Five Ways to Pick Up The Exercise Habit Again

Even people who consistently stick to an effective health and fitness routine can sometimes fall out of the habit. Getting back on track can be challenging – unless you find ways to rebuild a strong desire to start exercising again.


Here are some ways to give yourself the mental kick in the pants that you need to stop procrastinating and get up off the couch:

  1. Use it as an excuse to get me time. If you lead a life of chaos where it seems like every moment of your time is consumed with obligations, use a consistent exercise routine as an excuse to spend some much needed time to yourself.
  2. Put away your fat clothes. It’s a lot easier to put off exercising when you can hide underneath clothes that make you feel like you’re not as out of shape as you really are. Take all of the clothes that allow you to hide your extra pounds and put them in a box.
  3. Make yourself an irresistible offer. If you want to crank up your motivation to get in shape, promise yourself an entire weekend of frivolity, a shopping spree, or maybe even a new toy like a flat screen TV, or a new dining room set.
  4. Turn it into a social experience. It is likely that you have a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, or a family member who also needs to lose weight. Grab a partner and make a solemn pact to force each other to stick to it.
  5. Take a good look in the mirror. When all else fails, get undressed and stand in front of a full length mirror. Take a good look from the front, turn to the side, and even turn around and look back over your shoulder at your backside. If you need to lose even 10 pounds, the mirror will be more than happy to show them to you.

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Words to Live By…

As many of you know, I’ve worked in fitness for two decades. Over that time, I’ve accumulated some wonderful quotes that I return to over and over again whenever I need inspiration to get up and do what needs to be done to stay healthy. Here are a few of them:
* “Don’t let an old person move into your body.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer
* “Exercise is not just for healthy people. Exercise can improve back pain, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, vascular disease, asthma, parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, angina, and heart attacks.” -American Medical Association.
* “You are never too old to get in shape. At different times, I have engaged in many different activities. I value staying active.” -Senator John Glenn
* “Exercise, improves energy, self esteem, heart, and lungs. It will improve muscle tone and greater function of bones and joints.” – American Physical Therapy Association
* “Research has confirmed that even moderate exercise performed regularly helps protect us from disease and prolong life expectancy.” -James Todd, MD, VP of American Medical Association
* “Regular exercise can help prevent coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression, and some cancer, and fitness reduces the lifestyle-limiting effects of osteoporosis and arthritis.”-Mayo Clinic
* “Exercise helps elevate a person’s mood, even short workouts. 8 minutes was all it took to help reduce a persons feeling of sadness, tension, fatigue, and anger.” -Duke University
* “Get off the couch.” -Theo Ratliff, Detroit Pistons
* “Turning off the television and getting the family physically active are the best ways to keep off the unwanted pounds and for everyone to stay healthy.”-Dr. Barbara J. Moore, President of Shape Up America
* “Exercise can improve your mood, relieve moderate depression, and help delay the onset of disabilities and life threatening disease.”-Terrie Wetle of the National Institute on Aging
* “Scientists found that together, lack of exercise and poor dietary habits were the second largest underlying cause of death.”-National Institute on Aging

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Six Ab Exercises You Should Never Do

Your core muscles are important for your golf swing, but they’re also important for your resistance to injury and balance.  Also, let’s face it, for a lot of people the “six-pack” abs look is the holy grail of fitness for a lot of people.

Unfortunately, many popular exercises for your core can actually be damaging, and almost none of them offer the fat loss and increased definition promised by so-called experts.

Here are six exercises that can damage your posture and aren’t the best way to strengthen your core:

Number one:
Yes, the classic, simple crunch.  It does strengthen your abs, no doubt about that, but it only works one muscle group (the rectus abdominis).  As a functional fitness trainer, I’m not a fan of any exercise that works one muscle group in isolation.  Exercises like these can lead to imbalances that result in a hunched-over posture and an injured back.

Number two:
Supine leg raises.
I’m sure you’ve done these before.  This exercise is where you lie on your back and repeatedly raise your extended legs, kind of like a reverse sit-up where you lift the bottom half of your body rather than the top.  This exercise works the hip flexors more than the abs.  As I mentioned before, so much of your life is spent with these muscles in flexion that this doesn’t help your body balance and strengthen the core muscles you need for golf and life.

Number three:
The Ab Roller.
This is an infomercial stand-by that advertises amazing results on your abs, but it actually works your hip flexors and arms more.  It doesn’t provide enough resistance to truly build strength, and supporting your body with a rigid piece of equipment like this won’t build muscle balance or agility.
Image result for ab roller

Number four:
These punishing exercises are a staple of sports training, but here’s the thing: this is another exercise where you’re actually doing more work with your hip flexors than your abs.  It also pulls on your lower back without actually strengthening it.

Number five:
Russian twists.
This exercise is where you sit on your bottom, lift your feet slightly off the ground, and then twist left and right, tapping the ground on either side of you with two hands.  They’re a real grind…literally!  Your limber spine is not meant to rotate in this fashion, and repeatedly doing this exercise actually damages the facet joints in your spine, leading to back pain.
Image result for russian twists
Number six:
No, not the two-wheeled kind.  The kind where you rest your lower back on the ground, strain your neck to lift up your head, and twist your body back and forth and kick your legs in the air like you’re either riding a bicycle or throwing a temper tantrum.

Many of your day-to-day activities involve flexion of the abdominal muscles.  In fact, while you are sitting down your abs are in flexion, and that constant flexion can lead to a shortening of the ab muscles and an imbalance that puts you at risk for injury.  What these no-no exercises have in common is that they worsen the problems people often have with their posture.  If you contact me, I can show you how to strengthen your core without worsening your posture or creating imbalances that can hurt your golf swing, and even worse, hurt you.

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