A year ago I started exercising at a gym. I want to share what I have learned in the past 12 months. Before I start let me make some things clear about my qualifications. I am not a professional. I am a novice. I have not turned into a world-class athlete. I am not a nutritionist, scientist, or doctor. I struggled in science and biology. I’m just a 42 year old overweight man trying to remain some type of shape.
First, since starting back at the gym, I am more mentally fit. Of course my wife might disagree. Yet, as a pastor, I struggle from time to time with minor depression spells. Most of it these are linked to not seeing the results that I want to see in ministry, as well as other areas of my life. But exercising has helped me to gain some confidence in myself and has made me happier overall.
I meet people since I joined the gym. I am a member of 365 Fitness in Liberty. There is a fellowship that is in place that I now enjoy. Everyone is generally on the same page and after the same goals. There is an accountability that a person like me needs to keep me motivated.
Reading articles about nutrition from people who are academic have helped me. There is a difference between those who are telling you what they have found through academic research from those who are trying to sell products. I realize now that eating the right types of foods really do impact your weight. Some examples of food that is less fattening are whole wheat products, fish, lean meats turkey and chicken. Salad dressings like Italian are best, not creamy. No candy or cookies and etc. No fast food (this is tough). Discipline!
Treadmill is better than walking outside, the treadmill makes you keep a pace that will cause your heart and lungs to work. It seems this really burns the fat, if you are eating right, as long as you are walking at a quick pace. You don’t have to run. The machine will elevate for you to give you more stress, which is good when you start getting into shape.
Weight lifting is very helpful too. My goal was to be able to take my shirt off in public again, when I swim, I did not get completely where I wanted to, but I got close enough and that allowed me to enjoy the beach more. Stay with this long enough and you will see changes in your body that will help your self-esteem.
Supplements can help, but must be taken with exercise. Understand that when you try to get a Mr. Universe body with over the counter products it is unlikely that you will succeed. I sampled several different products that helped me to achieve some results. I did not do anything illegal; keep in mind that you will pay a price possibly legally, but for sure physically if you do. GNC products seem to be the best. Pro Performance Amp Amplified Mass XXX does well. I noticed gains in strength. Pro Performance Amp Amplified Wheybolic Extrem 60 does well. I noticed strength gains with this product too.
A weight loss supplement that helped, but I warn that can mess up the prostate, was USPlabs OxyElite Pro. This is a thermogenic that helped to boost my metabolism so that I could lose fat in the mid-section. I had lost 10 pounds and could not get further and this product helped me to lose 25 pounds more. The second time I tried it I only lost 5 pounds. The key was eating right while exercising while taking this product. You still have to do the work! There is no magic pill out there, at least that is healthy, that will do the work for you.
I tried a few pre-workout shakes that were supposed to give me energy to accomplish more during my workouts. I don’t think these are worth the money, nor do I think they really help after a day or two. I tried 2 products, and my body just adjusted to these. You are going to have to will yourself to do the work.
One product that does give me energy right now, so far after 6 days, is GNC Beyond Raw Refine. It is a thermogenic that I was asked to sample. I have not dieted properly with this product, but it gives me energy so far. Check back later to see where I stand after I complete the bottle.
I think vitamins are essential to health and are as helpful as the shakes that are pushed. Immune boosters seem to help; but we must continue to wash hands to prevent colds. Amino acids seem good right now too. I sip USPlabs BCAA during workouts. If nothing else there is some research out there that says that BCAA’s are actually healthy for you. Search it out for yourself.
Trade-off between free weights and cable weights about every 4 weeks with each muscle you are working. Somehow doing that has given me better definition.
The plant proteins seem better than the animal proteins when choosing shakes. They are healthier. Check with your doctor before trying these products. Again, most of what you get from these shakes can be gotten by eating properly.
Taking some of the vitamins, exercising, eating correctly, and slowing down on soft drinks helped my blood pressure. It really was lower, and I have struggled with this in the past. Another benefit that I noticed was that I was able to get off of my heartburn medicine too. Talk to your doctor about this stuff. Everyone has different genetics and respond differently to these products and exercises.
Don’t overwork yourself when you exercise. I see people come and go in the gym. They go so hard that they hurt themselves and quit. 45 minutes 4 days a week will do wonders for you. It is true about weight loss, if you gained over the years, then you will have to lose it over the years. Discipline is a must. Determination must also be part of who you are.
So give exercise a whirl. It’s a new year. Oh, and give Christ a try too if you do not know Him. God and exercise are both healthy for you.