Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Work Towards Your Fitness Goals

Too many people wait for the new year to arrive before they tackle their health and fitness goals. The fact is, the best time to start working towards your goals is always now (whenever that is)!

Plus, if you start a new routine in the fall, rather than in the new year, you will experience some fantastic benefits. Here are some reasons why fall is the perfect time to work towards your health and fitness goals.

The weather is perfect for outdoor activities

While exercising outdoors in the summer heat is often challenging and uncomfortable, autumn provides the perfect weather for outdoor exercise. In most places, the air starts to get a bit crisp in the fall, which is ideal for running, cycling, or an outdoor fitness class. Also, the declining temperatures throughout the season will prepare you for winter if you choose to continue your outdoors routine.

You will feel better for the holidays

If you get started on your health and fitness goals at the beginning of fall, you will be seeing results by the time the holidays roll around. For example, if one of your goals is weight loss, you should have shed a few pounds by Christmas. That means that you’ll feel more comfortable and confident as you enjoy time with friends and family. Plus, getting started now will guarantee that you also have more energy and overall feel better!

You will get strong habits in place 

The holiday season is notorious for holiday parties filled with sweet treats. As a result, most people put on some weight over the holidays. The worst part is that it takes most people five months to lose the excess weight gained from their Christmas indulgences. If you start working on your health goals in the fall, you will have strong habits in place, and you will be less likely to put on weight over the holiday season. Of course, you can enjoy some treats, but if you maintain your exercise routine and eat healthy foods most of the time, the treats won’t affect you nearly as much.

You get a headstart on the new year

Even if the winter holidays throw you off track, the new year provides a new opportunity to recommit to your goals and healthy habits. If you maintain your routines through the end of the year, the new year is your chance to level up. You could try a new, more difficult workout or tighten up your nutrition even more. Or perhaps you’d like to commit to a new fitness challenge like a marathon or IronMan race.

You have four great reasons to start working towards your health and fitness goals now, so why not get started today?

This article was originally published on nicholasfainlight.org.

6 Ways to Better Save for a House

No matter your age, saving up for a home can feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve never gone through the process before. There are a lot of details that go into saving up and actually purchasing a house. The first step you need to take is actually saving up for the home; while you can talk to realtors and look at houses, there’s not much of a point to doing so if you’re far away from being able to afford it. Here are some steps to more successfully save for the home you want.

Decide on location

As you start saving for purchasing a home, you need to have an idea of the type of costs you’ll need to cover. One of the biggest influences on how much money you’ll need to save and budget for is the location of your future home. Houses will cost significantly more depending on where they’re located; you need to decide if you value the area or if you’d be alright living further away in a more affordable location. You also need to take into account annual property taxes and if you can afford them in addition to your new home. Once you decide on a location for a house, you have a clearer idea of how much it’ll cost.

Choose the type of house

Next, decide on the type of home you wish to buy. Do you want a smaller starter home? Do you need a certain amount of bedrooms? Are there additional details you want your home to have, such as hardwood floors or a lot of land? The type of house and property you want to purchase heavily influences what the cost will be.

Create a budget

If you do not already have a budget, create one now. You can always adjust it as the details become clearer on the type of home you want, but the sooner you can cut back on expenses and begin saving, the better. A budget makes it clear how much money you can spend each month and how much you should be saving. This information becomes even more important once you have a mortgage to cover each month.

Meet with a professional

At some point, speaking with a financial and real estate professional would be beneficial. They can work with you on the realistic costs of the type of home you’re looking to purchase and help you determine if your budget is the best it can be.

Pay off debt

If you’re planning on taking out a mortgage, aim to pay off nearly all of your other debt before doing so, particularly credit card debt. Anything that has a high interest rate, aim to pay it off before you purchase your home.

Create aggressive goals

As you begin saving for your house, create aggressive goals. You have your budget to help guide you and you can pay more attention to how you’re spending money. If you can cut back spending in some areas, do it. The more aggressive your savings goals, the better.

This article was originally published on nicholasfainlight.org.

5 Top Health Benefits of Cycling

Cycling is a favorite pastime of many fitness enthusiasts. There are a lot of reasons why you could choose to take up cycling; it’s great for you, it’s an interesting hobby, you’ll meet great people – these are just a few of the awesome benefits. We’ll focus on some of the top health benefits you’ll get if you take up cycling.

Lower health risks

Cycling can be a good alternative or an addition to your workout. This reason is because if you enjoyed cycling when you were young, it’s most likely you will enjoy biking as an adult. The thing about biking is you don’t need special gear to enjoy cycling; you can do it indoors or outdoors. To get your cardio you can take on cycling with a group or do it by yourself. If you’re that feeling you’re able to push your intensity, you can pedal harder and switch gears based on the bike. Regardless of the intensity of the cycle it’s been known that even a moderate pace can reduce the risk of cancer. It provides all the benefits that’s expected from aerobic activity and with some extra health perks.

Build muscle

In addition to being an aerobic activity, cycling also known to build muscle. As you work through cycling routines, you’ll tone muscle in all areas of your body. Since the bike is meant to be kept upright and moving, it engages muscles throughout your body and core.

Burn calories

Another reason to take on cycling is to burn calories. Burning calories while working out will contribute to a lean and fit body. It’s known that being overweight or obese is a leading factor for several cancers, which includes breast and colorectal cancers. It has been mentioned by Exercise Physiologists, that the more active you are, the more chances are for decreasing your risk of chronic diseases.

Improve balance

Another key factor to consider when taking up cycling is your proprioception. As we tend to get older, our balance can worsen. The loss of balance and perception leads to falls, injuries, and a decline in physical activity. To keep our neurological motor running, we need to stay active to maintain our balancing skills.

Relieve stress

Finally, many have attributed cycling to sense of relief in stress. Cycling outdoor releases serotonin and endorphins.

This article was originally published on nicholasfainlight.org.

9 Tips for Training for a Marathon

Marathons boil down to the ultimate test in strength and endurance. Famous people like Oprah Winfrey, former President George W. Bush, Katie Holmes, Pamela Anderson, Will Ferrell, and Ryan Reynolds have all put in the dedicated training that goes with completing the 26.2-mile course. It is by no means a simple feat and requires dedicated training to complete.

To compete and excel in a marathon, the proper steps can make a difference.

Track your training

Keep track of each detail like daily mileage and run times and how your body is feeling. Also, make a note of race distances and their times. You’ll be able to notice any patterns and correctly adjust your training schedule.

Boost mileage

Running experts recommend increasing weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent to avoid possible injury. You’ll slowly build up your endurance and stay safe while doing it.

Cut back

Successful training for a marathon also means knowing when to take it easy and give yourself rest days. Allow the body to recover and cut back every third or fourth week. Reduce your mileage a bit so you don’t strain yourself.

Mix it up

Marathon runners believe in three or four day workouts. That means one long run for increasing distance, two shorter runs that build strength and speed, and a recovery run day.

Switch up intensity

The body is undergoing tremendous exertion when training for a marathon, so it’s best for your health to alternate with a hard day and an easy day.

Utilize technology

It’s beneficial to see how your resting heart rate is doing, so a smartwatch is a great item to use for recording the rate and finding the eventual baseline number. Keep track of these stats in your training log.

Start cross-training

Your body will get stronger with moderate intensity cross-training one to two days weekly. Swimming, rowing, and cycling are three fine examples. Cross-training is also useful for the days you’re tired of running and want to mix your training routine up a bit.

Start strength training

Lifting weights or doing yoga twice a week can also fortify the body with endurance. While this kind of training helps with your marathon running, you’ll also see other benefits that last long after you run that marathon.

Listen to your body

Smart marathoners listen to their body. If you feel tired, you need to rest. Never ignore how your body is responding to training or you risk injury.

This article was originally published on nicholasfainlight.org.

How to Eat to Build Muscle

Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, it’s never too early or too late to start eating in order to build and sustain muscle. Whether you’re working out to lose weight, want to tone up, or want to start bodybuilding, building muscle is important to a balanced fitness routine and healthy body. Any fitness journey can be challenging, but by being well-informed, you’ll find it much easier to reach your goals. Improving your diet is an important part of any fitness journey, so learn how to eat to benefit your body. Follow these tips and make gaining muscle as simple as possible.

Plenty of protein

The biggest key to building defined muscle is to eat plenty of protein. A quick answer to this aspect of your diet is to start drinking protein shakes. They’re a great way to get a huge dose of protein, especially before or after your workout. Focus on lean red meats, eggs, chicken, nuts, and even cottage cheese. If you’re eating a plant-based diet, it’s still certainly possible to get enough protein without eating meat. Learn what foods pack the biggest protein punch.

Avoid junk food

Just because some food has high amounts of protein, doesn’t mean it’ll help you build muscle. As you aim to intake more carbs, protein, and calories to sustain your workouts, that doesn’t mean you can fill the rest of the calories with pure junk food. Think about what you’re putting into your body and what nutritional value there is in it.

Find ideal times

One of the best times to eat a large amount of protein is directly after your workout. This window is the perfect time for your protein shake. As you train, you’ll break down your muscles and cause small tears, which can be repaired with amino acids found in proteins. The best time to get a high dose of protein is either about two hours before or after your workout – or both!

Eat more

As you start working out more intensely, you’ll simply need to eat more to sustain the energy your body is using. You’ll need to take in more calories, even if you’re focusing on losing weight. Like I mentioned above, at this point, it’s important to focus on the nutritional value of what you’re eating instead of pure numbers. Eating junk food that has the same caloric content is going to affect you differently than a balanced meal.

This article was originally published on nicholasfainlight.org.

6 TIPS FOR CREATING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR CLIENTS

No matter how much experience you have in your industry and working with clients, you should constantly be improving how you interact with your clients. There are always ways to strengthen the relationship you have with your clients, especially if you’re a financial advisor or in some similar position where you’re closely working with clients to meet personal goals and make plans that affect their daily lives. If you’re some kind of a consultant with clients, you want to have as strong relationships as possible with them in order to best meet their needs and keep them happy. Here are some great tips on how to create strong relationships with your clients, regardless of your career.

Discuss their specific goals

When you first start working with a client, you need to clearly establish what their goals are and how you’ll work together to meet those. Your entire role revolves around how well you can help clients work toward their goals, so you need to understand what those goals are before you can make a plan to achieve them.

Keep your promises

If you tell a client you’ll get back to them by a certain date or that you’ll send them useful information or a draft of something you’re working on, stick to these promises. While sometimes situations arise where you may not be able to keep this schedule, be sure to communicate as quickly and clearly as possible. Clients appreciate this treatment and will trust you to do the best for them.

Be honest and authentic

In your dealings with clients, be honest with them. If they’re asking for a service or focusing on a goal you aren’t sure is realistic or you don’t have much experience with, tell them that. Never try to sell a client something they do not actually need. Whoever you work with will appreciate this type of integrity and you’ll create a close bond with your client.

Stay consistent

When you tell a client how your business operates or what you’re going to do for them, stay consistent with what you say. Do not change your tune from conversation to conversation; clients notice that. Remain consistent in how quickly you respond to their emails or calls and make sure all your communication is on a regular basis.

Remain thoughtful

Throughout your time working with your client, find small ways to be thoughtful in your interactions. These gestures could include checking in with them even if you do not have a specific reason to see if they have any questions or sending a card around the holidays. Letting clients know you’re available and think of them personally can help build a stronger relationship.

Regularly touch base

Finally, make sure you regularly touch base with your clients to discuss their goals and whatever you’re working on for them. Keeping them in the loop gives them agency over the project and creates a great relationship with lots of easy communication.

This article was originally published on nicholasfainlight.com.

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ALONE

For people who create their own schedules, it can be challenging to figure out how to use your time in the most effective way possible. You may have occasional scheduled meetings or calls, but the majority of your work comes from a running list of projects with distant deadlines and it’s up to you to figure out what gets the highest priority and how much time you must allot to each task. This type of work schedule can be particularly challenging if you’re working from home or alone at a coworking space or somewhere else that can be distracting. Follow these pieces of advice to better manage your time and get more done.

Create a schedule

The first step to take to effectively manage your time is to create a schedule for the hours you’ll be working (or even your entire day, if you’re ambitious). You may already have a schedule or to-do list, but if you feel like it isn’t working well for you, scrap the whole thing and start from scratch. Plan out each hour of your workday and allot enough time for each task so you can clearly see what you need to do when. This schedule helps you stay on task and gauge where you are throughout each day.

Learn your productive times

This step takes some trial and error, but by consciously paying attention to how you work and when you get the most done, you can figure out what times of the day you’re the most productive. Once you learn these times, you can plan to get your most important and urgent tasks done then and push lesser projects to different times.

Time yourself

As you work on your different tasks, start timing how long it takes you to do every item. Knowing you’re being timed can push you to stay focused and avoid distractions. If you do get distracted, you can clearly see how much time was wasted; let it serve as a wake-up call. You might also be underestimating how long it takes you to get something done, so timing yourself allows you to create a realistic schedule.

Eliminate distractions

If you work on the computer, you can easily access an endless number of distractions. With cell phones, we have hours of distractions in our pockets. When you work at home, you might get distracted by what needs to be done around your house. In order to best manage your time, you must eliminate distractions; put your phone in a different room or turn it off, block specific sites on your computer while you’re working, or isolate yourself somewhere that people won’t talk to you and you won’t be distracted by what’s around you.

Craft a workspace

No matter where you’re working, you need to create a workspace for yourself that you find relaxing and helps you focus. At home, create a specific room or area where you work so you can keep your work and home life separate. In your office, personalize your space so you enjoy being there, but also in a way that’s conducive to your productivity. If you work in more public spaces, consider investing in good headphones to ignore outside noise and get materials that best fit your needs and make your job easier.

This article was originally published on nicholasfainlight.com.