Winners Do Cardio

If you’re not doing some type of cardio, you’re missing out! It has several health benefits that go beyond burning fat . For me, cardio is also a great way to improve muscle recovery. Cardio gets blood flowing throughout your body. As someone who does a lot of heavy lifting, I can feel the relief in my body after a long cardio session. The blood flow from cardio reduces soreness and the stiffness caused by lifting. I also notice that I don’t recover as well from my workouts if I don’t get enough cardio in my workouts.

Everyone knows the typical ways of doing cardio such as high intensity interval training and jogging. If you’re not a fan of conventional cardio workouts, below are some other ways to get in a satisfying cardio workout.

Alternative Forms of Cardio

Sports: Playing sports is a great way to get in a get cardio workout. Assuming you like the sport, you’ll be having fun as well so it won’t feel like a workout. If you’re not physically ready to play competitive sports, you can do less intense sports activities like shooting some jumpshots or tossing a football with a friend.

Walking: Walking is a natural part of human movement. You can walk around around your neighborhood, walk to the grocery store, to the park, etc. You can treat walking like a means of transportation so it doesn’t feel like a workout.

Bag Work: If you’ve been following this blog, you’d know that I’m a big fan of bag work. It provides a good cardio workout and promotes mental health. Hitting the bag for five minutes won’t make your precious muscles disappear. It might actually support muscle growth since you’ll be generating force when throwing punches.

Random Activities: You treat random activities as cardio as well. Join a dance class, skateboard. Even doing yard work will have a cardiovascular effect on your body. Find an activity that keeps you moving and gets blood pumping in your body. You can treat these as activities rather than workouts.

I made this post to talk about cardio for recovery, so try to avoid any cardio activities that will sabotage your goals. If you have a knee injury, playing a sport probably won’t be the best option for you. Training a marathon won’t help you if your main goal is to build strength and muscle. Do activities that are appropriate to your body and support your goals.

There are several ways to get in a cardio workout that aren’t mentioned in this post. There’s no excuse not to get in some type of cardio. All it takes is some dedication and creativity. What are your favorite forms of cardio?

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How To Stay Healthy At Work

This post is about the things you can do at work to improve your health and fitness

To me fitness is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Even at work, there are things you can do to support your health and fitness goals like using a standing desk or simply having some self control at office parties. Below are some things that have helped me stay healthy at my office job.

Bathroom Squats

One healthy habit you can have at work is to do bodyweight squats every time you go to the bathroom.Every time I go to the bathroom, I do 10 body weight squats. I drink a good amount of water so that’s a lot of squats! Since they’re spread throughout my day, I avoid fatigue. If you already a lot of leg work in your training, you can reduce the frequency of squats. You don’t want to burn out.

By doing all those squats, I’m improving my efficiency in the squat movement pattern so when it’s time to do them with weights, I’m comfortable. I also make sure no one is in the bathroom when I do them. I prefer to avoid awkward bathroom encounters at work.

After Lunch Walks

Another healthy work habit is going for walks after lunch.This is something that has helped me a lot. I usually do this 30 minutes after my lunch break. I walk around for 5-10 minutes. By doing this after lunch, I speed up digestion of the food I ate. I also reduce the risk of fat gain since I’m using the food ate to fuel my walk.

5-10 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot but over a 5 day work week, I’m adding an extra 25-50 minutes of exercise to my schedule.To the critics that say I’m spending more time away from work. I actually find myself more productive when I return from my walks. Walking is good for the mind and the body.

Wellness Room

If your job has a wellness room, take advantage. The purpose of a wellness room is to give employees a place to take a mental break. I’ve used the wellness room to do different stretches, especially those that target the hips and glutes. Sitting all day is terrible for your hips and glutes. The wellness room is private so you can use it for any health related activity you’d like.

Some other things you can do to boost your health at work include using a standing desk if available and having stress ball with you. Too much stress is bad for your health so keeping it under control is important.

If you want to boost your health and be more productive at work, make time for healthy activities.

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Food Is Information

Simple guide to help you improve your diet

If you’re someone who loves fitness, you have to be mindful about what you’re putting in your body. I don’t usually talk about diet and nutrition but I think it should be mentioned since it compliments any fitness routine. Any fitness result you aspire for will be derailed if you have a lousy diet. There’s no way around that. Even if you have amazing genetics, you won’t reach your full potential if your diet sucks.

I’ve always known the importance of having a good diet. One thing that really stuck to me recently was when I heard food being referred to as information. It made perfect sense when I thought about it. The way our brains process information that we see and hear, our bodies and brains process information from the food it consumes. This mindset towards food is an absolute game changer. Everything we eat and drink is giving our body some type of information. It can tell our body to get stronger and healthier or it can tell our body to be sluggish and weak. I guess that’s why they say ” you are what you eat “.

How To Make The Most of The Information You Get

In order to give your body the right information, look at what you’re eating and drinking. I don’t always put the healthiest things in my body but I do my best. If you want to tell your body to be strong and healthy, you’ll have to make the effort to give it nutritious foods and drinks. Fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins are the types of food that will give your body the information to help you achieve your fitness goals.

One habit that can help you improve your relationship with food is chewing it slowly. When you take your time to chew your food slowly, your body has time to process that information. You’ll soon realize if that’s the type information you want to receive.

When you take time to chew and enjoy your food, you’ll start to notice how it makes you feel rather than just how good it tastes. This isn’t some amazing diet plan. It’s just a guide to help you make better decisions with your diet. If you’re eating with someone else that’s fine.

This practice is called mindful eating and it’s one of the simplest ways to change your eating habits. In addition to better eating habits, mindful eating helps you absorb nutrients easier and improves digestion. The best way to practice mindful eating is to eat without distractions. That means no cell phones, TV, or computer. The only distraction you should have when eating your meals is the company of another person. Give mindful eating a try and see how your relationship with food changes!

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Strength is The Solution

This post is about the importance of strength training in any fitness program

If you have a fitness problem, strength is the solution.  Throughout my fitness journey, I realized that for every challenge I’ve faced, getting stronger has helped me get through it . If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll see that I’m a big supporter of  strength training. Why wouldn’t I be? Strength is one of the key foundations of fitness.

Build Muscle

The stronger you are, the easier it is to build muscle. I agree that high volume work is great for building muscle mass but you shouldn’t forget about strength building. Someone who can bench press 255 pounds for seven reps will have a greater capacity to build muscle than someone who can only bench press 180 pounds for seven reps.

The more weight you use, the more muscle fibers are being activated. Greater muscle fiber activation means a greater potential of building muscle. It’s that simple. Diet and recovery are the other factors that will play into muscle growth.

Burn Fat

Getting stronger also helps with fat-loss. Strength training activates more muscle fibers than any other type of training. Speed work is also in that discussion. Even though strength is a function of the nervous system, you will build muscle as a result of strength training.

You won’t look as large as someone who trains with greater volume but you will notice a difference. This muscle gained will raise your resting metabolism, causing you to burn more calories in every activity you do. A side effect of this is you’ll be hungry all the time!

Another reason strength training is great for fat-loss is it causes a lot of metabolic stress. Any type of training that involves using a lot of muscle fibers will have this effect on your body. The stress caused by strength training takes a lot to recover from. Your body will be burning a ton of calories as it’s trying to recover from training. Strength training should be included in any fat-loss program .

Improve Athleticism

Strength is critical for any athlete. I speak from experience when I say strength training will make you better at any athletic activity and sport. Strength training has helped me improve my vertical jump and sprint speed dramatically. If you look at any high level athlete, they have some strength training in their routine.

Even someone on the opposite end of the spectrum like a marathon runner needs some type of strength training. Their strength training won’t be as intense as a power athlete’s program. Their training volume will also be significantly lower.

Yogis can benefit from strength training as well. I’ve talked about how yoga helps strength strength athletes but the reverse can be true. Having a good strength base will make it easier for you to handle yoga poses like the high lunge and chaturanga.

Feel Better

Strength training will make you feel better overall. You’ll have a natural sense of confidence knowing that you’re capable of doing things physically. You’ll also be happy in your body. When you’re strong, you feel powerful. You naturally feel like you can do great things.

Strength training will also help you with your health. When I’ve had some aching joints in the past, strengthening the muscles around that joint helped me find instant relief. That’s why I’m so adamant about building armor.

Strength training has also made me more resilient to stress. When you’re putting yourself self in a high stress situation like being under a heavy barbell, a lot of challenges you face in life seem less significant.

If you want to increase your chances of achieving any health or fitness goal, strength training will help. You don’t have to be a powerlifter or an olympic athlete to benefit from strength training.

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Take It Outside

This post is about the benefits of adding outdoor workouts to your fitness routine.

As much as I love being in the gym and pushing myself with weights, I can’t forget about the outdoors. I’ve always felt a different type of energy when training outdoors. There’s something liberating about being out in open space and moving freely.

The gym is great but there are rules. When you’re outdoors, you make your own rules as long as it’s not illegal. You don’t want to get arrested for the sake of working out. When you’re outdoors, you can move freely. You can do whatever you want

My Outdoor Workout:

Since the weather got nice, I’ve been going on walks from time to time. I think it’s time to pick up the intensity. Time to do sprints! I’ll still go to the gym a couple times a week cause I love lifting. I’m just ready to add some sprints to my routine.

For anyone that hasn’t ran sprints in a while or ever, the best way to get in the groove is by doing hill sprints. You’re less likely to get hurt with hill sprints since your body won’t be able to move as fast as it would during regular sprints . Once you can run hills, you can run anywhere. I used to run hills as a conditioning tool but I plan on using it for strength and power. Rather than doing high reps, low sets for conditioning, I’ll do low reps, high sets for power. When you train outside, you find creative ways to exercise.

From my experience, I’ve gotten the best results when I incorporated outdoor workouts.

Adding outdoor workouts will spice up your routine. Sometimes being in the gym all the time can get stagnant. I find myself more enthusiastic about my lifting routines when I’m mixing in outdoor workouts to my routine.

Training outside just makes you happier. Have you ever seen the joy kids have when they run outside for recess? Humans are meant to be outside. It’s in our nature. When you train outside, you reconnect with who your true self. You connect with nature. When you train outside, you’ll become a better athlete. You most likely won’t have any weights with you. It’s just you and your body.

When you train outside, you’ll gain a new level of mental toughness. The more intense your outdoor workout is, the better. Bringing that mental toughness to the gym, will put you at another level. I’m speaking from experience when I say this.

By training outdoors when it’s nice, don’t be surprised if you end up doing outdoor workouts in the winter. You won’t care whether it’s cold, warm, or hot. You probably won’t train outside as often during the winter but there will be days that nothing can stop you.

Closing Thoughts

Reignite your passion for fitness by training outdoors. I’m not saying to ditch the gym because beautiful things happen when you step in that building. You should definitely add outdoor workouts to your routine. I feel like the best way to use your workouts to maximize health and fitness is to do both indoor and outdoor workouts.

You can run hills, use the monkey bars at a playground, or go for a hike. Just find something that supports your goals and see the tremendous benefits of training outdoors.

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The Body is The Temple

( Short Read) This article is about the importance of taking care of your body.

The Body is the temple. You only have one body so you should treat it well.  We often take our bodies for granted If you care about your ultimate well being, you’ll take good care of your body. Taking care of your body is the ultimate act of self-love . You can take of your body without being obsessed. Don’t stress out about every tiny detail of your health and fitness routine. You still have to enjoy your life. The to anything is balance and moderation. Do things that make your boy feel good in the short and long-term. Your body follows you everywhere you go so you might as well have a good relationship with it.

To maximize the health of your body,  you must:

Lift weights so your body can handle external forces

Do yoga so your body can be mobile and less likely to get injured

Eat healthy and nutritious foods so you have the energy to do activities

Sleep well so your body can perform at it’s best

Do cardio so your most important muscle ( your heart ) gets worked

Meditate so you can conquer illness causing stress

Have fun so your body can produce health boosting hormones

Rest so your body doesn’t break down from all the activities you do

 

Closing Thoughts

When you have a strong and healthy body you’re ahead of the game. You have more energy, toughness, and confidence. You’re also happier because you just feel good. When you combine a strong, healthy body with a powerful midset, you can take over the world!

 

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