Health and Nutrition

Tips to a speedy recovery after working out

Rest and recovery are essential parts of any workout. How you recover after your workout has a significant impact on your fitness goals and performance. Check out some of our favorite tips to help you recover the right way!

  1. Replace lost fluids: You lose a large amount of fluid during exercise. Ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery.
  2. Eat healthy recovery foods: After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel. If you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger, and be ready for the next challenge, refueling with healthy foods is key.
  3. Rest and relax: Hard workouts can prove to be taxing on both the musculoskeletal system and nervous systems. Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from an intense workout, illness, or injury.
  4. Stretch! This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.

Avoid overtraining:  Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session, or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts.


Growing a Fresh Herb Garden

Spring is in the air, and it is time to start thinking about your home herb garden. We have compiled some of our favorite, beginner friendly herbs to begin with!

  1. Mint: Mint is happiest in the shade. To prevent it from smothering your other herbs, plant mint in a pot by itself. Mint is a perennial which means it will come back every year! Use sliced mint leaves as a garnish, mix sprigs with spring peas, or even steep them in tea or lemonade.
  2. Basil: By mid-July, your basil should be big and prolific. Harvest early and often and cut the flowers off to produce more leaves. Basil goes well with just about anything: rounding out sauces, soups, salads, even pizza!
  3. Rosemary: Rosemary is easy, but a slow grower and thrives year-round. Mature plants enjoy full sun and well-drained soil. Steep in hot water for 10 minutes to make a soothing tea.

3 Benefits of Cooling Down

You may often be tempted to skip your post-workout cool down due to time constraints and fatigue. Next time you consider skipping, remember these 3 benefits.

  1. Allows your heart to decrease and normalize, avoiding lightheadedness.
  2. Slows down heavy breathing.
  3. Improves relaxation and boosts motivation

Top 5 Reasons why you should add strength training to your workout routine:

Lifting weights and strength training can seem intimidating, but there several common benefits that you may not know are linked to a regular strength training program.

  1. It makes you stronger: That might be obvious, but it extends beyond your workouts and into your everyday life  (Carrying groceries, outside work, housework, etc.)
  2. It increases balance, stability, and flexibility: Weightlifting works joints through a full range of motion, which keeps them strong and flexible while keeping you steady on your feet.
  3. It boosts confidence: With increased strength, comes improved performance in your favorite activities. Not to mention the positive body changes that boosts self-image.
  4. It helps prevent injuries: When lifting weights properly, you strengthen connective tissue which will help you continue to operate and protect your body from injuries.
  5. It boosts your energy levels and improves your mood: When working out you release endorphins, which increases your energy levels and improves your mood.

 


7 Ways to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2021

If your plan is to make 2021 the year you follow through with your resolutions; but you need a strategy to hold yourself accountable and ultimately accomplish your goals, then this list is for you!

 

  1. Write it down.

Writing down goals helps create a vision in your mind of the future. When you visualize the future and understand what you are trying to achieve, the goal will motivate you. Make sure when writing down goals they are written in a positive manner.

  1. Make it fun.

Make your goals inspiring and exciting to accomplish. When you reach a goal or milestone, reward yourself with prizes to keep it fun and motivating! Enjoy where the success can take you.

  1. Make it New Week’s, not New Year’s Resolutions.

Setting goals for the entire year can seem appealing, but can also be overwhelming. Try a new approach of weekly commitments and you will be more likely to attain your goals.

  1. Get an accountability partner(s).

Having a buddy that encourages you is extremely powerful and inspiring. You do not want to let your partner down, so you will work harder and be more committed to keep going.

  1. Set goals that align with your everyday life.

Goals are great to have, but are often left unaccomplished because life gets in the way. A great way to make sure this doesn’t happen, is by incorporating goals into your daily routine.

  1. Make small changes.

Resolutions and goals are great, but if made too broad, it is likely you will become intimidated and avoid them. Start small and work your way up.

  1. Create a vision board.

Collect images and words representing your desired goals and build a collage. Display your vision board somewhere you will see it every day!


Resistance Bands For Stretching And More

There are so many benefits to using resistance bands to help you workout. As we mentioned before, stretching is essential for your muscles. You can use resistance bands to help you with your stretching! Resistance bands use constant tension to stimulate muscle growth, without putting a strain on your joints the way heavyweights can. The good thing about resistance bands is that you can store them anywhere. You can leave them in your gym bag, a drawer at home, hang them up, whatever you would like. Resistance bands are also very versatile; you can use them for actual workouts, not just stretching. Your options are limitless!


Why You Should Always Stretch

It is so easy to skip stretching before and after a good workout. But the next time you have that thought; don’t, and here is why. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. We need our muscles to be flexible to maintain a range of motion in the joints; without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. For example, if you sit in a chair all day, this can result in tight hamstrings in the back of your thigh. This can make it harder to extend your leg or even straighten your knees, inhibiting walking. Similarly, when your muscles are tight and suddenly begin a strenuous activity that forces the muscles to be stretched, you run the risk of injuries from the sudden stretching.  Stretching will not only keep you more flexible, but also help you avoid injuries.  Happy stretching!

 


Is incline or speed better on a treadmill ?

Some people underestimate the benefits of a treadmill. They are a great way to build cardiovascular endurance, speed, and strengthen your body all at once! If you are new to using a treadmill, and unsure if you should be sprinting, running, or walking at an incline, then continue reading. Utilizing incline is a great way to increase your caloric burn and strengthen muscles. Most often, treadmills have an incline setting ranging from .5% to 15%. For reference, a 1% incline is considered the same resistance level as a flat outdoor surface. First, you want to make sure you are accurately tracking your heart rate. In general, runners should keep their heart rate between 70% and 85% for the most significant calorie-burning effects. Now that we have that covered, let’s go back to the big question: incline or speed?  Using the incline feature will intensify your workout without increasing your speed or lengthening your workout, and as an added bonus, it will not put additional stress on your joints. Ready for more good news? No sprints! Simply power walking with an incline tricks your body into operating in the most efficient and powerful mode. Try starting at a 2% or 3% incline fast-paced walk and watch your fitness goals come to fruition! Once your body has adjusted to a slight incline, start gradually increasing, and you will be impressed with the results. Always listen to your body and never overdo it.


The Most Underrated Piece of Fitness Equipment

row machine musclesThe Rowing Machine is often overlooked; however, it is a total body workout. It provides aerobic exercise, upper body, and lower body workouts all in one! Rowing is a coordinated muscle action that encompasses every large muscle group in the body. This low-impact cardio increases endurance and is good for all levels of fitness. Frequent workouts on a rower can help you burn calories, tone muscles, and give you increased energy. A rowing machine workout burns an average of 600 calories an hour or, about 280 calories in 30 minutes for a 130-pound woman. Although rowing won’t magically spot reduce your belly fat, it can be a very effective component of a fat-burning program.

Unlike running on the treadmill, the rowing machine gives back only what you put in, so if it seems easy, you’re not working hard enough. It may be possible to “cheat” when using other cardio machines, for example, on an elliptical you can let go of the handles to give your arms a rest but the elliptical will keep going.  On a rowing machine, you must use your entire body to complete a full stroke every time. In addition to a great upper body workout, rowers exercise the rhomboids in the shoulders, trapezii in the upper back, and lats in the lower back, all while building strong legs and glutes. Most importantly, using a rowing machine gets your heart pumping and lungs working, providing a serious aerobic workout. Learn about the catch, the drive, the finish, and what each means. Indoor rowing machines offer an ideal way to get in shape and stay fit while varying your routine at the same time.


Eating Healthy in Winter

Eating healthy throughout the winter months can be challenging for many reasons, especially since food is a large part of most holiday celebrations.
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One way to eat healthy is to go back to the basics and support your immune system by eating antioxidant-containing fruit and vegetables. Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables such as mandarins, pomegranates, oranges, cranberries, and root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.
We crave carbs in the winter so it's important to also choose nutritious whole grains and other healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, or squash instead of sugary options like cakes and cookies.