For some, fitness can invoke a number of fears – fear of failure, fear of regret and fear of trying. It’s these roadblocks that hold so many back from reaching their physical peak and improving their quality of life. Being able to stand up and conquer those fears is the first step in improving your level of fitness and reaching the goals you’ve always dreamed of achieving.
Now, how exactly are you able to face your fears and start making progress? Good question. Fortunately, I have the answer – a simple thing I like to call the “rules of fitness”.
The 10 Rules of Fitness
Today, I’m going to introduce you to my personal collection of 10 simple rules of fitness that everyone should strive to live by. The concepts are very easy to understand and will help you get closer to the health and fitness goals you’ve set up for yourself to achieve.
Make it a point to live by these 10 rules of fitness, and you will see just how much they make a difference in your mind, body and soul.
Rule #1: Always Be Ready for a Challenge
Nothing worth doing comes easy. Challenging yourself is the only way to “force” the changes that you want to see come to fruition. That’s the true beauty of fitness. It doesn’t matter where you start, because there is always room for improvement.
Never be afraid to tackle a challenge. You will be stronger for accepting what lies ahead, not to mention the other rewards that come along with it.
Rule #2: Don’t Fear Change – Embrace It
Change can be scary, especially when you’re used to gliding along on a “straight and narrow” path. Keeping things the same keeps you stuck in your comfort zone, never to stray away from it. Doing something different requires change to happen, regardless of how you look at it.
Making fitness a priority in your life can provoke a major shift in your life, but remember – it’s for the better! Don’t fear this change and embrace it instead. You’ll find it’s much easier to make the transition from an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle to an active and healthy one.
Rule #3: Never Rely on the Scale
Do you constantly find yourself infatuated with the numbers on the scale? What happens when they don’t go the way you want? It more than likely leaves you frustrated, depressed and unmotivated. All of that hard work for nothing, right? Well, it doesn’t actually work out like that.
Pay attention to your body composition instead. Keep track of measurements and use photos instead of numbers on the scale. It’s not the pounds that matter – it’s the way you look and feel when you see yourself in the mirror or put on that old pair of pants you haven’t been able to fit into for years.
Rule #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
This is true for everyone, especially if you’re just starting to make the change into a healthier and more active lifestyle. You’re going to make mistakes along the way. It’s a fact and something that you should never get down on yourself about.
You can’t make improvements if you don’t make mistakes. The goal is to learn from them so you get better at what you’re doing. That’s about as cut and dry as it gets. Once you realize and accept that you’re not going to become a master of everything right away, it’s easier to embrace any mistakes and see them as stepping stones instead.
Rule #5: Be Willing to Put in the Work
As I mentioned above, nothing worth doing comes easy. When it comes to fitness, I can’t stress this enough. Too often we find people looking for the magic pill or wonder workout that will help them get in shape with minimal effort involved, except it doesn’t work like that.
If you want to hit your physical peak, you have to be willing to put in the work. Get in the mindset of knowing that you only get what you put in. That can be said for all facets of life, but it rings loud and true for fitness and your health.
Rule #6: Believe in Yourself
Achieving what you set out to starts with you and your belief in yourself to accomplish any feat you desire. Don’t let anyone (even yourself) push you away from your goals, ambitions, dreams and vision. You have the power to do anything you set your mind to.
In the end, just remember this – you are the only one who can stop yourself from becoming what you wish to become!
Rule #7: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Looking up to others as an inspiration is one thing. If you’re spending more time comparing yourself to others, however, that’s a recipe for disaster. You probably know that no two people are the same. We all come from different walks of life and have our own set of challenges. Judging your fitness accomplishments to someone else isn’t going to help you make improvements. The only thing you will accomplish is a waste of your own time.
You are your own unique individual and no one is like you. Remember that. Focus on yourself and your own goals and you will feel better than ever!
Rule #8: Encourage Others Who Are in the Same Boat
Ever had a day when you were feeling down or unmotivated, only to have a friend sharing your struggle give you the encouragement and boost you needed to push through? Make sure you remember to offer that same compassion to others who you see struggling or who need guidance. Everyone could use a little boost. You would be surprised at what a few words of encouragement can do for someone who needs it.
Rule #9: Understand That Fitness Lasts a Lifetime
Staying in shape isn’t a “one-off” deal – it’s a way of life. It’s something that you always work on improving and getting better at as you go through each day. Following a program for 12 weeks and skipping exercise for the rest of the year isn’t going to cut it. Optimal health requires maximum commitment – for life.
Rule #10: Make Fitness Fun
This is one thing that many people forget or don’t fully understand. Fitness doesn’t have to be boring and something you don’t enjoy. Heck, following a dull regimen is half the reason why many people avoid working out altogether, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are a variety of ways to make fitness fun again. Find exercises that are challenging, rewarding and most importantly, exciting!
How can you tell when fitness is fun again? When you’re looking forward to your workout, rather than dreading it.
No matter how much you might want to deny it, calories play a pivotal role in weight loss. It’s absolutely essential to keep a close eye on them during your weight loss journey if you want to be able to see and measure your success. Unfortunately, this is where many end up making the crucial mistake, never knowing exactly how many calories are needed to lose weight.
Have you found yourself confused between the amount of calories you eat and how many calories are required for weight loss? If so, don’t worry – we’re about to give you the full scope on calories and how to measure them properly to help you accurately track your weight loss!
To Lose Weight, You Need to Lose Calories
To give you some perspective on calories in relation to weight loss and how it works, take a look at the following example:
In order to lose 1 pound, your body needs to be in a calorie deficit of 3,500 total calories. That means you need to burn off 3,500 calories in order to lose exactly 1 pound.
With that information in mind, let’s say you put your body into a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day. In this scenario, you would lose approximately 1 pound per week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 total caloric deficit). This is equivalent to 1 pound of true weight loss.
Simple and easy to understand, right? Good! You’re already ahead of half of the others out there who are struggling with weight loss.
Now that you’re aware of how many calories are required to lose 1 pound, let’s move on to the process of determining your total caloric burn per day!
Measuring Calories to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps
At first glance, determining your total daily caloric burn might seem like a lot to take on. Fortunately, the process is very simply and can be done in minutes, giving you a serious glimpse on what you can truly expect in terms of real and actual weight loss.
If you want success, finding out your total caloric burn is essential. With that said, here are the 4 easy steps for you to follow to determine your overall daily burn.
Step 1 – Find Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
The Basal Metabolic Rate (also known as the Resting Metabolic Rate) refers to the amount of energy that your body expends each day while at rest. This is the amount of energy (calories) required just to keep your body and your vital organs operating at its minimum.
Figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate is great to see how many calories you burn without any additional physical activity. The good news is that getting this number is as easy as punching in a few simple body measurements and data into an online calculator (which you can find here). The calculation is based on your height, weight, age and gender.
Once you get your Basal Metabolic Rate figured out, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Step 2 – Determine Your Calories Burned During Workout
Depending on what type of exercise you engage in, you will either burn a significant or minimal amount of calories during exercise. The easiest way to determine your caloric burn during physical activity is to wear a heart rate monitor. For those using any cardio equipment in a gym, built in heart rate monitors and estimators will help give you this number.
To get a general concept of how many calories can be burned performing various types of exercise and general physical labor, you can check out this chart for a rough estimate.
When you estimate how many calories you burn during each workout, simply add this number to your Basal Metabolic Rate. The number you get is your total amount of calories expended on days when you exercise.
Now that you are armed with your information, it’s time to put together your calorie plan to reduce calories and accelerate your weight loss.
Step 3 – Create Your Calorie Reduction Plan
At this point, you are fully aware of the number of calories you burn on days with no physical activity and on days when you exercise. You also know exactly how many calories you need to expend in order to lose 1 pound. Now, it’s time to piece together your calorie reduction plan to put your body into a deficit each day to help lose weight!
Before you begin your plan to reduce calories, I highly recommend that you first keep a journal of your eating habits for a full week. Count all of your calories each day to determine how many calories you are currently eating. This will give you a good idea to gauge your current habits and help you ease into your weight loss plan.
So, how does a calorie reduction plan work? Let’s break it all down with another example:
Let’s say you write down your calorie consumption for one week and discover you are eating close to 3,000 calories per day. Your Basal Metabolic rate is 2,200 (5’10”, 230 lb, 28 year old male) and your calories burned during exercise are 600 (6 days per week).
Without drastically cutting your calories, you make it a goal to reduce your daily caloric intake by 800 calories, bringing your target amount down to 2,200 calories per day.
This breaks down to the following:
- 2,200 calories consumed per day x 7 days = +15,400 calories/week
- 2,800 calories burned (BMR + exercise) x 6 days = -16,800 calories/week
- 2,200 calories burned (BMR) x 1 day = -2,200 calories/week
Total calories consumed (7 days): 15,400
Total calories burned (7 days): 19,000
Total deficit (7 days): 3,600
Total weight loss: A little over 1 pound per week
Remember – this gives you a general idea and concept of the calories required to lose weight and how it works in conjunction with what you eat and the physical activity you engage in. Still, it’s a great way to break down how real weight loss works, showing you that it does require a consistent amount of effort and time in order to lose the weight effectively.
Step 4 – Put Your Plan to Work
Arriving at the last and final step, you should have all of the pieces of the puzzle in place. That means the hardest part of it all is now over. All that is left for you to do is put your plan into action!
Like I mentioned above, reading through this and getting a solid understanding on calories and their relation to weight loss puts you ahead of the pack. You are now armed with all of the essential information you need to lose weight. Simply follow these general rules and you’ll be in good shape!
You’re shift at work is finally over. You’re tired and don’t want to face the commute home, but you can’t wait to get there. The bad news, however, is that your day is far from over – you still have to go to the gym to fit in your workout.
For most people, going to the gym doesn’t seem like a big deal. For others who are short on time, the gym can be a massive consumer of time, especially when you consider:
- The time that it takes to commute to the gym from your home and back
- How busy the gym you belong to will be on any given night
- How long you will have to wait for a piece of equipment to become available
When you factor in everything, that short “45 minute workout” isn’t so short anymore. This is one of the main reasons people dread going to the gym in the first place. Eventually, people cancel their memberships and avoid working out completely, all because of the potential time constraints they will face.
Exercise at Home
Want to skip the gym and get in a great workout without sacrificing your time? Exercising at home is the answer! Believe it or not, there are many (and I mean MANY) different exercise routines you can perform at home that are just as beneficial (if not more beneficial) than what you can do in the gym.
With that said, I’m going to break down the benefits of working out at home. Once you read through them all, you will finally understand why exercising at home is just as effective as hitting up the local gym.
#1 – It’s Completely Free
Gym memberships can become costly over time. That doesn’t even include the one-time setup fees and other hidden fees that come along with your “low monthly cost”. Big box gyms are there to make money and get as many people in the door as possible. The bad news – they get your money regardless of how many times you use their facilities.
When you workout at home, you can do it all for free. Sure, some will argue that certain pieces of fitness equipment will cost you money (i.e. resistance bands, free weights, mats, etc), but these are merely supplements and are not required to get in a full body, calorie burning workout.
#2 – No Time Restraints
Another beautiful thing about exercising at home is that you have no time restraints. There are no open/close times to worry about. You don’t have to “squeeze in” your workout between a certain time period, either. Want to fit in a workout during a holiday? You can do that, too! Your home is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making it easy to fit in a workout that adheres to your schedule.
#3 – No “To and From” Commute
This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of a home exercise program. Some folks have short commutes to the gym, while others have to drive clear across town to fit in their workout. No longer will you have to waste your time fighting traffic or driving a long distance to get your workout in.
The last time I belonged to a gym, I had to drive 30 minutes each way. That’s an hour of commuting before you include my actual workout time. I can’t tell you how many nights I drained my time away going to the gym. Now, I simply commute a few steps to my basement and I’m ready to go!
#4 – Zero Need for Expensive Equipment
As I already mentioned in #1, working out at home doesn’t require ANY expensive or fancy equipment. In fact, it doesn’t require any equipment at all. There are hundreds of ways to fit in a complete and effective workout using nothing more than your own body weight.
If you decide to purchase small fitness equipment pieces for any reason (i.e. resistance bands, dumbbells, pull-up bar, push-up bars, etc), it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg, nor does it have to be brand new. A quick glance at Craigslist will yield TONS of results for fitness equipment people are looking to get rid of, sometimes at no cost.
Remember – the choice to use equipment is up to you. Either way, it’s not necessary to get in a killer workout!
#5 – Makes Exercise Fun Again
If you don’t enjoy exercising in the first place, how can you be motivated to stick with it? That is the true beauty of performing exercise at home – you get to be creative. At the gym, you’re stuck with limited options. There is only so much you can do there, simply due to the limitations of the room available to you. That’s not the case at home, as the sky is truly the limit!
Creating your own at home fitness program can make exercise less boring and something that you actually look forward to. Have fun when you exercise and you’ll be twice as likely to continue with it.
What Do You Think?
Do you still have a hard time with the concept of working out at home? Do you prefer to go to the gym regardless of the time that it takes? Just leave your comments below so we can hear what YOU have to say!