10 steps to reach your fitness goals

Summer is fast approaching and the beaches will soon welcome bikinis and swimsuits. Are you ready? Okay, do not worry. If you’re not ready to brave the crowds that flock to the beaches, here’s a plan to get you in shape.

Step #1 Start by setting your specific fitness goals
A.Make sure your goals are realistic. You can safely lose 1-2.5 pounds per week. So a realistic goal would be “I want to lose 30 pounds by August 1, 2009.” This would be a realistic goal.

Step #2 Set a realistic target date
A. Losing weight should be a long-term goal for a healthy lifestyle. Think about establishing great nutrition and exercise habits that will last a lifetime.
B. Changing your lifestyle can be very stressful at first; stress levels rise when you add the weight of an unattainable goal. Setting unrealistic weight loss dates can lead to frustration and cause you to give up.

Step #3 Make sure your goals are your personal goals
A. Decide what you want for yourself. Is it a life of better overall fitness or lower blood pressure? Know that the goals you set for yourself are not a reflection of those that others have set for you.
B. The pressure to start a new program combined with the expectations of others can often be overwhelming. Share your goals only with people you think will encourage and support you. If you find yourself in an environment where others are not supportive of your efforts, DO NOT share your goals with them. Misery loves company. So, surround yourself with positive people.

Step #4 is simple. write your goals
A. Be creative with how you present your goals.
B. Find colored paper to make your goals come to life.

Step #5 Post your goals and images
A. Post your goals where you can see them every day. Post your goals on the refrigerator, bathroom door, office computer, workstation, or car dashboard. Place your targets anywhere you spend a lot of time.
B. Visualization is 8 times faster than auditory learning. Use visual stimuli that include photographs, or that bikini/swimsuit you’ve been eyeing.

Step #6 Plan your meals accordingly
A.Part of a good plan starts today. Make a schedule that includes meal preparation time.
B. Don’t use your schedule as an excuse to stop at your local fast food for the #1 combo.
C. Never skip a meal. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. No not Krispy Kremes and Starbucks, they are not a great way to start the day. Skipping meals throughout the day slows down your metabolism. When your metabolism slows down, your body burns fewer calories and therefore stores unnecessary fat. The reality is that you must eat healthy to lose weight safely.

Items to include Items to exclude
Anything baked, grilled, or broiled Anything fried
Chicken Protein, or Fish, Tuna Soda
Cheese Low-Fat Cheese
Water, Water and Water Juice
Brown Bread White Bread
Fresh Steamed Vegetables White Rice
olive oil butter
Egg whites Tap water
Sweet potatoes

Step #7 Write your action plan (Exercise)

A. To reach your goal you must have a plan of action.

B. Decide what steps are necessary to achieve your fitness goals.

C. Well, you have your goals and nutrition plan in writing. The next
The step is to plan your movement routine. Cardio activities may include
one or more of the following:
1. Walk briskly while moving your arms as if you were running.
2. Jump rope
3. Combination of walking and running
4. Skating
5. Pilates, Yoga
6. Swimming
7. Ride a bike
8. Take your dog for a walk
9. Jogging
Beginners 10-15 minutes
Intermediate 20-30 minutes
advance 30-60 minutes

Step #8 Keys to your Success
What you eat is 80% of your success rate. The other 20 percent is how you change your lifestyle to incorporate physical activity. Before starting any exercise routine, consult a doctor.

Step #9 Be patient
A. Ask yourself how long it took to gain the weight. If you have an average of more than 2-3 years, it is realistic that you have developed bad habits over time. Therefore, it will take at least 6 months to develop healthier habits.
B. Self-discipline and follow through are the two hardest things to achieve when losing weight. Know that you will have good days and bad days, and some days in between. But reward yourself knowing that you are doing something that you can pass on to your children: you and a healthy lifestyle.


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