Back-on-Track Challenge Q & A

Deadline to Enter: Just 10 Days from Now!

Q: Bill, can I still enter your new Back-on-Track Challenge?

A: Yes! The rule is that you can enter my Back-on-Track Challenge between September 30 and October 28. That means you can enter NOW! The absolute deadline to begin is just 10 days from now! Click Here to sign up and you’ll receive the Rules and Regulations right away by email.

Q: I’m just starting the Challenge and I’m really excited to connect with other participants for support, accountability, and encouragement. Can we have a Facebook group set up just for us?

A: Absolutely! We have set up a Facebook group just for people in the Back-on-Track Challenge. Click Here to request to be added to the group. Once we verify you are signed up for the Challenge you will be added to the group. It is a great place to give and receive support, encouragement, and daily accountability.

Q: What resources and supplements do you recommend for the Challenge?

A: If you’ve done Body-for-LIFE before and had great success with it, get out your book and do it again. My Eating for Life book is also a very helpful resource I highly recommend. Also, you can learn more by reading and following my FREE blog: http://www.BillPhillipsNews.com

Click Here to read my blog about the breakthrough new supplement, STRONGEVITY Rx. I also now recommend Right Light protein shakes over Myoplex. You don’t have to use any supplements to participate in this challenge though — it is FREE to enter!

Bill Phillips Books

Are You Getting off Track? Three Warning Signs…

Transformation is a continual path of rich and rewarding personal growth that leads to greater physical health and mental clarity. Or at least it has the potential to be. The key is to keep on doing what’s working and to steer clear of common obstacles and roadblocks in the process.

Knowing which pitfalls to be on the lookout for can save you a whole lot of time and trouble; it can also help you prevent a slip, a slide or a complete relapse back into your “before” condition. With that in mind, let me tell you about three of the most common signs that there’s transformation trouble ahead.

Warning Sign #1: You’ve Found a New Comfort Zone

The motivation to transform is high when you’re hanging on by a thread. For example, a drowning man makes all kinds of promises to God that he will right his ways and change his life. But once his feet are firmly back on the ground, his motivation to do the work necessary to change instantly becomes very low. He is comfortable again.

All too often this happens in the transformation process. When someone has a personal health scare or reaches a moral rock bottom, their willingness to commit themselves to the transformation process is high. Their compliance is strong. They’re excellent students and they get great results. Their results can be so good, in fact, that their motivation to keep on growing all but dissolves. And they find a new comfort zone, which leads to transformation trouble.

It’s imperative we understand that every comfort zone becomes a “comfort trap” eventually. Any place that we can hide out and indulge in excessive amounts of so-called pleasure will become dangerous as it fosters apathy addiction, as well as removes us from the natural flow of evolutionary pressure. The key is becoming more comfortable with continual change and less comfortable with staying the same. And that is so important in our transformation process. But, unfortunately, it’s something that we can easily overlook.

To keep moving forward, what I teach is to continually accept new challenges and invite positive pressure into your life. This works most every time. Challenges like transforming your life’s greatest adversity from tragedy to triumph, to overcome an addiction, or even train for and complete a marathon can really keep us on our toes mentally and emotionally. Embracing challenges keeps us in the dynamic flow of life, and it also keeps us from getting stuck or resisting the Divine Will. It also helps us to become more comfortable and excited about life while we’re in the process of change.

What challenge have you embraced in your life that is giving you positive pressure to move forward today? If something specific doesn’t come to mind right away, you may very well be headed for transformation trouble. You can course correct now by accepting a challenge which invokes the power of positive pressure and keeps you from settling into a new comfort zone.

Warning Sign #2: You Have No Specific, Inspiring Goals

When we set specific and inspiring goals with a timeline and deadline, we discover that this immediately focuses our energy and improves our clarity. And, in turn, this increases our motivation and propels us into action, doing the work that needs to be done to arrive at our predetermined destination.

The ability to set meaningful, energizing goals is something that we should all learn by the sixth grade. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people never become proficient at this essential skill for making your life work; and as a result, far too many folks never get the opportunity to discover even a fraction of their true potential. Like boats without a rudder, people with no specific and inspiring goals drift through life.

Meaningful and inspiring goals give our lives direction. And since we can follow so many different routes in life today, selecting a goal is literally among the most important decisions that we’ll ever make.

With transformation, we aspire to set goals which make our own lives healthier and happier, and which also make a difference in the lives of others. When we do this, we’re constantly growing, learning and bettering ourselves, and we’re also improving the world around us by being the change.

It’s really remarkable the way this works, time and time again. When we decide what we truly want out of all the possible things we could choose, and we focus on that objective each day, it is as if we invoke a creative force beyond our abilities. We don’t know exactly how it works, but most every person who absolutely commits themselves to achieving meaningful goals can give personal testimony to the power of its effects.

Probably the only thing that I find more stunning than the power of setting meaningful and inspiring goals is how often people overlook this vitally important practice. Thousands of people who’ve completed the 18-week Transformation, and over a million people who have done the Body-for-LIFE Challenge over the past decade, have all had a direct, firsthand experience with how effective this relatively simple practice is; yet, as soon as they achieve their initial goals, many people don’t set new ones. And right there, their progress begins to end.

So what are your meaningful and inspiring transformation goals right now? They should be specific, measurable, with a firm timeline and deadline. And they should give you a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm when you envision yourself achieving them. If you can’t bring your specific goals to mind right away, that’s a sign your transformation is headed for trouble, or perhaps you’re already in it. You can course correct now by becoming clear about your goals and committing to them.

Warning Sign #3: You’ve Strayed from the Group

Among my favorite television programs are those gorgeous HD shows on Discovery which are basically chronicles of natural life. They’re always filled with inspiring beauty and occasionally a life lesson or two. For example, watching the migrating herds of gazelle crossing the Serengeti, there’s always one that strays from the group and ends up in trouble.

For us, being connected to community and not straying away is also a good idea. Especially a community like ours where pretty much everyone holds the intention of making healthy changes in their lives which make a difference in the lives of others. The strength of a group of people who hold a similar intention cannot be underestimated. There’s the advantage of being able to give and receive support and encouragement. There’s the added benefit of accountability and camaraderie. And there’s the power of the unconditional group support. The advantages of this type of fellowship have been well known for hundreds, even thousands of years; and now, even modern science is verifying the positive effects.

Remember the importance of “right environments” and realize that people are a very big part of that. We become what we surround ourselves with, to a very significant extent; and without healthy, open, honest and transforming people in our lives, it’s hard to achieve our goals. Yet the opposite is also true – we do well at making challenging changes in our lives when we’re connected to others who are making challenging changes in theirs.

Whether your goals include losing weight, overcoming addiction, working through a bout of depression, or reaching a new personal best, connecting with a supportive, positive, unconditional community where others are seeking the same or similar victories is essential. More and more we’re realizing that significant and meaningful transformation in our lives is something that is hard to achieve on our own. We need help from others to succeed, and we also need the opportunity to help others succeed. Yet sometimes we behave as if that weren’t so. And we stray from the community and try to go it alone. There again is a sign of transformation trouble.

Conclusion

Make no mistake, in our heart of hearts we all want to experience continual growth and betterment of ourselves and our lives. Transformation is an ongoing process that can allow us to move forward in that direction. It’s a lifelong journey that can help us continually experience better physical and mental fitness. However, it only works if we work it. As soon as we take our eye off the ball and move our attention and focus elsewhere (deliberately or accidentally), our growth comes to a standstill, or more accurately put, it begins to regress.

And so with this reminder to be on the lookout for transformation trouble before it goes unnoticed for too long, we’ve got the opportunity to bring our awareness back to the right place. You don’t have to wait until you fall back to your before condition to realize that you’ve gone off course; you can begin to recognize that right here and now. Course correction and being on the lookout for trouble ahead is very much a part of becoming a successful, long-term transformer. As you develop mastery in this skillset, you’ll find your results are more consistent, sustainable, inspiring and enjoyable. =)

How the Power of Positive Pressure can Transform You!

CK TO SM

My observation is this: Most people in America have been conditioned (that means someone or some system has taught them) to believe they should “coast” through life as much as possible — they should avoid “pressure situations” and gravitate towards circumstances where no one is demanding anything from them. This is not good. It’s not good at all. You see, contrary to popular belief, deep down inside, you want pressure; in fact, you need pressure to succeed and to feel excited about life.

Consider the real lesson behind the ‘Superman’ archetype: Without pressure, he is just an ‘Average Joe’ (Clark Kent). But when an urgent challenge arises — when the pressure gets high enough and something important is on the line — Clark Kent transforms from an ordinary person to a super man.

Of course, the symbolic meaning is universal — we all have the ability to transform from ordinary to extraordinary and yes, become ‘super.’ But you’ll never know, unless you start moving forward and confronting and accepting the urgent situations in your life — the ones that have the power to ignite your hidden and incredible capabilities.

For many people, getting their health back on track — losing the fat, lowering the blood pressure, renewing their heart, and building a strong body is a life or death situation. It’s urgent. We can deny it and avoid it (which millions of Americans do each day), but that sure as heck doesn’t make it go away. You might think you don’t have the super-powers to completely change your body and life but listen to me… YOU DO!

The fact of the matter is, we are all capable of so much more than we might believe we are, but our ultimate potential is often smothered by what society teaches us — that pressure is a bad thing, that it hurts rather than helps our efforts to improve and become successful. Eventually, after years of conditioning, most people see pressure as an obstacle, not the powerful, motivating force it really is.

You see, the truth of the matter is that it’s through positive pressure that we evolve — that we grow.

Think about it: The fundamental principle of building a stronger body is the process of overcoming stress, or “resistance.” We force our muscles to work, and this effort in turn forces our muscles to adapt. If we put no pressure at all on those muscles, if we present them with no resistance whatsoever, what happens? They atrophy. They dissipate. They weaken.

The same equation applies to growth in all areas of our lives. It is only through the right amount of pressure, that we move beyond the level of mere existence or “comfort.”

Over the years, I’ve helped many thousands of people transform by motivating them to accept the difficult challenges of life in order to harness the power of positive pressure. They did it, and I’m telling you again, you can do it too!

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** Want to get your Body and Life in shape again? Accept my all-new ‘Back on Track Challenge’ which you can enter and begin as early as September 16 (but no later than September 30). All the details are COMING SOON — watch my blog www.BillPhillipsNews.com and Bill Phillips Transformation on FaceBook.

I highly encourage people who have had success with my Body-for-LIFE program in the past (but who’ve gotten off track over the years) to accept this Challenge! I’ll support you with weekly exercise, nutrition, mindset, and motivation tips, and a package of exciting prizes and rewards! =)

Weight Loss and Health Q & A with Bill Phillips

—-This blog post is an interview I did for a mainstream magazine where the focus was how to achieve healthy weight loss; something millions of American’s are concerned with. If you are one of them, this blog is for You! ~Bill Phillips

Q: How do people get the willpower to lose weight?

A: Willpower and discipline, despite what people are often taught, are not the keys to making challenging changes in our lives. The real power comes from inspiration. When people are inspired, they can accomplish almost anything. And so what I teach people is how to connect with what inspires them. And I ask them to identify a purposeful reason for making the decision to make a change in their lives. And one of the reasons that often awakens peoples’ inner strength is becoming healthy so that they don’t pass on their deleterious lifestyle to their kids.

Most parents I know would move mountains to protect their kids and that’s the kind of strength it often takes to stop destructive habits and start living a healthy and mindful life. There are many powerful reasons and what’s important is for each person to find the one that inspires them. One great reason will override 100 excuses.

Q: What are some practical tips on becoming more focused on their weight loss efforts?

A: I believe it’s important for people to realize that losing weight is not enough. You can actually lose weight and become more unhealthy if you do it the wrong way. Many people also lose weight  in a way that’s not sustainable. Merely changing the outside is not enough. When  we change our perspective we can see that what we really want is not just to  look better but to feel better; and not just to weigh less on the scale, but to become lighter. And to do that, we need to look at what’s weighing on us mentally and emotionally.

It’s vitally important to understand where we are at the beginning of the transformation process. I ask people to take a before photo of themselves, put it on a piece of paper, and around the photo write down a dozen words and/or phrases that describe what they’re thinking and what they’re  feeling. I often see people describe that they have low energy, that they feel stuck, that they feel like they’re carrying the weight of the world, that they’re suffering from stress or anxiety, that they feel sad or depressed. We have to confront where we are to begin with — we have to know where we stand, in order to know where to go.

Once we’ve achieved some clarity on that, we take a look at where we want to go and we develop an inspiring vision for our future carefully describing how we want to look, how we want to feel, and what we want our lives to be like. Once we establish a point A and a point B we develop specific goals that help us focus our attention on moving forward.

Q: How can people stay strong in the face of temptation?

A: When people are inspired by a powerful reason, managing temptation becomes a whole lot easier. Unfortunately most people don’t really feel a strong sense of purpose when they start out on a diet or weight-loss plan. That makes compliance extremely unlikely.

Another thing that strengthens resolve is to connect with other people who are dedicated to making healthy changes in their lives. In a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (February 2009) scientists discovered that people who are trying to lose weight and get healthy are 225% more likely to succeed if they participate in a weekly support group meeting. And this is because supportive friends can help keep us accountable, they can remind us of what we told them our important and inspiring reason is for changing our behavior from unhealthy to healthy, and they can give us support and encouragement which is pretty hard to be successful without. And in  return, we can do the same for them which, according to research, also helps us  by boosting our energy, confidence and self-esteem.

Q: How can people overcome making excuses when trying to transform their health?

A: Most every remarkable health transformation I’ve seen over the last 20 years was preceded by a dramatic increase in self-responsibility. As we mature we often discover that to a very significant extent, the condition of our bodies and lives is our responsibility and the longer we blame something outside of ourselves (an organization, another person, even genetics), the longer we disempower ourselves. The ability to change is harnessed when we accept the responsibility to change. And this essentially  means becoming a ‘no-excuses person.’ When we give up excuses we can no longer say, “The dog ate my homework.” Instead we deal with the reality of the situation which might be, “My homework’s not done because I chose to watch TV instead of doing it.” Accepting responsibility makes us stronger, not weaker.

Q: How can people overcome falling back into old unhealthy patterns?

A: The only thing better than making a healthy change in your body and life is sustaining it. In my experience, the  people who’ve succeeded over the long term do two things:

1) When they achieve a goal, they immediately set another, challenging goal. Goals keep the mind focused and help us decide on a daily basis how to invest our precious time, energy and attention. For example, if someone’s initial goal is to become 30 lbs lighter, once they achieve that, they might set their eye on another motivating objective which is to run a marathon or half marathon within the next few months.

2) People who successfully lose unhealthy body weight and keep it off are most often connected to a support group or community of like-minded folks. Being active within a healthy weight-loss group gives people the opportunity to help others which is very important. Recovery from an unhealthy lifestyle that causes overweight and obesity is similar to recovery from other addictive habits — there is always a risk for relapse. Our old habits will wait on us forever. What we do to get healthy, has to be what we continue doing to stay healthy. We need to look at it as a life-long recovery process. And  probably nothing helps long-term recovery better than being active in a group of  supportive peers.

Q: How can people change their habits?

A: The mind craves what it’s used to which is not always what it needs. And this is why the things we do habitually have a sort of gravitational force — they seem to pull us in their direction. And so the key to breaking free of unhealthy habits is to abstain from them while at the same time replacing them with new, positive patterns of action. Each day we adhere to the changes, the more the mind will crave the new pattern which will  allow it to become more and more of a routine. People who can stick with a change like this for a month, usually find it gets a whole lot easier from  there. Inspiration and support are essential to get through that first month because it can be a real tug of war between the old and new ways of thinking and behaving.

Q: What are your top tips to help someone say no to an unhealthy action or behavior?

A: Throughout each day, we have dozens of moments where we decide our future direction. When we ask ourselves, “Is this thought, action or behavior going to move me closer to or further away from the inspiring vision I have for my future?” we can make better choices pretty easily. We must relentlessly ask ourselves that question throughout each day and give ourselves honest answers. When we do, we can change the direction of our lives one moment, one decision at a time. Which is really the only way it can be done.

Q: How powerful is the mind in controlling our weight-loss success?

A: The body serves the mind. Anything that happens in our physical body is a result of what happens in our mind. The mind is primary, the body is a secondary phenomenon. And of course we experience life through our mind, our thoughts, our emotions. It’s always how we think and how we feel about how we look that determines our experience. And until you truly transform your mind, any other change is only going to be temporary, external, superficial. It will never last. However, when you heal and renew the mind, and get it set in the right direction, your life can become healthier, happier and  more inspiring than most people could ever imagine.

Q: Is there anything else you think we should cover on this topic?

A: Weight loss is very misunderstood. Supposed solutions so often focus only on the body as if it exists independent of mind and emotions. The real solutions will be found by looking at the whole person—mind, body, heart and soul. The answers we’ll find aren’t new. In fact Plato’s philosophy described what may very well be the right approach over 2,000  years ago when he wrote:

“This is the great error of our day, that physicians separate the soul from the body. The cure should not be attempted without the treatment of the whole, and no attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul.”

No Diets: Two Keys for Eating Right

Key #1: Meal Frequency

Diets don’t work. Not in the long run that is. Restrictive diets are not typically sustainable or even healthy. Yet it’s vitally important that we keep our calorie intake within a healthy range. If you’re trying to lose bodyfat you’ll need to consume less total calories than your body burns each day; that requires your body to tap into stored fat to meet its daily energy needs. If you’re already in good condi­tion, or when you reach your goal weight, you can eat a little more but still it’s important to consume only the amount of calories that your body needs; otherwise you’ll start putting the bodyfat back on.

Pina Colada Nutrition Shake

Right Light Nutrition Shakes make Eating Frequently a Whole Lot Easier — Click the Photo for this Pina Colada Recipe.

Something I’ve certainly learned through personal experience is that I need to work with my body, not against it, when it comes to controlling calo­ries. We’ve got to keep ourselves satiated (satisfied, not starving). And one of the best ways to keep cravings at bay is to eat more often throughout the day, up to six times. When we do this, the body is energized, nourished and satis­fied. We also feel lighter, more aware and more energetic as opposed to being weighed down by big meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A scientific study reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutri­tion cites that people who ate six times a day had a faster resting metabolic rate than those who ate just three meals daily. Your metabolic rate is the pace at which your body burns calories all day and night. This study showed eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day allows people to burn fat more efficiently. Researchers at Georgia State University arrived at the same con­clusion. They found that folks who ate just three meals a day had, on average, a higher percentage of bodyfat than those who ate six times per day.

Another study published recently in The New England Journal of Medi­cine showed that in as little as two weeks, people who ate frequent, portion-controlled meals as opposed to three large meals (containing the same total amount of food) reduced their ‘bad’ cholesterol levels by nearly 15%, lowered their cortisol (the stress hormone that contributes to belly fat and premature aging) levels by more than 17% and diminished insulin levels by almost 28%. Another study, this one published in the International Journal of Obesi­ty and Related Metabolic Disorders, found that when people eat frequent meals throughout the day it helps control their appetite. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that people are most successful at losing fat and keeping it off when they eat numerous meals throughout the day.

Another way eating six small, nutritious meals a day helps you reduce bodyfat is by allowing you to maintain muscle mass. Remember, muscle not only helps the body look good but also makes it more metabolically active. Muscle burns calories even when it’s just sitting there. Fat does not. In fact, for every pound of muscle you gain you’ll burn another 50 calories a day. People who put on 10 pounds of muscle will therefore burn 500 calories more per day. This equals an additional 4-5 pounds of fat burned off every 30 days.

Key #2: Protein and Carbs with Every Meal

Eating Right can be both Nutritious & Delicious — Click the Photo for this Protein and Carb Combo, Fish Tacos

Eating Right can be both Nutritious & Delicious — Click the Photo for this Protein and Carb Combo, Fish Tacos

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of eat­ing more frequently, it’s important to understand how to put the right combi­nations of food together. What I recommend is that every time you eat, you combine protein and carbs. Again, this is backed up by solid science.

Scientists have also shown that people who eat a balance of protein and carbs have more stable blood glucose and energy levels, better digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as an increased “thermic effect” (fat-burning effect) from each meal. On top of all that, stud­ies show that meals balanced in protein, carbs, and essential fats provide a safe and healthy way to manage the appetite. I’ve discovered the same thing which is why I eat meals that contain a balance of protein and carbs and I suggest that you do too.

My Example of an Eating for Life Daily Meal Plan

Breakfast — 8:00 am: Vanilla Right Light Nutrition Shake blended with Strongevity Rx (my new cellular energy supplement)

Mid-meal — 10:30 am: Low-fat cottage cheese mixed with light yogurt; 16 oz. water

Lunch — 1:00 pm: Turkey Sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mustard; 16 oz. water

Workout — 3:15 pm to 3:40 pm (super high-intensity 5-25 spin bike workout)

Mid-meal — 4:00 pm: Vanilla Right Light Shake (blended with 6oz. water, a fresh peach, Strongevity Rx and 4 ice cubes)

Dinner — 7:00 pm: Asian Beef Stir-Fry (delicious, nutritious, fun and easy to make!); 16 oz. water

Dessert — 10:00 pm: Chocolate Right Light Nutrition Shake made as ‘double-chocolate pudding mix recipe.’

Make the time — you will love the results!

Don’t ever think you don’t have time to eat right frequently throughout the day. The list of my meals from yesterday which you just reviewed takes me less than an hour to prepare and eat. Of course my Nutrition Shakes I can blend up and chug down in just a couple minutes. Lunch takes me about 10 minutes. And dinner is 30-40 minutes. When you plan ahead of time and you prepare in advance, you’ll find you save time and money with the Eating for Life style. And best of all, when you eat this way your body will get stronger, leaner, healthier, more energetic and you’ll feel good!

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Here are some of my other blogs that can help you successfully transform:

Exercise is the Most Potent yet Underutilized Medicine

Exercise is Medicine—-As I See it… If exercise is medicine (and it is) then Personal Trainers are akin to Medical Practitioners in a way. I see a day not far into the future where the good work Personal Trainers do will be seen just as important as what most doctors do. In the future, we have to recognize that exercise is the prescription that millions of people need and Personal Trainers should become a legitimate part of our official Health-Care System. Exercise coaches, trainers, and motivators will be a big part of the overall solution to America’s health crisis. This Special Report/Blog explains why. ~Bill—-

Exercise is Medicine

Exercise is Medicine is the name of a program organized by a group of doctors and health care professionals which calls on physicians to assess and review each patient’s physical activity levels at every visit. Their mission, which I endorse and support 100%, is to make exercise a standard part of disease prevention and treatment in the United States. The group believes that doctors should prescribe exercise to their patients just as they would a life-saving medicine. Ultimately they see this leading to a paradigm shift in modern medicine, one that will lead to tremendous overall improvement in the public’s well-being and substantial long-term reductions in health care costs. Their recommendations support a growing body of evidence that working out does much more than burn calories and strengthen muscles.

A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (2005) revealed that consistent exercise can double survival rates of breast cancer patients. Researchers followed 3,000 women being treated for the disease and found that for those with hormone-responsive tumors, walking the equivalent of 3-5 hours per week at a moderate pace, cut the risk of dying from the disease in half compared to the sedentary women in the study. These findings confirm and extend previous scientific studies which show that exercise significantly strengthens the body’s immune system. Harvard Medical School reports that more than 60 studies in recent years make clear that women who exercise regularly can expect a 30% reduction in their chances of developing breast cancer to begin with.

Exercise is the best Medicine Researchers at Duke University studied people suffering from depression for 4 months and found that 60% of those who exercised for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, overcame the condition without using antidepressants which is about the same percentage rate as those who use medication only in their treatment of depression. And of course, exercise is not only a mood brightener, it produces dozens of other positive effects which antidepressant drugs simply do not.

There is now considerable evidence derived from hundreds of studies, with thousands of subjects, which prove that exercise is remarkably effective in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety. The best results were shown to occur in vigorous (intense) exercise performed consistently. And the benefits continue as long as someone continues to work out.

Exercise not only helps resolve symptoms of depression and anxiety, but it also enhances self-esteem, produces more restful sleep, and helps people recover more quickly from adversity and better cope with social stress. I’m not basing these claims on a single study. They are supported by what’s called a ‘meta-analysis’ which is a report that essentially combines the findings of most, if not all, of the available research on this topic in the English language. The overall positive patterns of these studies make it remarkably clear that exercise plays an important role in promoting sound mental health and emotional well-being. It works for men and women, adolescents, adults, and senior citizens too.

A study by the California Department of Education, involving 954,000 students grades 5, 7 and 9, showed that the most healthy kids (the ones who scored highest on fitness tests and had lower levels of bodyfat) did twice as well on aptitude exams in reading and mathematics compared to the least fit kids. Harvard professor, John Ratey, M.D., writes, in his latest book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, that more physical fitness for students is a cure for not only unhealthy weight gain, but also the kids’ academic performance.

Additional research shows that consistent exercise protects us from the common cold, flu, and bacterial infections by elevating the body’s production and circulation of immune cells. Exercise has even been shown to strengthen people’s response to the influenza vaccine, making it more effective at keeping deadly viruses at bay. In addition, exercise boosts blood flow to the brain which helps it receive more oxygen and nutrients and it increases the energy of brain waves that are responsible for quick thinking, focus, creativity, and problem solving.

German researchers recently compared a group of athletes to others who were healthy non-smokers but not regular exercisers. The athletes had significantly less degradation in the strands of DNA at the tips of chromosomes called ‘telomeres.’

When telomeres begin to shorten, cells can no longer divide and they become inactive, a process associated with aging, cancer, and heart disease. The German study was published in the November 2009 edition of the Journal of The American Heart Association where it concluded physical activity has a profound anti-aging effect at the cellular mitochondria level.

Studies at Tufts University in Boston have demonstrated that even at age 92, moderate-resistance exercise, performed 3 times a week for 8 weeks, increases muscle strength by an average of 174%. This translates into a 48% increase in mobility and a significant reduction in fall risk.

Jack Lalanne at 71

Jack Lalanne worked out intensely most every day and lived 96 years! Exercise was his best medicine!

Another study, published in the journal Neurology, looked at 3,298 folks with an approximate average age of 70 years. Over a 9-year span, those who participated regularly in vigorous exercise (tennis, jogging, biking, swimming, weight lifting) were discovered to be 63% less likely to suffer a stroke compared with inactive senior citizens.

Exercise has been shown to both prevent and treat osteoporosis, help manage diabetes, reduce the risk of addiction relapse, slow premature aging of the skin, promote healthier digestion, reduce aches and pains, contribute to optimism and a positive mindset. What all this information points to is that exercise is not a silver bullet—it’s platinum.

The Price of Inactivity

The fact that such remarkable benefits come from simply adding a few hours of exercise to our weekly schedules begins to make clear how devastating the effects of inactivity actually are. You see, what exercise does is simply reverse the damage done by living a sedentary life. If exercise is a vaccine, as Dr. Sallis puts it, inactivity is akin to a deadly virus.

Medical experts now say inactivity poses as great a health risk as smoking. Let’s pause here for a moment to process that. Okay, what that means is if parents let their kids play video games and sit at the computer all day, it’s akin to handing them a pack of cigarettes. Yes or no… would you do that to your kids? And what about yourself?

Please realize that every week you don’t get up and move for a few hours (walking, weight lifting, jogging) takes you another step closer to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Again, I’m asking you to pause, take a deep breath and consider what this means in your life and the lives of those you know and care about. This next statistic is both stunning and sad: According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, more than 80 million U.S. adults don’t do any voluntary exercise at all. And we wonder why America, this great nation with an abundance of resources, technology, and scientific know-how, is dead last on the list of the health of modern countries.

Bill and Transformation Camp participant, Carolyn having fun working out! Carolyn lost 22 lbs of unhealthy weight in the 12 weeks following this photo! Good Job

Bill Phillips and Transformation Camp participant Carolyn Bray. She became 22 lbs lighter in the 12 weeks following this photo! Good Job Carolyn!

Making people aware of the reality of this situation can literally save lives. It’s true! It’s also true that if we can get this message out and get people moving, we can transform the nation from worst to first in health and fitness. We start by setting a positive example for our families and friends. We can ask them to participate with us—invite a buddy to the gym, take the kids to a park and kick off a friendly game of soccer, shoot baskets, go swimming or race in the backyard. Do something, anything, that gets the blood and oxygen pumping, lights up the brain and works the muscles!

On the one hand it seems too simple; how could working out or walking help change the nation? Yet when we look at the bigger picture and consider all the scientific evidence that we’ve reviewed so far, the impact of your leading by example and helping to spread the message makes a very real difference in the future of our society.

Add to this the devastating financial consequences: Last year it cost our country over $147 billion to take care of citizens who didn’t take care of themselves. How can there be true health care or financial reform without getting every man, woman and child that can participate in a few hours of weekly physical activity to do so? I think the only way that’s possible is to individually and collectively get up, get moving, exercise, be active and bring as many people with us as we possibly can!

Conclusion: Exercise is incredible medicine. I recommend you fill your Rx of it today! =)

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If you like the information in this blog and want to receive, by email, my daily updates, tips, and news about fitness, please sign up to follow my blog at www.BillPhillipsNews.com – it’s FREE!

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Here are some of my other blogs that can help you successfully transform:

Bill Phillips Answers Your Health and Fitness Questions

QUESTION: I’m just making sure the deadline to start the challenge was extended to today. I hope so. I put my email in to follow this Bill Phillips Fitness News Blog to officially enter and I’m ready to start transforming my body and life! I’m in it to win it this time… for me finishing the 12 weeks and achieving my health goal is winning. I wouldn’t mind getting the $10,000 top prize also! =)

ANSWER: How exciting! You made it in just in time! Yes, by following this blog you are officially signed up and eligible to win the $10,000 top prize! Just get started today by taking your before photo (which I want you to hang onto for 12 weeks before you send it in — Click Here to see the Rules and Regulations for all the details).

Winners CertificateWhen you do complete all 12 weeks, I guarantee you will feel healthier and happier. And who knows… somebody’s going to get that $10,000 top prize… it really could be you! Don’t forget, everyone who finishes the Summer Challenge and sends in their before and after photos will receive an Official Certificate of Achievement, a Transformation-blue workout shirt, and a Challenge Finishers Honor Medal. (I always say that the best prize Challenge Finishers will get is a renewed healthy body! =)

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QUESTION: Bill, I have a lot of body fat to lose, is it ok to do cardio everyday along with the resistance training every other day?

ANSWER: Thank you for your question. You can do more cardio of course but I usually don’t recommend it. Over the past couple decades, what I have found works best is to keep the workouts brief but intense and most of all, CONSISTENT. I like to see people alternating days of weight training with days of cardio. For example, weight training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and cardio on Tuesday, and Thursday with the Saturday cardio workout being optional.

Intense Interval Exercise stimulates the metabolism by positively affecting cellular mitochondria energy production. This means that your body is burning more stored fat all day long and not just during the workout. Intense Exercise is powerful medicine and too much is akin to overdose — it can actually backfire and slow the metabolism. However, even the best exercise methods won’t make up for bad nutrition. It is imperative that we exercise AND eat right.

I have a friend, George, who has become 135 pounds lighter over the last year. He works out at my Transformation Center in Colorado and follows my 5/25 program to the T — he gets in 25 minutes of intense exercise, 5 days a week. He has 3 Right Light nutrition shakes a day and 2 or 3 portion-controlled Eating for Life meals.

Incredible before to after photos

George is 135 pounds lighter — he works out 25 minutes a day!

George’s body and life transformation is stunning because he did the right things very consistently for an entire year. He is stronger and healthier and has burned off 135 pounds, as I mentioned above. It seems like so much weight but when you get down to it, it’s just about 11 pounds per month. You don’t have to starve yourself or exercise for hours a day to trim off 11 pounds of unhealthy weight each month. I’m a big proponent of a balanced, practical approach.

Big progress is simply little progress compounded over time. It’s more important that your workouts are consistent than long. Whatever you do, just promise me you’ll combine exercise and eating right, and you’ll stick with it long enough to reach your goals and then some. You can do it!

~Bill Phillips

P.S. You can read my blog about George’s stunning transformation by clicking here.

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QUESTION: Which is better… the Body-for-Life weight-lifting routine, or your new 5/25 workout? I’m 46 years old and I want to lose 30 to 40 pounds of fat while getting my muscle definition back.

ANSWER: Both routines will give you a great workout. Both will help build muscle.

My newer version of the Body-For-LIFE free-weight workout is called 5/25 and it is the first program I’ve developed which is completely based on the science of High-Intensity Interval Strength Training.

Intense Interval Training has been proven in scientific studies to be the most effective exercise method when it comes to preventing heart disease, preventing stroke, accelerating the burning of bodyfat, and most important of all (in my opinion), increasing the size, number, and energy production of cellular mitochondria which is THE key to longevity. At age 48, my big reasons for working out are to prevent disease and keep my body as young, strong, and lean as possible — 5/25 High-Intensity Interval Strength Training helps me accomplish all that in one workout.

Bill Working Out

At Age 48, 5/25 Training Works Great for Me! ~Bill

Also, 5/25 works for me because I need a training method that hits the muscles hard but is easy on my tendons and ligaments. With 5/25 I can use less weight and still blast the muscles without injury. With BFL workouts I can lift quite a bit more weight  (because of the rest between sets) and that’s not necessarily a good thing for me because I’m just strong enough to damage some nagging shoulder and knee tendon injuries that I’ve recovered from.

Learn more about 5/25 Training by reading my blog about it here on Bill Phillips Fitness News — just Click Here to go there! =)

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QUESTION: Hi Bill, I started the challenge Monday and am super excited. I read your nutrition blog that showed your meal plans for a day and that helped me a lot. What are your thoughts on diet soda and alcohol? Complete no-no’s or moderation? Thanks for everything!

ANSWER: With nutrition, it is what we do most of the time, not some of the time, that shapes us. So drinking a diet soda from time to time (like I do) isn’t going to make or break your fitness.

Regarding alcohol, I use to drink on the weekends when I was in my 30’s and I stayed in really good shape virtually all decade. But once I got in my 40’s, my body’s response to alcohol changed — I felt awful the next day and drinking totally threw off my appetite for healthy foods. I stopped drinking alcohol  6 years ago and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Nowadays, I just don’t crave it or want it. I’ve tried drinking beer and wine again a handful of times over the years and each time it just made me feel unhealthy. I can’t figure out how I ever enjoyed it, but back when I was younger, I could get away with it somehow.

Anyways, there are some people who can have a beer or a glass of wine somewhat regularly, and do just great with their fitness transformations. More often than not, what I see is people who have a group of unhealthy habits which are often triggered by drinking and so I suggest that people who want to lose weight and get in shape at least consider giving up beer and alcohol for a few weeks and see how they feel. You can always go back to it if it doesn’t feel right for you, or just enjoy your drinks on Free Day (that one day a week you don’t have to workout or follow any rules).

All that being said, ultimately, what we’re trying to create here is a healthy, realistic, enjoyable new lifestyle for YOU. The key to long-term success is to like your new, healthy habits better than the old ones; in fact, if you don’t like them better, odds are, you’ll go back to your old patterns and way of living. ~Bill

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QUESTION:  Hey Bill, quick question about STRONGEVITY Rx. I’m a woman who is on the way to becoming 50 pounds lighter and healthier. I’ve been taking 1 serving a day for a week now and I’m experiencing crazy amounts of energy during my workouts. Since I saw you at Transformation Camp, I am 30 pounds lighter. Now I’ve set a new 12-week goal of losing 20 more pounds of unhealthy weight. This past week though, my scale hasn’t moved. I’m eating 4 Right Light nutrition shakes, 1 serving of STRONGEVITY Rx, and 2 Eating for Life meals each day. I’m also following your 5/25 workouts and drinking 10+ glasses of water per day. I heard someone say that STRONGEVITY Rx might interfere with my weight loss. Does that make sense? Should I be using STRONGEVITY Rx while I’m trying to get rid of this next 20 pounds?

ANSWER: First thing’s first — You are doing incredibly well — 30 pounds lighter in just three and a half months is excellent progress! You’re losing the bodyfat, strengthening the muscles, and literally re-sculpting your body — not just losing weight. Congratulations!

STRONGEVITY RxRegarding STRONGEVITY Rx, we know it is a scientific truth that it will absolutely not cause a gain of bodyfat; in fact, studies show that biologically active cholecalciferol (Vit-D3) which is in STRONGEVITY Rx, increases the rate at which the body will burn stored fat as fuel.

The Creatine and CoQ10 combination in STRONGEVITY Rx , after the 4 to 6 week mark, will noticeably increase your metabolism (an increase in metabolism is caused by increased energy production by the cellular mitochondria). The ingredients I mentioned here, as well as L-Glutamine, do initially create a cell hydrating/cell-volumizing effect, and that’s a good thing! It means that there is more energy within the cell and even a slight increase in cytoplasm which, when we multiply times 75 trillion cells in the body, can add up to an initial kilogram increase in lean body mass for women (and up to 3 kg for men because of our higher number of mitochondria-rich muscle cells).

The increase in cellular hydration plateaus after the STRONGEVITY Rx nutrients have reached saturation levels within each cell. That typically happens within 2 weeks. So, this may be some of what you’re feeling. Keep in mind that it is a healthy process even though you might not see the scale go down for a week or two. The increase in lean body mass and cellular energy will kick your metabolism up a notch and allow you to train with even more intensity during your interval workouts, this will even further increase your metabolic rate, which of course, is also a good thing!

One thing I do want to suggest though… let’s try cutting back to three nutrition shakes a day for the next week and see how that feels. I’d like to see your daily meal plan consist of 3 nutrition shakes, 1 serving of STRONGEVITY Rx, and 2 protein and carbohydrate balanced, portion controlled meals. I think this might be just right for you at this point in your transformation.

Lastly, make sure you’re giving yourself credit for the incredible progress you’ve made so far. I guarantee that if you keep working hard and remain consistent, you WILL reach your next 12 week goal in championship style!

~Bill Phillips

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If you like the information in this blog and want to receive, by email, my daily updates, tips, and news about fitness, please sign up to follow my blog right here at www.BillPhillipsNews.com — it’s completely FREE!

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Here are some of my other blogs that can help you successfully transform:

What’s Your Monkey Trap?

In southeast Asia, a monkey trap is constructed from a hollow coconut with a single opening, just large enough for a monkey’s hand to fit in and out of. To load the trap, a hunter simply places a piece of bait in the coconut; a tempting slice of fruit works well. A curious and/or hungry monkey reaches into the tethered coconut and clenches the fruit, but when he tries to take his hand out, he finds that his fist is too big to get through the opening. He cannot remove his hand with the fruit clenched in it.

So what does a monkey do in this situation? If you think he drops the fruit and pulls his hand out and escapes, you’ve missed the essential point about the psychology of monkeys, and perhaps of human beings as well. The trap works because the monkey refuses to let go of the fruit, even if disaster is approaching.

Monkey TrapIn much the same way, metaphorically, we suffer the same plight. So often in life we mentally and emotionally hold onto things which trap and imprison us. And like the monkey, when we refuse to let go, we can face dire consequences.

How do you know if you are stuck in a monkey trap? Well, let’s see… Is there any area of your life that is not changing the way you would like it to? Are you stuck in some way? We can check our health and fitness for starters. Are you feeling lighter and stronger as time moves forward? Is your body becoming leaner, stronger and more energetic?

If so, keep up the good work!

If not, that could be a sign you’re stuck, or even trapped, by something your mind is holding onto. It could be a limiting belief such as, “I don’t have time to work out and eat healthy.” Or, “My body will never change; this is just the way I am.”

A couple years ago, the limiting belief that became a monkey trap for me was: “I’m too old to feel young and strong again.” I had to be openBillWorkingOutBicep and willing to let that false perception go in order to make the healthy changes I’ve made in my own life. By doing so, I can absolutely say that, at age 48, I feel as healthy and strong as I ever have. I know that no matter what your age, you can feel your best too!

It doesn’t make sense on the surface that we wouldn’t find it easy to let go of our unhealthy way of living, especially if it is causing us suffering; however, it happens all the time.

So often, we limit our progress and success by holding on to a ‘comfort zone’ (comfort trap is what it often really is). Until we let go of our old habits and thoughts (“Oh, I’ve always been out of shape… that is just who I am.”), we will prevent ourselves from making the decisions and taking the actions we need to in order for us to each create a better and brighter future. Anything that keeps us physically or psychologically stuck or trapped, you have to let go of. When you do, you give yourself new power and freedom to transform your health and life.

It’s imperative that we step back and look at the bigger picture. We need to see our situation with a fresh perspective. When we do, we often quite quickly see something very obvious. “Silly monkey… just let go of the fruit and pull your hand out of the trap.” I mean like that obvious.

So now I ask, “What is your monkey trap?”

What is one specific thing you are holding onto right now which you need to let go of in order to free yourself? Is it a belief? A perception? A resentment or regret? An unhealthy habit? Or is it an attitude or mindset which is keeping you from being healthier and happier as time moves forward?

Consider it for a few moments…

When something becomes clear to you, write it down. Then ask yourself if you are willing to let it go. What price will you pay emotionally and physically if you don’t release your grip on it?

If the spirit moves you, please share what comes to mind by leaving me a comment. Awareness is the first step of letting go and setting ourselves free so we can move forward and enjoy greater quality and quantity of life!

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Here are some of my other blogs that can help you successfully transform:

What to do When Working Out isn’t Working Out

Bill

5 Tips to Help you Stay on Track and Get Results

Most everyone knows that exercise can help us burn bodyfat, build muscle, and improve our fitness. But now, as science moves forward and unveils more of the incredible benefits of exercise, we’re learning that it can be utilized as a medicine to both prevent and treat conditions ranging from the common cold to cancer. And it can also be utilized as a potent mood brightener (as or more effective than prescription anti-depressants) and cognitive performance enhancer. Exercise is the best medicine I know of and all of us should be participating in it now, and for life!

Here’s 5 Tips for getting back on track and sticking with it…

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#5 — Team Up!

Scientific studies show that people who connect with others for support, encouragement, and accountability get better results in the short and long run compared with those who try to go it alone. And this is something that I recommend that everyone take advantage of. Whenever possible, work out with a friend or as part of a group. Meeting a personal trainer at the gym or walking with co-workers at lunchtime will give you a tremendous advantage in consistency. If for now you’re flying solo with your workouts, at least join an online accountability group where you can share your workout plan with others each week, and then report back to them to let them know how you’ve done. And in return, offer to help support, encourage, and keep others accountable. Whenever we team up like this, we always have an extra advantage that can help keep us going strong!

#4 — Plan and Prepare

Far too often people get so busy trying to keep up with the seemingly urgent things in their life, they forget perhaps the most important thing, which is to take care of themselves. When we’re run down and not feeling good, our ability to help others, even our own families, will be compromised as a result. Knowing that, what I teach others and what I want you to consider is to plan your workouts in advance and write them into your schedule. I want you to see showing up for your workout is as important as showing up for a doctor’s appointment. Because as I shared in the introduction, exercise is very much akin to the best medicine there is. You can simply write down what time you’re going to exercise in the day ahead, where you’re going to do it, and what form of exercise or routine you’re going to complete. Just adding this one element of planning can make all the difference when it comes to sticking with a workout routine and enjoying the results it produces.

#3 — Keep Showing Up

By far and away the most important factor with getting wonderful results from exercise is consistency. Whether it’s walking, jogging, weight lifting, or following a home exercise video, you have to do it consistently to get results. And when you are consistent, any and all of those forms of exercise will help you become healthier and enjoy your life more. What I want you to know is if you’re not used to exercising regularly—whether it’s been a while since you were in the groove with it, or if it’s something you’ve never clicked with, you have every single bit as much potential to get the hang of it as me and everyone else. The breakthrough comes when you make it a habit—a pattern of action. Our patterns are the things we do without having to even think about it—we’ve got patterns and habits for how we work, how we relate to others, how we take care of ourselves and so on. And with exercise, we want to make it one of those automatic patterns so that it feels more natural to do it than not. This is best accomplished by making a commitment to show up, no matter what, for at least a month. If you don’t feel like working out or you don’t feel like you’ve got the energy to work out, go to the gym or go stand on the treadmill in your garage or basement for five minutes. Just show up. And don’t break this routine for anything. Of course, more than 9 times out of 10, when I do this myself, I get to the gym, I stand on the treadmill and I think, “What the heck… I’m already here, I might as well start walking and jogging…” Promise me you’ll keep showing up and I promise you it will get easier and easier. to stick with this good habit.

#2 — Have a Back-Up Plan

So many times people make the mistake of having an all-or-none attitude about exercise. That is, if they can’t make it to the gym for their planned exercise session, they do nothing at all. What I want you to do is have a back-up plan for those times when things don’t go as scheduled. This could be a basic routine of push ups, sit-ups, and other exercises you can do any time, anywhere, without exercise equipment. So many times, when I’m traveling and staying at different hotels, I’ll fall back on a plan like this, just to make sure I’m doing something to keep the habit of my routine going. Taking an evening walk is a good back-up plan for when you can’t get to the gym during your work day. Walking the stairs in a hotel, or your apartment or office building is also a good back-up plan. Having a basic set of free weights at home that you can work out with when you don’t have time to get to the gym will help you avoid missing work outs too. Remember, we’ve got to keep our momentum going once we get started — putting this tip into action is a surefire way to do that.

#1 — Know Your Reason

For each of us, there’s a purposeful reason for making the healthy changes that we’re deciding to make in our lives. It can take some soul searching to find it in some instances, and in others, we simply need to open our eyes and see. Why is it important for you to exercise and be healthy? Do you want to set a positive example for your children, and also be around for them as they grow up and someday have children of their own? Again I ask, what are the inspiring reasons behind your decision to transform your body and life? Give it some consideration and you will be able to identify one or more things that motivate you from within. Then I want you to remind yourself of that every single time you’re choosing whether to work out that day or not. What many people have discovered is that one inspiring reason will override a hundred excuses. So please, know yours and think of it often — allow it to strengthen your determination and commitment to follow through each and every day. The better your reasons…the better your results!