Got Down Time? Tone Up!

(Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash)

When was the last time you had this much free time?

If you’re like the rest of the world, the answer is never. With the onslaught of COVID-19, life as we know it has come to an unprecedented halt, leaving a lot of newly-unhurried people in its wake. What to do?

If you’re generally pretty content with your life and have no big goals you’d like to accomplish, this unstructured downtime can feel like heaven. Expectations have been lowered along with the shutting off of your alarm clock. Sounds sweet!

But if you’re in the other group of people–the anxious, ambitious, and active one–you might be going stir crazy without a jam-packed schedule to keep your gears turning. The good news is we’re here to jumpstart your fitness routine so that you can still feel like you’re moving forward amid this indefinite winter vacation (or is it spring vacation now?).

Get Online

Going online to get fit probably sounds counterintuitive, but hear us out: group exercise challenges are currently sweeping all the hot social media platforms, and it’s getting people moving in quite a literal way. Just look up a workout challenge you’d like to do, so for example, a kettlebell challenge or a plank challenge, and see all the videos of people around the country who are participating from the comfort of their homes.

Reaching out to an online fitness community is also an excellent way to hold yourself accountable to your goals. If you feel a little uncomfortable doing this, though, then consider asking a good friend who is supportive of your endeavors.

Think Outside The Box

Or if a box adds to your workout, then, by all means, include one! However, since most people do not have a state-of-the-art gym in their homes, they’ll have to get a bit creative when it comes to weightlifting. Canned goods are a good substitute for free weights, as they’re usually a bit heavier than other food items and are very unlucky to burst open if dropped. The last thing you want to worry about while getting shredded is having a big, sloppy mess to clean up after you’ve finished. If you’re low on canned goods, try water bottles or a rolling pin, if you have one. Suddenly a jar of mayonnaise has the potential to improve your health–who knew?

Break It Up

Structuring your day can have an especially grounding effect right now, but if you want to add a little more variety to your new daily routine instead, consider interspersing your day with short, small bursts of exercise. Chances are you’re working from home right now, so sitting for long periods or more likely to drive you batty. Even taking short, 15-minute walks around the house can be enough to get the blood in your body and brain flowing.

Of course, if you’re just looking spruce up your fitness wardrobe, head over to Curves N Combatboots to check out the hottest workout gear for a fantastic price. CNC uses soft, breathable fabrics that transform you from a sweaty pig into a glistening fox. Check out their website today!

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Do You Believe These Common Fitness Myths?

Woman Holding Exercise Equipment

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We’re all trying to find the most effective ways to work out and stay fit. Because of that, there are huge amounts of information floating around on what the best workout methods are. The problem with that is that a great deal of that information is bogus. Sadly the only thing larger than the volume of fitness information out there is the volume of fitness misinformation out there. But how do you know which is which? Well, the only real way to know the facts from the fake is to do your own research. However, to help you start avoiding any bad information about your workouts, here are a few fitness myths that you may well believe to be true.

No pain no gain

This may be the most iconic phrase in all of modern gym culture. You see it painted in huge letters on the gym walls; it’s the thing you tell yourself when you can go on; your personal trainer might even yell it at you to get your to do just one more rep. But here’s the thing: it’s not true. Surprise, surprise, being in pain isn’t actually a good sign! In reality, being from working out is the same as any other pain, it’s a message from your body to stop doing whatever you’re doing. The key is to figure out the difference between pushing your body so that you can burn calories and build muscle, and going too far to the point where you actually injure yourself.

Cardio above everything

We all know what it’s like when you spend all of your time waiting around to get on the treadmill and cycling machine. These kinds of machines are incredibly popular because of the widespread belief that, if you want to lose weight, you need to focus on cardio. While cardio can be incredibly useful, it’s not the be all and end all of any workout. Depending on the results that you’re after, you might be better off with pure weight training.

You have to hit the gym every day

Everyone knows that one person who insists that, if you want to get fit then you have to hit the gym every single day. They evangelize the importance of working out non-stop and call anyone who does otherwise lazy or non-committal. However, in reality, these kinds of people are not only incredibly obnoxious, but they’re also entirely wrong. Pretty much all personal training regimens understand that rest days are crucial if you want to build any muscle because that is actually the time when your body converts the fat you’ve burned into muscle. You may put the work in at the gym, but the results only happen when you’re resting.

One of the most important things that many people have to learn is that there really is not such thing as some kind of perfect way to make working out easy and to give you results fast. The truth is that staying in shape and being more healthy are things that require time and effort. You need to be willing to put that time and effort in.

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My Top Five Tips For Wellness During A Quarantine

This Quarantine has been life changing no doubt. I feel this “ locked up” feeling has really made us evaluate many things in life. One thing I feel I have really improved on is my Wellness. I’ve always been health driven and a very mindful eater, but these times have really expanded my love for cooking many healthy meals. I have spent many days reading wellness books and listening to wellness audio books. I’ve realized just how much I love Cooking with vegetables I thought I once hated. Going through something so life changing can wreak havoc on our wellness if we let it. This goes for all wellness including mental wellness. I have some amazing Tips for staying well and healthy through a quarantine

The Perfect Green Smoothie
  • Get Moving – I know we don’t have access to our favorite gyms or studio classes, but many online apps have some great classes and workouts to try. I absolutely love my Brooke Burke Body app. She has such amazing workouts with such little investment. One thing I love is that she changes her workouts up.
  • Stay Hydrated– yes many of us can drown our days in too much wine or spirits, but staying hydrated is key. It gives us so much more energy and is good for our health. There are times you can be dehydrated without realizing it. The key is keeping water with you constantly through out the day. A favorite of mine is adding fruit to my water to give it a bit of flavor.
  • Journaling– I have been journaling for many years. I find it very calming and positive. Especially through a time like this, it’s great to get everything out on paper. Your blessings, your gratitude, your goals. This is something we all need in our life right now. Waking up every morning and journaling puts everything into perspective. It really reminds us of how lucky we truly are.
  • Eat Lots of Colorful Veggies – vegetables are the best thing you can put in your body. They are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that our body needs to feel good and function well. I’ve been using this quarantine to really dig deep into my vegan cookbooks and get to work. Many vegetables I thought I disliked have become my all time favorite.
  • Get Creative– creativity is SO good for the mind and your wellbeing. A typical day we are so busy with our daily lives that we don’t take the time to really dig into our creative outlets. This quarantine has given me plenty of time to expand my creativity. I’ve made great lists of organization and goals on my personal blog. It has really given me a sense of new and exciting projects to come.

I hope through this whole Quarantine , you keep your wellness in tact. It’s the only thing we have to keep our minds and bodies going in a healthy direction. We should all come out of this counting our blessings .

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5 Ways To Workout During Lockdown

With summer on the way, now is the time of year you’d be stepping up your workout gym efforts, making more trips to the gym and doing anything you can to get ‘summer ready’. But as we know, this year things are a little different. In a bid to keep everyone healthy, it’s time to ‘stay at home’ and try social distancing for a while. 

If you’re worried about the impact this will have on your fitness, then don’t be. There are still a lot of ways you can workout on lockdown and get yourself ready for summer. Here are five ideas to get you started. 

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

1. Do a HIIT in your living room

A HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout is a great solution for working out quickly and effectively. As long as you’re willing to work hard for 20-40 minutes, you’ll get a great result. You can find some amazing online HIIT workouts on YouTube and other sources to help you get into shape in no time at all. Start with a beginner’s workout and build your way up to something more advanced.

2. Enjoy garden yoga

Being in shape doesn’t just involve strength and fitness – flexibility is important too. Some garden yoga could help you enjoy a good stretch, while also building some strength and flexibility. Yoga is also a fantastic stress reliever, so if you’re feeling anxious at the moment and need some time to re-balance, this could be exactly what you need.

3. Turn your home into a gym

If you’ve got the space at home, why not build your own gym? You can go far with a mat and some weights, helping you to get the effect of a gym workout at home. You could also invest in some cardio equipment to help you get fit, check out the best treadmills 2020 list to see what’s available. When lockdown is over, you might not even need to set foot in a real gym again!

4. Go for a walk outside

While we’re being advised to stay at home right now, some outdoor exercise is still allowed. A short walk can be ideal for getting some fresh air as well as enjoying a bit of cardio. Being outside can help regulate your body clock, so if you’ve been sleeping poorly since staying home, you might feel the benefit if you head out for a stroll.

5. Put your bodyweight to good use

Bodyweight exercises are an effective way to burn fat, get fit and build muscle using nothing more than your own body. You can use bodyweight exercises to tone your whole body, helping you get summer-ready in no time. 

Finding ways to workout during lockdown will help keep you healthy, as well as boost your mental health. You might even find that you learn to enjoy fitness at this time because it gives you a break and gives you something to focus on. Experiment with different ways of working out during lockdown and enjoy making fitness a fun part of your day.

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It possible to Enjoy Your Fitness Routine? You Betcha!

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Many of us go through life, hating physical activity. It’s hard, uncomfortable, and has an annoying habit of causing old injuries to flare up. 

But, at the same time, we understand that it is also necessary for keeping us fit and healthy. If we don’t do it, it eventually takes its toll on our bodies, and we end up failing in our quest for wellness.

What if there was a way to enjoy your exercise routine, though? That would completely change the game, wouldn’t it? You’d go from literally forcing yourself out of the front door to enjoying your training as much as, say, a drink in your local coffee shop. 

It sounds impossible – like making broccoli taste good – but rest assured, people have done it. And you can too. 

Change The Emphasis Of Your Workout From Performance To Recuperation

Personal trainers will often point to mindset as key to ensuring that you have a positive experience while you train. And they’re right. How you think about exercise informs your perceptions – there’s no doubt about it. 

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Thus, if you want to enjoy your fitness routine, it pays to change the way you think about it. Getting exercise isn’t about performance for the average person – it’s about being healthy. So nothing is stopping you from reframing it in your mind. Instead of pushing yourself to the extreme, take a step back and view it as a rest from your hectic schedule. Your exercise is your time alone to recuperate, relax, and rest. It’s a time for reflection and contemplation, not gritting your teeth. 

Yes – this all sounds very counterintuitive, but that’s the point. If you can adjust your approach to exercise, you can radically change your attitude. And that can lead you to the point where you want to leave the house and go for a jog

Listen To Your Body

Exercise is supposed to stress your body. But ideally, it should be a gentle form of stress that operates at the biological level – not the level of your psychology. You want to get the benefits of movement, but you don’t want it to take up your mental energy. It should add to the enjoyment of your life, not take away from it. 

Listening to your body, therefore, is part and parcel of having a healthy relationship with physical activity. The mind muscle connection isn’t imaginary: it’s real. Listen to what your body tells you when you exercise. Ideally, it should feel pleasant – or, at least, not unbearable. If you feel tingling in your arms and legs or so out of breath that it is painful, you’ve probably pushed it too far. 

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Ideally, you want to avoid associations in your mind between physical activity and pain. If you don’t, then your attitude will remain fixed, and you’ll always dread going to the gym. Fundamentally rethinking your approach, therefore, can make a tremendous difference in how you feel. When exercise becomes a positive (such as an escape from your regular work), it becomes more sustainable. And that’s what ultimately makes you stick with it long-term. 

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