Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

11 HABITS of Highly Successful Exercisers

Have a clear image of your ideal body--not Heidi Klum's--in your head.
Your Strategy:
First, decide what your goal is--to firm up your butt or lose 10 pounds--then visualize how your body will look if you're successful. Keep that image in your head when you're working out, are tempted to skip and exercise session or are just feeling frustrated. If you're trying to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight or fit into a favorite dress from two years ago, tape a photo of yourself from that time on your mirror, computer or refrigerator. The picture--whether it's just in your head or staring you in the face--will be a type of contract, keeping you driven to reach your goals.

Focus on improving your cardiovascular fitness instead of dropping pounds.
Your Strategy:
As a baseline, you should be able to walk two to three miles at a pace of 15 to 20 minutes per mile three or four times a week. Better yet, aim for four or five 45-minute sessions of aerobic exercise and two or three strength workouts. If you're just starting out, do as much exercise as you can (even if it's only 10 minutes) three days a week, and build up gradually from there.

Plan out most of the details of your work-outs beforehand.
Your Strategy:
Be precise when scheduling your workouts. For example, instead of jotting down "work out" on Monday, list "power yoga class," "45-minute walk on the treadmill @ 4 mph" or "30-minute upper-body weight workout."

Have a balanced snack an hour or two before working out.
Your Strategy:
A proper pre-workout mini meal contains 150 to 250 calories from both carbs and protein. Noshing on one of the following two hours prior to exercise: half an apple with a tablespoon o peanut butter, a half cup of trail mix, or crackers with low-fat cheese.

Strap on a heart-rate monitor for your cardio sessions.
Your Strategy:
Try this exercise to track your heart rate: Grab a monitor and get on a treadmill or bicycle. Warm up for five minutes and check your heart rate. This is your base number. Now, increase your intensity to a level where you feel challenged but comfortable and sustain it for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool down by walking or biking @ a slow pace, and watch how long it takes to bring your heart rate back to that base number. "Your goal through progressive workouts is to drop your heart rate faster, ideally within two minutes." The faster you recover, the fitter you are. A good monitor to try: Polar's M21 ($150) not only calculates heart rate and calories burned but also sends you an exercise reminder. To order, log on to polarusa.com or call 800-227-1314.

Have an arsenal of strengthening moves for each body part.
Your Strategy:
To do a better job of sculpting your triceps (the backs of your upper arms), for example, complete 10-12 reps of each of these three moves back-to-back: dumbbell kickbacks, triceps pressdowns and triceps extensions (also called skull crushers). Rest for 30 seconds; repeat 2-3 times.

Contract your abs periodically throughout the day.
Your Strategy:
Don't just think of your abs as something you train in the gym. Whether you're standing in line at the grocery store, sitting at your desk or driving your car, do this move to work your middle muscles: Exhale and pull in your belly button as if you were trying to zip up a tight pair of jeans. Continue to breathe normally; hold for 15-30 seconds and release. Repeat five to 10 times.

Increase the intensity of your workouts across the board.
Your Strategy:
You can turn up the intensity meter either by gradually increasing the speed or workload of your normal workout--especially if your typical aerobic session could best be described as leisurely--or by doing intervals. If you run, try hoofing it a little faster. Boosting your speed by just one mile an hour will significantly up your calorie burn. If you run @ 5 mph for 30 minutes, for example, you'll burn 260 calories. Spend the same amount of time @ 6 mph (a 10-minute-mile pace) and you'll burn 325 calories. It may take a couple of weeks to build up to it, but your body will notice the difference. (Calorie counts are for a 135-pound woman.)

Ban the word routine from your workout vocabulary.
Your Strategy:
Instead of plodding through the same three-mile jog four days a week, do a different "run" every day. Try this program (you'll burn more calories a week while giving your lower body a sculpting workout as well): Day 1: Run three miles @ your normal pace. Day 2: Do intervals of three minutes of faster running mixed with one minute of slow jogging. Day 3: Find a series of gentle hills (or use the incline button on the treadmill) and jog three miles. Day 4: Alternate intervals of one-minute sprints on an incline with one minute of walking in between.

Make friends with the trainers at the gym.
Your Strategy:
To break the ice, approach a trainer in between clients. Simply introduce yourself. Ask for her/his opinion about something--new equipment, classes or even what type of sneakers she/he recommends. Show respect for her/his time and advice and I'll guarantee she/he will remember you. Once you establish a relationship, you can ask her/him to double-check your squat form, tweak your triceps extension or suggest a new cardio workout.

Think of exercise as a reward all by itself.
Your Strategy:
The next time you meet a tough work deadline, negotiate a truce with your boyfriend/girlfriend or defuse a family conflict, make your run or indoor cycling class your reward. Congratulate yourself with exercise. "That feeling can take you a long way--even back to the gym day after day."

Put your strategies to work!

Eve :-)


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