7 Habits That Will Make You Fit For Life


Being fit and healthy doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to working out for hours a day and eating nothing but chicken and steamed broccoli for every
meal. In fact, there are several more effective (and less painful!) habits you can adopt today that will not only help you get in shape in the short-term,
but will help you stay that way for the long run as well.

These seven habits are easy to implement into your everyday lifestyle, and will help get you healthy and fit for life:

1. Stop making excuses
I know, you’re too busy to go to the gym. It takes too much time to pack a healthy lunch and too hard to find something healthy to eat out. You would work
out at home, but you don’t know how.

All of these excuses are valid in their own way, and yes, we’ve all been there. But if you really want to get — and stay — fit and healthy, you have to
learn to give up your excuses and start making your health and fitness a top priority today.

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2. Walk more.
Even if you go to the gym six days a week, the real key to lifelong fitness is to simply be more active and walk more in your day-to-day life. Try making a
conscious effort to walk whenever and wherever you can: to the grocery store, to get your afternoon coffee or go on a post-dinner stroll with your family.
Try and aim for at least 10,000 steps a day.

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3. Don’t always deprive yourself
Although it may seem counterintuitive, striving to always be “perfect” with your nutrition is actually not a good long-term strategy to get or stay in
shape. Depriving yourself of dessert and all the foods you love will only result in a binge of those very same foods when your willpower is at a moment of

Instead, try following the 80/20 strategy: eat healthy around 80% of the time, then let yourself have some treats here and there. Just make sure they’re
really good ones!

4. Find activities that get you moving.
Instead of always going to the movies or sitting around for long meals, try finding some activities you and friends or loved ones enjoy doing together. Go
for a bike ride, take a scenic hike, set up a game of bocce ball for the whole family to enjoy — the list is endless! Not only will you get moving, you’re
bound to have more fun as well.

5. Shorten your workouts.
When you have to plan an hour or more for a workout, of course it’s not always possible to go to the gym. But when you pack your entire workout into an
efficient, 10-20 minute HIIT workout that works your entire body and leaves you soaked in sweat, you’ll no longer have the same excuse to skip your workout
as often as you normally would. Just remember to work hard!

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6. Make sleep a priority
Many of us underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest, but it’s crucial for long-term health that you give your body a proper amount of sleep each
night. And if thinking long-term isn’t enough of an incentive, remember this: too little sleep can also impair weight loss efforts due to raised cortisol
levels. Try and get around seven to eight hours a night on a regular basis.

7. Find ways to actually enjoy your veggies.
I get it, not everyone loves the taste of vegetables. Although I now crave veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale on a daily basis, there were
definitely times in my life when I ate nothing but mac and cheese for days (college, anyone?).

But vegetables are packed with important nutrients that keep your body healthy, and their fiber content also helps fill you up. So if you don’t love a plain
salad, find ways to make your veggies interesting: roast them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, toss them in a flavorful stir fry or blend them into
a juice so you don’t even know they’re there. If you don’t despise them, you’re much more likely to eat vegetables on a regular basis.


6 Tips To Fully Embrace Clean Eating


A dramatic change to clean eating can be difficult – but when you’re changing your eating habits for a clearer mind and a healthier body, I think it’s
totally worth the initial starting pains.

To help you transition to to clean eating habits, here are 6 tips that anyone can use.

1. Get rid of all the junk food.
If the junk food is in your house, you are more likely to eat it. This might be tricky if someone in your home isn’t on board with a change in eating habits
and they still want processed foods and treats around.

Try to help them understand that you are eating clean for your health! If they insist on keeping the junk, you can always encourage them to pick things that
aren’t as tempting for you or to keep them hidden out of sight, even you don’t know where to find them.

See five “odd” veggies that boost female metabolism and kill belly fat.

2. Everyone can eat clean, not just you.
What I love about eating clean is that it isn’t a diet, it is all about eating whole, healthy foods that everyone should be eating in any case. Cook dinners
for the whole family that are healthy, even if everyone isn’t trying to lose weight. If you are constantly making a meal for you and a meal for the rest of
the family you will get frustrated easily and fall back to your old eating habits.

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3. Your fridge should be filled with fruits and vegetables.
When I first started eating clean I could hardly believe the contents of my shopping cart and how easy it was to shop. I bought tons of fruits and
vegetables. If they are what you have around the house, it is what you will reach for when you need a snack.

4. Preparation will help a lot.
For a lot of people, they need convenience foods, and healthy foods aren’t always convenient. Try cutting up and washing fruits and vegetables all at once
or right when you bring them home. That way when you open the fridge for a snack you can grab a bag of sliced strawberries rather than a sugar packed granola
bar or greasy chips.

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5. Eat when you are hungry, don’t wait for a meal.
When we dramatically change eating habits we tend to feel hungry easily. The best advice is to just eat whenever you feel hungry. Keep some nuts handy at all
times if you can’t get to a fruit. When you get really hungry you might get tempted to reach for something unhealthy to satisfy the hunger – so having nuts
handy at all time will satisfy your cravings.

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6. Don’t let you cooking get boring. Experiment with recipes.
If you eat the same things over and over again, you will get bored and are more likely to fall off the wagon. Try new recipes. Some will be total misses and
others will become family favorites. When you are looking for a recipe read comments on a blog or the reviews on a site to make sure its a good fit for you
– Pinterest is great for recipes. Also, don’t be afraid to substitute things on recipes you’ve already used.


6 Simple Ways To Get Addicted To Exercise


You’re glued to the TV, can’t be separated from your smartphone and constantly checking social media. But what about being addicted to exercise?

You’ll be surprised what a few lifestyle tweaks and a little motivation can do to transform your fitness habits. Here’s how to get addicted to exercise.

1. Pay For A Gym Membership
Signing up to a long-term contract and committing to a membership is a risky business, especially if you’re forking out hundreds to join. However, knowing that a chunk of your pay packet is going to those smiling faces at the gym is a huge incentive to get down there and make the most of your membership.

Once you’ve signed the dotted line, frame it. Seeing your goals in writing can be hugely motivating – a little reminder of what you want to achieve. Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University in California conducted a ‘goal-setting’ study of 267 participants in which she discovered that you are ‘42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.’ It creates purpose and direction – no more excuses!

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2. Give It 56 Days
56 days seems like a long time, but it’s realistic. Many have spurts of fitness motivation, which is soon quashed when they don’t see the results they hoped for. This is because a) it’s too short a time to witness progress b) they aren’t in the habit of exercising regularly yet.

Dispel the myth that it takes 21 days to form a new habit – it doesn’t. The University College Londonlooked into the phenomenon of habit building with the help of 96 participants who were asked to choose an ‘everyday habit’ that they’d like to establish, and record their progress over the course of 84 days; including their success in completing the task and feelings towards it.

From the study, researchers found considerable variation according to what habit the person was practising, their health and willpower. But on average, the results suggested that it takes 56 days to form a habit, with exercise proving the most difficult to get into.

The key here is not to get disheartened; persist even when you’re not in the mood. It’s the repetitive nature of the habit that you need to master. Soon enough you’ll hate missing gym sessions and will do anything you can to catch up.

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3. Take Small Steps
Throwing yourself in at the deep end won’t work. Not only will it leave you disheartened, but it also makes you more prone to injury. If you’re a complete beginner, take small steps, focusing on the key areas you want to work on. Once you start to get frustrated by how easy your initial training is, you’ll naturally want to challenge and push yourself; but again, don’t overdo it.

To begin with, avoid high impact workouts that put excessive strain on the joints, such as running – there’s no such thing as ‘no pain, no gain.’ Instead, concentrate on exercises that are less intense, like swimming or yoga to improve flexibility.

There are thousands of training plans and guides available on the web, designed to help fitness-newbies get off on the right foot.

Turn Your Body Into A Fat Burning Machine

4. Exercise First Thing In The Morning
Many argue that they haven’t got the time to exercise, and a way to overcome this obstacle is by embracing morning workouts. Set an earlier alarm and don’t hit snooze; in fact, don’t think at all. Just jump out of bed, don your gym gear and get moving.

Early morning workouts come with a plenitude of benefits. Not only does setting your alarm an hour earlier free up the rest of your day; it sharpens your focus, boosts your metabolic rate and improves your mood.

And to top it off, research made by the University of New South Wales also found that early exercisers are also ‘more likely to stick with a fitness regime than those who leave it until later in the day.’ If you want your fitness habit to stick, be an early bird.

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5. Go Digital and Social
Turn your social media addiction into a love for exercise. If you’re constantly posting, tweeting or checking-in, use it to your advantage by keeping friends and followers updated with your fitness progress. For some, knowing that all eyes are on them is the perfect incentive to get off the couch and on the treadmill.

If social networking isn’t your thing and you hate the thought of sharing before and after pics, make fitness apps your new gym buddy. Nike Training Club and the like are a great source of new workouts and motivation, not to mention a useful way to track your progress.

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6. Do It For Charity
If you’re stuck for a reason to drag yourself out of bed and lace up your running shoes, give purpose to your workouts by doing it for charity. Set sky-high goals and achieve the impossible, whilst raising hundreds of pounds for a cause that’s close to your heart.

There’s one danger of getting addicted to exercise, and that’s doing it for the wrong reasons. Sure you’ll look amazing, but don’t let the physical benefits drive you to workout more and more. Exercising for a charity makes it not about personal gain, but the greater good – a really empowering and fulfilling way to gain perspective and get fit in one.


5 Best Moves To A Flat Belly


If you’re overweight and looking to get flat abs, it’s going to be a must that you’re paying attention to the exercises that you’re including in your workout program. However, exercise selection alone is not enough.

The biggest must-do if you want to achieve flat abs is to focus on cardiovascular exercise and eating a calorie reduced diet. If you aren’t eating a lower calorie diet, fat loss will be virtually impossible and this will mean your abdominal appearance will stay as-is even if you perform abdominal exercises daily. In combination with diet, cardio is also a necessity if you’re trying to burn fat from your waist.

Once you’ve got your diet in order, here are five great abdominal exercises that you should consider including in your workout routine. These are what I consider to be five of the most effective abdominal exercises for women. Not an end all list, but a great place to start.

1. Lying Leg Raises
leg-raises-1Lying leg raises are the first exercise to be performing. This exercise is perfect for working the lower abdominal muscles and for firming the tummy quickly. When doing lying leg raises, you’ll want to ensure that you keep the back pressed flat into the floor at all times, never letting it lift upwards as your legs rise up to the 90 degree point.

Also be sure that your legs never drop down to the ground either, as that’ll take all the stress off the lower ab muscles altogether.

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2. The Bicycle
bicycle_crunch-2The bicycle is the next exercise to add to firm the abs. This one is great for strengthening the oblique muscles, so will help you reduce the appearance of love handles that so many people despise so much.

The bicycle is also good for strengthening the entire abdominal section as the legs will stay elevated off the floor the entire time.

Perform it in a slow and controlled manner for best results.

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3. Decline Sit-Ups
decline-situp-b-female-3Decline sit-ups are the next exercise that you should be doing in your workout program. These are great because they’re going to place far more strain on the abdominal muscles as you move along the decline and against additional resistance.

If you want to intensify this exercise, add a twist to the movement so that you call the obliques into play as well. This movement can cause the hip flexors to tense up, so just make sure that you do perform some stretching exercises after it’s completed.

Turn Your Body Into A Fat Burning Machine

4. The Plank
bootcamp-plank-4The fourth exercise that’s a must to firm up your core is the plank exercise. The plank is going to help build muscular endurance very well and is an isometric movement, unlike all the rest.

This exercise can be done incorporating a leg raise into the picture or done with the hands or feet up on an exercise ball as well.

Make sure that at no point do you allow the hips to rise up or fall back down as you perform it as this would instantly take the stress off the core muscles and put you at risk for additional pain.

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5. Prone Ball Roll Ins
jackknife-5Finally, the last exercise that you should be performing in your workout program is the prone ball roll-in. Prone ball roll-ins are going to be great for firming up not only the core, but the shoulders as well.

As you do this exercise, make sure that you focus on tensing up the abdominal muscles to bring the ball into your core rather than performing it with the hip flexor muscles instead.

The Bottom Line
So there you have it, five great core/abdominal exercises that are must-haves in your workout routine. Choose two or three of these to perform each workout and you’ll be happy with the results. Just remember though, these exercises alone are not enough to get a defined six pack. Don’t forget that these exercises will need to be utilized in conjunction with a balanced healthy diet. You’ll also want to make sure you mix in cardiovascular exercise if you’re looking to achieve optimal results, especially if you currently have a high body fat percentage. These 3 (weight training, cardiovascular exercise, and nutrition) components coupled together will have you seeing results in no time.