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The Bullhorn, Issue #035 -- Monthly Motivator for February 2009
February 15, 2009

Just the right push to succeed!

The Power of Routine

The power of routine is easy to overlook. When it comes to fitness, we often focus on bad health habits and the difficulty of overcoming them. But the fact that most of us have fallen into a routine does not have to be a bad thing. We just need to harness that power so that it can help us get us to where we want to be.

I changed jobs awhile back and noticed that my lunchtime run got ousted by meetings, e-mails, and work priorities. I was ready to throw in the towel and find another time slot that worked, when I decided to make it work. I get in work early and leave late, so I deduced that I was more than entitled for a longer lunch and the endorphin rush of the mid-day run….so back I went into my routine!

Change is tough. And change is often the reason for many fitness plans’ failures. Ushering in a new and positive change takes patience, small-scale implementation, and persistence. If you want to start a morning run, a lunch time routine, or an evening workout, give yourself several weeks to work out the kinks so that it fits your schedule and other life commitments. This is tough and a necessary drill, but it’s worth it…you’re worth it.

This gradual implementation builds momentum and will form a habit…the kind that’s hard to quit. It will become as much a part of your day as eating and sleeping and you’ll find yourself lacing up your running shoes without even thinking about rolling into bed or going back to your computer. That’s the power of routine, my friends. Implementing change is hard…get there and stick with it…and your new routine will be hard to break!

Some of the best motivators for me (as I know I’ve mentioned) are race sign-ups. Signing up for a race forces me to train – forces me to get out of bed on the weekends – forces me to keep going. Find your fitness motivation and set a goal to start your routine. Best of luck!!

Beat the Sweet Tooth!

The term sweet tooth sounds harmless, endearing, and almost appealing, but sadly it’s a death sentence. It has been estimated that Americans sugar consumption has increased 1000% percent in the last century?! We now consume (on average) 2-3 pounds of sugar per person per week! So what’s the big deal…why worry?

Refined sugar has zero fiber, protein, fats, or minerals. It is empty as empty calories come. And the fact that they have zero nutritional value comes at a price. Your body will take nutrients from healthy cells to process the refined sugar from your diet. This had led to many problems over time and it’s estimated that there are over 100 diseases and conditions that can be improved with the reduction of sugar in our diets.

A few weeks ago, our boys asked to make rock candy from a recipe that they read in a book. After mixing the sugar and water for them, I noticed what a think syrup it created. It’s this same syrup-like consistency that our blood takes on as it carries the sugars through our system. I used to think of sugar as pure energy, now I think of it as something that I need to drastically reduce.

Now, this anti-sugar movement was brought on mostly because of the calories and weight gain issues. That being said, many people (including me) have turned to diet sodas, Splenda, and other artificial sweeteners. But, the more I’m reading about them, the more skeptical I get about their impacts on our long-term health. Sadly, I’m certain that the worst is yet to come on their toxicity…time and testing will tell…but I think we’d be foolish to wait for the scientists to tell us what we already expect…chemical sweeteners are bad for us.

So what now? Moderation. I feel like a hypocrite (again), having recently inhaled some Valentine candy, but I know it’s my daily habits that matter the most. I’ve reduced sugar in my coffee to a teaspoon (28 calories); eliminated Splenda or sugar from my oat bran; and cut out the diet sodas, and sugary snacks. In 2 weeks, this helped me lose 4 pounds! No magic – just good sense.

You don’t have to give up your sweet tooth treats to lead a healthier life, just look at your daily consumption and cut back on the sugar and sweeteners. Look at low sugar cereals with less than 10g of sugar per serving; drink water instead of soda; add small amounts of sugar instead of heaping tablespoons. All this will reduce your cravings and your calorie-intake…and help you beat the sweet tooth!

Exercise of the Month:
Oblique Crunches!

This type of crunch targets the oblique muscles, or the area where our infamous “love-handles” reside. You’ll start from the same position as the standard crunch. Raise your back off of the ground taking your elbow to your opposite knee. And just like the standard crunch exercise, you’ll want to do the movements slowly, exhaling while you do the crunch, and inhaling while you lower yourself back down. Add these to your daily mix and you’ll notice some results in an area that we all seem to want to trim down!!

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Happy New Year....and don't give up on those resolutions!!!!

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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