Complex Exercise is Best for Fat Loss

I’m often approached and asked to pin down a single exercise as the one that will help lose the most fat and sculpt the quickest. That’s not an easy question to answer.

You see, I’m very aware of the fact that though an exercise may be perfect for Client A, it may not be the best choice for Client B—hence my hesitation to label any exercise as the universal best.

That being said, some exercises are definitely better than others. And, yes, there are even a few that I would call the best.

What makes an exercise the best?

When you decide which exercises to include in your routine, it is important to consider the type of movement involved. The simpler the movement, the fewer calories you’ll burn and the fewer muscles you will strengthen. On the other hand, the more complex the movement, the more calories you will burn and the more muscles you will strengthen.

To put it simply, exercises that use complex movements will deliver better results than exercises that use only simple movements. Complex movements recruit multiple muscles, some to stabilize and others to perform the movement. This process keeps your heart rate higher than a simple exercise would, giving you a more intense workout.

What is a complex movement?

A complex movement is a multi-joint movement that recruits large portions of the body to complete the exercise. Let’s compare a simple movement leg exercise with a complex movement leg exercise:

The leg extension machine uses a simple, isolated movement to work the quadriceps. You’re in a seated position moving only your knee joint. There isn’t much involvement, if any, from other muscles and it doesn’t burn very many calories.

Now let’s look at a free weight walking lunge. You start by standing with your feet together and a dumbbell in each hand at your sides (or a barbell across your shoulders, or a medicine ball held at your chest, or even with no weight at all). You take a large step forward and lower your back knee, keeping your front knee at a 90 degree angle. Now you push off your front foot and pull your back leg forward, repeating the movement.

How many muscles did you utilize while performing the lunge? Probably too many to count.

You certainly worked your quadriceps, gluteus, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, supporting muscles in your shoulders, arms and back- just to name a few. You also raised your heart rate and really kicked your metabolism into high gear. That’s what I call a great exercise.

Other ways to increase intensity

Using complex movements are just one of many ways to kick your workout intensity up a notch. Try incorporating a Super Set into your routine. To do so simply perform two or more exercises in a row and then take a short rest.

Or how about a Compound Set? Perform one exercise, rest, then perform an exercise with opposing body parts. To find exercises that compliment one another, choose ones that have similar but opposite motions such as a chest press and a row.

The key to finding the best exercise is to find the ones that bring your workout intensity to a whole new level.

I’d be shortchanging you if I named any exercise as the best. The fact of the matter is that it is a combination of changing your workouts up, using interval training, and even some good old cardio that will ultimately see you to your goal.

These methods will help you to burn more calories, increase your metabolic rate, and will stimulate the production of more fat burning and muscle toning hormones. Of course, there is more involved to achieving your fitness goals. You need to incorporate fat burning into your routine. You need to consistently challenge yourself during workouts. You need to take control of your eating habits and to get your diet dialed in.

Eek! It’s E. Coli

Keeping this dangerous bacteria out of your foods and out of your body.

If you’ve ever dealt with food poisoning, you would probably prefer to never deal with it again. However, E. coli (Escherichia coli) isn’t your run-of-the-mill food poisoning. With the ability to potentially result in kidney disease in children and seniors, E. coli is one bacterium to avoid at all costs.
Get more about this easily spread bacteria and how you can keep it at arm’s length by reading below.

At the Root

E. Coli begins in an animal’s intestines and makes its way to humans through a variety of means. Most often, the bacteria show up in two types of food: undercooked ground beef and raw vegetables. However, it can be found in most any food and can even make its way into your water.

In order to be infected with E. coli, all you have to do is eat or drink infected food or drink. You can also contract the bacteria by coming in contact with a person who has E. coli. If infected and the bacteria remains in your intestines, you may not have any negative side effects. On the other hand, if it makes its way to your blood stream, you can expect to have the typical food poisoning symptoms. There will be diarrhea; nausea and vomiting; and cramping, pain, and tenderness in your abdomen. For rare cases in which your symptoms last more than a week or so, contact your physician to ensure you aren’t at risk for further complications.

Keep Away!

Don’t want to wind up with life-stopping diarrhea? No problem. With a few easy steps you should be able to stay away from E. coli and avoid the embarrassing complications it could bring your way.

To avoid E. coli, you’ll need to…

…keep raw foods away from each other and away from the table. To be fully effective at this, always use hot water to wash plates, cutting boards, and utensils that come in contact with raw foods of all kind. You should also avoid preparing food on any surface that will be used for eating.

…stay away from hamburgers that aren’t cooked thoroughly. Sure, you may love your hamburger to be bleeding on your plate, but you’ll have to forego your preference for safety if you want to avoid E. coli. In fact, you should only go for burgers that are brown all the way through to ensure there isn’t a hint of E. coli on your dinner menu. Can’t stand the thought of a completely browned hamburger? Stab your burger with a meat thermometer and make sure it registers at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).

…scrub down your raw produce with force! Quickly rinsing off fruits and vegetables may make you feel better when cooking, but it could leave you feeling awful after eating. To get rid of every strain of E. coli that may be hiding in your produce, you’ll need to thoroughly wash your produce before using it to cook or eating it raw.

…go with pasteurized drinks. Though you can’t completely avoid E. coli in drinks, anything that has been pasteurized is less likely to house E. coli. Juices, milks, and ciders often come pasteurized. Drinking these instead of their unpasteurized competitors helps you fend off E. coli infections.

Another Best Practice

In addition to carefully cooking all of your food properly and drinking pasteurized milk, wash your hands frequently to reduce your risk for contracting and passing on E. coli from and to those with whom you come in contact on a daily basis.

Seven Steps to Creating a Life-Improving Habit

What are your habits?

Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?

Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating whatever looks good, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.

John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are.

When it comes to your body, the two habits that define your physique are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone that you know who is in great shape has dialed in these two important habits.

If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits. Here’s how to adopt a habit:

Making a Habit

Use these seven steps to create a life-improving habit.

1) Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits, but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.

Here are some healthy habit ideas:

  • Do not eat after 7pm each night.
  • Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.
  • Exercise 4 times a week after work for 45 minutes each time.
  • Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
  • Get up early and exercise for an hour each morning.
  • Work with a personal trainer 3 times a week.

2) Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

Here’s an example:

* My new habit is to work with a personal trainer 3 times each week.

* My 3 main motivators are:

  1. to feel confident in my bathing suit this summer,
  2. to have more energy, and
  3. to fit into my skinny jeans.

* The obstacles I will face are:

  1. not having the energy to go to my session after work,
  2. not having enough money to pay for sessions, and
  3. not having my spouse’s support.

* I will overcome these obstacles by:

  1. doing my workouts before work instead of after work, so I have more energy,
  2. cutting down on frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it, and
  3. asking my spouse to join me so we can get in shape together.

3) Commit fully to your new habit, in a public way. This could mean posting it on facebook, or simply announcing it at the dinner table. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to give up on your new habit.

4) Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully exercise your new habit.

5) Keep yourself publicly accountable. This means either status updates on facebook or verbal status updates at the dinner table. Your friends and family are in a position to offer you support, so don’t shy away from those close to you.

6) When you fail, figure out what went wrong so that you can plan around it in the future.

7) Reward yourself for your success.

Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 30 days, feel free to add a second habit by going through the same 7 steps.

Laser Focus

Focusing on one goal at a time is the most powerful way to achieve it. Taking on more than one goal at a time spreads your time and energy out, making it impossible to accomplish anything. If you have more than one goal on your mind, write them all down and then go after them one and a time until they are all completed.

Food and Your Eyes

How you can eat your way to better vision.

Remember when your mom used to get you to eat your carrots by saying they help your vision? While you may have stopped believing it a few years ago, what you eat does have a direct impact on how well you see.
If you want to give your vision a boost, eat the right foods to feed your eyes.

Carrot Talk

Believe it or not, carrots really are good for your eyes. That’s right – you may need to return to the hard, orange root, as it actually does the vision good, lending a hand with all your visual needs, particularly when the lighting is low. The vision-helping properties of carrots are found in the large amount of vitamin A found in each bite.

Don’t like carrots but still want good vision? Take heart! Carrots don’t have a monopoly on vitamin A. This vitamin can be found in a variety of foods, such as dairy products, asparagus, nectarines, and apricots. So if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably getting enough vitamin A to keep your eyes in tip-top shape.

Orange Clarity

Causing the eye’s lenses to cloud and make it difficult to see, cataracts affect millions of people worldwide. In the medical community, the common consensus is that cataracts are the end result of lens proteins going through the oxidation process (the same process that is related to cancer and is fought off by antioxidants). If only there were a way to stop this oxidizing process!

Well, there is: vitamin C. A study performed in the late 1990s showed that women who used vitamin C supplements (minimum of 500 milligrams) for a decade or longer had a substantially lower likelihood of experiencing early-stage cataracts. Other research has shown that large combined doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and beta-carotene also fend off macular degeneration, a condition that destroys the center of the eye’s retina and makes it hard for the affected individual to see clearly.

Bilberry Delight

Not to be confused with blueberries, bilberry has long been thought to improve vision, both during the day and during the night. Though it probably doesn’t do that, it does seem to improve a variety of eye disorders, such as cataracts and retina issues.

Even if you find bilberry doesn’t give your vision the upper hand against diseases, it seems useful for a variety of other conditions. From heart disease and chest pain to diabetes, hemorrhoids, and diarrhea, bilberry has long been a familiar face in the medical community. It is even thought to increase circulation, which ensures your eyes get all the blood necessary to remain healthy and in good seeing shape.

Ocular Omega

You’ve heard that omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart disease and stroke. You maybe realize that every one of your body’s major organs depends on these fatty acids found commonly in fish. But are you aware that omega-3 fatty acids actually help improve your eye health?

The most common connection between omega-3 fatty acids and your good eye health is a reduced risk of macular degeneration. But if it’s good at helping you avoid this frustrating sight stealer, omega-3s probably lend a hand in other ways to your peepers. So if you want to see better and live better, do your best to eat more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids than foods with just plain old fat.

Keep Seeing Well

If you have good vision, you should never take it for granted. To ensure the long-term good health of your eyes, eat the right foods and take the following additional steps:

  • stop smoking
  • exercise regularly
  • wear sunglasses when outside
  • keep away from excessively dry, hot environments
  • take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen
  • use safety glasses when working in the yard or with dangerous tools

The Runner’s Diet

What foods every runner should include in his or her diet for optimal performance.

Every bite of food you take increases the amount of calories you have at your disposal. While it’s important for everyone to have the appropriate amount of calories on hand to get through the day, runners have a particular need for the right kind of calories. Because while you can get away with eating most anything if you’re working a desk job, running 30 miles at a time puts certain demands on your body that food can help you meet.
What should you eat if you’re an avid runner? Start out with these foods.

Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed . – Charles Schulz

Almonds

They’re small, they taste great, and they do a runner’s body good. If you plan on doing some serious running, be sure to pack plenty of these nuts, and you’ll avoid feeling hungry during your run and reduce your muscle aches afterward.

Bananas

Though many folks stay away from anything that includes carbohydrates, runners should run to this carb-heavy fruit. It’ll give you a quick fill of energy that will last throughout your run and help your blood pressure stay level, despite the pressure you put on it with your run.

Berries

Practically every berry out there has potassium and vitamin C. Why are these important? Because they help your body repair itself after a demanding run. Since your body is better able to heal, you have less post-running pain to deal with and reduced risk for serious injury while running.

Eggs

Like berries, eggs help your muscles recover after a particularly grueling run. On top of that, they’ll strengthen your bones, improve your vision for those night-time runs, and help your memory stay strong so you can keep track of your progress with greater ease.

Mixed Salad

You may enjoy iceberg lettuce or a spinach salad, but if you’re going to spend a lot of time running, you should look into more variety. By regularly eating salads that consist of various greens, you give your body access to a wide variety of plant-based chemicals that keep your muscles from becoming damaged by a long and hard workout.

Oatmeal

If you’re looking for a food that will stick with you for the long haul, nothing beats oatmeal. Full of slow-burning carbohydrates, oatmeal is the go-to food for many serious runners. As an added perk, you can toss in some skim milk, raisins, and other dried fruits to boost the flavor and texture without reducing oatmeal’s powers.

Oranges

In addition to helping you avoid the cold and flu, the vitamin C found in an orange will also help you be a better runner. It does this by lend a hand to your muscles recovery after a run and helping your body absorb more iron, which is essential for preventing fatigue.

Peanut Butter Bagel

Enjoy this right before hitting the road for a little added stamina to make it through your run. Not only will this snack help you have a solid energy level at the beginning of your run, but also it’ll make sure you maintain a high level of can-do-it all the way to the finish line.

Sweet Potatoes

Want your muscles to function at their peak at all times? Then you’re going to need plenty of potassium, iron, manganese, vitamin C, and copper. Thankfully, you can get them all in abundance in one of your favorite holiday foods: sweet potatoes!

Whole-Grain Everything

Only want one tip for eating better as a runner? Make it this: You can’t go wrong with whole grains. From breads to pastas, whole-grain foods have plenty of fiber to fill you up and keep you full. They also have metabolism-boosting vitamin B and many have omega-3 fats and protein to assist in the healing and recovery of damaged muscles.

Heart-Healthy Eating


Is your diet lending your heart a helping hand or kicking it to the curb?

When it comes to body parts your body can’t do without, the heart is king. But if you’re like many people, you may be treating your beloved heart like an ignored servant. How can you make sure your heart receives a kingly welcome? By eating right.

The Basics

First, it’s a good idea to know what heart-healthy eating actually is. Contrary to popular belief, a diet that is heart healthy isn’t going to keep you from eating anything with flavor. You’re not going to be miserable while on a heart-healthy diet. Actually, you shouldn’t go on a heart-healthy diet – at least not one that lasts for a few months and fades away with your New Year’s resolutions.

Rather, you should maintain heart-healthy eating habits every day of the year.
The simplest recipe for heart-healthy eating habits is to go natural. Most foods you find in nature and eat in their raw or cooked forms are very good for you and many of them actively work to strengthen your heart. On the other hand, manmade foods that are highly processed or infused with ingredients that add flavor and fat often put your heart in harm’s way.

The Battles

Fats and cholesterol can be very dangerous to your heart health. Hence why you should avoid them as much as possible. However, since it’s nearly impossible to rid your diet entirely of all types of fats and cholesterol, you’ll need to choose your battles wisely.

Battles worth fighting in the fat realm are those battles against saturated fat and trans fat. By carefully reading food labels and reducing the amount of butter and other fatty products you eat on a regular basis, you can sidestep the majority of these dangerous fats. Instead of saturated and trans fats, look for foods that contain monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats. Believe it or not, these fats may actually help lower your cholesterol.

Reading food labels will also help you manage the amount of cholesterol you consume. Ideally, a healthy adult will consume no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day. For even better health, try to get no more than 150 or 200 milligrams on a daily basis.

The Salt

A third battle that is often overlooked is the ongoing battle against salt. Though it adds immediate flavor to anything you’re eating, salt also adds to your risk for high blood pressure. As high blood pressure is a key risk factor for heart disease, you ought to pay careful attention to how much salt you eat each day.

According to the American Heart Association, you should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt each day. One of the best ways to avoid going over the recommended limit is to resist the temptation to flavor your food with salt until you take a bite of the food. Some foods are naturally salty and have no need for you to add salt from the shaker. Taking a bite before adding salt may even help you enjoy the natural flavor of the food you’re eating. Over time, your saltshaker may be collecting dust in the pantry!

Living the Life

In addition to eating heart-healthy foods, your heart gains extra protection against disease through regular exercise. The minimum amount that you exercise for good health is 30 minutes five times a week. And while pumping iron helps strengthen your body over all, your heart thrives on aerobic exercises.

To keep your heart pumping strong, you should spend some time jogging around your neighborhood, swimming laps in the pool, or riding your bicycle through the woods. For added protection, don’t smoke, avoid breathing secondhand smoke, and stay in contact with your physician to ensure the steps you are taking for a heart-healthy life are working.

Protect Your Neck

What you can do to keep your neck out of harm’s way when pumping up in the gym.

Everyone who has spent much time working out has felt some neck pain now and then. However, with a few small precautions, you can help your neck avoid carrying the brunt of your workout burden. Here are a few things you can do to keep your neck from feeling the strain and pain of your routine.

Focus on Technique

Unless you’re performing exercises that are supposed to work out your neck, you should not feel stress on your neck. One of the main reasons you may experience neck stress when there should be none is improper technique. To get over this pain, you’ll need to pay closer attention to how you perform each repetition of every exercise.

Sit-ups are a common exercise resulting in neck pain. By using only your core muscles to lift your body toward your legs, you can protect against neck pain. The same is true with other exercises, such as the military press. Keeping your head in the right place at all times and using proper form allows you to take great strides away from potential neck pain.

Get Neck-Centric

It’s important to pay attention to your entire body when working out, and that includes your neck. Though you ought to be careful not to cause undue stress to your neck when working out other body parts, you can help your neck handle the stress by exercising it appropriately. This will strengthen your neck and help you avoid neck pain brought on by other exercises.
For stronger neck muscles, try the following exercises:

  • Chin to Chest – Sitting on the floor with your legs extended straight out, lock your hands together and put them behind your head. Next, pull your head to your chest in a gradual, fluid motion. Once your chin is touching your chest, hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Isometric Neck – Standing upright, place your right hand on the right side of your head. Use your hand to slowly push your head toward your left side. As you push, tighten your neck muscles to stop your head from moving. Continue pushing and fighting the push for 10 to 15 seconds, return your hand by your side, and repeat with your left hand on the left side of your head.
  • Rolling Neck Stretch – Holding a neck roller with both hands, place the roller behind your head at the top right side of your neck. Carefully roll the muscle roller down your neck muscles, holding for 10 to 30 seconds wherever you feel tension in your neck. Repeat for the left side of your neck. If no neck roller is available, a rolling pin works fine.

Always Be On Guard

Neck strains and pains may be most notable after a hard workout in the gym, but they don’t start there. Rather, they typically begin during your normal daily activities. With that in mind, you ought to pay particular attention to how you go about everything in your day-to-day routine.

Do you have poor posture while sitting at your desk working on the computer? Do you often slump on your couch for an hour of television? Do you sleep in a position that leaves you hurting in the morning? Do you participate in aggressive sports and have little care for how you absorb hits from other players? All these can lead to neck pain that becomes more obvious during your time working out at the gym. Taking steps to protect your neck’s good health during the day will go a long way toward your ability to fend off neck strain in the gym.

Feel the Burn

If you’re working out in the hot summer sun, you are at risk for another painful problem with your neck: sunburn. Keep your neck from feeling the burn by spreading plenty of sunscreen on your neck before heading out for your routine. For extra protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat.

President Barack Obama Address To The US Chamber Of Commerce

I just got back from a quick trip to Washington DC to see Obama speak to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber invited to me attend because I was the $50,000 Grand Prize winner for the first
U.S. Chamber of Commerce FREE ENTERPRISE video contest.

The speech was a great opportunity for the President to extend an olive branch to the Chamber and to begin a dialogue on U.S. business policies.

Personally I was not impressed because he did not address any of my concerns as a small business owner.

Video streaming by Ustream

Speed Up Your Slow Metabolism


What a faster metabolism can do for your body.

There’s a lot of talk about metabolism, and it seems that all the skinny folks have a large amount of it. But what exactly is metabolism, why is it important to your body, and what can you do to increase your metabolism? You’re about to find out!

What Is Metabolism?

Inside your body, a complex process is going on that involves hormones, enzymes, and food. Known as metabolism, this process is responsible for your body’s ability to take food and turn it into energy. Additionally, your metabolism determines if you take that energy and burn it off with ease or if it sits around on your body and goes nowhere fast.

Though you probably wish your metabolism was sky high (everyone wants that sleek body – right?), there are a number of factors you can’t change that determine the level of your metabolism. These include age, sex, and your genes. That’s right – being over 40 decreases your metabolism, as does being a woman or having a family history of slow metabolism.

Why Is It Important?

Ever wondered why the first few pounds of weight loss come so easily for some people? It’s because your body has to work a little harder when you’re overweight. So when you make a small lifestyle change, your high metabolism does the rest, helping shed pounds with ease. Unfortunately, keeping a high metabolism isn’t after you’ve lost the initial few pounds. But if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll need to have your metabolism working for you.

How Can I Boost It?

While there are a handful of factors that limit your ability to increase or decrease your metabolism, you can take your low metabolism by the horns and give it a boost with the right steps. Since you know that muscle burns more calories than fat, you probably already guessed the first step to speeding up your slow metabolism.

Get more muscles. A little flab here and there won’t make a huge difference, but muscle burns energy faster than flab. So if you want the highest possible metabolism, you’ll need to increase your muscle mass. Do this by exercising on a regular basis (three days a week at the least), and be sure to mix in plenty of weight lifting with your running, bicycling, and swimming. If you’re over 40 years of age, you may need some extra time in the gym, as you also have to fight your metabolism’s desire to slow down regardless of your routine.

Get five meals. Eating three times a day may be how you did things growing up, but unless you want to grow out, you’ve got to eat up more often. By substituting three large meals for five or more small meals throughout the day, you give your body confidence that there will be plenty of food coming later. This confidence allows your body to burn off more calories all day long.

Get good foodsEating five or six times a day will have the greatest impact on your metabolism if you’re filling up on the right stuff. That means tossing the extra slice of cake in the trash and going for a handful of carrots instead. Or grab some oatmeal for a fill up that will provide a slow-burning boost to your metabolic low.

Breakfast: The Crux of Metabolism

Think you can have a high metabolism without ever chowing down on breakfast foods? You’re wrong. Without eating breakfast, you put yourself at risk for slowed metabolism.

Here are a few ways skipping breakfast will do the body bad.

  1. 1. It makes you hungrier at lunch and other times than you should be. When this happens, you don’t make good choices – and you know it!
  2. It gives you nothing to start with. When your stomach is empty, your body is doing everything possible to hang onto the calories at its disposal. Hence why you have no energy without breakfast!
  3. It starts you off all wrong. Start your day with a poor dietary decision, and you’re sure to make more of them throughout the day.

5 Exercise Goals for Beginners


A handful of things every newbie should put on his or her exercise to-do list.

Just getting started exercising? Congratulations! Your decision is one that will bring you face to face with improved health, looks, energy, and more. While there is a great temptation to swallow the entire gym whole in one bite, it’s better to take stock and come up with goals that fit your needs.
Ready to create some gym-worthy goals that will help you reach your destination of a better, healthier life? Get started with the list below.

Goal 1: Find a Time

The first thing you have to do before you work out is figure out when you’re going to head to the gym. Sure, you may go to the gym on a whim on occasion, but you can’t depend on these spur-of-the-moment trips to help you meet your other fitness goals. Rather, you’re going to have to come up with a regular time to get to the gym. Whether it’s at 4 a.m., during your lunch hour, or right after work, having a predetermined time to exercise will help you with the next goal.

Goal 2: Stick with It

Once you’ve figured out when you can work out, it’s up to you to make sure you follow through. Though you may think the benefits of exercising are enough to keep you going strong, you may be wrong. To make it a little easier to stick with your routine, give yourself a goal of sticking with your routine three days a week for three months. Once you’ve been at it for that long, it should be cemented into your schedule, making it easier to stick with exercise for the long haul. If you constantly need another goal, reset your clock for another three months a week or two before completing the initial three months.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Ryun

Goal 3: Trim or Tone

Toning up and trimming down are often the primary purposes for working out. If these are reasons for your new interest in exercise, use them to your advantage. Every day you work out, write down your weight, the most important measurements to you, and the exercises you perform. Over time, you’ll be able to see improvements in all three areas. And if you’re having trouble in one (it can be difficult to continue losing weight after a certain point), you can be encouraged by other statistics, such as your lowered blood pressure or how much longer you can stay on the treadmill now than when you first began.

Goal 4: Be Honest

When you’re first getting into your exercise regimen, it’s easy to be forthcoming about your workout routine. After all, you’re in the gym three times a day, lifting more weights in a day than you have in the past four years, and running six miles during lunch. But it becomes more difficult to be honest when you’ve been at it a while. To keep yourself honest, get an exercise partner to hold you accountable. The best way for this to work is to work out with this person every time you go to the gym. This way, your partner knows when you’ve worked out and can help you work out at the intensity necessary for you to meet your other exercise goals.

Goal 5: Limit Rewards

It’s not uncommon for people to feel they deserve rewards for every positive thing they do. If you’re one of these people, you may seek a reward for your exercising prowess. But it’s important to see the way you feel and look as your reward. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with missing a day at the gym or licking an ice cream now and then. However, if you’re not careful, your reward system can wind up making it impossible for you to meet your exercise-minded goals.