5 Benefits To Combining Yoga and Strength Training

Have you ever thought about combining yoga and strength training?

While you may be hitting the gym regularly to strengthen and tone your body, you should really think about adding yoga to your fitness plan.

It’s been around forever and for good reason. Yoga boasts a ton of very real, very powerful benefits for both your body and mind.

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Let’s break down all the benefits of hitting the mat and incorporating yoga into your strength training.

BENEFITS TO YOGA AND STRENGTH TRAINING

Mobility

With regular yoga practice, you can increase your range of motion. How does this help you in strength training? Better mobility opens your hips, allowing you to sit deeper in your squats. If you’re working on overhead work, such as pull-ups, better shoulder flexibility will make your training much easier.

Plus, suppleness and mobility make you less prone to injury. If you have tight hips or shoulders, try a few basic poses, such as Down Dog, Warrior, or Pigeon.

Recovery

One good way to combining yoga and strength training, is to use yoga after a particularly tough training session to loosen tight, sore muscles. All that stretchy goodness speeds up your recovery and reduces soreness.

Making yoga a regular part of your routine will keep you fresh and ready to hit your next strength session, and you’re less likely to get injured than if you train with hard, tight muscles.

For optimal recovery, stick to gentle yoga poses that focus on stretching. Also, transition slowly between poses, while listening to your body about what feels good.

Strength

Strength training isn’t the only way to build and train those muscles – yoga incorporates some strength elements as well. Once you get into the more advanced yoga poses, you’ll be engaging a variety of muscles and challenging them in new ways.

Why does yoga and strength training go so well together?

Yoga strengthens your muscles through extended poses, it also strengthens your joints. And as a bonus, moving slowly and holding poses for an extended time builds endurance as well.

Relaxation

Namaste your way to less stress with yoga – it’s the perfect way to create balance in your life with its combination of control and relaxation. Hit the mat regularly to for a reset and release the tension and stress from everyday life.

And remember, with less stress, comes less cortisol (that pesky, fat-inducing hormone that can wreak havoc on our bodies).

To get the most relaxation our of your time on the mat, end each session with the indulgent Corpse Pose – lie on your back, relax, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.

Focus

Mental focus is undeniably important in many aspects of life – including when you hit the gym. Deep concentration and focus bring an awareness of your body and its mechanics as you power through your reps.

Likewise, balanced breathing goes a long way when you’re working on either conditioning or heavy lifting. It calms your mind and keeps you focused on the task at hand.

Yoga can help you conquer both breathing and focus, as these are foundational components of the practice.

Now, that your convinced of all the awesome benefits to combining yoga and strength training, it’s time to roll out your mat and start enjoying all that yoga goodness!

What Are Some Healthy Snacks When Your On The Go

Today I want to talk about what are some healthy snacks you can have when you are on the go.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

You’re stuck in a meeting that’s running late, and your stomach is growling – time to hit the vending machine down the hall.

You’re rushing around town, running errands and shuttling kids – you decide to stop for fast food.

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Don’t let your busy schedule throw you off track! When hunger hits, be prepared and snack smart with these healthy (and delicious) snacks for on the go.

What Are Some Healthy Snacks?

Hard-Boiled Eggs

If you’ve been in an airport or convenience store lately, you’ve probably seen prepackaged hard-boiled eggs on the snacking aisle. This is one new trend I hope is here to stay! Grab a packet of hot sauce for a boost of flavor, and you have a tasty treat that’s undeniably healthy.

Jerky

Jerky is a tried and true road-trip favorite. It ranks at the top of the list of convenient snacks and is packed with the protein that your body needs. Just make sure to check the ingredients and try to choose a brand without added sugar. Or make your own!

String Cheese

Next time you ask yourself what are some healthy snacks I can munch on, remeber string cheese. There’s something about snacking on string cheese that feels like an indulgence – but the right cheese can be an incredibly healthy and filling snack. Cheese delivers a powerful one-two punch with both calcium and protein. Go with a lighter, lower fat option to make cheese your guilt-free pleasure!

Dry-Roasted Edamame or Chickpeas

This delicious treat is packed with nutrients and is an excellent source of protein and fiber. And they’re super portable for easy snacking that doesn’t require a cooler or flatware. The salty crunch is even more delicious than potato chips!

Greek Yogurt

While not the most portable option, Greek yogurt is still a foodie favorite if you’ve got a few minutes to sit and snack. It’s high in protein and calcium, which is great for your bones. Be wary of yogurt with added sugar – opt for one with more fat instead. It may have slightly more calories, but it will help you stay full longer.

Fresh Fruit

Craving something sweet? An orange or banana are great options to stick in your bag when you’re in a hurry. They’re easy to peel and eat anywhere without needing to be washed. While fresh fruit won’t keep you satisfied for hours on end, it’s an ideal “pick me up” when you need a little extra pep in your step.

Nuts or Nut Butter

Almond are a personal favorite for quick and easy snacking that leaves you feeling full and energized. Go for the pre-packaged bags to keep your serving size in check — or package your own single-serve baggies before you hit the road. Nut butters (while not as finger-food friendly) also give you a boost of healthy fats and keep you feeling full. Plus, both nuts and nut butters are packed with protein.

Other Snacking Ideas:

• Popcorn

• Olives

• Sliced veggies and low-fat salad dressing

• Tuna pouch

• Pumpkin seeds

• Hummus

There you go, 13 good options, so the next time you want to know what are some healthy snacks I can carry with me, just remember this post :)

6 Ways Senior Women Can Start Taking Control Of Their Health

Guest post by Jason Lewis from strongwell.org

I want to share 6 ways senior women can easily find ways to stay healthy. The changes that we often associate with old age, such as reduced mobility, fragility, or cognitive ability, are often the result of lifestyle factors rather than the passage of time.

This means your quality of life is within your hands and that you can take back control of your well-being at any time.

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6 Ways Senior Women Can Get Healthier

1. Get Moving (Any Way You Can)

Seniors should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance exercise every week. Of course, for women who have been sedentary for many years, the idea of a full-on cardio session can be intimidating.

This is why you should take it slow; start by taking a brisk walk every day and build up from there. Or, if your joints are giving you a hard time, try swimming instead. Any movement is a step in the right direction.

2. Strength Training

Senior women tend to believe that weight training is not for them, but they could not be more wrong. Strength training has many great advantages for senior women, including preventing the deterioration of muscle mass and protecting the bones.

As long as you do it safely, under the guidance of an expert, there is no risk of injury — in fact, it can actually prevent injuries by making you feel more strong and stable.

3. Eat Right

In many ways, the nutritional needs of women over 60 are not very different from the rest of the population. However, many women struggle in specific areas. Some have trouble keeping on weight, others losing it.

Some should focus on getting more calcium for their bones, while others need more potassium to lower blood pressure.

If you do need to lose weight, do not engage in any dramatic diets. You need to feed your body the foods it needs, especially if you are exercising regularly. These foods include calorie-rich things like healthy fats and wholegrain carbs.

That said, if you like the prescribed nature of a specific diet, try one of these healthy senior-friendly diets.

4. Use Technology to Stay Safe

Assistive technology has come a long way, and life-changing innovations continue to be released onto the market every day. Today’s tech for senior women is sleek and unobtrusive, allowing you to stay safe and prevent injury in a variety of ways.

If you have mobility problems, for instance, you should look into getting an easy-to-use medical alert system.

5. Take Energy-Boosting Supplements

If you are feeling too tired to exercise, you could consider buying supplements that naturally boost energy. The best way to find one that will work for you is to take your time thinking about how and when you want to take them — a smoothie in the morning, a pill in the evening, a quick shot before workouts?

Also, check with your doctor before taking any new supplements.

6. Set a Nighttime Ritual

Regular sleep is essential to good body function, but seniors tend to have more difficulty falling asleep.

One way to combat this is to create a consistent nighttime ritual that relaxes your mind and body. Soothing sounds, essential oils, hot baths, nightly reading — whatever works for you is good.

The main thing is to keep it regular and get seven to nine hours every night.

If this doesn’t work, you might have a more serious sleep disorder. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms, and they will be able to recommend a course of treatment.

What I can tell all senior woman is, just because you’re over 60, it doesn’t mean you can’t make significant changes to your lifestyle. It’s never too late to get fitter and healthier, and doing so is not as difficult as you might expect.

Just remember to stay safe, consult your doctor, and rely on the expertise of professionals where possible.

Believe us, you can do it.

5 WAYS A PERSONAL TRAINER CAN HELP YOU SUCCEED

You’ve tried over and over to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You want to stay strong and active, keep up and play with your grandchildren or take your fitness to the next level. Your dream keeps getting farther away as you get older. Stop the internal fight by teaming up with a personal trainer who can support and teach you the tools you need to succeed. Here are 5 ways a personal trainer can help:

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1. Accountability – It tough changing your day to day rituals. We get used to doing the same things day in and day out and it tough figuring out how to fit in workouts, food planning, and life balance. This is why a program with accountability helps. Checking in with your trainer for regular measurement, body fat and pictures is usually enough to keep you on track and motivated to keep going and skip that pizza or dessert.

2. Debunking all those old myths about nutrition – It’s tough to keep up on all the new information out there about nutrition. What works and what doesn’t work. Why low fat, low carb diets do’t work. Why limiting your calories can actually create chaos with your hormones and metabolism.

3. Gives you confidents and knowledge to exercise property – Learning how to properly weigh-train can be intimating, especially for beginners. A personal trainer will teach proper progression to insure there are no injuries, while building strength and function within the kinetic chain.  Have you been training for a while but you’ve plateaued? Learning new exercises and combinations can give you more effective results and take you to that next fitness level you’ve been working so hard to reach.

4. Teaches proper nutrition for life not a quick fix – Are you always wondering what proper mix of micronutrients will help your transformation. What to eat and how much? What might work for someone might not work for the next person, we are all unique individuals. Throughout your program a personal training can dial in what works for you, so you are successful for life.

5. Teaches life changes that stick – How many times have you tried to incorporate more healthy habits into your life? Then a week later your not doing it at all? Having that accountability with someone who teaches life changing sustainable habits through small daily steps is essential.

It’s a team effort to move past life changing fears and uncertainty to one of desire, excitement and change. Make your life feel significant, valuable and happy!

Holiday Workout Ideas for Women on the Go

‘Tis the season to feel frazzled! With the holidays come the stress and chaos of the season. And if you’re planning to hit the road to see family this year, you may wonder how you’ll ever be able to squeeze in a workout.

Whether you’re in a hotel room or stuck in bunkbeds at your mother-in-law’s house, I’ve got you covered. Here are some travel-friendly workout ideas that you can do anywhere.

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Bodyweight Exercises

Skip the workout equipment and get back to basics with these bodyweight exercises that are perfect for on-the-go resistance training.

·      Upper Body and Core

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You’re probably already familiar with both push-ups and side planks, so why not combine these two movements to pack a one-two punch for your upper body and core.

Simply do a push-up, then rotate onto your side and reach your arm up for a side plank. Back down into a push-up position and repeat. Modify as necessary. Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side.

·      Legs and Booty

It’s all about the squats when you’re trying to get a mega bang for your buck. This one bodyweight exercise hits several major muscle groups and can be done anywhere.

If you have enough space, lunges can also be a great option, and they boast a big lower-body impact as well.

For both of these exercises, do 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps (per leg for lunges).

·      Cardio

You don’t have to be outside or in a gym to get in your cardio. If you’re stuck in a bedroom or hotel room, do intervals of jumping jacks, burpees, or mountain climbers to get your heart racing.

You can also combine any of the upper body, lower body, and core exercises I mentioned earlier into a HIIT type session to get both strength and cardio done in one workout.

·      Yoga

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If stress from holiday travel is bumming you out, namaste your way through it with yoga. There are plenty of quick and easy yoga sessions that you can stream anywhere to help you stretch, strengthen, and tone.

Get Active Outside

If you’re sick of being stuck in the house during your travels, bundle up and get outside. Taking full advantage of the outdoors is a great way to stay active.

Are you traveling to a snowy winter wonderland? Hit the slopes or visit an ice rink for some ice skating. Not your cup of tea? Go sledding! Believe me, lugging a sled up a hill will have your quads on fire (bonus points if you load your sled with kiddos first).

Final Thoughts

Don’t get put on the naughty list – commit to staying active even when you’re on-the-go this holiday season. Plus, squeezing in a few training sessions now will make jumping back into your fitness routine a breeze once the holidays are over.

Need more ideas on how to stay fit through the holiday season and beyond? I’d love to help you start the new year off stronger and sexier than ever! Let’s chat.


5 Must Have Gifts for Women Who Workout

Trying to get your holiday shopping done? Or making your own list for Santa? Either way, I’m here to help you with a list of great fitness gift ideas that go beyond leggings. I rounded up 5 must-have gifts for the fittest women on your list – including yourself!  

1.   Moji Heated Foam Roller

Suffering from muscle soreness? The innovative Moji Heated Roller packs a one-two punch to relax tight muscles and help you recover from a tough workout. How does it work? The foam roller design and pattern combine with heat therapy to target your muscle tissue and stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen. It’s a game changer when it comes to pain relief and recovery! 

2.   6 Pack Fitness Leather Tote

This Six Pack Fitness Renee Tote is sleek and packs away 4 meals for an 8-hour workday. It has an insulated modular core system that keeps meals fresh and organized all day. It is preloaded with 4 snap lid containers, 1 nutrition compact for supplements and 3 gel packs to keep meals organized. The large zipper main compartment included an interior sleeve for a laptop up to 13 inches, plus organizational pockets for accessories. Designed for the professional fit women who like to eat healthy on the go.

3.   Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soak

Remember when Calgon used to take you away? Well these days, it’s Dr. Teal. These Epsom salt soaks are the ultimate for relaxing and recharging. With a mix of Epsom salt and essential oils, Dr Teal’s soaks help reduce inflammation, relieve stress, and provide relief for achy muscles. After a hard training session, pour one of these solutions into your tub, lay back, and soak – divine!

 4.   Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless Headphones

Exercising with great workout buds makes your workout even better. The Anker SoundsBuds Wireless Headphones are Bluetooth, with built-in mic and carry pouch. These have clear sounds quality and noise cancellation technology. They are customizable for the perfect fit to keep them in place during touch workouts. And last up to 14 hours of battery time. Plus, they’re sweatproof! Get ready to tackle your toughest workouts with these chic wireless headphones.

5.   Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set

I couldn’t have a wish list for women who workout without actually putting any fitness gear on it! So to round out my list, check out this set of resistance bands from Black Mountain Products – an all-in-one set that you can take anywhere. This is the perfect gift for anyone from beginner to expert who wants to continue their strength training program at home or on-the-go.

For even more ideas, check out my favorite products on my website. I have a long list of supplements, gym equipment, and other miscellaneous gift ideas for any fitness buff.

If you want to take your fitness game to the next level and boost both your confidence and your results, check out my services page. I offer one-on-one training and online programs with a personalized approach. Let me help you find your strength!