Fitness & Wellness

Fitness Success Requires The Right Mindset

Fitness Success Requires The Right Mindset

If you want fitness success, you have to have the right mindset. Exercising and eating healthy is more than just a physical activity, it takes focus and is just as much of a mental activity, too. When you workout, you’re not just training your body, you’re training the neurons in the brain. There have been a number of studies showing that mental practice helps improve performance as much as physical practice. Visualization has helped both Olympic champions improve their performance, as well as helping POWs survive and remain as healthy as possible in extremely poor conditions.

When you change your mindset, you can also change your outcome.

Do you dread going to the gym? It might show in how hard you workout and even in your results. It’s far easier to skip a workout when you have a negative attitude and allow things like feeling slightly out of sorts or a tough day get in the way. Find ways to give yourself a mental hug for every successful activity or each time you not only conquered your goal but exceeded it.

Being a curmudgeon never got anyone fitter.

Picture all the crabby people in your head. You don’t often think of attractive ones, but old curmudgeons that could kill Tinkerbell with their bad attitude. If you’re overweight, don’t beat yourself up because of past indiscretions with food. You can’t change the past, just make a better, more appealing future. Leave negativity at the door and don’t think of your workout as punishment, but a treat for your body to become healthier.

Don’t let the scales slap you around, they’re your helper, not your master.

Too often I see people fearing a weigh-in and even getting depressed when the numbers aren’t what they hoped. Of course, you have to track your progress, but weight loss isn’t the only one to track. Some times, you lose inches instead of pounds. Muscle weighs more per cubic inch than fat does, so a pound of muscle will take up less space, which means you lose inches, but not pounds. That’s still great!!! AND IS PROGRESS. Don’t weigh in every hour, but save it for once or twice a week at the same time each day.

  • The gym may be where you start your effort for a healthier life, but it’s not the ultimate place. You workout to have energy for an active lifestyle. Remember that. Doing fun, active things for enjoyment is just as important. Go out dancing, take a hike or ride a bike!
  • Find ways to boost your fitness on a daily basis. Park further from the grocery store door, take the stairs at work or get up and walk a few minutes of each hour.
  • Enjoy your workout more with a workout buddy. Not only will working out with someone keep you accountable, it makes it more fun. It’s one reason our small group training is so popular.
  • If you want to create more of a social atmosphere, get a group to sign up for Body Sculptors’ online program for healthy eating and exercise. Make it a guys’, couples’ or girls’ project toward good health and use it for socializing and fitness.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training!

Motivate Yourself To Workout

Motivate Yourself To Workout

It’s not always easy to drag yourself to your workout, it’s time to find ways to motivate yourself. That feeling of dread or lack of caring can get worse if you don’t nip it in the bud now. It doesn’t matter what the goal, even if it’s not fitness related, the reason you started originally is key. That goal was important enough for you to start the journey, so it needs to be kept in the foreground. Whether it’s weight loss, health issues or just looking and feeling great again, it should be primary your focus.

Focus on your goals

No matter what your primary motivation, if it’s important to you, it’s important. Don’t feel bad if you just want to look better. There’s nothing wrong with that, even if it was just to get in shape for your next class reunion or family get-together. That original motivation should be the basis of your goals. Ensure that you break the big goal down to smaller steps that you can achieve quicker to keep your motivation high. That allows you to achieve success along the way and that’s really motivating.

Find several ways to measure your success.

Maybe your goal was weight loss, so immediately you think that weighing yourself is the only way to see success. It’s not. Measuring inches lost is another way to do it. In fact, it may be a better way, since muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue does per cubic inch, so your body will be narrower the less fat tissue you have. Use several markers to boost your motivation, including how well your clothing fits.

Get a workout partner.

One reason personal trainers increase your success is that they hold you accountable. Just knowing that you are meeting with the trainer keeps you going to the gym. The same can be true with a workout partner. Not only does knowing you’re meeting with them add extra incentive to go to the gym to workout, it also can add fun and maybe some friendly competition. Two heads are better than one and you can each check the other’s form to make sure each movement is done right.

  • Your focus is the key. If you’re constantly thinking about how you dread working out, you need to change it. Instead, focus on how great you feel when you’re finished or how much more energy you have.
  • Don’t let a bad day stop you. That’s actually when you need a workout most. If you’ve had the day from Hades, think about how great you’ll feel as your hard work during exercise helps melt stress.
  • Create a schedule and make working out a habit. Exercise at the same time every day. It’s a lifestyle change. If you always workout at four o’clock, you’ll develop a habit, making it easier to go to the gym.
  • Whether you’re working out with our online program or come to the gym, our staff of professionals at Body Sculptors not only help you with your workout and dietary needs, they keep you motivated. Get a free consultation today.

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Keep Hydrated

Keep Hydrated

When the temperature rises here in Louisville, KY, it’s extremely important to keep hydrated, especially if you’re working out. Water is your friend. Don’t turn to soft drinks! The caffeine in coke will act as a diuretic and you’ll flush away any hydrating benefits it brought. Instead, always carry a bottle of water with you and sip on it frequently as you workout. Your body is mostly water, so keeping it hydrated keeps you functioning at peak performance. You should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day normally and more in the summer.

Make drinking water a habit.

I focus on water and not on sports drinks, because you don’t need a sports drink during a regular workout. If you’re working out longer, like over an hour, you may need to replace electrolytes, which is where sports drinks shine. Some are better than others are. For instance, Gatoraid contains a lot of sugar, whereas BodyArmor has electrolytes that aid in hydration, but is also lower in sodium and higher in potassium since it’s based on coconut water. Water should be the drink of choice most of the time. It’s easy to access, free from the tap and has always done a great job hydrating. Make it a habit to start each day with one or two eight ounce glasses of water.

Your brain and your heart are 73% water and your lungs are 83%.

If you want a healthy body that won’t fail you during the day, stay hydrated. You can imagine how dehydration can affect your body and make it harder to function. It helps regulate your temperature and aids in new cell development. Your joints will feel achy if you don’t drink enough water, since it acts as a lubricant. Water is the quicker picker upper, too. You’ll get a boost of energy from a glass of water if you’re slightly dehydrated. Too little water can make you feel the brain fog.

If you’re trying to lose weight, water can help.

Have you ever found yourself hungry, but for something juicy? You’re probably thirsty and not hungry. The body gets tricked and sends out a hunger signal, when a thirst signal should be at the top of the list. Carry a bottle of water at all times and when you feel hungry, drink some and wait to see if that hunger subsides. Staying hydrated helps you in all areas, even weight loss.

  • Dehydration can be far more than just getting achy, mentally foggy and thirsty. It can be life threatening. Besides headache, muscle contractions in your arms leg and back, it can cause convulsions, heart failure and other serious conditions.
  • Seniors dehydrate faster than others and often don’t drink enough water, sometimes signs of dehydration like mental confusion, are mistaken for senility. Dehydration can also cause frequent UTIs.
  • If you want to look younger, stick with plenty of water and hydrate often. It keeps your skin from looking dry and less plump. Staying hydrated helps prevent premature wrinkles and keeps your eyes more youthful.
  • Whether you’re working out at Body Sculptors, outside or have chosen online training, staying hydrated is important. If you haven’t started a healthy diet and exercise program yet, contact me for a free personal training evaluation.

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Do You Need A Recharge?

Do You Need A Recharge?

There are two reasons to take a break, you either are over-exercising or in other words, just plain burned out. Either way, you need a recharge so you get the maximum benefit in the gym. If you’re over-exercising/burned out, you’re pushing yourself too much and not giving your body a time to heal. It’s actually a physical condition that often occurs when people absolutely love exercise or those who want to reach a goal faster and think putting in even more time will do it. For those that are simply burned out

Here are some of the things that cause burnout.

Are you giving your body a chance to heal by ensuring you have a day between tough workouts? If you’re doing heavy-duty strength training, consider only doing that type of training one or two days a week. Otherwise, working out every other day or three days a week is correct. Working out longer isn’t necessarily good, either. That’s especially true if you’re doing high-intensity workouts.

You might be having a mental burnout if you’ve done the same workout for a long time.

Burn out can occur from boredom, which makes it more mental than physical. If you’ve been working out with the same routine for longer than six months, it’s time to make some changes. That’s far too long. Not only is it boring, your body become more efficient at the movements so you won’t benefit as much. If you hate your workout, you’ll make yourself more susceptible to burnout. There’s so many great ways to workout, you should never have to do anything you hate.

If you recognize these symptoms, it may be time to take a break.

Are you feeling tired after a workout rather than energized? You could be facing burnout. Are you moody and irritable without provocation? If your body isn’t give time to recoup, you’ll feel fatigued and it can cause irritability. Getting too much sleep or too little is another sign it’s time to take a break, so is the feeling that your legs are dead weights. An impaired immune system and tendency to get sick a lot is another. So is getting sore for several days in a row. Most of all, feeling unmotivated in all areas in your life may come from working out too much.

  • Taking a break doesn’t mean you quit exercising. It means to switch up your exercise for a week or two to something less strenuous or completely different, like rock climbing or just taking long walks.
  • Know that you need to have a healthy body, but also a healthy mind and spirit. Taking time to learn meditation techniques or making time to take a walk in nature on your day off from working out can be quite renewing. Work to create a balance.
  • Switch your workout frequently and include other types of exercise. You won’t get bored if you’re not doing the same thing repeatedly.
  • Create a goal and a plan to achieve it that’s right for your level of fitness an needs. Follow the plan and don’t overwork. At Body Sculptors, we create a plan for you and make sure you’re never bored. Contact us soon to see just how much we have to offer.

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Girls Gone Strong

Girls Gone Strong

If you think lifting weights is just for men, step up to this century. We have a lot of women in Louisville, KY, that press weights or do body exercises to build strength. It’s just as important or women to build strength as it is for me. It’s not just for heavy lifting they may have to do, it’s for aiding in weight control and the health benefits strength building brings. I love to refer to these women as girls gone strong because I’m so proud of their accomplishments. They know all the benefits of strength building.

The “Girls Gone Strong” know that building muscle tissue helps them lose weight faster.

Strength building isn’t about building bulging muscles, but it is about building muscles. The more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to lose weight. That’s because muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does, so you’ll be boosting your metabolism. Strength training also burns a high amount of calories, both when you do it and for hours after you quit. Unlike running, which burns calories from both fat and muscle tissue, leaving you with a lower metabolism, strength training tends to burn fat tissue.

Don’t worry about getting bulky and looking like the Hulk!

One of the biggest fears I hear when I suggest strength training to women is that they don’t want to look like the female body builders that could put the Hulk to shame. Those women spend hours and hours in the gym, eat special diets and unfortunately, sometimes take supplements to help them build. It’s not easy for a woman, since they don’t have the necessary hormones, like mien, to get big and bulky. You’ll get a toned, sinewy appearance that’s super sexy. You’ll look more like Linda Hamilton—Sarah Connor—than the Terminator.

Not only do you preserve muscle mass as you age, you preserve bone density.

The amount of muscle mass you have affects the amount of bone density you have. As the muscles tug on the bone, the body sends in materials to reinforce the bone and keep them dense. No tug? No need to keep them strong and loss of bone density. It can prevent and slow osteoporosis and some say it might even reverse it. Studies show, weight bearing exercises work better than some medications.

  • Getting strong also helps you avoid injury. You have better balance and coordination, besides preventing muscle tears and injuries.
  • Strength training improves heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. It boosts the good cholesterol levels.
  • Strength training makes you look slimmer. People with more muscle mass tend to look slimmer than those that weigh the same, but have a higher ratio of fat. That’s because muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch, so one pound of it would be in a smaller container than a pound of fat.
  • Strength training helps you feel stronger and more independent. You’ll be amazed at how feeling strong can give you confidence to face any oncoming problem. It boosts your confidence and self-esteem.

Commit To Be Fit

Commit To Be Fit

Commitment is what makes the difference between success and failure. Any goal worth achieving is worth working toward. It’s the same when it comes to good health. You have to commit to be fit. It’s like any other goal, without commitment, you won’t achieve it. Unfortunately, setting a goal is easy, but sticking with it is tough. There are things you can do to help strengthen your commitment.

Schedule your workout.

Your workout should be as important as any other appointment. Scheduling it as an appointment makes it that way. One way to do it is to exercise the first thing in the morning. It can get your day started right and provide energy for the whole day. If you’re not a morning person, it may be a real challenge that takes some mental toughness to achieve.

Remember why you decided to get fit.

Were you feeling exhausted and tired all the time? Are you uncomfortable in your own skin…because there’s just too much of it? Do you want to help avoid a serious health condition or help improve your health? What was important to you at the time you made that commitment probably won’t change. Write it down. Put it on your mirror. Keep your mind focused on not only your goal but your reason for making that goal.

Pay attention to both the big victories and the small ones.

Sure, shedding fifty pounds is a huge accomplishment, but that takes time. Create smaller goals to celebrate along the way. You probably don’t remember when you first started walking, but your parents probably do. They applauded and praised every small, wobbly step. That and the desire to move on your own kept you going, no matter how many times you fell. Learn to love the accomplishments along the way.

  • Use several different ways to measure success. You might not lose weight when you first start but you are losing inches and gaining muscle. For those who just want to get fitter, increasing the number of reps or lifting heavier weight.
  • Make sure you have your clothes ready and everything packed. If you know you might not meet your scheduled appointment with the gym, take your gym bag anyway. Find a time to fit the workout into your day.
  • Plan something new and exciting that you can do the fitter you get that you couldn’t do before you started. It can be something as simple as walking the whole day at an amusement park or more adventurous like rock climbing.
  • Add activities you love to your workout. Not only should you vary your workout so you don’t get bored, try to do at least one or two fun activities to provide exercise.

Be Smart. Eat Smart

Be Smart. Eat Smart

It’s time to be smart when you eat. That means you should eat smart. Luckily, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to do it. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy and gets even easier the longer you do. The basic rule is to eat whole foods. Those are foods that are closest to their natural state. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re uncooked, just not highly processed. It’s like the difference between eating a baked potato and eating a potato chip or eating fruit rather than a fruit rollup or drinking a fruit drink.

What makes it easy?

Go to the produce section of the grocery and pick out your favorite fruits and vegetables. They’re ready to eat with very little preparation. You can steam them, bake them, grill them or eat them raw. You can’t eat healthy without a protein and for most people, that means fish, meat, chicken, eggs or cheese. For those who consume a vegetarian diet, it might mean beans and nuts. A healthy fat is also important, but you don’t need much. Butter made from milk from grass fed cows or an avocado.

You don’t have to give up your favorites, just get creative.

Salsa and chips are delicious and most homemade salsa is actually a healthy choice. You can get creative and use salsa to top your eggs, use as a dip for veggies, use as salad dressing, top a burger or put on a baked potato. You’ll get all the nutrients that salsa contains, plus its delicious taste. Getting creative means saving money, too. Left over grilled vegetables can top salad the next day and left over raw veggies are perfect for soup.

Not only will you be eating smarter, you’ll be smarter!

Some food can actually boost your brain power, besides helping you shed weight. Most people know that cutting out sugar helps avoid blood sugar drops that leave you feeling foggy, but did you know some foods actually help your brain. Blueberries help boost your memory, and tomatoes prevent damage to brain cells from free radicals that causes early onset dementia. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish provide support to brain cells. Most of all, ensuring you drink adequate water throughout the day keeps you focused and alert.

  • Eating smart means eating food that’s nutrient rich and lower in calories. That just makes sense, especially if you want to shed weight.
  • Your children will love healthy eating when you make fruit pops or have individual serving sizes of nuts or fresh fruits and vegetables ready for snacks.
  • Eating healthy can also include how you eat. Don’t stand up and eat. Savor every bite and enjoy it. Really taste your food and don’t eat on the run.
  • Eating more frequently is part of healthy eating. Have snacks ready and don’t miss meals. You might be tempted to grab a few candy bars at the gas station or from the candy machine if you do.

How's Your Will Power

How’s Your Will Power

Most people think that people are overweight or out of shape because they lack will power. That’s not necessarily true. While losing weight can be a struggle, often people fail not because they simply are lazy or lack will power, but have no idea on the right way to do it. Instead of eating healthy, they go on a starvation diet. You can’t maintain a starvation diet very long and remain healthy. The body also rebels when the calories are super low. It’s created to survive, so it lowers the basal metabolism to ensure there are enough calories for the most important organs, like your heart and brain. That makes it even harder to lose weight.

The only will power you need is in the beginning.

Changing your lifestyle isn’t something you do overnight. It takes commitment for several weeks until the behavior becomes a habit. Luckily, in the initial weeks of working out and eating healthy, you may still possess that driving force that got you started in the first place. Having a personal trainer or workout buddy that holds you accountable is another way to keep the motivation going. Keep a regular schedule for working out, planning meals and sleeping. (Getting adequate sleep no only helps you stick with the program, it helps you lose weight, too.)

Lack of knowledge is often a problem.

It’s not how much you eat, but what you eat that makes a difference in how much you weigh and how healthy you are. It’s next to impossible to eat too many calories in fresh fruits and vegetables, so focusing on those during your learning period is important. Eliminate processed foods, sugar, white flour and starchy veggies from your diet. Stick with steamed, roasted, baked, broiled and grilled meat and avoid fried foods like they’re the plague…because for people who want to eat healthy, they are!

Remember it’s all about consistency.

While you might feel great after working out once, it’s a start, but certainly won’t magically make you fitter. Just like eating an apple and not a bag of chips is good, you have to do it more than once to get benefits. On those days when you don’t feel like working out, go anyway, even if you decide you’re only going to stay for a few exercises and then leave. You’ll find you’ll probably get through your entire workout once you get started.

  • Give yourself a mental pat on the back when you skip a sugary treat in favor of fresh fruit. Make it easier to do by having healthy snacks available.
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. What you drink is as important as what you eat when it comes to losing weight. Just one can of a soft drink a day can put on an extra pound in a month. Studies show that diet colas and soft drinks also add inches to your middle, regardless of low calorie counts.
  • Make sure you put your workout in your schedule, so you keep your appointment with the gym as you would any other appointment.
  • Make sure you have a goal and a way to measure your success along the way. If your goal is big, break it down to smaller ones that give you more feedback and reward. Those accomplishments keep your motivated and boost your will power.

What’s Your Inspiration To Get Healthy

Getting fit and healthy isn’t always easy or convenient. There’s no microwavable healthy fitness magic that comes in a box. That’s why I ask clients in Louisville, KY, what their inspiration to get healthy is and to focus on that motivation when the going gets rough. It can help at those times when doing one more lift seems impossible or that cake looks like it needs an avid fan to eat it. It also helps to keep priorities in line. If your family is your motivation, yet you’re not using your new found energy to do fun and active things with them, it’s time to make changes there, too.

Keeping your inspiration in focus can help you visualize the new you.

Do you want to look fabulous for your next reunion. Picture exactly how you want your body to look. Is it slim? Is it muscular and toned? Get a good mental picture that you can hold in your head as you workout to actually make you feel like you want to do just one more set. Keep it in your head when you’re hungry, so you get healthier food to eat. It also helps when you’re tempted to consume a pint o ice cream or a whole cake! You’ll find that vision is far more beckoning than the extra dessert.

Don’t wait until you’re totally fit to start having family fun.

Maybe you can’t go an hour with the kids shooting hoops or hike for hours on rugged terrain, but you can go to the zoo or an amusement park that requires walking. It doesn’t have to be anything as special as Disneyland, it can be just taking a walk around the neighborhood and looking at flowers or riding bikes with the kids on a bike trail. If they’re your inspiration, make sure you start using your extra energy and build on those quick walks as you get fitter.

Get social when you eat.

Sharing healthy eating is quite rewarding, especially when the food tastes delicious. Learning new recipes and broadening your experience is a reward in itself. Getting children involved in healthy eating by making healthy food fun, like ants on a log, which is celery, peanut butter and raisins. There are drawbacks. Not everyone has developed a taste beyond Mountain Dew, coke and cheese puffs. Try fun foods like vegetable spaghetti, particularly if you have reluctant eaters. It’s so unique, everyone will want to try it.

  • Healthy dishes, no matter how delicious, aren’t always loved by family and friends, so taking them to group bring-a-dish get-togethers may mean you carry them home almost intact. That’s okay if you’re taking a lot home. It’s a day or two worth of meals you won’t have to cook.
  • Your inspiration often is a clue on how to measure your success. If you want to have more energy, checking your weight won’t inspire you, but tracking repetitions and sets will.
  • Getting healthy can be the ultimate outcome of working out and a healthier diet. If that’s your goal, do it up right. Get a heart monitor watch or a blood pressure machine for in home use to track your progress.
  • Don’t worry if you find new inspiration along the way. People do. It doesn’t invalidate your initial reason for working out, but just adds to it.

Get Rid Of Arm Flab

Get Rid Of Arm Flab

Arm flab is often called bat wings because they give your upper arms a winged appearance. While working out is one way to get rid of arm flab, sometimes it takes more than that. They come from either too much fat and too little muscle or losing weight rapidly and having excess loose skin. The younger you are and the shorter time period you were overweight will determine how fast your skin shrinks back to fit your new body. Whether arm flab comes from too much fat, too little muscle or weight loss, there are ways to get those upper arms looking good again.

Start with exercise.

Grab some weights and get ready to go. While exercise will tone the muscles in the area, if it comes from extra fat, you’ll have to lose weight all over your body. Luckily most people do a full body workout at the gym. Not only will the exercise reduce fat, it should also have exercises for the triceps, which dangle if you have flabby arms. If you don’t have weights, fill milk jugs or detergent bottles with handles with water or sand until you have the perfect weight for exercising. Using water filled bottles provides another benefit. As you get stronger, you can add more water or sand to increase the weight.

Get fit where you sit.

Use your chair or seat as a support as you do a chair dip. Your feet should be on the floor and legs slightly extended. Putting both hands on the sides of the chair next to your hips with your fingers pointing down, lift your bottom off the chair and forward using just your arms. Lower your body with your elbows at 90 degrees then raise yourself back to seated position. Lay on the floor for another great exercise. Hold a single weight, filled bottle or heavy object in both hands. Lift it above your head and then lower it behind your head and lifting it back up to in front of you.

Get on your knees with the weight in your hands.

While you have the weight in your hands, sit up on your knees. Hold the weight in both hands above your head and slowly bend at the elbows to lower it behind your head and back up with hands straight in the air. Use two weights, one in each hand bending over. You’re going to create a slow flapping motion (how appropriate for bat wings) with your arms. Bent over, lift both weights behind you, lifting the weights in the air. When you’re done, focus on doing the same thing, but providing resistance as you lower the weights.

  • Push-ups help strengthen and build the triceps. You can do modified forms, like bent knee or partial ones that keep your feet on the floor and hands on the bed.
  • Do a plank and hold it. This simple exercise isn’t really as easy as it looks, especially when you hold the position longer. It will help sculpt your upper arms.
  • Make sure your diet has adequate nutrition to build both collagen and muscle tissue. You’ll need the collagen to add elasticity to the skin and the protein to build muscle tissue.
  • Resistance training, using weights or resistance bands, not only helps eliminate flab under the arms, it builds the upper arm, too. While the focus may be on the triceps, the biceps need a workout, too.