Tag Archives: Health

4 Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit

Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit

I have to admit that I have my ups and downs with the exercise habit

So I know that it’s not the easiest habit for most people, and most people’s experiences consist of starting and stopping and starting again. Which is fine — don’t beat yourself up about it. The important thing is starting again.


Today I thought I’d visit the topic for those who have trouble.


The Main Problems

So why do most people have trouble making exercise a regular habit? Well, there are probably a number of factors, but here are the main ones as I see it:

Too difficult. People set out with a lot of ambition and enthusiasm, and start out with a big goal. “I’m going to go to the gym for an hour a day!” or “I’m going to run 30 minutes every day!” The problem is that the goal is too difficult to sustain for very long. You can do it for a few days, but you soon run out of energy, and it becomes a drag to do it.

Too many goals. Often we set out to do too much. We want to run, and lift weights, and eat healthy, and quit sweets, and stop drinking soda. Well, those are multiple goals, and you cannot focus on the exercise habit if you’re trying to do all the others at the same time. Or we might start with one goal, but then get caught up in another goal (to stop procrastinating, for example), and lose our focus on the first one.

Not enough motivation. It’s not a lack of discipline, it’s a lack of motivation. The most powerful motivators, in my experience, are logging your habit and public pressure. There are many others that help as well.

The 4 Simple Steps

So how do we solve those problems? Keep it simple. Here are the 4 simple steps to start the exercise habit (and keep it going). I should note that you can use these 4 steps to start any habit.

1. Set one easy, specific, measurable goal. There are several keys to setting this crucial goal:

Written: Write this down. Post it up. If you don’t write it down, it’s not important.

Easy: Don’t — DO NOT — set a difficult goal. Set one that is super, super easy. Five minutes of exercise a day. You can do that. Work your way to 10 minutes after a month. Then go to 15 after 2 months. You can see what I mean: make it easy to start with, so you can build your habit, then gradually increase.

Specific: By specific, I mean what activity are you going to do, at what time of day, and where? Don’t just say “exercise” or “I’m going to walk”. You have to set a time and place. Make it an appointment you can’t miss.

Trigger: I recommend that you have a “trigger” right before you do your habit. For example, you might always brush your teeth right after you shower. The shower is the trigger for brushing your teeth, and because of that, you never forget to brush your teeth. Well, what will you do right before you exercise? Is it right after you wake up? Right after your coffee? Right when you get home? As soon as you take off for lunch? A trigger that you do every single day is important.

Measurable: By measurable, I mean that you should be able to say, definitely, whether you hit or miss your goal today. Examples: run for 10 minutes. Walk 1/2 a mile. Do 3 sets of 5 pushups. Each of those has a number that you can shoot for.

One goal: Stick to this one goal for at least a month. Two months if you can bear it. Don’t start up a second goal during that 30-day period. If you do, you are scrapping this goal.

2. Log it daily. This is the key habit. If you can log your workout, you will start to see your progress, and it will motivate you to keep going. And you have to make it a habit to log it right away. Don’t put it off, and say you’ll do it before you go to bed. As soon as you’re done working out, log it. No exceptions. And don’t make the log complicated — that will only make you resist doing the log. Just the date, time, and what you did.

3. Report to others. I think this is key. You can do it on your blog, on an online forum, with your spouse, or friends or family, or a workout partner, or a coach, or a group, or a class. However you set it up, make it part of the process that you have to report your daily workout to other people. It could be using an online log, or on a forum, or through email, or the phone, or just by telling your co-workers what you did this morning. But be sure that they know your goal, and that you are going to report to them, and be sure that they are expecting it every day.

4. Add motivation as needed. The first three steps might be enough for you to get the habit going. But if not, don’t just give up. If you miss two consecutive workouts, you need to look at why, and add a new motivation. Rewards, more public pressure, inspiration, whatever it takes. Read this article for more on this. You can add one additional motivator, and then see if it works. If you miss two more consecutive workouts at any time, add another motivator. And so on, until the exercise habit sticks.


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Warm Up Routine Close Out

Health Fitness

In our previous article we have told you some good warm up exercises covering almost all major body parts using frequently.

if you don’t remember which warm up exercise to do, a bit trick is after performing stretches and cardio routine start a small set of your major workout routine as warmup

for example if you perform 100 reps of situps as your major workout your warmup is to be of 20 reps of situp. warm up is basically preparing your body for what to come so it is less damaged.


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Pre-Workout Exercises 14: Warm Up For Abs

 Sit Up

Mostly weight loss routines involve that belly block which you want to reduce. Abdominal muscles are strongest and require very advanced workout. Abdominal muscles are also very sensitive and require care as they are link with your back. So to prevent injuries and damage warm up for abs are essential. Below are some warm up exercisesbefore your situps.

There are no specific exercise for warming up your abs. I before starting my actual abs routine I start with stretch as mention earlier, 20 minutes cardio routine, lunges and jumping jacks. My work out routine mainly consists of abs exercises. Above mentioned warm up increase my heart rate and I am sweating severely. After that as my warm up of abdominal muscles I perform 50 sit up.

So mainly your abdominal warm up is preparation of your actual work out routine. Exercise consisting of your warmup routine done in small reps would be well consider as your warm up.


Lie straight on your back, lying face up on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Feel free to tuck your feet under a fixed object if you feel the need, but only if you don’t suffer from lower back pain.

The movement begins by curling the shoulders towards the pelvis, with hands gently placed behind or below the ears. Try to keep your eyes on the ceiling even when you curl forward. Avoid placing the hands behind the head itself as using them to exert force on the neck can cause injury. Good practice is for the hands to lightly support the weight of the head, so that the neck flexor muscles can relax during the movement. Do not jerk the head forward with your hands.

Slowly contract your abdominals and come up to an angle of no more than 35 degrees – there’s no need to go further than this – and exhale as you crunch forward.

It’s important to focus on working the abdominal muscles and not the hips and also to keep your chin off your chest. The lower back should not leave the floor which will make the curl up an effective isolation exercise for the abdominals. Start with 10 reps and after 2 days increase 1.

Once you’ve reached the 35 degree position, hold for one or two seconds before gently lowering yourself to the floor. Inhale on the way down and repeat. Focus on natural, rhythmic breathing as you continue to perform the exercise.

Pre-Workout Warm Up Exercises 12: Leg Raises

Straight leg raise

Lie down on your back with one leg bent and one leg straight. Next, perform a posteriorStraight leg raise pelvic tilt to protect your back from injury. To do this, draw your umbilicus (belly button) toward the floor. If you are doing this correctly, your back should be flat against the floor/mat. You can also check your technique by putting your hand under the small of your back, on the floor, and flatten your back so that your back is “crushing” your hand. With your toes pointed to the ceiling, keep your knee straight and lift your leg up to about 45 degrees. It shouldn’t be raised higher than the bent knee. Slowly lower your leg back to the floor. Repeat 10-15 times, 3 times in a row. Repeat with opposite leg.

Standing hip flexion

Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold onto a stable chair or table for support.Standing hip flexion Perform an abdominal draw in to protect your back from injury. Do this by pulling your umbilicus (belly button) in towards your back. Keep your knee straight, toes pointed and kick your leg forward in a slow and controlled motion. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times, 3 times in a row. Repeat with opposite leg.

Standing hip extension

 Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and hold onto a table or chair in front of you forStanding hip extension support. Perform an abdominal draw in to protect your back. Do this by pulling your umbilicus (belly button) in towards your back. Keep your knee straight and toes pointed, and kick your leg backward slowly. Make sure you keep your upper body and back straight during the exercise. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times, 3 times in a row. Repeat with opposite leg.

Standing hip abduction

Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and have a table or chair next to you forStanding hip abduction stability. Perform an abdominal draw in to protect your back from injury. Do this by pulling your umbilicus (belly button) in towards your back. Keep your knee straight, toes pointed and kick your leg out to the side of your body slowly. Make sure you keep your upper body and back straight during the exercise. Return to starting position.  Repeat 10-15 times, 3 times in a row. Repeat with opposite leg.


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Pre-Workout Warm Up Exercises 11: Step Up and Step Down

 step up step down

This is one of easiest warm up exercise, which you can perform in gym or in home if you plan your workout there.

Take a wooden block of 1 ½ – 2 foot. Stand straight, with your chest forward. Take a step on block with your right foot. Then step down with same foot. Repeat it 10 times. Now repeat procedure with left foot. By taking each steps also move your hands and arm as you move them in march parade, this would warm up your shoulder muscles. If moving your arms are difficult, then place them on your hips.  If you don’t have a wooden block you can perform this workout on stairs. This exercise covers your thigh, glutes and hip muscles.

You can increase intensity of this exercise by increasing wooden block size or taking two stairs at times.


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Pre-Work Out Warm Up Exercise 9: Trunk Rotation

 Trunk Rotation

Whenever you are standing alone doing nothing, you feel like rotating your trunk. It’s one of the best warm up exercise which increases blood circulation in your mid-section.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Arm raised laterally shoulder level. Rotate torso at 90 degree to your right, then return rotating to left. Repeat movement for 10 times. You should feel your torso moving.  Stand straight, keep chest up and hip pointed forward.


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Pre Work Out Warm Up Exercise 5: Elliptical Trainer

Workout Elliptical

The elliptical machine provides a no-fuss, low-impact way to increase your core body temperature and lubricate your joints, and if you’re going to hit the cardio equipment anyway, an elliptical trainer is probably a convenient way to break a sweat. (Pair this activity with a few different dynamic exercises, such as walking lunges, pushups with arm rotations and body-weight squats, to incorporate a more complete range of motion.)

 Make sure the elliptical machine is on its easiest settings and start moving slowly, building your pace for five to 10 minutes or until you start to sweat. If you’re fit, you may want to increase the resistance level or incline after a minute or two. Once you feel warm, move on to the rest of your workout. If you’ve never used an elliptical trainer before, get some tips from a staffer to make sure you use proper form.


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Pre Workout Warmup Exercise 2: Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are an exercise to use primarily for Jumping Jackswarming up before a fitness activity.

After stretching out, nothing gets your entire body warmed up like a set of jumping jacks. Before sports, complete a five-minute set of jumping jacks to get your body going. Not only do you engage most of your muscles during this exercise, but you also increase the volume of blood and oxygen that is moved throughout your body.Jumping jacks are fairly easy to do.

All you have to do is stand tall in a safe area that is conducive for doing exercises. Engage your core while standing with your arms beside you and feet together. Begin by bending your knees slightly and jump out to the sides with each foot while thrusting your arms over your head simultaneously. Quickly, jump back into place and repeat the exercise. Continue repeating jumping in and out until you’ve reached your goal. Intensify by accelerating your speed.

The Move: Jumping Jacks

Besides being a great warm-up exercise, jumping jacks are an excellent form of aerobic exercise and they can help to condition and tone your body. Work out for 20 minutes or more a day with jumping jacks and find you have more stamina, endurance and are in better overall shape. You can also get your heart rate up significantly and expand your lungs while doing jumping jacks. Completing 20 minutes of jumping jacks produces similar results as jogging for 20 minutes.


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Pre-Workout Warmup Exercise-1: Stretching Before Walking

Stretching Before Walking

Hitting the pavement — or the treadmill deck —

Without warming up your body can lead to injury. One way to warm up is with a trio of slow, gentle stretches that prime major leg muscles for the work you’re about to give them.Increasing the blood flow to your muscles before you stretch them is another vital step in preventing injury. Walk or jog slowly, either moving forward or in place, for at least five minutes before you embark on your stretching routine. Once your blood is pumping and your muscles are heated, move on to the stretches. Stretches work best when you breathe deeply and slowly, hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and keep the muscles relaxed.

Hamstrings Stretch
stretch hamstring bench

You can stretch your hamstrings while standing or lying on your back. To stretch themHamstring strekch while standing, keep your left leg firmly on the floor and prop your right leg out in front of you at a 45-degree angle supported on a bench. Keep your back straight and gently bend slightly forward with your hands on your right thigh. For the lying stretch, lie on your back with your right leg extended and left knee bent and its foot on the ground. Wrap a towel or strap around your right foot, holding one strap end in each hand, and gently lift the strap and your leg. Switch legs and repeat for either stretch.

Calves Stretch

You have two options for stretching your calves, again either standing or on the ground.calf stretches Stand and stretch by placing your left foot firmly on the ground and your right foot slightly forward with the foot flexed and heel on the ground. Sit to stretch your calves with both legs extended and a towel or strap wrapped around your right foot. Flex your right foot and gently lift the towel with one hand holding each end of it. Switch legs and repeat for either stretch.

Quadriceps Stretch

stretch quadricepsquadraceipQuad stretching also has two options. For the standing option, plant your left foot firmly on the ground and bend your right knee back, with your foot behind you reaching toward your butt. Grab your right foot in your hand and gently stretch your foot as close to your butt as possible, feeling the pull on your quadriceps. The lying-down version uses the same movements, but instead of standing, you lie on your side. Lie on your left side with your left leg extended down and your left arm extended above you head on the ground. Bend your right knee and pull your right foot behind you toward your buttocks. Switch legs and repeat.lying quad stretch

Now your legs are warm up enough for your brisk walk either on ground or on treadmill.


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Female body shapes& body types- what are they?

Your body shape is based on the size of your physical features and their relation to each Body shapeother on your body, while your body type determines your body’s ability to gain fat and muscle. In addition, certain exercise types are more effective if you’re a particular body shape or body type.

Body Shapes

In most cases, you’ll fall into one of four female body shape categories, or you’ll be a combination of more than one:
The 5 main body shapeare;

  • Pear: A sexy bottom and a petite upper body
  • Apple: Beautifully bigger on your top half than your bottom
  • Ruler: Straight up and down
  • Hourglass: A well-proportioned top and bottom body with a narrow waist

Apple shape: These women have broad(er) shouldersapple compared to their (narrower) hips.Apple shaped women tend to have slim legs/thighs, while the abdomen and chest look out of proportion compared to the rest of the body. Fat is mainly distributed in the abdomen, chest, and face.

Ruler shape: the waist measurement is less than ruler9 inches smaller than the hips or bust measurement. Body fat is distributed predominantly in the abdomen, buttocks, chest, and face. This overall fat distribution creates the typical ruler (straight) shape.

Pear shape: The hip measurement is greater than the pearbust measurement. The distribution of fat varies, with fat tending to deposit first in the buttocks, hips, and thighs. As body fat percentage increases, an increasing proportion of body fat is distributed around the waist and upper abdomen. The women of this body type tend to have a (relatively) larger rear, robust thighs, and a small(er) bosom.

Hourglass shape: The hip and bust are almost of equalhourglass size with a narrow waist. Body fat distribution tends to be around both the upper body and lower body. This body type enlarges the arms, chest, hips, and rear before other parts, such as the waist and upper abdomen.


The human physique can be divided into 3 main body types, based on propensity for fatbody type gain, muscle gain and frame size. While much is made of body shape, body type actually allows you to form a weight loss plan based on how your body responds to exercise and diet. In other words, it makes losing weight easier

  1. Ectomorph
  2. Endomorph
  3. Mesomorph


An Ectomorph has the body type that is most often seenectomorph in the pages of fashion magazines. They are slim boned, long limbed, lithe and have very little body fat and little muscle.

Ectomorphs tend to have fragile, delicately built bodies and find it difficult to gain weight or add muscle. Supermodels, ballerinas and basketball players most commonly fall into this group.

  • Skinny
  • Small joints/ boned
  • Long arms and legs
  • Linear physique – “ruler body shape”
  • Small shoulders
  • Lightly muscled
  • Small chest and buttocks
  • Low body fat (without exercising or following low calorie diets)
  • Can eat anything they like without weight gain
  • Fast and efficient metabolism
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Hyperactive
  • Difficulty in gaining muscle mass

Although ectomorphs tend to be highly regarded, one must remember that they have problems of their own. Ectomorphs tend to lack shape because of their low muscle mass. Female ectomorphs are likely to be flat chested and may complain of looking boyish, wishing they had more womanly curves. Male ectomorphs struggle to increase their muscle mass and may look wiry. As you see, they too, have to work hard to achieve their goals. As ectomorphs lack muscle mass, thus they need to keep their weight lower than endomorphs or mesomorphs. Furthermore, some ectomorph want and struggle to gain weight – muscle and some fat.

~Being a female ectomorph is currently in vogue. Ectomorphs, tend to lack both muscle and fat. However, it is not impossible to overcome your lack of muscle mass. It requires a serious focus on mass building through diet and weight training. The good news is that you have a naturally low body fat percentage. Thus, with even little gains in muscle you are able to boast excellent muscle definition. Female ectomorphs may want to gain mass to add shape.

Mesomorphs  could be thought of as the “genetically mesomorphgifted”. They are characterized by an athletic, strong, compact and naturally lean body. They have excellent posture. Often, their shoulders are wider than their hips and women tend to have an hourglass figure. Mesomorphs are natural born athletes and tend to be lean and muscular without trying. They generally are described as being of “medium” build. The world’s leading tennis players, figure skaters and bodybuilders fall into this group.

  • Naturally lean
  • Naturally muscular
  • Naturally strong
  • Medium size joints/ bones
  • Wider at the shoulders than the hips – i.e. chest dominates over abdominal area
  • Broad/ square shoulders
  • Female mesomorph: defined hourglass figure
  • Male mesomorph: V or rectangular shape
  • Efficient metabolism
  • Gaining muscle is almost effortless
  • Losing fat is almost effortless
  • Responds quickly to exercise

It is a great advantage to have mesomorphic qualities, as one has great foundations on which to build. Mesomorphs don’t have to worry too much about what they eat and they can gain muscle mass and lose weight fairly quickly with relatively easily. This combination allows the mesomorph to achieve fantastic definition of the body. However, as easily as you lose fat, you gain fat also. Janet Jackson is a good example of someone who has struggled with fluctuating weight, but when determined is able to lose weight relatively quickly and look incredibly defined and boast amazing abs.

~Female mesomorphs, that includes women who feel they have become too bulky, should do light-to-moderate weight training, no more than 3 times a week for muscle shaping and sculpting. This will help enhance tone and not increase size. Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 – 15 repetitions using light to moderate weights for each major muscle group. Try circuit training, which encourages strength and stamina, but without building bulk. Be careful when choosing thigh exercisesin a bid to slim down thighs.

Endomorphs have a soft, curvy and round physique endomorphand display the opposite characteristics from ectomorphs. They have a sluggish metabolism, gain weight easily and have to work hard to lose body fat. Endomorphs often have a larger frame and tend to have wider hips than shoulders, creating a pear-shaped physique. Some of the sexiest and most beautiful singers and actresses are endomorphs. Similarly, many of the actors and action heroes on the silver screen are endomorphs.

  • Smooth, round body
  • Medium/ large joints/ bones
  • Small shoulders
  • Short limbs
  • High levels of body fat (may be overweight)
  • Body fat tends to settle in lower regions of body, mainly lower abdomen, butt, hips, and thighs (rather than being distributed evenly throughout body)
  • Pear-shaped physique
  • Can gain muscle easily, but tends to be underdeveloped
  • Difficult to keep lost body fat off
  • Lose weight slowly
  • Have to work hard to lose weight
  • Slow metabolic rate
  • Attacks of tiredness/ fatigue
  • Fall asleep easily

There is no way round this issue. Endomorphs will have a harder time losing weight. But lets be clear. No one is saying that endomorphs CAN’T lose weight, but that they will have to work harder to lose the weight. Endomorphs do not have to be overweight. They simply require more determination than perhaps a mesomorph would, to achieve the same goal. Endomorphs have to train hard and must eat healthily most of the time. Endomorphs gain fat quickly when eating the wrong types of foods because their metabolism can be unforgiving. 

The good news is that endomorph women are often thought of as voluptuous and sensual because they go in at the waist, have large rounded breasts and have womanly curves in all the right places. In shape the female endomorph is unrivaled – toned and fit whilst being soft, sensuous and alluring.

~Endomorphs have a higher body fat percentage. Thus, as an endomorph your primary focus should be on cardiovascular exercise and fat burning. Endomorphs should either start weight training immediately or wait until you have reached a weight with which you are more happy.


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