So, you’ve tried everything. You’ve dieted, run a couple of miles, and spent some time visiting each of the exercise machines at your gym. Still, you can’t see where your body has shown any change. You’re probably frustrated and ready to call off the attempt to be healthier, but don’t!

Being successful with fitness is something everyone can experience, but the experience must happen with the right combination of sound practices. Random exercising will benefit only so much, and lack of results will lead to lack of motivation and eventual quitting. Yes, any type of exercise is a good thing, but a well-planned program involving cardiovascular training, resistance training and healthy eating will deliver the lifestyle change we all need to reach our best fitness.

Instead of just running/walking when you’re in the mood, lay out a plan. Start off small and challenge yourself to increase your mileage each week. Rather than just taking the weight machine tour through the gym every now and then, make a chart and keep up with the weight you’re lifting each time. Begin with three sets of 10 repetitions on each exercise. As you get stronger, perform more repetitions and then increase the weight.

Finally, instead of eating healthy every now and then, commit for a week! Don’t eat anything sweet, regardless of advertisements for low and reduced fat snacks. Cookies are cookies! Avoid all soft drinks (even diet), sweets and alcohol for one week. Drink water; eat four small meals a day, about three to fours hours apart. Ensure that every meal contains some protein and carbohydrate and don’t leave either one out. Keep yourself accountable with a food journal. (You can click on to download a food journal, as well as a 2007 Word calendar to track your exercise progress).

Putting together the most individualized plan for you may require help from a trainer, but there’s a lot of beginning organization you can establish on your own. Start documenting today and make the commitment!

Jeff Howerton is a trainer and owner of LEAN personal training, where he and his trainers work with clients to lose fat, develop lean muscle and implement strategies for healthier living. 


This program consists of TWO (or THREE) Fast and Fit sessions per week at $30 per session. Each session includes 15 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of resistance training with a LEAN personal trainer. The program lasts one month, but clients who take advantage of this are welcome to continue at the same rate if they wish to do so.

In addition to helping develop an exercise routine, a LEAN trainer will offer some basic nutritional guidelines that will help meet personal goals, as well as offer testing on flexibility and strength.

The 4 WEEK FITNESS can begin any day. In order to learn more or schedule a session, please contact Jeff at (615) 279-1900 or

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

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