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10 Signs You’re Out of Shape

10. You have a low level of appetite.

If you aren’t eating enough throughout the day because your appetite level is low, this could make it difficult to meet key nutritional requirements to maximize your health. Physical exercise regulates your appetite, so if you’re never hungry, this is likely a sign that you aren’t active enough as well.

9. You struggle to maintain good posture.

Maintaining good posture is not only important to help you feel more confident, but also to help ensure that you don’t experience back pain down the road or use improper form as you go about your exercises. If you struggle to maintain good posture throughout the day, this indicates that the postural muscles are not as strong as they should be, so that’s something you’ll need to work on.

8. You don’t sweat quickly upon intense workout.

You might think that sweating is an indication of not being in good physical conditioning, but this is completely untrue. The fitter you are, the better your cooling system will be, therefore the better your body will be able to regulate itself. If you start sweating almost as soon as you boost the intensity of your exercise program, that’s a great sign you’re in good physical shape.

7. Your body aches more than it used to.

If you find that you when you do exercise you’re sore for days after your workout session, this is yet another sign that you’re not active enough. Many people believe that working out too frequently is what makes you sore, and while this may be the case if you really overdo it, working out not often enough can cause greater soreness as well. Frequent sessions minimize this because your body will stay accustomed to the movement pattern.

6. Your weight is steadily increasing.

If you’ve noticed your weight is creeping up over time and you do make an effort to eat healthy, the reason is likely your activity level. Regular physical activity will not only maintain your lean muscle mass, which is important for keeping your metabolism strong, but it will also help to boost your metabolism after a workout. This also helps give you a little more leeway with your diet so you’ll see a decreased risk of gaining body fat.

5. You can’t perform push-ups.

A good standard to aim for when it comes to muscular strength for most men is the ability to perform 30 push-ups in a row, and 20 for women. If you find that you start to falter in form beforehand, you need to work on improving your overall strength capacity.

4. You have unstable blood sugar levels.

One of the best benefits of regular physical activity is that it will deplete your muscle glycogen levels so that you maintain a higher degree of insulin sensitivity. This means when you do include carbs in your diet, you’re less likely to shuttle them off to body-fat stores or have them sitting around in your blood stream causing problems. They’ll quickly move straight into the muscle cells where they’re stored as muscle glycogen. For anyone looking to fend off diabetes, regular exercise is a must.

 3. You’re very fatigued at the end of the day.

While some people will believe that intense exercise is going to cause greater fatigue at the end of the day, the opposite tends to be true. If you’re always dragging as your day wraps up and feel more like lying on the couch rather than doing something active, your fitness level could use a jumpstart. A good workout program should leave you feeling energized almost all the time so fatigue isn’t a factor in your week.

 2. It takes your heart rate a long time to return to normal.

Those who are in good physical condition will notice that their heart rate increases and decreases quite quickly with ease to accommodate the intensity of exercise being performed. If you feel very winded for 5 to 10 minutes after you perform a sprint or other exercise that requires physical exertion, this could be a sign you need to spend more time in being active.

1. You’re highly stressed out.

If you’re suffering from chronic stress, there’s a good chance that you aren’t getting enough movement in your day. Physical activity will cause a release of endorphins in the body, which will help put you in a feel-good state and help calm down your stress level. Even if you can’t do intense physical activity, even a brisk walk a few times a day can help.


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400 Calorie-Burning Interval Treadmill Workout

Running burns an insane amount of calories and it also targets your tush and legs, so it’s the perfect workout if you’re trying to slim down and tone up below the waist. Add hills to your workout and you’ll tone your lower body even faster and more effectively.

Set the treadmill incline to zero, and after warming up begin this workout. For each three-minute brisk walking interval, you’ll need to raise the incline to 15 percent (or as high as it’ll go), and for each 60-second sprinting interval, you’ll need to lower it to zero. Adjust the speed as necessary if either the walking or sprinting pace seems too slow or fast.

Time Pace (mph) Incline % Calories Burned*
00:00-05:00 4.0 (15 min/mile) 0 20
05:00-8:00 4.0 (15 min/mile) 15 36
8:00-9:00 7.0 (8.5 min/mile) 0 11
9:00-12:00 4.0 15 36
12:00-13:00 7.0 0 11
13:00-16:00 4.0 15 36
16:00-17:00 7.0 0 11
17:00-20:00 4.0 15 36
20:00-21:00 7.0 0 11
21:00-24:00 4.0 15 36
24:00-25:00 7.0 0 11
25:00-28:00 4.0 15 36
28:00-29:00 7.0 0 11
29:00-32:00 4.0 15 36
32:00-33:00 7.0 0 11
33:00-36:00 4.0 15 36
36:00-37:00 7.0 0 11
37:00-42:00 4.0 0 20

Total calories burned: 416

*Calories burned calculations are based on a 130-pound woman





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Tools To emPOWER You – Part I – K.I.S.S.

Food for thought:  How long would it take to fix a car or build a house if wrenches, saws and screwdrivers, now powered, were never invented?  Tools aren’t just for mechanics and carpenters.  Or doctors, lawyers, marketers, business owners, homeowners, parents, students, etc., etc., etc.  By definition a tool is a device used to facilitate work or anything sourced to accomplish a task.

Tools help you determine your end result, establish a plan to get there, and avoid the pitfalls along the way.  Incorporate just a few of these into your health and fitness blueprint, and you’ll swiftly be realizing your goals.

PART 1 – K.I.S.S.

K.I.S.S. stands for ‘Keep It Simple Stupid‘.  Please don’t think that this is an insult or that I’m implying that anyone is dumb.  It is simply a simple acronym to remind us all that there are simple tools available to simplify your weight loss and fitness goals, simply.

Scale:  The infamously detested scale can be your friend or foe, scaling up and down within a day, week, month, or year.  The best way to use the scale is to weigh yourself once a week, on the same day of the week, at the same time of the day, in the same place, wearing the same clothes, using the same scale, to measure success.  Albeit, using a scale can inevitably cause discouragement in the most avid health enthusiasts, using it as the one and only tool to weight loss is not ideal.

Recommended: Weight Watchers Bathroom Scale is accurate to the nearest 0.2 pounds.  After inputting your height, age, and gender into the appropriate user number (multiple user settings), the scale also calculates your BMI, Body Fat, Body Water, and Bone Mass.  The instruction manual provides much information on how these are measured and how to attribute the measurements to your weight loss.  Amazon price:  $28.95.

Tape-measure:  The tape-measure is an invaluable tool to use in conjunction with the scale.  Measure your arms, legs, waist and hips, and keep weekly records of this.  It is often found that when the scale won’t budge, the tape measure does.  Even a tenth of an inch is progress!

Recommended: Should you not have a tape measure on hand, go to to print your own.

How Your Clothes Fit:  This is the best tool to use when evaluating weight loss.  If your clothes feel looser and fit your body better then you’re improving.  Sometimes the scale will just not budge and discouragement seeps in.  It is key to keep note as to how much better your clothes, especially your pants, are feeling to you on your skin.  If the pockets are laying flatter and the effort to get dressed is lesser, then you are definitely making progress.  Keep doing what you’re doing!

You Feel Better:  Ditto on ‘How Your Clothes Fit’.


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Is The “Fat-Burning Zone” A Myth?

Until about five or so years ago, most exercisers and fitness trainers embraced the idea of the fat-burning zone–a moderate exercise intensity range associated with burning more fat. Today, you’ll find countless articles about “The Fat-Burning Zone Myth”. These articles say you need to exercise at a high intensity to burn the most fat. Myth or no myth, the important question is how this all affects your personal weight loss strategy.

The idea of a fat-burning zone has its roots in solid science. When you exercise–and even when you’re at rest–your body uses the carbohydrates, proteins and fats it obtains from the foods you eat as fuel. Under normal conditions, the amount of protein your body uses for energy is so small (under 2 percent at rest and for exercise sessions lasting less than an hour) that we don’t consider it in the fuel-burning equation. The battle is between carbohydrates and fats.

When your body burns food to create energy, it uses oxygen and produces carbon dioxide.  You remember the elementary school diagrams: While plants “breathe in” carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, people do the reverse.  By analyzing the air you breathe out, scientists can measure the amounts of these gases produced and consumed.  Then, they can determine how much fat and carbohydrate you are burning.

The relative levels of carbon dioxide produced to oxygen used are expressed in a ratio called the respiratory quotient, or RQ. This number reveals the relative use of carbohydrates and fats in the energy equation. A quotient of 1.0 would point to complete use of carbohydrates for energy, while a quotient of 0.7 would indicate pure use of fats. Most people have a number that falls somewhere in between.

Your body uses varying percentages of fats and carbohydrates throughout the day, largely determined by the level of activity you are engaged in. The less intensely you are working out, the higher the ratio of fat burning to carbohydrate burning. As you increase the intensity, a greater percentage of your calories are burned from carbohydrates rather than fat. In this respect, the low- to moderate-intensity fat-burning zone exists.

Now for the myth part. You might infer that you burn more total fat per session when exercising in your “fat-burning” zone than at a higher intensity during which carbohydrates are used more. Minute for minute, this isn’t true. Here’s why: Because you burn more total calories when exercising at higher intensities, the overall total calories burned from fat is still greater at those intensities, even though the percentage of calories coming from fat is slightly lower.

Here is a hypothetical example: If Sally exercises at 65 percent of her maximum heart rate, she burns 150 calories in 30 minutes. Of those, 50 percent (or 75 calories) will come from fat. If she increases her intensity to 85 percent of her maximum heart rate, she burns 210 calories. Only 40.5 percent of those come from fat, but that totals 85 fat calories–10 more than she would burn at the lower intensity. So even though your body uses a higher percentage of calories from fat at the lower intensity, it still uses more overall fat at higher intensities because the total number of calories you burn is higher.

So is the fat-burning zone a myth? No. Is it a myth that you should exercise in that zone to burn the most fat or lose the most weight? Sometimes. It all depends on your personal preference, how much time you have to exercise and your physical condition.

Personal preference:  If you do not enjoy working at high or moderately high intensities, you will likely not do it very often or very long. And if you don’t do it often or only do it for a few minutes, you’re not going to burn many calories from any fuel source. From a fat-burning/weight loss perspective, you would be better off working out for 45 minutes at 65 percent of your maximum heart rate than for 20 minutes at 85 percent. If you’re into high-intensity workouts, shoot for a longer duration of 30 to 60 minutes.

Time: If you want to lose the most weight and burn the most fat as efficiently as possible, meaning with the least amount of time spent, ramp up the intensity.

Physical condition: If you have circumstances that make exercising at high intensities unsafe or uncomfortable (such as excess weight, cardiac issues, arthritis, body alignment challenges or multiple sclerosis), you are better off going lighter (light to moderate exercises) and for longer. In a nutshell:

Good: Short duration (20 minutes total) at higher intensities.

Better: Long duration (45 minutes total) at moderate intensities.

Best: Long duration (45 minutes total) at higher intensities.

The next time you workout, also keep these points in mind: Calories are cumulative. They don’t have to be burned in one workout session. Four 5-minute sessions are as good as a 20-minute bout–and maybe better, because you can likely work at higher intensities in the 5-minute sessions and burn more total calories. Also, all calories are created equal. It doesn’t matter if you’re burning calories from formal exercise, recreation, romance or work.  Calories are calories, and burning them from any physical activity will reap benefits.  Last but not least, when it comes to exercise and weight loss, more is more. The more you workout, the more you calories you’ll burn.



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Determine the Weight

For weight loss and muscle toning:

1.  Determine your one-rep-maximum weight lifted.  Start with 60-80% of this.

2.  Week 1:  Do one set consisting of 10-16 reps of exercise at 60-80% of max.

3.  Weeks 2-3:  Do two sets consisting of 10-16 reps of exercise at 60-80% of max.

4.  Weeks 4-5:  Do three sets consisting of 10-16 reps of exercise at 60-80% of max.

5.  Week 6-8:  Add enough weight so that you can do 8-10 reps with good form.   Do three sets.

6.  Week 9-12:  Increase reps each workout until you reach 16 reps with fatigue and good form.  3 sets.

7.  Repeat steps 5 & 6.

Make sure to rest the worked muscle(s) for 2 days before working them again.


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