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new year new you

It takes 21-days to make a habit, so let's talk about your New Year's resolution

Post by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram/Tumblr cinnamonontop8.

With January almost out the door, is it possible to still set some reasonable health goals for yourself? My resounding ‘Yes’ may have something to do with procrastination on my side this year! Let’s briefly run through my the pitfalls of New Year Resolutions and how to prevent failure.

I’ve never been fond of New Year Resolutions. They’re among those silly rituals people pretend to follow to give themselves a sense of purpose. The mantra whereby you actually do without vowing to do is, in this author’s view, as efficient as they can get, and my choice to start anew in January has little to do with world’s obsession with New Year Resolutions.

Why do most New Year’s Resolutions fail? 

1. Lack of commitment

In startlingly many cases, people aren’t committed to resolutions that they’ve made. The group mentality of the human race – which I’m happy to say rarely affects me - dictates that when a large number of people participate in something, it’s also expected of us to partake. And so, on an annual basis we are faced with the fateful moment of promising to quit smoking, start eating healthily and chasing after that dream job. Whether we truly believe in our goal and intend to work towards it is beside the point. Come November, this momentum wanes, creating a domino effect upon resolution-makers. 

 2.     Timing

Although the start of a new year sounds like the perfect time to rectify past wrong-doings, it’s also the worst. Having the blues in January is nothing short of customary. The anti-climax of the New Year hits hard and exercise, for example, is the least of our concerns.  When January rears its head, everyone is back in the office and companies set business objectives for the next 300-something days. It’s hardly helpful the days are short and darkness veils us at four pm. With stressful schedules ahead, it’s easy to understand why January isn’t the right moment to commence a journey of any sort.

 3.     Enthusiasm wears off

These factors soon lead to reduced levels of enthusiasm. Routine settles comfortably behind the steering wheel and self-reassuring statements, the likes of ‘It’s different now’, fly out of the window. Before we know it, it’s March and we’re yet to conquer planning meals, hitting the gym, embracing a positive attitude. Either that, or come March – after a string of gym visits and healthy eating – we’re tired of it, consider we can’t keep it up and give in.

What can you do about it?

1.     It’s about the now

As much as I say no one should rush into anything without studying it, there’s no time like now. It may be January 5th, or February 2nd. If you decide to go ahead with your fitness journey – or return to your programme after a setback - you should. Often, the longer you rationalise and analyse, the more convinced you become it’s unsustainable. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t put your trainers on and run in the park for 20 odd minutes. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do a few sets of core exercise in the comfort of your home. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not next week or next month. Now.  

 2.     Leave the stress behind

If you’re like me, once you set yourself a task, you have to see it through at any cost. This zealous outlook frequently causes me unhealthy doses of stress. Working out is no exception, yet research shows that stress is immensely counter - productive to our health journeys. Instead of beating myself over the inability to exercise due to, say, exhaustion, I should see it as a motive to do superbly tomorrow. Naturally, it’s seldom the situation. I’m not advocating for the absence of passion and discipline here; I’m saying that an overly driven approach may sometimes be disadvantageous.

3.     Think comprehensively

Think of your health as an investment. The elements that compromise it, such as exercise and wise eating habits, will enable you to lead a fulfilling life. Try assessing them as a part of the whole, not separately. This way you won’t focus on how much you dislike sports, for example. It’ll be about your overall journey to a better you; a you that is content in the knowledge that your body is cared for. Remember the mental passage, too. No physical change will materialise, if you don’t welcome the voyage of the mind. And the voyage of the mind isn’t pinned down to a single date on a calendar (January 1st). It’s a life-long pledge: one that has to be driven continually but can start at any hour, on any day, in any year. Happy Resolutions!

5 Smart Steps to take at the beginning of a new year

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

Happy New Year everybody!!! 

The first week of the year is already gone, so have you decided how will you set yourself for success? Have you created a list of your New Year Resolutions you would like to achieve in this brand new year? If you have taken it slowly after the Holidays, it’s OK.

It’s a new day, so let’s set you up for success with these 5 smart steps to follow.

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The first thing you need to do is to set your mindset for success. Whatever you desire to accomplish over the next year, whether it would be finding a new job, having a baby, improving your diet, sticking to your workout routine once and for all, losing weight your baby weight, changing career…You’ve got to decide and commit to achieving those things. If you haven’t changed your mindset the chances for you to achieve your goals are (let’s face it) tiny. Decide to go ALL IN today!

  • Find a quiet and peaceful place in your house where you can start to clear your mind of negative thoughts, limiting belief you may have. Then, you can start to reflect on the things you want most to accomplish this year.
  • Take a sheet of paper and a pen and start writing down how you want to feel every single day when you awake and allow your actions to support that feeling.

You’re no longer going to say ”I’ll try to…”, this sentence will no longer be a part of your vocabulary. You’re focused on your goals and you’re not going to stop until you succeed!

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When you are writing your goals, each and every single one of them need to be written positively and in the present tense. Using positive statement in a direct way to affirm your commitment to completing your goals has a major impact!

  • Break down your goals into small steps so you won’t feel overwhelmed by them. If you would like to lose 100 pounds over the year. It should look like this: 100lbs divided by 12 = 8lbs/month divided by 4 = 2. So you will write your statement like so: ”My big goal is to lose 100 pounds this year, so I am going to lose 2 pounds each week so that way I can feel beautiful and confident again!”

Always remember how YOU want to feel at the end of your achievement!

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One of the biggest mistakes people tend to do is not attaching a deadline to their goals or resolutions. You can have the best intentions to accomplish it but unless you put a plan in place with an impending deadline, how can you stay on track?

  • Once you have your list of positive goals written on a sheet of paper or in your journal, grab your calendar and start to assign each goal to the month you want to accomplish it in.
  • It’s one thing to have your goals set on your calendar, but you need your small steps (tasks) that will lead you to them in order for you to succeed. Start to brake down your goals into daily action plan. Start to think what you need to do each day, each week to achieve your goals. If you are not sure how to get there, I am always here to help!
  • Now it’s time to schedule those tasks! Ensure you’re doing this at the same time every week so it becomes a habit! Sunday evenings are my time to plan out my week which includes: workouts, meal plans, work and personal stuff.

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Journaling is a great way to keep track of both personal and professional progress. Checking in with yourself and acknowledging the progress made towards a certain goal is key to staying motivated and accountable. 

  • When losing weight, keeping a record of our progress is very important and motivating. It helps you see that your body is changing (it takes time) even though sometimes you feel like nothing is ”actually changing”. Start by taking your ”Before” picture, which I call it your ”Goodbye picture”, every 30 days take progression pictures and stick them in your journal with the previous ones. You will be SHOCKED (in a good way) to notice the progress you have made thus far. Also, keep track of your measurements of day 1 and of every 2 weeks.
  • This principle can be applied to everything, not only to health and fitness. Always record your progress.

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With busy schedules and hectic lifestyles it’s easy to put our own health and well-being on the back-burner.

BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

You’re no longer going to “try” to fit exercise and healthy eating into your schedule. It’s time to implement a workout & nutrition plan that is realistic for your lifestyle and has strong support & accountability from the very beginning (the piece you’re probably missing)! I’m here to help with that! It’s my passion & purpose to show you HOW to make this work.

“I know what I need to do, I just don’t know how to do it…consistently!”

If this is you, I invite you to join my “New Year, New You: Find Your Strength in 2015” accountability group to kick-start your goal of creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself!

It’s a chance to work with me personally in a small group of like-minded people all working towards the same goal! We’re close to filling up but if you COMMIT by this Sunday, I’ll squeeze you in and get you started!

Click HERE to learn what it’s all about and exactly how it’s designed to help you successfully transition to better health, energy & confidence!

Raw in College: Advanced Meal Plan

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This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp: @rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog

**This plan is best for people who want to fully embrace the Raw in College lifestyle!!!—this means you are ready to cut out animal products and processed foods—it applies to anyone who is looking to completely change their life in all aspects—enhance your overall health, lose weight, and feel your best through a whole food, plant based diet. This plan is meant to provide guidelines not rules for your eating habits. The options for this lifestyle are truly endless, so this is just a general idea of what your day could look like! YOU ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!**

WATER: Every day, you should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces! For example, if you are a 140 pound woman, you should be drinking 70 ounces of water throughout the day. Water flushes your body of toxins and other harmful substances that have been accumulating in your body up until this point. When you wake up, you should start your day with one liter (32 ounces) of water—for some people, this may be a big change! Water does nothave to be boring! You can infuse your water with fresh fruits and herbs to really enhance your hydration and make it tastier for you— most importantly!

BREAKFAST OPTIONS:

**my secret ratio to a perfect smoothie every time: 1/3 of the blender should be frozen fruit, 1/3 fresh, ripe fruit, and 1/3 greens (such as kale, spinach, romaine)—if you like a thick smoothie, add water as you go to achieve your desired consistency—if you like more of a liquid consistency, fill your blender 1/3 of the way and it should be perfect!**

  • FRUIT PLATTER- This option can consist of a variety of fresh fruit of your choice! I also love eating mono meals– this is when you just have a large quantity of one fruit, such as an entire personal watermelon or honeydew. Eating mono meals helps your digestive system immensely and you will definitely notice a difference!
  • 32 oz FRESH PRESSED JUICE- It’s all about what YOU enjoy on this lifestyle! What are you in the mood for? The variations of juice recipes are endless! Juice is an incredible way to get nutrients into your body quickly and give you the energy you need to jump start your day!
  • ‘NICE’CREAM: MY FAVORITE! It’s so yummy you won’t believe how healthy it is for you! Simply blend frozen fruit in a high speed blender or food processor until the desired ice cream consistency! As a base, I like to blend about 2-4 frozen bananas in my food processor and top it off with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and dried mulberries for an extra crunch! 

LUNCH OPTIONS:

  • RAW SALAD (kale, spinach, romaine, spring mix, arugula, collard greens, etc) filled with unlimited raw veggies!! (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas)
  • I like to ‘dress’ my salad with the juice of about 1/2 of a lemon, but if you are transitioning from a diet heavy in creamy dressings, you may want to try out some of my raw salad dressing recipes coming soon on my RECIPES page!

WITH

  • 2 to 4 pieces/cups of fruit (grapes, berries, apple, peach) and unlimited veggies from your always list down below!

OR

  • fruit/veggie smoothie

OR

  • fresh pressed juice

OR

  • ‘nice’cream

DINNER OPTIONS: (very similar to lunch and can be interchangeable)

  • Start your meal with a smoothie, fruit platter, or ‘nice’ cream! (this will help eliminate cravings for processed sugars after your meal, especially if you are used to having dessert after your dinner!)
  • RAW SALAD (kale, spinach, romaine, spring mix, arugula, collard greens, etc) filled with unlimited raw veggies!! (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas, avocado)

OR

SNACK OPTIONS:

  • always veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, kale, asparagus, corn, beans, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens of any kind, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, squash, sugar snap peas
  • fresh fruit
  • small handful of naturally dried fruit (no added sugar, no preservatives)
  • handful of whole natural raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, etc)

How to Kick-start your Healthy Lifestyle

Post by PumpUp member @jennoshealth. Follow her journey on her fantastic blog!

A lot of people think that this whole “healthy thing” is too much of an effort and only for certain people. FALSE 

A healthy lifestyle is for everyone: regardless of age, weight, belief, height etc. It's never too early nor too late to start eating and living right.

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Get it…kick-start?
  1. Add, don’t take away. A lot of people think they need to cut out foods/drinks. It’s easier and realistic to add more nutritious foods than take away the bad ones. Try adding a fresh fruit to your dessert before totally cutting out the meal. It’s a lifestyle not a diet. 
  2. Ask questions. We’re human: we mess up and we don’t know everything. Therefore, we should thirst to know more about Health & Fitness. Your lifestyle change will be effective when it is informed because you know exactly what and why your doing what you do. To start, immerse yourself in YouTube videos and articles about healthy living.
  3. Set mini goals. You’re more likely to attain smaller goals than one end goal. When you accomplish a small goal you’ll feel more inspired to complete the next one and the next. This next stage in your life will more likely be a lifestyle change rather than a transient phase. Instead of telling yourself that you will “lose 15 pounds”, a more realistic goal would be Try go on each cardio machine in the gym for 15 minutes 3-4 times a week. Catch my drift? 
  4. When I lost all of my excuses I found all of my results. Motivation doesn’t last, determination does. You need to find time in that hectic schedule of yours, after all it is your health and you are responsible. No gym? No problem! You have all you need there are tons of free workouts eg. PumpUp out there. People didn’t post it for the good of their health, they did it to help you! 
I hope this comes in handy when you start that healthy lifestyle. It isn’t difficult at all, tons of people are doing it so why aren’t you? 

 Jenny

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I didn't achieve my New Year's Resolution last year, but I will this year. Here's why

In it to win it

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This is a post by Abigail B. (@shaudae on PumpUp). Follow her on Tumblr and on her Wordpress blog at Inspiration Served Daily

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to get fit and be at my goal weight of 120 pounds by December 2014. As we all know by now, that didn’t work out as planned. My New Year’s Resolution for 2015 regarding being at my goal weight of 120 pounds has not changed but this time I will be at my goal weight by June 2015 and I will maintain it – watch me do it.

This is how I plan on accomplishing my New Year’s Resolution goal:

  • Working out - I will work out at least 4 times every week, listen to my personal trainer’s advice and stick to my diet regardless of how good fried chicken and rice and peas smells. (If you can’t tell, I’m Caribbean!)
  • Motivation - I will motivate myself every day to accomplish my goal. When I’m motivated I work harder and I feel more energized. I know that there will be days that I won’t feel like working out and I will want to eat a double whopper from Burger King. I have an amazing team of supporters, which includes family members, friends, my personal trainer and my 24 hour support team – my PumpUp family. Y’all are amazing!!
  • Delayed GratificationAs an extension of motivation, I will reward myself during my transformation process. I will not reward myself with food, but with a manicure or a pedicure or a complete spa day, I deserve it! 
  • I will be honest with myself – The truth is, we sometimes lie to ourselves. Ever had any of these thoughts: “Two slices of cheesecake won’t hurt”, “I should eat this ice cream – my body needs the calories”, “After my workout, I’m gonna be a couch potato and I need a small bag of potato chips to do that”? These are all lies. coaxing yourself to eat a bag of potato chips for 4 minutes, then spending 15 minutes working off the calories is not fun, I know this. I will be honest with myself regarding my limits, the fact is; I’m not advanced at this ‘gym life’ therefore my body needs time to adjust. Don’t try to do 4 sets of 20 ‘sit ups’ and you can’t do 3 sets of 16; everything in moderation!
  • I will also appreciate my transformation process – We work out and expect to see immediate results. This isn’t realistic. We gain weight over time. Therefore, the process to lose weight will not be done overnight.

I’m sure the process to keeping my New Year’s Resolution will be one filled with tears, excitement, pain, and happiness. I’m in it to win it!

- Abigail Brady

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PumpUp’s Best Plank Photos

Thanks for planking it out on Day 3 of PumpUp’s #MyResolution photo-a-day challenge! Creative planks are always great to witness and a riot to perform, aren’t they? Remember to never sacrifice proper form for extra time in the pose. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest plank to date was held for 4 hours and 26 minutes. 

Here are a handful among many of PumpUp’s favourite planks from the challenge:

  • @emily_swan (top photo) demonstrates some sweet plank variations to try! These isometric poses will work different parts of your body.
  • @alexawinter (second row, left), among many others on the app, took this opportunity to plank it out in her kitchen!
  • Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low enough for @k_c (second row, right). She climbed on top of Pinnacle Mountain in order to take this shot!
  • Maybe treadmills aren’t just for running. Maybe. There was no ‘treading’ to be seen with @amyliu’s plank! (third row,left)
  • @danelee (third row, right) explained that he does a lot of plank work in gymnastics. He decided to do his plank on two physioballs!
  • The winner of our challenge is @annakw! She vastly improved her plank time since she began to work out in September. “I couldn’t hold one for more than a minute. Now, the most I can do is two minutes!” 

Watch the new PumpUp video

Watch the new PumpUp video

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Success is achieved when we inspire wellness, together.Get motivated by millions to become the best version of yourself. Let PumpUp encourage you along the way. Nothing is impossible! Share this video if you love #TeamPumpUp! 

Your 3-step solution to making better New Year’s Resolutions [INFOGRAPHIC]

Your 3-step solution to making better New Year’s Resolutions [INFOGRAPHIC]

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New Year's Resolution Infographic and Statistics // PumpUp Blog

New year, new you? It isn’t easy, but you can achieve your 2015 goals for real. According to one study, 45% of Americans usually make resolutions for the New Year. Given that the U.S. population was just over 317 million at the start of the 2014 year, and that a dismal 8% are reported to successfully achieve their resolutions, this means a whopping 131 million Americans did not achieve their resolutions in 2014. Millions more around the world may have experienced this same failure rate.
Why do so many people make resolutions, while so few succeed? The pre-frontal cortex is an area of the brain responsible for controlling one’s will-power among other important functions, including abstract problem solving and short-term memory.
Asking the pre-frontal cortex to immediately adjust to a big, abstract, and daunting New Year’s resolution is like asking an untrained individual to perform Beyoncé’s choreography perfectly: it won’t work. Like a muscle, the pre-frontal cortex falters easily without proper training.  This means that smaller and attainable goals will be easier to accomplish than larger ones.
If you do these three steps when you’re making a resolution this year, you’ll have a greater chance of being successful.
  • Be specific.  Set tangible goals with concrete deadlines that you can gradually work up to. Rather than making a generalized goal to, for example, run more often this year, train for a race instead.
  • Make a schedule. Take time to create a plan and set mini-benchmarks for yourself. Reward yourself when you transcend tiny personal milestones along the way. Set aside specific days each week for your resolution, or sign up for something that already adheres to a schedule, such as a class. Don’t wait until you ‘have the time’ to work on your resolution.
  • Track your progress. Make gradual changes and don’t expect too much too soon. Patience is everything. Mobile apps such as PumpUp are an excellent way to log your progress while other like-minded people cheer you on. It’s important to have a support team to keep you accountable.

Sources
“New Years Resolution Statistics.” University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology via Statistic Brain (2014). Web.
“U.S. Population Clock.” United States Census Bureau (2014). Web.
Diamond, Dan. “Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s How They Do It.” Forbes Magazine (2013). Web.
Lehrer, Jonah. “Blame it on the Brain.” Wall Street Journal (2009). Web.
Webley, Kayla. “Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions.” TIME Magazine (2012). Web.
Widrich, Leo. “The Science of New Year’s Resolutions.” Buffer Social.(2013). Web.
Vanderkam, Laura. “7 Secrets from People Who Kept Their New Year’s Resolutions” Fast Company (2014). Web.
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