Workouts

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.

1.PNG

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

2.PNG

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!

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.

how-to-get-motivated-to-exercise.jpg

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.

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.

yoga-and-strength-training.png

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!

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:

Facebook Cover.jpg

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!

Build Lower Back Strength with Bosu Supermans

Looking to shake up your workout? Incorporating BOSU ball exercises can add some spice to your routine, while still giving you awesome body-sculpting benefits.

There are SO many ways you can add a BOSU ball to your training, all depending on your needs and the areas you want to target. Plus, there are different variations for every fitness level.

And as a bonus – you’re getting an ab workout, too! A BOSU ball incorporates balance and stability into every exercise so you are constantly tightening and strengthening your core.  

Strengthening Your Lower Back

Your back is your foundation and gaining strength in your lower back can help support your entire spine. If you spend a lot of time sitting, the muscles in your lower back may be getting lazy, and you may even be experiencing some back pain.

So let’s work on strengthening that foundation!

A great way to increase strength in your lower to mid back is to add BOSU Superman’s into your workout routine. This exercise really targets those lower back muscles, while also working your glutes, hamstrings, and even shoulders. 

The Exercise: BOSU Superman

1.   Get on the ball.

Place your BOSU ball on the ground, round side up. Lay face down with your tummy on the BOSU ball. Toes and forearms should be resting on the floor.

2.   Engage your core.

Pull your bellybutton in toward your spine, squeezing those abs and engaging your core.

3.   Superman!

Lift arms and toes off the floor while maintaining your balance. Squeeze your glutes to keep legs up. Now hold for a count of two feeling a squeeze in your lower back, lower arms and legs without touching the ground and lift again. This is not a big movement. Only go up enough to where you feel the lower back muscles engage. Do 2 to 3 sets for 15 – 20 reps.

TIP: Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears – pull your shoulder blades back and together. And don’t forget to engage your core and breathe.

The Variation: BOSU Hyperextension

If you can’t hold your balance during the BOSU Superman, try this variation – the BOSU Hyperextension. This exercise still emphasizes your lower back muscles, but you’ll get some added stability by keeping your toes on the ground.

To perform this exercise, you’ll get on the ball in the same position as the Superman, with feet placed about shoulder width apart. Your arms can be crossed over your chest or placed behind your head.

Then, lift your chest off the ball to hyperextend the lower back. Hold for a count of two and repeat. Remember this is not a big movement. Only come up enough to get a squeeze in the lower back. Toes are staying firmly on the ground throughout this move.  Do 2 to 3 sets for 15 – 20 reps.

Remember, always keep your abs tight and breathe.