Motivation: Scientific Secrets to Success

Researchers have been trying to figure out what compels us to do something repeatedly we don’t always want to do – like exercise. Here are some scientifically-proven strategies to help your workout motivation:

  • Give Yourself a Real Reward – Give yourself tangible, immediate benefits to working out, such as treating yourself to an episode of your favorite TV show or a healthy smoothie after you exercise. These kinds of rewards are powerful because your brain starts to link the reward to the behavior making it seem worthwhile. Over time, the motivation becomes the workout itself, as the brain begins to associate sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins — those feel-good chemicals released in the brain that are responsible for that exhilarating rush you get after a great exercise session. Once you’ve trained your brain to recognize that the workout itself is the reward, you won’t even need the treat.
  • Sign a Commitment Contract — Research shows we’re more likely to follow through with pledges when we make them in front of friends. You can up the ante even more by signing a contract agreeing to pay a pal $20 every time you skip your planned workout. Studies of people who created contracts found that those who signed longer contracts ended up exercising more than those who agreed to shorter time spans. Once we get past the initial pain and discomfort, it’s much easier to recognize the benefits of sticking to the routine.
  • Rethink Positive Thinking — Believers in the power of positive thinking also believe in the power of positive imaging, where you actual visualize the behavior and the beneficial outcomes of it as well. For example, when deciding whether to get out of bed to go running in the morning, it helps to imagine how the sun will feel on your face as you run. Or visualize your happiness as you see the results of your fitness routine. You can also visualize the obstacles to getting in the workouts you desire. Once you have those images, it’s easier to find solutions to work around the things blocking your wellness path. 
  • Find Your Fitness Tribe — What will ultimately inspire you to get up and start moving is a strong, supportive community. The laughs, high fives, and words of encouragement from the bonds people make are things that can’t be replicated. Find a workout that makes you feel good and surround yourself with people that help build your confidence as much as your strength. 

If you’re in the Las Vegas area and are considering weight-loss surgery, schedule an appointment at VIPSurg. Dr. Tsuda and his team of experts will find the right treatment for you.

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Exercise for Weight Loss

Being active is an important part of any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program. When you’re active, your body uses more energy (calories), and when you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight.

Diet and exercise are both important to weight loss efforts. However, while diet has a stronger effect on weight loss than physical activity does, physical activity, including exercise, has a stronger effect in preventing weight regain after weight loss.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:

  • Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 AdobeStock_116731872.jpegminutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. However, to effectively lose or maintain weight, some people may need up to 300 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. You can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week, and sessions of activity should be at least 10 minutes long.
  • Strength training. Do strength training exercises at least twice a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines.

Moderate aerobic exercise includes such activities as brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes such activities as running and aerobic dancing. Strength training can include use of weight machines, or activities such as carrying groceries or heavy gardening. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of overall physical activity every day.

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that you can elevate your metabolism for up to 24 hours post-exercise by adding just one little twist to your exercise routine: intervals. All you have to do is inject brief periods of intense effort into your regular walks (or runs, swims, bicycling, elliptical sessions, etc.) The intensity effectively resets your metabolism to a slightly higher rate during your workout, and it takes hours for it to slow down again. That equals ongoing calorie burn long after you’ve showered and toweled off.

If you’re a walker and you typically exercise for 30 minutes, try adding a burst of jogging for 30 seconds every 5 minutes. As you become more fit, you can increase the interval length to a minute, and decrease the walking segments to 4 minutes. For the biggest metabolism boost, you’ll want to make sure that the interval portion leaves you breathing hard.

While your heart and other organs demand fuel around the clock, there’s little you can do to increase their metabolic needs. However, your muscles—which also require constant feeding—are changeable. Make them bigger, and they will demand more calories day and night. With essential moves, adapted from findings by the American College of Sports Medicine, you can target all the major muscle groups in your body. You should be able to get through the entire routine in less than 30 minutes. Do this 2 to 3 times a week and your muscles will turn into furnaces that burn up extra calories before your body can convert them to fat.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are struggling with obesity and considering bariatric surgery, contact Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts will find the right treatment for you.

 

Tracking Your Journey to a Healthy You

Today, many people wear a wrist band commonly called a fitness tracker to report statistics on personal activity levels. The general opinion seems to be that one either likes them or not, and many agree they can be amusing for the short term. These devices replace and expand on the idea of the pedometer, and they do a lot more. They can track other body beats, too. Some people even wear their device to bed to tell them about their sleeping habits and movements as well. However, it seems to be up to the individual user as to whether thExercise tracking device Dollarphotoclub_101019544 (2)ey truly help with weight loss.

The equation for losing weight is fairly simple: burn more calories than you consume. If you want to lose weight, you must understand and pay attention to both calories taken in and calories burned. It stands to reason then that tracking what you are burning could help you monitor what you consume.

A fitness tracker can also be an interesting and worthwhile fitness motivator. These devices are extremely useful at making us aware of habits we often don’t think about and helping us change them. Depending on personal use, it may be worth the price tag if it motivates you to move more and improve your health.

Wearable devices and smartphone apps could help you in your weight-loss efforts. They can tell you whether you’ve covered the distance you’ve set as your goal and help you track the calories you consume. The weight-loss equation may be simple, but losing weight is hard. Consider trying a wearable device and smartphone to measure your progress, make exercise a consistent habit, and celebrate your daily successes.

How many steps do you think you walked today?

Read more about activity trackers online at: http://www.shape.com/fitness/cardio/8-new-fitness-bands-we-love

If you are obese and have tried to lose weight through conventional means to no avail, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda to see if you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery. He and his team of experts can help you find the right treatment for your unique case.