Archive for Fitness

Why Developing a Strong Core Is Important

Your core muscles are those that surround your abdomen and middle to lower back. These are the muscles you show off on the beach, the ones that hold you upright while you sit and walk, protect your abdominal organs and protect your spine. These may very well be the most important muscles you may condition and strengthen.

A strong core means your clothes hang well, you are at less risk of your abdominal organs falling through your vagina, and can carry those groceries in from the car each day without help.

Recent research has now demonstrated that a lack of movement during the day increases your risk of osteoarthritis and an inability to move as you age over 50. This is something you must start thinking about by the time you’re 30 and not wait until you’re 50 and trying to make up time so you can stay independent after you retire.

And a strong core plays a role in these plans.

Another symptom of a weak core is lower back pain. Unfortunately, lower back pain is one of the most common pain reasons people visit their doctor and one of the more common reasons people get hooked on opioid prescription medications.

There is currently an opioid epidemic in the U.S. Our country consumes 75 percent of opioid prescriptions in the world while having just 5 percent of the world population. The number of deaths from opioid overdose is now quickly approaching the number from car crashes.

Although opioid addiction may lead to heroin addiction, it starts with a prescription from your physician. The reason behind this epidemic in the country is multifactorial – but one solid reason is an overabundance of prescriptions written for chronic pain, most frequently lower back pain.

You may prevent the need for pain medication and experiencing lower back pain by developing strong core muscles that protect your back.

But how?

In a day packed with work, children, cleaning, cooking, and taking care of your home, do you really have time to workout and exercise?

The real question should be – do you really have time NOT to?

In other words, without core work, cardiovascular work and high intensity interval training – your health suffers, your relationships suffer and your weight management goals suffer.

Realistically, in order to strengthen your back and abs you don’t need more than 5 minutes every day. Can you find 5 minutes to look and feel better?

It seems like a silly question. These simple exercises can be done first thing in the morning while you’re waking up, or last thing before bed as they don’t increase your release of hormones that may keep you awake at night.

Of course these shouldn’t be the only exercises you do each day, but if you don’t usually exercise then it may be a good place to start and work forward from here.


These are probably my favorite as they work your body from shoulder to knee, front and back. They take no more than 3 minutes and give you the most bang for your buck – so to speak.

Start out in on your stomach on the floor. Place your elbows at shoulder level and rise up on your toes and elbows, keeping your back straight.

Some find this places stress on the lower back, often because your body is a poor position. To correct the stress, tuck your pelvis toward the floor, tightening your buttocks.

If you are new to exercise, start by holding this position for 15 seconds. Relax for one minute and repeat. Do two the first week, three the second and then gradually increase the amount of time you hold the plank position until you reach holding it for two minutes and doing two repetitions.

Side Plank

This is a variation on the front plank focused on your obliques and outer hips. Start by lying on your side with your lower arm bent at the elbow. Place this elbow beneath your shoulder and your upper hand on your hip. Align your head, shoulders, hips and ankles and then push your body toward the ceiling while balancing on your elbow and the edge of your bottom shoe with one foot directly over the other.

Start by doing one on each side and holding for 15 seconds. Work up to doing two repetitions on each side and holding for up to 2 minutes.

You can make this move more challenging as you get stronger by doing side crunches. Get into the side plank position. Lower your hips toward the floor without touching the floor and then raise them to the ceiling, repeating 10 times on each side.

Flutter Kicks

Many women find their lower abdominal muscles are the hardest to address. This movement will help your planks train your abdominal muscles from top to bottom.

Lie on your back with legs extended, toes pointed and your hands underneath your buttocks to support your lower back. Lift both legs off the floor slightly and alternately kick your legs up and down.

This movement engages your lower abs. Start with 10 kicks for two sets and work up to 50 repetitions for two sets.


Top 7 Benefits to Stretching

There is no doubt – there is a fitness revolution going on. In fact, it started with Jim Fixx when he popularized running. It faltered a bit when he died from sudden cardiac arrest due to a heart arrhythmia, as many began talking about how running (and any exercise had to be just BAD for you). But, as time went on and more runners weren’t dropping over from exercise, the revolution continued.

In many cases, fitness experts talk about cardiovascular work, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training as the triad of essential fitness work. However, what they often leave out is stretching.

While the first three – cardio, strength and HIIT – work your heart and muscles, stretching your body balance the workload, prevent injury and increases the benefits you’ll experience from any program.

Although I had been stretching since I ran on the track team in high school, it was never a consistent part of my routine until after I was injured because I had NOT stretched.

But isn’t that always the way? When I was a child there was a couple who were both morbidly obese. They ran the “corner store” that carried everything from alcohol to batteries, magazines to snacks and movies.

When I was 13 years old, the husband had a heart attack. Suddenly, everywhere we looked, this couple was out walking. Within months they had both dropped nearly 50 pounds and were feeling better, more active and their doctor’s reports were much better. When my mom talked with them the wife said, “Why is it we all wait until something bad happens before we make a change? Walking is simple. It’s easy and we’re both healthier than ever. We should have started this years ago!”

You may have had the same experience. It might have been starting a strength program when you couldn’t help your neighbor move a dresser, adding vitamins to your daily routine when you kept getting sick, or stopped eating processed food after a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome.

You aren’t the only one! We all do it – just part of being human.

However, you can also change. By understanding the benefits of stretching and moving, it may motivate you to make a change that will change your life forever.

Stretching programs don’t need to take over your life and you don’t need to take up yoga to fully appreciate the benefits to your health and wellness. In fact, stretching is one of the easiest ways to improve your mood and outlook on life. Stretching helps to reduce your stress levels, increase blood movement in your brain and increases your energy – all of which improves your mood.

Seven years ago I broke my kneecap when I decided to ride my bike all winter – outside. In Florida that may be possible, but in Cincinnati you have to make some accommodations for the weather. I thought I had – but apparently not enough, hence the fall and broken kneecap.

The pain made it difficult to walk straight, so I learned to toe out with the broken leg, and the habit stuck. Three years later my lower back was in such spasms that I could barely walk, sit or stand. It took weeks of relearning to walk correctly and stretching tight muscles for my back to relax and my life to return to normal.

But, to this day, I stretch.

Stretching helps your body to work in the correct manner, better posture and with greater flexibility. Each of these reduce the potential you’ll experience an injury, no matter what sport you play.

In fact, athletes find when they include a stretching program, it improves their performance in their individual sport, reduces their recovery time and their potential for injury. You might think that you aren’t an athlete – but when you think about the hours you spend chasing after your children, running laundry up and downstairs, getting in and out of your car, hauling groceries in the house, moving furniture and just “exercising,” you might agree – you are already an athlete!

By incorporating stretching into your daily routine, each of these functions become easier, with less effort and your overall performance improves.

Do you get a 2pm slump every day?

Stretching helps to improve your blood flow and improve your focus and concentration. Just five minutes of stretching at your desk at 2pm can do the trick and keep you far from the candy machine for that mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Stretching also helps improve your balance. If you love stiletto heels, get up from the floor frequently or enjoy hiking with your children – you’ll love this benefit.

All-in-all stretching helps keep your muscles strong, healthy and flexible. Every year after 25 you start to lose muscle mass and strength. Then, when you lack flexibility as well, you lose your range of motion and decrease your ability to exercise – like riding a bike with your children, walking the dog or going boating with your new beau.

For example, sitting in a chair all day leads to tight hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your thigh), which leads to restricted walking. Then when you may want to do something strenuous, like rock climbing with the new fitness instructor, you may end up with a pulled muscle.

Don’t be overwhelmed by thinking you have to stretch every muscle in your body or none at all. Aim for five minutes in the morning and another five minutes before bed. Stretch your lower major muscle groups in the morning and your upper body in the evening to keep everything straight.

You may even want to do some simple stretches at your desk in the mid-afternoon. These are especially beneficial to keep your mind sharp, focused and creative at your job. Your boss will appreciate your continued efforts, and you’ll be refreshed to begin your evening routine when you’re leaving the office.


10 Secrets Fitness Trainers Use to Reduce Belly Fat (Part 2)

Last week I shared the first four proven strategies to reduce belly fat or visceral fat. Remember, this type of fat is different from other types on your body – and definitely more dangerous.

Here are the last six strategies. Remember, you aren’t seeking common strategies for weight loss as these will not remove the fat twisted around your internal organs. Instead, it’s important to support your body function, reduce cortisol secretion and protect your body from producing visceral fat.


Vitamin C is easy to buy, inexpensive and has multiple benefits.  It’s a water soluble vitamin that is found naturally in some foods and added to others. Supplements in the store can be in pill or chewable form and it is an essential vitamin because we are not able to manufacture it in the body.

Vitamin C is necessary in the production of collagen (gives your skin that youthful appearance), in boosting your immune system, as an antioxidant to help reduce oxidative stress that leads to cancer and cardiovascular disease, improves the absorption of iron from foods and most recently has been linked to reducing physical and psychological stress.

People who have high levels of vitamin C in their bodies do not have the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to challenges.  And, vitamin C plays a role in stabilizing blood sugar levels, which also plays a role in the release of cortisol. [See #6 Glycemic Index below]

The amount of supplementation used in the studies was 1000 mg which is a far cry from the 60 mg recommended by the RDA. However, the RDA recommendations are to prevent scurvy while the 1000 mg dose is for preventive care. Before adding supplementation to your diet check with your physician and pharmacist to be sure that Vitamin C will not interfere with any other underlying medical condition or medication that you may be currently taking.

Vitamin C is found in fresh uncooked fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and red and green peppers. Vitamin C cannot be found in animal food and is destroyed by heat and exposure to light. Fruits such as papaya, strawberries, broccoli and tomatoes are also high in vitamin C.



Carbohydrates are also necessary to fuel your body, but like all other things, you can get too much of a good thing. Foods that are high in carbohydrates will increase your blood sugar and spike your insulin production. This increases the release of cortisol as well. So, while you may be interested in foods that are low in carbs for dieting, it is actually the reduced production of cortisol that gives you the best bang for your buck when it comes to belly fat.

The glycemic index is actually a numerical value placed on food to indicate the degree to which it will increase your blood sugar and cause insulin production. The lower the glycemic index the lower the blood sugar value to the food.



There is a relationship between the release of cortisol in the body and alcohol and caffeine consumption. Alcohol stresses your liver, makes you sleepy and robs you of your motivation. It reduces your desire to eat the right foods and you are more tempted to eat and snack on foods that you otherwise wouldn’t.

There is also a relationship between larger amounts of alcohol consumption and activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) which can result in the excretion of cortisol.  Researchers found that large amounts of alcohol consumption were associated with activation of the HPA axis in the days following the consumption and not on the day.

Caffeine will have similar results in the body. Repeated dosing of caffeine in a single day will markedly increase cortisol levels, regardless of the stress or sex of the individual.  However, research has found that a tolerance develops to the amount of caffeine and reduces the amount of cortisol that is produced.  However, they did not account for increasing amounts of caffeine to get the same stimulatory effect and whether that also increased the amount of cortisol secretion.

The take away here is to reduce or eliminate your intake of both alcohol and caffeine to reduce your body’s production of cortisol and reduce your belly fat.



There are four basic types of fats in the foods we eat . . . trans fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. And, each of the different types of fat has a different metabolic reaction in the body.

In a study published in Diabetes, researchers found that subjects who ate saturated fats [cheese, pizza, grain based desserts, dairy based dessert, burgers] built more fat and less muscle than those who ate polyunsaturated fats [plant based foods and oils]. The fat composition of the foods we eat influences where and how the fat is stored in the body.

Monounsaturated fats are the healthiest type of fat that you can eat. Your body and brain need fats to function, but you must eat the right kinds of fats.  In research published in Diabetes Care, scientists found that people who ate 25% of their fats from monounsaturated fats gained no visceral fat over the course of the study.

Examples of monounsaturated fats include avocadoes, most nuts and seeds, olive oil, canola oil and peanut butter.



Feelings of loneliness and depression can elevate your stress hormones, both long term and short term. Loneliness and depression are symptoms of other parts of your life that are not in balance.

In a study released from Northwestern University, researchers found that adults who went to bed lonely woke up with a boost of cortisol, the stress hormone. In the short term these researchers theorize that the extra release of hormone may give these adults the boost they need to meet the demands of the day.

Unfortunately, this is true only on a short term basis. When we go to bed lonely and depressed more nights than not, it only chronically elevates our cortisol levels and then triggers the deposits of visceral fat.

If you are experiencing loneliness in your life it’s time to take action!

Join an exercise group.
Join a reading club.
Meet up with friends at a coffee house.
Join a gym and take classes.
Join the YMCA and take crafting classes.
Do volunteer work.
Join church group.
Volunteer at your church.

The more you get out and experience life outside of yourself, the faster you’ll meet people and reduce your loneliness.  If you have feelings of sadness or depression that won’t go away with a good night sleep or visit with friends, strongly consider exploring the reasons why with a good psychotherapist. It could be just what your belly fat needs!


  1. HERBS

Herbal supplements have been used for centuries to do everything from cure the common cold to lowering blood pressure. Reducing stress levels and cortisol levels is not different.

Specific herbs have been used to help you balance and protect your body responses to many different kinds of stressors. But, although herbs are natural, they are not inert or inactive. This means that there can be interactions with any other drugs, medications or supplements you are taking. So before adding anything to your regimen you must talk with both your doctor about any underlying medical conditions and your pharmacist about any drug interactions.

Ginseng is the best known herb to help improve mental performance and reduce stress.  Ashwaganda is also known as Indian ginseng and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2500 years. It also helps to reduce your cortisol levels and deal with stress in your life.

Other herbs that help to buffer stress are Astragalus, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, Valerian and chamomile and lemon balm tea. Each of these herbal supplements have advocates and detractors. The important thing for you to do is your homework!

Take the advice of friends, relatives, homeopathic physicians and chiropractors – BUT do your own research into the effectiveness and side effects of the herbs before starting anything.

The only person responsible for your health is you.

You have to make the decisions about what you take and what you do in order to make changes in your lifestyle.



Now, it’s time to review the 10 different strategies you should use to reduce your belly fat, your blood sugar spikes and your health risks to achieve a new, leaner and more energetic you.

Make a list of things you need to do every day and then do them!  These are small things that make big differences.

  1. Stress reducing practices
  2. Lots of water.
  3. 30 minutes of exercise a day.
  4. 8 hours of sleep.
  5. Vitamin C supplement
  6. Foods low in glycemic index.
  7. Reduce alcohol and caffeine.
  8. Monounsaturated fats in your diet.
  9. Get out and make friends.
  10. Consider herbal supplements.






How to Strength Train Using Only Your Body Weight

Many hardcore weight lifters will laugh at strength training using only your body weight, but for most women, the goal behind strength training is to strengthen bones, improve balance and tone muscles – all of which are easily accomplished without added weight.

And, truth be told, women don’t have the necessary amount of testosterone (male hormone) necessary to build large muscles lifting heavy weights.  If you are a hardcore weight lifter, it might be difficult to believe you can continue to gain strength and power when you put down the weights, but research shows it more than just possible – it’s probable.

You can train every muscle in your body without lifting a barbell or going to the gym. Using only your body and a pair of stable shoes you can exercise anywhere, anytime you like. You don’t sacrifice strength and toning when you switch out additional weight, but you do reduce the likelihood of injuries and will also work your cardiovascular system harder than you did before.

The combination of cardio and strength training also increases the number of calories you burn for the next 24 hours. These are some of my favorite exercises I do at home. I’m not particularly fond of going to the gym, but recognize the need to keep my body strong and toned.

Here are some simple bodyweight exercises you can use to gain strength and enjoy a more toned and slim body:

The Pushup

You might be intimidated by the push up – or think it’s not as powerful as the bench press, but you would be wrong. Fitness trainers will tell you that to achieve gains you need enough resistance to fatigue your muscle within 15 repetitions.  The trick is to find the variation of the pushup that allows you to achieve that goal.

For some this might be doing 10 pushups while on your knees and hands in the classic pushup position, and for others it may require a variation that places more stress on your shoulders, chest and abdominal muscles.

Although they may seem simple, the pushup is incorporated into most programs because they work. Here are several variations that change the muscle groups used and increase the effort needed to complete.

The standard pushup position starts with you on the floor, hands flat at shoulder level, toes supporting your weight and your legs and back straight. If you feel stress in your lower back, tuck your pelvis forward to reduce the curvature of your lumbar back. Push-up until your elbows are straight, but not locked; bend your elbows until your chest either touches the floor or comes close. Keep your neck in neutral position, looking at the floor approximately six inches in front of you.

If you aren’t able to do the standard pushup you can place your weight on your knees with your feet in the air. If the standard pushup is too easy you may move your hands slightly wider than your shoulders or slightly inside your shoulders, Once you master the standard push-up try raising into the up position and raising one arm off the floor so your body is a T position. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other arm. Incline push-ups can be done with your feet on a chair your arms on the ground.

Bear Crawl

These work the whole body from shoulders, core to quadriceps. Bear weight on your toes and hands with your bottom higher than your head. Now move forward, keeping your abdominal muscles tight and your pelvis tucked. Crawl for 10 – 15 “steps” and repeat.


This is a foundational exercise that you should be doing whether you enjoy weight lifting or just do cardio work. The plank will help strengthen and tone your shoulders, abdominals and glutes (buttocks). In fact, just two weeks of these and you’ll notice a significant change in your abdominal muscles.

Get into the standard push-up position with your weight on your elbows instead of your hands. Keep your elbows directly below your shoulders. Tighten your abdominals, tuck your gluteal muscles and hold for 30 seconds. Over two weeks build up to holding this position for 2 minutes.

Wall Sits

These are wonderful for your glutes and quadricep muscles. Elite athletes love these because they build strength and help improve coordination. You’ll like them because they will tighten your buttocks and tone your legs.

Place your back up against a wall and slide down into a seated position with your ankles, knees and hips at 90 degrees. Hold this position for 30 seconds and build it up to 2 minutes over 3 weeks.

The Lunge

Not only this will exercise strengthen your legs and tone your glutes, but it will also help to improve your balance and tone your abdominal muscles.

Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Move your right leg forward and bend your forward knee to sink down. Be sure your knee NEVER goes past your toes, as this places too much stress on the knee joint. Concentrate on using your gluteal muscles to raise and lower your body.

Drive your weight through the heel of your right foot as you rise to the standing position. Now move your left foot in front as if you are taking a step, bend the left knee and then drive through the heel of your left foot, using your buttocks to rise up to the starting position again.

Do 10 of these to begin as one set and move up to doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Calf Raise

This strengthens your calves and your shins. Remember to not only do the raises but also stretch your calves afterward so they don’t become too tight. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart rise up on your toes and lower back to the ground. If you aren’t able to keep your balance, hold on to the back of a chair (without wheels!) or a counter top.

Work toward doing them without holding to anything. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, move to a set of stairs. Keep your toes on the edge of the steps while raising up and dropping your heels below the step.

ContraLateral Limb Raise

Your upper, middle and lower back muscles are as important to a toned and strong body as your abs, legs and arms. This simple exercise will activate your spinal chain and improve the balance in your back muscles.

Lie on the floor, face down with your arms straight above your head and your legs straight. Lift your right arm and left leg off the floor as far as you can at the same time. Hold for the count of 3 to 5 and then lower to the floor. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. This is one repetition. Do 5 repetitions, working up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

5 Simple Fitness Tips to Get Through the Holidays

~ by: Patty Gale

It’s THAT time of year again! Jingle bells, holiday parties and pretty soon those Christmas cookies, pies and cakes are going to be calling your name. Hey, I’m Italian so I totally get it. I grew up with insane amounts of Italian Christmas cookies, pastries and desserts. And even now, I get to make them as gifts for family and friends.

Oh, the temptation!

So, how do you keep your sanity this time of year while also keeping your fitness in check at the same time? You’re probably thinking, ‘easier said than done.’

Here are my 5 tips to help you get through the holidays without getting off track. You’ll be so proud of yourself come January, trust me!

Write These Down and Let’s Do This…

  1. Surround yourself with successful and upbeat people who will encourage you. The influence other people have over our personal energy is astounding. Moods and attitudes are contagious – think about how often a simple smile from a stranger can make a difference for your day. Then multiply that by 1000 times to show how powerful positive attitudes of and successful friends, family and associates are when you are around them.

When you have people around you who inspire you, believe in you and want you to succeed, there’s very little, or any, room for doubt. Even if they do manage to creep in from time to time, they’re gone as fast as they came in.

  1. Create a mantra or a daily fitness affirmations. Repeating positive affirmations has been shown to get people through tough times and to actually help them truly believe what they’re saying. We call these “I AM” statements. The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what has happened and what has not happened yet.

For example, ‘I am building a strong and healthy me.’ Many successful people have used these ‘I AM’ statements to keep them moving forward. Start with a list and write them down, carry them with you or put them up on the mirror in your bathroom. When you see them every day, it becomes repetitive, and becomes a habit that becomes part of your daily life.

  1. Capture negative thoughts and words and take them out of your vocabulary. We all have dis-confirming ideas from time to time. However, negative thoughts and emotions can derail us and keep us from accomplishing what we want. Small words like “but” or “don’t” can take a positive thought and turn it into a negative thought.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you’re swamped with work and finding it really difficult to get outside for a workout or to the gym. You might be thinking, “I really want to go workout, but I have too much going on this week.”

That doesn’t sound like a very firm statement, does it? Let’s turn that around to say,

“I will get my workout in as my time is my own.” See the difference?

Of course, catching those negative thoughts takes practice and persistence. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or having negative emotions, find a trigger to convert them to a positive thought. And when you do get outside to go for a power walk or run, you’ll find it will really help improve your mood… accomplishing two awesome things at once. I know running totally clears my head.

  1. Set goals/intentions and then be willing to let it go. We attract what we focus on. However, despair sends mixed messages and a lot of negativity. Determine your goals and intentions and then let them go. You’ll be surprised at what happens when you allow yourself to have faith in what you can do. Go ahead, give it a try.
  1. Be thankful. Gratitude is possibly the single most powerful and positive tool for success. When you are thankful for all of the fantastic things and people in your life, the challenges you face appear significantly less important and are more easily dealt with.

Dec9Meme Fitness

Think about starting and keeping a gratitude journal along with a fitness journal and get into the habit of writing in them every day. That way, when you are confronting challenges, a quick glance at all the amazing things in your life will make you feel as if you can undertake anything. Additionally, an attitude of gratitude assists you keep a positive perspective and to face challenges as opportunities instead of obstacles.

It’s O.K. to Eat a Few Cookies

It’s the holidays. It’s o.k. to eat a few cookies and treats during this time of year. What I don’t believe in is depriving yourself. Keep your workouts in check, staying as consistent as you can and you’ll be so happy with yourself come January.

You can do it, I know you can!



How Fitness Works Magic From the Inside Out

by: Patty Gale

Am I doing a good job raising my kids?  Does this outfit look OK?  Do I look pretty today?  These questions are just a few you’ve probably asked yourself from time to time.  I know I have.  When you’re a single mom, and there’s not another adult around to encourage you or share these thoughts with, it can take a real toll on your self-confidence.


Add to that, other areas of our lives that have a direct impact on our self-esteem, such as:


Your childhood was one of the main contributing influences to your self-esteem as an adult. As you were growing up and your personality and everything else were developing, everyone around you had the potential to influence the person you became.

For example, if you grew up in particularly chaotic home environment, you can tend to carry that burden with you throughout your life.  I did for a very long time.  My parents were divorced when I was 11 and my pre-teen and teen years were pretty crazy.


The pressures of society are a main contributor of low self-confidence. There are so many demands  to live a certain way, dress a certain way, have a certain kind of job and act accordingly.  Society is obsessed with body image and these pressures can weigh on you, especially as a single mom.


You spend so much of your life at work, it’s no wonder that this environment would influence every aspect of your life, including your self-confidence. A stressful and overly demanding job can often contribute to a low self-esteem, while a productive and encouraging workplace can help you grow stronger.

Here’s Where Fitness Works ‘Magic’

Your overall health is one of the biggest contributors to your self-confidence. Taking care of your body, mind and spirit can strengthen all aspects of yourself including your self-esteem.

This is where a regular fitness program can do absolute wonders!  I like to say this is how fitness works ‘magic’ from the inside out.  While there is no ‘magic pill’ or program to help you get fit, when you exercise and eat well consistently, you will be amazed and how different you’ll feel over time.

You’ll Feel Better

When you feel better physically, you’ll also feel better all around, which helps create a more positive attitude.  For example, just thirty minutes of aerobic activity is enough to release endorphins that increase your feeling of well-being and lower cortisol, which is a hormone associated with stress and anxiety.

You’ll Feel Accomplished

Setting goals and accomplishing those goals is a huge confidence booster!  If you’re just starting out, the key is to set small, realistic goals and increase the challenges as time goes on.  And don’t forget to celebrate the small successes along the way!

Your Clothes Will Fit Better

If there’s one feeling that’s a great confidence booster it’s when your jeans start to feel baggy or you try on a smaller size in the dressing room.  You’re standing there in the mirror saying to yourself, ‘Alright!  I feel and look really good wearing this outfit.’

You’ll Be Motivated to Keep Going

Once you start to see and feel the small successes, usually after about 8 weeks, you’ll be even more motivated to keep going for the long term.  Fitness is part of an overall lifestyle, not a quick-fix and the example you’ll be setting for your children is priceless.

Every part of your life has influence, and therefore has power over your self confidence. But, the person with the most control over your self confidence is you. Practice giving yourself good messages and start a healthy lifestyle plan that includes great nutrition and regular workouts.