Buying A Gym Pass – Stretch Your Cash And Shrink Your Waist

Buying a gym pass can be a great motivational tool to keep you working out. However, in these tough economic times, every dollar counts. So what is going to work best for both your bank account and to reduce belly fat?

Length of pass

A 12 month membership can be a scary outlay on the wallet, especially all in go, so a shorter length of time can be more affordable as a one-off cost. Beware of 1 day passes as these are the most expensive way to get into a gym. Multiply the number of times you would go in a week or a month and you will see what we mean.

One month passes can be good if you are only looking at a quick fix before, say, a vacation. Why quick fix? Well, normally once the month is up most people take a planned or unplanned breather before they join again. If this coincides with your vacation, great. However if it is only going to coincide with a rest on the couch, it may be not such a good plan. Before you know it you will be right back where you started, needing another gym pass.

Three month passes will be more costly as an outlay, but when you split it over the 3 months you should come out a long way in front. If the amount is too shocking for the bank balance see if the gym will split the payment up into installments. Right now, those scenarios are becoming more likely as gyms and health clubs scramble for members. (You also will not be the only person asking.)

The other great benefit of a 3 month pass is that by the end of the 12 or 13 weeks you will be into a totally new and better routine. Your mind and body will have become accustomed to hitting the gym and you are less likely to stop going when your time is up. (Bear in mind that some bad habits can take longer than a month to break.)

Other features to look for

Of course, one of the only good things about a downturn in the economy is the fact that many gyms and health clubs are offering better deals. See what sort of incentives are out there before getting that gym membership.
* Free personal trainers and nutritionists can literally save you a fortune. While most gyms will offer a trainer free initially, see how many complimentary consultations you are entitled to.
* Free child minding facilities. Why pay for a sitter at home if you can get free child minding? Check out the staff’s qualifications and that the kiddy area is in fact child friendly.

Cost effective measures.

* Share with friends. Some gyms offer incentives  such as friends can work out for free. If any of your friends belong to gyms why not try these gyms for free before committing yourself. Taking friends for free is also great motivation to stop you jamming out when you first get started.
* Car pool with friends or colleagues can be a great way to save on fuel and car maintenance. It is also another great motivator to get you going.
* Medical insurance. Check with your health or medical insurance to see whether you are entitled to any sort of rebate. Many insurance companies are promoting pro active health measures to minimize health claims down the track.
* Employer’s discounts. Those people who work for large corporations may be entitled to gym discounts. Do your research.

The fine print.

* Extras. Check out that the pool and any special classes like Pilates, aqua aerobics, etc are covered in your membership.
* Class times. If you are wanting to take a few classes it can be worth your while to ensure that the classes are running when you can get there.
* Variety of machines. Before handing over your cash check out the machines and facilities. Does the gym have everything that you might want or need?

Conclusion.

Stretch your dollar while you shrink your waist line with a monthly or 3 monthly gym pass. These are far more cost effective than a day or week pass and will provide the extra motivation to keep you working out.

Find A Reason For More Successful Weight Loss

Want to lose weight or get fitter, but can’t find the motivation? You need to find a reason to hit the gym, or to start a new diet. Saying “I will start on Monday” is for many, just not enough incentive. Try some of these strategies to help yourself get off the couch, restock the fridge, and reduce belly fat.

* Special occasion. Circle the date on the calendar and set yourself realistic goals. This would be for most, 1-2 pounds per week. Whenever you feel like eating that chocolate cookie, or skipping your workout, visualise the new outfit that yu want to wear.  For extra encouragement  try posting a picture on the fridge or bedside table to remind you why you are getting up early to go for a jog, and why you are not eating the pizza. Birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, vacations, they all work extremely well, just set that date before you start.

* Medical reason. Your doctor may have already given you a warning, or suggested, subtly or not, that you need to lose a few pounds, drop the blood pressure, or reduce your waistline.  You may have a family history of strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes. You may have seen someone in our family struggle to get around with the bad back or knees, lugging those extra pounds.

These are all extremely good motivators to get you going. If they are not, schedule a visit to your doctor and hear the scary facts for yourself. Better still, get some tests done and then let the doctor tell you what could be improved just with some diet and exercise. Don’t forget many health issues today (like diabetes type 2) are avoidable just by making healthy choices.

* Self esteem. Feeling fantastic can make a huge difference to your self esteem. If you see yourself in a more positive light, then so will the rest of the world. If those extra pounds are eroding your confidence, get rid of them. Think about how much better you are going to feel, when trim, taut, and terrific.

* Have more energy.
Tired of being tired? Need more energy to play with the dog, kids, or grandchildren? Being unfit, or carrying excess pounds makes you more tired. Once you start your new regime you will notice within a couple of weeks the extra stamina you have. Once you start having fun it should be easy to keep on going.

* Revenge. For those who have suffered some personal turmoil, like a heart break, there can be nothing better than looking and feeling fantastic. Yep, everyone might down a few beers or take solace in the ice cream for a short while but then it is time to get it together. After the chocolate and pizza mourning stage, you will want to be seen putting your very best foot forward. No-one is worth gaining 10 pounds for, or going up a dress size. If that isn’t enough, think about how you will feel in your new outfit when you bump into your ex looking better than ever.

* Appearance. Wanting to look better in your jeans, swimmers, or workout gear is a great reason on its own to shape up. No-one likes to feel embarrassed about how they look. Move your smaller clothes to the front of your closet where you can see them each and every day.

* Embarrassment in public. Maybe the thought of being seen in public, or eating out, or even doing the groceries, brings you out in a cold sweat. Perhaps you worry what others are thinking when they see you eat, or not eat. Maybe you just don’t want to embarrass your kids or your partner.

* Space.
Some people just start to get upset about the amount of space they take up in the office. Or perhaps they are tired of not fitting into seats on the plane or the cinema.

Conclusion.

Use a valid reason, whether it be health, vanity or something else, to help get you into your shorts. Once you have found something you feel passionately about, and have set yourself realistic goals, the rest will follow on more easily.


For Best Results Be Consistent With Your Exercise Programs

The only way you are going to see a result from your workout regime is if you are persistent and regular. If you want to shape up, lose weight, or reduce belly fat, then it is vital to be consistent with your exercise programs. If you only run 5 miles once a week, or get to the gym once every blue moon you are never going to see results.

Every day events such as work meetings, sick kids, illness, and inclement weather may all stop you once in a while from getting in your workout. However, there are plenty of little tactics you can employ to keep your workouts going on a more regular basis.

Strategies to help with consistency:

* Choose the same time of day. Find a part of the day that works for you and stick to it. Maybe it is first thing in the morning when the house is asleep, your lunch hour, after you have dropped the kids at school, before bed, or after work. The more convenient the time slot, the easier it will be for you to do your workout. Interestingly enough, many exercise studies have shown that those people who workout first thing in the morning tend to stick to their programs on a long term basis better than any other exercise group.

* Don’t expect results overnight. It can take from a few weeks to even longer to see the results of your hard work in the mirror. Don’t let this stop you.

* Enlist a friend or your family. Get your partner or kids in on the action when they are around. If you are jogging with your spouse or kids at specific times it becomes much harder to give it a miss. Workout buddies with the same goals as yourself are also great. Between the two of you, you should be able to keep the excuses at bay.

* Buy a gym membership. Financial commitments have been proven to work effectively for most people wanting to get fit or lose weight. Select a gym that is convenient and is open at times that will suit you. Health clubs on the way to or from work can make excellent locations.

* Set up a home gym. This can be an excellent option for those who are really pushed for time, or are housebound with children. Find time in your routine when you are least likely to be disturbed (maybe when everyone else is asleep?). The fact that you have spent the money on the equipment should be enough to get you started initially.

* Exercise even when you don’t want to. Yep, we all have days when we don’t want to get out of bed, or leave the office to hit the gym. However, unless you are genuinely ill or injured, you should make yourself go. A half-hearted workout is still better than none at all. This also prevents you from skipping too many workouts in a row. What’s more, you will feel much better when you have completed your activity than you did before you started. It is much more important to have consistency with your workout program than perfection.

* Have a back up plan. There will be times when you are snowed in, the kids are sick, or the boss is having a melt down, and your usual workout regime will have to be set aside. In these instances it can be good to have an alternative plan. A brisk walk (weather permitting), a ride on an exercise bike set up at home, or even resistance band training can all make for great substitutes.

How often should you workout?

Apart from heavy duty weight lifters who need to recover between sessions, just about everybody else can exercise from 3 times a week to every day. Those people who can only manage a few times a week should try to space them out.

* Weight lifters. Those people who are lifting heavy weights, need up to 48 hours between workouts to enable the muscle tears to heal.

* Walkers and runners. Walking and running are both activities that can be done daily. Those who run extremely long distances may need at least one day off weekly to give their bodies a chance to recover.

* Health clubs, gyms, and classes. Try for a minimum of 3-4 times weekly.

Conclusion.

Exercise programs are most successful when they are consistent. Regular exercise at least several times a week is needed for noticeable results. Your body will get fitter and stronger faster when you employ a regular workout routine.

Tips To Stay Motivated For Exercise And Beat Exercise Boredom

One of the hardest things to conquer when working out on a regular basis is exercise boredom. If you are starting to feel ho-hum about your work out, or feel that you could do it blindfolded, then perhaps it is time to implement some changes. Read on for some simple tips to help you stay motivated for exercise.

* Change locations. A change is as good as a holiday. If you are tired of looking at the same walls of your health club, or the same scenery on your morning walk, change the venue. For those exercising indoors, take it outside. If you normally workout in the great outdoors try something inside. If you normally run around the block, why not try an exercise bike indoors in front of the TV?

* Setting new goals can be a great way to keep up the motivation. Do you want to lose a few more pounds? Increase the biceps? Drop a further dress size? Lower your BMI? Lower your blood pressure? Reevaluate your reasons for working out and you will easily find new reasons to maintain the exercise.

* Take a break. If you are truly fed up you may well be burned out. Try taking a break for a couple of days and see if you feel any better. It can be easy to mistake boredom for burn out. If you don’t feel any better after a few days, then it is time to change to a new activity.

* Up the ante, make it harder. You may well be bored because it is now too easy. Set yourself new challenges and go for it. How much faster can you run or pedal? How much heavier can you lift? Can you run, swim, walk, or pedal further? Of course you can.

* Change the activity. No one is going to be inspired to run the same course for a year. No one wants to swim the same laps day in, day out either. If you only do the one form of exercise, think about swapping to something else. Better still incorporate some new activities and mix them around. Not only does this alleviate boredom, but will all also help reduce injuries from repetitively performing the same movements.

* Gadgets such as pedometers, heart rate monitors, stop watches, and even games on an exercise bike can add new interest to your workout.

* Have a workout buddy. This means that you have someone to socialize with, making working out a much more pleasant event. Chatting while working out should help to prevent boredom from setting in, and the pair of you should be able to think of fun activities to keep the fitness up. Having a workout buddy also makes it harder to cancel your workout.

* Select fun routines. Try and incorporate activities that you actually enjoy doing. Skating, swimming, biking, running, walking, skiing, rowing, dancing, yoga, or chasing the kids, there are plenty of fun ways to keep fit. Performing activities that you don’t enjoy, or even dislike, will not keep your interest in the long term, or even probably the short term.

If you are walking, biking, or running, take an Ipod and listen to your favorite music. If you ride an exercise bike or run on a treadmill, set up your home gym so that you can watch the news, movies, or whatever you don’t get a chance to normally do. This will enable you to see your exercise as a treat and not a burden. Some exercise bikes even have magazine or book holders attached so that you can catch up on your reading while pedaling away furiously.

Conclusion.

Staying motivated for exercise can be easy when you know how. Changes in scenery, equipment, and goals are all simple and effective ways to prevent exercise boredom.

Simple Vacation Exercise Tips – Don’t Bring Home Excess Poundage

Going on vacation is a time for fun, relaxation, eating, drinking, being merry, and unfortunately for many of us, a time for the pounds to creep back on. A relaxation of the usual exercise regime, a little too much of the food and drink, or a combination of both, no-one wants to come home with excess baggage in the shape of extra love handles as their vacation souvenir. Easy vfacation exercise tips provide a win-win situation no matter what type of vacation you are planning.

Nobody should have to totally dedicate their down time to counting carbs, fats and calories. Neither should you have to spend the whole time on the Stairmaster or rowing machine. By following some of these simple strategies, you can retain your fitness while on vacation:

* Pack your sand shoes.
This is pretty much a no-brainer. Without your workout shoes you will not be able to go for a quick walk or jog, or utilize any gym equipment you come across.
* Pack your workout gear and swim shorts. Even if there is not a pool or ocean in sight your swimmers at a pinch can double up for doing yoga or crunches in your hotel room.
* Resistance bands are lightweight and versatile. Pack a DVD or just memorize your favorite routine. Using just a door handle or a chair as props will give you a great resistance workout. You can get an all over workout without leaving your room.
* A beach towel can be used on the carpet for floor work or instead of a yoga mat.
* Exercise DVDs from home are a great choice for doing workouts in your room. Incorporate the exercise bands for a great workout.
* In-house gyms are ideal for the fitness fanatic accustomed to a gym. Try to go when the equipment is not in full use so you don’t end up spending your whole vacation waiting to use the treadmill.
* In-house fitness classes can be a better option then the gym. You will not have to spend time waiting to use the equipment, just pitch up and participate in the work out class.
* Family friendly activities such as roller blading, roller skating, ice skating, hiking, bush walking, throwing the frisbee, or flying a kite are all great ways for the entire family to burn off that huge breakfast. Bike riding is another great pursuit that all members of the family can participate in.
* Action vacations such as sailing, surfing, ski-ing or snow boarding, or trekking up a mountain, are all great ways to burn up plenty of calories and improve the whole family’s fitness levels.
* Walk around to see the sights. You will see far more of a foreign destination by getting around on foot. Walking ensures plenty of time for photos, working up an appetite, and no-one missing the sights being the driver.
* Ride a bike. Not only will you be burning calories, but you will be saving on your gas bill, and being kind to the environment. The best exercise bikes will have plenty of gears for those unexpected challenges. Don’t forget to wear your bike helmet.
* Get up early and go for a brisk walk or jog before the day begins. This can work well for the time challenged tourist. Exercising at the start of the day means that it is done, no matter what happens later.
* Dancing on tables is an underrated way to burn up a few calories after consuming all those drinks.
* Latest techno gadgets include an MP3 player by Yamaha called BODiBEAT which cleverly plays songs off your downloads that match the speed of your heart rate. You can also get a heart monitor that clips to your ear. VersaStick is another compact little package weighing just 3 pounds, and approved by airlines to travel in carry on luggage. This little gem includes a snap together bar, bands, and instructional DVD that incorporates core, cardio resistance, and other selections, for an all round 30 minute cardio workout.

Conclusion.

A vacation should be a time to relax and unwind. Incorporating a little easy and enjoyable exercise can put a stop to vacation weight gains and loss of fitness.

Staying Motivated In The Summer Heat Is Easy – Sweat Don’t Melt!

Summer has arrived. It is time to pack away those winter woolens and drag out the cut off shorts and swimmers. Are we panicking yet? Looking at last year’s bikini can assist many with staying motivated in the summer heat. For others, the outdoors heat is enough of an excuse to stay indoors and turn up the air conditioner.

For fitness fanatics and those on a new summer inspired fitness regime, exercising in summer has many great benefits and also a few hazards. Follow these tips to ensure that you don’t end up with heat stroke while working out in the summer heat:

* Drink plenty of fluids. Water is a vital component of not suffering from heat exhaustion. If you are not sure how much you should rehydrate yourself, weigh yourself before and after an exercise session. The weight you have just lost is from lost water. Every kilo (2.2 pounds) lost is equivalent to 1 liter of water (4 cups) that you need to drink. Exercise drinks containing electrolytes can be invaluable for restoring balance when you become significantly dehydrated. It is a great idea to have a drink 20 minutes before you start exercising and then have a drink every 15 minutes once you start.

* Wear sunscreen.
Waterproof and sweat resistant sunscreen is best. You do not need to burn your skin while you are burning up calories and fat grams.

* Appropriate hours. The worst hours to exercise outdoors in summer are between 10am and 3pm. This is when the UV rays are at their most damaging, and the temperatures are generally higher. Exercising early in the morning, or later in the afternoon when the temperatures are lower will be much more pleasant and less damaging to your body.

* Be temperature aware. Once the temperature reaches dangerously high on the thermometer, it is time to move your activities indoors, or wait until it cools down.

* Go to the gym.
An air conditioned gym can make a pleasant and safer environment than exercising outdoors getting sunburned and heat stroke.

* Home exercise in a dedicated home gym with air conditioning or a good fan can be another sensible idea. Resistance bands, a fitness ball, and a Life Fitness recumbent exercise bike can make for an excellent and cost effective work out routine.

* Wear appropriate clothes that allow you to sweat, your skin to breathe, and you to move freely. Sun sensible clothes may be necessary in the middle of the day, which is another reason why it is better to exercise early in the morning or later in the evening.

* Stick to the shade.
If you are walking, jogging, or running in the warmer parts of the day stick to shady paths. The decrease in temperature and UV rays is hugely dramatic.

* Wear a hat to ensure that you do not fry the top of your head. A sunburned scalp is extremely painful and speeds up the process of heat exhaustion.

* Swap to water sports. This not only refreshing but cooling. Your body is far less likely to overheat when swimming laps or doing aqua aerobics.

Conclusion.

Staying motivated in the summer heat can be simple. To maintain your fitness levels and a bikini worthy body stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and drink plenty of water. If all else fails, exercise in air conditioned comfort.

Fitness Magazines – Inspirational Or Depressing?

Fitness magazines have become increasingly popular as more and more of the population looks for newer methods to beat the bulge and improve their health and fitness. Take a look at the magazine rack in your local store. Every month there seems to be more magazines dedicated to all the various genres of fitness. Weightlifting, men’s fitness, women’s fitness, weight loss, and the list goes on.

Are we finding these magazines motivating and helpful or are they just portraying unrealistic images that many of us will never be able to achieve? Should we believe some of the celebrities featured in these publications who claim they don’t watch what they eat, and stay bikini slim from running around the yard with their kids? (You have to admit, we have all read that statement from plenty of famous people.)

This begs the question, if they don’t watch what they eat and just run around with their children, how come the rest of us don’t look like them? Obviously, some of these folk may be blessed with great genes and a fast metabolism, but let’s not forget that many of these families have personal chefs and imported meals, which makes it incredibly easy to stay on track nutritionally.

So do we find these magazines helpful or depressing? There are always many informative articles in these publications that all of us can implement. The god or goddess on the cover is just there as a lure to get you to pick up the magazine. Those great images have been airbrushed. By all means, stick them on your fridge door as motivation when you next reach for the bottle of beer or chocolate bar.

The important thing is to not compare yourself too critically to a creature on a cover who has put in weeks, months, or even years at the gym, or with a personal trainer, to then be airbrushed. Fitness models often do not have a full time job dragging them out of the gym. Looking trim, taut and terrific with a 6 pack is their job.

We could all look like the cover guys and gals if we had the time to spend on our fitness that they do. Read the articles, be inspired, and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t look like the featured models.

Health and fitness should encompass your body and your mind. Set yourself realistic goals. Follow a nutritious diet. Incorporate a well rounded exercise campaign, including cardio and muscle resistance.

Use those fitness magazines to your advantage. Use the models as healthy inspiration if you want to. Don’t become depressed and discouraged if you do not end up with the same results. Remember that the image you are chasing has in all likelihood been airbrushed and photo-shopped.

Starting A Fitness And Exercise Program – Things You Need To Know

Once you have decided to start a fitness and exercise program, it is very easy to become over enthusiastic and do too much, too soon. Just another 5 minutes, just another set, just one more lap, is a very easy trap to fall into. We all want to see the results straight away. However, jump in too fast, and the only results you will be seeing will be sprains, strains and injuries.

The key to starting your fitness and exercise program is moderation. The most important step of all is to start off nice and slow. It is also advisable to consult with a medical practitioner before starting any new program if you have been out of action for a while.

Those who have been active in the past, or have done plenty of exercise, will find that they will bounce back into their fitness programs relatively quickly. However, just because you used to run 5 miles a day 10 years ago does not mean that you will be able to, or should even contemplate, doing that the first session back.

The most important part of any exercise campaign is the warm up and cool down. Warm ups and cool downs are essential for not straining any muscles or ligaments. 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of every session will vastly improve how your muscles feel the next day.

The first few sessions of your fitness

The Many Benefits Of Daily Stretching Routines

Stretching routines are beneficial for everybody, irrespective of your age or fitness level. One of the best end results from a daily stretch routine is that your muscles will lengthen, giving you increased flexibility and mobility over time. Those day to day activities that may be a little pesky now will become easier and easier once you start to stretch.

As well as increased mobility, a regular stretching program will improve your muscle coordination, decrease tension in your muscles, reduce lethargy, and increase the blood supply to all parts of your body. Many aches and pains can simply vanish after a regular stretching program has been started. Two great examples of this are the dreaded back or neck pain, and knee pain.

Many people assume that stretching is something you do before and after an exercise routine. Nothing could be further from the truth. A stretching program is going to benefit you even if you never set foot in a gym or run 5 miles. Many people opt to do their stretching first thing in the morning or after they have warmed up in the shower. The important point is to choose a time of day that is easy for you to incorporate as part of your daily routine.

Stretching before and after an exercise program will ensure that your muscles recover faster, less chances of strains and sprains, less muscle pain, and a much less likelihood of injury.

Stretching safely.

Follow these tips to ensure you don’t do yourself an injury while you are stretching: