Exercise Your Independent Spirit

Kahlil Carmichael MAPCC, MDIV, CPT is the pastor of Live Well Church, in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a fitness specialist at The Fitness Doctor, a fitness and wellness consulting company; and the author of 50 Tips for a Better You. He is a contributor to Guideposts magazine. His first publication, Living Longer Living Better, is available now. Go to www.livewellchurch.org for more information.

We all have moments when we may not do our best physically. What do you want to accomplish? Weight loss, increased flexibility, reshaping your body? It may seem impossible to achieve. It’s not. Let’s talk about it!

First, decide exactly what you want. Do you want Michelle Obama arms, Teyana Taylor abs, Michael B. Jordan trapezius muscles? Now you can add specific exercises to your conditioning plan to work on that body part. You can’t just work your upper or lower torso exclusively, though, it will lead to an unbalanced physique—we’ve all seen it.

Next, secure a trainer. Most laymen are unfamiliar with physiology and exercise training and need a professional. You might join a gym and work out for hours each day. After some months you’ll give up because you can’t keep up the same level of commitment and you don’t see the changes you desire. Trainer’s secret: you don’t need to work out excessively, you just need to work smart! A trainer can help develop an exercise plan tailored for your current fitness level and time constraints. Your plan should grow with you as you become more fit: more reps, more weight, more challenge.

Diet is everyone’s least favorite topic. Maybe you feel if you exercise you can eat whatever you want? Truthfully, if you eat poorly (lots of fried foods, sugar, etc.), you will be exercising only to maintain your current weight and body type. You will not be able to affect a lasting change, because you are undoing any progress with excess calories. The exercise is still strengthening your body, but if you want to see substantial change you must eliminate high-calorie foods. The more disciplined you are, the quicker you will see change. Your body will start to burn excess fat as you go into caloric deficit and your muscle definition will start to show.

Experts say if you eat clean 80% of the time and exercise for 20%, you can make a great impact in your fitness. Let’s try it. Plan your meals and commit. Get a trainer to map out an exercise plan for you and build on it. Don’t wait until you are suffering from a chronic condition like diabetes or hypertension before you make a change. Walk, run, stretch, ride a bike, lift weights, row, skate, do calisthenics, eat clean and live well! Next month I will share an arm workout that will change your life! Remember, it is the spirit that gives life!

Let’s continue getting back to life. Please check out our new 8-week class, designed to help you reach your personal best. Additionally, here is a YouTube link to my 12-minute workout you can do 3 days per week at home. https://youtu.be/E625Kq64XmQ Please place a comment on the YouTube video chat and let me know what you would like to see.

Live well and prosper.

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