…Make Small Healthy Changes While Aiming For A Bigger Picture…

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Trying to lose weight, get fit, or gain muscle can require huge changes to your life, but for many people these changes, when implemented all at once, are completely unsustainable. When you make such a huge overhaul, deprive yourself of everything you enjoy, and force yourself to expend energy you just don’t have, you’re far more likely to catch yourself binging on forbidden junk food at 11 pm that you ever were. Instead, taking small but positive steps towards an ultimate goal allows you time to adjust to your new lifestyle. After all, being healthy isn’t just about crash dieting and going gym crazy for a month a year – it’s about creating a healthy lifestyle for the future, forever. Here are some little changes you can make to your daily life in order to see an overall improvement in wellbeing, without any serious relapses.

Get your walking boots on

Signing up to a year-long gym subscription, only to lose the motivation within a month, is probably not the most economical way to approach a new healthy lifestyle. Instead, start by increasing the distance you walk every day. Just a half hour walk every single day, non-stop, is enough to have a huge impact on your overall fitness. Take the stairs, not the elevator, walk to work or the store, and set up walking dates with your girl friends – it’s even an excuse to buy a family dog, if you wanted one.

Cut the chips

Snacking when you’re not hungry is one of the leading causes of obesity, and let’s face it, most snack foods are junk. Eating healthy meals which contain a lot of protein but low calories will enable you to feel full for longer, which is great for a weight loss diet. This will help you to avoid binging on calorific and unhealthy junk foods, as you’ll find your hunger is abated for longer. If you do want a snack, have a piece of fruit, a few nuts, or some veggie sticks.

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Switch out the soda

Soda tends to be so high in calories, sugar, and even caffeine that you’re doing your body a huge disservice, even if it claims to be sugar-free. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning you’ll end up dehydrated, and the rest is just empty calories that will end up being stored as fat. Switch your soda for plain old H2O and see how easy it becomes to lose weight, and how much more awake and energetic you feel as well.

Cut the cigarettes

This is a seemingly small change which can make a world of difference. Not only will quitting smoking ensure you live longer, healthier, and happier, it’ll also make you feel great more immediately. Within days your sense of smell returns, your lungs clear up, and you feel more energetic and fitter. And if that’s not incentive enough, just think about what it could do for your bank balance.

Join a team

Starting at a gym, or deciding to go jogging four times a week, can be really unsustainable for many people. Some just don’t find it fun, and some just don’t feel motivated to push themselves. Joining a local sports team surrounds you with people who’ve got the motivation thing sorted for you. You meet like-minded people, learn a skill, and get fit. And it will just keep you wanting to go back for more.

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Take some time to breathe

Stress and anxiety are not particularly helpful for weight loss or fitness goals. When you’re stressed, your body decided to pile on the pounds in a system that’s still a hang-up from our days living in caves. It puts pressure on your heart, makes your skin look dull and unhealthy, and all in all isn’t a great way to be. Taking some time to yourself, breathing deeply, and celebrating small successes enables you to love your body, and helps your body to take better care of itself. This, in turn, enables your fitness journey. Take holidays, take days off to relax, and don’t forget to go for the occasional massage, if that’s your sort of thing.

Don’t sweat the screw ups

Sometimes it doesn’t all go according to plan. Sometimes a huge chocolate cake or a family-size bag of chips becomes far too attractive after a long day at work. Don’t punish yourself if you give in to temptation, and don’t berate yourself either. Keep looking forward, and keep aiming for your goals. The occasional screw up isn’t going to set you back as far as you might think, so long as they’re only occasional.

Fitness goals are all about making sustainable changes, not crash dieting. Good luck, and remember that you have totally got this.



…The Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting…

All parents want to form a close emotional bond with their children and it begins the moment

those children are born. But, parents approach this goal in many different ways because they

need a style that is consistent with their views and values. Some people treat their children as

tiny adults who can be approached rationally. Other parents turn to discipline to socialize unruly

kids. And still others let their children run the show.

 

As soon as you find out you are going to be a parent, you begin researching and trying to gain

enough knowledge so that you feel like you have some level of control. But, the amount of

parenting advice is overwhelming. How are you supposed to choose a method? You might try

some trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try something or to change your approach if the previous

one doesn’t feel like a good fit for your family.

 

One popular parenting approach is attachment parenting, which focuses on the nurturing link

parents create with their children. Proponents argue that this connection is the best way to raise

children who are empathetic, secure, and independent. As they see it, a trusting, safe attachment

to parents during childhood is the foundation for independence and secure relationships as adults.

According to Attachment Parenting International—a global educational association for this

parenting approach—there are eight principles of attachment parenting. Parents are encouraged

to interpret these principles and put them into action as they choose.

 

Prepare Physically and Emotionally for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

By researching all of the options and learning about stages of development, parents can set

realistic expectations and remain adaptable in their responses to these situations.

 

Feed Your Child with Love and Respect

Ideally, babies should be breastfed, but “bottle nursing” can also help begin a secure attachment.

Infants and children will give feeding cues that parents should respond to, encouraging their

children to eat when they are hungry and stop when they feel full. Also, parents should model

healthy eating behavior and healthy food choices.

 

Respond to Your Child with Sensitivity

Parents need to pay attention to what their children are communicating and answer appropriately

and consistently. Babies can’t calm themselves, so they need parents to help them regulate their

feelings.

 

Use a Nurturing Touch

Babies need affection, physical contact, stimulation, security, and movement. These are all

satisfied through touch, and skin-to- skin contact is recommended. Older children need hugs,

physical play, and snuggling.

 

Ensure Your Child Sleeps Safely, Both Emotionally and Physically

Sleep training routines are detrimental to children, so parents are encouraged to co-sleep with

their children. This allows parents to respond to their children’s needs and to help soothe them

when their emotions become intense.

 

Provide Your Child with Loving and Consistent Care

Children need the physical presence of a caregiver who is loving, consistent, and responsive. If

parents must be absent, they should choose another caregiver to help strengthen attachment. To

remain present, parents should have flexible schedules and help to diminish fear and stress

during small separations.

 

Practice Positive Discipline with Your Child

A child should develop a conscience that is led by his or her own inner discipline and empathy

for others. Instead of reacting to a child’s actions, parents need to discover what caused them.

Parents and children work together to create a solution that allows everyone’s dignity to remain

intact.

 

Endeavor for Balance in Your Family and Personal Life

Parents can best be responsive when they are stable. They need to meet the needs of their family

without compromising their own wellbeing. Ways of doing this include putting people before

things, creating a support system, being willing to say “no,” and setting realistic goals.

 

Obviously, there will be times when circumstances don’t allow parents to adhere to the

attachment principles, like in stressful situations resulting from things like a death or an opiate

addiction in the family. But, they can all be modified to meet the needs of the individual family.

Opiate addiction treatment can help you get your life back on track and

reverse many of the damaging effects that the addiction has had on your values, your family and

your life.



…How To Prevent Running Injuries…

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Running is your escape from the stresses and strains of daily life, and helps you to keep fit and feel good. However, if you don’t take the proper precautions, you could end up having to hang up your trainers and you might suffer from pain and discomfort. According to research, runners get around four injuries for every thousand hours they spend working out. This means that if you haven’t already suffered one, the chances are that it is on the cards sometime soon. Here is how to protect yourself so that you can keep doing what you love…

Stretching is one of the best ways to prevent injuries from running. Learn how to warmup and cool down effectively, and not only are you less likely to have problems – your runs will be easier and more enjoyable. Aside from pre and post workout, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing regular stretching exercises as well. You can get some ideas for getting started here.

Run with good posture to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your feet, knees and hips. Make a concerted effort to pull yourself up to your full height, and try to correct yourself if you slip as you’re moving along. If you’re not sure what your posture is like when you run, ask someone to take a video on your phone and study it to find out how you can improve.

Getting yourself kitted out properly is essential to minimise the risk of hurting yourself while running. Don’t wear any old shoes, take your time to find the best possible running shoes that fit well and feel comfortable. There are a lot of running equipment specialists who promise to assess you to find the best trainers, but the jury is out on how effective these assessments are. If your shoes are comfortable and have good cushioning, you’re probably on the right track.

Get a knee sleeve to look after your joints as you run. Although these are often only used by runners who already have some sort of injury, they can also be very effective in preventing problems from arising in the first place. You can find knee sleeves at http://www.mobilityguardian.com/best-knee-sleeves-reviews.

Over training, that is, running more often than your body is capable of, dramatically increases the chances that you will sustain an injury of some kind. Don’t run too far for too long, especially when you are starting out or trying to increase your pace. Make sure that you have regular rest days to give your body time to recover.

Running on concrete is extremely hard on the knees, as there is nothing to absorb the shock that occurs each time your feet hit the ground. Try to do your running on grass or dirt trails to keep your knees in good shape.

If you’d like to change things up and have a break from your usual running routine, try this HIIT game – it’s fun and can help you to get even fitter for your next trip to the track!



…Eat Yourself Fit…

When it comes to getting fit, and maintaining a healthy weight – or finding your healthy weight if you are on a weight loss journey – many assume that sports and a balanced diet are all you need. Indeed, they sign up to their local gym and exercise hard regularly until they hit what is called a plateau, a point where the body doesn’t seem to want to change anymore despite having not yet reached their goals. This is because focusing only on your workouts to burn fat and build muscle is not enough. You are missing something! You need to change your approach to food: The food you eat is not your enemy. It can even boost up your fitness levels if you know what to eat!

Healthy snacks

Smart Diet Full Of Proteins

As you start exercising, it is important to focus on a protein rich diet as this will help your body to build muscle and burn fat. While you can, of course, choose protein shakes, it’s always a good idea to orientate your diet in a way that provides the appropriate terrain for your muscle and fitness program. Check a previous article of the blog, http://www.infinitelifefitness.com/2017/02/10/surprising-foods-that-help-us-to-get-fit/, that discusses smart foods that support your fitness goals. Salmon is, for a start, a protein-rich fish that helps not only building muscle, but also improving the overall strength of your muscle. Lentils are another good example of healthy food: They are naturally low in fat, but they provide plenty of protein and fiber which is ideal for any weight loss plan: It’s food for the muscle and the digestive system! So prepare a delicious lentil salad for lunch; it’s full of goodness.

Smart Fat Burning Foods

There is more to food that just smart meals. There are also the snacks and the foods that actively help your body to burn more fat. Using coconut oil as part of your cooking routine will have a positive effect, for example. Indeed, despite being naturally rich in calories, coconut oil requires more calories from your body to be processed than it provides. As long as you don’t overdo it, it’s a great thing to have in your kitchen. Avocados have a similar effect on the body: While being calorie-rich, they are full of healthy fatty elements that boost fat burn in your body. Additionally, you can also use daily recipes that are simple to prepare such as this one from http://thealternativedaily.com/add-coconut-oil-honey-and-cinnamon-to-coffee/: Adding coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon to your daily cup of coffee will kick start your fat burning system. You can find plenty of detox water recipes that help to boost your metabolism throughout the day too.

Smart Portion Control

Last but not least in the smart eating methodology, is the correct portion control. For many, eating less is key to weight loss, but in truth, you will need different volumes of carbs, protein, and vegetables as you help your body to tone up. Have a look at reusable diet control containers – here on Amazon – to help you to plan balanced and healthy meals. Additionally, it’s important to develop a healthy understanding of portion sizes, as described here on http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-serving-sizes, as you need to combine the calorie intake with healthy levels of vitamins and minerals. Understanding the food you eat is the best way to fill your plate appropriately!

 



…Are You At The End Of Your Tether?…

We all know that the quest for fitness is a hard one. While we all have different reasons for going down the fitness path, we all face the same problems. There are many faddy fitness trends that promise to make the quest easier, but few work. In truth, the only way to achieve your goals is strong commitment. Even so, the traditional fitness routes don’t work for everyone. For some of us, the hard exercise never pays off. If that sounds like you, it’s important not to lose hope. There are routes you can go down to make fitness easier to find. While none of these routes can replace exercise, they can give you the boost you need to keep up the struggle. If that sounds good to you, here’s what you need to do.

 

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KNOW YOUR REASONS

Before you can make your journey easier, you need to know why you’re exercising. Do you want to get fit, lose weight, or both? Without knowing this, you won’t know how to make the journey easier. In fact, this realisation in itself will help you. Undirected exercise can be hard to master. Your routine may be all over the place if you don’t know what you want to achieve. Let’s be honest, that may be why you haven’t seen results. Take time to write down a list of your goals. The results may surprise you. Once you have that list, reconsider your routine. If weight loss is your goal, visit sites like https://www.popsugar.com to see the best exercise for you. If it’s fitness you’re after, research will lead you to what works. Keep your goals in mind, too, when deciding what you can do to make things easier.

RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS

Once you’ve set your mind on a goal, it’s time to research your options. If weightloss is your goal, you could inspire yourself by improving your diet, or attempting non-surgical methods of weight loss like the ones found at https://beautifullyalive.org/what-is-coolsculpting-everything-you-need-to-know/. Losing a little weight from the off will encourage you to continue the journey. If it’s fitness you’re after, it’s not so easy to start. But, that’s not to say there’s no help out there. Again, improving your diet will help. Taking vitamin supplements to improve your energy levels could also be useful.

DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE

No matter what other methods you use, it’s important you continue to exercise. If not, your other efforts will go to waste. Nothing compares to hard work and commitment. If you fail to keep up your fitness regime, nothing will change. Remember that these alternative methods are to give you a boost, not to replace exercise. Remember, too, that your routine will be easier to work with a clear goal in mind. Use the list you’ve written to devise a plan that works. Keep up with weight loss exercise to keep the fat you’ve burnt at bay. Make sure you use the energy those supplements give you by exercising daily to improve your fitness.



…What’s The Link Between Fitness & A Healthy Mind? …

When it comes to getting fit, the reason that most people start a fitness regime is improve their physical health, slim down, tone up, or train for a sports event. While getting fit is a great way to do all of those things, what a lot of people don’t realize is that getting fit also has a positive impact on the mind.

For over a decade, scientists have been researching the impact that regular exercise has on our mental state. So far, studies have shown that getting yourself into peak physical fitness comes with an array of benefits for your mental health.

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Research has also shown that one of the main things that motivates people to stay active isn’t having a healthier body or being more toned, it’s the mental health benefits that come with exercise. Yes, looking good is great, but feeling good is just as important, maybe even more important.

So, with that in mind, below is a list of the different ways that getting fit can help to give your mind a health boost. If a healthy mindset isn’t motivation for being more active, nothing is. The question is, what are the benefits that people who exercise regularly see, in terms of their mental health?

Feeling less stressed

Had a bad day at work? Argued with your partner? Worrying about the kids? A quick workout could be the answer to de-stressing and feeling better. Whether you choose to head to the gym, attend a yoga class, or go for a walk with the dog, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that by being physically active and increasing your fitness levels, you will begin to feel less stressed. This is partly because exercise encourages the production of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps the brain to moderate stress levels and keeps you feeling calmer. So not only can working out help you to relax when you’re already feeling stressed, but it can also improve your ability to deal with stress in the future.

Being happier

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Research has also shown that exercise can make you feel happier. Yes, working out can be hard, but afterward, once the workout is over, you should feel happier and more content. This is because exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy, which is why people who exercise on a regular basis tend to be happier than people who don’t. Studies have shown that the power of endorphins can even help to improve the moods of people suffering from depression, which means that they must be pretty powerful. It’s not about working out like crazy; it’s about exercising on a regular basis, ensuring that you’re active as often as possible, even if for short periods of time. Remember, the type of exercise you do doesn’t matter, whether it’s playing a team sport, practicing pilates, or attending a swimming class – just as long as you’re being active, that’s all that matters.

Having more confidence

There’s no doubt about it, getting physically fit can help to boost confidence and self-esteem. A lot of people presume that this is because when you’re physically active, you tend to be in better shape than when you’re not exercising on a regular basis, and are more trim and toned. While this does play a part in feeling more confident when you exercise regularly, it’s also down to the fact that regular exercise makes you feel better in yourself, increasing your self-worth and boosting your confidence. Being confident isn’t just about how you look, it’s also about how you feel, and it’s important to realize that.

Less anxious

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Every now and then, we all feel anxious. Maybe you’re heading out on a first date, perhaps you’ve got an exam to sit, or maybe you’re starting a new job – it’s normal to feel a little anxious. However, what’s not normal is feeling anxious all the time. Studies have shown that in the US, over 40 million adults suffer from anxiety – that’s a huge chunk of the population. While a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that the best way to calm someone suffering from anxiety is to help them to relax, actually exercise has been proven to be more effective in the long-run. The chemicals that the body releases during exercise have been proven to help people suffering from anxiety to calm down, both in a moment of severe anxiety and also in the long-term. You see, studies have shown that people who have anxiety and exercise regularly are twice as likely as people who have anxiety and don’t exercise, to lead a happier life.

Have sharper memories

Scientists have discovered that taking part in regular physical activity gives your memory a boost, making it more likely that you will remember things more clearly. The reason for this is because as we are exercising, the production of cells in the hippocampus, increases – this is the part of the mind that is responsible for memory. A study has shown that among adults who spring regularly, it’s easier for them to learn and remember new words, compared to adults who don’t regularly exercise.

Able to focus more easily

Do you ever have those days where you feel completely and utterly uninspired? Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, you can’t focus? Well, you’ve guessed it, exercise can help with that too. Studies have shown that people who take the time to exercise on a regular basis tend to be able to focus more easily, and are also more productive. Research also shows that the best time to exercise is halfway through the day, during your lunch hour. Although it might be difficult to squeeze a workout into your lunch hour, if you are able to manage to, the chances are you will do better at work because of it. Research has also identified that if nootropics are used in conjunction with exercise to improve focus, as the 101nootropics website suggests, the results achieved can be even better. Who would have thought that exercise and some carefully selected supplements could make focusing on work, and also other tasks, that much easier?

More relaxed

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Although some people find exercising too close to bedtime can lead to insomnia for many others it can have the opposite effect. Studies have shown that for some people, spending an hour at the gym, half an hour swimming, or even going for a quick bike ride, can aid relaxation, making falling asleep much quicker and easier. The reason that exercise helps to aid relaxation is because working out increases your body temperature, and then when you finish working out your temperature drops, making your body think that it’s time to relax or even sleep, as our body temperatures tend to drop slightly at night. So, if you’re someone who struggles to relax, regular exercise could be the answer.

Be more creative

This might not seem like it’s linked to a healthy mind, but actually, creativity and mindset are closely linked. Scientists have found that for two to three hours after a workout, our minds are much more creative and open to creativity. Various studies have also shown that creativity can be a sign of happiness, as well as being a great way to reduce stress. Once you’ve worked out, you feel refreshed, which is what many scientists believe causes you to be able to be more creative after a workout than normal.

More energy

Another benefit of participating in regular exercise is that you will have more energy. Research has shown that by working out and raising your heartbeat three or more times a week, you will begin to have more energy. The key to building energy through exercise is starting slowly because at first, you will most probably feel more tired than anything else. However, over time as your stamina increases, you should find that regular exercise helps to give your energy levels a boost. It doesn’t matter what form of exercise it is that you choose to do, from Crossfit to trampolining, it doesn’t matter how you work out. All that matters is that you take things slowly at the start, as you build up your strength, stamina, and energy levels, and start feeling better in yourself.

Getting physically fit is something that can take a lot of time and effort, but don’t let that put you off. If you want to improve both your mental and physical health, taking the time to be more active and get in better shape is worth it. The fact is that when you’re active, your mental health is greatly improved, as is your physical health. As mentioned above, studies have shown that regular exercise reduces stress, makes anxiety more manageable, boosts confidence, and improves focus, among many other things. So making the time to be physically active on a regular basis is important, both for your physical and mental health. As a rule of thumb, aim to spend around five hours a week exercising, and you should see the benefit.



…Home Workouts: Hot Or Not?…

If you’ve decided to embrace exercise and get fit in 2017, well done! There’s no better resolution. Exercising on a regular basis has incredible benefits for your mental and physical health. When it comes to making excuses, most people say that they avoid exercise due to a lack of time and money. But what if there was a way of working out that could save you time, and enable you to get fit frugally? Home workouts may be an option worth considering. Here are the pros and cons.

The pros

Convenience

Do you struggle to find time to go swimming or get to the gym? Do your work commitments mean that it’s tough to train with a local team or join a club? If so, working out at home provides a solution to time constraints. You can workout whenever you have time in the day, and you can adapt the time to suit your schedule. Once you decide to exercise, you can do it straight away. You don’t need to take travel time or getting ready into consideration. If you have a busy schedule, this is a really great way to get fit without eating into those precious spare moments.

Cost

Paying for a gym membership can be costly. There may be a joining fee, and then you’ve got to account for monthly payments for the next 12 months. Sometimes, if you want to do classes as well, there may be additional charges. If you choose to set up a home gym, you’ll incur costs at the beginning, but after that, you can work out for free. Another alternative is to buy some fitness DVDs. This is a very cheap way of getting in shape. If you’re searching for equipment, think about what kinds of machines you want to buy. If you’re new to exercise, you’ll find articles like this review on sunny health fitness equipment useful. It’s worth looking at buy and sell pages online and auction sites if you don’t want to pay for brand new equipment.

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The cons

Motivation

If you’re training alone, it can be difficult to find the motivation to push yourself, especially if you’re a novice. If you work with a personal trainer, they can push you harder, and you’ll get more out of the session.

Socialization

Lots of people enjoy working out with friends or gym buddies. If you exercise at home, you’re probably going to be flying solo, so you’ll miss out on the social aspect. One solution could be to invite friends over to use your home gym.

Range of equipment

If you go into a gym, you’ll be faced with all kinds of weird and wonderful contraptions, which are designed to work different parts of your body. If you have a home gym, it’s likely that you’ll have a couple of machines, and a smaller variety of options.

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If you haven’t got time to work out or you find it tough to muster up the enthusiasm to go to the gym after work, it may be worth giving working out at home a try. You’ll save time and money, and you’ve got everything you need without leaving the comfort of home.

 



…Working Out At Home When You Have Little Space…

While we would love to go to the gym every day, it’s often not achievable. After all, it can be an expensive monthly cost that can leave us out of pocket. And after we have been to work all day, we don’t want to leave our humble abode. Therefore, a lot of people are resorting to working out from the comfort of their home. However, it can be challenging if there is little space in the property. However, it is possible; here are some ways you can workout at home when you have little space.

Use the stairs as an alternate stepper

A lot of us like to use the stepper machine to workout at the gym. After all, it can work our leg and arm muscles. And it’s one of the most popular machines to use at the gym. But if you are limited for room in your humble abode, you should consider using the stairs instead. After all, you will still work those same muscles if you walk up and down the stairs. And you can even run up them if you want to get your heart rate going at a fast pace. Use a timer to ensure you spend the right amount of time doing the workout. And whatever you do, make sure the stairs are clear before you begin. After all, you don’t want to fall over a toy halfway through working out!

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Opt for foldable machines

When people decide to workout at home, they look for some exercise machines they can buy to use at home. For example, a treadmill and a rowing machine are often popular choices. However, if you are limited for room, you need to make sure that your machines easily fold away. That way, you can close them when you are not using them so that they don’t take up all the room in your humble abode. You can easily find machines that fold down if you look online at reviews. For example, http://www.rowingreviewshubcom.com/nordictrack-review-guide talks about a rower that folds away into a very small machine. And make sure it’s easily portable by buying a machine that comes on wheels. That way, you can move it around as necessary to ensure you don’t take up much room in the home!

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Go out in the garden

If you are limited for room inside of your home, you should consider going outside to do your workouts. After all, you will have a wealth of room in your garden. And aside from not trying to step on the plants, you won’t have to worry about things getting broken. In the backyard, you could easily do some exercises such as jogging or running. And you could even use a skipping rope or a hula hoop to exercise too in the garden. And gardening itself is actually said to be a good workout. As it says on https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/lifestyle/garden-fitness-more-than-a-hobby-its-good-for-you.htm, mowing the lawn can burn 300 calories!

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And remember that you could always stick on some exercise videos on Youtube and dance away in your bedroom. After all, you can often find full classes on the site like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52lLufK1FEI that you can follow.



…Surprising Foods That Help Us To Get Fit…

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It isn’t just exercise and a balanced diet that contribute to our fitness levels – certain foods can even give us a boost. From endurance enhancing bananas to muscle building salmon, there’s far more to healthy cooking than keeping an eye on your macros and calorie intake. If you’re only focussing on your workouts to get fit, burn fat, and build muscle, you’re seriously missing a trick.

Salmon

Not only is salmon chock full of protein, making it great for anyone wanting to build muscle, but it’s also high in omega-3. Omega-3 is amazing for your body in many ways, not least helping your brain to function at its optimum levels, reducing the risk of anxiety and depression, and keeping your eyes good and healthy, it can also help to improve muscle strength and decrease muscle breakdown between workouts. So get that smoked salmon with your scrambled eggs in the morning and see your strength grow and grow.

Lentils

Lentils are full of fiber and protein and really low in fat, making them a delicious and filling meal constituent for someone who’d like to lose weight. All that fiber means you feel full after fewer lentils than you would anything else, and smaller portions obviously mean fewer calories. All their protein makes them a great substitute for meat for vegetarians who would like to lose a bit of weight, or for people exploring low meat diets. They are really versatile and suit all manner of different cooking styles and flavors – a great addition to any pantry.

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Bananas

You’ve probably heard that a banana half an hour before a workout or exercise will boost your endurance massively, but it’s totally true. Not only is it brimming with healthy sugars, but it can also help to lessen the risk of cramps while you’re exercising, and it keeps your heart and cardiovascular system working efficiently. A banana following a workout also helps to replace a lot of the electrolytes lost through sweating, and give you a boost of energy as well.

Ginger

Many people turn to ginger for help with boosting their immune system and fighting bugs, but it’s got far more to it than that. It’s an antihistamine, so it naturally helps allergy sufferers to lessen their symptoms, and it’s even an anti-inflammatory. It’s great for giving the metabolism a boost, making weight loss far easier. In fact, many people rely on the essential oils for losing weight fast. So what are you waiting for – get ginger into everything you eat!

Beetroot

This beautiful, deep red root vegetable is great for boosting endurance during your workout, allowing you to exercise longer and harder. It’s full of great vitamins and minerals, including a nitrate which aids blood flow and muscle strength. While some people aren’t a big fan of beet, popping it into juice or a smoothie is a great way to get all of the goodness and less of the flavor.

Eating healthily in order to lose weight or boost muscle can be optimized far about the usual calorie watching and macro counting – give some of these foods a go and see what difference they make to you.



…GORUCK HHH: My afterthoughts/AAR…

What does AAR mean? After Action Review/Report (yeah I know some of you were trying to figure out what that means… don’t worry it took me a while to figure out what that acronym means LOL)

Ruck. Train. Eat. Sleep. Repeat

That was my method to getting ready for the HHH.

No, I did not wake up 7 days a week at 4 AM to do “x” miles of rucks (or runs).
No, I did not train 7 days a week.
No, I did not restrict or cut calories (I actually added calories and I am happy I did!)
No, I did not deprive myself from sleep (other than the usual hectic work week sleep deprecation or the sleep that was surrendered while doing other GORUCK EVENTS)

What I did do: make a plan. I am a personal trainer so creating training plans is something that is second nature for me. I live in a small rural town. If I had time I loaded up my ruck/sand bag and I walked to work (and back home). Nice days = a date with my pup, ruck, and sand bag on the trails for trail rucks. If there was a day that was super busy ( most days I have clients staring at 4 am and don’t make it home until 9 pm) and I did not have the time nor energy to fit in a workout I didn’t. AND I didn’t feel guilty about it. I did not want my training for this event to add more stress to my life. I wanted training to parallel with the other things I had going on in my life. I wanted to create a positive and healthy method of preparing for this event (as I do with all events I do). I did not want to set myself up to get hurt or to get burned out.  I also used HCLs (GORUCK Heavy, Challenge, and Light events… 48 ish hours of Consecutive GORUCK events in one weekend) as a resource to get in heavy miles, cadre lead PT, log carries, and unpredictable obstacles to help get ready for the event. I immediately found HCLs that would fit into my schedule (and budget) and tried to spread them out over the months leading up to the HHH.

Why I did so many HCL’s:

With the first HCL of 2016 I nailed down exactly what I HAD TO HAVE in my ruck. The less you need the less you have to carry (other than the required weight). My ruck handle was also adopted along with a few other GORUCK hacks that helped me be more efficient and organized.

  • My Ruck handle can be found ————>CLICK HERE
  • My typical event packing list ——->CLICK HERE
  • All of the contents of my ruck were separated into separate dry bags (food in one small dry bag, first aid/foot care kit in one bag, jacket and other clothes in another bigger bag). This made it easy to know what to grab when I needed it AND kept everything organized, separated, and dry.
  • Food was all prepackaged food. This make it easy to grab and eat on the go, if for some reason my dry bag leaked water my food would not get wet.

I also used the HCL’s to mentally get ready for the HHH. Not getting upset or annoyed when I got tired, cold, and hungry. Figuring out my own strengths and weaknesses.  Figuring out what I can do to help my team more. Learning how to communicate with new/different people to help bridge the gap between trying to understand and respect how different people understand and perceive obstacle that arise during events.

  • Getting mentally ready is by far just as important as physically training for this event. It is VERY easy to get discouraged and want to quit.  Your will power to continue has to be as strong (if not stronger) than your body.
  • Getting mentally ready is something that YOU have to figure out how to do. My methods are something that I use to get me through all events.
  • You may frequently hear “Find your WHY”.  Your “WHY” is your reason you signed up for the event.   Your “WHY” is what gets you out and training for this kind of event. Your “WHY” can help to push you through the hard, cold, and hungry times. Your ‘WHY” is what helps you complete the event.

Not really changing socks/shoes to gauge how my feet would hold up with the abuse and miles that happen during events. Figuring out how far I can push myself until my body NEEDED food and what food was nourishing and delicious.

Gear Check:  ***MY METHODS OR CLOTHING/SHOES CHOICES  MAY  NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE***

  • Footwear… the number one question that I get asked. To be honest I trained in my Nike Frees (running shoes) OR my converse.  For the HHH I had both my Nike Frees and Merrell hiking shoes. I have done ALL of my events in my Nike Frees. When it comes to footwear try different types of shoes. Figure out what will work best for you and your body.
  • I wore Injinji socks ( I had one extra pair packed in my ruck but I am pretty sure I wore the same pair for the entire HHH). I found this helped TREMENDOUSLY with limiting the friction from my toes rubbing together and helped to limit hot spots and blisters.
  • Clothing: I wore GORUCK pants (check out my product review for the pants by CLICKING HERE) and a plain t-shirt. I did have on compression shorts under the pants (to help limit chafing) .

Getting ready for the event as a team:  

As a team we were allowed to have drop bags.  We all figured out how to equally split things up in those drop bags and what all was needed. We figured out what would be important to have (such as extra bladders, rucks, and other miscellaneous  items) and things that would be a nice luxury to have (candy, caffeine, etc).

Confession: I DISLIKE THE GORUCK EVENT PAGES ON FACEBOOK
People’s fears and insecurities seemed to creep into my own subconsciousness and that was causing me to take progressive steps backwards instead of forward.  When I was super active on those pages, I realized that I spending more time trying to get mentally balanced instead of focusing on the important things for the event. I have my own training method. I have my own way to get ready for events. Such as most athletes have pregame rituals, I have preruck rituals and adapted those rituals to help me mentally get “in the game and ready to play”. I purposely told several people that I was in the group but muted the group notifications. If there was something that needed my input to tag me or have someone text/message me to tell me to check the group. Don’t get me wrong, I would periodically scroll through the group but I was not apart of the regular group banter.

The HHH: 24 started, 8 finished 

Heavy #1: 24 started, 18 finished 
We all arrive and instantly clicked. We all have been communicating about the event for months and most of us had already done several events together over the year(s). We checked drop bags, stretched, mentally checked in with each other and got ready. Cadre show up and immediately start the torture. Ruck run… Fast paced… In the dead of the heat… For a undisclosed distance. AWESOME! Heat immediately announced itself as the primary obstacle for this portion of the event. After the initial evolution we had the traditional Heavy 12 miler (around Fiesta Island)… More PT fun… More miles and less smiles.

Oh yeah cadre are not your friends. I have done countless events with both Danny and Flash. My typical event banter and jokes awarded myself and the team extra PT.

I would say that the heat was the main mental factor to start off Heavy #1.  It was a stagnant heat that made it difficult to ignore. The first Heavy included A LOT of miles. It was for sure not a easy Heavy and the Cadre showed no mercy (not only for the 1st Heavy but for any of the Heavies).

 
Heavy #1 was very memorable because I remember how tired and beat down I was at the conclusion of the event.  But, I was also very excited and anxious to attempt the remaining 2 heavies. The team dynamic at the end of the 1st heavy was strong.  We were all looking out for each others health, mental state, and overall well being. I would say that it was at this point our team (in my opinion) seemed to be the strongest. We all had passed the hurdle of the 1st heavy and wanted to push each other to make it past the next events.

Upon conclusion of heavy #1  no one was allowed to leave. As a team we had to rest and repair ourselves to get ready for heavy #2. If you wanted to drop out of the events it had to be done at the start of heavy #2.

Heavy #2: 18 started, 15 finished
Welcome party was a wicked WOD in honor of Kirk Deligiannis. I finished 5th overall and I was the 2nd female to finish.

I am not a Cross Fit person (as in I do not regularly do Cross Fit, but I have done it a few times with friends when I travel). The WOD was DIFFICULT and constantly challenged you.  It was a great Welcome Party/PT test to start off the 2nd Heavy.

My only thoughts during the WOD: It pays to be a winner. Put more effort into getting done as fast as you can.  Not only to get the additional rest, but I know that pushing 100% is something Kirk would do. For this WOD I did not want to be mediocre and complete the WOD just to finish it. I wanted to put all of my efforts into making sure that every rep, every step, and every second was done to my fullest effort.

I finished the first WOD with full effort only to complete it and realize that we had ANOTHER WOD to do. Yeah… two WODs back to back, after doing a full heavy. But, in reality I compared it to other things they could have us do. So I did not complain, I tightened my shoes laces, and I kept going.

After both WODs we of course had more miles, less smiles, and endured some great GORUCK good living. At this point, people were starting to drop or get dropped from the event due to medical/health reasons. Cadre made it VERY clear that our health was a priority.  It was not worth risking life long health problems to earn a patch. Bleeding and draining foot blisters, wicked ruck rash (and rub rashes in other disclosed areas), cramping and dehydration were a huge factor on the team.  When this started happening it was clear and evident of the importance of the medical support staff that followed us.  They were very diligent about making sure we stayed hydrated and did not push ourselves past our health limits.

I remember mostly having guest cadre (Shredder, Brett & Patrick), sprints and low crawls on the beach, water PT, meeting up with the challenge classes, chasing the challenge class because they stole our supplies, and sleep deprivation finally getting the best of some of our team mates. Trying to get them to understand directions and quickly execute cadre orders  (because at this point I was TL) was a challenging task.  Being the TL 36ish hours into this event was one of the hardest things for me (personally). I HATE BEING THE TL. No matter what kind of event I am doing. I would much rather be enduring the pain with my team than running around trying to tell them what to do.

***TL = Team Leader***

Being TL at this point was hard because it was dark, the challenge class stole our supplies, we had to do bounding movements while catching them.  And, if we got caught by the challenge classes “we would get in trouble”. The plan that I had issued to the team was given to me by the cadre.  But, my team felt as if we should do something else. Sleep deprivation and hallucinations started setting in.  This made it hard to focus AND successfully complete the mission. Yes, we eventually caught up to the challenge class and unsuccessfully infiltrated their class to steal our supplies back. Of course we paid for this but earned another break/med check. One awesome aspect of the 2nd heavy was being able to learn the depths and details of Mogadishu from a veteran and a survivor who was actually there and apart of Mogadishu.

Upon conclusion of heavy #2 we lost more team mates but they were able to leave at the conclusion of heavy #2. Heavy #3 required us to drive really far into the desert so if you committed to start Heavy #3 you were all in.

Heavy #2 was hard because your body was already tired, but your mind was even more tired.  At this point you were fighting a lot of physical and mental barriers.  For those that have done an HCL, imagine how you feel after completing an HCL and double that feeling. Getting rest and repairing your body (both physically and mentally) was mandatory for those who wanted to attempt the 3rd heavy.

Heavy #3: 12 started, 8 finished
The desert. We got some rest, had time to heal our wounds, and had time to get some food/fluids into our systems. We started this event in chaos. Car horns blaring, lights flashing, cadre yelling, and a dead ruck sprint up a trail (yes we were going up a steady inclined hill = more difficult) for over a mile. We stopped to take a SHORT breather (as a few team mates at this time were also dropped from the event from failing to keep up with the group)and then we continued a speedy ruck march up that same trail for miles into the darkness, mountains and dessert. At the conclusion of this movement we did another med check and we also got IV’s which were a LIFE SAVER! During this break we got some more fluid,  ate some grub, checked in with the remaining teammates that were left, and started the next evolution.  At this time we were then given a decent size log with only 8 people to continue the 3rd heavy.  The final 8. Super Ocho.

We rotated off/on the log for a distance and crushed the time hack. Traveled more miles into the darkness (and even had the chance to step onto the Pacific Coast Trail per my request since it was something I had dreamed of doing). Day broke and we headed to another location to survey, map, and infiltrate a park.

Onto the next evolution, more weight was added to our team and at last the final log. Oddly shaped, heavy, and small numbers to carry it along with everything else we had. By this time thinking clearly was DIFFICULT. Just grasping and understanding what was going on took a few seconds longer than usual. Hallucination were a regular thing that was happening, and the smell that we had created over three days was pretty unbearable at this point. Cadre purposely misinformed the current TL of our extraction point. It was at this point our team somewhat got divided and started to unravel. But, our team did a great job at stepping up and correcting the troubling situation allowing us to move forward. Flag brushed the ground = PT smoke session. When this happened my heart stopped. We were already tired, and in my mind I had lost track of time so I assumed we had A LOT of time until we were close to being done.  At this point doing almost anything is not an easy task. It takes more effort (and caution to avoid a careless/tired injury) to do anything. But, we embraced our punishment, came together as a team, and completed the assigned PT. We have made it this far, why would we give up?

Cadre then made us evaluate each member on the team. We had to rank each team mate and write a brief description about their performance during the HHH. This was indeed one of the best things we could have done at that point in the event.  I was ranked #3 on my team of 8. Got some great feed back as to my progress and performance during the HHH from both the team AND the cadre. This was very valuable information because it allowed you to realize and understand how our teammates really appreciated (or did not appreciate) things we did during the events. Being peer evaluated helped to allow a better understanding of what more you can do as a teammate in future events as well as in life.

We race to our next extraction point, which was unknown to us as being our end point. In my mind I thought we had several hours and miles left before we would be done. But, we turned the corner and beneath the USS Midway we saw and heard a crowd of familiar faces, beer, and food. It was at that moment I knew I had done it. I knew that WE HAD DONE IT.  With tears streaming down my face I collected my patches, hugged my team mates, and cracked open a bud heavy. HHH… My 2016 goal was complete.

What I learned…My final thoughts:

Who is on your team is so important.  It allows you to know the strengthens and weaknesses of those that are around you. Like I said before, I had done a lot of events with most of the people on my team. So working together came naturally.  It is comforting to be able to look over and see your friends and teammates there to help you. Your team can see if you were being pushed to your limit and were able to let you rest or ask for more help because they knew what you were capable of doing.  The screening process at that point was GREATLY appreciated. Having a team of HCL finishers helps to know that the people that have showed up are prepared and know what it takes to attempt to make it to the next event.  I was happy I packed such a variety of food for the event.  Having done HCL’s I knew that I would get sick of just one type of snack, protein bar, candy if that was all I had to eat for a few days. The SUPPORT CREW WERE LIFE SAVERS! Without them we would not have safely made it to the end of the event.

Would I do it again? I will not say yes and I will not say no. But looking back I embraced and enjoyed every painful moment and I am happy I did it.



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