6 WAYS TO GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

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Very often in life, we get used to living a monotonous routine. Whether we are working as professionals in the corporate sector or running our individual business or even taking care of our families and home, we all tend to get into the vicious cycle of monotony. We may not realise, but several important aspects of our life get compromised as a result of this. Fitness being one of the most important aspect among them.

People often claim “time constraint” as a big reason for avoiding daily exercise. Well, I consider that more of an excuse than a reason. Every single day of life is precious and we all have the equal time of 24 hours everyday. And you cannot afford to say that you need an extra hour from out-of-nowhere just for exercise. Another reason why I consider “time constraint” to be an excuse (most of the times) is because I feel the actual reason is that people are often not ready to get out of their comfort zone. Not only those who do not work-out at all; in several instances, people who hit the gym daily or go for running/jogging everyday get into a comfortable rut of monotony.

If you want to see results, then you have to walk out of this comfort zone. No excuses. Here I suggest you a few ways to accomplish that and get the results you aspire for:

  1. Check your habit patterns: Keep a close look on your habit loops. If you have been trying to be a morning person to get some time for your workout, go to bed early. Keep your exercising shoes by your bed side so that the moment you get down from your bed, you remind yourself that the most important task to be done is to start working out 🙂
  2. Do not feed your self-destructive behaviours: You know that you are gaining weight and it’s high time that you start losing it. Each time to try to squeeze yourself into those pair of stretchy pants you realise it even more. That’s ok. It is a reminder for you to start exercising. Do not go shopping for XL sized clothes instead. That’s really sad. This is not going to help you in anyway. Stop feeding into such negative behaviours.
  3. There’s always a first time: It’s OK if you have never exercised before. Start doing it today. Remember there are no excuses. Exercising does not necessarily mean getting enrolled into a gym or buying expensive exercise gear and other equipments. You can shed all that weight just using your own body; start your own body-weight training.

For all those who do hit the gym or go running comfortably, here  are the ways to get out of your comfort zone i.e. your fitness rut:

1.Intensify your workout: Increase your speed on that exercise cycle or on that treadmill. Increase the intensity. If you do weight training, increase the weight slowly. If you have been working out with 5 lbs for the last 2 months, change it. Nothing is going to change unless you start getting uncomfortable.

2.Try something new: There are hundreds of new workouts that you can try. Join a spinning class, learn mixed martial arts class, try cross-fit, run a marathon or go zumba / aqua zumba. Not only will it be fun and a new learning experience but will also challenge your body in a new way and bring visible results.

3.Raise the bar: Remember, if you are determined enough to work-out everyday , you also have the capability to work-out even harder. Raise your bar, workout harder, faster. If today you did 25 sit-ups, make sure tomorrow you do 30. Keep challenging yourself. You can do it. Get the mental make-up and push yourself really hard.

So, get out of your comfort zone today 🙂

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Water Weight ???

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Ever since I started writing this blog, a very good friend of mine (who is also a fitness freak) has been requesting me to write an article on “Water Weight”. Well, everyone knows that ‘drinking lots of water’ is good for health. You read it in your favorite health columns, your mom asks you if you are drinking enough water, your doctor advises you to drink at least 4-5 litres of water everyday and so on & so forth. But do you know about the role of water in weight-loss issues especially if you are working really hard in getting those washboard abs?

 It’s a simple but very important concept in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and your overall fitness goals. Water weight is nothing but part of your body weight created due to retention of water by your body. Ok! So your body stores up water, what is wrong with that or why get concerned about it anyways? Do you need to shed off this water weight? If yes, how?

All the answers lie in understanding this concept properly. By water weight, I mean excess body weight due to “bloating”. It does not mean that something is wrong with your kidneys and so your body is retaining water. Your body retains water when:

  1. There is excess intake of sodium: If you all remember school level science, you might remember the concept of osmosis. Here’s what it means if you don’t remember it. In simple words, it is nothing but the tendency of a system to maintain a balance of solute concentration on both the sides of a semi-permeable membrane. And here’s why I just bored you up explaining this concept – “When you consume food that has a lot of sodium but you do not consume enough water, your body holds back as much water as possible to maintain a that sodium-water osmotic balance in your body.” As a result, you get bloated meaning you gain water weight.
  2. You do not exercise: Working out is a great way of sweating which in turn is a great way of releasing excess salts from your body.When you do not workout at all and you happily live a sedentary lifestyle, your body has no other option, but to retain water to maintain the solute-solvent ratio of your body.
  3. You do not drink enough water: This is the most important amongst all the reasons. You know it really well that water is the best fluid for your body. But still you never drink enough of it. Whenever you feel thirsty, you will grab a bottle of your favorite aerated drink or have a cup of tea/coffee but you will never give a second thought to water. If this is the way you behave, then obviously you poor body has to hold back as much water as possible.

**A little fact to be known (especially for all women out there): “Touch your belly. Can you feel that spongy lower abdominal pooch? Besides unhealthy fat, your body is also storing considerable water in that region. See, this where you are going to get all excited about knowing ways to get rid of that retained water and jump into the next para :)”

So, here’s what is needed to be done to shed off the water weight and stay away from gaining it

  1. Drink up: The best and the simplest solution is to drink enough water. Drink at least 3-4 and at most 4-5 litres of water everyday. Your body would not feel dehydrated and so, it will stop retaining water 🙂
  2. Keep a check on your sodium intake: Sodium is naturally present in all the food that you eat. And obviously, you sprinkle enough of it while cooking as per your individual taste buds. Then why consume extra of it? Cut down on those unhealthy snacks, potato chips, fatty dips-ketchups and all forms of deep fried junk.
  3. Exercise: See, here I give you another reason to love exercise. Working out will help you sweat and stay away from those water pounds in a very healthy manner. It’s always a win-win situation 🙂
  4. Consume high fibre food:  High fibrous food contain a good amount of water. They are great for your digestive system and are a natural way of staying away from gaining water weight.
  5. Love Potassium: Potassium is a very essential element in maintaining many important bodily functions. So consume potassium rich foods like Bananas, White Beans, Dark Leafy Vegetables, Papayas, Pumpkins, Avocados etc. It will help you in maintaing your body’s natural solute-solvent balance very easily.

Now here’s another reason to love drinking water – Research has shown that during several occasions, your body mimics dehydration as hunger. So the next time, you get food cravings even after having a wholesome meal, realise it’s time to drink enough water 🙂

Another important point: If you have trouble drinking plain water, you can always create your own flavoured water by adding a twist of lemon, orange, green tea or mint into your bottle of chilled water.

Remember there are no excuses. Drink your way to good health 🙂