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Knee strengthening exercise

7 Exercises To Strengthen Your Knees (And Help Mitigate Knee Pain)

Knee strengthening exerciseKnee pain is a common issue and a very frustrating one.

Your knees play a role in almost all your movement patterns. Losing the function of one or both of them can be debilitating.

Our knees go through a lot of punishment, particularly in the case of athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Unfortunately, knee health is often taken for granted until injury strikes.

For this reason, you need to take preventative measures in order to maintain the health of your knee joints and not only maintain athletic performance, but live a good quality of life in later years as well.

This article will show you how you can keep your knees strong and healthy to reduce the risk of an injury and also how you can strengthen them after suffering a knee injury.

 

How To Train For Stronger Knees

Training your knees is a bit different to training the muscles of your body since your knees are actually a joint. For this reason, a good knee strengthening protocol should be focused on strengthening the muscles that surround the joint.

The main muscles that support and stabilize the knee joint are your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip musculature, calves and core muscles.

Each of the muscles listed above should be trained in order to strengthen the entire chain and avoid any imbalances that could cause knee issues.

Below, are 7 exercises that have been chosen to cover each of the main muscle you need to strengthen to maintain healthy knees. To begin with, performing 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each exercise 3 times each week should help you to see some improvements.

 

7 Knee Strengthening Exercises

1. Squats

Technique

  • Stand with your feet around shoulder width apart and toes point slightly outwards.
  • Brace your core muscles and descend by breaking at your knees and hips simultaneously.
  • Aim to keep your knees in line with the direction of your toes throughout the entire movement.
  • Descend as low as you can while maintaining good technique.
  • Once at the bottom of your squat, drive yourself back to the start position by pushing through your mid-foot, straightening your knees and tensing your glute muscles.
  • If you want to do squats at home, get a power rack for best results.

Regression

If you are unable to perform a free-standing squat due to knee pain or a limited range of motion, you can perform the same movement with your back against the wall. This is called a “wall squat”.

In order to perform a wall squat, stand with your back against a flat wall and perform a squatting motion by bending your knees. You can also put a Swiss ball between your back and the wall to allow for a smoother motion. A

Progression

The natural progression to most bodyweight exercises is to add extra resistance in order to strengthen the muscles further. For the squat, a dumbbell can be held at your chest or a barbell can be placed across your upper back.

When using extra weight, it is important to ensure good technique is being used at all times and you never sacrifice good technique in order to use more weight.

 

2. Hip Hinges

Technique

  • Stand completely upright with your knees “soft”, spine in a neutral position and place your hands on your hips.
  • Brace your abs and tip your torso forwards by pushing your butt directly behind you. You should be bending at your hips here, not your waist.
  • Your back should remain flat throughout the movement.
  • Push your hips behind you until you feel a stretch in the back of your thighs.
  • Once you feel the stretch, return to the start position by thrusting your hips back through and squeezing your glutes hard.

Regression

If you are unable to keep a flat back when tipping forward, you may want to use a lying glute bridge while you work on being able to get into a better position for the hip hinge exercise.

To perform a lying glute bridge, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You should then thrust your hips towards the ceiling by tensing your glutes. Hold for a 1-count at the top before returning your hips to the floor.

In the meantime, you should also be working on keeping a flat back in the hip hinge exercise. Using a mirror or recording yourself from the side can help you to see where you need to make adjustments.

Progression

The next step up from the bodyweight hip hinge is the “Romanian deadlift”. For a Romanian deadlift, you would perform the exact same steps as listed above but while holding either dumbbells or a barbell in front of you. You could also the steps while wearing a weighted vest.

 

3. Leg extensions

Technique

  • Sit upright in a chair with your knees hanging just over the edge and feet flat on the floor.
  • Slowly raise one leg and bring your foot towards the ceiling by extending your knee.
  • Keep your toes pointed up and tense your thigh muscle as you straighten the leg.
  • Return to the start position under control and repeat.

Regression

If you have a hard time bringing your leg into full extension, you can simply reduce the range of motion for this one. Only straighten your leg as far as you can go without feeling pain and work up to being able to straighten it fully as you get stronger.

Progression

Adding resistance to the exercise by using ankle weights or a leg extension machine in the gym will further increase the strengthening benefits of the leg extension. Be sure to maintain a smooth and controlled movement when adding extra resistance.

 

4. Leg Curls

Technique

  • Lie on your front in a prone position with your legs completely straight.
  • Your feet should be flexed so that your toes are pointing to the ground.
  • Slowly bring one of your heels towards your butt by bending your knee.
  • Hold the finish position for a 1-count and squeeze your hamstring muscle before straightening the leg again.

Regression

Only work inside of a pain-free range of motion; Do not bend your knee to the point of feeling pain. You can slowly increase the range of motion of time as your knees become stronger.

Progression

Again, adding resistance in the form of ankle weights, resistance bands or a dedicated hamstring curl machine is a great way to continue improving the strength of your hamstrings.

 

5. Step Ups

Technique

  • Stand in front of a step set to around shin height.
  • Keeping your chest up and abs braced, left one leg onto the step.
  • Ensure the foot on the step is flat before pushing off of it and stepping onto the step.
  • Reverse the movement under control and repeat with the opposite leg.

Regression

Using a lower step that you can comfortably step onto without pain or balance issues is a good way to start with this movement. Over time, you can gradually increase the step height.

Progression

Of course, using a higher step is a good way to progress but you will only be able to step so high before your technique breaks down. Another way to progress is by holding dumbbells in your hands or wearing a weighted vest as you perform the step up.

 

6. Calf Raises

Technique

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead.
  • Lift both heels off of the ground at the same time by shifting your weight onto your toes.
  • Lift yourself as high as you can while maintaining good balance and pause for a 1-count at the top of the movement.
  • Lower yourself under control and repeat.

Regression

Standing in front of a wall and using it for leverage/support is a great way to make this exercise slightly easier if you are unable to extend your ankles fully or are having balance issues.

Progression

As with most other exercises, holding some weights will make this movement more challenging.

However, you can also make it harder by standing with your toes on the edge of a small step. Doing this will increase the total range of motion as you are able to drop your heels below the step at the start of each rep.

 

7. Single leg balances

Technique

  • Stand in front of a chair that you can use for support.
  • Keep your chest facing forward and back straight as you lift one leg off of the ground.
  • Hold this leg in the air and maintain your balance for as long as you can on one leg.
  • Aim to be able to do this for one minute on each leg before going on to the progressions.

Regression

Keep hold of the chair to take some weight off of your standing leg and to increase your balance. You can also break the time spent on one leg into smaller chunks and take some rest time between attempts.

Progression

The simplest progression you can make is to attempt to perform the exercise with your eyes closed. Keeping your balance without using your vision is much harder.

Once your balance and strength are at a good level, you can incorporate the use of unstable surfaces such as foam pads, Bosu balls or even pillows. Standing on these uneven surfaces will present you with an entirely different challenge.

 

Final Thoughts On Building Stronger Knees

As is the case with all things related to fitness and strength, it takes time to see results. You need to be both very consistent and very patient.

Use the exercises listed above on a routine basis and do not try to rush yourself; attempting to push too far could lead to injury. Of course, you need to push your limits slightly but be sure that your technique is always excellent and the exercises are not causing you any pain before your progress further.

Remember, you are training to be fitter and stronger for life so there is no rush to get there now. Long-term, sustainable progress is the aim of the game here.

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Review

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill Review

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 ReviewMy major considerations when purchasing a treadmill include functionality, simplicity and price.I can easily give the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 two thumbs up for all three criteria.

For a price considerably lower than most models in its category (up to 70% less), it gives me the essentials while being very uncomplicated to set-up, use, and maintain.

I can say that this treadmill is perfect for people on a budget who want the basic but effective functions.

Because of its ease of use, I also recommend it to people who are just starting out on their road to fitness, or are going back to the grind after quite some time.

 

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Review

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Easy to set-up and operate
  • Easy-to-follow pre-set programs
  • Adjustable speeds and digital information display for easy tracking of progress

Cons

  • Some operational noise over time
  • Lacks advanced features

 

Features

2 Mode Functions

Manual and electric treadmills have their own pro and cons.weslo cadence g59 2 Mode Functions

Thankfully, I have the option to switch from manual to automatic and vice versa with the Goplus Electric Treadmill 800W.

 

6 Pre-Set Fitness Programs

For someone who does not want a personal trainer hovering over me but still likes structure in my workout, this feature is perfect.

It has 3 programmed workouts targeting weight loss, and another 3 focused on high intensity training.

I can select one depending on my objectives, schedule, or just my mood for the day.

 

Easy Pulse™ Heart Rate Monitor

I can use the built-in thumb sensors to easily monitor my heart rate. It does not include control features which means that it does not automatically vary the speed for me to stay in my target heart rate zone, but that doesn’t bother me at all.

 

LCD Digital Information Indicators

We have all seen text and figures displayed on those complicated treadmills, most of which we don’t need, much less comprehend.

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 screen shows fundamental information like: calories burned, speed, distance, time and pulse – just what I like to see.

The screen is also blue-tinted, which makes the details easy to read even in low lighting.

 

Incline

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 inclines to a maximum of 6.7%. This allows for more intense workouts when I feel like it. This will also enable people of different heights to use the treadmill comfortably.

Although the incline is done manually, it is not a problem because it is not very heavy at all.

 

Others

Ease of Assembly and Simple Design

Setting-up the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is a breeze. Its parts are pre-assembled.

There are well-written assembly instructions and clear diagrams available in the user manual.

It folds up so it saves space and allows for easy storage.

Comfort Cell Cushioning Technology

Because of its narrow size, it can also be easily transported through doors when I feel like changing my view.

However, don’t get me wrong, I can still comfortably run or jog on its 29” width.

Speed Controls

The speed can be adjusted between 1-10 mph so I can shift even in the middle of my workout.
It allows for half-mile increments, which I really like because it gives me a chance to accelerate more comfortably.

Comfort Cell Cushioning Technology™

This unique feature provides comfort and support as it absorbs impact on joints.

 

Design And Specifications

The Weslo Cadence G 5.9 measures 55.5″ H , 29″ W, 64.5″ L and weighs 117 lbs, pretty much what can be expected from a home treadmill.

It runs on 2.00 HP power motor. It creates some sound which cannot be categorically labelled as noise so it’s still good to use at home.

It monitors heart rate levels which is good for staying safe and tracking progress.

The speed can be controlled and can go between 1-10 mph.

It has a shelf to hold reading material and two cup holders. This means that all of my workout essentials are within reach when working out.

The warranty covers the motor for 1 year and parts and labor for 90 days.

 

F.A.Q.

What’s the highest speed you can run at on this treadmill?

The maximum speed is 10mph.

 

What’s the maximum weight limit for the treadmill?

It can be used by people who weigh up to 275 lbs.

 

How easy is it to assemble?

It is quick and easy to assemble. My total assembly time was not more than 30 minutes.

 

How quiet is it?

It is not completely quiet but the sound it produces does not cause any major disturbance, which is perfect for home equipment.

 

What’s the maximum incline?

It can be manually inclined by up to 6.7%.

 

Other Options

If you want the same basic functions and flexibility but at a lower cost, you can consider the Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill.

On the other hand, if you can afford about $100 more, you can purchase the far better Sunny Health and Fitness Treadmill. You can have more workout program options while enjoying the same compact and easily folding treadmill. It features in our list of the best treadmills.

 

Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill: Conclusion

Because it efficiently fuses simplicity and high performance at an affordable price, the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 is a good buy.

Its 6 programmed workouts, user-friendly LCD display and control buttons are very helpful.

Its compact size and foldability also make it ideal for a small home.

Girl smoking weed to lose weight

Does Weed Make You Lose Weight?

Girl smoking weed to lose weightSmoking marijuana, aka weed, is a hotly debated topic.

Is it good for you?

Is it bad for you?

Are there actually medicinal properties?

As more states in the USA legalize weed, either for medicinal or recreational use, these questions become more crucial.

While marijuana has been shown to reduce stomach issues for those undergoing chemotherapy and to treat muscle spasms and chronic pain, weed has also been shown to increase appetite in those with HIV.

Keeping this in mind, why do people also think that smoking weed will help to reduce weight?

Could this actually help, but could there also be unintended side effects from smoking weed for weight loss?

 

Does Smoking Weed Make You Lose Weight?

While people have been smoking marijuana for as long as history can remember, up until recently, there was no proper research done on the effects of the drug.

A number of studies have been released over the last decade that indicate that while weight loss can be a side effect of marijuana use, it can also have unintended consequences.

 

Good News

  • The American Journal of Epidemiology (2011) – In this study, authors used data from two studies of over-18 year olds to compare weight and marijuana use. After adjusting for tobacco use, age, and biological sex, the authors found that people who smoked weed at least 3 days a week were less likely to be obese. Those who hadn’t smoked marijuana in the last year had a prevalence of obesity around 23%, while those who smoked multiple times a week had a prevalence of around 15%.
  • The American Journal of Medicine (2015) – The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys for 2005 to 2010 provided the data for researchers to understand whether there is a correlation between metabolic syndrome (factors for obesity) and weed use. Over 8000 people aged 20 to 59 were studied. The results across all age brackets, divided between current-users, past-users, and never-users, indicated that current-users had the lowest rate of metabolic syndrome, with never-users having the highest, and past-users were between the two percentage-wise.
  • The American Journal of Cardiology (2006) – This longitudinal study found that for both black and white youths, marijuana use was not correlated with a higher body mass index (BMI) or higher lipid and glucose levels, which are all markers of obesity. However, this study cautions that marijuana users also tended to have other habits (tobacco use and alcohol use) that were unhealthy and that could lead to obesity or other problems.
  • The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (2010) – This two-decade-long study out of Australia showed that both males and females were at a lower risk of an overweight or obese BMI (greater than 25), especially those who smoked daily.
  • Phytomedicine (2012) – This study, done in rats rather than humans, found that the animals that were injected with an organic cannabis extract over a 28-day period were less likely to gain weight and had better protection of their pancreatic islets.

Overall, studies indicate that regular marijuana use leads to a smaller BMI. However, studies also indicate that marijuana use could be bad for your health, if not your waistline.

 

Bad News

  • Public Health Nutrition (2001) -While this study, the oldest of the group of studies discussed here, also showed a correlation between weed use and weight loss (BMI was slightly lower overall for marijuana users), it also discussed the dietary habits of the users. The diet of a marijuana user had more sugars and more sodium, and their habits tended to include more alcohol and more cigarettes than those of a non-user.
  • Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience (2014) – This study, like the above study, also concludes that marijuana users are less likely to be obese. However, it also gives a number of reasons for why this could be true, including the fact that marijuana users also tend to use other drugs, including alcohol. The study also points out that there are differences for short-term and long-term weed users, with short-term use causing weight gain (for patients with HIV and cancer) and long-term use causing a lower rate of obesity. The study also suggests that food and drugs compete for the same reward sites in the brain, which may explain the long-term weight loss.

Overall, these studies indicate that marijuana users tend to have other habits that may contribute to bad health.

 

Anecdotal Evidence

It seems as though everybody has something to say about whether or not weed helped them, or somebody they know, to lose weight.

Here are two stories from people who have different ideas about how weed affects weight loss:

“When I was 16, I started smoking pot. I weighed about 140 pounds. But 6 months later I had dropped to 120 pounds – that’s 20 pounds in 6 months! I didn’t do anything different other than smoking weed. […] When you ask me, does smoking weed make you lose weight? I tell you it does!”

 

“The thin people I know who smoke pot tend to have other problems, like not enough money for good food. They aren’t losing weight because they smoke weed. They are losing weight because they are spending too much money on weed!”

 

Is Smoking Weed Bad For You?

As stated in the “Bad News” section above, marijuana use does have its bad sides, although withdrawal is not one of those things.

However, if you watch what other habits you are picking up when you use marijuana, you may get all the good without much of the bad tagging along.

Keep in mind, though, that marijuana is a drug and it does have around 60 chemicals in it.

These can cause side effects like red eyes or a dry mouth, so make sure to do your research before deciding that marijuana is the perfect weight loss drug for you!

P.S. We recommend using this diet for losing weight instead of playing around with marijuana.

Science-based tips for weight loss

25 Science-Based Tips For Losing Weight (Number 12 Is A Weird One)

Science-based tips for weight lossLosing weight can be a difficult process.

But sometimes it can seem like everyone else knows exactly how to do it.

If everyone is so great at giving advice for losing weight, why isn’t everyone 100% healthy?

Because their advice is usually wrong.

It’s as simple as that.

Would you rather listen to your great uncle Ross (whose beer belly seems to be growing every year) or accredited scientists and doctors?

Let’s listen to the doctors and make sure that this is the year you finally lose that belly fat and get the beach body you’ve been dreaming of forever.

Let’s dive in!

 

1. Eat Protein For Breakfast

High protein steak breakfast

In his 4 Hour Body book Tim Ferriss explains how his dad lost 23 pounds in 2 months.

What did his father do?

He started consuming 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.

Now you don’t have to consume 30 grams of protein to see the fat-loss effects. You don’t even have to eat it within 30 minutes of waking up.

Simply swapping your regular breakfast for eggs or any other protein-rich food can help you lose a ton of weight.

In this article in the International Journal of Obesity, they state that “egg breakfast enhances weight loss,” but you still have to do some sort of exercise even if it’s simply walking for 30 minutes per day. (Another source in PubMed)

 

2. Drink More Water

Water isn’t just good for helping your brain work better. (ScienceDirect, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

Drinking more water can also help you lose weight more effectively.

In fact, drinking 500 mL of water can increase your metabolism by 30% for 90 minutes (PubMed). This means that your body automatically burns more calories no matter what you do.

Cool, huh?

If you drink 500 mL of water 30 minutes before eating you can decrease your hunger and thus lose more weight. (PubMed)

 

3. Go On A Low Carb Diet

Low carb meal

Going on a low carb diet can help you lose more weight than standard low-fat, and other diets.

Once again this is something that Tim Ferriss suggests in his book, but he’s not a doctor so let’s look at the actual doctoral publications.

There are numerous studies about this, and instead of linking to all of them here is an article on Authority Nutrition summarizing 23 of them.

 

4. Have Only Healthy Food Around You

This might seem like an obvious one, but if you keep healthy snacks on your desk, near your couch, etc, you are more likely to eat them than unhealthy ones.

You could have a bowl of nuts at your work desk, a fruit-bowl near your couch, or some baby-carrots, a yogurt, or a healthy granola bar.

 

5. Eat Before Going Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping

We’ve all had it happen to us.

We go to the grocery store hungry and everything looks good. We pile tons of food into our cart, come home, eat, and then realize that half of the stuff you bought you don’t even want.

When you shop hungry you’re not just wasting money. You’re also hindering your weight-loss goals because you’re more likely to buy unhealthy snacks and foods if you’re shopping hungry.

Save your wallet and your tummy. Don’t shop when you’re hungry.

 

6. Use Smaller Plates

The size of plates have been steadily increasing, which means that you have to put more and more food on them to feel full. (PubMed)

If you use a smaller plate you’ll end up eating less and still feeling full after because of the way your brain works. (PubMed)

A smaller plate with food piled on top of it will trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more, compared to a large plate with the same amount of food.

 

7. Don’t Drink Calories

Sugary soft drinks

When we say don’t drink calories we mean don’t drink soft drinks like coke (yes, even coke zero), don’t drink “fruit juice” (the store bought fruit juice has the same amount of sugar as coke), and minimize the amount of sugar and creamer in your coffee.

If you love juice, then buy fruits and make your own. Studies like this one have shown that fruit juice has nearly the same amount of sugar as an equivalent amount of coke.

Milk is healthy, but it can still be fattening so try decreasing the amount of milk you take in. There’s a reason why there is a GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) “diet” that can help you gain over 30 pounds in 30 days.

P.S. Coke zero or any other zero-calorie drinks are terrible for you. Don’t drink them.

 

8. Eat More Protein

This one goes hand in hand with tips number 1 and 3. Eating more protein overall means that you’ll probably eat more for breakfast and that you’ll probably decrease the amount of carbs you take in.

A high protein diet can increase your metabolism by 100 calories per day, and you’ll feel fuller which means you’ll eat less throughout the day. (PubMed)

 

9. Sleep More And Better

Woman sleeping in bed

I’m sure you know that the average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night.

The question is, are you an average adult?

You might need 10 hours of sleep, or maybe you’re fine on 6 hours of sleep. Try sleeping for different amounts of times for a week at a time and see how you feel. You might be surprised at what you find.

Bad sleep also hinders your ability to lose weight and is shown to be one of the highest risk factors for obesity. (PubMed)

 

10. Don’t Watch TV/Videos While Eating

Popcorn while watching TV

Watching TV while eating can cause “mindless eating” where you don’t pay attention to how much you’re eating and what you’re eating.

This might not necessarily be a problem if you already have the food that you’re going to eat on your small plate and you have no junk food in the house, but otherwise the temptation might be too great and you won’t be able to lose weight.

Consider this: eating while watching TV is “associated with poor eating behaviors in adolescents” (PubMed). You might be stronger than that, but why take the risk?

 

11. Eat More Fiber

Eating fiber with every meal can increase the feeling of fullness and help you lose weight. (PubMed)

 

12. Eat Spicy

Red chili peppers

Can eating spicy really help you lose weight?

Not all spicy foods will, but some of them can and will help you reach your ultimate goals.

Cayenne pepper boosts your metabolism and reduces your appetite which is great if you want to lose weight. (PubMed and PubMed)

 

13. Do Resistance Training

Everyone wants to have more muscles and less fat, right?

However resistance training exercises can be confusing. Do you really need to go to the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours per day to increase your muscle mass?

No.

In fact as little as 20 minutes of resistance training per day 3 days a week can increase your muscles mass and help you lose that pesky fat. (PubMed)

No more second guessing or questioning whether what you’re doing is right.

 

14. Ditch Simple Carbs

Bread - a simple carb

This goes hand in hand with many of the tips above.

A simple explanation of what simple carbs are is this: it’s the white foods.

White bread, table sugar, cookies, cereal, white pasta, white rice, and potatoes. (Potatoes are technically complex carbs, but they tend to act like simple carbs inside the body which isn’t good.) (Pubmed)

 

15. Chew Slowly

Chewing your food slowly can help you lose weight.

Don’t believe me?

Your brain doesn’t register the food that you’re eating right away which is why you might feel bad after eating an appetizer, the full meal, and a dessert afterwards.

You still feel hungry right after eating the meal because your brain hasn’t registered everything yet, so you order the dessert. However your stomach is already full and eating more just makes you feel bad and prevents you from losing weight.

Chewing slowly can decrease the number of calories you consume and also increases the production of hormones linked to losing weight. (PubMed)

 

16. Drink Green Tea

Cup of green tea with leaves

This might seem like strange advice, but it really works.

Green tea contains something called catechins, which are antioxidants that can lead to fat burning when combined with caffeine. (ScienceDirect and PubMed)

Do you know what the best part is?

Green tea also has caffeine in it.

This means that by simply drinking green tea you can help yourself lose weight, and if you combine this tip with tip number 7, you’ll be on your way to losing more and more weight!

 

17. Take Glucomannan

Studies show that a supplement called Glucomannan can help you lose weight and feel more full.

Glucomannan is a fiber that absorbs water and stays in your stomach for a while, which helps you eat less and lose more weight. (PubMed)

 

18. Have A Cheat Day

Cheat day burger and fries

Always preventing yourself from eating sweets, simple carbs, and other yummy stuff is impossible.

That’s why they invented cheat days!

Pick a day of the week where you’ll allow yourself to eat whatever you want.

Throughout the week if you ever have a craving instead of acting on it, write yourself a note about what you were craving and tell yourself that you’ll eat that thing on your cheat day.

This helps you keep yourself motivated throughout the week because you’ll know that even if you don’t eat what you want to day, you can pig out on the cheat day of your choice.

 

19. Cut Back On Alcohol

Bottles of alcohol

Alcohol has all kinds of sneaky calories in it (the term beer belly is there for a reason), and while completely banishing it might be impossible, you should try to come back as much as you can.

The sneaky calories in alcohol can hurt your weight loss goals, but that’s not the only thing it does.

It can also prevent yourself from making good eating decisions, and it can hurt your performance in the gym which means you’ll be burning less calories for the same amount of effort. (PubMed)

 

20. Set Realistic Goals

Many of us set New Year’s resolutions without ever completing them.

Why?

Usually it’s because the goals look so big and threatening that we put it off until the next day, week, or month.

For some reason we like to think that the future me will have more control over himself and that he will finally go to the gym.

That doesn’t happen which is why you need to set realistic goals.

Instead of setting a goal of going to the gym every day for an hour, or even going to the gym at least 3 times a week do something simpler.

Start out by setting a very small goal like walking for 15 minutes every other day. Once you do that for 2-3 weeks, a habit should start to form and you can change up your goal and make it a bit harder.

Now instead of walking for 15 minutes every other day, let’s walk for 30 minutes every other day, or let’s jog for 10 minutes every other day, or let’s do some pushups, squats, and planks for 15 minutes every day.

 

21. Make It A Habit

While habits might not necessarily take 21 days to form, you should still try to make it a habit of doing exercise, eating healthy, and trying to lose weight.

According to Tom Bartow there’s 3 phases to forming a habit:

  1. The Honeymoon: Everything is easy.
  2. The Fight-Thru: Things seem harder and you find it hard to convince yourself to keep doing what you were doing before. (This is the most important part of forming a habit. If you fight-thru 2-3 times, you’re onto the next stage.)
  3. Second Nature: Everything is great again, and you now have a habit. You might still be pushed back into the fight-thru stage from time to time, and that’s normal. You just have to keep going.

 

22. Decrease Stress

Stressed-out woman

Stress can trigger increased eating and cravings and no one wants that.

Try to get rid of stress in your life, and try meditating, doing yoga, or just de-stressing by spending time with a loved one. (PubMed)

 

23. Do HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to be more effective than simple cardio. (PubMed)

What is HIIT?

It’s running or doing any form of exercise at a very high effort for a period of time and then doing the same exercise at a low-moderate effort for some time. Rinse and repeat, and you got yourself a HIIT workout!

It’s also known as interval training and you can learn much more, including the best HIIT workouts to do at home in our article about HIIT.

 

24. Bedroom Fun 😉

Sweating in bed can burn around 150 calories in half an hour and it reduces blood pressure, decreases stress, and it’s fun. (PubMed)

A couple having fun in bed

 

25. Start NOW

This is a big one.

Start now.

Today.

Don’t put it off and don’t make it your New Year’s Resolution.

Why?

Because it won’t work.

Your future you isn’t going to have more willpower than your current you, and your future you won’t randomly become excited about losing weight.

You yourself have to start now.

Start off with something small, and focus on one thing from this article that resonated with you the most.

Set a small goal and go for it.

We believe in you!

P.S. This post was inspired by these two articles. (Greatist and AuthorityNutrition)