How Being Mindful Will Get You a Better Workout

When you hit the gym, does your mind run a mile a minute, while your body struggles to keep up? If you find yourself distracted while working out – constantly checking the clock or running through your to-do list – then you could benefit from a little mindfulness.

Not only will it help you calm that overactive chatter in your head, being mindful can also help you get a better workout.

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Mindfulness simply means becoming more aware of the present moment. Being mindful during your workout helps you stay connected to your strength as you move through each exercise. And when you lose focus, your workouts just aren’t as effective.

Here are some ways being mindful will get you a better workout and better results.

• Mindfulness boosts your mind-body connection. I’m sure you’ve heard this popular term several times. But do you really know how to use your mind-body connection related to your fitness goals?

This is how it works, go within and focus on contracting the specific muscle your working on during the muscle-shortening phase of the exercise. The more focus and tension you can put on that muscle the stronger you will become and the faster your results.

• Mindfulness gets you better results. When it comes to training (and especially strength training), your overall form is extremely important! Being mindful during your workout improves the quality of your movement and exercise technique. This means less injury and better quality workouts for better results.

• Mindfulness leaves you feeling satisfied. If you focus more on your workout, moment by moment, you’ll have a sense of pride and accomplishment when you’re done. You’ll end your session feeling satisfied and knowing you truly did your best – now that’s a good feeling!

Tips on Training with More Mindfulness

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Sounds great, right? But how do you actually put mindfulness to work for you? Here are a few tips to get you started.

• Highlight a purpose for each training session. While you may have a big “why” that’s driving you and keeping you motivated, you also need to enter each workout with an immediate purpose that you can focus on.

For example, you might decide to concentrate on working your lower body for today’s strength training session. Or you might set a goal for a certain number of calories you want to burn during a cardio workout. Make your purpose achievable and measurable – and then, focus!

• Don’t rush it. Your time in the gym is just that – YOURS! Take your time once you start your workout and don’t rush through the movements. Focus on your form, particularly in strength training exercises. The goal isn’t to get in and get out – the goal is to make your time count!

• Breathe. Sounds easy, right? If you find yourself rushing or your mind wandering to a long list of “to do” items you need to tackle, bring yourself back to the moment by taking a deep breath. Remember, this is your time to exercise – everything else can wait.

So, when you feel the need to pop in earbuds and zone out on the treadmill, consider a change of course. Try working out without any distractions and stay mindful during your next workout.

Pay particular attention to what your body is doing and how it feels.

Changing how you exercise can make your time at the gym more enjoyable and unbelievably satisfying!

Breakfast Fried Wild Rice

Do you ever feel bored with your morning breakfast? If so, I’ve got the perfect fix for you. Plus this breakfast will give you extra morning energy for your body and your brain. It’s a no brainer and easy or make. Time to take on your day?

Breakfast Fried Wild Rice

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Ingredients:

·      3 cups cooked wild brown rice (1 cup uncooked)

·      1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

·      ½ small sweet onion – chopped

·      1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

·      1 Tbsp tamari sauce

·      2 cups chopped fresh spinach

·      2 large eggs – lightly beaten

·      Salt & pepper to taste

·      Hot sauce – if desired

 Directions:

1.     Cook 1 cup rice as directed on package. Set aside

2.     In a large skillet, add sesame oil and onions. Cook over medium heat until tender. 2-3 minutes

3.     Stir in wild brown rice, vinegar, and tamari and cook about 3 minutes over medium/low heat.

4.     Add spinach and cook until wilted. 2-3 minutes

5.     Push rice mixture to the side of the skillet and add the lightly beaten eggs. Stir eggs until cooked.

6.     Mix the eggs and rice mixture together.

7.     Season with salt and pepper

8.     Add hot sauce if desired

Servings: 4

Calories 243 | Carbs 36.5 |  Fat 7.25 | Protein 8 | Fiber 3.25

Celebrate International Women’s Day: Be Bold For Change!

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This year’s International Women’s Day theme couldn’t be any more timely and inspirational.

Being bold and determined to make changes is the first step to reaching our goals.

Take this time to draw inspiration from women who are recognized for their achievements which paved the way to creating awareness for greater equality.

The common thread among women who have succeeded through the years, is that they not only make decisions to change, they also see it through. 

For most of us though, making lifestyle changes is a process that takes time and may require support. Once we’re ready to make a change, the difficult part is committing and following through. So we need to make a plan that will prepare ourselves for success. Careful planning means setting small goals and taking things one step at a time.

Where the mind goes, the body follows.

Let us work on the psychological aspect of making lifestyle changes that last. Here is a list of tips from the APA (American Psychological Association) to help us get and stay on track.

Make a plan that will stick. Your plan is a map that will guide you on this journey of change. You can even think of it as an adventure. When making your plan, be specific. Want to exercise more? Detail the time of day when you can take walks and how long you’ll walk.

Write everything down, and ask yourself if you’re confident that these activities and goals are realistic for you. If not, start with smaller steps. Post your plan where you’ll most often see it as a reminder.

Start small. After you've identified realistic short-term and long-term goals, break down your goals into small, manageable steps that are specifically defined and can be measured. Is your long-term goal to lose 20 pounds within the next five months?

A good weekly goal would be to lose one pound a week. If you would like to eat healthier, consider as a goal for the week replacing dessert with a healthier option, like fruit or yogurt. At the end of the week, you’ll feel successful knowing you met your goal.

Change one behavior at a time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time, so replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Many people run into problems when they try to change too much too fast. To improve your success, focus on one goal or change at a time.

As new healthy behaviors become a habit, try to add another goal that works toward the overall change you’re striving for.

Involve a buddy. Whether it be a friend, co-worker or family member, someone else on your journey will keep you motivated and accountable. Perhaps it can be someone who will go to the gym with you or someone who is also trying to stop smoking. Talk about what you are doing.

Consider joining a support group. Having someone with whom to share your struggles and successes makes the work easier and the mission less intimidating.

Ask for support. Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and commitment. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking help from a psychologist.

Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body, as well as the factors that promote behavior change.

Asking for help doesn't mean a lifetime of therapy; even just a few sessions can help you examine and set attainable goals or address the emotional issues that may be getting in your way.

Making the changes that you want takes time and commitment, but you can do it. Just remember that no one is perfect.

You will have occasional lapses. Be kind to yourself.

When you eat a brownie or skip the gym, don’t give up. Minor missteps on the road to your goals are normal and okay.

Resolve to recover and get back on track.

How To Get Motivated To Exercise

With summer around the corner, do you know how to get motivated to exercise and stay motivated?

Are you still on track with your New Year’s Resolutions to get healthy and fit?

But as spring rolls around and the newness wears off on your resolutions, you might start losing your motivation to hit the gym?

Hey, it happens to the best of us.

But now is the time to take back control and refresh those resolutions so that you can be successful in your fitness journey.

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Here are my tips to stay motivated from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve – and every day in between!

How To Get Motivated To Exercise

Strength in Numbers

After a long, exhausting day at the office, you may start thinking about skipping the gym – but if you have a workout partner that’s counting on you, you’re more likely to stay committed.

Accountability is everything when you’re trying to stick to positive, healthy changes in your life. If you want to crush your goals, find a workout partner or trainer to hold you accountable, or consider joining a group fitness class.

As a bonus, social time is great for your mental health, and time flies when you’re having fun with your friends!

Spice Things Up

Variety is the spice of life, and this applies to your workouts as well. It’s hard to get excited about the same old boring routine – so break out of your rut! Incorporate different machines and movements, as well as real-life activities like hiking or tennis.

Not comfortable enough in the gym to step outside your comfort zone? Then a personal trainer is a great way to go. After all, the magic happens as soon as you step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

Be a Goal-Digger

It’s hard to crush your goals if you don’t set them in the first place. Write down both short- and long-term goals and look at them often. You may even want to write them on sticky notes that you post in different places around your house, so you’ll see constant little reminders to stay on track.

And don’t forget the best part of setting goals: Celebrating when you cross them off your list!

Make Fitness Fun

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like “exercise.” It’s ok to have fun while getting your sweat on. If exercising is enjoyable, you’ll look forward to your workouts and stay committed. Do you like rock-climbing? Then take your workout outside and into the fresh air for a tough but fun climbing session.

Maybe you love the calming energy that yoga gives you. In that case, make the mat your go-to exercise when you’re feeling burned out.

Remember Your Why

I saved the best (and probably the most important) for last. Remember why you started your fitness journey. Whatever got you moving will help keep you motivated.

So, whether you’re trying to lose weight, add muscle, or just get a better overall bill of health, your “why” is your secret weapon when you need a little extra boost of motivation. If you have that fire within, you will keep going. If not, find your reason.

Could it be for your health, to be a good example for your children and family, to be the hottest and most fun grandma out there or maybe you want to rock your bikini at the beach. All you need to do is find your “why”!

Now that you know how to get motivated to exercise, stop reading and start doing!

Choose one (or more!) of these tips and put it into action. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself at the end of the year looking back at all you’ve accomplished.

Primary Factors To Building Muscle For Women

Today I want to share the primary factors to building muscle for women.

No matter your goals or ideal body type, all women can benefit from building muscle. Lean muscle helps you function in daily life and decreases your chances of osteoporosis – not to mention the toned, fit look you get from adding a little muscle.

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And building muscle through strength training can also have a huge positive impact on your psychological health as well.

There are lots of factors that affect a woman’s ability to build muscle. Some you can control, and some you can’t. If you want to achieve a more toned look, then it’s important to what to expect out of your body and what you can focus on changing.

Factors To Building Muscle For Women

Factors You Can’t Control

• Your Gender

Let’s get the obvious out of the way – does gender affect your ability to build muscle? The short answer is yes. Men and women have the same quality of muscle tissue, but men typically have more of that muscle tissue (thanks to testosterone).

• Your Age

When building muscle for women, your age will effect your results, which of course, we have no control over. If you were an athlete in high school and college, you have an advantage because muscle gain is most rapid in our early years.

Once you cross the threshold into your 20s, your ability to build muscle slows down.

• Your Genetics

This is a big one! Genetics play a huge role in your body type – from size to strength to appearance.

First, let’s look at muscle fibers. There are two basic types of muscle fibers: slow twitch and fast twitch.

Weightlifting and other explosive exercises focus on fast twitch fibers.

You may inherit a higher percentage of one type of muscle fiber over the other, and those with a higher percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers have an advantage when it comes to building muscle.

Another genetic factor is the length of your limbs and muscles. You may have noticed that many elite Olympic weightlifters are relatively short and stocky.

There’s a reason for this: People with shorter limbs tend to lift more weight because they have better leverage.

Similarly, the length of your muscles also impacts how effectively you develop size and strength. In this case, people with longer muscles have an advantage.

Factors You Can Control

• Your Training

When it comes to building muscle for women, the type of training you choose plays a HUGE role in your overall muscular development. This isn’t the time for long cardio sessions – instead, focus your energy into strength training.

Practice good lifting technique as well, so you target the right muscles in the right ways.

If you hit a plateau with your weight training (or just get plain bored), switch things up. This serves up a new challenge for your muscles to adapt to, leading to more strength and size.

Don’t forget about recovery. Rest days are essential for your body to recover and rebuild muscle, so pencil in at least 1-2 days of complete rest each week.

• Your Diet

While I could talk endlessly about the importance of diet in your body composition, in this article, I’m focusing primarily on protein – the building block of muscle.

Make sure to include a lean protein source in every meal and add extra protein in your meals immediately around training to repair and regrow your muscle fibers.

Becoming A Stronger Woman

Now that you understand the factors of building muscle for women, you can ignore the ones that are completely out of your control, and focus your attention and focus onw aht you CAN cotrol when trying to tone and build muscle.

But why should you focus on building muscle in the first place?

Weightlifting is hard work, but it’s worth it. As I mentioned at the start of this article, building muscle boasts a lot of health benefits – but it also has a big positive effect on your mental health.

Sculpting a toned, fit body improves your overall well-being, self-esteem, and self-worth.

If you love the way you look in that little black dress, then you’ll instantly get a boost of confidence that shines through in so many areas of your life.

If you’re ready to start your journey to a stronger you, keep in mind that this is YOUR journey. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Instead, focus on accepting your body as it is each and every day, while knowing that you’re working toward big changes.

You should also celebrate the small victories.

Did you notice a subtle change in your arm definition this morning? That’s amazing! Were you able to hit more reps during your workout?

High five! Notice and appreciate all the improvements you’re making along the way.

Now that you know the factors you can and can not control when it comes to building muscle for women, you need to get your diet to match your training to better help those muscles grow and show.

I’ll help you incorporate diet and weightlifting into your routine, so you can become a more confident, sexier version of you.

Become a stronger woman, both inside and out, as you get in shape and love the way you look!