Whether you’re training for your next competition or just trying to get healthier, you don’t have to go it alone.

Let’s face it, it can be hard to stay motivated for every gym session and workout on your training schedule. From early-morning wake-ups to healthy diet choices, switching to a healthy lifestyle takes some serious mental fortitude. While at the end of the day your personal willpower is what will get you across the finish line, you don’t have to embark on your fitness journey alone. Fostering a strong community of friends, family and fellow fitness enthusiasts can help keep you motivated and on track when the going gets tough.

We sat down with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak to learn more about how to build a community of support for yourself and how to leverage it for your maximum fitness potential. Long story short, finding an engaged and active fitness community is of utmost importance.

Oxygen: How important is it to have a strong support system when beginning a fitness journey?

Harley Pasternak: I think it’s very important that you have at least one person who is your accountability partner — whether that person is a friend, a training partner, a personal trainer, a spouse, a co-worker or somebody who is on the mission with you. This person might go for walks with you. This person is, at the end of the day, somebody who you can email what you ate that day and they’ll email you what they ate. They might be somebody who you can link your Fitbit to so you can see each other’s steps every day. I think it can be very important.

Oxygen: How can a supportive community help you reach your goals?

HP: I think by having at least one person in your corner on the days when you really don’t feel like going for that walk or working out, and they do, they’ll help bring you up to their level and vice versa. When you get into a bad eating habit, they might be able to call you out on it and make you aware of something maybe you’re in denial of.

Oxygen: What if someone you know and trust is against your transformation and/or goals — such as a spouse or a family member? How can you forge ahead?

HP: Great question. We deal with this all the time — it’s called Revenge Body. We are dealing with people who are trying to get “revenge” on people who have belittled them or mocked them for not looking their best. Plus, along the way, they often have people who are trying to sabotage their transformation or success.

For example, a couple that I worked with, one of them really wanted to lose weight and the other one felt threatened that if their spouse lost weight and became fantastic looking, they were concerned that spouse might leave them. I think it’s important that you have a conversation beforehand with anybody who is in your life who might want to sabotage you. Explain how important this journey is for you, and ask either for them to help you with the journey or stay out of your way. Regardless, if the person does in fact make efforts to sabotage you, it’s important you steer clear of them and focus on your goal.

Oxygen: If you’re doing this on your own, how do you foster a community from scratch?

HP: Good question. That might be approaching someone at work, a loved one or going on the Fitbit app and finding groups there. There are many groups and communities you can join. 

Oxygen: Do online forums and groups work?

HP: Yes. For some people but not for all. Everyone is different.

Oxygen: What are your top tips for building your own community?

HP: We’re building communities today, right here, right now. At Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival, we are literally creating communities of fitness professionals and of the general population who are coming together with common goals, curiosity and interests to find new forms of physical exercise to fall in love with and other people to potentially join and do them with. Group fitness is a great example of this.

Oxygen: What kinds of people/personalities are important to have in your inner circle of support?

HP: Supportive ones. That’s really it.

Oxygen: Do you think that people who are introverted or shy have a harder time building a community? What is your advice for them?

HP: Sometimes yes, but if you’re a certain way, chances are there are many other people just like you, looking for someone similar to themselves. You can find them through apps, and you can find them here at Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival. We have a lot of different people here over these few days, and everyone here has common interests and common goals.    

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woman write action plan text on notebook with coffee and phone on tableWe’re almost halfway through 2018. History is accelerating. New advances, technology, scientific findings, and social changes are occurring faster than ever before. There’s never any time like the present, but these days it feels like the present is slipping away at an exponential rate. This is no time to be resting on your laurels, biding your time, or waiting to see what happens. It’s time to act. It’s time to make the changes you’ve been mulling over, the ones you know in your heart are the right moves to make.

To help you on your way, I’ve put together a 30-day action plan for the month of June. No one has to follow this to the letter, or even at all, but use it as a template or inspiration. Wake up on June 12 swelling with energy and unsure how to direct it? Check out the action plan. Feeling a bit lazy on June 19? See what the action plan recommends; it may resonate.

Let’s get right to it:

June 1st: Plan your month. Set a goal or two, aiming as high as you realistically can attain.

June 2nd: Track what you eat, how much you move, how long you sit or stand, what you do in the gym, how much you procrastinate or waste time, how much time you spend in flow or being productive. Get specific, get precise—it’s just one day, and you can handle it. Get a good baseline, so you know what you’re working with. Then try to improve on it every day forward.

June 3rd: Try the fitness or movement pursuit you’ve been thinking about for a long time. That thing you know you should be doing, like foam rolling at night or doing a light mobility session in the morning, but keep putting off. Just do it. Feels good, right?

June 4th: Take a cold shower.

June 5th: Wake up a half hour earlier than usual, if necessary, and do some hill sprints before the weather heats up. If no hills, flat sprints. If flat sprints hurt, try an alternative.

June 6th: Reflect on your approach to competition. Who are you competing against? Who should you be competing against? Consider that it might be a better idea to compete against your former self, because besting your former self is a reliable path to self-improvement.

June 7th: Take three walks. One in the morning, one at lunchtime, and one after dinner.

June 8th: Meditate, if you’ve never tried it before. If you have and it doesn’t work for you, try an alternative method for reaching a similar headspace. My favorite way as of late is just sitting quietly at the beach, watching the waves go in and out across the horizon.

June 9th: Have a big dinner party. Make something delicious (and Primal), pour some good wine, have some good laughs.

June 10th: Don’t just go to the farmer’s market. Make friends with your favorite farmer’s market vendors.

June 11th: Pickle something. It’s really easier than you think to make your own fermented food. Mix 50 grams salt with a liter of quality water, pour over garlic/hot peppers/shallots/pretty much anything you can stuff in a jar until submerged, place something on top to keep everything submerged (a roof of carrots wedged against the sides of the jar works well), lightly cover, and wait for the bubbles to start. When you like the taste, you’re done and can refrigerate the jar.

June 12th: Plan a camping trip for later during the month. Get your family and/or friends together, throw your gear in the car, and make a weekend of it somewhere nice and secluded. Leave electronics behind if you can, or at least limit artificial light after dark (red LED on the headlamp is a must when camping).

June 13th: Wake up and write down ten ideas. About anything at all. They don’t even have to be good. They just have to be on paper.

June 14th: Go for a PR in something. Pick a physical activity, and try to beat your personal best.

June 15th: Fast (if your personal context permits). Men, aim for the full 24 hours. Women, shorter will probably work better—somewhere in the realm of 12-16 hours (less if you’ve never tried).

June 16th: Grill something over open flame. At least one animal and one plant.

June 17th: Crawl everywhere you go in your house (and office, if you’re game). Use different techniques, go at different speeds. Throw in a few push-ups while you’re down there.

June 18th: Try a new recipe. Or just cook something new freestyle, using no recipe at all.

June 20th: Read for two hours. Books, not blogs or social media feeds (present blog excluded).

June 21st: Try to assemble the least expensive, most nutritious day of meals you can.

June 22nd: Have a glass of good wine with someone close to you. Friend, spouse, child (if of age).

June 23rd: Meal prep for the week ahead. Take an hour and get all the basics you need for the rest of the week ready to go. Roast veggies, start something in the Instant Pot, boil some eggs, prep Big Ass Salad makings. What you can cook ahead of time, cook ahead of time.

June 24th: Climb a tree. Be safe, just not too safe. Try to get the blood pumping.

June 25th: If you have any nagging health concerns you’ve been worrying about, make an appointment with a medical professional to get them checked out. Eating, exercising, and living well can transform our health, but we’re not invincible.

June 26th: Dance. Preferably with someone watched (and joining).

June 27th: Dream big. What’s your biggest, most ultimate dream that still has a chance of happening? Write it down, and figure out what you have to do to make it a reality.

June 28th: Forage for something in your yard, neighborhood, local park, or forest. Edible plants are everywhere.

June 29th: Grill some fruit in cast iron over open flame. The best fruit of the year is in season—peaches, cherries, nectarines, berries of all kinds—and yet most people don’t know that you can grill them over open flame and improve the flavor. Top with unsweetened whipped cream (you don’t need the sugar).

June 30th: Show gratitude for the awesome month you just experienced.

I’ll also have more on June’s staff-led 21-Day Challenge next week, so stay tuned. Have a great end to the week, everybody. Thanks for stopping by.


The post Summer Reset: 30 Days, 30 Actions appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Love working out in the great outdoors? Yeah, me too. And one of my favorite ways to have a fun, fit, outdoorsy day is to grab a kayak and get out on the water for a few hours. Recently, I had a chance to borrow a couple of cool kayaks that are quite different than the kayaks I bet you’re picturing right now. One can be carried like a backpack (yes, really!), and the other is pedal-powered rather than powered by paddles. Pretty cool, huh? Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal From a fitness perspective, the Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal ($2,199.99) kayak…

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