Stuck in a Workout Rut!?

Stuck in a Workout Rut!?
27 Jul

I’m sure we’ve all fallen off the health and fitness bandwagon before… it’s time to go to the gym, and you just really, really don’t want to go.  Of course you never regret going once you’re done, but getting there and pushing through a workout can feel torturous.  Maybe you are just coming back from vacation, or maybe you have just been too busy to hit the gym… whatever the case may be, here are some ways to help you bust that workout rut!

  1. Spice up your music playlist. 

Research has shown that music at a certain tempo can actually reduce how much effort we feel we’ve put into a workout.

  1. Add interval (HIIT) training into your routine. 
    Studies show that three sessions of interval training can be as effective as five longer, more moderate exercise sessions.  Get more bang for your buck!
  2. Get outside!

Fresh air!  Scenery!  It’s an automatic energy booster.

  1. Track your activity.

I wrote about this in a post before, but keeping a log of your progress is very motivating!

  1. Play a game or try something new. 

Sign up for a race, try yoga or Pilates, join a local team, etc.

  1. Take an active rest day.

Yes, it’s important to actually work out, but it’s also crucial to allow for ample recovery time (I wrote a post about this, too… very important!)

  1. Start with things that you like.

Has it been a while since you’ve been to the gym?  Jumping straight into an intense session that you know will leave you feeling sore and overwhelmed may not be the best option.  Instead, start slow and start with things you like.  Get motivated by doing what you love, and eventually you’ll get back into the groove.

  1. Work out with a partner.

It’s always more fun to have friends along!

  1. Get certified. 

Taking your fitness goals a step further is a great way to stay motivated!

 

  1. Remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place.

To gain muscle?  To lose fat?  To be able to arm wrestle your 15 year old?

 

– Make Fitness Fun,
Dani

 

Feel Like A Kid Again!

Feel Like A Kid Again!
29 Jun

You’ve probably heard it before. If you do this or that, go to this place, buy this product and you will feel like a kid again. Well how do we know what a kid feels like anyways? As a dad of 4 busy little boys I’ve learned a lot about this subject, yes they are energetic, flexible, near indestructible, pain free, eat whatever they want and never get fat… These are things we all want right? We just have to find that secret fountain of youth and turn back the clock and we will have these feelings back. But are these youthful stereotypes even true? Are they really that far out of our grasp now?

 

Children seem to have endless amounts of energy. This is probably the first stereotype kids get, they just go and go all day without ever getting tired right? I know from experience this just isn’t true, if I take my kids out for a hike on one of our beautiful trails in the hills they are tired out by mile two while my adult body is just warming up. A few years ago though, and my kids would definitely have outlasted me. Since I have started to take better care of my body and lost the extra weight and built up my strength and cardiovascular health, I can by far out last my kids most days. Its actually one of my favorite techniques for getting four rowdy boys ready for bedtime, just wrestle and chase them around the house until they have burned off all that extra steam.

 

Kids seem to be impossibly flexible and mobile. While it is true a child’s body is still growing and their joints are more flexible by comparison, I find that if I keep up with my stretching and foam rolling I am still nearly as flexible as my 6 year old at 38 years old. The reason many of us adults are so inflexible is because we have lost the flexibility of our youth by never using it. Its the age old use it or lose it concept. If you never stretch your body after a hard long day of work and sitting at the desk or in the car your body will stay continue to stay tight and bound up and become even more so over time.

 

Yes kids do seem to be nearly indestructible and hardly even know what pain is. My kids will scream at the top of their lungs after a small scrape or head bump. They simply haven’t experienced the life of aches and pains we have. Yet when they do get injured they seem to bounce back with such impossible speed and ease. Kids don’t experience the daily aches and pains of an adult body that has gone through a lifetime of poor posture and past injuries, yet just like us if they are allowed to do so they will eventually have the same painful problems we do. But this doesn’t have to be the way we live either, through a good strength and mobility program and a proper anti inflammatory diet we can rid ourselves of much of our chronic aches and pains.

Take it from someone who has been there. Over two years ago I had spent months seeing numerous, doctors, chiropractors & physical therapists to help me with my nagging neck, back, and shoulder pains yet none of it seemed to have lasting effects. I was still popping 8-12 ibuprofen a day just to be able to function enough to work each day, just to collapse on the couch once I got home. Just to get up the next day, medicate with my jumbo coffee and handful of pills and start the whole vicious cycle over again. Fast forward to today and while I will admit I have good days and bad days, pain is a part of life. Pain is a good thing in fact, pain tells us something is wrong and we need to take action. Just like if you were to put your hand in a hot flame that pain tells you to remove your hand, if you feel those nagging pains it means you need to change something.

 

While I do still have pains from time to time, I know when I feel them it means I need to change my habits. Maybe its my back pain telling me to straighten up my posture, stretch my hips or get up and move. Or neck pain telling me to put down the phone, and shoulder pain telling me to stop slouching and stretch it out. I  now know what to do about those nagging pains. Now that I have spent the time strengthening my body and building back my youthful mobility, even my bad days now are better than the good days I had before.

Even if you have lived with pains like I had for years, believe me when I say there is hope! You can gain back some of that youthfulness with just a little hard work and dedication to taking the time to change long seeded habits. Seek out a knowledgeable health or fitness professional that can help you get started, and before you know it you will feel like a kid again!

-Jesse

“True Holistic Health”

“True Holistic Health”
08 Jun

 The term holistic health gets thrown around quite a bit these days. With everything from herbal remedies, massage therapy, chiropractic care, nutrition coaching, even personal training, all can be useful additions to anyone’s health regimen. 

 

What does the term holistic health really mean? Google the word and you would find that Holistic Health is “characterized by the treatment of the whole person… rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.” In other words when we think of our own health we should think beyond one single symptom. Let’s take back pain for example, for most people if their back hurts they take a pill to dull the pain and never give it another thought. The pain continues and even worsens over time. If you were to see a traditional doctor they might prescribe you a different pill and over time if the pain worsens even suggest surgery. Thankfully times are beginning to change as we learn more about our bodies and research backs up what many have known for ages. 

 

The human body is a vastly complex interconnected unit. Bones are connected by ligaments, moved by muscles that connect to those bones by tendons, these muscles are covered by fascial tissue which is covered with layers of fat and then skin. These muscles are moved by motor neurons connected to the nervous system which is connected to your brain. When we put these things into consideration, it only makes sense when we find out that depression, or lack of sleep can affect our musculoskeletal system, affecting our posture, eventually leading to movement pattern dysfunction and physical pain. Everything about you is connected in a vastly complex creation that makes you, YOU. When we avoid or ignore one aspect of our health, another part can be affected.

 

Think about a hypothetical person who has that perfectly dialed in diet yet they can hardly lift a 5-pound weight overhead. Later, in life that same person likely ends up having frail bones from lack of movement and resistance. Or the guy that does spend hours in the gym working his massive biceps yet he eats junk food all day and ends up with heart disease. 

 

True holistic health involves the “entire” person. There is much evidence even that prayer and silence can affect brain function which in turn leads to a healthier life. Or the beneficial effects of relationships with family, friends, children, spouses can have on our health and lengthen our lifespans. So even if you are that super fit person with an immaculately clean diet, don’t forget to treat you mind and soul with the same care you give your body.

– Jesse