1) Mind over Matter We here at Kings of Cardio believe that over half of the battle we fight versus obesity and lethargy is won upstairs with our brain. Your mind does so many great things but it can also play tricks on you and deter you from exercising at times. For example, you may think that you feel tired or sore, but in realty you are just fine. Or, you may try and rationalize not working out by convincing yourself that you don’t have the time, or that you will go the next day, this that, that this, so on and so forth. Do not let these sorts of thoughts invade your head; they will get in your way of becoming and staying healthy. Instead, convince yourself that you are excited to exercise and then go make it happen. Turn on some loud music if you have to, drink a sports beverage and get your game face on! As long as you frequently remind your body and mind how important exercise is to your daily life, typical thoughts of fatigue and helplessness tend to fade away. Adrenaline and mental toughness will take over when you let them and they can take you a long way as long as you remain focused, active and optimistic. Adrenaline and momentum are significant intangibles that lead to prolonged workouts on your elliptical, exercise bike or whatever type of fitness equipment you use. 2) Stay Positive Don't let a bad workout keep you down. In terms of cardio training, sometimes while exercising on a treadmill or stairclimber, we just don't run as fast or for as long as we normally do. From a strength perspective, we may not be able to lift as many reps as we are used to, or as much weight, and ultimately we get too furious with ourselves over not performing our best. Not seeing immediate results is a catalyst for frustration too, although it shouldn't be, and we will tell you how to deal with not seeing instantaneous muscle growth. Always keep in mind that success is a journey and not a destination. You will not become an overnight celebrity and wake up looking like J-Lo no matter what you do, so stay the course and do not deviate from your game plan. There will be bumps in the road, kick them to the side and keep trekking. When you do get angry, due to having "One of those Days," you should take it out at home with your fitness equipment. Nothing takes stress away like running on a treadmill until you legs are weary, or maxing out on strength exercises, and breaking down your muscles. The point is that staying positive and not letting innocuous things get you down, is essential to staying fit and maintaining a solid exercise routine. 3) Set Realistic Goals One of the main ingredients in the recipe for success is creating GOALS for yourself. Setting realistic goals allows you to stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish and tracking your progress becomes second nature. For example, take Steve, who doesn't set goals. Steve goes to the Gym, bounces around from station to station, talks to everyone he can and actually spends more time changing the songs and volume on his Mp3 that he does exercising. This represents an aimless game plan with no structure. At the end of the day, Steve is not getting better, and that is the key objective. Every day you either get better or you get worse, there is no in-between. When you do not set goals, there is no direction to your workout, making it very un-likely for you to stay fit and trim. Then we have Zack. Zack has set realistic goals for himself and knows exactly what he is going to do throughout his exercise routine. He does not stop working out until he finishes every exercise on his fitness outline, and takes great pride in every set and rep along the way. His training program based upon reaching his goals. For example, Zach bench presses a certain weight either 5 sets of 5, or 8 sets of 3. When he can complete both, clean, without needing his spotter to assist, the he increases the weight during his next workout. This is the way a WINNER carries himself or herself. Winners set goals, stay focused on them, reach them, and set new ones. Winners don’t quit and quitters don't win. Stay true to yourself and BELIEVE in yourself. 4) Eat Healthy "You are what you eat!" Growing up, all of our parents told us this, but we probably didn't realize they were right until the first time the Dr. told us our blood pressure was 152/95, or that our cholesterol levels were too high. Eating bad food, laced with tons of sugar, fat, sodium, and cholesterol not only messes up our insides as well as our appearance, but they also can make our brain function slower and have direct correlations to sluggishness and indolence. We need to eat healthy, nutritious foods that will give us the get-up-and-go attitude essential towards becoming fit. Our diet determines so much of whom we are. What we eat determines how we feel, look and act. Maintaining a healthy diet is a fundamental necessity for mental alertness, and having enough energy to perform at your best, no matter what you are doing. Improve your heart and health by eating right. For quick and healthy recipes, diet and nutrition tips, and new regarding food and health, please call us toll-free at 800-900-1108 for a free one-on-one conversation with one of our fitness experts. 5) Get a Workout Partner According to our research, people who regularly exercise with a friend or trainer are 27% more likely to work out on a consistent basis (at least 30 minutes a day / 5 times per week) than people who train without a partner. The main benefit of having a partner is that people tend to do better when trying to compete. If you workout with a close friend of yours, and you have always been around the same level of athleticism and strength as he or she, chances are you will do your absolute best to stay on par with, or if you’re on your game, one up your friend! Having a workout partner that you know is going to be on time and ready to exercise will keep you motivated at times when you are making excuses and wanting to take a day off. Your routine will also feel like it goes by much faster when you have a partner to talk to and discuss different exercises and bounce ways to stay slim off of each other. A fun, upbeat atmosphere is created when you have someone to train with and that makes time go by much faster. When picking a partner, try and chose one that encourages you and is motivated by you. He or she should also have an open mind to try new exercises to keep your routines fresh and positive. Last but not least, your training partner should be GOAL ORIENTED, and determined to get better every day. Always remember, everyday you either get better or you get worse and there is no in-between. 6) Stretch Regularly The importance of being flexible is overlooked by many. The great thing about stretching is that anybody can do it and you don’t need any equipment. You can stretch anytime, anywhere! We recommend that you try and stretch your body and its muscles for at least 5 minutes when you wake up in the morning and 10 minutes before you go to bed for the night. Stretching allows your body to heal quicker after running and weight lifting. If you do not stretch properly, you are leaving yourself more vulnerable to soreness, muscle cramping and will your body will not heal as fast as it would if you stretched properly. Stretching is of significant importance when it comes to preventing injuries too. An athlete who does what he or she is supposed to in regards to making sure they get their stretches and calisthenics in regularly, is less likely to pull muscles and have spasms than those who do not take the amount of time necessary to stretch out their bodies. Eliminate muscle tears, back spasms and cramping through proper stretching and calisthenics. 7.) Make Protein and Water Your Friends Constantly refueling yourself with water and protein will drastically improve how fast your body recovers after working out. Try not to drink so many sugar filled sodas and juices that add weight; they will also make you tired later in the day. People commonly think since there is no fat in these great tasting beverages that they are not that bad for you. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is sugar filled drinks will interfere and get in the way of achieving your goals pertaining to health and fitness. Protein is crucial for repairing and rebuilding broken down muscles after they have been stressed through physical activity. Your body uses protein to build muscle. When you lift weights, you break down your muscles and protein is needed to rebuild. Similarly, running on a treadmill can have the same effect on the body. The immediate implementation of increased water and protein intakes will do wonders for your health and ability to remain fresh and energized during prolonged physical activity.