The Road To Fitness

For most of us, choosing to be fit is more a test of will than a one time decision. Being “fit” covers a change in our lifestyle much more than just embarking upon a new exercise or diet program. For me, the choice came about 15 years ago. I was about 24 years old when friends of mine convinced me to start going to the gym as a group. At that time, I knew I didn’t really like the way I looked, so I thought it would be a good idea. How hard could it be? Well, it didn’t take long before I knew the answer to that question. And to tell you the truth, at that time my workouts were not that difficult. But getting up at 5am to be at the gym by 5:30, certainly was, Also, since there were 4 of us and only 1 really knew what he was doing, the workouts were VERY long. Too long when you mix in the water cooler talk that often took over some workouts.

So, after trying this approach for about 3 weeks I still wasn’t motivated nor did I look forward to working out and was about to quit. As luck would have it for me, 2 guys in the group beat me to it, leaving just myself and the only person who knew anything about working out correctly at that time. That changed everything.

With just 2 of us now, we were much more focused and I got some really good coaching on the basics. After a month of 1-1 time, we started increasing the intensity of the workouts and mixing in some really fun cycle classes. Somewhere within the next month, I saw a change. Not just in my appearance, but my outlook and attitude were all effected. At that point, I was hooked. I worked out consistently at the gym 5 times a week incorporating cardio, running and weights. I looked and felt good thinking this would always be my way of life.

And it was, until about 5 years ago. In 2007, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and turned my life upside down. I quickly lost interest in many of my normal activities including fitness. During the next 2 years, I really let myself go and didn’t much care to get back into the swing of things. A major life changing event will do this to a person, and I was no exception. My wife became really concerned about my decline in fitness and began encouraging me to get back into it. I tried but absolutely could not get motivated. After much research and a hard look in the mirror, I was able to pull back the self discipline I once had. It was not easy, and it took a lot of planning and hard work. So, today, I want to share what helped me conquer my fitness demons. Hope these help you.

The reason I’m giving so much background of my personal fitness experience is to show that each of us will struggle in different ways with choosing fit. Lifetime fitness really isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. We all have different situations that initiate our interest of getting in shape, keeping us motivated and sustaining the lifestyle for the long term. However, I do believe there are some common practices we can all adopt to help us overcome obstacles at any of these stages and become an improved, healthier and fit person.

1. Initiate This may be the easiest of the 3 stages because it only requires us to decide to get fit, but not actually do anything. That said, don’t underestimate the importance and key factors that should be use to initiate your fitness journey. The main things to remember here are these:

  • Do this for you! Be sure you’re not just giving in to pressure from others. You need to be willing to take this step and feel good its the right approach for you.
  • Start with the end in mind. Set goals and imagine what you want your body and health to reflect during the journey. Lose 25 pounds, Get ripped, lower cholesterol, feel better, keep up with the kids.
  • Choose the right program.– The right fitness program for you is very important and will vary depending on your fitness starting point. Choosing one too hard, or that doesn’t yield results fast enough will quickly discourage you and run the risk of bailing too quickly. Find the balance of enjoyable exercise that challenge you enough to hit early goals. Don’t discount the power of proven favorites like walking, jogging and biking to get started. These can help your body start getting into a routine that will be a base to adopt going forward. Just try to perform your exercise at the same time daily to get your internal clock know what to expect. As you establish a rhythm, and hit some milestones you’ve set, it may be time to try new programs or increase the difficulty of your current routines. For a list of some awesome routines, just leave a comment requesting it.
  • Accept that your eating habits MUST change. Like it or not, it is part of the game. By not embracing the fact that the workouts alone will not cut it, you’re bound to fail when results do not come. The good news is, the change in eating habits can actually be a very positive experience. You’ll feel great and have the energy to workout the right way. Completely removing everything you like about food is the WRONG way to approach this. You can still eat really good tasting and satisfying foods without sabotaging your hard work. There are even ways to sneak in your favorites and not feel guilty about it, so don’t worry about that. Just know that what and how you eat makes all the difference in the end.

2. Stay Motivated Everyone is motivated out of the gate when starting a fitness program, but that quickly fades for many people when they realize the process is more difficult than they imagined. Make no mistake, getting fit is HARD, but the challenge is not unlike anything else worth having in life. You must commit and keep motivated using several tactics, of which I’ve tried many. Try these to help you stay on track.

  • Aim for some quick results. Everyone wants this, but it is key to see some quick results early on so that the momentum of starting the program does not dwindle. Losing a pound or two, dropping a pant size, completing a workout without stopping, whatever makes you feel good. Be realistic about this, but have something you shoot for so you can taste success and drive you to continue.
  • Read about being fit. This is truly a big motivator as it shows you success stories and gives a lot of ideas about achieving goals. So take the time to read a magazine or internet article about your favorite exercise, or healthy food. You’ll be surprised how engaged you may quickly become.
  • Get the sweat flowing. For me, a workout that doesn’t do this leaves me somewhat empty. Getting your heart rate up (and sweating) activates all of the key things that makes exercise so effective. It burns calories, strengthen the heart and cardio system, and releases endorphins in the brain that make you feel great. You’ll see!
  • Never settle – Set, Reset and Reset your PB (Personal Best). Constantly challenging your last record is an awesome way to stay in the game. Run that mile faster, go longer, extra reps, extra sets, higher jumps, deeper lunges, better form. The list can go on and on. You can be your best competition and there’s nothing like competition to motivate the heart and soul. So kick your own butt! You’ll enjoy it.
  • Do what you can! We all have limits and quite often use them as excuses that interfere with our fitness routines. Time, stress, aches, and tiredness all contribute to our justification to digress or completely stop a program. Don’t let that happen. If you find yourself giving in to one of these temptations, try to at least do something. Convince yourself you can at least do 1/2 or even 1/3 of a workout. (10 minutes? Don’t go as intense or fast. Give yourself a break, without actually giving yourself a break. You may be surprised by convincing yourself to at least get started, you’ll be more willing to push harder during the workout.
  • Don’t tempt yourself or give in to food junkies. Everyone I know encounters this during their fitness journey. It involves either being introduced to a food situation that makes it difficult to say no, or being encouraged by others to “cheat” even when they know how you feel about staying on track. By giving in to either, you will likely feel guilty afterwards, which oddly enough increases your chances to continue cheating. The negative feeling of guilt are powerful and can actually begin a vicious cycle of continuing the pattern, so don’t let this happen. The first of these is actually easier to deal with by simply planning around it, or modifying the portions of food you have available so they at least meet some of the standards of your diet. For the second, if you find yourself in this situation often, have a gameplan. Either be ready to defend your stance on cheating or plan to deal with it in another way. Maybe use it as your cheat meal, compensate for it on the next day or week, or modify the portions so you can at least control the damage.
  • Keep a support network. Family, friends, social networks, whatever. Have some person you can confide in about your struggles that can offer positive support. Works wonders in the beginning.

3. Sustain the Life Style. This part can seem a little easier once you achieve your goals, but the long term approach to fitness is actually one that must always be top of mind. While this stage is a practice of discipline, even an “iron will” can be bent when the lifestyle is too far from what a person enjoys. So how can you force yourself to embrace a long term lifestyle that doesn’t match who you are? Well, actually you can’t. I think people are amazing and capable of just about anything. But not allowing yourself to be YOU jeopardizes your character and simply said, is not right for anyone.

Because of this, let’s look at this challenge from a different approach. How do create a lifestyle that is both fit and matches your personality? The answer may be a little different for everyone, but for me, I can provide a few tips that helped. Consider these and possibly modify to suit your own needs.

  • Find your fit, in fitness! Put another way, find exercise and diet that allow you to be fulfilled. What activities do you enjoy, or for that matter, dislike? Running, walking, lifting, bike riding, Plyometrics, calisthenics, WiiFit, whatever. If nothing lights your fire, you will have a tough road hereJ However, if you’ve read this far into the post, I doubt there’s nothing for you.
  • Challenge yourself! Once you’ve found the exercise(s) you enjoy, don’t always settle for moderate workout. You need to push yourself for various reasons. It not only keeps your workouts interesting, it provides the edge required to make an impact on your fitness. The level of “intensity” differs from person to person, but you know when you’ve given your all. Don’t cheat yourself out of real benefits. I don’t think someone really taps into the true benefits of fitness until they crank up the volume of the workout. You’ll look better, feel better, and even be more confident and positive.
  • Learn how to eat clean, then do it 90% of the time. There are a ton of books on the topic of eating right, and they all have some validity. Find a good nutrition plan that works for your body, and learn the framework. Once you understand the basics of nutrition, portion control and the most harmful foods to avoid, the rest can be adapted to your eating habits. Now, eat this way 90% of the time. This gives you the break people need to keep their sanity. I eat approx 5 times a day, which means I have 35 meals per week. In my world, I allow 3 of those meals to stray from my normal eating. I don’t lock myself to a day, or time of day to do this. I choose the right meal to allow this based on “life”. Sometimes it’s a donut breakfast with my daughter or an awesome dinner with my wife. Maybe a good ole fashion home cooked meal from my mother in law. It doesn’t matter, just stay committed not to go beyond this limit and please don’t overdo it. The 90% rule is not a free for all at the dinner table. That could really wreck your progress! It is a way to give yourself the freedom you need to eat foods you really enjoy to make the system work for you.
  • Variety, Variety, Variety! Did I say that enough? If so, it’s because I believe without variety in your fitness it will inevitably become boring while not allowing enough areas of the body to get attention. If workouts become stale and mundane, you run the risk of disengaging in them and eventually quit. Who wants to do always do something that’s boring and hard..NOT! This doesn’t mean you have to always recreate your entire workout. Most often slight adjustment to your current routine will provide the mix needed to spice them up. If you run/bike, change the route, look at modifying the weights or reps on a lifting routine, even changing the intensity or order of the exercises can help liven things up. Whatever you decide to do to make them a little different helps and you’ll see how quickly it rekindles your interest in staying fit.

Hopefully these tips on “Choosing Fit” will help you Set, Hit and Maintain your fitness goals. They have done wonders for me in my life and I am constantly looking for new items to add in each section. Let me know your own ideas, and feel free to share with all your fit friends. Like I said, it’s a tough road but worth it and doable with a little bit of strategy. Hope this helps you on your journey.

Top 5 Terrific Worship Leading Tips

Are you searching for worship leading tips that you would be able to learn easily and apply this Sunday morning? Learning this ministry can take a lifetime, however there may be nonetheless some nice things you can do which have rapid impact.

Discover the Worship Leading Tips that Succeed for You

With thousands of potential worship leading tips out there, it’s vital that you simply think about the ones that can be just right for you in your scenario with your team and with your church. One of the errors I regularly see in churches world wide is attempting to use worship leading tips that work in huge congregations with large bands to a small church.

Every church is completely different, so pray about introducing the correct tips that fit your congregation. Below I have listed my top five worship leading tips, and they are often applied to both Pentecostal and more conservative denominations to nice effect.

The Top 5 Worship Leading Tips

1. Choose the Right Songs

Frequently ignored, the fundamental tip of selecting the best songs is among the best to use to your church service. And here it is a simple rule: choose songs your individuals love and know well. You personally may need to choose brand-new songs, however most church members don’t love new songs, preferring the older ones that they know and love.

Usually after I choose songs, I like to choose at the very least one hymn, various praise and worship songs that the individuals know and love, and maybe one new song. Follow this and your success will likely be tremendously increased.

2. Flow Songs Together

If you might be eager to lead powerful and life-changing worship, your service must be a journey to the throne of God rather than singing a series of unrelated songs. Many churches punctuate items in the service with songs, and this completely strips the songs of any power they may have in leading people right into a deeper worship experience.

Flowing from one track to the next and not using a break across 4-5 songs is a very effective method which can greatly enhance the power and anointing of your service.

3. Use Keys Individuals Can Sing In

This could also be some of the obvious worship leading tips in our listing, but many worship leaders fail on this area. If you are a strong singer that you must watch out that you simply use songs in your service that folks can really sing, in a key that they’re comfortable in.

4. Engage Your Congregation

Engaging your congregation during the worship service is an important part of being a worship leader. You might have a terrific band and wonderful singers, but if the congregation is watching you perform rather than being engaged you might be missing the mark. It is perhaps a great performance, but it’s not leading people nearer to the throne of God.

Engaging your congregation simply means to softly take them and lead them on the journey of praise and worship. There are many nice worship leading tips included in engaging your congregation, for instance modulation or going up a key, clapping, periods of silence or even kneeling.

5. Progress from “I” to “You” Songs

There are thousands of songs out there at this time, and many of them speak about our personal experiences and journey with the Lord. This is a great place to start out your service, but I find it’s not the most powerful place to complete it.

Inward looking songs that talk about your personal experience are fine in their place, but one of the best songs for explosive and deep worship are these which concentrate on worshiping the Lord, not our response to Him. Songs like, “How Great Thou Art”, “I Exalt Thee” or “How Great is Our God” Can raise your worship service to new heights!

Apply these worship leading tips to your congregation and chances are you’ll find that your power and anointing as a leader increases virtually immediately!

Lifetime Fitness Programs

Have you just dissolved the membership of a gym club just because you cannot continue? It could be due to a lack of motivation or so.

Or is it something because you cannot do without your world of fast food? Whatever may be the reason but the truth is that you are weak enough to stand against the challenges of a physical work out and you can not keep patience. Some of the ads and commercials may attract you with their promise on losing weight in just a few weeks but know that losing weight effectively will require a great commitment as it is a slow and steady process. In fact gradual weight loss goes a long way and not one that is achieved by hook and crook.

This is the reason experts believe in the notion of a lifetime fitness that can be equally authentic to teach to others about setting goals of their own and succeeding. What can be inferred from lifetime fitness are dietary regimens that reduce your calorie intake by 500 to 1000 on a daily basis and burning the same with physical work outs. With this, you can be sure of a healthier weight loss.

What is good about a lifetime fitness programs is its sense of enjoying and living a happy and contended life. It teaches how to keep balance between the food and exercise. Even team sports like the cycling or walking can be scheduled into one of the exercises that is enjoyable yet effective. This is where lifetime fitness is admired much when it advocates the concept of permanent elimination of health problems. Some of the basic facts about the lifetime fitness can be discussed as follows:

1. A lifetime fitness programs encompasses a wide variety of simple yet effective measures to keep healthy and fit. Besides they help you to feel gratified with its right procedures of maintaining competence and take care of your family’s fitness also.

2. A lifetime fitness program is meant for an achievement that can go a long way to lead you on the path of a healthy and prosperous life. In fact these programs make use of a variety of exercising equipments that helps you to tone up the muscular portions of your body as well as keeps the cardio vascular functioning at its optimum level. Through a fitness program, you can include a daily dose of a sports activity as an alternative way of maintaining fitness.

3. Lifetime fitness programs also helps you make out plans for nutritional products so as to ensure the daily intake of necessary dietary essentials. These can alone make your blood cells and tissues healthy and lead you to the peak of your performance. Besides, they are equally involved in providing the updated information about the health tips through magazines or the online internet service. These internet services and the magazines often help you get motivated through true inspirational stories of health achievers in life.