Five Tips for Setting and Meeting Fitness and Nutrition Goals

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So, you’ve made a new resolution to reinvent your eating habits. Whatever the motivation, whether it was looking at yourself in the mirror for the first time in a while, or an off-handed comment from your spouse, it put you into action.

Now you’re revved and ready to go – for the 100th time. And for the 100th time, you start out with oatmeal on Monday morning only to end up in the nearest drive-through by dinner time.

Why is it that every time we decide to commit to diet and fitness, our plans stay on track for maybe a week, sometimes only a few days?

As soon as the initial motivator fades from our memories we find ourselves stopping for “just one” doughnut on the way to work, or visiting the vending machine during afternoon break. It’s far to easy to make impulsive plans but end up feeling like a failure because of a lack of planning.

Here are some tips for keeping yourself on track this time around.

#1 Write Down Your Goal, and your Motivating Factors

The first key to success is to clearly define where you want to end up. If you’re looking to loose weight or inches, write down your starting weight, measure yourself and set attainable goals to reach within a set timeframe. The American Heart Association recommends that you loose no more than 1-2 pounds per week.

Many people like to choose a certain length of time (10 to 12 weeks works well) to adhere to set goals. At then end of that time, you can assess your progress and decide if you would like to change anything. Just be sure to give yourself long enough to adjust to a new routine. Reassessing after a week is not exactly ideal.

Now that you’ve defined your goal, write down what is going to motivate you to attain your goal. Wanting to loose ten pounds is admirable, but when you’re in a face-off with a chocolate brownie, it’s easy to tell yourself how little that goal matters. It’s better to have definitive reasons for wanting to loose the weight.

For example, you might want to look stunning at your sister’s wedding, or you might have a health reason for wanting to loose weight. One great motivator for some people is wanting to prove not just to themselves, but to all of the negative voices in their lives that they really CAN exercise the willpower to meet the goal. Choose a list of 3-5 at minimum -when one reason fails to motivate you, another surely will.

Post your goals and your motivations in several places where you can see them daily. The bathroom mirror, the refrigerator door, inside your day planner and on your desk at work.

#2 Do Your Research

Don’t just start eating the worst, most healthy looking diet food that you can find. Do some research and find a plan that is ideal to your body and lifestyle.

Determine exactly what you need to eat and drink, and what your activity level each day should be. If you choose a popular diet plan you’ll be provided with guidelines, some more strict than others, but you can also do your own research and design a good fitness and nutrition plan for yourself based on standard rules of nutrition.

#3 Keep a Journal

Write down your daily exercise and food intake goals, and keep track of your progress each day. Record your success and your failures, so that you can look back and see what you’ve done right and what you need to improve on.

There are several journals on the market designed especially for tracking diet and nutrition, there are also many free websites that can be used for tracking or you can just use a small blank book. The important thing is that you keep track.

#4 Get an Accountability Buddy

Recruiting a spouse or close friend to jump on the fitness bandwagon can be a key to success. Together you can motivate each other to stick to your resolutions and work toward your goals. Unfortunately not everyone has someone willing to participate but support can still be found.

There are many diet and fitness websites that provide users a way to connect to others and stay encouraged. Local groups can also provide motivation; you can check your local phone book or ask at your fitness center or gym for classes and support groups in your area.

#5Don’t Let Failure Get You Down

Everyone messes up once in a while but too many times, people starting a fitness routine take the first bit of failure as a sign that they can’t accomplish what they’ve set out to do. If you set strict goals for yourself, you’re bound to walk off the path at some point.

The important part is to stand up and dust yourself off, look at what you feel you’ve done wrong and what caused it, and then move on.

Dwelling on failure will get you nowhere. It’s best to view your moments of weakness as learning experiences instead of failure. Take what you can from those moments and let your goals motivate you to do better next time.

Best worksite wellness programs

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Wellness programs are increasingly becoming a part of workplace culture. Confirmation from research studies that healthy nutrition, physical activity, and stress management have a positive impact on our health, as well as national healthcare reform and the pressure to contain healthcare costs, are all accelerating this development.

According to David Hunnicutt, PhD., Director of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA, welcoa.org), there are two distinct paths in the design of worksite wellness programs; they are either activity-centered or results-oriented.

Activity-centered workplace wellness programs are those that make “activities” the central focus of their initiative. In fact, many workplace wellness practitioners incorporate a variety of simple activities into their company’s annual schedule of wellness events.

When it comes to long-term success, Hunnicutt favors results-oriented programs, those that focus not on simply offering a “program of the month”, but on impacting the organization’s bottom line through improved employee health and increased productivity.

What if you are a strategic planner for a worksite wellness program that is currently activity-focused? Hunnicutt says it is challenging but doable to transition from an activity-centered wellness program to a results-oriented one. WELCOA’s Seven Benchmarking System offers that direction by transforming wellness programs into initiatives that attain measurable results.

The value of herbal cleansers

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Until you follow an alkalizing diet and lifestyle, the polluted environment that has developed in your body will persist.

If you’ve been accustomed to eating the Standard American Diet, loaded with lots of processed food, sugar, refined salt, caffeine, gluten grains, and alcohol, then no doubt your body is polluted with an overgrowth of candida albicans, or yeast.

In conjunction with alkalizing, taking a few basic herbal supplements can assist the body in recovering to a cleansed state.

To cleanse the yeast, look for a alkaline supplement that contains the following: berberine sulfate, olive leaf, chamomile, calendula, spearmint leaf, and thyme leaf.

While taking an herbal supplement to rid the body of yeast, it’s also important to take a colon cleanser that will accelerate the body’s elimination of toxins.

Clean water supply?

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Many of us take for granted that we have easy access to a clean water supply for potable, or drinkable, water. But are you aware of the unwanted substances that make their way into our drinking water?

A 2009 Associated Press investigation reported after a five month-long study that a vast array of pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, anti-convultants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.

In addition, the presence of so many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen that have been flushed down toilets are easily found in much of our drinking water and is heightening worries of long-term health consequences.

Unfortunately, water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed.  They claim that the public does not know how to interpret the results and might be unduly alarmed.

Because of information like this, and because of many other abuses of our clean water supply system, including sewage waste, poisons used in agribusiness, acid rain, industrial and household chemicals just to name a few, a good, dependable water filter (charcoal or reverse-osmosis) or water ionizer has become a necessity for every family in America.

Even users of bottled water and many of the home filtration systems don’t necessarily avoid exposure.  Bottlers, some of which simply repackage tap water, do not typically treat or test for all toxins, especially pharmaceuticals, according to the industry’s main trade group.

Microbiologist Robert O. Young, author of “The pH Miracle” and other books, indicates that he has been researching water for over two decades.  He says, “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the contamination of our water supply in the US is a clear and present danger. I have personally tested the water supplies of nearly every major city in the U.S. and there is NO safe water to drink that is clean, pure and alkaline. Even the majority of the bottled waters being sold in the U.S. and around the world are questionable at best.”

A National Assessment of Tap Water Quality found 260 contaminants in our nation’s tap water; 141of these contaminants have no enforceable safety limits. Of the 141 unregulated contaminants utilities detected in water supplies between 1998 and 2003, 52 are linked to cancer, 41 to reproductive toxicity, 36 to developmental toxicity, and 16 to immune system damage, according to chemical listings in seven standard government and industry toxicity references.  Despite the potential health risks, any concentration of these chemicals in tap water is legal, no matter how high.

For more detailed information, see Robert Young’s book, “The pH Miracle for Weight Loss,” chapter 5, entitled “You Are What You Drink,”  where he addresses the issue of the present dangers of the world’s potable clean water supply.