exercise

Fitness Mindset - A Lifestyle

In fitness, health, exercise, it is true that people do fall off the wagon. People start extremely dedicated but will eventually lose their motivation to stay healthy. To combat this, I think that people have to change their mindset to keep their health top of mind. This relates to all aspects of health - exercise, nutrition, sleep, hydration, mobility. All these different areas have to be built into your routine. so here are some tips you can use this to continually change your mindset:

1) Keep exercise top of mind: Build working out into your daily habits. Aim for the same time every day with a plan. Know what you are going to do, don’t just go aimlessly. Or go to a class so you can be motivated by others.

2) Eat Whole Foods: Eat foods that are good for you on a daily basis. You don’t have to be on a strict plan but the food that will give you nutrients, vitamins, macronutrients are the ones that will help you fuel your body every day.

3) Get 7-8 hours of sleep: Who wants to work out when they are exhausted? No one! It’s also harder to eat healthy when they are tired after a long day. Trust me I have been there, so get your sleep because it will help you in more ways then one.

4) Lifelong Practice: Know that your health is a lifelong process that you have to continually work on. That means that you can continually improve. But that means you also have to put in the time and effort every day to improve. Don’t see things in the short term. Commit to this everyday and see how it will change your life when you look back at it.

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Why Everyone Should Compete

I truly believe that everyone should in some shape or form compete in a fitness related activity. There are a number of reasons that I will list below. When I say compete, it can be in whatever sport or activity ou enjoy the most. Whether it is a Tough Mudder, obstacle course racing, bodybuilding competition, powerlifting competition or any other sport, competition is healthy. Here are the reasons below:

1) Gives Training Purpose: Do you ever feel like you are working out just to work out? When you compete, you are training for something specific and can work towards that goal instead of just aimlessly seeking improvement.

2) Social Experience: During most of these competitions, even though you are competing against other people, you talk and get to know each other. You can create friendships, find new training partners or just bounce ideas off each other.

3) Learning Experience: By competing, it will highlight your weaknesses and give you a better idea of what areas you need to improve on. You can see other methods, techniques and strategies others use.

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Foods For Life

Nutrition and diet. These are terms that some people can have a problem with because they think of these terms negatively. That doesn’t have to be true! Today I will go over some foods that you should always have in daily eating. I will note that these may not all apply to you as I understand different people have allergies, religious restrictions or other circumstances that result in them not being able to eat these foods. However, this is a general guide and it is what I have found works best for me. As long as I include these foods in my daily eating, I can stay on the right track.

1) Protein - Chicken, turkey, beef and salmon. I enjoy eating meat because it provides my body with the protein that I need to be able to repair my muscles and help them grow to be stronger.

2) Starches/Grains - Brown & white rice, sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, oatmeal, breads that pack nutrition. Carbohydrates are necessary to fuel you as they provide you with energy. They are necessary to push you through workouts. While most people cut them out of their daily eating, I would encourage moderation, not completely cutting them out.

3) Vegetables - Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots. Vegetables are important as they provide so many nutrients that help you feel better, get more energy and also fill you up without overloading your carbohydrate intake.

4) Fruits - Apples, oranges, strawberries, bananas, watermelon, berries. Not only do they provide a great snack that can help curb sugar cravings, they also pack nutrients like vegetables that you won’t get from meats or starches.

Out of all these foods, the biggest thing that you need is to find something that is simultaneously sustainable and healthy . Remember you are in this for the long haul, not a short term fix!

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Adding Variety to Your Fitness

Do you find yourself getting bored with your current workout routine? If so, then this is the blog post for you! While training, things can get stale if you are doing the same program multiple weeks or months in a row. So here are some great ways to add some variety to your exercise to make it exciting and enjoyable. That doesn’t mean you can’t go back to your previous program/routine, but changing it up can help you rediscover your interests/motivation.

1) Add an outdoor program - Whether it is running, hiking, mountain biking, or any activity, being outdoors while exercising is great. Especially now that it is summer, take advantage of the weather. On a beautiful sunny day, you don’t have to get stuck in a air conditioned gym to get a great workout. There are a ton of bodyweight or low equipment workouts that can be done to not only train but embrace the outdoors.

2) Swimming - Most people don’t have swimming in their programming but it is a great way to change up your workouts. It is great for almost every body part. Learning to breathe and pace yourself underwater is a challenge in itself.

3) Switch Modality of Training - There are so many different programs out there now with free programs available that you have so many options! Powerlifting, bodybuilding, olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, calisthenics, strongman, gymnastics, etc. Choose one or multiple to mix it up!

4) Workout Buddy - Train with someone else and just copy everything they do! They may have a different flow of working out or a completely different program. Follow their instruction and just enjoy not thinking about what’s next!

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Listen To Your Body For Better Results

Just listen to your body. Sounds easy right? It may sound easy but I can assure you it isn’t! As a coach, I have found a great way to see where athletes are at. Difficulty of an exercise, intensity of a workout, how much weight to add to the bar, etc. But athletes should learn to also listen to their body because the coach can’t be around 24/7! So here are my few tips on how to listen to your body and what areas you should look out for.

How To Listen To Your Body

First, you should do this sitting. You can have your eyes closed or open. Then, do a mental scan from the top of your head all the way to your feet. Focus on each individual part of your body one at a time. This will highlight any areas that feel off or need specific attention.

Another method to do this is to stop periodically throughout the day and take a mental note of your body. Clear your mind completely and just let whatever emotions/internal issues arise. We can get caught up being so busy that we don’t bring any attention to how we are feeling internally.

Key Areas to Listen

Here are some areas that you should look for and identify right away.

1) Fatigue: Both mental and physical fatigue are very important. Don’t try to push your max weights if you are either mentally or physically burnt out.

2) Hunger: In terms of eating, your body will always tell you what it wants. If it wants more, you will feel it in your stomach. A lot of times, habitual and overeating are very mental. I have found that listening to your body is a great tool for moderating how much food you actually need to eat. This includes junk food!

3) Aches and Pains: If you are feeling tightness (more than usual), it may be a good idea to take it easier on that specific area. The mental scan would be really good to highlight any of these areas.

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Dynamic Stretching - Why?

Dynamic stretching has been known for being great for warm up, but why does it actually help?

It has been proven that it helps increase performance versus not stretching at all or static stretching. It's hard to beat facts but let's dive deeper into why. First, it helps those specific muscles that you are going to train be prepared. By doing a dynamic stretch in these areas, your nervous system becomes aware you will be using this muscles to exercise. Secondly, when doing dynamic stretching it will increase your range of motion, movement efficiency and reduce any stiffness. Doing dynamic stretches that mimic the movement that you are going to perform helps your body adjust to doing that specific movement, recruiting muscle fibers to do that movement. Lastly, it brings more blood, nutrients and oxygen to that muscle. This allows the muscle to perform better movement.

So next time you are about to squat, think about doing a dynamic stretching routine first! Check out some of them below.