Kids these days are bombarded with sugar. It's a daily part of most kids' diets. And while there is nothing wrong with a cookie or two in moderation, too much sugar can lead to health problems like diabetes and tooth decay. Children are usually pretty open to trying new things, especially if they look fun, so get creative with some healthy snacks that your kids will gobble up when they come home hungry from school.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to find the motivation to work out. Having the support of anexercise buddy can make all the difference. With their support and encouragement, hitting the gym doesn't seem so bad. A workout buddy can offer accountability, inspire friendly competition, and help you have fun along the way. Find a friend and get started on your teamwork-inspired workout plan.
There are some days when you'll look at your alarm clock and second guess your decision to sign up for that early morning spin class. While it's easy to stay in bed and enjoy an extra hour of sleep, knowing that you have a friend waiting for you at the gym may help you to get up and get moving.
Another benefit of having a fitness accountability partner is having someone to talk to about the subject. Friends who aren't interested in the healthy lifestyle may not understand why you're so excited about perfecting your squat form, but your workout buddy will. This is the person that you'll be able to celebrate your victories and work through your frustrations with.
Enjoy Some Friendly Competition
Competition isn't limited to team sports. Having a training partner can help you meet goals because you'll want to share and compare your results. When your friend has an especially fast run or adds an extra set onto a weightlifting routine, it can serve as motivation to step up your own game.
You don't necessarily need to be competing to help spur each other along. Even being near someone else engaging in exercise can be motivating. Using side-by-side exercise bikes, for example, will make it easier to ride longer and with more intensity. Whether you realize it or not, you'll probably each be thinking that if the other person can keep it up, so can you.
Keep It Fun
There's a reason that group fitness classes are so popular. Instructors know how to keep the classes fun and exciting. The same is true for working out with a friend. Having someone to talk to and maybe even grab a post-workout smoothie with will make exercise more enjoyable.
Committing to workouts with a friend can also help keep you confident. A piece of gym equipment, a new workout routine, or a fitness class may be intimidating when you're alone. However, with a friend, you can figure it out together and have fun while you're at it.
Ralph Roberts can work with you and your partner to form a customized plan to help you both reach your goals. Find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
Back in the spring, I provided you with an infographic detailing the fruits and veggies that would be in season through September. Now, I'm giving you information on seasonal produce from October through February.
Eating seasonal fruits and vegatables keeps your grocery bill lower and provides you with the nutrition you need. So, here’s a list of fruits and vegetables in season in Texas during the fall and winter months.
Wow, what a powerful and unbelievable experience I just had in only three days! I attended my mentor’s, Todd Durkin’s, retreat in Beaver Creek, Co. on Sept. 10-13, and I fully believe it was God’s plan for me to meet the top fitness and health professionals from all over the world. The Lord also gave me this opportunity to reflect on my career and go deeper into my soul.
Todd has always had a way of bringing out the best in people, and he’s done nothing less with me. The theme of the retreat was “Dream and Do the Impossible” and Todd certainly made an impact on all who were there. We began the retreat by contemplating success and the drive to be the best you can be. We were told to dream big and enjoy the journey. We were also asked what the word “happy” meant to us and what makes us happy.
Well, here are a few things that sum all of this up for me:
Reflect on your “lily pads” (your stepping stones that have made you who you are today). Every night I ask God to show me my purpose and He has delivered, especially with this retreat.
During one of our many sessions, Todd encouraged us to take risks, but smart risks. He recounted a time when he trained in an ocean where hammerhead sharks roamed just a few days before and exclaimed, “If I would have died, I would have died doing what I loved.” We all laughed and he said he just wanted to live on the edge.
We also discussed whether or not opportunities meet your purpose. Never underestimate the power of a dream. You must overcome countless hurdles in order to achieve BIG things. Risk and opportunity come with great reward and sacrifice. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Take short-term pain for long-term gain. Your mindset matters, he reminded us. If you are not scared by what you are doing, then you are not walking in enough faith. What I do, I do with all my heart so I know I will be fully engaged.
Todd spoke to me personally about my dreams. “Look at what you have done, Ralph,” were his words. “Reject all the head trash. You were born to compete.”
We closed the retreat on how to make sure your dreams are bigger than your memories. I’m fulfilling God’s purpose for me. I am grateful for all the special people I have in my life: my family, friends, clients and colleagues. This retreat was exactly what I needed to see all I have been given and achieved.
So many of us live in fear. Fear is either going to paralyze you or it is going to motivate you. Make sure you always prepare for battle in these three ways:
How will I personally show more action? By letting my team know how much I care and share. I love everyone here at the Downtown Athletic Club and will continue to go above and beyond. My focus is not money, but to make our community better and serve those around me.
So what’s next? I am going to start working on a workout ebook. It never stops!
With so many fitness fads constantly coming and going, it’s difficult to know which exercise methods actually work. Which ones help you lose weight, gain strength, or get fit? For people struggling to get healthy, trying to keep up with trends is frustratingly painful. To help you avoid wasted efforts, here’s a short list of little-known exercise facts to improve your workout.
Ab Exercises Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be
Situps and crunches have been the preferred method of getting rock-hard abs for decades. While it’s true that performing targeted ab workouts increases the strength of those muscles, that alone won’t give you the coveted six-pack. Achieving the stomach of your dreams is more about overall body fat percentage than muscle strength. So keep on doing your ab work, but be sure you’re also including cardio and other fat-burning exercises into your workout regimen.
High-Intensity Exercise Elevates Metabolism Long After Your Workout
Among the numerous benefits of high-intensity training is the fact that it elevates your metabolism for hours after your sweat session ends. Just 45 minutes of high-intensity exercise leaves your metabolism going strong for up to 14 hours post-workout. What does this mean for you? It means that even as you’re sitting on your couch, vegging out in front of the TV after exercising, your body’s burning calories. Now that’s an effective workout.
It Takes Rest To Build Muscle
Despite popular opinion, you can’t bulk up by pumping iron alone. Your body uses periods of rest to restore and build the muscles that were worked during your training session. When you’re trying to reach a goal, it’s tempting to exercise hard every day. But doing so can actually hinder progress, so be sure to give yourself occasional breaks and switch between the body parts being worked.
Stretching Works Best After Your Workout
Most people tend to stretch their muscles before working out, in order to “loosen up.” However, stretching cold muscles is not only ineffective, but could also lead to injury. Stretching after you exercise is the best way to improve your flexibility and get limber. So instead of stretching as a warm-up, perform a dynamic warm-up during which you actually move your limbs and get your heart rate up, then stretch once your muscles are already warm. You’ll see better results and find it easier to get a deeper stretch.
There’s no need to follow a fitness fad in order to get in shape; a little common sense goes a long way. Take action with these tips, then consider working with a personal trainer. To learn more about achieving your fitness goals in a lasting way, give personal trainer Ralph Roberts a shout.
To have a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to eliminate bad habits, and begin better ones. For everyone racing through the everyday chaos of life, the following healthy hacks can help push you closer towards your fitness goals in no time.
Keep It Simple - Instead of following fad diets, keep your meals simple with lots of variety and colors, balancing them with high-quality proteins.
Have A Quick, Hearty Breakfast - Keep breakfast simple in the morning to ease the stress of getting out of the door quickly. Options like homemade, microwaveable breakfast burritos loaded with plenty of vegetables will provide energy and fuel to keep you full until lunch.
Prepare Snacks Ahead Of Time - Keep a Tupperware container of prepared snacks, like mixed nuts, homemade trail mix, fruit and nut bars, air-popped popcorn, dried edamame and more in your purse, desk, or gym bag. If you have a refrigerator available, stock up on snacks like cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs and Greek yogurt.
Keep Junk Away - Stay away from junk food cravings by keeping cookies, chips and other processed foods out of your home.
Easily Prepped Lunches - As soon as you get home with groceries, go ahead and prep and plan your lunches throughout the week. For protein, cook chicken that can be quickly thrown on salads or sandwiches.
Utilize The Internet - To keep your flavor palate from getting bored, check out online food boards to spark your creativity in healthy meal planning.
Eat On Schedule - Spread out your calorie intake throughout the day. Paying attention to your hunger cues will speed up your metabolism, and keep your body from running out of fuel.
Carry Plenty Of Water - Hydration is key to a healthy lifestyle, so take a refillable water bottle around with you throughout the day. This will also help discourage your from going to the vending machine when you need a drink.
Get Enough Sleep - Protect your body even more by getting enough shuteye every night. Getting adequate sleep will provide energy as well as help you to make healthier choices throughout the day.
Have Your Gym Bag Ready - Get your gym bag ready the night before so that you will be ready to hit the gym whenever you have the chance.
Having a healthy lifestyle is crucial for making the most out of your workout routine. If you need any extra help or advice, consider speaking with a personal trainer, like Ralph Roberts. Contact me today to learn more about resources, customized plans and more.
Core muscles are part of almost every move you make. Whether you’re doing everyday activities or playing your favorite sport, the muscles in your midsection work together to provide balance and stability to your movement. Strong core muscles not only help your body move easily and efficiently, but they can help prevent injury and other common causes of pain such as poor posture. And of course a strong core can help you get that oh-so-sexy midsection you’ve been wanting, too.
With all those benefits, it’s easy to see why core exercises are such an important part of a well-rounded fitness routine. The plank is one of the most popular core exercises for a reason. It’s extremely effective. When done correctly, it requires you to work to stabilize those core muscles for the entire exercise, beginning to end. Variations on the plank add other movements such as rotation that challenge your muscles to work in different ways, further increasing the effectiveness of this exercise. Planks can be easily modified to accommodate all fitness levels from beginner to expert, which means you can keep some version of it in your routine even as your fitness level improves.
If you want to add some planks to your routine or just add some variety and difficulty to the ones you already do, these variations can help take your workout to the next level.
Walking plank - Start in a push up position with your arms extended. Keeping your feet in place, walk your hands to the right 1-3 feet. Walk your hands back to center then 1-3 feet over to the left side.
Spiderman plank - If you’re a comic book or movie fan, you probably already have an idea how this exercise will go. Start in plank position. Bring your right knee toward your right elbow. Return to starting position. Bring your left knee toward your left elbow. Return to start. Repeat alternating legs.
Alternating hand plank - This move goes from a plank to a push up one arm at a time. Start in plank position with weight on your forearms. Push up with your right arm, extending it until it is straight. Then do the same with the left arm. Lower yourself back down to starting position (forearms on the floor) with your right arm then your left.
Proper form is important for exercising effectively and preventing injury. If you are having trouble doing exercises correctly or you need a more effective workout, consulting a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can be a big help. A personal trainer can provide exercise instruction, support and a customized fitness routine to help make your fitness goals a reality.
Ab exercises are great for strengthening your core, which will benefit you in both sports performances and everyday life. When performed on the floor, however, these exercises can sometimes be strenuous on your neck and back.
Get off the floor, and give your spine a rest, by trying out a few standing ab exercises. By upgrading to standing exercises, you will also work more muscles and burn more calories than floor crunches. You can also add varying resistance, such as dumbbells, cables, body weight and more for maximum results.
This exercise will target your obliques and define your waistline. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms over your head. You will then shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right knee out to the side. During this movement, you will also bend your right arm and pull the elbow down to your thigh. You then need to extend your leg and arm back to the starting position, tapping your toe on the ground. Do three steps of ten on each side.
Firm your lower belly and target the transverse abdominal muscles while letting off some steam with this cross punch routine. Start with your knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart and abs flexed. Bend your arms so that your fists are chin-level. Keeping your feet planted, twist to the left and punch with your right arm, contracting your lower abs with each punch, and then return to starting position. Repeat until you have done 20 reps on each arm.
Double Arm Reach
Not only will this movement strengthen your abs, but it will also strengthen your glutes, quads and hamstrings. Start in a squatting position with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, and your clasped hands pushed to the floor. (You can also use a dumbbell if you prefer more weight.) You will then straighten your legs and raise your arms to the right. Do this 20 times on each side.
The knee twist is another simple method for whittling your waist down and packing on muscles. Starting in a squat position, bending your hips and knees, bringing your hands behind your head. Stand up and twist to your left while raising your left knee, pulling in your right elbow. Lower and repeat.
If you would like more help reaching your fitness goals, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a personal trainer to coach you through and work alongside you on your routines. A custom exercise plan created just for you can be provided by Ralph Roberts. He will also hold you accountable and encourage you through each step.
Getting in shape can be a confusing endeavor no matter what your fitness level. It seems like there is an exercise machine for each body part. But you don’t need all of those machines to get in shape. By adding a few simple exercises to your routine, you can see positive results quickly.
The pushup is an effective way to get in shape and are great for building upper body strength and developing your core.
Start out face down on the floor with your palms slightly wider than shoulder length apart. Keep your feet close together and back straight. Push your body off the floor until just before your elbows lock. Keep your back from bending or bowing during the movement.
Pushup To Plank
This is an excellent exercise to develop your core and can be done anywhere there is a flat surface.
Start off in the extended pushup position with your body off the floor. Keep your body straight and do not roll your hips during the exercise.
Next lower your right elbow to the floor followed by your left until you are in the plank position. Keep your body stiff and straight. Next push up with your right hand followed by your left and you are done.
Lunges are one of the most effective ways to develop your lower body. They help build your glutes and quads as well as strengthening your hamstrings.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Step out with your right foot, bending at the knee until it is just over your foot. Your left knee should sink down to the floor until it almost touches. Keep your back straight and arms by your sides during the entire movement.
This exercise will engage your whole body. It works the glutes, quads, back, shoulders and your core.
Stand with your feet hip length apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Bend at the knees and push your hips back. Continue down until your thighs are slightly below parallel with the ground. As you come down push your arm straight out in front of you, keeping them parallel with the floor. Straighten your legs and come back to starting position.
Lateral slides are effective for working your lower body. Stand in a semi-squat position to start. Shuffle laterally two steps to your right followed quickly by two shuffles back to the starting position.
All these exercises can be done anywhere on your own and without the need for equipment. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts uses these exercise with all his clients, and he can design a workout plan just for you.
When people think about staying fit, they often imagine countless hours in a gym, drudging through repetitions and boring minutes on a treadmill. Those defeatist thoughts are what keep so many people from reaching their fitness goals, and sticking with a program that will keep them happy, healthy and in great physical shape.
You might think you are tasked with teaching children things as they grow up, but there is a lot adults can learn from kids, too. Physical fitness, and how to have fun with it, is one of those things. So, if you are looking to get fit and stay that way, consider channeling your inner child in these fun activities.
Join A Sports Team
You might think that adulthood is for watching sports, or chauffeuring your kids to and from their soccer practices, but you can get out there and play, too. You don't have to be the next Derek Jeter to step onto a baseball diamond. Websites like Meetup.com offer a plethora of sporting activities for the casual, adult player, so sign up. Softball, soccer, ultimate frisbee and kickball are all great ways to get some cardio in while you meet new people and enjoy a new-found hobby.
Dance Your Heart Out
Have you ever seen your child, or a friend's child just break into movement at any moment? Kids know how to have a good time and they love to dance. Dancing is a great cardiovascular exercise, too. While you're cleaning your house, turn on the tunes and get down with your bad self. Once you are really comfortable with your rhythm, you might want to take it to an adult dance class, or join a dance troupe. It can be a lot of fun to get involved, but you can also practice in the privacy of your own home.
Make It A Game
Physical fitness doesn't have to be a chore, in fact, making it a chore is what makes so many people quit shortly into their new journey. If you make it a game, your physical fitness will be fun, and you'll enjoy the journey even more. Look for apps that track your fitness and offer rewards and badges for meeting goals. The more goals you meet, the more you advance in the “game” of physical fitness. Your waistline and health will thank you as you play.
If you have any more questions about physical fitness or getting started on your journey, don't hesitate to call Ralph Roberts. As a professional personal trainer, he can help you achieve your physical fitness goals, and help you find the fun in fitness!
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