The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!


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Change Your Diet to Jumpstart Your Fitness Goals

grocery shoppingSo you’ve made the commitment to become more fit and healthy through exercise! Congratulations! While we certainly don’t want to take anything away from your amazing accomplishments, there might be a few things that you’re missing.

Mainly, your diet.

Changing one’s attitude toward health and fitness is not a quick process; it takes time to make any type of significant change. However, while adding an exercise program to your life is wonderful, you won’t see the results that you want unless you alter your diet as well.

Calorie counting can make a difference, but it can often feel so complicated that people get frustrated and give it up altogether. A better approach to a diet change might be a whole lot easier than you think.

Here are some fantastic suggestions to help you make better and healthier food choices, without giving up all of the things that you love.

Reduce or Change Animal Protein

One of the single greatest hindrances to your diet may be the animal protein that you eat. Beef can be especially crippling to your diet. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that you can never eat steak or a big, juicy burger again; you’ll just want to make different choices.

When you buy beef you’ll want to be aware of the cut that you choose and the part of the animal it comes from. Rib-eye steaks are juicy and rich in flavor, but it’s the high fat content of that particular cut that makes them that way. The next time you buy beef, choose a sirloin tip steak instead of the rib-eye. With a little bit of tasty marinade this cut can taste great and you will save approximately 200 calories and 30 grams of fat per 6 ounce portion.

asian foodThink Asian

Many people who live in countries in Asia enjoy more longevity and a much healthier lifestyle than we do in America. Why is this? Many researchers point to healthier eating habits and greater physical activity as major contributing factors. Before you pack up your suitcase and head to Tokyo, why not incorporate healthier, Asian style food into your menu?

Asian food focuses heavily on vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, often in the form of tofu or fish, and rice. You can combine any or all of these ingredients with some Asian flavors to make a tasty and healthy meal. Sauté your fresh veggies with a little sesame oil and ginger, and add any lean protein of your choice. Chicken or shrimp works well, or you could choose a fried egg. Serve this over a bed or healthy, brown rice and you won’t even miss the potatoes that you might have become accustomed to.

Also, use chopsticks to help you take smaller bites!

When you’ve just started a fitness program it’s important not to skimp on protein. You are trying to build muscle, after all! However, if you choose your proteins more carefully and combine leaner cuts with an abundance of vegetables and healthy carbs, you will feel full and your body will be getting the essential nutrients it needs to get fit.

While it might feel worrisome to think that you’ll never have a rib-eye again, don’t worry. That’s what the occasional cheats are for!

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Exercise for Newbies: Tips to Get Fit

Getting Fit The world that we live in places a great deal of emphasis on health and fitness. We’re constantly bombarded with television ads that make sure that we’re all aware of the fact that we’re woefully out of shape. Images of fit and happy people parade across our television and computer screens, which often make us feel worse about our fitness levels as opposed to feeling inspired.

The good news is that exercise comes in many forms and it’s easy to begin a fitness program that suits your needs and level of activity. Of course, you should always check with your personal physician or healthcare provider for a full checkup before you dive into any exercise regime. However, once you have your doctor’s okay, it’s time to get started on the road to health and wellness.

Self-Assessment

You know your body better than anyone, so a self-assessment of your physical capabilities is a great place to begin. Take a reading of your resting heart rate, then take it again after you walk one mile. A personal heart rate monitor from HeartRateMonitors.com can be an invaluable resource as you begin on your fitness journey.

Assess the time that it takes you to walk one mile and keep track of this time over the course of a few weeks. You can also begin to measure your waist circumference, and keep track of this number as well. Often it’s easier to focus on inches lost rather than pounds.

Choose Your Activity

One of the hardest parts about exercising is feeling motivated to do it on a regular basis. If you’re stuck in an exercise routine that doesn’t make you feel good or one that doesn’t feel like very much fun, you’re more likely to avoid it altogether.

Think about activities that you particularly enjoy. If you’re fond of nature why not find hiking trails and hiking clubs in your area? For those who are fond of the water, swimming is a fantastic exercise that works almost all the muscles in the body and is easy on the joints. Even a set routine of walking around your neighborhood or town is a great way to get started and to make sure that you stick with it.

Personal TrainerThe Trainer Dilemma

When you start on your new fitness program it might seem that hiring a personal trainer at your local gym is a good idea, and for some people it is. However, before you make that decision you should establish that working out in a gym is something that is within the realm of possibility for you.

If you’re interested in working out in a gym, be sure to visit a few of the locations in your area. Set up an appointment with the various personal trainers and ask lots of questions, not only of the trainer but of yourself. Are you motivated enough to maintain a rigorous gym schedule? Is this trainer someone that you can work with? Are you able to take direction and criticism when you’re at your most vulnerable? While working with a trainer can be a great way to get in shape quickly and to learn ways to maintain that fitness, it’s not ideal for everyone.

Deciding to embark on a fitness journey is one of the best choices that you can make for your health. However, we all know that even the best laid plans can go awry. When you’re ready for your personal health and exercise plan to begin, it’s important to start off right. Visit your doctor, do an assessment of your physical condition, choose fun and interesting activities and investigate your local gym.

Once you take that first step toward health you’ll be so glad that you did!


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How Smart Cardio Can Help You Meet Your Weight-Loss Goals

feet on scaleFor many people who are working to achieve fitness goals, cardio workouts inspire intense love/hate relationships. Cardio workouts can be time consuming and monotonous, and after the initial weight loss you may be frustrated when you quickly hit a plateau.

Fitness experts keep saying that cardio is an integral part of a workout routine, but they are also quick to describe all of the ways that we’re doing our cardio wrong. The frequency and duration of cardio workouts, it turns out, are not as important as the intensity.

That’s right, intensity.

It might come as something of a blow to those of us that think an hour on the treadmill while watching cat videos on YouTube counts as cardio. If that statement sounds familiar, read on to learn how you can maximize your cardio workouts and achieve your fitness goals much more quickly.

Map Your Workouts

If you feel like you’re stuck in a cardio rut, don’t despair. You’re not alone. Many people feel quite comfortable in their cardio routine without realizing that they’re likely sabotaging some of their fitness goals.

Start keeping track of your cardio exercises. If you’re running, walking, or cycling, make a note of the distance traveled and the time that you spent doing it. Then decipher your miles per hour rate. Experts say that traveling three miles over the course of an hour each day is the amount of exercise needed to maintain the weight of an average woman. Surely we can do better than that.

Many people use heart rate monitors while they map workouts, as well. Keeping track of your heart rate while you exercise can provide you with important information that will help you move on to more intense workouts.

running at sunriseIncrease the Intensity

Most experts agree that intensity is the key to a successful cardio workout. The human body is uniquely capable of adapting very quickly to exercise. While you might think that your current walking or running routine is sufficient, your body says otherwise with a decline in weight loss.

Start slowly in the beginning but focus on pushing yourself each time you walk, run, or cycle. Alternate your current pace with bursts of speed and lengthen the duration of those bursts over time. For instance, if you would describe the intensity of your workout as a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, try to reach a 5 on the intensity scale for one minute out of each ten minutes that you’re exercising. When that pace begins to feel comfortable, it’s time to move up again.

Experts also advise that you consider varying your cardio workouts. For instance, if you’re a runner you should try cycling once or twice a week to challenge your body and its metabolism.

Cardiovascular fitness is important for overall health and it can be a powerful weight loss tool as well, if done properly. Get a clear picture of your current workouts by keeping notes and using a heart rate monitor, then focus on increasing the intensity of those workouts over time. Before you know it you’ll be stronger, more fit, and much closer to meeting your weight loss goals.


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Fun Activities That Pack a Calorie-Burning Punch

One of the hardest things about exercising and working out is the fact that most of it lacks the element of fun. Sure, you can catch up on episodes of “Scandal” while on the treadmill, but the fact remains that you’re still on a treadmill, and that’s not much fun.

Thankfully, those who create and design workout methods and routines are constantly on the lookout for ways to keep us engaged in exercise. While these workout creations are becoming more fun, they still don’t fully replace immersive games and sports that are challenging, active, and highly entertaining.

If you’re bored with your current workout and would like to add something new to your routine, consider some of these fun activities that just happen to burn a lot of calories.

flying disk on the beachPlaying With Flying Discs

While many of us are known to play with flying discs (like Frisbees) at the beach or at a backyard barbecue, we might not know that an hour of Frisbee can burn over 500 calories. Of course you’ll have to maintain a steady playing pace for that hour, but if you have a high energy child or an enthusiastic dog, you might find that the hour flies right by.

For the really athletic flying disc enthusiasts, see if there is an ultimate league in your area. Played like rugby but with a disc in place of a ball, ultimate is a high-energy, fun way to work out.

Horseback Riding

Learning to ride a horse can be difficult, but it is also a very physically challenging pursuit. Ask an experienced rider if an hour in the saddle is a workout and they’ll overwhelmingly agree that it is. Almost every muscle in the body needs to be engaged to maintain the proper position in the saddle, as well as to control the 1,200 pound animal you’re sitting on.

An hour spent actively in the saddle can burn as many as 400 calories. A simple trail ride at a walk won’t be enough, however. You’ll need to really work yourself and your horse to achieve the maximum fitness potential that riding offers.

Hiking

Hiking is one of the best ways to get out of a boring workout routine and into something new and different. However, if you really want to maximize your hikes you should consider hiking with a loaded pack.

A few heavy books or water bottles can act as weights, and as you hike with twenty or thirty extra pounds, you’re really taking your efforts to the next level. Your leg and back muscles get a great workout, and you’re raising your cardio benefits, too. Increase the weight over time for maximum results.

putting on rollarbladesSkating

Whether you’re on ice or asphalt, skating is a fun and physical activity that can burn more calories than walking. Fast paced and engaging, skating is perfect for those who want to try something other than walking or running. It’s also relatively low impact so it’s easier on the joints.

Find a skating rink in your area and take the kids or your friends for a fun workout that strengthens your whole body.

It can be a real challenge to keep our workouts fun and exciting while maintaining their health benefits. Try some of these activities to reap the physical and mental rewards.