortcut here. A vigorous workout without a warm-up can potentially cause you to injure yourself.
If you are serious about starting a new fitness routine, but don't know where to begin, you may want to contact a personal trainer who can get you started. A personal trainer can tailor a workout to help you reach your goals faster, and keep you motivated. Contact Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic club to find out how a personal trainer in Amarillo can benefit you.
One roadblock to fitness seems to be a lack of energy. It takes energy to workout, and if you’re feeling tired and lethargic, you are more likely to sit in front of the television than head to the gym.
Why Am I Tired All The Time?
Part of the problem may be your diet. Food is fuel, but if you’re filling up on low-grade food, you may be missing out on the energy it can provide. Many foods can provide a short burst of energy that has you feeling good for a short period of time, only to bring your energy crashing down shortly afterwards. Foods that are largely made up of sugar are big culprits.
The key is to fuel up with foods that provide the sustained energy that your body and mind need to keep going throughout the day.
What Foods Will Give Me Energy?
Balanced foods are the key. Foods that contain protein, carbohydrates and fat act together to give you a steady dose of energy without a crash. But it isn't just about what you eat. Equally important is when you eat and how much.
Eat breakfast. When you wake up, you have already not consumed calories for several hours. Your blood sugar is low, and you’re feeling groggy. You may feel tempted to grab some coffee and a donut, but the result will be a temporary feeling of energy followed by a huge mid-morning crash. You don't have to skip your coffee if you don't want to, but you’re better off substituting the donut with a bowl of oatmeal, which has the balance of nutrients to give you some sustained energy.
How Many Times Should I Eat A Day?
You should avoid skipping meals, and you should have at least two healthy snacks a day. Low blood sugar saps energy and can tempt you to head for sweet foods to boost your energy. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks:
Between lunch and dinner, you should eat a light snack. Late afternoons are particularly low energy times. If you’re planning on an afternoon workout, a snack with protein and carbohydrates is ideal. If you’ve gotten enough to eat during the day, you are less likely to binge at night.
If you’re interested in nutrition and fitness, but don't know where to start, a personal trainer can help give you the tools to reach your fitness and weight loss goals. Ralph Roberts has years of experience training people to reach their full fitness potential, and can provide the knowledge and motivation you need to succeed.
Everybody wants to be healthy. Well, everybody says they want to be healthy. But how do you measure health? There are many tests and diagnoses that doctors and health professionals can run to determine your level of health. Some of these tests are fairly simple and straightforward, and some are complicated and time consuming.
Those health professionals (and regular people, too) who are looking for a simple, easy way to measure a person’s health and level of fitness oftentimes turn to the Body Mass Index (BMI).
What Is BMI Exactly?
In its simplest terms, BMI is an equation that takes your height and weight and spits out a number to determine your level of health — and whether you are considered obese or not. People with a BMI over 30 are considered obese. You can have a healthcare professional calculate your BMI, but we're sure you've seen (and even tried) a website that has this capability as well.
Are BMI Numbers Reliable?
Many scientists and health care professionals are starting to question the reliability of BMI numbers. One of the problems with BMI is that it doesn’t distinguish between muscle and fat. Muscle weighs more than fat so someone with a high level of muscle tissue may rank higher on the BMI scale and could be considered overweight.
Another problem with the BMI is that it doesn’t differentiate between types of fat. A study by the University of Pennsylvania noted that the BMI does not take into consideration where the body is storing fat. Belly fat (also called visceral fat) is more harmful to the body than fat that is just under the skin. Visceral fat tends to collect around the vital organs of the body, like the liver, and can prevent them from functioning properly. Two people with the same BMI number can have vastly different levels of health based on where they store their body fat.
How Else Can I Measure My Body Fat?
There are some alternatives to the BMI scale, but they’re more expensive. CT scans and MRI’s can more accurately determine someone’s body makeup, separating fat from muscle and giving a clearer picture. Some types of X-rays are also useful in determining body composition.
Ultimately, you should rely on your doctor or healthcare professional to help determine your level of health. It’s tempting to rely on a single number to determine your level of health, but there’s no one-size-fits-all test for health, just as there’s no one-size-fits-all way to lose weight and get healthy. Every person is different and requires individual attention.
Talk to your doctor during your next checkup and see what options you have in getting the most accurate body composition reading available. Just like the scale, you can't always put 100% trust into your BMI.
If you find that you need to lose a few pounds, consider enlisting the service of a certified personal trainer. Contact Ralph Roberts, a personal trainer in Amarillo, to sign up for personal training or have him design a custom workout plan just for you.
You may think that a good round of cardio-based exercises are the key to burning fat, but this is not always the case. True, exercises that keep you moving and make you sweat are effective, but you need to be working your muscles to truly get your body into fat-burning mode.
Exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time are ideal. Many of the best fat-burning exercises are not considered a cardio workout. Here are five fat-burning exercises that may surprise you.
These are a great staple exercise that helps you build lean muscle, burn fat, and work several muscle groups at once. Although you may think of pushups as strictly an upper body exercise, they also work your core. You can start small and work your way up. If a full pushup is too difficult, try keeping your knees on the ground, and then build up to a traditional push up. When that becomes easy, add difficulty by doing one-legged pushups or another variety.
Ah, the dreaded burpee. These are difficult, but very effective at blasting fat and getting you into shape. Start in a standing position, then squat down low. Place your hands flat on the ground on either side of your feet. Hop back with both feet into a pushup position. Hop back into the squat position and then jump straight back up into a standing position. Repeat.
Another intense exercise. Starting in the push up position, draw one leg up toward your chest, tapping your foot on the ground. Simultaneously, bring your other foot up into the same position as you push your other foot back into it's former position. Basically, run in place, but in a push up position.
Side planks with leg raises
Planks in general are a good fat burning and toning exercise. Try a side plank, and combine it with a leg raise.
The basic squat is a great fat burning exercise that can be modified to suit various levels of fitness. Adding weights to your squat ups the difficulty and the results. For an extra punch, you can do jumping squats. Lunges are another good one.
You will notice that none of these exercises requires any equipment, and can be done pretty much anywhere. In addition to burning fat, you will also tone and tighten up your body. You can do these workouts at home, but if you’re needing more direction and motivation, look into a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts, a personal trainer in Amarillo, can help develop a plan tailored to your specific fitness needs, and provide coaching and encouragement that can help you succeed. You can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club.
You may have heard that men lose weight faster than women, and wondered if it is true or if it is just a myth. The answer is yes, men do lose weight faster than women. This may seem terribly unfair if you are a woman! While women may not be physiologically able to lose weight as quickly as men, there are strategies that can help them lose it more quickly than they normally would.
Why do men lose weight faster than women?
There are three main factors:
1) Men have a naturally faster metabolism, on average. Of course there are exceptions, but overall, men win out when it comes to metabolism.
2) Men also generally have more muscle. Having more muscle means that you can burn more fat, and burn it more rapidly.
3) Finally, men are generally larger than women. Being taller and bigger means you burn more calories.
The bottom line: In a race to lose weight, if a man and a woman go on the same diet and do the same level of physical activity, the man will most likely reach his weight loss goal quicker.
While men may have an edge when it comes to initial weight loss, it does even out. Men carry the bulk of their extra weight in their abdomen, and tend to lose it more quickly; however studies carried out over a six month period revealed that the gap closed and women did catch up.
How can I lose weight faster?
If you are a woman and you are trying to lose weight, but feel you aren't making progress, here are a couple of things you can try.
Build more muscle. Women often focus more on burning calories than building muscle, but muscle is key to losing weight. When you build muscle, you burn fat and calories much more quickly, even when you aren't doing anything! Yes, it is good to do cardio, but incorporating strength building exercises into your routine may give your weight loss efforts the boost that they need.
Should I hire a personal trainer to reach my fitness goals?
Some things you may want to try are bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups or squats. You can also use free weights. These types of exercises can really tone up and sculpt the body while helping you lose weight. Often, women shy away from strength training because they are afraid they will become bulky. You don't need to worry about this. If you are concerned, a good personal trainer can help you by providing a routine that will allow you to sculpt a lean, toned body that burns fat and doesn't make you look bulky.
A personal trainer can also help offer the encouragement you need to see your goals through. It can be discouraging if you don't see results right away. Many people give up just when they are about to make a breakthrough. If you are looking for a personal trainer in the Amarillo, Texas area, contact Ralph Roberts. Ralph works with a variety of men and women with different fitness levels and ages. Get in touch with Ralph today for a free personal training session and see what you think.
It’s summer, which means it’s time to take that much-needed vacation! If you have been working out at the gym, you may be concerned about your fitness routine when you are traveling. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you don't want to lose progress or get out of shape while you are on the road. What do you do?
If you are convinced that the only way to stay physically fit is by going to the gym, you are wrong! Yes, the gym is a great place to workout, and being in a fitness-geared environment helps you stay motivated, but there are many ways you can stay fit while you travel.
Which exercises can I do while on the road?
Although going to the gym and working out with weights and machines is one of best ways to get fit, it is not the only way to stay in shape. There are a number of exercises that you can do that don't require any equipment, and that you can do right in your hotel room.
Push ups are a good way to stay in shape on the road. Even by themselves, they are an effective workout. You can modify them by doing variations, using easy to find props such as phonebooks, steps or chairs.
Squats and lunges are another good way to keep toned while you are on the road.
If you have a low, sturdy table handy, you can do some table rows. All you need is something you can slide your legs underneath, grab onto, and lift yourself up with.
Put the chair in your hotel room to work with tricep dips. Just make sure the chair is sturdy and won't slide out from under you. No wheels!
A phone book makes a convenient prop for calf raises.
Don't forget your cardio. Bring your sneakers and walk or run around the block. You can do this most anywhere. The beach is a lovely place to take a jog or do some yoga. You can also find a local park or recreation area to take a bike ride or run.
How can I not gain weight during my vacation?
If you spend a lot of time on the road for business, or are taking a long family vacation, it can be easy to fall out of the workout habit. Add to that the fact that you may not be eating properly, and you can easily find yourself gaining weight and feeling sluggish. It is a good idea to create a simple, easy to do workout plan that can be done anywhere.
In addition to helping you craft an effective gym workout, a good personal trainer can help you keep on track and in shape when you are away from the gym, too. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic club can tailor a fitness plan that meets your needs while you are on the road. There is no reason not to stay fit and feeling good, wherever your travels may take you. Contact Ralph today to learn about his custom workout plans that you can use on the go.
Like Ralph on FACEBOOK
Get daily motivational quotes and quick workouts to help you reach your goals.