Are you guilty of making motivation mistakes? We all are. Here are some common scenarios and solutions. Heed them to help keep your drive alive--and to push through any plateau.
1. Motivation Mistake: Setting the Bar Too Low
"I'll do my best" sounds like a worthy vow to make, but it can actually suck the motivation right out of you. "This type of vow is vague, making you more likely to procrastinate," says Gary Latham, Ph.D., a professor of organizational effectiveness at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. The result? A mediocre or disappointing performance.
Solution: To step up your game, set attainable goals that are clear and challenging and give yourself a deadline. "Specific goals help focus your attention and increase your effort, which helps you persist longer," says Latham. And since you have a plan of action and a time frame, you're less apt to put things off. Another important point: Concentrate on three to five big goals at a time. "Any more and your
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
Are you guilty of making motivation mistakes? We all are. Here are some common scenarios and solutions. Heed them to help keep your drive alive--and to push through any plateau.Read More »from Overcome Your Motivation Crushers
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Mon, Feb 13, 2012 11:07 AM EST
BEFORE 179 lbsRead More »from "How I Lost 41 Pounds, and Feel Amazing Inside and Out!"
AFTER 138 lbs
Playing softball helped keep Lincoln, Nebraska, native Shannon Moore, 31, a slim size 6 throughout high school, but her weight started to creep up after she landed an office job. Tethered to her desk, she never exercised--and she started ordering pizza or a giant burrito for lunch. "I ate whatever was most convenient," she says. "I never thought about nutrition." In 2006, Shannon wore a size 14 dress to her wedding, then tacked 25 more pounds of "love chub" onto her 5'8" frame during her first year of marriage.
5 Ways to Prevent Relationship Weight Gain
THE CHANGE In January 2008, Shannon's company instituted a system that used health tests to determine employees' insurance deductibles. Shannon, who was 179 pounds at that point, was looking at a steep increase in payments. "Finally," she says, "I had a reason to get fit."
THE LIFESTYLE For a week, Shannon wrote down everything she ate. "Turned out that if it wasn't takeout or fast food, my meals came
Chocolate is packed with healthy antioxidants and is surprisingly versatile. Here, sweet and savory dishes that only taste sinful.
Almond Chocolate Balls with Fleur de Sel
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped Fleur de sel
1/ In a bowl, mix almond butter, sugar, and vanilla. Roll into 20 equal-size balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
2/ Stir chocolate in metal or glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth. (Or microwave on medium for 1 minute, stir, then continue microwaving, stirring every 20 seconds, until completely melted.)
3/ Roll the almond balls in melted chocolate, garnishing with fleur de sel as you go. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Makes 20. Per serving (one ball): 120 cal, 9 g fat (2 g sat), 9 g carbs, 60 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g proteinRead More »from Chocolate Recipes, Sweet and Savory
Avoid the following four exercise machines and swap with these 4 body-weight moves insteadYou spend a lot of time sitting each day--at work, in the car, on the couch. But in the weight room? That's the last place you should be parking your butt!Read More »from 4 Exercise Machines to Avoid
Still, many people hop from one exercise machine to the next. The problem: "Many machines isolate one muscle, which means you burn fewer calories and work less muscle," says Mike Boyle, owner of Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning gym in Boston. Not only that, but it can also be tough to achieve proper alignment, especially for women since many machines are still designed primarily for men's bodies.
9 Fitness Rules You Should Break
Next time you hit the gym, steer clear of the following four machines and sub in our replacement body-weight exercises instead.
THE MACHINE: Seated Leg Extension
Sure, you'll strengthen your quads--but at a cost. The resistance is close to your ankle, which puts a high amount of torque on your knee when you raise and lower the weight, says Boyle. The result? Kneecap pain.
The Replacement: Split Squat
Cut the empty calories and maximize the quality of your supermarket score with these six rules of savvy shopping.GroceriesA study published by the Marketing Science Institute found that shoppers who made "quick trips" to the store purchased an average of 54 percent more merchandise than they planned. Instead, be thoughtful in your planning-keep a magnet-based notepad on your fridge and make notes throughout the week about what you need. (And avoiding extra trips will cut down on your gasoline costs as well.)
Write the Perfect Shopping List
Before you head out, organize your list of needs by grocery-store section: produce, dairy, meat, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc. (Rewrite the list if you need to.) Then bring a pencil and, as you add each item to your cart, tick it off from your list. No loitering, no wandering aimlessly through the store. Try to make each visit a minute or two shorter than the last-you'll find that the more time you save,Read More »from 6 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store
Are you guilty of these common workout mistakes?Women are hitting the weight room in record numbers, and a new study found that weight-training injuries among women have jumped a whopping 63 percent. Strength training tones muscle and burns fat--when you do it right. Here are the most common slipups and how to fix them, so you leave the gym strutting--not limping.Read More »from The 3 Top Workout Mistakes You're Probably Making
SKIPPING YOUR WARMUP
You wouldn't launch into an all-out sprint the second you stepped onto a treadmill, so you shouldn't jump right into deadlifts the instant you hit the weight room. "Working cold, stiff muscles can lead to sprains and tears," says Morey Kolber, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. "Warming up increases circulation and improves range of motion, which preps your muscles and joints for action."
The fix: "While opinions about static stretching may differ, a dynamic warm-up can decrease your risk for injury," says exercise physiologist Marco Borges, author of Power Moves. After five to 10 minutes of walking or
Change your life in 10 seconds or less!Got 10 seconds? That's all you need to start slimming down, shaping up, and getting healthy once and for all. Think of it as a virtuous spiral: You make a change here, a different food choice there--simple stuff that fits into your life. Pretty soon you're making even more great healthy swaps. You're eating, sleeping and feeling better and you can't imagine going back to a life when you didn't feel or look this good. Here, ten of the easiest tweaks you can make to get started on a path to the healthiest you.Read More »from 10 Ways to Change Your Life in 10 Seconds
Drink Your Milk Think you're getting a nutritional boost from your morning cereal? Up to 40 percent of the vitamins in fortified cereals dissolve in the milk. If you don't drink the leftover cow juice, you're not getting the fancy-pants nutrients!
Ice It, Ace It Drink a few glasses of ice-cold water before and during exercise. Studies show that the cold stuff can improve endurance by about 23 percent. And ice water forces your body to expend calories warming it up, boosting your
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Shine Food – Mon, Jan 23, 2012 2:44 PM EST
We've all been there. But just because you've got nothing fresh to whip up doesn't mean you have to go hungry. Here, 11 nutrient-packed dishes that are ready when you are.
Per serving (12/3 cups): 240 cal, 8 g fat (2 g sat), 29 g carbs, 540 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 11 g protein, 6 g sugar
Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels Pizza Pretzel Oozing cheese and tangy sauce, this soft bread twist tastes like two guilty pleasures in one. But surprise-it's lower in fat and calories than the average cheese-pizza slice.
Per pretzel: 250 cal, 3.5 g fat (1.5 g sat), 41 g carbs, 240 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein, 3 g sugar
Smart Ones Morning Express French Toast with Turkey Sausage Skeptical about nuking toast? One biteRead More »from When Homemade Doesn't Happen: The Best Frozen Meals
We located the places with the fittest, happiest femalesWe located the places with the fittest, happiest females. Take a page from their lifestyle playbook--no matter where you call home.Read More »from The Healthiest Cities for Women
News flash! Feeling fit and fabulous might be a matter of… zip code. To find out which towns make the healthy list, we teamed up with Men's Health in our fourth annual survey of how 100 cities rank in more than 30 categories--from obesity and breast cancer rates to commuting times and hours spent working out.
If your city's on top, go ahead and brag. If it falls on our worst list (ouch--sorry, Birmingham), don't worry: You can help turn around your region's reputation by following these tips.
The 76 Best Things You Can Do for Your Body. Now.
Look to the Future
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
What does it take to be number one? A smart dose of prevention--something the women of healthiest-overall-city Raleigh know well. A whopping 90 percent of them have perfect Pap smear timing (the American Cancer Society recommends that women over 30 who have had three
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Jan 18, 2012 1:03 PM EST
Jennie, after her weight lossBEFORE 211 lbsRead More »from "How I Lost 68 Pounds and Got My Pre-baby Body Back!"
AFTER 143 lbs
When Jennie Nickel was pregnant in 2005, larger portions and excessive snacking caused her to tack more than 70 pounds onto her 5'7" figure. The baby weight refused to budge, so this aesthetician from Huntsville, Alabama, decided it was time to whip herself into shape. Today, at 30, Jennie is a part-time nursing student and a fitness junkie who has done three triathlons.
THE CHANGE Nine weeks into her maternity leave, Jennie was down only 15 pounds. "I didn't want to go back to work, because I worried that all of my clients would think I was still pregnant!" she says.
Find Your Motivation to Get Fit
THE LIFESTYLE "My biggest issue was mindless grazing--a handful of M&M's here, a few chips there," says Jennie. In April 2006, she began logging what she ate. "Writing it down made me aware of how much more I was eating than I was burning." With a newborn at home, getting to the gym was a challenge, so she turned to fitness DVDs. "It was the first time I