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5 Life Changes That Will Make You Jump Out of Bed Every Morning!

5 Life Changes That Will Make You Jump Out of Bed Every Morning!

If you want to see how life is meant to be lived, just take a few moments and watch children play.  Their first instincts are to explore, create, experience and have fun! We carry this explorer instinct with us through our teen years and maybe through the first few years out of college, but then something occurs; we grow up.

After all, life can get pretty serious.  College graduates must find jobs, housing, pay bills and establish themselves.  Then it’s time to find a spouse, settle down and start a family. Next, gotta focus on promotions to get those big raises to provide for that beautiful young family.  And what about college educations and retirement? And by the time the college graduate realizes, 25 years has quickly and magically disappeared!  Becoming an adult is a process and it tends to result in people being formed and pressed into molds.  We learn as we grow older that being different isn’t always the best thing.

Many of us even learn to modify our behavior to make sure we don’t stick out of the crowd. Ever heard the expression “Fly under the radar?” There is one problem though.  Conformity suppresses our individuality; the essence that makes each of us unique.  And once our spirit is suppressed it may take years, if ever, to excavate.

In order to reawaken that child-like, adventure-seeking, explorer within, we must introduce new and exciting things to our lives to reawaken our authentic self and make us feel alive once again! My motto is: if you can change your thinking, you can change your life!  So here are 5 life changes that will make you jump out of bed every morning:

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1. Begin planning a fall vacation in January

Nothing says excitement like getting away from it all and relaxing!!  And what better way to add excitement back into your life than to spend your year planning and anticipating an exotic vacation?!  Imagine beginning your year with the knowledge that you may end up anywhere in the world come September or October.

The possibilities are endless: cruises, Caribbean islands, United States, Asia, Europe, Disney, hiking, skiing, scuba, relaxing, cocktails, great food, etc.  Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps! And the fun of it all is you get to plan every aspect along the way.  Talk about adventure right from the same chair you boringly scanned the internet just 2 months prior!

Now your life has a purpose and you have some fun to look forward to.  Not only that, but the excitement of the unknown and the unlimited possibilities reawakens your dormant adventurous spirit which, in turn, adds excitement to a boring, mundane life!

2. Join an exciting exercise program

I cannot think of a better way to change one’s life than to begin living a healthy lifestyle. I experienced the benefits of a healthy lifestyle a few years ago upon losing 25 pounds following my MS diagnosis.  And let me tell you, it will change your life forever!!

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What is keeping you from working with your doctor to develop an exciting fitness regiment that works specifically for you? Oftentimes we think of gyms and machines when we think of fitness and exercise, but what if you think outside the box and add some spark? Ever thought of martial arts, MMA training, boxing training, mountain climbing, parkour, anti-gravity yoga, plyometrics training?  There are so many new and exciting fitness regimen that will not only break the cycle of boredom, but will also get you into that ripped physique you’ve always imagined!

3. Begin planning the business you always wanted to open

I have always believed that luck occurs when opportunity meets preparation.  And what better way to add some zest to your life than opening a business!  Or at least planning to open a business.

Even if you don’t have the capital right now, why not start planning?  Go online and begin preliminary investigations on your business.  How much will start up costs be?  Will you need permits?  If so, where and when will you need them?  Will you need to lease a building or office space?  If so, what location, price and square footage?  Will you need employees? What is your operating budget?  Have you conducted demographic studies?

Now if these plans don’t get you motivated I don’t know what will!  Imagine spending an entire year planning and preparing every detail of your business.  Before any entrepreneur goes into action, they must do the leg work and develop a well-developed business plan and that planning process might just be what the doctor ordered to break you out of your dull-drums!

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4. Start writing your autobiography

So you say you don’t have a story to tell?  You don’t think anyone would be interested? How do you know if you never try?

I can tell you some of my favorite blogs are those that tell the everyday stories of a person just like you! Maya Angelou said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings).  With that said…let that story out!  Sit down with pen and pad or grab your laptop and get to writing.  It is that simple.

Reminisce about about your childhood.  Think back to family vacations.  What about the neighborhood in which you grew up?  Remember the names of your friends growing up and the times you spent together. Before you know it, your jog down memory lane will come to life on paper and paint a picture of an experience that no one on this planet has ever experienced!  You may just discover that your life isn’t as boring as you think!

5. Take up an amazing new hobby like skydiving or scuba

Extreme sports are not for the faint-of-heart and are not recommended for everyone. But, can you think of a better way to add juice back to life than jumping from a perfectly functioning airplane? Or maybe diving with sharks on a shipwreck at 80 feet?

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I know several friends that have taken up some type of new hobby which acted as a jump-start for their life, making them feel alive again. Go online and see what excitement exists in extreme sports: rock climbing, skydiving, scuba, cycling, mountain biking, white water rafting, kayaking!  There are so many expedition companies whose experts are waiting to train you to experience a life lived on the edge.

Don’t be afraid, take the plunge today!

When all is said and done, life is about experiences.  And it is the lack of new and exciting experiences that kills our spirit as adults.  Life wants to compress you, stifle you and mold you.  But I say it is time for you to break free of this conformist thinking and get out onto the expressway of life and live!

Here’s the skinny: you may not all be able to work the job of your dreams, but you sure can live the life of your dreams!   The only question left: are you up to the challenge of changing your actions in order to get new and exciting results?

Featured photo credit: Alarm Clock/Phalinn Ooi via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 4, 2020

How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

There’s a lot of confusion, mystery, and desperation around how to lose fat and gain muscle. We applaud body transformation pictures we see on Instagram, Facebook, and magazine covers but are never able to replicate the results ourselves.

Well, that mystery is over because I will tell you exactly how to achieve those results in this article.

The journey to getting there is straightforward but not easy. Most people give up too early in the game, when they stop making visible progress.

Keep reading to learn how to utilize your metabolism and the laws of muscle building to lose fat and gain muscle fast.

Skyrocket Your Metabolism to Lose Fat

Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time is one of the biggest misunderstandings of body transformations because they are opposite metabolic processes.

To lose fat, you must have calorie deficits each day, and to gain muscle, you must be in a caloric surplus, but you cannot do both at the same time.

When you look at pictures, it looks like it can be done simultaneously, but what is actually happening is a change in fat and muscle percentages.

If your weight stays the same through your journey, and you lose body fat, your percent of lean muscle mass automatically goes up by default. You didn’t gain any muscle, but your fat and muscle ratio percentages have shifted.

Calculating Your Calories to Lose Fat

There are many good calorie calculators out there that will give you an estimate on how much to eat to start losing fat for weight loss. You usually need to cut about 10 to 15% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calories to start the process.

You can find a visual explanation of TDEE below[1]:

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Use TDEE to learn how to lose fat and gain muscle.

    Remember that the calculators are just an estimate. It’s up to you to track your measurements and to adjust your caloric intake to ensure you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

    Metabolism calculators take into account four different ways your body burns calories to come up with your TDEE, or how many calories you burn in a day:

    • Resting metabolic rate
    • Thermic effect of food
    • Thermic effect of activity
    • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis

    Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

    This is your baseline metabolism at rest, or how many calories your body needs to survive if you spent the entire day lying in bed awake.

    RMR accounts for about 60 to 75% of your total daily energy expenditure. Your RMR is mostly determined by how much you weigh.

    A heavier person has a higher RMR than a lighter person, even if the lighter person has a higher lean muscle mass, because the metabolism of muscle only contributes to about 20% of your total RMR energy expenditure[2].

    Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

    You’ve heard that to lose weight and gain muscle, you should be eating lots of protein. This is true for a number of reasons:

    • Lowers your intake of other types of foods, like processed carbs.
    • Increases satiety, so you continue to feel fuller, longer.
    • The building blocks for your muscles are found in protein.

    About 30% of the calories from protein intake are burned off during the digestion process, which includes absorption and waste removal of it. Eating more protein as opposed to other macros increases the amount of calories burned during digestion. That’s why you feel fuller with a higher protein diet.

    Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)

    The calories burned in TEA are relatively minor in your entire TDEE equation. TEA is any calories burned during official exercise, like going to the gym, doing an aerobics class, or going for a run. It covers any exercise you do outside of your normal activities.

    Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

    The calories burned in NEAT is the big game changer for most people and can vary up to 2000 calories burned per day between people with identical RMRs[3].

    For the majority of us, when we’re done with our workouts for the day, we don’t do much else for movement. We spend about an hour in the gym, and instead of using the other 15 hours awake as an opportunity to move and burn more calories, we spend it sitting.

    This is how there can be such a big difference between the amount of calories burned between two people who have the same RMR.

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    Outside of your gym workout, any additional body movements count towards burning additional calories. The quickest way to add this to your day is to make everything you do as inconvenient for yourself as possible.

    Examples of inconvenient activities that count towards NEAT include:

    • Taking the stairs versus the elevator
    • Parking farther away
    • Getting up to change the TV channel versus using the remote
    • Pacing and walking while on a phone call instead of sitting down

    Increasing your NEAT goes a long way to helping your burn calories faster, leading to quicker fat loss. For more ideas on how to make life a little more inconvenient to up your activity level, check out this article.

    The Laws of Building Muscle

    Congrats on reaching the stage where you want to tone and get some definition! Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle isn’t an easy process, so if you’ve taken it on, that’s a huge step.

    To build muscle, first you want to increase your calorie intake.

    Based on your TDEE, you want to add about 10% more calories as a starting point. This is enough calories to build muscle, and any excess can lead to fat storage if you’re not training hard enough or aren’t active enough.

    Again, be sure to track your measurements and adjust your calories if necessary.

    Second, follow a muscle-building program that you can sustain for at least 3 to 6 months.

    Consistency is key with building muscles because they need to be stimulated and broken down on a regular basis in order to build back up. You want to strength train at least twice a week for at least an hour each time to start getting results.

    Of course, more often is better but requires better planning and a more complicated body parts training plan. So, start simple if you’re a novice. It’s not necessary to train 6 times a week unless you’re training for a competition.

    Progressive Overload

    Muscle needs to be challenged in order to grow. You need to gradually and consistently increase the amount of load and volume you are lifting.

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    Load means the amount of weight you’re lifting during weight training. Up to a certain point, it becomes unrealistic to keep adding pounds to each exercise every week, at which point you need to switch exercises and work on your weaker points to break that plateau.

    However, the goal with load is to keep increasing the amount of weight you lift.

    Increasing the volume you do is another method to progressive overload. Volume means the total number of reps for that specific exercise. If you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps, it means you’ve done a total of 36 reps.

    But increasing volume doesn’t mean doing super high reps of 20+ unless you’re training your muscle for endurance versus strength.

    You want to use a challenging weight and be able to lift more of it each week through increased reps and sets.

    Here is a visual explanation of how you can engage in progressive overload[4]:

    PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS by @jmaxfitness - Visit the link in my bio to claim your free 1-week muscle bu… | Muscle, Gain muscle, Weight training workouts

      Training Intensity

      Paying attention to what you’re doing is required if you want to lose fat and build muscle because you want to build and improve the mind-muscle connection to optimize growth.

      A healthy mind-body connection means you’re able to better feel your muscles working during each lift.

      You know you’ve picked the right weight when the last 2 to 3 reps of your intended rep range is challenging. On occasion, you want to push past the burn and muscle fatigue for the last reps.

      This little bit of pushing past the discomfort is the difference between an average body and a body with more definition. Lifting almost to failure increases muscle recruitment, metabolic stress, and anabolic recruitment to grow muscles.

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      Proper Recovery

      This is the most overlooked aspect of building muscles. We focus too much on pre/post workout meals, macro tweaking, and supplements, forgetting that we already have the ultimate tool for recovery: our own body.

      For best recovery practices, allow at least a day, but no more than 3 days of rest between workouts that stress the same muscle group. Overtraining results in diminished exercise capacity, possible injury, and illness.

      Remember, muscles are broken down in the gym and built outside of it during recovery.

      Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and be mindful of your stress levels to optimize recovery time. A lack of sleep and excess stress will spike cortisol levels, leading to hunger cravings, decrease regulation of burning fat, and cause faster aging.

      You can learn how to lower your stress levels fast here.

      Stop Program Hopping

      Every day, there is new workout, new exercise, new program on a website, in a magazine, or in your social media feed. No wonder we’re tempted to try a little bit of everything!

      Frequent program hopping stops you from getting any results.

      When you change programs too often, you don’t make progress on each exercise. It becomes hard to gauge whether you’re getting stronger or even getting results because you’re not allowing enough time for your body to adapt.

      Strength is a skill that needs to be built and developed by practicing it consistently. If you’re changing the skill set too often, you won’t know if you’re improving, and, therefore, cutting yourself short of future muscle gains.

      Conclusion

      The steps to losing fat and gaining muscle are simple, but the journey to get there is not.

      Tracking and measuring your calories is the quickest way to lose fat, along with increasing your activity level outside of the gym. Having a stronger, more toned body can be yours when you follow the laws of building muscles consistently.

      Applying these methods will guarantee that you get the results you’re after!

      More on How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Cheat Day Design: What is TDEE?
      [2] International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Determinants of energy expenditure and fuel utilization in man: effects of body composition, age, sex, ethnicity and glucose tolerance in 916 subjects
      [3] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: Variability in energy expenditure and its components
      [4] J Max Fitness: PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS

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