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Fit For Life: One Extra Degree – Makes all The Difference

Saturday, March 26, 2016


At 212 degrees, water will boil. At 211, nothing happens. After 212, water turns to steam, and that could power a locomotive. One degree is all it takes to make a difference.

This applies with your fitness and health routine as well. You can eat clean all day, consume 5 healthy meals throughout the day and then go home and eat a piece of bread, have a glass of wine, and just like that, your progress halts for the day. That’s it. It only takes one degree to determine the outcome of your progress, or lack there of. On the other hand, if you exercised one more degree of effort every day, and didn’t cheat at night, you can count on being a couple of pounds lighter on the scale at the end of the week, feel a little tighter, and see the shape of your abs a little better. 

Everything in moderation is ok. 

I hear this all the time, but people have no concept what moderation is. Two glasses of wine a night isn’t moderation. One glass a night isn’t either. At 80 calories of sugar, times 7 nights, that’s 560 extra calories a week. Not moderation. If you happen to have a drink or two at a special occasion, one or two times a month, you can call that moderation, but when you have a daily habit of eating a piece of candy, or a piece of bread, it is not moderation - it is consistently screwing up a little bit at a time, which will add up and derail your success. 

Someone was coaxing one of my clients on social media to have Easter candy, saying, “just do it, you can work out harder and burn it off”. This really upset me because this guy kept justifying why he thought it was ok. Why would you eat a piece of garbage candy, when you work so hard to make progress on the goals that are so important to you? Why put yourself in a position that will put you at a disadvantage? (btw, this guy is out of shape, so misery loves company, I suppose). It would be like driving recklessly to get somewhere, and getting pulled over, getting a ticket, then driving twice as fast to get to your destination, when you would have gotten there, maybe sooner if you just drove the speed limit. Instead, you stressed yourself out, lost money, and got an unfavorable result. It doesn’t make any sense. Just exercise one more degree of discipline, and you will get a favorable result, with the same, or less, effort. 

How you do anything is how you do everything. 

Think about that. Let it resonate. Then self assess. You will find this statement true. Maybe not to your liking, but it is true. If you fail at something like your nutrition, you justify it by saying “a little won’t hurt me”. Do you see yourself justifying, or having an excuse for everything you know you are doing wrong? If you habitually hit the snooze button in the morning, you probably are not prepared for the day. You most likely are late much of the time, playing catch up, or are stressing and rushing to be on time.  If your house is a mess, your car and desk probably are too. So is your pocketbook and briefcase? If you lack structure and discipline in your life, you are probably find yourself not in good physical condition, either, because your nutrition, and exercise routine require both of these.

If you are a negative person, you probably complain about everything from politics to the person waiting on your table. You lay the blame on everyone else when things don’t work out in your favor. At work, at home, everywhere you go. If someone earns more than you, it’s the boss playing favorites, not your bad work ethic. 

However, if you are disciplined, and have structure in your life, you are probably a go getter, and over achiever. You are probably in good physical shape, you earn more than your co-workers, and you get important things done. You have an easier time putting your mind to something, making a plan, and accomplishing your goals at the end of the day.

It’s all about mindset. Whether you are in a good position health wise, financially, mentally, spiritually, or you know you’re not – the good news is that you can make a change. It’s all what you put your mind to. Remember your actions are controlled by thought, and your body does what your mind tells it to do. So next time you feel frustrated that you are not where you want to be, don’t give up. You are worth the effort! If others can achieve, you can too. Set your mind right, and remember, one more degree of effort in whatever it is you are doing, will result in a positive change. Program yourself, set goals, think positive, and go that extra degree. 

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. 


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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