Self Improvement

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.

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!


7 Tips for A Flatter Tummy

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One of the first things my new clients say is that they want a flatter tummy. Belly fat can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. It also affects a woman’s confidence and how she feels in her clothes.

Even more important is the problem that this type of fat around the mid-section is a risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The good news—you can do something about it.

Here are 7 tips to help you lose belly fat so you can wear those form fitting clothes and feel beautiful in them:

1.    Eat a high protein diet: Protein should be a part of every meal. It keeps you full, decreases your appetite and helps build strong muscles. Studies have shown that eating quality protein (i.e., beef, salmon, eggs, turkey, pork, fish & chicken) throughout the day decreases abdominal fat—the type of fat that can be a precursor for obesity and disease. Not sure how much protein to eat? Strive for 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. 

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2.    Cut out sugar: For many of us, this is easier said than done. Sugar tastes good and many compare it to a drug that you can become addicted to over time. Quitting cold turkey usually doesn’t work. Instead, try to find healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Swap out candy for some fruit, and if you crave chocolate, eat a small piece of dark chocolate (at least 70% dark or higher), which is also heart healthy. And don’t forget those sugary drinks that are often overlooked. Ditch the sodas and juices, which are loaded with sugar. Flavored unsweetened seltzer or water is just as good and ten times better for your waistline. 

3.    Get active: It sounds obvious, but it’s always worth repeating. Cardiovascular exercise and resistance training will always work in reducing belly fat. You’ll burn calories whether you’re running, walking, biking, rowing or taking your favorite dance class. Studies show that aerobic exercise leads to weight loss, which ultimately results in reduced abdominal fat. What women sometimes forget though is the strength training part of the equation. Resistance training at least three times a week will not only get you stronger, but the muscles you build will take the place of fat. So don’t forget to lift those weights!

4.    Cut refined carbs and processed foods: Carbs often get a bad rap and there is some good reason for that. The problem occurs when you don’t eat the right carbs. A refined carb has basically been stripped of its nutritional value including fiber, vitamins and minerals. The lack of these important nutrients has been linked to obesity. Opt for complex carbs such as yams, sweet potatoes, whole oats, quinoa, and wild brown or black rice.

The same goes for processed foods. Just seeing the word “processed” on a food should be enough for you to stay away from it as it’s far from being natural and healthy. These foods are usually loaded with sugars and other ingredients that do nothing to keep your body healthy or your belly flat.

5.    Drink apple cider vinegar (ACV) every day: A tall tale or health hack? Whatever you may think about drinking apple cider vinegar, the truth lies in the science. One study showed that daily intake of apple cider vinegar significantly reduced belly fat. The acetic acid in the vinegar is what does the trick. And not only that, ACV has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Just be sure to dilute it with some water so it’s easier to drink.

6.    Drink plenty of water: Water is essential for all living things and that includes you. Water regulates your internal body temperature through sweating, it metabolizes and transports carbs and proteins, it helps flush waste out of your system and it keeps your joints lubricated. The list goes on and on. When it comes to belly fat, water is the perfect weapon to keep your body healthy while flushing out whatever may be causing belly bloat.

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 7.    Get more sleep: They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. A good night’s sleep, which should be at least seven hours a night, is important for a variety of reasons. Not only is it beneficial for mental clarity, but it also reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). Lack of quality sleep has also been shown to increase the levels of ghrelin—the hormone that regulates your appetite. That means you’re more likely to eat more, which can lead to belly fat.

Some of these tips may be much easier than others and that’s okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day so no one expects you to change your habits over night. Pick the one that you know is the biggest contributor to your belly fat and work on changing that behavior. If you can break the most challenging habit, the rest should be easy!

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3284412/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17637702

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25477716

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/


 

Mitochondria 101 - Why It’s Important to Your Health

Mitochondria are a number of organized structures within a living cell. The function of the mitochondria is to produce energy within the cell called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This cellular respiration takes nutrients from the cell, breaks it down and creates energy for the cell. When it comes to health and disease prevention, your mitochondrial wellbeing and capacity basically can't be exaggerated enough. On the off chance that your mitochondria are not working great, nothing else will either. They affect metabolism and play a role in our well being and how our body produces energy.

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Mitochondria 101

The powerhouse of your cells, creating around 90% of the vitality being produced in your body.

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of your cells, creating around 90 percent of the vitality being produced in your body. With much neglect to acknowledge is that completely everything that occurs in your body, every single muscle constriction, biochemical course, cell recovery, detoxification etcetera requires vitality. Nothing can happen in a vitality vacuum.

"A lot of things occur in the cell that individuals don't think about, like the exchange of particles crosswise over films, or the support of the state of the cytoskeleton (microscopic network of protein filaments and tubules in the cytoplasm of many living cells). For the micro tubules to keep up their shape, they require a contribution of vitality. Everything that occurs in the cell requires vitality, whenever you have a reduction in that vitality generation, things can begin to fall apart."

How Do We Eat to Optimize Our Mitochondria?

The most important food ingredient to give up is sugar and limit grains because they resort to sugar in the bloodstream. Mitochondria do better functioning off healthy fats, like sardines, walnuts, avocado, coconut oil, and MCT oil. You want to eat high fat and low crab, because the mitochondria use fatty acids or carbohydrates to create the ATP, but if you give them more fat and less carbohydrate, you'll have less free radicals formed. You also want to eat lots and lots of colorful vegetables, because the more phytonutrients you must nourish your body, the more you will certainly nourish your mitochondria as well. We additionally know some veggies, like sulfur-rich veggies (cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), benefit producing glutathione, an effective antioxidant that benefits the mitochondria.

Mitochondria likewise have other fundamentally essential capacities. For instance, they go about as the organizer for apoptosis (a form of programmed cell death), a critical procedure that guarantees the passing of failing cells that may transform into tumors. This is called Apoptosis.

Apoptosis is essentially cell suicide. Through the span of a cell's life, it's going to be harmed. At the point when that harm crosses a limit, signals are sent to the phone that let it know, 'you’re never again be useful, and you better confer suicide for the more prominent benefit of the living being.' What's intriguing is that the most current research has demonstrated that it's the mitochondria that start that phone suicide program.

It's the mitochondria that get each one of those signs and decide if that limit has been achieved. It's additionally fascinating that if your mitochondria are broken, it probably won't have the capacity to comprehend those signs appropriately and not give the flag for apoptosis or cell death when it should happen.

Another important facet is that every one of those distinctive things that occur in the apoptosis course likewise requires a contribution of vitality. In this way, even though it may have the capacity to peruse the signs legitimately and give the flag that it's a great time to commit suicide if there's insufficient energy produce, defective cells will survive and multiple. The dysfunctional mitochondria are the basis behind what we know as cancer.

5 tips to Strengthen Your Mitochondria:

  1. Sun Exposure - Sunlight is one of the most powerful mitochondrial boosters for optimal wellness and wellness.

  2. Cold Thermogenesis - Daily cool showers, polar plunges, or cryotherapy are fantastic means to cool exposure.

  3. Periodic Intermittent Fasting - Studies have shown calorie limitation to enhanced mitochondrial function as well as increased longevity.

  4. Move Extra - The average American sits for 13 hours a day. Include the advised 8 hours of rest and we're inactive for 21/24 hrs. each day - almost 88% of our time. Mitochondria like exercise, activity, as well as movement. Feed your mitochondria as much movement as possible.

  5. Vitamins - These are the 5 natural supplements that boost mitochondrial function.

    a. BioPQQ (polyquinoline quinone)

    b. Magnesium Threonate

    c. B-Vitamins - especially nicotinamide (a form of Vitamin B-3)

    d. Nitric Oxide Boosters - L-Arginine and L-Citrulline

    e. Alpha-lipoic-Acid


Resources:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/02/25/mitochondria-facts.aspx

https://www.naturalstacks.com/blogs/news/supplements-that-support-healthy-mitochondrial-function

https://www.naturalstacks.com/blogs/news/5-ways-to-improve-your-health-by-boosting-mitochondria


The 5 Things I Do Every Weekend to Stay Healthy All Week

Staying healthy all week takes some planning, and what I’ve learned is that if I don’t have a plan and schedule the whole week goes haywire. One of my favorite quotes that I find so true is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Benjamin Franklin. I want to be successful in my health journey and I’m sure you do too, so let’s make a plan. Here I talk about the 5 things I do every weekend to ensure my success for the week.

1. Routine

Routine is everything because the body strives on regularity and structure, especially if your main goal is weight loss. If you have a structured schedule on weekdays and then everything goes haywire on the weekend your body will pay for it. For instance, if you are eating healthy planned meals during the week and then you go crazy on fast food, sugar, and alcohol on the weekend you will wake up Monday morning feeling sick and 3-4 pounds heavier than the week before. Talk about making yourself feel bad. To avoid this, think of how you want to feel on Monday morning, and what steps you need to take to create that good feeling, and then do that!

If you want success with your weight loss and to wake up Monday morning with a flat tummy with no weight gain follow your same structure as you do during the week. Some examples are, eat at the same times on the weekend as you do during the week, stay hydrated and drink all your water, get 8 or more hours of sleep and if you missed any of your workouts during the week make sure to get it in on the weekend. I’ve been doing this for many years and one of the most important things I’ve learned is that “winners are made on the weekend”.

2. Meal Planning and Shopping for The Week

Every Saturday I plan my meals for the next week, make a grocery list and head to the store. I like to shop at Costco for the most part since I can buy in bulk and save money. It’s important to buy organic veggies, fruit, and meat since these are free from pesticides and added hormones our bodies should not be consuming. If you have a local farmers market get your fruit and veggies there. Strive to get fresh foods that are in season. If possible buy local eggs, meats, such as chicken, pork, and beef.

3. Advance Prep for The Week

When I return from the grocery store I clean, cut, and measure out the veggies, and make my salads for the entire week. I have individual containers for salads and meals. If I have time on Saturday I will cook all my meat and/or recipes and divide them up into their individual containers with the veggies and carbs. It works best if I shop on Saturday and cook everything on Sunday. If you are working an 8 to 5 job you will want to have your meals ready and with you all day. Having your food with you and eating on a regular schedule will avoid blood sugars from dropping so you don’t eat unhealthy fast foods that put on weight.

4. Pack Your Gym Bag the Night Before

Sunday evenings I make sure my gym bag has everything I need for my Monday workout. I keep certain things in my bag at all times such as toiletries. I always have my headphones in my bag and charged up every weekend. I have my workout gloves and straps in my gym bag at all times. I put out my workout pants, top, shoes and socks so I don’t have to think about it the next morning. It’s there ready for me to put on and head out the door. Or if you are heading to the gym after work you’ll have your gym bag packed and waiting in your car, no excuses, you’ve already planned for it.

5. Gym Schedule

I always have my workout times scheduled on my calendar. Every Sunday I look it over to make sure there is nothing that will get in the way of my workouts for the week. If it’s on your schedule you can arrange everything else around it. If someone wants you to comment to something else during that time simply tell them you don’t have that time available and inform them of another time you do have available. Don’t let others dictate your schedule.

Final word, these five simple things I do every weekend might seem basic but they are important for your success if you want to make progress. Most people fall off the wagon on the weekends and never hit their goals. Being and staying healthy is a lifestyle. Give it 100% for 21 days and I promise you will feel better than you have felt in years.

5 Tips for Better Sleep & Recovery

Sufficient and quality sleep is one of the most important, and sadly ignored, elements of a sound mind and body. We could spend so much time and energy on our physical conditioning, nutrition, and social-emotional sides of our lives and totally bypass among the columns of health and wellness.

We often fall into the trap of prior sleep to “get more done.” Nevertheless, it’s important to try to at least improve your sleep quality, through whichever means you deem appropriate.

In this article, I’ll discuss some of my favorite tips for optimizing your sleep habits, you will learn what deep sleep is, why it’s so important; and how you can improve your sleep over time.

1.    Adjust When You Exercise

Surprisingly, the time of day that you exercise may have a significant impact on how well you sleep; furthermore, the moment you exercise could influence various elements of sleep. For instance, how long it takes to go to sleep as well as just how you remain asleep throughout the night.

When a person exercises in the morning, they have less trouble falling asleep. Interestingly, regardless of the training time, exercise reduced the number of times you woke up at night. Basically, this detail leads us in conclusion that workout in fact favorably influence sleep. In addition, depending upon your sleep issue, the time you workout may have a considerable impact.

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2.    Say Bye Bye to your Gizmo’s

As the reason coincides-- the "blue light" emitted from digital displays (including TVs, computers, and phones) hinders the body's natural manufacturing of melatonin. This makes sleep-- and definitely deep sleep-- much less achievable.

The earlier you quit utilizing these blue light displays the better, as there light has actually been shown to subdue melatonin for approximately 3 hours.

If you're anything like the majority of people living in the modern world, stepping far from all digital gadgets 3 hours before bed may help enhance sleep considerably. 

3.    Build A Regular Rhythm

Interestingly, our bodies have a biological rhythm, which manages almost every function in the body, from when you wake, to when you like to exercise and go to bed. Additionally, most hormonal output pertaining to these occasions also happens on a rhythm. For instance, did you know that your body releases cortisol in the early morning, which ultimately causes you to wake and prepare for the day?

Ends up, this is an important part of your body clock. Melatonin, as I mentioned earlier, is additionally a regulatory authority of your circadian rhythm. Having irregular and/or short amount of time to fall asleep is among the significant concerns pounding our melatonin manufacturing.

Keep in mind that your body does not quit on the weekends. Whenever possible, I recommend attempting to keep your routine of sleeping and waking, whenever feasible, even on the weekend breaks. However, make sure it’s quality sleep for 8 hours. 

4.     Why is Deep Sleep So Important?

Naturally, most of us want to rest better, but those that are working to improve their efficiency and preparedness throughout the day know that the Holy Grail is improving our quantity of deep sleep.

Not to get as well technical, yet deep rest, or the last of NREM (or non-REM) sleep, is the moment when your brain waves are at their lowest frequency and you are at your hardest to wake up. Deep sleep is the moment when our bodies are working hardest to recuperate, reinforcing our minds and fixing our bodies from the previous day's physical effort. It's no surprise that individuals who typically state they're well rested have shown that they have had high-quality deep rest.

5.    Stay consistent!

One of the most common triggers for severe muscle soreness is an exercise that is different from what you are accustomed to! Regardless of the amount of weight lifted, repetitions performed, types of exercises used and so on, if the exercise stress is relatively new to you, you will likely be quite sore. The best way to combat this is by staying consistent with your workout routine. Even the most intense of exercise sessions can be adapted to and recovered from using the strategies above, as long as you STAY CONSISTENT. Without consistency, you can do everything else right and still be extremely sore the days following a workout.