Hello! Hello!! It's ThursYAY baby :D
How are you? How's your week going?! I hope you're making this a productive week, especially if you ate loads of calories on Valentine's Day :D All the more reason to get in a good sweat session (or 2...lol) before the weekend! Lets do this!!
Today's post is how to get a fabulous body no matter what your age! How do we keep lean and fit long into our golden years? Can we still get a fabulous body even if we're flashing a senior citizen card?! YES!!! The strategy is doing it with intensity. You can make 80 look like the new 60 if you're smart about your lifestyle choices and approach them, particularly exercise, with intensity.
We may have received a certain genetic package from our parents, but it's not our fate to be governed by it. We can change the expression of genes through lifestyle choices, none more powerful than eating clean and intense, strenuous exercise.
The following are 5 strategies you can incorporate into your next workout...to drive the power of your workout to a higher level, get more work done, lift heavier, sweat more, and think about your movements. All these bring added value to your training! Lean body, here it comes!! :D
1. Include all 4 varieties of exercise in your training.
- Aerobic exercise to increase or maintain aerobic capacity.
- Strength training to build and maintain muscle.
- Balance activities like rebounding or training on a Bosu to build core strength, a combination of strong core muscles and a sharp nervous system.
- Flexibility to remain limber and agile and on your feet, well into your later decades.
2. Focus on regular strength training and strive for muscle failure.
Regular strength training is also cardiovascular training. It offsets the steady decline in muscle mass and metabolic rate that commences in our 30s. Only progressive strength training, performed 3 to 4 times per week, will help build muscle and brain mass. You must train to the point of muscle fatigue and failure. The weight should be heavy enough to challenge you. You need to feel the burn and be out of breath when done.
3. High-intensity interval training is king.
Incorporate varied rates of exercise into your workout. High-intensity interval training repeatedly proves it's 1 of the best ways to challenge you aerobically and muscularly. HIIT works your aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time, engaging your complete physical self.
Results speak loudly. By adding even 1 sprint of 30 seconds into your cardio, human growth hormone peaks and stays that way for several hours afterward. HGH is the surefire, turn-back-the-clock, fat-burning agent produced naturally by the body that ensures a lean physique. That's likely the reason it has been manufactured synthetically, but the Food and Drug Administration doesn't approve taking HGH for these purposes. Instead, make your own. Train hard and in intervals.
4. Put your mind into the muscle.
Engage your mind in your training. When you're mentally present for reps, sets, steps and strokes, physical payoffs are far greater. This is because we now know that the brain is plastic, meaning it can change. In Dr. Norman Doidge's book The Brain That Changes Itself, he reveals that just thinking about an exercise changes your brain structure as if you were doing the movement. "Each thought actually changes the structure and function of your brain by affecting the neurons at the microscopic level," he writes.
Another way to increase the intensity of your workout is to bring your brain along for the ride. When performing leg extensions, think of the explosive power of those legs and all that blood you're pumping to your heart and back to the quads. Approach physical exercise with a seriousness of purpose.
5. Eat clean.
Diet provides the greatest influence on health. Follow up your ferocious efforts in the gym with clean fuel for maximum benefit. Don't waste all that effort on junk! Fuel up smart ;)
Now that you've read this, incorporate these strategies into your next workout! How about doing that workout before going to sleep or tomorrow?! Just do it :D
If you have ANY comments about this post...don't be shy...bring them on!!!
Have a FITastic weekend! See you right back here on Monday. HAPPY ThursYAY!!
Hello! Hello!! HAPPY Monday :D
How are you? How was your weekend?! I just got back from Southern California and I'm super glad it's the beginning of another week! What is it about road trips and food?! :D It feels like I gained 5 pounds over the weekend...lol!!! I'm home now and I plan on burning those extra calories baby!!!!
Today's post is on Meditation. Do you meditate? Or do you feel that it's just not for you?! I've done meditation in the past but I really jumped in the game recently and I absolutely LOVE this powerful practice! I'm finding that when done daily, meditation has life-changing benefits!!
Meditation is also vital to maximizing your workout. It makes you not only calmer and happier but also stronger. Meditation can be done anytime and anywhere, even on a commute if you have 5 minutes to focus on your breath. I could post a book on meditation but I'm going to keep it short ;) I found the following article in Shape Magazine and want to share it on here. NOTE...even though the article was published in Shape Magazine, doesn't mean that meditation is for women only! Men meditate too!! I know a few men who meditate and can I just say that they're Rock Stars :D
GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME
Article by: Clint Carter
There's more to meditation than simply chilling out and you'd be smart to use its powers to make your mind and body fitter. In fact, recent research in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that just a few weeks of meditation can thicken your brain stem and increase your gray matter. This makes it increasingly clear that the mental exercise strengthens your brain and nervous system the same way lifting weight strengthens your muscles--with practice and consistency.
That's likely why meditation is becoming so popular with athletes looking for an edge. In a study published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, college football players who spent 12 minutes or more a day doing mindfulness meditation had better attention skills after a month of grueling preseason training than those who practiced for less time. Meditation also helps you stay calm under pressure: "Being present and focusing on breathing helps me when I'm anxious about a game," says Atlanta Dream point guard Layshia Clarendon, who meditates before warming up for WNBA games. "Understanding that you can relax your body even when things are tough--that really helps you rise to the moment."
So are you ready to elevate your mind and boost your body in just minutes a day? Here's everything you need to know.
- It's a cinch to plug in.
A guided-meditation app (there are more than 3,900 available; we like Headspace) or a trained instructor (search for venues at meditationfinder.com) can help you get started. Eventually you may decide to do it on your own. Clear your mind by directing all your attention to your breath, says Laurie Cameron, a mindfulness coach and the author of the upcoming The Mindful Day. "Focus on the air coming into the body and then going out." Begin with five-minute sessions a day and after a month or so, scale up to 10 minutes or more, Cameron says. "It's just like working out: Whatever you put into it, you'll get out of it."
- Your focus will become sharper.
By strengthening your prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain used for planning and decision-making, meditation makes it easier to lock in on what you're doing in the moment, Cameron says. "So when you're playing tennis or trying to keep the beat in dance cardio class, you can actually sustain your attention," she says. In fact, a study from the International Journal of Psychophysiology last year found that long-term meditators were less than half as likely to make mistakes on computerized tests designed to assess focus. "You're creating new neural pathways that help you stay in the moment," Cameron says. "And that can improve your performance."
- You'll push past your limits.
It's that last rep, the final lap in the pool or mile on the trail, that's always a killer. But harnessing your brainpower can help you cut through the discomfort. As evidence, in one study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, meditators felt an electric shock as 22 percent less painful than nonmeditators did. The reason? "The meditators turned down the part of their brain that judges and tries to control the pain. Instead, they were able to view it with a relaxed, nonjudging attitude," says study author Sara Lazar, Ph.D., a Harvard Medical School professor and an associate researcher in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. "There's a lot that the mind can do if we train it, and by meditating, you can learn to deal with pain in a new way."
- You'll gain workout willpower.
"Mindfulness is really powerful in that moment right before you decide whether to run that extra mile, stay through class, or swim five more laps," Cameron says. By acknowledging the itch to quit and instead taking a breath to let the impulse pass, you are creating a space to make a better choice--one that gets you some progress. "It's such a huge payoff and it's why we're having a mindfulness revolution," she says.
* End of article.
What do you think of the article? Are you interested in giving meditation a try? I always thought that meditators were hippies, monks, or gurus you'd find in a cave in the Himalayas...lol! I never realized how un-weird meditation actually is until I started doing it myself!! There are many benefits and this isn't just hype, it's been scientifically proven! Meditation makes you calmer, happier, stronger, and anyone can do it!!
Have a productive week! I'll be right back here on ThursYAY!! Bye ;)
HAPPY Monday :D
How are you doing? I hope you had a FITastic weekend!! It's the beginning of another week, so lets jump right into today's post and make this a productive week! Bring it on!!
The following are some simple swaps you can make to cut down on calories and sugar while revving up your metabolism with extra fiber and protein! Sounds great, right?! :D Keep reading and try these quick kitchen upgrades for slimming down!!!
- Pecans are good but WALNUTS are better!
Pecans are lovely nuts but if stomach melting is your goal, you want those babies called walnuts. They're 1 of the few nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism.
- Wheat Pasta is good but CHICKPEA PASTA is better!
With double the protein and 4 times the fiber of wheat pasta, chickpea pasta turns a traditional carb-based meal into a muscle-building fat fighter. Yes, please :D
- Popcorn is good but TIGER NUTS are better!
Tiger nuts are made of neither tigers or nuts...lol! They're actually tubers, which means people with nut allergies can safely eat them. A serving of 20 tiger nuts delivers only 60 calories.
- Bean Dip is good but GUACAMOLE is better!
High in fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, a half cup of guacamole gives you more than 7 grams of fiber while most commercial bean dips will deliver only about 2. Mix 1 ripe avocado, the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh cilantro, and a pinch of sea salt. This is sooo good baby :D
- Eggs are good but OMEGA-3 EGGS are better!
You can improve the fat-fighting power of eggs by choosing omega-3 enriched eggs, which are laid by hens that are fed flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fish oil. Why eat anything but the best?!
- Baked Potatoes are good but SWEET POTATOES are better!
Among the magic ingredients in sweet potatoes are carotenoids, antioxidants that stabilize blood-sugar levels. Make me some potatoes that are sweet :D
- Flour Tortillas are good but CORN TORTILLAS are better!
This simple swap can make all the difference, even when you're eating a bean burrito. Two corn tortillas can add 3 grams of fiber for as little as 80 calories and 1 gram of fat. Two flour tortillas will give you just 2 grams of fiber but with 260 calories and 10 grams of fat.
- Black Tea is good but WHITE TEA is better!
I personally don't drink tea but for those of you who do...white tea simultaneously increases the breakdown of fat and blocks adipogenesis, the formation of fat cells.
Even if you're already mindful of what you eat, there's always room for improvement! Work for that body you want by stocking your kitchen with the best fat-fighting foods!! You got this!!!
See you right back here on ThursYAY! Be healthy!!
How are you? Are you having a productive week so far?! Or you haven't had time? Low energy? Or you've been on the go? Not a problem!! It's only Thursday, so lets end this week by working up a sweat!!! There's still time to make your weekly goal baby :D I don't believe that I have posted the following, so it's about time that I do...lol! :D Hopefully you'll want to get in a bada** workout after reading today's post about KETTLEBELLS!!
These days, kettlebells are a staple in nearly every gym in the world. Kettlebells burn loads of calories, builds core strength, and delivers the same aerobic benefits as running, with little stress on the joints. No wonder the kettlebell swing makes other gym moves envious...lol! BUT done wrong (and it's done wrong a lot), your risk for injury shoots way up!! The following tips will help to master the motion and get more out of every session ;)
- Stand tall, holding the handle with both hands, feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back flat, lean forward from your hips to bring the weight between your legs (until your forearms touch your inner thighs).
- Powerfully snap your hips forward and squeeze your glutes to stand.
- Swing the weight in front of you, keeping your arms straight but not locked.
- Let the momentum carry the bell to about chest height, until your body is in a straight line, core braced.
- Reverse the movement to bring the weight back between your legs and continue as 1 fluid movement.
Note: How high you raise the kettlebell depends on the version of the move you're doing. For example: With the Traditional swing, the kettlebell rises to chest height and with the Overhead swing, you raise it all the way overhead.
Now that you know how to "swing" into shape, give the following beginner-safe moves a FITastic workout :D If you don't have a gym membership, kettlebells are inexpensive and can be bought just about everywhere. I recommend using a 10 to 15 pounds (4 to 6 kilograms) kettlebell if you're a beginner and a 15 to 20 pounds (6 to 8 kilograms) kettlebell if you have experience with them.
Works upper back, shoulders, biceps, and abs.
Hold kettlebell in right hand with arms hanging straight at sides, legs staggered a few feet apart with left foot forward. Bend at waist so torso is at a 45-degree angle to floor, back straight. Lift kettlebell to rib cage, pause and lower for 1 rep.
Complete 15 to 20 reps.
Repeat on opposite side.
Works shoulders, abs, and legs.
Hold kettlebell in left hand with arm extended above shoulder, weight resting on back of wrist. Step left foot back into a reverse lunge. Step forward to stand for 1 rep.
Complete 10 to 15 reps.
Repeat on opposite side.
Works shoulders and legs.
Grip kettlebell handle with weight on top and hold at chest height. Stagger legs and bend knees. Lift weight to eye level. Slowly circle it around head to the left (weight and handles swap positions as you go). Circle it to the right for 1 rep.
Complete 5 to 10 reps.
Works shoulders, triceps, abs, and legs.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold kettlebell in right hand at shoulder height, weight on back of wrist. Squat then stand as you press kettlebell overhead. Return to start for 1 rep.
Complete 10 to 15 reps.
Repeat on opposite side.
SQUAT AND CURL
Works biceps, upper back, abs, and legs.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out 45 degrees, gripping kettlebell with both hands at chest height. Squat until thighs are parallel to floor then do a biceps curl. Return to start. Do 2 squats then do 2 curls at the bottom of the second squat.
Continue adding reps to finish with 5 to 10 squats and 5 to 10 curls.
Of course, I should add:
Works abs, glutes, and hamstrings.
This kettlebell move is described above. If you know what you're doing, try using 2 kettlebells.
Complete 20 to 25 reps.
Keep in mind that feeling the ground with your toes helps you recruit your glutes and hamstrings. Overly cushy running shoes make it easy to rock forward, which can put your back at greater risk for injury. That said, training in minimal sneakers on a firm surface is best for both safety and performance when using kettlebells ;)
If you have ANY questions, let me know and I'll get back to you!
See you right back here on Monday!!
HAPPY ThursYAY :D
Hello! HAPPY Monday!!
It's a cloudy and wet day in my part of California but that's okay...i love Mondays, so bring it on...lol :D Every week offers a fresh start towards your goal. Even small changes will impact your daily routine and eating habits. The key is to set smaller goals that build up to your end goal. So...keep progressing and don't give up! You got this!! :D
Recently I've had a number of people asking me about diet plans. Which diet plan works, which diet plan is popular, and which diet plan has tasty food ;) I believe and have mentioned in previous posts that exercise AND eating go hand in hand. Instead of dieting, I like to focus on energy balance. The key to weight loss is achieving a negative energy balance. If you burn more calories than you take in, you're in a negative energy balance and you'll lose weight. However, for those of you who want to give a diet plan a shot, the only way to know if it'll be successful is to try it. I was reading in The Good Life magazine and The Dr. Oz Show launched an experiment called The Great Diet Showdown. Ten popular plans, all put to the test.
Today's post is an overview (from the magazine) of which diets were satisfying and sustainable enough to reach the 1 year finish line. For more details on the Showdown, visit doctoroz.com/showdown.
These plans finished in a three-way tie. Groups of Showdown volunteers on these diets dropped the most weight, percentage-wise.
- Paleo Diet
Proteins and veggies take center stage, while food groups our huntergatherer ancestors wouldn't have dined on (like processed foods, dairy, grains, and legumes) are out.
- Vegan Diet
Plant foods get loads of attention and any ingredients that come from animals, including not just meat but also dairy products and eggs, are cut from the meal rotation.
- Whole, Real Foods Diet
The goal here: Next to no processed food. Beyond that, the plan follows rules similar to the Paleo Diet. Dairy products, grains, and sugary stuff are nixed.
There were individual successes with these plans but total weight loss was behind that of the finalist diets.
- Mediterranean Diet
Inspired by our friends in the Mediterranean countries, who've been found to live longer and suffer from fewer diseases, the plan plays up produce and olive oil and dials down red meat.
- Probiotic Diet
A.k.a. the "healthy gut diet." Dieters go big on foods like fermented fare, which can help maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the body and may lead to improved digestion, immunity, and overall health.
- Protein Shake Diet
To control calories and remove EBS (extra bite syndrome), 2 of 3 daily meals are balanced shakes. A third meal and 2 snacks (all whole-foods-based) round out the day.
These plans have their health merits but dieters found them harder to lose weight with and to stay with over time.
- DASH Diet
That stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension; a key feature is cutting back on salt. ("As a heart surgeon, I know this diet can be great for the heart," notes Dr. Oz.)
- Elimination Diet
You scrap foods that may cause inflammation, like anything processed. ("Not a top weight loss diet for us but I believe it could be a winner if you want to fight inflammation," says Dr. Oz.)
- French Diet
Portion control is emphasized and habits like snacking and eating on the go are banned.
- High Protein/Low Carb Diet
Carbs are capped at 45 grams a day, so low-fat dairy, fruit, and starchy veggies get scaled back.
I hope this post answers some of your questions about diet plans ;)
The key to losing weight doesn't mean that you need to stick to a harsh weight loss regimen to drop pounds successfully. My advice: Exercise AND eat in a way that delivers a balance of nutrients and keeps your blood sugar from dropping and spiking.
Are there any eating tips that you would like to share? If so, I'd love to hear from you!!
Have a FITastic week! See you right back here on Thursday!!
Hello! Hello!! HAPPY ThursYAY!!!
How are you?! :D How's your week going?!! This is my first post in 2018! It's a new year and a fresh start!! BRING IT ON!!! What's your resolution? Have you vowed that 2018 will be the year you'll go to the gym everyday? OR...lose those extra 10 pounds? OR...sign up for that marathon? OR...eat clean and meal prep? OR...all of the above...lol?! Every new year offers you a fresh start to get it right, so no matter what your goals are, you can achieve them by adopting healthy practices! You got this!!
Lace up the shoes, roll out the mat, or line up those weights...whatever you prefer...regular exercise will help you look and feel your best! However, exercise AND eating go hand in hand, right?! Absolutely :D What and when you eat can be important to how you feel when you exercise. Whether it's a casual workout or training for a competition, consider the following tips to get the most out of your sweat session ;)
EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to finish at least 1 hour before your workout. Studies suggest that eating or drinking carbohydrates before exercising can improve workout performance and may allow you to work out for a longer duration or higher intensity. If you don't eat, you might feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. I personally can't work out without eating first...lol!
If you normally have coffee in the mornings, a cup before your workout is fine. Also...know that you risk having an upset stomach anytime you try a food or drink for the first time before a workout. Just saying ;)
Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercising.
- Large meals: Eat these at least 3 to 4 hours before you exercise.
- Small meals: Eat these about 1 to 3 hours before you exercise.
Eating too much before you exercise can leave you feeling sluggish. Eating too little may not give you the energy to keep you feeling strong and powerful throughout your workout.
Most people can eat small snacks right before (and during) exercising. The key is how you feel! Do what works best for you!! A healthy snack is especially important if you plan a workout several hours after a meal.
Below are 50 clean eating snack suggestions. This is my go to list when I'm craving a snack throughout the day ;)
1. Fresh veggies
2. Herb roasted nuts
3. Banana topped with almond butter
4. Clean jerky
5. Baked apple chips
6. Sliced cucumbers
7. Watermelon chunks
9. Clean homemade popsicles
10. Celery sticks with almond butter
11. Mixed nuts
12. Grilled fruits
13. Turkey rollup
14. Dried mango slices
15. Pumpkin seeds
16. Veggies with a tuna dip
17. Dill pickles
18. Fresh cherry tomatoes
19. Clean applesauce
20. Clean energy bites
21. Fresh cherries
22. Fresh strawberries
23. Bone broth
24. Clean meatballs
25. Plantain chips and salsa
26. Sliced tomato with a balsamic drizzle
27. Fruit salad
28. Clean muffins
29. Veggies with a pesto dip
31. Baked zucchini chips
32. Hard boiled egg
33. Nut bar
34. Healthy smoothie
35. Leftover grilled veggies
36. Plantain fries
37. Frozen banana
38. Clean berry parfait
39. Fresh blueberries
40. Apple slices with almond butter
41. Baked kale chips
42. Small green salad with a clean dressing
43. Clean lunch meat with veggies
44. Fresh pineapple chunks
46. Tuna lettuce wrap
47. Egg muffins
48. Sweet potato fries (baked)
50. Leftover burger patty
EAT AFTER YOU EXERCISE
To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within 2 hours of your exercise session.
Don't forget to drink fluids. You need adequate fluids before, during, and after exercising to help prevent dehydration. Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. But if you're exercising for more than 60 minutes, have a sports drink. Sports drinks can help maintain your body's electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy because they contain carbohydrates.
Keep in mind that the duration and intensity of your activity will dictate how often and what you should eat and drink. Avoid incorporating new products before a long-duration sports event. It's best to have previous experience to see how your system handles the food ;) I recommend keeping a journal to monitor how your body reacts to meals and snacks, so that you can tweak your diet for optimal performance.
Lets make 2018 the best year yet :D
If you have ANY questions OR comments, let me know! See you right back here on Monday!!
Hello! HAPPY HAPPY Thursday!!
How are you? How was your Christmas?! I had a wonderful day with my family!!! There was lots of fun, laughter, yummy food, and of course, wrapping paper all over the family room...lol :D
I can't believe we're at the end of another year and 2018 is just a few days away! Is it just me or does each year go faster and faster...lol?! Every January, many people set new goals and start fresh, right?!! I hope that you're 1 of those people :D 2018 is a new beginning and a great opportunity to crush new goals for the next 12 months. I'm posting 40 goal suggestions for a healthier you! Choose and write down ANY 12 goals (from below) and accomplish 1 each month!! By doing this, 12 months from now, you'll be more fit, healthy, and confident!!! Are you ready? :D Grab some paper, a pen or pencil, and lets make 2018 a FITastic year!!
1. Formulate a workout program.
2. Find an accountability partner.
3. Start a food journal.
4. Clean out your pantry.
5. Get a checkup.
6. Keep healthy snacks on hand.
7. Portion your meals.
8. Drink more water.
9. Don't skip breakfast.
10. Wake up and go to sleep earlier.
11. Eat to fuel recovery.
12. Exercise at least 3 days a week.
13. Take the stairs.
14. Eat out less often.
15. Laugh often :D
16. Go hiking.
17. Walk during phone calls.
18. Avoid negative people.
19. Try yoga.
20. Don't rely on exercise alone.
21. Skip the soda.
22. Meditate 10 minutes each day.
23. Add more color to your plate.
24. Update your playlist.
25. Track your exercise progress.
26. Downsize your plate.
27. Replace refined carbs with whole grain versions.
28. Try HIIT workouts.
29. Use olive or coconut oil instead of butter.
30. Sign up for an athletic event.
31. Aim to walk 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles).
32. Do quick exercises while watching TV.
33. Go meatless at least 1 day per week.
34. Don't skip meals.
35. Do bodyweight exercises.
36. Learn to say NO!
37. Develop breathing techniques.
38. Get off the couch.
39. Try a new piece of fitness equipment.
40. Hire a Personal Trainer :D
I recommend that you write down which goal you're going to accomplish in each month. This plan is a good way to keep your New Year's resolution! It's about small changes...1 month at a time!! You got this!!!
Have a Happy New Year! I'll see you right back here in 2018!!
Baby, it's cold outside :D I can't get that song out of my head...lol! Plus, it's been cold where I live!! NO snow BUT cold :D How are you doing? Are you having a productive week?! As I was going through my mail this morning, I came across an article and instantly knew that I wanted to share it with you today! Keep reading...below are tips for exercising in the cold!! Bring it on!!!
SURVIVING EXERCISE IN COLD CLIMATES
Written by: Sam Hutchison CES, CPT, NASM-CPT
The seasons have changed, and for some of us it means below freezing temperatures and snow on the ground—not the most ideal conditions for exercising and physical activity. Fortunately, you don’t have to limit yourself to treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bikes, exercising outdoors is still a plausible option with some foresight and a plan of action. If you dress properly and follow some easy strategies, you can survive the frigid forefront and exercise at your own discretion.
As humans, our bodies aren’t accustomed to cold climates and take longer to adapt to the cold compared to warmer environments. Biologically humans weren’t designed to live in cold climates; humans lack heavy fur coats and a thick lining like many animals living in colder climates thus making heat production and insulation more difficult. Wearing protective layers is essential to preventing not only a decline in exercise performance but more serious issues such as hypothermia and frostbite.
Effect on Performance
Exercising in cold climates can have inhibitory effects on both cardiorespiratory and strength performance. When exposed to cold environments, the body reduces blood flow to the skin and extremities via vasoconstriction to prevent heat loss and maintain the temperature of the body’s core and vital organs. Due to vasoconstriction and blood cooling, aerobic energy components such as fat and oxygen aren’t as efficiently transported to the muscles for energy production. Fuel sources that are typically used for higher intensity training, like muscle glycogen, begin to be used as a replacement, leaving less fuel for later and an earlier onset of fatigue results.
When muscle temperatures fall below a certain point, the time for muscles to contract and the amount of muscles recruited (motor unit recruitment) for an activity is compromised. This limits the amount of force and power typically seen at more favorable temperatures. If not taken seriously, a decline in performance can lead to frustration and possible injury.
Before You Step Outside
Here are some tips you’ll want to consider implementing before stepping outside to exercise or train. It may not seem like much, but following these tips can make your workouts more enjoyable and ultimately safer.
1. Wear layers: It’s difficult to judge just what to wear when planning on exercising outdoors in the cold. Wearing layers allows you to easily adjust and remove layers of extra insulation as your temperature increases.
2. Remove wet clothing: Water conducts heat much faster than air, so your body loses heat more quickly when clothes are wet. Remove wet clothing to stay properly insulated.
3. Be selective about fabrics: Keeping the skin dry is one of the first layers of defense against the cold. Use a moisture wicking fabric next to the skin; synthetic fabrics and wool dry more quickly than their cotton counterpart. Additional heat can also be lost through wind chill, so make use of wind breaking material on outer layers.
4. Hats, footwear and gloves: As stated earlier, it is important to prevent heat loss and make sure there is optimal blood flow to vital organs and working muscles. The hands, feet, and especially the head are vulnerable areas for heat loss and should be kept insulated. A pair of running gloves, insulating socks, training shoes and a wool/fleece hat can help prevent heat loss.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Just like in the heat, it is important to hydrate when cold. You might not realize that you can become dehydrated in the cold since you are sweating less. As you breathe in cold air your body must humidify and warm the inhaled air as it travels to the lungs. This process can dehydrate the body. Drinking a warm beverage before, during and after activity can help fight dehydration and warm the body.
It’s unfortunate that we can’t control the weather; a 75-degree day would be a nice break to have in the middle of December. Regardless of your sport or exercise routine, it is important to be able to adapt to changes in weather and develop a plan of action to prevent injury and a decline in performance, even if that might mean taking your training indoors. The winter months and holiday season are not the time to get out of shape. Try following these five simple suggestions and you might just feel like you are working out in that 75-degree weather that you crave.
Do you have ANY suggestions?!
Be smart and don't lose sight of your goal(s) this holiday season! You got this!!
Monday is Christmas and I'll be spending the day with my family, so I won't be posting! I'll be right back here on Thursday, the 28th!!
Have a MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS :D
HELLO All! It's MERRY Fitmas month!! :D
How are you doing on this beautiful December day? Are you crushing your holiday hustle...lol?! :D What about doing the exercise routine that I posted for this week? It's only Monday, so it's not too late to jump in!! Don't let your goal(s) fall by the wayside, use this month to strengthen your healthy habits and stay in the game!!! YOU GOT THIS :D
Today's post is on how you can stay FIT this H O L I D A Y S E A S O N ! The following tips are probably things that you've heard before BUT sometimes we can use a JOLLY reminder!!
I know it's cold outside baby but this is sooo important!! It's a known fact that drinking water is essential to both weight loss and health in general. It's even more important during the holiday season. When you're out running tons of errands or juggling more than 1 task at a time, take a water bottle with you. I always have a water bottle in my car and a backup in my trunk. I also have a water bottle close at hand when I'm at home. I have a bottle near my computer, on my nightstand, by my bathroom sink, and even in the kitchen...lol! I find it easy to drink plenty of water when it's right in front of me!! And...no...the photo below isn't water...lol :D
Set your goal(s) ahead of time!
Exercise goals, food goals, and other goals you set for yourself are more likely to get accomplished if they're set ahead of time.
The same goes for staying active when you're having a relaxing day at home. Make a point to get up and move around if you're watching holiday movies or playing games with the family. Simply getting off the couch and doing a few exercises will boost your metabolism.
Rise early and get your workout in before the day begins. Plan your workout the night before. Some people skip exercising this time of year simply because they don't want to miss out on any fun. But rising early eliminates this issue...lol! If you get your workout in before anything else then you won't miss out on the fun!!
Time can be limited when it comes to working out during the holidays but I believe that you can ALWAYS find time to workout...lol! High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are a great solution during the holiday season because they don't require much time! Many routines can be done for as little as 15 to 30 minutes!!
Body-weight workouts are my favorite...you probably already know that...lol! No need to go to the gym if you're running short on time! You can get a very efficient workout just about anywhere using no equipment!! Sooo what's your excuse?!! :D
Try new and healthy recipes!
The holidays are LOADED with yummy treats everywhere! Many of them are unhealthy too...lol!! Our taste buds scream...why?!! :D One way to stay on track is to try new recipes! Try making those yummy treats healthier!! By doing this, you can still satisfy those screaming taste buds AND stick to your fitness goals! Look online for holiday recipes that are on the healthy side!! :)
Treat yourself but don't over indulge!
I just covered the importance of trying healthy recipes, so that you stick to your fitness goals. And...YES...that hasn't changed but it would be worthless to tell you to never treat yourself during the holidays (and after)! Balance is the key to living a healthy life!! If you constantly tell yourself that you can't have any of the cookies your neighbor brought over then you're more likely to binge eat. Allow yourself a "cheat day!" Allow yourself 1 day a week when you can eat those cookies, ice cream, pie, or whatever it is that you've been craving!! You'll have a better mindset, which will then motivate you to work harder ;)
Get good sleep!
The holiday season can leave you short on time and sleep. But it's important to keep your sleep routine consistent, so that you can truly enjoy the season! Shoot for going to bed and waking up at the same time each day!! The key is to be consistent!!! If you have a holiday party to attend and you'll be staying up late, still try and wake up at the same time the next day. I know this can be hard (lol) but you'll have a more productive day. And...remember that exercise can promote a deeper sleep :)
I hope these tips help you to stay on top of your fitness journey during this busy season! I L O V E this time of year! I L O V E everything about it!! If you have ANY tips that have worked for you, I'd love to hear your comments! Bring it on :D
Have a FITastic week! I'll be right back here on Thursday!!
Hello there! HAPPY ThursYAY!!
How are you? Are you making this a productive week?! The holiday season is in the air and that can mean exercising less and eating loads of mash potatoes between Thanksgiving and Christmas...lol! Stay pumped and don't give up on your goal(s)!! Crush them and strive to be your personal best!!! I'm definitely feeling the spirit of the season! My calendar is filled with watching holiday movies, baking, time with family, decorating, a shopping trip in San Francisco, caroling, parties, and lets not forget...working out!! :D Whatever your upcoming family holidays look like, gatherings big or small, never forget to find ways to take care of yourself physically. Be disciplined when you need to be, keep a sense of humor, have much fun, and...yes...enjoy some of those mash potatoes :D
People start exercise programs all the time but staying motivated this time of year can be challenging for some of us! Today's post are a few tips that may keep you on track through the holiday season!! Bring the challenge on!!!
- Add exercising to your to-do list. Make an appointment with fitness (lol) and give it the same prominence as your work deadlines, meetings, doctor appointments, and other must-do priorities. Making it part of your everyday schedule will help you see that you do have time and it can be done. After each workout, put a check (or star :D) next to it on your calendar. Review those marks often and continue to make those appointments a priority during the busy season.
- Track your success. This is a good thing to do and it's never too late to start. Tracking your progress can help you excel. The holidays may not be your ideal time to track progress but it can help you stay focused.
If you don't have a Personal Trainer then write down some basic measurements, how you look, and how you feel. For example:
Did you notice that I didn't add "Weight" to the list? I personally don't use a scale during the holiday season. A scale will go up and down depending on the day, but measurements (using a tape measure) are far more accurate! If you have ANY questions about measurements, let me know and I'll get back to you!!
After 3 to 4 weeks, take all the measurements again. Record all the numbers under the date in a column next to the initial entries. Make sure to include your mood, stress, and energy. You may be surprised at your progress...even this time of year ;) Continue to do a progress check into 2018. You'll find that this record of success will be a powerful source of motivation. It'll also be useful when you're feeling down because you'll know that you can keep pumping on.
- Recruit a friend. Almost anything is doable or more fun when you have company. The wet or cold weather can't keep you on the couch if you have someone counting on you to work out with, right? :D Increase your exercise progress by hooking up with a friend. Weight training or cardio is a good way to release holiday stress. You can also recruit and challenge your social network buddies on Facebook or Snapchat and post photos of your exercise achievements.
- Buy some new gear. Whether it's a new pair of athletic shoes, headphones, or even new music to listen to, adding something new can make your workouts more exciting. New fitness clothing and exercise equipment can help too. Many stores have great sales this time of year, so take advantage of it and buy yourself something new! You deserve it, right?! Black Friday is next week :D
- Mix it up. Learn a new sport. If sweating and achy muscles aren't for you then look for ways to be physical that don't seem off-putting. No need to join a gym or purchase expensive equipment. There are ways to stay active that won't feel like a chore. Try a different type of workout or learn a new sport. Hiking is beautiful this time of year. Ice skating is a good workout too. If you're lucky to live in snow, there's skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Oh...and don't forget snowball fights...lol!
- Be healthy for YOU. If you're exercising for yourself, that'll make all the difference in whether or not you achieve your goals. If you're relying on feelings of shame because you're overweight and you don't look like someone on social media then you probably won't get very far. If you've lost sight of why you started in the first place, write down all the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. You need to be convinced that your hard work is worth it. The reasons need to be important to YOU, not just those around you ;)
I'll be out of town on Monday and Thanksgiving, so I won't be posting next week! I'll be back here on Monday, November 27th!!
I have FITastic posts in the making for December! WOOO WHOOO!! :D If you haven't subscribed here yet, now is a great time to do it! Don't miss out on MERRY Fitness!!
Have an AWESOME Thanksgiving! I'm filled with gratitude for all of you that follow this blog!! It's been a rewarding journey and it continues to get better!!!
Stay healthy! Be productive! See you soon :D
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist