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The Weight Loss Motivation Bible: How To Program Your Mind For Sustainable Fat Loss

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Longing to shed those pesky pounds? Trying to slip in your favorite date night d…

Longing to shed those pesky pounds? Trying to slip in your favorite date night dress? Dieting, working out, tracking calories and doing everything right, but still not losing weight? Source by aichaeugene

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Feeling Fit? Here's How to Challenge Yourself More in 2017

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Motivating-Fitness-Resolutions-42851946

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I am a planner and I like setting goals. In fact, I need them. Especially when it comes to my fitness life, specific goals keep me motivated and active. Finding new challenges to keep your workouts feeling fresh can be difficult when you’re already pretty fit. Nothing beats the beginner’s mind when it come to tackling a new fitness goal. I remember when I started running, building up to the 5K mark was beyond motivating; when I hit that distance, I was left with the question of what’s next? But you guys, the fitness world is so large — you can always find new challenges. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to consider as you turn your thoughts toward all the possibilities 2017 has to offer.

Running

Up your distance. If you finished a 5K sign up for a 10K. Just conquered a half-marathon? Train for a marathon, with the emphasis on train. Increasing your mileage should always come with a plan that slowly builds to ensure you don’t try to conquer too much too quickly and sideline yourself with an overuse injury, like runner’s knee or shin splints.
Try a tri. Mix up your training and sign up for a sprint-distance triathlon and really dedicate yourself to cross-training by adding swimming and biking into your weekly routine. If you’re intimidated by swimming, sign up for a class or find a group that does open-water swims.
Race with a relay team. Round up your like-minded friends and create a team for a long-distance relay, where 12-person teams cover 195+ miles over a 24-hour time period, like Oregon’s Hood to Coast or a Ragnar Relay. These races mix the sleep-deprivation silliness of a slumber party with teamwork and distance running. Trust me, it’s a great combo.

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In the Gym

Go heavy with power lifting. Lifting heavy weights is a great full-body workout. Find a gym that offers courses on power lifting and learn the differences between snatch, clean, and jerk as you heave barbells loaded with weight to your chest and above your head.
Master the pull-up. Leave the weights behind and finally master the pull-up. This ultimate bodyweight exercise feels elusive to many women, well at least me, and pulling off five pull-ups is an excellent challenge to work toward. Yeah, this is on my list for 2017.
Push your push-ups and conquer the burpee. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to get stronger when you focus on push-ups — here’s a 30-day challenge to work up to 50 push-ups. If burpees are your nemesis, try this burpee challenge that builds to 100 reps.
Get classy. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try a new group fitness class, preferably a workout that is out of your comfort zone — the activities we tend to avoid are often really beneficial. Hip-hop aerobics, yoga, indoor cycling, Pilates, Megaformer, boxing — the options are endless especially if you add some studio fitness classes into the mix. Heck, push yourself to try a new class once a month. You just might find your new jam.
Certify your passion. Do you love yoga? Do you go to SoulCycle almost daily? Take your passion and get certified to train other people and inspire them to love what you love.

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Take It On the Road

Take a hike; a long, long hike. Backpacking might not be considered a sport, but hiking for days and carrying all you need to survive is a physical challenge. And one that can take you to some amazing places. Spending time in nature is great for your mental health, too. Check out the John Muir Trail in California, the 2000 miles Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Maine, or shorter trails in our beautiful National Parks.
Ride a bike — anywhere. Hop on your bike weekly to run your weekend errands, sign up for century ride (yeah, that’s 100 miles), or a fund-raising stage ride like AIDS/LifeCyle Ride.
Start a community. Gather your like-minded friends and create a group dedicated to the activity you love, be it running, hiking, or cycling. Non-competitive clubs can be equal parts social and sport, and are great way to get your sweat on with a group.

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This Is Exactly What You Need to Eat For Breakfast to Lose Weight

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Did you know you can use the first meal of the day as a tool to lose weight? Want to know how? We’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition — to share the perfect equation for how to make a scrumptious and satisfying breakfast that will help you lose weight. Follow their advice below to start seeing results.

Calories

Aim for a range between 300 and 400 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick with the 300 to 350 range, and if you’re trying to maintain weight, especially if you’re working out, shoot closer to 350 to 400 calories.

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Carbs

About 45 to 55 percent of your breakfast calories should be devoted to carbs, which is about 40 to 55 grams of carbs. Skip sugary and overly processed foods or those made with enriched white flour, and choose whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

Protein

About 15 to 20 percent of your breakfast calorie amount should be protein, which works out to about 13 to 20 grams. Getting enough protein at breakfast is important for keeping you satisfied throughout the morning. And studies have shown that getting at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast may help you lose weight as well. Eggs, dairy products, soy milk, protein powder in smoothies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are great sources of protein.

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Fats

Shoot for about 10 to 15 grams, which is about 30 to 35 percent of your total breakfast calories. Instead of saturated fats like bacon and cheese, go for monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like olive oil, nuts and seeds and the butters made from them, and avocado.

Fiber

Aim for about 25 percent of your recommended daily total of 25 grams per day. That works out to about six grams, but it’s OK to go above that, as long as it doesn’t bother your digestive system. Berries, pears, apples, greens and other veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help you reach that goal.

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Sugars

If you follow the equation for carbs above, then you won’t have to worry about going overboard on sugars, especially if you’re eating a combination of foods like fruits, whole grains, and dairy products. But for a ballpark number to keep in mind, stick to 36 grams or fewer. And when it comes to added sugar, try not to exceed six grams — that’s about 1.5 teaspoons’ worth of any sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave).

Timing

Ideally you should eat breakfast within 30 to 60 minutes of waking up. If you’re not keen on eating anything big first thing, split this meal up into two parts, having something light close to waking up and the other half about an hour and a half later. This also works well if you’re a morning exerciser and prefer not to have a full stomach while you work out. If you’re exercising, you can aim to have the more carbohydrate-based portion of your breakfast (fruit, toast, etc.) prior to working out and the more protein-centric portion afterward.

A Few Examples of Perfect Breakfasts

Steel Cut Oats With Fruit and Nuts: Steel cut oats not only have more fiber than an equal amount of rolled oats, but they also have more protein since you’re eating more of the original grain. Cook one-half cup steel cut oats in a mixture of one-half cup water and one-half cup unsweetened soy milk. Top with one-half cup blueberries, one tablespoon chopped walnuts, and one teaspoon drizzle of maple syrup.
Calories: 328
Total fat: 9.7 grams
Saturated fat: 1 gram
Carbs: 51.1 grams
Fiber: 7.2 grams
Sugars: 16.6 grams
Protein: 11.8 grams


Mexi-Egg Wrap: Scramble one egg and one egg white with two tablespoons black beans, one-quarter cup chopped tomato, and two tablespoons onion, until eggs are set. Stir in one cup spinach. Fill a nine-inch whole-wheat tortilla with the egg mixture and top with one-quarter of an avocado, cubed, and one tablespoon salsa. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste.
Calories: 345
Total fat: 15.7 grams
Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
Carbs: 36.8 grams
Fiber 9.7 grams
Sugars: 3.2 grams
Protein: 17.4 grams


Smoothie and a Hard-Boiled Egg: Pair a carrot cake smoothie made with two medium carrots, half a frozen banana, two cups spinach, one cup unsweetened soy milk (you can use almond), half a scoop plant-based protein powder, one-eighth cup golden raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This is easy to split — have half of the smoothie before your workout, then have the rest plus the egg after the workout.
Calories: 368
Total fat: 12.6 grams
Saturated fat: 5.1 grams
Carbs: 49.5 grams
Fiber: 9.4 grams
Sugars: 25.5 grams
Protein: 25.4 grams

Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid

Skipping out: When you sleep, your body slows down while you’re not eating. So when you wake up, if you don’t break the fast (yup, that’s where the name comes from), your body will burn calories slowly. To jump-start your metabolism and get your body burning calories, you need to eat. Not fueling up also deprives your brain of glucose, which is why you feel foggy-headed and cranky. Think of breakfast as an opportunity to get your fill of valuable nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
Skimping: You know skipping breakfast entirely is a no-no, but not eating enough will also backfire. It’ll leave you feeling hungry soon after eating, which will cause you to need more food and can translate to more calories consumed over the course of the entire day. Stick to the formula above, and you’ll not only feel satisfied longer, but you’ll also have more energy for the workouts that can make you drop pounds even faster.
Imbalanced meal: Leaving out a key component of the breakfast formula such as avoiding all carbs or going too heavy, such as having an all-protein meal, means you’re not going to get enough satisfaction or nutrition from this first meal. Following the formula above will allow you to eat a balanced meal while also helping you see weight-loss results.

Looking to lose weight during other times of the day? Here’s what to eat for lunch, what to eat at snack time, and what to eat at dinner to lose weight.

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Sugary Drinks and 'Bad' Carbs May Increase Risk of These Types of Cancer

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By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — People who consume a lot of processed carbohydrates—think snack foods and sweets—and sugary drinks may face heightened risks of breast and prostate cancers, a new study suggests.

Researchers said the study, reported Tuesday at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting in San Diego, does not prove that “bad” carbs cause cancer.

But given that breast and prostate cancers are two of the most common cancers in the United States, the connection gives more reason for people to cut processed foods from their diets, said lead researcher Nour Makarem.

“The carbohydrate quality of your diet matters for a number of reasons,” said Makarem, a Ph.D. candidate in nutrition at New York University.

In general, health experts already recommend limiting sugary drinks and processed carbohydrates, and eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, fiber-rich whole grains, and “good” unsaturated fats.

So the new findings—considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal—add more weight to that advice, Makarem said.

She pointed, in particular, to the link her team found between sugar-sweetened drinks (both soda and fruit juice) and prostate cancer risk. Compared with men who never drank sugary beverages, those who had them a few times a week showed more than triple the risk of developing prostate cancer.

And that was with other factors—including obesity, smoking, and other diet habits—taken into account, Makarem said.

Still, it is difficult to weed out the effects of particular diet habits on cancer risk, said Marji McCullough, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society.

“Few dietary factors apart from alcohol and/or obesity have been consistently related to postmenopausal breast cancer and prostate cancer,” McCullough said.

The question of whether carbohydrate quality affects cancer risk—independent of obesity—is important, according to McCullough. But it’s also a “challenging” one to answer, she said.

The new findings are based on nearly 3,200 U.S. adults whose diet habits and cancer rates were tracked for more than 20 years. During that time, 565 people were diagnosed with cancer.

At first glance, higher carb intake was tied to a lower risk of breast cancer. But the picture changed when carb quality was considered, Makarem noted.

She said that women whose diets emphasized healthy carbs—vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes—were 67 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, compared to women who favored refined carbs. Refined carbs include many baked goods, white bread and white potatoes.

When it came to prostate cancer risk, men who regularly drank sugary juices or soda were more than three times as likely to develop disease versus men who steered clear of those drinks, the findings showed.

That does not prove sweet drinks directly contribute to prostate cancer, Makarem acknowledged. Still, she said, many studies have implicated the beverages in the risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes—so there are other reasons to cut back.

“Plus,” Makarem said, “it’s an easy change to make in your diet.”

The American Beverage Association took issue with the findings.

“The authors of this study abstract acknowledge their findings do not show that beverages cause any disease,” the group said in a statement. “Moreover, the study was limited to one demographic group that is not reflective of the population of the United States.” (Most study participants were white.)

The beverage association also said that the American Cancer Society cites multiple potential risk factors for breast, prostate and colon cancer, so singling out diet is difficult. The group also said that because the study hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal, “very few study details are available” and it’s therefore tough to draw firm conclusions.

Sugary drinks weren’t the only diet factor that mattered, though, according to the researchers. Prostate cancer risk was also heightened among men whose diets were generally high in “glycemic load”—which, Makarem said, basically means they ate a lot of refined carbs.

The study also implicated “processed lunch foods,” including pizza, deli meats, and burgers. Men who ate those foods four or more times a week were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to men who had them no more than once a week, the researchers found.

According to McCullough, it’s hard to know whether certain foods, per se, contribute to breast or prostate cancers—or whether, for example, it’s overall calorie intake and weight gain that are the true culprits.

But the bottom line, Makarem said, is that whole, “high-quality” foods are a generally healthier choice than processed ones.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on diet and cancer risk.


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How I Stopped Obsessing About Being Skinny

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Strong-New-Sexy-37482639

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I’ve always been passionate about being active, but I’d be lying if I told you that passion wasn’t once attached to the passion to be skinny. Skinny is a word I cringe at now, but for most of my life, skinny was everything.

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Part familial and part societal pressure, I grew up truly believing that being thin was synonymous with being beautiful. I’ve been on a diet for most of my life, not because I was overweight, but because the idea of being overweight was always a lingering worry, taunting me in the background. Although I was active, healthy, and toned, I never felt skinny enough, and it haunted me. I truly believed if I was skinny I would be happy and feel more confident.

The first time I ever gained real weight was my freshman year in college. I was ordering in, eating out, and drinking nearly every night. Immediately, I started up with two-a-day cardio sessions, barely ate a bite all day, then binged on a huge late dinner. At the time, I felt like I was being “good” and taking control of my body. I dropped weight so quickly, but it was at the price of my mental clarity, energy, and happiness. It was an unsustainable solution, and I put back on the weight just as quickly as I had taken it off — I knew I had to go about things in a different way. I cleaned up my act, cut out processed foods, and starting doing yoga every day, but I am embarrassed to admit that yoga wasn’t my primary form of exercise just because of all the healthy benefits it brought to my life — I saw it as a way to get skinny. A month into committing to a regular yoga practice, I began to acknowledge that my physical fitness was much more than a number on the scale or a body type I idealized. The stronger I felt in my yoga practice, the better I felt in the rest of my life. I stopped being as concerned about the skinny and started wanting more of that strong stuff.

This desire to be strong helped me realize the myth that lifting weights would bulk me up and make me feel unfeminine was just that — a myth. As soon as I unveiled the truth behind the myth, I started lifting and moving through bodyweight moves at home, and I began to see and feel a huge difference in my shape. I stopped stressing into fitting into a certain body type, because I was attaining something stronger, better, and more beautiful than I had anticipated. I was no longer about the number on the scale or the size of my jeans, and I found so much relief in giving up the numbers. Instead of obsessing over a tiny drop on the scale, I started reveling in the new definition I saw in my deltoids. Instead of trying to squeeze into my too-tight college pants, I realized that my backside had a little lift and was filling out my current jeans beautifully.

Once I realized I didn’t need to be thin in order to feel whole or content, I felt like I had been handed the keys to the kingdom. I am both thrilled and relieved that what was once referred to as a trend is starting to have some serious staying power. There is so much power in strength, and even more when there’s strength in numbers — I’m so ready for even more women to live by this truth! If you can relate to the anxiety I grew up with or you simply feel like the standard of skinny is unattainable (or, honestly, doesn’t sound like that much fun), stop being intimidated by the weight room, and try a workout program that supports your strength. If you’re anything like me, it will transform your life.

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Does Your Face Get Super Red Post-Workout? Here's How to Fix It

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When Tone It Up (TIU) hosted us in Southern California for its seaside retreat earlier this year, we got some amazing tips from its go-to makeup artist, Jennifer Naideth. Jennifer is a pro at creating the effortless, au naturel California beach babe look for TIU founders Karena and Katrina, as well as packing essentials for a gym bag, creating a post-workout quick makeup routine, and (our favorite) devising a quick fix to that red face most of us get after a hot and sweaty workout.

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While there’s nothing to worry about (your face turning red after exercise is totally normal!), if you’re on your way to the office, a date, or even just brunch out with your friends, we get that you might want to cool that face off and return to your normal complexion. Fortunately, Jennifer has a few great tips on how to calm the redness.

The cold towel face mask. This trick calls for cold water from the sink and any hand towel your gym or studio might provide. “Hold it on your face like a face mask for a few minutes,” said Jennifer. This should start to reduce some of the red hue.
Cold shower and washcloth. Take the washcloth trick into the shower — a cold shower! This should help send the blood back, away from your face. So instead of taking your usual warm post-workout shower, cool it down, and bring the mask in with you.
Use essential oils. Jennifer’s favorite tip is to apply essential oils to her face like “lavender, tangerine, peppermint, and wild citrus.” She noted that she’s fond of doTERRA essential oils and keeps them in her gym bag.
Ice your neck. This tip is from our own experience — a pack of ice on the neck can start to cool the blood going to your face to reduce redness. We’ve tried it post-half-marathon, and it’s crazy how quickly your face goes from freakishly red to slightly flushed. If you don’t have ice, try a cold water bottle and put it onto the soft part of your neck where it meets your jaw bone (under your ear).

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Even Optimists Tend to Expect the Worst

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Even if you consider yourself to be pretty upbeat, it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of dread as you wait to hear about uncertain news. As the moment of truth draws nearer, people often find themselves increasingly convinced that bad results are ahead.

These emotions may feel stressful and unhealthy, but a new study suggests they’re totally normal. In fact, this instinct to brace for the worst can actually be protective and serve as a buffer against potentially bad news, say researchers from the University of California Riverside.

In previous studies, it’s been recognized that, as individuals wait for their respective results, students become increasingly convinced they’ve failed an exam, patients become increasingly convinced they have a terrible disease, and voters become increasingly convinced that their candidate will lose an election.

RELATED: Optimism Can Help You Live Longer

Kate Sweeny, Ph.D., a psychology professor at UC Riverside, wanted to see if this was true of optimists and pessimists alike. “Intuition might suggest that some people are more likely to brace than others,” Sweeny said in a press release. “In particular, happy-go-lucky optimists would seem immune to the anxiety and second-guessing that typically arise as the decisive moment draws near.”

So she and her co-author performed nine different experiments in their lab and in real-life settings. Some involved college students anticipating rankings of their attractiveness from peers, for example, while others involved law-school graduates awaiting the results of their bar exams. All participants answered questions beforehand to determine their natural disposition.

The researchers’ findings, published in the Journal of Personality, were “counter to intuition,” Sweeny said. “Optimists were not immune to feeling a rise in pessimism at the moment of truth. In fact, not a single study showed a difference between optimists and pessimists in their tendency to brace for the worst.”

RELATED: Happy People Make Their Spouses Happier

There was a difference, unsurprisingly, in overall predictions: Optimists started out with more positive expectations than pessimists. But everyone in the study tended to shift those expectations downward over time.

This may be because not getting one’s hopes up can be a natural defense. “If you expect the worst, you can lessen feelings of shock and disappointment if things don’t go as you hoped,” Sweeny told RealSimple.com, “and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if they do.”

So if you feel down right before a big announcement, Sweeny says you shouldn’t necessarily fight those feelings. Rather, she says, we should all try to be more like the optimists in this study, and save our pessimism for these strategic moments.

“It’s generally good to be optimistic about the future,” she says. “Optimists are happier and healthier in lots of different ways, and it’s true that worrying too much or for too long can lead to anxiety and rumination. But in these final moments before you get big news, optimism can be really treacherous.”

In other words, she says, making sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure your chances of success—and then putting off your worries until those final moments—may be the best balance you can strike. And if you do feel like the world’s about to end while you wait, take heart in knowing that that’s normal, too.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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Surgeons Perform First Uterus Transplant in the U.S.

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The first uterus transplant in the U.S. was performed this week by surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic, the hospital announced.

The 26-year-old woman who received the transplant is in stable condition after the nine-hour procedure, which took place on Wednesday. The hospital is not releasing further details about the woman.

The goal of the surgery is to allow women born without a uterus, or women who had theirs removed, to become pregnant and have a baby. This is the first time this surgery has taken place in the U.S. In Sweden, nine women have undergone the operation and at least four of those women have given birth.

The Cleveland Clinic said in a statement that the uterus came from a deceased organ donor. The woman who received the transplant will likely have to take anti-rejection medication for a long time to ensure the procedure is a success.

The hospital says it is continuing to screen possible transplant candidates.

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

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New to the Gym? Make It Less Intimidating With These Tips

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Prior to this year, I had never set foot in a gym. Weird, right? I know, I know. Though fitness is now a part of my everyday life, I started with running, then yoga, then studio fitness . . . I was always intimidated by the gym. Would it be full of super meaty, ripped dudes pumping iron and side-eyeing me and my five-pound hand weights? Or super sculpted and svelte babes with some kind of crazy strength routine their personal trainer made just for them? What do I even do with the machines? They look like torture devices!

I’d consider myself to be a pretty awkward person in general, so as a complete newbie, I anticipated a lot of social anxiety vibes when I stepped into Equinox for my first gym day (not to mention a huge fear of having ZERO idea about what to do once I actually got to the gym). Fortunately, my experience this year was far less scary than I had predicted, and I learned some things along the way.

If you’re nodding your head saying, “Yes, that’s me,” and “They really ARE torture devices!” then I’ve got you. These tips will help you feel more prepared so you can get the most out of your experience. You’ll be a gym rat pro in no time!

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Pump yourself up. Before you even leave your house, remind yourself of your goals and why you got this membership in the first place. A few words of intention and a quick pep talk can clear your mind of any anxiety or jitters that may be making you feel intimidated. Remind yourself: you are STRONG! Your decision to start working out means you’re stronger than you know.Bring a buddy. This one doesn’t need much explanation — bring a friend! Whether they’re new to the gym as well or an expert who can take you under their wing, it’ll help so much to have a pal there with you (and know that if you don’t have a friend to bring with you, that’s OK, too!).
Make a game plan. Going in with zero idea of what you’re going to do won’t end well; this is one of the aforementioned lessons I learned, but I learned it the hard way. If you have no idea how to use the machines, and no one has ever taught you a gym routine, you’ll end up on a treadmill — walking — and if you’re like me, you’ll be really mad at yourself. Do a little research: use one of POPSUGAR’s printable workouts, or bring your favorite workout program with you on your phone (like BBG or Tone It Up), and follow one of those routines. Knowing what you’re going to do ahead of time and having that intention makes you feel less aimless, lost, and insecure.
Pump the tunes. Headphones are everything in the gym, in my opinion. You need your music to pump you up and make you feel strong — and more comfortable! A good gym playlist can help ease tension and fuel an awesome workout.
Try a trainer. Some gyms offer you a free personal training session when you start your membership (Equinox is a prime example of this). I used this time to pick up some tips and tricks and learn how to use the machines. See if you can book a session or just ask a trainer how to use a machine — one quick lesson could set you up for so many more workouts so you can optimize your gym membership.
Start with classes. If your gym offers group fitness, this is an awesome way to get into the swing of things (and definitely how I started!). You’ll have a trainer telling you exactly what to do, and the benefit of the group fitness experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t waste your time feeling afraid or nervous. Ask someone who looks like they know what they’re doing, or anyone on the gym staff — that’s what they’re there for! Their end goal is for you to get healthy and love the gym, which you obviously can’t do if you’re floating around aimlessly or too intimidated to come back.
Snap a selfie. Before you roll your eyes, let me explain (then you can go back to rolling your eyes). For many women, a gym selfie has nothing to do with vanity — in fact, it can be quite the opposite. Taking a picture before or after your workout can inspire confidence, build up your self-esteem, and keep you accountable for your workouts going forward. In fact, these pictures can be so effective, trainers actually encourage gym selfies!

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