Confidence Is Like A Muscle; It Must Be Built

Confidence Is Like A Muscle; It Must Be Built

Do you, like many others, hold the self-limiting belief that you can’t lose weight, get that raise or learn a new skill? This is a good opportunity to practice self-awareness and ask yourself why. Is it because you tried to lose weight before and didn’t succeed the way you wanted to? Maybe you have asked for a raise before and were shut down. Or maybe you have actually succeeded at your desired goal before, but something unexpected happened in your journey causing you to stop progressing. Whatever it is, your past experiences do not have to define your future when pursuing a goal. Building confidence and belief in ourselves takes practice, but we can always go back to those skills if we ever fail at a weight loss program or get rejected from a job and pick ourselves right back up.


Success breeds success

Exercise has a strong association with difficulty. As a result, when people start a new exercise program, they can tend to do too much, too fast. This can be difficult for our confidence because if we set our expectations too high, we may not be able to stick with that original plan. When first starting an exercise program, it’s important to be realistic so that we can build upon our small wins. At UpFit Training Academy, we sit down with our clients to come up with clear and manageable goals so that their confidence can be built in the early stages of training with us. Small successes early on lead to bigger successes down the line as our confidence increases, motivating us to do more.

Confidence is Built Through Action

On the other hand, some people underestimate what may be necessary to achieve their fitness goals. Without the required action to achieve our goal, it may be very difficult to build confidence as there is nothing to feel confident about. If we don’t push ourselves we will always be stuck in the same place. This is why our trainers heavily rely on progression and overload to not only improve and reach our client’s goals but to also build confidence week to week when clients see their numbers improve.

Final Confidence Building Tips

  • Eating healthily can build our confidence by making us feel good about ourselves and our body, on top of increased energy levels. Check out this blog post for more information.
  • Sometimes faking it till you make it can build confidence. Speak confidently, walk confidently, and have a confident posture. Even if you don’t feel it immediately, you are starting to understand what it’s like to act like a confident person.
  • Set up small wins for yourself. Setting realistic expectations in your life is important; make sure they are challenging yet attainable. If it’s too easy, you won’t build your confidence because you already knew you’d be able to achieve it.

Exercise is one of the best tools to build confidence because it inherently boosts our mood via endorphins, making us feel better about ourselves. To learn more about how we approach training, visit UpFit Academy. 


Getting Started On Your Fitness Journey

Getting Started On Your Fitness Journey

Every effective exercise program should be built around a goal. Without a goal, it’s very difficult to know where you’re going, and more often than not will not reach your desired outcome. Like we mention here, writing down your goal will make you more likely to achieve it. Your goal can either be a big goal broken down into smaller steps (e.g. wanting to lose 50 pounds in a year) or something we call a process goal. A process goal focuses on the actual habits that lead to an eventual outcome. For example, if your end goal is losing 50 pounds, you may create a process goal of attending three personal training sessions per week as your way of achieving that.

Be very specific about your goal

Wanting to lose weight or gain muscle is not a specific goal, nor will it allow you to create the required plan necessary to achieve that goal. Here are some examples of how you can make a goal more specific:

Instead of “I want to lose weight,” you can try “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat in 5 months.”

Instead of “I want to get stronger,” you can try “I want to be able to squat 125 pounds by December 31st, 2021.”

Instead of “I want to run faster,” you can try “I want to run an 8-minute mile by the end of the next 2 months.”

Start slow

If you haven’t engaged in an exercise program for a long time, jumping right into training for a lofty goal may not be the best approach. Overdoing it can lead to failure which can lower confidence, resulting in a lack of consistency necessary to achieve any goal. If you want to read more on gaining confidence, check out this post.

Start slow and create smaller, more achievable goals that can lead up to your eventual goal. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds for a wedding that’s in a year and you haven’t worked out for several years, jumping into high-intensity workouts three times per week may not be the best idea. In this case, you could build up to going on 4 hour long walks per week in order to get into the habit of moving. Then once you are able to do this consistently, adding a couple of workouts and then slowly building up will allow you to have built enough confidence to stay consistent with your goal. Remember, whatever allows you to stay consistent in your journey is the best way to reach your goal the fastest.

If you want to learn more about creating personal and specific goals, contact us today at UpFit Academy with any questions.

Most Effective At-Home Exercises

Most Effective At-Home Exercises

If you can’t make it into UpFit Academy or don’t live in New York City, at-home exercises are a great alternative to ensure you stay fit. Our online options allow both the benefit of having a trainer as well as being in the comfort of your own home or having a trainer when traveling. You don’t need any equipment, either. If you have a body, you can do a workout! Here’s a sample of some great bodyweight exercises to get started.

Bodyweight exercises don’t require equipment

Strength training can be done without weights! You have weights with you everywhere you go when you do bodyweight exercises. One of the best bodyweight core exercises is the plank. It’s simple but if done right, not easy. Starting laying down, extend your body. With your forearms on the floor right underneath your shoulders, push yourself off the ground. The only points of your body touching the floor should be your forearms and your toes. You should be able to place a wooden stick along your back without it falling off or sitting at an angle. Engage your core, drawing your belly button to your spine. Start slow, and try and work up to a minute or two.

Work larger muscle groups with squats

When you train large muscle groups, your body releases nitric oxide which widens blood vessels to lower blood pressure. One of my favorites is the squat. Your feet should be firmly planted shoulder-width apart and pointed slightly outward. Your back should be straight. Lower your body by shifting your hips back and bending your knees as though you were sitting down in a chair. Your chest should be proud, whilst your abs should be engaged to control the movement. Go down as far as you can without lifting your heels off the ground. Once at that point, push up and slowly rise.

Walking lunges can be done anywhere

Lunges work one leg at a time and you can do walking lunges anywhere. It’s a functional fitness exercise, since it mimics the actions of walking. It not only builds strength, but it also builds flexibility. Start with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward. Lower your hips, keeping most of the weight on your foot in front. Your back heel will lift, but your front foot should be flat. Both knees should bend 90 degrees, with your back knee almost touching the floor on the way down. Your hips should mimic an elevator, going straight up and down.

Final tips for working out at home

  • Consistency is the key to success no matter where you workout. If you’re working out virtually or on your own, schedule a specific time to workout and stick with your schedule. Make it a priority.
  • Form is important and should be your top priority when you’re learning a new exercise. You’re better off doing fewer repetitions and getting your form correct than pushing yourself and sacrificing form, which can lead to injury.
  • There are a number of variations of the basic bodyweight exercises that you can use to work the muscles different ways. The walking lunge is one example. Instead of stepping backward with the foot in front, you step forward with the one in back.
  • You need all types of exercises, endurance, strength, flexibility and balance in your workout. You also need a warm up and cool down. That’s why our virtual option can be great help, as you’ll have proper guidance. The routine will be personalised just for you!

For more information on training options, contact us today at UpFit Academy

Are You Ready For Swimsuit Season?

Are You Ready For Swimsuit Season?

It’s a little late, but never too late, to get ready for swimsuit season. There’s a lot you can do to improve your appearance and confidence in the next few weeks. What’s even better than that is the fact you’ll have a head start and can also work on getting the body you want to ring in the new year. In fact, if weight loss is a goal, I can envision you getting clothing in a smaller size for your future Christmas gift. When is the best time to start? TODAY!!

How many times have you thought about doing something important and then life got in the way.

We all have those great goals that float in our heads for years and never get accomplished. Why? The reason is because they really weren’t goals, but just wishes. Turn those thoughts into goals and do something. Increase your activity. Go for walks at lunch. Do a few exercises when you get home from work. Make it a formal workout by using our virtual training, where you get help from our trainers. Our trainers can help you get faster results and provide motivation to stick with your program.

It’s summer, the perfect time for healthy eating.

What could be better than getting fresh produce at the market. It’s time to switch from processed foods and fried delights to healthy, delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing they taste, especially when the weather is hot. We have some clients that have a patio garden where they grow fresh greens and tomatoes. It might be too late for you to do that, but not too late to take advantage of farmer’s markets in your area.

Track your progress, because winners keep score.

Getting started is important, but so is tracking your progress. No matter what your goal, there are several ways to measure your success. You can use weight, inches or clothing sizes for weight loss goals and track endurance, weight lifted or number of reps you could do for fitness goals. We provide online tracking and in person tracking if you come to the gym. Seeing your success unfold based on your results can be exciting and keep you motivated to do more.

  • If you aren’t sure where to start with your healthy diet, at UpFit Academy, part of our program includes nutrition coaching to help you learn the healthiest options.
  • Getting more competitive can help you get better results. You don’t have to have a workout partner to do that, you can compete against yourself. Always try to do one more set or one more repetition. You’ll see results faster when you do.
  • Make this summer your best ever and build on that to improve your life. You’ll find that changing your wish for a better body to a goal and ultimately success can transfer to other areas of your life. The sky is the limit when you just get moving.
  • Ask for a personalized consultation. We can help you make your dream a reality with a free UpFit assessment and our seven day jump start program. You’ll be glad you did.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy

Make Small Goals And Crush Them!

Make Small Goals And Crush Them!

If you’ve not exercised in years, you probably won’t be able to train a week and be ready to enter the Iron Man Competition. We know that at UpFit Academy in New York, NY, and help you to create the perfect path to reach those lofty goals. It all starts when you make small goals and not just achieve them, but surpass them beyond your wildest expectations and then move on to the next. Before you know it, you’re an entirely different person, with a different look and more energy than you dreamed possible.

A goal that’s too big can be overwhelming.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an exciting vision of your ultimate goal, but don’t let that be the only way to measure your success along the way. Think of how you learned everything in your life. In first grade, you probably didn’t read Plato or Socrates, but instead focused on the basics. If you had to wait to receive acknowledgment of success for 12 years, 16 years or longer, you’d get pretty discouraged. Getting fit means setting smaller goal to reach a larger one, just like education. The achievement of the small goals along the way keep you motivated and help you understand how well you’re doing, adding to your motivation to achieve the next goal.

Each goal needs to be specific, with a time frame and plan to achieve it.

One method of making and tracking goals is the SMART method. Smart stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. That big goal is broken down to smaller, more achievable goals. If you want to lose 50-pounds, you break it down to smaller goals, creating a time frame for each. The new smaller goals should be relevant, measurable, attainable and have a time frame. For instance, I will lose two pounds a week by exercising three days a week and following a healthy diet.

Your smaller goals should still be exciting.

While you normally think of goals as weight loss or loss of inches, it could be other things, too. Do you wear out after one push-up? Make a smaller goal to achieve five in a row within two weeks. If that’s too easy, make it harder. Make it exciting. If losing two pounds a week doesn’t thrill you, make it a monthly goal of losing ten pounds or change your goal to clothing size, where you can try on new clothes to see if you’ve achieved your goal. Your goal should make you look forward to going to the gym and eating healthy to see the progress you’ve made.

  • Sometimes, setting goals that are easy to reach can be helpful in the beginning. It gives you success and you can crush those goals, setting your sights on doing that every week or month.
  • Always note where your starting point is. Take measurements, weigh yourself, see how long your endurance is and how much you can lift. You need to know your starting point to see if you made progress.
  • Expect to feel awkward the first few weeks and to make mistakes. Everyone does. It’s only by trying that you learn and if you’re pushing forward, you’re bound to make a mistake or two.
  • A personal trainer at UpFit Academy will help you make goals and adjust them as you proceed. Make them difficult enough to put fire in your belly, but still within your grasp.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy

Is Oatmeal Good For Anxiety?

Is Oatmeal Good For Anxiety?

Everyone has their own personal comfort food. It’s food that makes you feel good, maybe because of past associations, maybe because of its texture or for other reasons. Some people find a big bowl of oatmeal can help overcome anxiety. Is that because of its comfort food status or is there another reason? It could be both. Oatmeal stimulates the production of serotonin, the feel good hormone, which can calm you and help you sleep.

You need adequate carbs to relax and get a good night’s rest.

In order to make serotonin, you need L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan is in some foods. You’ve probably heard of it at Thanksgiving and how that Turkey helps you relax. It’s in other foods, too. In fact, one cup of oatmeal can provide 33% of your RDI of L-tryptophan. Just increasing the L-tryptophan in your diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll increase your serotonin.

You also need to convert that L-tryptophan to serotonin.

You need carbs, such as potatoes, bread or oatmeal, to boost your serotonin levels. Simple carbs increase the body’s levels of insulin and that lets more L-tryptophan go to the brain where the brain then converts it to serotonin. It occurs very quickly. That serotonin then gives you energy, good sleep, resiliency and improved mood, reducing the amount of anxiety you have. Not only does the oatmeal provide the raw ingredients, it also helps with production and delivery.

Put a little yogurt on your oatmeal or eat it later in the day.

Your gut plays an important role in anxiety. If you have healthy gut bacteria, you’ll produce and metabolize the serotonin properly. Eating sauerkraut and other fermented foods can help. Eliminating added sugar from your diet also helps. Beneficial microbes are also increased when you workout regularly. For more serotonin, cut back on dairy, include pumpkin seeds in your diet and sprinkle some turmeric on your food to thwart inflammation.

  • Studies show that exercise can be extremely beneficial for mild depression and anxiety. One study showed it was as good as some medications. It not only helps build gut bacteria, it boosts circulation to the brain.
  • Oatmeal can also help you lower cholesterol levels with its beta-glucan fiber and boosts your immune system with antioxidants. The antioxidants help prevent the LDL—bad cholesterol—from oxidizing and causing inflammation, tissue damage and increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Make your oatmeal from whole oats, which contain avenanthramides, which increase nitric oxide levels for a better workout and lower blood pressure. Only oats contain this ingredient.
  • Try overnight oats if you’re in a hurry or want to have oats ready to eat in seconds. Mix a 1 to 1 ratio of milk and oats. Keep it in the refrigerator covered overnight and it’s ready to eat. Steel cut oats should have 2 days or more to be their best.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy

The Sleep And Weight Loss Connection

The Sleep And Weight Loss Connection

If you’re a person that thinks lack of sleep means you’re doing the honorable thing—as in working longer hours—or having more fun, think again. It may be why you’re having problems with weight loss and not getting the results you want. Most people make this mistake, especially in the US, where longer hours are almost worn like a medal. Lack of sleep can almost make weight loss more difficult. In fact, you’ll burn calories while you sleep and you can even boost the number of calories you burn.

There’s a hormonal imbalance that can affect your weight loss if you get too little sleep.

When you have the proper hours and type of rest, your body is energized and ready to go. You’ll be hungry, but won’t crave sugary treats and will find sticking to a pattern of healthy eating far easier. That’s because too little sleep can cause a disruption in the production of hormones that control your hunger. It causes the body to make too much ghrelin—the hunger hormone, and too little leptin—the one that makes you feel full. That makes losing weight even harder.

Adequate sleep boosts your metabolism.

That’s right. Sleep is important to the health of all parts of the body. It helps you keep your energy flowing throughout the day. Lack of sleep can slow you down and make weight loss even tougher. One review showed that lack of sleep increased the potential for obesity in adults by 55 % and 89% in children. You’ll have more energy during your workout when you get adequate sleep and that continues throughout the day.

Increase the amount of calories you burn while you sleep by eating some protein.

If you’re looking for a bedtime snack that can help you burn more calories, try some cottage cheese. The casein protein in it boosts the number of calories you burn while you sleep. Protein takes time to digest, about seven hours, so your metabolism will be on high throughout the night into the early morning. That can help you workout harder when you first get up and provides the protein at night for muscle repair.

  • Not only does more sleep help you lose weight, the temperature of your room can help you lose belly fat. Keeping the temperature in the room at 66 degrees doubled the amount of belly fat lost compared to those who slept in 75 and 81 degree rooms according to one study.
  • When you don’t get enough sleep, you often find yourself reaching for something sweet to give you that little energy boost. What goes up, must come down and that’s true of your blood sugar, which means you’ll need another boost just a few hours later.
  • If you want the best rest and the type that can help you lose weight easier, don’t set the clock for earlier and hit the snooze. Set it for the time you need to get up and then do it. It provides more uninterrupted sleep to help you lose more weight.
  • If you want the maximum benefits from your sleep, make sure you get a deep sleep, where you burn the most calories. You can do that by establishing a sleep/wake-up schedule and sticking with it.

For more information, contact us today at  UpFit Training Academy

Is Kombucha Healthy?

Is Kombucha Healthy?

Kombucha came from the Far East, although the exact country of origin is still unknown. It’s fermented green or black tea. The tea receives a dose of SCOBY—symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast—that starts the fermentation process. It makes it effervescent. The fermentation gives it the probiotic benefits that make it healthy. It definitely looks a bit scary brewing. Even though it’s scary looking, Kombucha has many benefits. It has antioxidants that protect cells, and has been shown to kill harmful bacteria, while also preventing several diseases.

It’s a probiotic.

When you ferment the kombucha, you’re building colonies of healthy microbes. It’s similar to the benefits you get from kim chi, kifir, sauerkraut and yogurt. Adding those beneficial microbes to your diet can boost your immune system. They go to the gut, where 80% of your immunity starts. Beneficial bacteria and microbes help the digestive process and aid in absorption of nutrients. They also fight disease and infection, which can occur in several ways, but one way is by fighting off unhealthy organisms. The nutrients in kombucha vary, but many are antioxidants that fight free radicals and help prevent inflammation, which can cause serious conditions.

If you’re diabetic or prediabetic, kombucha may help you.

You can make kombucha from black or green tea, but kombucha made from green tea is especially helpful. It does need to be made with a lower amount of sugar if you’re prone to or have diabetes. Green and black tea have antioxidants, like polyphenols, to protect cells. Green tea can help you lose weight by boosting the calories burned and reducing belly fat. It can protect kidney and liver functioning, aid in the control of blood sugar and slow the digestion of carbohydrates. Kombucha provides all the benefits of green and black tea and more.

You’ll improve your digestive system with kombucha.

Your digestive system is the core of your microbiome and contains bacteria, yeast and other types of microbes. Kombucha can make the group a healthier combination. Each person has a different healthy type of microbiome, but there is a broader view of what makes the microbiome the healthiest. Just as there’s no “one perfect diet” for everyone, we still have a consensus of what constitutes a healthy diet. If you have an overgrowth of any one type of pathogen, just like yogurt or other fermented food, kombucha can help you get back on track to a healthier gut.

  • A healthy liver is important for good health. The liver filters out many harmful substances. Kombucha can improve liver functioning by protecting it with its antioxidants. It can even protect it from damage from an acetaminophen overdose.
  • If you’ve ever considered supplementing your diet with apple cider vinegar, why not consider kombucha instead. Like vinegar, it’s antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti fungal when it comes to undesirable yeast and bacteria. Just like in vinegar, it’s the polyphenols and acetic acids that does it.
  • Drinking kombucha can lower your triglycerides and overall cholesterol. That makes it heart healthy, too. Kombucha also contains vitamin B12 that can help both your mental well-being, but also your lungs.
  • Even though kombucha is healthy, drinking more than 12-ounces a day is NOT recommended. The CDC suggests no more than four ounces consumed three times per day.

For more information, contact us today at  UpFit Training Academy

Benefits Of A Vegan Diet

Benefits Of A Vegan Diet

When you create your goal, At UpFit Training Academy in New York, NY, we look at all the areas of your life that will affect you reaching that goal. No matter how much you workout, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Eating healthy can occur naturally the fitter you become, since your body craves the nutrients it needs to build muscle tissue, but in many cases, it takes a conscious decision to change your diet. There are diets that focus on protein and ones that focus on primarily vegetables or strictly vegetables. Are there benefits of a vegan diet that you should consider when choosing a healthy manner of eating?

A vegan diet can help you lose weight.

A plant based diet can be a big benefit for those who want to lose weight. In fact, studies show that vegans tend to be thinner than non-vegans. Several studies have compared weight loss with vegan diets compared to other types of diets. One study showed that over an 18-week period, people on a vegan diet lost almost ten pounds more than those on the control diet. Other studies indicated that people on an eat-until-full vegan diet lost more weight than others on a calorie-restricted diet, even when people on the vegan diet didn’t strictly follow the protocol.

You’ll get a lot of nutrients in a vegan diet.

A plant based diet is laden with extra nutrients that come from legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The plant-based diet contains more fiber, phytonutrients—which include antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, more magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamins A, E and C. You do have to ensure adequate planning, since no one food in a vegan diet is a complete source of essential amino acids, so combining several protein sources throughout the day is important.

A vegan diet provides help for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and kidney function.

A vegan diet can be beneficial for increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels. It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 78%. Vegan diets have been shown to lower blood sugar better than the diet from the American Heart Association—AHA, American Diabetes Association—ADA and the National Cholesterol Education Program—NCEP. One study followed diabetics on a vegan diet and found 43% could lower their medication by 43% compared to the group on the ADA diet. Vegan diets have been shown to improve kidney function in diabetics, too.

  • Ensuring you get adequate calcium, B12, iron, iodine and zinc are more difficult on a vegan diet, so planning is important. Avoid fast food vegan options and stick with whole foods to help you reach those goals.
  • A vegan diet provides phytonutrients, vitamins, fiber and minerals that can help prevent several types of cancer, including prostate, colon and breast cancer.
  • You’ll get heart healthy benefits from a vegan diet. Not only does the diet contain high amounts of fiber, which helps cholesterol levels, nutrients in a vegan diet can lower blood pressure.
  • Studies show that consuming a plant based diet can ease the pain from arthritis. Raw food vegan diets also were rich in pre and probiotics, helps minimize the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, like joint swelling, pain and morning stiffness.

For more information, contact us today at  UpFit Training Academy

Planning Your Week Of Workouts

Planning Your Week Of Workouts

Planning your week of workouts can make a difference between failure and success. When you have a plan, you’re less apt to waste time trying to figure out what to do and when. It’s like going to the grocery with a list. You get what you wanted. Compare that to those days you run to the store and come home to find you didn’t get the item you went to buy. Good planning means a better chance of success.

A good plan ensures you work every part of your body and all types of fitness.

While we advocate doing something over doing nothing, there are some situations where that can be dangerous. If you don’t have a plan, but simply love strength training, doing it every day can be counterproductive and even dangerous if you have a tough workout. You won’t give your muscles a chance to heal and will miss out on important flexibility training. Both can create a higher potential for injury. Even worse, you’ll miss working out all your muscle groups and can create muscle imbalances.

You’ll ensure variety.

When you plan ahead, it means more than just leg day on Monday and upper body on Tuesday. It can mean entirely different types of workouts. Strength training and weights on Monday with aerobic dance on Tuesday and for those jam packed days, a quick 20-minute gut busting HIIT—high intensity interval training—-workout. You’ll keep your week more interesting and can fill in those days away from the gym with fun activities, like bike riding and hiking.

Whether you type it in your schedule or write it on a post-it, writing it is important.

There’s something that makes writing something out makes it more concrete. It’s true about a schedule of any kind. It makes you feel like the workout is important, just as any appointment would be. You can even set a reminder in you phone or computer. If your daily workouts involve different locations, it also lets gauge the amount of time you’ll need so you can plan around it.

  • When you schedule your workout, you ensure that you won’t be working your same muscles repeatedly. That means less chance of injury and more energy.
  • Pick a day of the week to plan your schedule. It helps you create a habit that can make the difference between success and failure.
  • Writing out your schedule lets you get social if you want. You can post your workout and invite others, If you have a workout buddy, creating a workout schedule is imperative for success.
  • Don’t try to push too much into a workout if you’re a beginner. Everyone who first begins, is pumped and often overdoes it. When you’re planning your workout, plan for less, not more. Even if you’re pumped and want to workout two hours, stick with your workout plan.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Academy