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3 Fun and Unique Ways to Get Healthy in 2017

3 Fun and Unique Ways to Get Healthy in 2017

If you are looking to join the thousands of other people getting into the fitness frenzy in 2017, you may want to consider other ways to get fit that do not involve going to the gym.

Let’s face it, losing weight is the number one resolution that people make each New Year yet 80% of people who make a new year’s resolution fail to accomplish their goals.

We need to find creative and exciting new ways to stay fit.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered 3 unique hobbies that you could commit to trying in the new year that are not only fun and invigorating but will actually make you break a sweat.

1. Mountain Climbing

I know what you are thinking – way too extreme.

While there are famous mountains that are as high as 19,000 feet, beginners can start small and work their way up.

Believe it or not, getting into mountain climbing isn’t too hard and the learning curve can be shortened if you follow a few basic tips.

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First, you need to make sure that you have the proper mountain climbing gear. Any list of good climbing gear starts with a reliable helmet as falling debris and rocks are a constant danger.

Next, be sure to buy a good set of climbing shoes. As the primary contact between you and the mountain, your shoes are critical.

You should tailor your shoes to the type of terrain you are climbing. Some mountains require more flexible shoes with a good grip. Other peaks require shoes with attached spikes. Also, to prevent your feet from overheating and being damaged by your sweat, you should choose shoes which are breathable. This will help keep your feet warm and dry.

Furthermore, your climbing gear must include a comfortable and flexible harness. The harness will provide a point for attaching belay and safety lines. It’s important that you choose a harness that fits your body type correctly. A poorly fit harness can create damaging pressure on the underlying skin leading to blisters and other problems. Additionally, if the harness is not properly attached, it can create a safety issue and lead to accidents.

Finally, your backpack will serve as the centerpiece of your mountain climbing gear. It’s important to choose the right bag as there are many types. Some factors which might influence your decision are: how long you plan to be on the mountain, what gear you will be carrying, and how much weight you can safely carry. You should look for backpacks which have multiple storage pouches. These pouches provide easy access to frequently used items. You also want to be able to separate things to keep items safe and dry.

Wherever you choose to climb, having the right climbing gear will help keep you safe and add to the enjoyment of your experience. Choose wisely and make your time on the mountain as pleasant as possible.

2. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Never heard of stand up paddle boarding?

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It’s actually the fastest growing sport in the world with over 2.8 million Americans who participated in 2014. Not only is SUP or Stand Up Paddle Boarding a rapidly growing hobby but it is also a fantastic way to get your exercise.

The only equipment that you need is a board, a paddle, and a personal flotation device to get out on the water – all of these can be found at your local Paddle Board Retailers.

The central question that you will face is whether to go to the lake, river or ocean.

Lakes are ideal for people that are new to Stand Up Paddle Boarding or just want to check out the wildlife. It is peaceful, calm and by far the most laid back environment of the three.

You can go to the shallow spots near the shore or dock to get the hang of climbing on your board. You will fall off a lot in the beginning, so it is nice to have a quiet place and still water to get the hang of it. Once you are up on your board, you will be amazed at the distance that you can cover during Stand Up Paddle Boarding.

Another beautiful thing about SUP is that you make almost no noise, so you can quietly approach wildlife and enjoy absolutely beautiful and scenic pictures!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in a river ups the ante a bit which is where you really get a workout because you will have to hold your own against the current at all times. You will also have to be aware of potential obstacles such as rocks, sticks, and rapids and maneuver safely around them. When paddle boarding in the river, you will definitely want to wear a safety helmet to protect your head.

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The ocean is like an advanced course for SUP. That is one of the reasons that Destin Paddle Boarding is a popular destination for anyone that loves Paddle Sports. You are always challenged while boarding in the ocean. You have to be aware of boats and larger ships as well as surfers and swimmers.

The hardest part of paddle boarding in the ocean is, of course, the waves, but you can get into great shape fighting through the waters and have fun doing it. With a little practice, you will be up and paddling in no time.

Don’t forget the sunscreen because you will have so much fun that you may forget about potential sunburn until it is too late!

3. Paintballing

This final activity is one of my favorites because it is so fun, you barely realize how much running you do until it’s over and your body is tired and aching.

Paintball is a game of concentration, thrill, and skill.

The object of the game is simple: you are essentially shooting paintballs with compressed air guns at correct angles to strike the other players present on the ground.

The result is a messy experience with many laughs, achy sores and hundreds of burned calories.

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If you are paintballing for the first time it is recommended that you layer up on clothing and drink plenty of water.

You are essentially running away from your opponents for the entire duration of the activity so a healthy level of hydration is going to be very important.

By the time you are done, you will be exhausted but the amusement of the experience will make it worthwhile.

I listed only three activities but the options are plentiful. If you are looking to stay fit in the New Year there really is more that you can do that is much more fun than laboring on a treadmill or lifting the same weights week after week.

Getting in shape can be fun and if you focus on activities that you can actually enjoy which involve a steady about of movement and exertion on your body, it really won’t be that hard to achieve and maintain the body of your dreams.

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Sara Jane Adkins

Blogger at Natural Healthy Living

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Published on September 21, 2018

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

“Can I look like you in 3 months?”

The teenager stared at me, waiting eagerly for a response. It’s a normal day as a certified fitness coach and yet again, I had to grab some flying feet and put them down on the ground of reality again.

“If I would be able to reach this body in 3 months, you think it would’ve taken me 5 years?” I responded smilingly.

In the same moment I tapped the teenager on the shoulder and we both went to the training floor together. Fast forward to today, he eventually reached his dream body. But it took him a little bit longer than 3 months.

In this article, I want to give you a broad overview and answer to the commonly asked question: how long does it take to build muscle and increase fat loss?

Your biggest enemy for building muscle and fat loss

I remember when I joined my first gym years back. After two weeks of continuous training, I saw absolutely no difference in the mirror.

I googled “2 weeks body transformation” and was frustrated by seeing all these pictures by savvy marketers.

We human beings have evolved to seek instant gratification. We can’t wait for things to happen tomorrow. We want them today or even better, yesterday.

It doesn’t matter if we talk about business or our fitness results. If we truly want to make a long-lasting change, we have to delay our innate need to crave gratification instantly and focus on the big picture.

In the book called Grit by Angela Duckworth, a predictor for future success in children was the so called ‘Marshmallow Test’.

The Marshmallow Test works this way. Children are basically given two options:

  1. Eat the marshmallow in front of them right now.
  2. Wait 10 minutes without eating the first marshmallow and get a second marshmallow to eat on top.

This is an insane test of willpower and the ability to delay gratification for an even bigger payoff, as a 10-year old school child. If the child already mastered that crucial skill at such a young age, it was a strong predictor for future success.

We all have to learn how to delay gratification better. Most people overestimate what they can do in one month, but totally underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

What you really need to build muscle fast

Your ground zero

It all matters on which point we start off. Because the reality is:

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Everyone has to start somewhere.

A former Olympic athlete will have an easier time building muscles and losing fat than an avid couch potato. There are mainly two reasons for this:

  • The pre-selected genetic blueprint of the athlete.
  • Work ethic of a professional.

While countless of variables play a role in influencing your success in the gym, it all can be traced back to those crucial points. And the saying still holds merit:

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. — Tim Notke

A mentor of mine told me years ago that you can succeed in life if you just don’t give up.

You can have average skills, average genetics and average work ethic. As long as you keep improving on your craft, you will succeed.

Not immediately – but definitely and finally.

Setting the right expectations

I’m great at setting unrealistic goals and having the wrong expectations. I wanted to have 100,000 subscribers on my Youtube Channel and at the end of my first year when I started, back in 2015, I ended up with 30.

This is an embarrassing story, but I hope it gets one point across:

Your goals need to be realistic if you can’t deal with the setbacks of not reaching them.

Ending up with 30 subscribers even after pulling frequent all-nighters to get this endeavor rolling was soul-crushing. I contemplated throwing in the towel.

With the right support from my network and discipline, I managed to keep going. The channel has now grown 100-fold in those 3 years.

To find out what is realistic, consider the next timeline.

The muscle growth timeline

Here’s what results you can expect if your main goal is building lean tissue mass. Warning: Genuine muscle growth without performance enhancing drugs takes a long time.

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Of course these time periods can vary individually depending on your genetic blueprint and work-ethic. You might see results sooner, or maybe even later.

The time frame is set to training 2-3 times per week (continuously!).

Pro tip: Ask a friend or hire a coach to boost your progress tremendously.

This is what happens when you decide to join a gym, out of my experience training hundreds of clients:

Month 1-3

Eat – Sleep – Gym – Repeat.

Your motivation is at your peak at this point. You will tell your friends and family about your new workout regime. You will notice slight differences in your appearance, which are mainly nonexistent.

You will experience immense strength gains on your training because your body finally realizes how to use its muscles properly.

Month 3-6

This is the time period where most people break. You will be going to the gym consistently, yet the results won’t come just now. It’s the big dip in the whole process.

Your goal in this phase is to build a habit around your gym visits. You will most likely discontinue to have the all-in mentality as in the first 3 months. You will seek sustainability. Breaking news: It will still be hard.

But in the end it’s all worth it. Trust me.

Month 6-12

“I’ve seen a new vein in my arm!”

The guy came up to me excited. This is the time where the normal person starts to see considerable results in his training.

An old friend will talk to him and see a difference in his body shape. Suddenly, his old t-shirt gets too thin. The frequent gym-goer feels amazing.

Month 12- 24

Fitness is a trojan horse. While you might think frequent training will only change your body shape, your character will be impacted too.

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Your friends and family will notice. You’re more confident, assertive and more happy with your self-image. You feel confident and sure in your abilities because you have achieved what you set out to do.

Breaking news:

You will still not be satisfied. And that’s a good thing. But don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

They haven’t come easy.

Month 24+

“That’s what works for me!”

If you’ve been going frequently and consistently (twice every week for 2 years), you can pat yourself on the shoulders.

If you’ve done most things correctly and with a certified coach, you will reach the goal shape at this point. But this is also the point where it can get frustrating.

Further results will come painstakingly slow at this stage. You increasingly have to work on your weaknesses and constantly alter your training to see further results. Be it applying different repetitions, intensity, workout duration, speed or machines.

A lot of people will not see results after this stage because the benefits are not worth the work for them. We have to realize that what got us here, will not get us to the next level.

The fat loss timeline

If you’re trying to lose fat, I have 2 pieces of news for you:

  1. It will come faster. Fat loss has a shorter timeline.
  2. It will be exactly as hard as building muscles, if not harder.

Here’s what you can expect if you’re starting to lose weight. Here again: Proper guidance can speed up the process.

Month 1

“I’ve lost 10kg in the first week!”

Your results will come fast. Too fast.

You will feel exhausted. Most of your weight that you lose will be water. This is the big dip in the whole weight loss process.

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The shocking news: Most people stop their diet in the first month.

Month 2-3

You will reconsider your dieting strategy and opt for more sustainability. You will reintroduce “bad foods” in your diet that you’ve most likely blocked out in the first two weeks or month.

Because balance (and not quitting your diet) is more important to you at this stage than seeing rapid weight loss. Your life quality will increase at this stage.

Month 6-12

At this time frame, you have probably lost more than 10kg. The majority of the people looking to lose weight will be satisfied with their results and shocked by how much of a difference it makes in their appearance.

You will feel more confident, more energized and more self-assured. You would’ve never guessed that you could make it, that you could finally lose your weight – yet you did!

And everyone will notice. “What happened to you?!” – your friends will ask you jealously. Old crushes of you will suddenly initiate contact again just to know what you’re “up to this weekend”.

The fat loss after this stage will come slowly if you haven’t been obese to start with. The goal at this stage is to have created a rock-solid habit out of your gym and eating patterns.

Then you don’t have to worry about the Yo-Yo effect.

Conclusion

“You changed my life!”

The same teenager took me aside at a Monday evening. He had his first date the weekend prior. Apparently it went well.

In the whole time frame we worked together, he built up more than 10 kilograms of muscles. It took him more than 2 years. Yet I’m sure if you’d ask him today, he would tell you that it was all worth it.

Focus on the things that you can control. Losing fat or building muscles might be an overwhelming task to start out with. We have to delay our innate need for instant gratification and focus on the things that we can control.

Changing our genetic blueprint or the responses our muscles have to the training stimulus is not in our hands. But training at least 2 times per week, eating the right foods and setting the right goals and expectations is.

Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via unsplash.com

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