You’re getting your life back on track. You’re determined to finally commit to an exercise routine, fix your diet, and make self-care a priority. But what does that actually look like? If you’ve been running yourself ragged for years, placing career and social ladders over personal well-being, the reset button can be hard to find.
People looking for a change often approach health like it’s all or nothing. As a result, they go all-in on gym memberships, diet plans, and cleanses. But spending all of your time at the gym and in the kitchen leaves little room for anything else. Neglecting hobbies, relationships, and relaxation simply isn’t sustainable over the long term.
For lasting change, you need to balance diet and fitness with other kinds of self-care. Here’s how you can do it.
Schedule ExerciseWhether you go to the gym, head outdoors, or work out in a home gym, it’s smart to schedule workouts into your week. This promotes habit formation as you grow accustomed to working out at the same time on the same days. It also enforces rest days, which are important for recovering and preventing injuries. And for people with addictive personalities, it prevents an exercise habit from morphing into an exercise addiction. This is particularly important for people using exercise to help their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. While exercise can be a powerful tool for overcoming cravings and negative thinking in recovery, transferring addiction from one habit to another is a dangerous path.
Plan MealsCooking a healthy dinner doesn’t need to be a multi-hour affair. You can eat healthy without sacrificing your evenings when you plan and prep meals in advance. Pick a day of the week for shopping and preparing meals. Cook staples like grains and legumes in advance and chop vegetables and meats into meal-sized portions. Using repeat ingredients saves time and reduces food waste, and it doesn’t have to mean eating the same thing every night. Check out these lunch recipes from MyRecipes for ideas on how to reinvent the same ingredients into several recipes.
Prioritize HobbiesHobbies aren’t just for kids. No matter your age, hobbies offer important benefits like stress relief, increased confidence and self-esteem, and a basis for meaningful relationships with others. But when you’re chasing career success and trying to keep your home life in order, it’s hard to find time for leisure pursuits. Instead of waiting to find time, make it. Reserve one evening or morning each week to pursue your hobbies. Whether you spend an hour reading, getting your hands dirty in the workshop, or tending to your garden, you’ll come out the other side feeling refreshed and more in tune with yourself.
Appreciate DowntimeIn a world where everyone is obsessed with talking about how busy they are, downtime can seem like a frivolous luxury. In reality, stepping away from your mental load is incredibly important for wellness. As Mental Health America points out, skipping out on relaxation leaves you tense and stressed out, which increases the risk of health issues ranging from digestive problems to depression. Spend a little longer in bed on weekend mornings, cuddle with your pets, play with your kids after work, take a walk while the sun is out, and practice meditation when you need deep relaxation.
While these tips are simple, implementing them isn’t easy. It’s hard to make time for yourself in a world that constantly tells you what you can produce is more important than who you are. But when you silence the noise and truly focus on personal wellness and self-care, the results are incredible. If you want to feel more at peace and in tune with yourself, this is advice you can’t afford to ignore.
Exercise is something most Americans should be aiming to do more of, but recovering addicts are particularly likely to benefit from a physical fitness routine. Indeed, an increasing number of recovery programs are incorporating exercise and physical fitness into their model, based on extensive academic, scientific, and anecdotal evidence of its power. If you are still skeptical about how useful putting on a pair of sneakers could be in kicking your habit, you need to find out more about the many ways fitness helps with addiction recovery.
DOMS delayed onset muscle soreness, It’s a pain felt after any extended activity which challenges your body physically in ways outside of what you are used to. These activities can vary for everyone depending on your fitness levels. A walk, run or pushing yourself in one way or another “gym or yard work if you are someone that enjoys it”, But what’s really going on, the reason for this pain you feel normally between 12-72 hours after your activity ?. It is explained as “micro tears” breaking down your muscle fibers forcing the body to rebuild stronger in order to take on the challenges you put it through intentionally or unintentionally.
For the avid gym goers, some believe they didn’t get a good workout if they are not sore but is this true. This depends on your definition of a good workout or your fitness goals. For the regular everyday person who wants to look good and feel better, these rules do not apply. DOMS doesn’t always equate to a great workout and vis versa. Whatever activity it is you will feel DOMS the most during the first couple weeks or months. Going forward your body will become more accustom to the challenges of your everyday life. You can gauge how effective your workout is based on the number of reps you are now able to do or if you increased the weight for a particular movement. Changing something small about the movement can have you feeling sore again, like changing from a back squat to a front squat.
As you get stronger you will feel less sore. If you are anything like me and hate being overly sore especially my hamstring you can try a few or all these suggestion below.
Before working out
Warm up – I normally have clients do 5-10 minutes of jump rope, run on the treadmill or a variety of jumping jack, once the heart is pumping I do a few light movements using the body parts that we are going to target that day.
Stretch – once blood is flowing to those body parts they will become more elastic, stretching is said to also increase your power.
Foam roll – this is just like getting a deep tissue massage with the exception of having a stranger's hands all over you and the price of it.
Be Active – when you are sore your muscles are tight and want to have blood flowing to those muscles so use those muscles lightly, a mild jog or whatever mild activity you choose.
Adequate rest = Adequate rest
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Food is also a business. So, why is this subject mentioned in here? That’s because even if there are honest companies which are committed to consumer’s health and well-being, the market is still packed with companies which are more focused on selling you with their products. It only means that these companies will do whatever it takes just to catch your attention and persuade you that their products are smart choices.
The Truth about Food Labels – Low-Fat and Fat-Free
As a consumer, you want to buy products that are healthy. Hence, it has become a habit for most consumers to check an item’s label before deciding whether it should be on their cart or not. However, the practices in the market have drastically changed. The practice of using labels such as reduced fat to help consumers identify healthy choices from those that are not are now only being taken advantage into to let people believe that a product is a healthy option.
Reduced fat, low sodium, low-fat and fat-free are just among the many labels that food markers use to let the consumers believe that their products are healthy choices. But checking on these products and its labels, what does such claims truly mean?
Low-Fat and Fat Free Claims
Back then, there was no such thing as low fat or fat free. But as centuries pass, such terms were created, and now consumers are recommended to consume food items with such label. There is a reason why food makers are encouraging consumers to consume these products. The thing is, is the reason truly in favor for the consumers or to them?
If it can be answered, how may lab or tests did these products underwent before they are labeled fat-free or low-fat? Are the ingredients still in their purest form? These are just among the questions has that consumers has regarding this concern.
What it Means to be Labeled with Fat-Free and Low Fat
A product can only be labeled as fat-free if it contains less than five grams of fat/serving. For products to be labeled with low-fat, it must only have three grams or even less fat/serving. But even if these products are labeled with these, it still does not mean that they are low calorie or healthy. In fact, many food items labeled with low-fat are still containing high amount of sugar and may also have high amount of calories. Those fat-free foods are also typically taste-free. But the drastic part is that food makers are also adding sugar, salt, thickeners and flour to these products, which adds the caloric content.
There are free-foods as well that are loaded with chemicals that can be bad for consumers’ health. Fillers and chemicals are typically added to make up for the lack of nutrients, taste, palatability and texture. Consider fat-free cookies. Some of these cookies contain more sweeteners, like sugar, compared to cookies containing one or two grams of fat. The most important truth you must know about these product is they do not really help in losing weight. Instead of losing weight, the effects you will achieve later on is gain more weight.
All these only lead to one thing. If you truly want to benefit from weight loss effects these products are claimed to deliver, you must start consuming real healthy products and foods that are in its purest form.
Whenever you are grocery shopping, what basis do you use when purchasing items? Do you always base your choices on the nutrition labels of the products? Perhaps, you do so that it can guide you on which among your choices are much healthier. If you are among those health-conscious people, you may have done the same thing whenever you are grocery shopping. But, do these nutritional labels truly mean what it displays?
Even the most conscientious label-readers can be misled by what is written on these labels. And with all the marketing that companies do, you never know which label claims is really true.
There is one thing you need to know about these nutritional labels. Terms like all-natural or fat-free are now often slapped on food items even if the products may not be truly healthy at all. Hence, it becomes more important for consumers today to be aware of these hype and know how they can better smarter choices when grocery shopping.
All-natural products are a smart choice for food items. So when you see this on nutritional labels, you will instantly get the idea that the product is also a smart and healthy option. Do not be fooled since all-natural does not really mean that much. Instead, you need to be aware that food items labeled with natural may actually mean that it contains food preservatives or sodium-injected. There are some natural products that contain high level of fructose corn syrup. Companies manufacturing products containing this would claim that it is healthy since it came from corn. Again, do not be fooled.
Crackers and bread are snack food items that will always be present in most consumer’s grocery list. And as a smart shopper, you will look for these items that are labeled multigrain. But no, you should not and instead, you need to look for products labeled with 100% whole wheat or whole grain. Whole grains contain more fiber together with other nutrients compared to those that are refined. Products that have been refined only means that it is already stripped away with the healthiest part of the grain.
No Sugar Added Label
It is only normal for people to be concerned about carbohydrates and calories. In result, you only purchase food items that come with a no sugar added label. But you need to be aware that even fruits, milk, vegetables and cereals naturally have sugar. Even those products labeled with no sugar added still contain ingredients such as maltodextrin, which is a carbohydrate. Carbs, as described are simple sugars or can also be more complex starches, which raises blood sugar. Therefore, the label no sugar added does not necessarily mean that food items are free of carbohydrates or calorie.
Sugar Free Label
Products with sugar free labels do not mean that it contain less calories than its regular version. In fact, these products may even contain more! Products that are labeled with this still contain about less than point five grams of sugar per serving. But these products may still contain carbohydrates and calories obtained from other similar sources. At most these food items have sugar alcohols, which can lead to diarrhea. Hence, it is suggested that you do not consume products with this in just one sitting.
There are more misleading nutritional labels people are always encountering in the supermarket. That is why it is so essential for you not just to be aware of it, but also to determine which truly the better choices among those products are.
Metabolism is defined as the set of chemical reactions involved in sustaining the living state of the organism and the cells. It is an enzyme-catalyzed reaction which enables the organisms to reproduce and grow, sustain their structures, as well as respond to the environment. It is divided in two categories: catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism refers to the breaking down of the organic matter to harvest energy through cellular respiration and anabolism, which refers to the synthesis of the needed compounds of the cells such as nucleic acids and proteins.
Metabolism is closely related to nutrition and the availability of nutrients. Bio-energetics describes the metabolic or biochemical pathways in which the cell obtains energy and the formation of energy is one of the essential components of metabolism.
The chemical reactions of metabolism are arranged into metabolic pathways, wherein a chemical is changed into another chemical through a sequence of enzymes. Enzymes are important in metabolism, since they enable organisms to initiate reactions that need energy, by coupling them to reactions which release energy. Enzymes serve as catalyst, which allow reactions to occur in rapid phase as well as regulating metabolic pathways due to changes in the environment of the cells.
The term metabolism also refers to the burning of calories to provide energy needed by your body. The three ways that can burn calories include:
The PAEE is affected by your activity every day. The more fitness activity you do, the more calories your burned. Increasing the calories you burned through PAEE is one way of speeding up your fitness. If you want to speed up your metabolism, you must do fitness activities that drain glucose instead of fatty acids. Any high-intensity workout will also increase metabolism for a longer time after doing fitness activities.
Does Metabolism Decrease with Age?
The gain of weight as we age is due to the decrease in the calories burned by our body. Low level of physically fitness activity plays an important role in the decreased in the expenditure of energy as well as decline in the metabolic rate due to age. Basal metabolic rate, which makes up 50-70% of TEE, decreases to 1-2% every year. As the person gets old, his or her energy expenditure also decreases. The declined in the expenditure of energy is due to increase mass of fats and decreased mass of muscles.
In order to prevent declined metabolic rate and age-related weight gain, you must integrate a fitness program including muscle building and strength training to have a stable muscle mass that is metabolically active, as well as cardiovascular physical activity to avoid increased mass of fats and maintain a high level of burning energy.
It is a well acknowledged fact that a superbly muscled male, with a toned body to boot, might be considered the very epitome of masculine physique, and is even perceived as such, by both male and female alike. Equally true is the fact that overly muscular bodied females lose much of their femininity not only in the eyes of males but also of fellow females. While these commonly held beliefs on either side of the gender divide cannot be doubted or found fault with, the tendency of women at times to overdo or over express their apprehensions, results in misplaced assumptions and insinuations.
The presence of muscles in the female body is not detrimental to their femininity nor takes away from their soft looks or glamor in any way. The world of tennis provides enough evidence of female players who not only have the muscles in adequate measure where they need it most to pursue their sports, but at the same time have the bodily wherewithal to walk down any ramp without batting an eyelid. Sometimes these players can even put paid to the efforts of professional models to steal the limelight in their presence.
So coming back to the central question of why women should be afraid of growing big - meaning having more muscles on their bodies? As a general reply, substantiated with the examples narrated above, the answer pure and simply is that they need not be afraid at all. Having said that, one would, however, hasten to add that most normal females are really not going to grow that big, and the scientific reason for this is that most females do not have that much of testosterone in their bodies to make them look like a muscled guy after putting in the same amount of weight training and exercise.
Another related point to bear in mind is the fact that females typically do develop muscles at about half the rate of men. This again further proves that a female should not be concerned about the thought that she may suddenly end up with Hercules type muscles just by getting into weight training. To further assuage the fears of females about getting “big” let it be said that it is a fact, and also well supported by statistics, for both men and women, the same general principles apply for weight training, namely: heavy lifting, a proper diet, and enough rest to prevent over straining.
Summarizing therefore, any doubts and misconceptions in the common female’s mind about growing “big” and muscular and thereby losing femininity through weight training should be laid to rest. Also, any aspersions that a female needs special circumstances for her own training are a myth. Purely because a female trains in the same way as a male, does not mean she ends up looking like a muscular male. The general principles of training apply equally to both sexes, but the essential differentiators between the sexes is the levels of testosterone in their bodies. This being much lower amongst females tempers the development of muscles in them, and thereby forever crashing a myth amongst many about the fear of growing “big”.
Do you usually suffer from pain after jogging, working out, participating in any kind of sports or even after getting out of bed?. The road to health and fitness will seem long, winding and a difficult. If most days give you injuries instead of making you feel great, which is basically what workouts are supposed to offer in the first place, what could be the reason why you end up feeling terrible after your physical activity? Could it be because you forgot to warm up and cool down after each session? Or possibly, you just don’t realize yet what a foam roller can do to help you recover from your intense workouts.
Simple, light and undoubtedly inexpensive, the plain design of a foam roller may seem trivial. But the moment you used it for your specific exercise or for recovery work, you will be shocked to discover that the benefits that it offers actually stretch from here to eternity.
The foam roller is used for deep tissue massages as well as rehabilitation and strengthening exercises. For athletes, they mainly use the foam rollers for intensive work on the muscles.
However, it does not really matter if you are a professional athlete, ordinary fitness buff or just a regular Joe because the benefits of using foam roller are all yours to enjoy.
The foam roller can help maintain and stretch your long and smooth muscles. It can achieved through the treatment of your trigger points with the help of deep tissue massage. What’s the importance of long and smooth muscles? These muscles are the ones that allow your body to become resistant to the different injuries because the network of the fibrous tissues that run through your body will become stronger. Once you start using a foam roller it will allow improved mobility. Your muscles will no longer feel sore as they used to feel every time you go out for your regular run or when you work out. It will also become easier for you to train for different physical activities and you can also heal and recover faster with the help of a foam roller.
Why will you suffer through all the pain every time you work out when there is now a chance for you to push yourself to the limits with the use of a simple foam roller? With the help of the best foam rollers, you can now address your muscle pain, stretch your muscles, perform recovery exercises to help in achieving better muscle mobility and strength and remain as pain-free as possible. Use foam rollers today.