Shape it up

I am sorry Daily Heard fans that I have not been here to give you your daily dose of me. I have been on a little hiatus. Life happens out there folks, and I was off dealing with it. But have no fear, I am back and coming at you daily once again. And apparently just in the nick of time with the state of affairs of things out there in the big, bad world. And not to mention the holiday season’s coming up. Arghh, trapped inside with your families for hours and hours, days and days, you will need some comic relief, less you pop and go all crazy like. So without further ado…

I was at the gym last night working out, a little upset about the fact that it had been dark outside for the past 2 hours and it was barely 7 o’clock. When it dawned on me that the gym was pretty much empty. As much as I dislike this time of year because of the time change and the lack of sunshine, I do love the fact that I never have to wait for a bench I want to use, a treadmill being free, or a station being mobbed by a bunch of noobs who don’t know what the term “work in a set” means when I am at the gym. The gym is free of these “kill myself for a week” warriors that usually flood the gym when they catch a glance of their pale flabby bodies when the first rays of sunshine come back for at least the next 4 months. But realistically I don’t mind these people either. I like the fact that I see people in the gym trying to get in shape. I actually deplore that term “in shape.” Listen folks, one day I too will be round as many of you are out there, and round is a shape. So, I guess what I want to say is get into better shape. I am getting off on a tangent, the point I am trying to make is that all of the people that make a commitment to themselves during spring and summer have all but given up trying to get into better shape, because it is time to wear sweaters, jackets, and other baggy clothes that conceal our gelatinous masses while we masquerade as people trying to stay warm. It really isn’t that hard to get in and then stay in good shape. There are a few secrets on how to do it. We all want to be healthy and active, which promotes a healthy and more energetic us. And I am going to share those secrets with you.
There is no sure fire way to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club men or look like Jessica Alba in Sin City ladies, but what these tips will do is help you feel stronger, more energetic, and more confident about yourself. And we all need that. So with out further fanfare here are Heard’s Six Secrets to building and maintaining a better you.

1 Goal Setting-why are you working out?
You need to answer this question. Are you trying to train for a 5K run, do you need extra energy to chase your 1-year old daughter who is crawling all over the house, or do you want to pack on 20 pounds of muscle to try to impress the ladies? It is important to know why you are going to the gym, so that you continue to go. There are no bad goals, there are no bad reasons to go to the gym, but you need to clearly define them so that you stayed motivated so that you can reach them. Write it down and place it somewhere where you will see it on a daily basis. The goal is to reach your goal!

2 Make a schedule and stick to it
Just 45 mins to an hour, 4 times a week is all you really need to get into good shape. Pick the days you will go, and go on those days. Do not let any thing stand in your way from going. Skip happy hour, DVR your favorite show you might miss, and tell your bag of potato chips “No!” No more excuses, just go!

3 Mix it up
There is no one set routine you should focus on. But you do need to do a combination of exercises. Show up to the free aerobics class at the gym and do that 2 nights a week, yoga, pilates, or basketball or racquetball. It doesn’t matter if you are good or not, all that matters is that you are out there, doing explosive movements, and having fun while you are getting your lungs and heart in shape. The other two times a week figure out a weight program. You do not have to lift super heavy. The biggest deterrent one has in the gym is his own ego. Don’t worry about lifting more or less than anyone else. You are not there to compete against that person, you are there to reach your own goals. The only person you are competing against is yourself. You don’t want to lift weights for over 45 mins. The routine you follow for lifting should follow like this; start by jogging or ridding the bike for 6 to 8 minutes to warm up your muscles. Immediately start your weight routine (30 to 45 mins). When you finish, stretch for 10 mins when you are done, then go home. You can find any number of work out routines online, in magazines, or ask some of the guys/gals at the gym that are in the shape that you want to be in what they do. Trust me, they will be flatttered that you think they are in good shape (why do you think they are there?) and will be more than willing to give you some ideas, or at least point you in the right direction. But beware of the crazy twice a day, 2 hours a workout, 100 set regiments. Just say, “Thank you,” and then back away slowly.

4 Your weight doesn’t matter-Leave the scale alone
This is such a problem for most gym goers. They get discouraged because in the first couple of weeks they lose weight, but then after that, the weight is magically back. They get down on themselves because they think it is not working, and then quit. I see this in 80% of the people in the gym. But what they don’t realize is that when one works out their body chemistry changes, they start burning off the fat they have been storing on their bodies which accounts for the weight loss. But then as they begin to build lean muscle mass they gain the weight back, even though their bodies are shaping up the way they want them to look. Fact, muscle weighs more than fat. Fact, as you lose weight you are burning off fat. And as you had hoped you are replacing flabby, fatty abs with toned, muscular abs. Replacing flat, droopy butts with toned muscular glutes. The weight might be more, but the visual affect is what you were aiming for. That is why scales are evil. They often derail people because they think they are failing, when it is actually showing your success.

5 Eat-A LOT!
I am often surprised how many people don’t know how to eat. Your body is a machine. You need to add fuel to it to keep it running. But like anything, if you fill it with junk, or overfill it, or under fill it it will not work at its optimum capacity. Your body is no different. The best thing you can do for your body is eat 5 to 6 times a day, small meals. You must eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. But what about in between? You should eat small meals that average about 300 to 450 calories per about every 2 hours.
You also need to be aware of what kind of food you are putting into your body. I eat at fast food restaurants all the time. But just get the sandwich with no sauce. Forget about the combo meal, that means no fries, no soda. Try to buy snack food that has good fats (nuts, avocados, olive and flax seed oils), eat small amounts of your favorite foods, peel the skin off of your chicken, eat a fruit rather than drink the respective processed juice, whole wheat instead of white bread, water instead of coffee and sodas. These little things will make all the difference. Take the time to do a little bit of research about the food you put in your body. What’s the point of owning a Ferrari if you are just going to pour sugar in the tank?

6 Sleeping-its where all the real hard work is done
This is where a lot of people mess up, myself included. It is important to allow your body to rest and heal. Many people are under the impression that you are building muscle when you are in the gym working out or running on the treadmill. This is a falsehood. Actually it is quite the opposite. In the gym you are tearing your body down, that is why you are tired and sore when you finish. When you eat you are giving your body the “building blocks” it needs to rebuild the damage you just did, and when you sleep that is when the “building” happens. If you don’t sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a night, then you are going to eventually end up injuring yourself and not reaching the goals you set out for. Reaching goals means sacrifice, maybe you won’t be able to watch The Tonight Show every night like you are used to doing, or watching movies late into the wee hours of the evening. But if you are serious about looking and feeling good, then you should be willing to make that sacrifice. And when you do, it will cease being a sacrifice and it will just be worth it.

Follow these 6 steps and will be a more healthy and fit you. You will be able to take advantage of all the outdoor activities there are to do here in Southern California with your friends, girl/boyfriends, children, and/or pets.

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About thedailyheard

Just a guy with an opinion and some time on my hands trying to find out where the sidewalk really does end.

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