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Warning: You are not going to find a six-step plan for losing weight and getting in shape in this post. There are plenty of other articles online that tackle these topics. (You should feel free to read them, but remember to absorb some of the information with caution: Consider the source and take any blanket, one-size-fits-all statements with a grain of salt.) I’m here to tell you that weight loss is not all about what foods you eat or what exercises you do. Understanding the mental and physical hurdles you’re going to face during

Finding the motivation to exercise isn’t always easy. Of course, everyone wants to look good, but sometimes the promise of a tighter behind or flatter stomach isn’t enough to get you out the door. When external factors aren’t pulling their weight to keep you moving, call on a few of these other benefits of regular exercise. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity showed that many of these health-related outcomes were major motivating factors for those who were successful with sticking to an exercise program. 1. Remember: Exercising

The weight-loss industry has us believing that losing weight fast is a goal worth achieving, but all weight loss isn’t created equal. With fast weight loss comes even quicker muscle loss, which can be detrimental to your health and fitness goals, since muscle is necessary for burning calories. Moreover, weight loss occurs as a result of consistent action over time. What you should be thinking about, instead of losing weight fast, is losing weight without sacrificing muscle. Below, the three key ingredients to help you lose weight without losing muscle mass. 1. Don’t cut calories too low There’s

If you’ve ever seen the cover of a fitness magazine, I’m sure you’ve seen headlines that are very similar to “(insert fit celebrity) Reveals Her Top 5 Fitness Secrets!” It’s intriguing to the reader because the celebrity must know something the reader doesn’t if she’s in such good shape. But if you stop and think about it, you find yourself wondering: Are fit people really keeping secrets, whispered only among a select few, about how to stay in shape? Of course not. In fact, their “secrets” have probably been under your

Workout DVDs, “As Seen on TV” workout equipment, gym memberships: These are all things millions of people try every year in an effort to become more fit. But what if improving your own health simply came down to spending more time with other people who are in good health? As entrepreneur Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Since Rohn was an entrepreneur and was mostly interested in helping others become more successful, the point he was trying to make

You put your time in at the gym and eat right. You strength train and do cardio. But still, you’re not seeing results. You’ve been at it for months and yet it seems the scale doesn’t budge and your muscles won’t change. It’s frustrating and defeating when you’re putting the time and the effort in but not seeing any changes. Don’t give up hope and throw in the towel yet because, chances are, there’s a way to turn things around. Below, the top six workout mistakes that keep people from

Like personality types, there are many different variations of squat form — and many prove what not to do when performing a squat. The good news is, how you perform a squat, especially if you’re not doing it right, can clue you into specific muscular imbalances, which you can then correct, leading to a stronger you. Below, three common squat-form mistakes and what they can tell you about where you need to build strength and flexibility. If you lean forward …  It’s common to have a tendency to lean forward when trying to squat deeper, but a

If you’re like most people who are inconsistent at the gym, you probably go weeks or even months at a time without working out. Even though your body and your fitness levels have changed during this time, it’s not uncommon to jump right back into an old workout routine knowing your body is assuredly different than it was during your last workout. But it’s of the utmost importance that you assess your fitness before beginning any fitness program. Assessing your fitness may include checking your strength, endurance, flexibility, range of motion, and

Millions of Americans sit behind a desk for eight hours or more five days per week. Some may also have a long commute in a car or on public transit. Then, after a long day of work, who doesn’t want to come home and sit on the couch? Let’s face it: We sure do a LOT of sitting. All this sitting can do damage to your health and contribute to unwanted pounds piling on. Being in a seated position not only makes muscles tight, but it also leads to weak and overstretched muscles, which

The term “industry secret” is often used in gimmicky infomercial sales pitches. It makes you think they know something you don’t — and the only way to get it is to buy the product they’re selling. For the fitness industry, it’s what makes millions of people read magazines and articles that promise to spill on “the secret” to getting in shape. The real secret to getting in shape, though, is that … well, there is no secret. But there are a few basic tips and rules that every personal trainer knows to help you get in