Kissing (or Kicking) Unwanted Pounds Goodbye

Got some extra pounds hanging around? With the right steps, you can get rid of them and get on with a thinner, fitter life.

Pounds, pounds, go away, come again another day! If only losing weight were as easy as singing this simple rhyme over and over. Though shedding unwanted pounds is a good deal harder than that, you can do it. Do the following four action items and you’ll get rid of those unwanted and unsightly pounds faster than you can say fad diet.

Don’t Binge

You’ve had a rough day and the only thing that could possibly help you feel better is a tub of ice cream. Or so you think. In actuality, gorging yourself on super double chocolate chip ice cream isn’t going to do you any good right now or in the future. If you want to get rid of weight, you’re going to have to learn self-control. When you’re by yourself and feel hungry for something unhealthy, find something else to do. Pick up a good book, call a friend, or drink a glass of water. If you’re especially intent on losing weight (which you must be if you’re reading this article), follow the next tip.

Be Exercise Minded

In the comfort of your own home, it’s easy to eat whatever you want whenever you want. Learn to identify what causes you to want to eat unhealthy foods or unhealthy amounts of food. Then, begin to modify your behavior when you come face to face with the trigger. If coming home from work is usually followed by an hour on the couch, bonbons in hand, redesign your post-work routine around exercise. When you first get home, don’t hit the couch. Hit the closet for a change of clothes, and then get to the gym or go for a walk around the neighborhood. Changing your mindset takes time and dedication, but putting exercise first on your to-do list is vital to taking off excess pounds.

Deny the Treats

Many dieters feel they’re obliged to a cake or cookie now and then to celebrate their small victories. Unfortunately, this good idea can often become a trap, as the treats become more and more common. Just remember that every time you’re offered a special treat, you have the option of accepting or denying the offer. Force yourself to say “No” 10 times more often than you say “Yes,” and the special treat will actually be a special treat instead of an everyday necessity. By doing this, you’ll also watch your weight slowly and steadily decrease.

Sweat It Off

For the best chance at losing weight, you’re going to have to sweat. While a quick set of push-ups during lunch break will help your body a little bit, you’re not going to get the results you seek without making yourself sweat. No matter if you choose to walk or run for miles on end, participate in a local spin class, join a kickboxing class, or work out with free weights or elliptical machines, you need to sweat. If your workout leaves you dry, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough to lose weight. Increase your workout intensity and prepare to become the thinner, healthier you that you’ve always wanted to be.

Something Extra Needed

If you’ve been working to stay fit and eat healthily but you just can’t seem to get rid of extra pounds, it may be time to stop going at it alone. Instead, contact your physician, dietitian, and personal trainer to find out what specific steps you can take to begin dropping unwanted extra pounds from your body.

In the event you’ve never interacted with a personal trainer, be ready for the shock of your exercising lifetime! It is your personal trainer’s job to make sure you work harder than you’ve ever worked in the gym. Follow your personal trainer’s rigorous recommendations to the letter, and you’ll be utterly exhausted. Of course, you’ll also be on your way to losing the extra pounds you’ve picked up over the years, and shedding pounds is well worth a little sweat and soreness – right?

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Losing your Love Handles

Because as you know, they’re not nearly as cute as their name implies

They sit naturally on your hips and turn your otherwise picture-perfect physique into something of a pear. So what can you do to kick those love handles to the curve? You may be surprised to learn that all it takes is a couple exercises you’re probably already doing and a few others.

Crunches. They’re nothing new to your exercise routine, and they shouldn’t be forgotten when you’re in the gym next. In addition to straight-forward crunches, twist to the left and the right to work out the entire abdominal area and to help your body ward off love handles that show up on both sides.

Standing Trunk Twists. As effective as the name is fun to say, standing trunk twists do what any good love-handle-battling exercise should do: firms up the love handles and gets you sweating. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet a foot or so apart and your knees relaxed and slightly bent. Next, twist your body’s trunk to the left, while attempting to keep your hips and legs still. During your trunk twist, swing your right arm across the front of your body, as if you were punching someone. Immediately twist to the right, bringing your left arm across your body in a punching motion. Repeat up to 100 times.

Leg Flutters. You may feel awkward with this exercise, but the end results are worth it. To get started, lie flat on your stomach with your arms down by your side. Lift your head off the ground and look straight ahead. Finally, lift your feet and knees off the floor, kick (flutter) your legs back and forth for 20 seconds, stop, and repeat for another 20 seconds.

Love Language

As you suspect, love handles aren’t always called love handles. In the medical and muscle community, they’re known as the oblique muscles. So when you find yourself face to face with a personal trainer or physician, you’ll know what that big word means!

Side Bends. One of the best exercises for targeting those troublesome love handles, side bends are relatively easy to perform. Standing straight, feet shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in your left hand, bend to the left as far as possible. Once you hit the lowest part of your bend, raise back to the standing position. Repeat 15 or 20 times, switch the dumbbell to your right hand and bend to the right for 15 or 20 repetitions.

Knee Kicks. Want to get a little tougher while you kiss your sweet little love handles goodbye? Go find a punching bag and put both hands flat on the bag, with one hand approximately two feet above the other. Next, lift your back leg and knee the bag as hard as possible. Return to your starting position and repeat 20 times. Change your position and repeat with the other knee. By the time you’re done, your love handles will be burning their way into nothingness, and your self-esteem will be shooting through the roof.

Now that you know what exercises will tone up your midsection, there’s something else you should know. You can’t get rid of your love handles just by doing crunches and knee kicks. Those exercises will help tone your muscles, but they won’t force those little areas of fat known as love handles to disappear. To do that, you’re going to have to burn more calories than you eat each day. The easiest way to do this is to get plenty of aerobic exercise and to eat low-calorie meals filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. With these steps, you’ll be prepared to show off the hips and abdominals you’ve worked so hard to tighten up!

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5 Ways Not to Exercise

BodyThat’s right – there’s a wrong way to exercise. But don’t worry! Once you know how not to exercise, you’ll be ready for some great tips that will help you maintain good form and make the most of your work out.

If you’re like most people, you don’t have a lot of time to exercise, so why do exercises that won’t help you be healthier and happier? Read on to learn what exercises you might be doing wrong and how you can enhance your form and reap the intended benefits of exercise.

Exercise No-No #1

The lateral pull down behind the head is done by pulling a weighted bar down behind your head and neck. Unless you have very mobile shoulder joints, you could be damaging the alignment of your spine when you pull the bar down or you could be putting undue strain on your shoulders, which can easily lead to injury.

Safe Alternative: Instead of pulling the bar down behind your head, try leaning back a few degrees and pulling the bar down to your breastbone by pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Contract your abdominal muscles to control your movements.

Exercise No-No #2

Raising a weight to your chin with your arm can be dangerous, as this movement can quite easily compress the nerves in your shoulder.

Safe Alternative: Perform this same type of exercise, but lift the weights to the side or front of the body. Better yet, try this exercise while bending forward at the hips and holding the weight below your shoulder and then lifting it to the side of your body. This movement still targets all the muscles of your upper back, while getting the biceps involved as well.

Exercise No-No #3

When using a weighted machine to perform leg presses while lying down, it’s easy to bend your knees too deeply as you move the weight. This exercise is designed to work your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. But if you bend too much with your knees, your pelvis can tilt and force the lower back to bear some of the weight, which can lead to serious back troubles if the exercise is repeated regularly.

Safe Alternative: Instead of using a machine, try using the resistance of your own body. Squats and lunges can work the same muscle groups with far greater safety.

Exercise No-No #4

Even if you are doing everything else spot on, wearing the wrong shoes can counteract everything. Improper footwear can increase the pounding on your joints and lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis or tendinitis.

Safe Alternative: The key is to choose a shoe that fits the exercise you are doing. Shop at reputable athletic shoe stores so you can talk to knowledgeable salespeople who can help you find the right type of shoe for your sport and foot.

Exercise No-No #5

Too many people these days are using weight belts. Unless you have a medical reason to wear one, you can probably put the belt down. Using a weight belt reduces your core muscles’ ability to work and become stronger.

Safe Alternative: Unless you are a bodybuilder, skip the weight belt and concentrate on utilizing your core muscles to build up your strength.

Eye of the Trainer

If you’re an exercise novice, a personal trainer may help your exercise program get off on the right foot. Personal trainers are great at keeping you pumped up about exercise and they are also there to ensure that you maintain the proper form and a good variety of activities while working out.

Personal trainers also provide other benefits that you may find motivational, including:

  • Fitness evaluations, which can measure where you are when you first start exercising and continue measuring your progress as you become more fit.
  • Personalized exercise programs are a great benefit of having a personal trainer. Because your trainer knows you, he or she can develop a plan that is tailored to your needs so you can reap the greatest benefit from your exercise.
  • Supervised exercise sessions are also a big plus when you have a personal trainer. It can be hard to know if you’re doing something right – or wrong – unless someone tells you.
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