Many Americans set New Year’s resolutions to get healthier, whether it is to lose weight, quit smoking or exercise more. As you go into this New Year with a health goal in mind, here are a few tips to keep you motivated, no matter your goal.
Set small goals. By setting a small goal and being realistic about what you want to accomplish, you have a better chance of succeeding.
Have a buddy system. Recruit a friend, family member or co-worker to exercise with you or to eat lunch or dinner with you. Having a buddy, or even a personal trainer at a gym, will make you more accountable to your goals.
Reward yourself. For every success you have, pat yourself on the back. You can do small things for yourself, such as buy new clothes, rent a movie, pamper yourself or take a road trip to a new place. Rewards don’t have to come in the form of food. Also, look in the mirror and compliment yourself, as well as compliment others who are accomplishing their goals.
Stay motivated. Don’t focus on the outcome, but on what you are doing to reach your goal. Focus on the step in front of you. Don’t let your resolution fail because you become overwhelmed or have a bad day or week. Pick yourself up and start again. Don’t quit.
Here are a few exercises to do at home or on your lunch break.
If your goal is to increase muscular endurance, I suggest doing each exercise with lighter weights and more repetitions, until you exhaust the muscles. If your goal is to increase muscular strength, do each exercise with heavier weights and fewer repetitions, until you exhaust the muscles.
Also, if you do not have hand weights at home, you can use water bottles or canned vegetables.
Repeat each exercise two to three times. Always remember proper form and technique when doing any strength-training exercise to prevent injury. Complete each exercise using maximum effort and intensity to ensure the effectiveness of the workout.
Zotman’s Curl -- This bicep exercise is great for targeting both the brachii and the brachialis muscles in one, smooth motion. It is one of my favorite upper body exercises to do for my biceps. Targeting both bicep muscles will give you strong, sexy arms.
Step one: Start this exercise in standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Straighten your spine, shoulders down, keep your arms at your sides at all times and bend only at the elbow.
Step two: Supinate (palms up) the arms when bringing the hands up. Pronate (palms down) the arms when bringing the arms down. Keep a slight bend to the elbow on the way down.
Side and Lateral Shoulder Raise
Step one: Start this exercise in standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, pull your belly button into your spine and roll your shoulders back.
Step two: Pronate your hands and lift both arms to shoulder level and the back down to starting position.
Step three: Lift both arms out to the side until shoulder level and then back down to starting position.
Bent over Row (Rear Delts and Back)
Step one: Start in the same position as exercise two, only this time bend slightly forward at the hips.
Step two: Pronate your hands and lift the weights using your rear delts and back muscles. You should feel your scallions coming together. Only bring your arms up until your elbows are at the same level as your shoulders.
This shoulder workout targets all three heads of your shoulder muscle -- the rear, medial and anterior deltoids. By targeting all the heads, you get a complete shoulder workout and can achieve that sculpted and defined look.
Repeat this workout three to four times a week. For the best results, combine five to seven cardio sessions (30-45 minutes each) per week and a diet high in protein and low in fat. Always stretch the working muscles after a workout for 10 seconds, and drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
Sharon Rashidi is the owner of The Perfect Workout in downtown Newton. Contact her at (828) 465-4055 and visit www.theperfectworkout.net .