Bringing Back The Motivation : 9 Ways to Keep You Motivated

Even the most motivated us can lose our motivation. There are times we don't feel like doing anything or even not thinking of anything. We get into slump that making positive changes seems to be difficult. 

But's not a hopeless thing! A small step can lead to giant step. You can get started down the road to positive change.

Yes, I know it seems impossible at times. You don't feel like doing anything. I've been there, in fact I still feel the same time after time. So you're not alone. 

When I fall out of exercise due to illness, busy with work or simply just being lazy. It's hard to get started again. But, I've always found way to break out of the slump and here are the things that I've learned :

1. One Goal. Whenever I’ve been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal. 

2.Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. 

3.Get excited. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.

 4.Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.

5. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.

6.Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back.

7.Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day.

8.Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.

9.Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really. Seriously

How To Plan Your Exercise Program

"He fails to plan, plan to fail" -Proverb-

Starting fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight and even help you to sleep better. It's easy to say that you will exercise every day, most worthwhile activity require planning..starting and maintaining a physical activity program does too. When you are designing exercise program keep these points in mind :
  • What's is your fitness goals - Everyone has different goals when it comes to fitness, some just starting an exercise, you may want to lose weight. Others may have prepare for marathon, and for some people it's just maintaining their fitness goals. You and me have different fitness goals. So, choose which you want to achieve. 
  •  Make excercise top priority - You know already the benefits of doing physical activity. If you want to look good, feel good, shed excess fat, increase your energy levels, and feel relaxed and happy, make commitment for healthier lifestyle. Put exercise as your top priority, make time for it and stop making excuses.
  • Design a balanced routine - You don't want to go overboard with your exercise or get injured. For sure you don't want to lose muscles because you are doing too much of cardio exercise but neglecting weight training. Draw an activity plan when you can train your muscle groups as well your cardio. To shed some kilos you don't actually need to exercise for many hours. Aim for 60- 150 minutes of moderate activity. 

  • Plan your recovery time - Many people start exercising by working out too intense or too long and give up when their muscles and joints become sore. Plan time between sessions to rest your body and muscle growth.
  • Write down your plan - A written plan will help you to  stay on track. 
  • Be creative with your plan - There are many things you can do to improve your health. Thousands of weight training you can do, also different activities for your cardio. You can mix it up to avoid plateau. You can join dance classes, you can run, or you can use the elliptical machine..sooo keep you off from boredom.
  • Review your plans and goals - You may find that you can gradually increase some activities while others just too hard. You could find new activities, find more convenient times or trying new exercise.
  • Track your progress - This will keep you motivated and strive more in the future. Reaching your goal will give you more confidence and self-esteem. 

Low Carb My Way!

My first encounter with low carb diet was when I was trying to lose weight. I've done different types of diets and even tried some diet pills. They didn't workout well. I met my trainer and he suggested me to do low carb. So, that time I looked and searched whole informations about low carb.

When it comes to low carb, we always refer to Atkins diet. But I'm not a total fan of Atkins Diet but I'm a big fan of low carb diet. My low carb diet is modification from Atkins, South Beach or any other low carb diets. I do admend some of Atkins rule in low carb and alter it to my own calorie needs and activities. I'm quite active person, 5 times a week in the gym and I do half marathon 3 times a week.

So, as for my low carb is nothing but eating plan. And low carb doesn't mean I eat nothing but fats and proteins. I'm just consuming fewer carbs than other people. I eliminate almost all simple carbs except fruits, and fruits I only take low sugar and medium sugar fruits such as apple, pear, strawberry or avocado. I really go low on sugar intake. Put away all those sugary drinks and switch to total water, sometimes I mix it with lemon slices to vary.

Low carb my way is more eliminate all the bad carbs such as noodle, white rice, potatoes, starchy food, even to brown rice. For breakfast, I consume a low carb biscuits. Afterwards, I minimize my carb intake.  For energy boost before running or workout just apple and cheese string.         

It's very easy to do, I don't time when I have to eat. Whenever I'm hungry,I eat ( low carb of course ). Just take it easy, low carb is not that hard. Do it your own way because you know yourself better.

Happy Low Carbing!

Reasons Why Your Exercises Are Not Effective

Reason #1 : Cardio is Enough

Dr. Kenneth Copper the father of aerobic is finally admitted aerobics itself is not the one and only solution to fat loss. However, the latest survey stated over 80% women still not put the resistance training into their weight loss program. Why exercising with resistance is necessary ? The amount of calories that you burn during exercise is pretty minimal. The vast majority of the calories burned because of exercise are burned in the hours after you have finished exercising. And the length and amount of this ‘after-burn’ are determined by both the intensity of the exercise and the amount of muscle used during the exercise period..not by the amount of time spent exercising!!! So remember…you can exercise hard, or you can exercise long…but you can’t exercise hard for long.

Reason #2 : Resting Too Long Between Sets During Resistance Training
I have seen many people in the gym, who spend their resting time by checking messages in their phone or talking to the person who is next to them. 
When you exercise a muscle, you are ‘breaking the muscle down’…tiring it out. However, the human body is a fascinating machine. The muscle that you just exercised to failure will regain about 50% of its initial strength in the first of 10 seconds rest. After one minute the muscle will regain its strength by 90%. So, if our purpose is to ‘break the muscle down’ with exercise, why on earth would we want to let it recover (almost) fully between sets? That means that we are starting each set almost from the beginning again. How inefficient is that?

Reason #3 : Poor Technique
You have the best fitness program that no one can beat, incredible motivation and amazing nutrition plan. But if you are not performing the exercises correctly, your results are still going to be far from optimum. Any exercise that is not performed correctly will only result injury. And if you are not performing the exercise correctly, you may be exercising completely different muscles than you think you are.

Reason #5 : Doing Outdated Exercise
We are living in the year 2012 now where many exercises have been improved and modified in order to minimize injury. Open up yourself to different types of exercise so you always have options and avoiding plateau. It's time to freshen up your routine and give yourself challenges in exercise. 

Reason #6 : Crunches Help Lose Belly Fat 
There is no proof doing 100 reps of crunches will shed the fat around your belly. Studies have shown that the belly fat area is most responsive to cardio and diet ( avoiding refined carbs, sugar and trans fat ). Speed up the process by cardio and resistance training. My favorite is planks. I still do crunches but limited only to 20 reps and do back up afterward.

What's In The Diet Pills ?

Many of you who have overweight or obesity problem must have tried diet pills. I have to confess, that I have used different type of diet pills, not just pills, the slimming tea, and even laxative. Anything that says "melt away the pounds", "fat burner" I would buy it. Did they work? Yes, but only for short term! When I stopped consuming those pills, I gained more weight and my body become resistant to the pills.

The funny thing is, I lost weight by doing low carb which I design to my own need. So, I came to a conclusion, the actual fat burners are come from real food!
Herbal diet pills, even though they are "all natural" can have potentially dangerous side effects depending upon their ingredients. "Herbal" does not necessarily means "safe".

However, I still curious what's inside the diet pills. Why they can make promises losing weight so quick? When you read the ingredients are you familiar with the names ? Most diet pills mainly contain of these ingredients below :

1. Orlistat ( Xenical ) - is used as fat blockers and remove excess fats through the intestines. These drugs also reduce the body's absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients.

2. Sibutramine - normally used as appetite suppressants stimulate the sympathetic nervouse system, which can raise blood pressure and heart rate.

3. Ephedrine - Many use this drug as dietary supplement to purpose weigh loss and body building. Consuming too much of this drug will cause stroke, and heart attack.

4. Norepinephrine and epinephrine - are chemicals that dictate metabolic responses within the body, such as oxygen release in muscles, blood vessel dilation and constriction and raising blood pressure. They are commonly used to treat depression.
( In my opinion )these drugs probably consumed to maintain "the happy feeling" so we can stick to our exercise.

Surely, diet pills are not a magic solution for weight loss. If you can eat real food why bother taking diet pills?

Recovery After Exercise

We are all know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to a high level performance, but many still feel over train and feel guilty when we are taking a day off. Rest is physically important so that muscle can repair, rebuild and restrengthen. In worst cast scenario, having too few rest can lead to over training syndrome.

 Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.

If you’re just starting out in exercise, it’s important that you build into it slowly to allow you’re body to adapt to the demands of sport. Maybe try exercising on two consecutive days, but have a rest on the third day. If you just keep going, without any rest, your body will soon start to fatigue and you’ll find it difficult to complete any exercise sessions. 

If you have just started physical activity or performed a new exercise for the first time, you might be feeling a little sore or stiff but don’t start doubting all those promises of feeling better for exercising just yet. In most cases this is a reaction from your body as it tries to adapt to the new experience. Starting exercise or performing a new movement pattern can result in:
• Severe muscle soreness
• Muscle stiffness
• Decreases in strength
• Decreases in skill levels

For those who are more experienced exercisers and are maybe training for an event, rest and recovery is also vitally important.

Plan your training carefully, include rest days where you let you’re body recover from the stress and begin to adapt to the training. Try thinking ahead to the race/event date, plan different sessions for each week. Maybe do a couple of weeks of more intensive and hard sessions, but follow that with an ‘easy week’ where you’re body can adapt to all the hard training you’ve been doing .

There are things you can do to help you recover after exercise :

1. Sleep is one of the most important forms of rest and provides time for the body to adapt to the physical and mental demands of training.
• Make sure you’re getting enough sleep (8hours per night is a good guideline)
• Ensure your sleep is good quality, make sure the room is dark, quiet and peaceful.
Passive resting such as reading and listening to music are great ways for the body to relax, both physically and mentally.

2. Cool-down routines are important. If you cease exercise immediately, without cooling down, blood lactate buildup in the muscle tissue won’t be flushed away as efficiently, resulting in muscle soreness and swelling. Cooling down after exercise gives your muscles time to buffer the lactic acid, and it keeps the blood flowing through your capillaries, which reduces lactic acid buildup.

3. Rehydrate yourself after exercising.
Post-workout dehydration causes several unwanted conditions:
  • Waste products will remain in your muscle tissue, increasing your post-workout muscle soreness
  • Thicker blood stresses your cardiovascular system
  • Dehydration significantly reduces mental and physical performance
  • Nutrients, especially the serum amino acid needed for protein synthesis, will not be delivered to your muscle tissue as efficiently
Your recovery from exercise is dependent upon re hydrating yourself after working out. This is the most important step you can take. If you neglect re hydration, your recovery will stall completely.