Biggest Loser Fat Camp

This is where you don’t want to end up.

With the new year starting tomorrow, the annual resolutions kick in and people try to lose weight and get healthy.

A better strategy is to avoid that entirely by living a healthy lifestyle for the long term.

Read this article from the NY Times on the Biggest Loser Fat Camp and maybe that will motivate you. You can also check out The Biggest Loser Blog.

The Great American Race Kicks off NASCAR

Tony Stewart celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford 400, and with that the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida on November 20, 2011. UPI/Christina Mendenhall

The Daytona 500 is unique in that it is the “Super Bowl of NASCAR” which kicks off rather than ends the stock car racing circuit’s season. Daytona 500 betting takes place in mid-February each year and remains the biggest day in all of auto racing as it has surpassed the Indy 500 in tradition and stature, let alone TV ratings.

The Daytona 500 takes place at the Daytona Superspeedway in Daytona Beach, FL and is run on a fast 2.5 mile tri oval track. Speeds of the cars became so fast that NASCAR puts “restrictor plates” on the cards to slow them down and to keep them from flying into the grandstand. As a result of the plates, the cars tend to pack up in huge bunches, with just inches separating the front, rear, and sides of the cars that makes for breathtaking races but also the most dangerous of all as each race with the plates usually ends up with what is called “the big one” in which multiple cars end up in severe wrecks and destroyed as a result. The 2001 Daytona 500 was the race in which the late Dale Earnhardt was killed on the final lap heading into the final stretch.

Another factor about plate racing that irritates purists is that drivers have to find what is known as a “drafting partner” that will either stay in front or behind of the other car in order to pull each other with the aerodynamics. A car that does not have a drafting partner will quickly lose speed and be bypassed by the rest of the pack that is partnered up. Yes, this does mean that the winner of the race in Daytona 500 betting is often pushed to the finish line by his partner, which is not exactly old time racing.

The Daytona 500 has proven to be an elusive race for some of NASCAR’s most legendary drivers as Dale Earnhardt himself struggled for many years with heartbreaking finishes and near misses before finally taking the checkered flag in 1998. The moment was so momentous that the rest of the drivers and crews on the other racing teams stood in a single line and saluted the Hall of Famer.

Three-time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart is the latest driver to have an issue in the Great American Race as he is yet to win it and his career will not be complete without a Daytona 500 win.

Are you in a fitness slump?

Setting and achieving goals can change your mindset and get you out of that funk. Check out this article from Men’s Fitness:

For those of us who don’t pump iron to make our living, going to the gym might feel like a chore. But stick with it and your sentiment might change, according to a new Rutgers University study.

Researchers asked students to keep a difficult goal (like going to the gym five times a week or quitting the tube) for 40 days, and found that those who were successful at maintaining their goals actually ended up liking the activity more—even if they didn’t enjoy it initially. Why?

“If a person performs a behavior regularly and for long enough, the behavior becomes part of the person’s self-identity or self-concept,” speculates study author Alison Philips, Ph.D. “For example, if I made a goal to start running and succeeded, I’d begin to see myself as a runner.”

This just reinforces the notion that attitude is everything. But you can change your attitudes by developing habits. This then makes you feel better about what you’re doing and makes it easier to plow ahead.

Get in shape playing basketball

With the holidays around the corner, there are tons of great gift ideas out there. When you consider fitness equipment and gear, the ideas are endless. You can go with small gifts like dumbbells or more elaborate equipment like a treadmill.

The key is finding something that fits the person, whether you are purchasing a gift or buying something for yourself. So much fitness equipment just sits there. Too often people get some inspiration, and then reality sets in and you end up with an expensive clothes rack.

One this to consider is a basketball hoop for the home. Basketball is one of the best games out there for cardio health and people of all ages can play. Kids love the sport and many will play for hours with their friends. That sure beats having them sitting around playing video games all day!

It’s also a great option for those of us who are now older who struggle to find the time to get our cardio exercise time. It’s so easy to just pick up a basketball and start playing, whether it’s with kids or old friends who used to love to play when they were younger. Of course you need to be careful as you get older. Make sure you put on good basketball shoes and remember to stretch and warm up. But once you start playing regularly you’ll feel so much better.

If you shop around you find all sorts of options for basketball backboards and hoops. It’s obviously easier if you’re buying this for yourself or your own kids, as you know what best fits your home. But if you do some research you can find out what best fits for your grand kids or others on your list.

So think about something that everyone can enjoy that won’t be wasted. A basketball hoop is always a great option.

Down time and rest is important

There’s a ton of advice out there on how you should be working out. One constant theme involves focus and challenging yourself. This is very important, particularly in a world where too many people don’t put the time in and don’t challenge themselves.

At the same time, people who are pushing themselves to get in shape are often pushing themselves in other aspects of their lives. Many of us work very hard to make sure we provide for our families or to advance our careers. Again, things like focus and hard work are emphasized, and for good reason.

Yet one thing that isn’t talked about enough is rest. It’s the importance of making sure that your body and your mind are rested. When working out, it’s important to consider things like pacing and also proper rest between set and between workouts. Some people decide they want to start working out or work out more, and of course they want to work at it. But you have to be smart about it and give your body the rest it needs. This will improve your overall performance and your quality of life.

The same principle applies to taking mental breaks. Stress is a huge problem and it can have all sorts of negative impacts, both emotional and physical. Take time away from work, working out and your loved ones to take a real mental break. Do short ones daily, and then make sure you take your vacations. Find time killers that help you take your mind off of work or exercise, whether it’s vegging out in front of the TV or playing online bingo or poker. Yes, even bingo can help you relax. I know for many people the opposite is the problem. They veg out too much and they can’t get motivated to work out or to put the work into their careers. But the opposite is also true, particularly in today’s crazy, fast-paced world.

So if you’re about to embark on a new workout regiment, keep this in mind. Develop good habits from the start and get your rest.

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