10 Tips From The World’s Most Accomplished Strength Coach




We recently attended the Bulletproof conference in Pasadena where we got to listen to the top experts in the field of health and wellness. One of these speakers was Charles Poliquin, who is defined as the world’s most accomplished strength coach. He has trained several olympic medalists, professional athletes, and fitness world champion’s. He definitely knows his stuff when it comes to getting and staying fit!

Below is a list of the main takeaways we got from his session, some tips we knew and we’ve shared with you before in other posts on our website, but it was great to hear him echo the same things we teach as well!

1. No Steady-State Cardio

There were some choice words to describe steady-state cardio, but the main takeaways  were that it ages the brain and that it promotes muscles wasting and fat gain. Yikes!



2. Yes to high intensity interval training (HIIT)

He describes exercise in the form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) as not being cardio, and as being a highly effective way to burn fat and gain muscle. If you are a runner or biker add sprint intervals to reap the benefits rather than longer exercise at a steady-state pace.



3. Eat protein on rest days

Rest days are when your muscles are recovering and building back up to be stronger. The building blocks of muscle comes from amino acids which are found in protein.



4. The first thing in your mouth dictates the rest of your day

What you eat or drink first thing in the morning sets you up to burn or gain fat for the rest of the day. For this reason, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.



5. Meat and nuts for breakfast

He does not recommend a specific macronutrient requirement for breakfast, but does recommend starting each day with a mix of meat and nuts to start the day.



6. Magnesium at night time

Taking magnesium at night time aids  muscle recovery and helps with sleep. I didn’t catch how much he recommends, but I recommend 400 mg or more at night time – note that taking too much too can cause diarrhea.



 

7. One hour of strength training 4 days a week

You can get super fit if you workout smart. He recommends one hour sessions of strength training, 4 days a week. If you can’t go for a full hour every day (I normally can’t) then just make the workout sessions shorter and go 5-6 days a week. Note: He is speaking about how to get super ripped for a competition or something of that nature, you likely do not have to even do this much to get fit!



8. More muscle equals longer life

He equates the amount of muscle is an indicator of longevity – the more muscle you have, the longer the life.



 

9. Lose fat with strength training

To lose fat you need to start strength training. Strength training builds muscle, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. Also after strength training this causes your body to expend energy trying to repair itself, meaning you burn an elevated amount of calories even after the workout is done.



10. Stick to basic exercises

Avoid over thinking exercise. Stick to the basics to see the best results. Exercises recommended included deadlifts, squats, chin-ups, and overhead presses.



5 Tips to Maximize Your Rest Day




Think that getting fit is all about the time you spend in the gym? Nope, that’s not even half of it. It’s what you do outside from the gym that really makes the difference, and one of the biggest factors is how you rest and recover your body. This is because exercise causes microtears in your muscles which must be repaired for those muscles to become stronger. If your muscles are not given what they need to repair and recover, then you get muscle breakdown rather than muscle building. This is why rest and recovery is so important for reaching fitness goals.

Read below to learn how to get the most out of your rest day:

1. Less couch, more active recovery

If you think a rest day means a day spent on the couch, this is not the case! A rest day should be more about actively recovering your muscles with low impact activity, such as walking, biking, and/or yoga. These types of activities increase blood flow and circulation which help to repair your muscles faster and more efficiently. These activities will also help to relieve tightness that you may have after a hard workout.



2. Give your mind a rest

Mental stress does not just stay in your head and unfortunately, that stress can travel to your entire body which can lead to tense muscles and longer recovery time. Take the extra time on your rest day to chill out for a few minutes and take time for yourself. This could mean taking a few minutes for deep breathing and meditation, or just listening to music with your eyes closed.

3. Eat protein rich foods

It is a great misconception that protein intake should be high only on workout days. This is not true, and your protein intake should be just as high on non-workout days. This is because the amino acids in protein are needed to repair and build muscle, which is exactly what your body needs on a rest day! Aim to get about a gram of protein per pound of body weight, or at least 20 grams of protein at each meal.



4. Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors for adequate recovery. Sleep is when your body keeps stress hormones low and releases growth hormone which helps to repair and rebuild muscle. Take advantage of the extra time you have and sleep in!

5. Don’t skimp on calories

You may think because you aren’t exercising you need to cut back on your calories for the day, but really you want to make sure you eating enough to properly fuel your body for your next workout. You will likely just naturally eat less, so don’t worry about overeating on rest days and think about how that food will help you dominate your next workout

Main takeaways…

Rest days are meant to be enjoyed, to reset your mind and body, and to be able to maximize your fitness goals. Don’t worry about setting yourself back with a rest day, it will actually help you to become fitter faster!



About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab





Top Healthy Ways to Gain Weight

Gaining weight is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you are someone who likes to eat healthy and loves to exercise. That being said, there are definitely ways to tweak your diet and exercise routine to gain weight in a healthy way without having to ditch your healthy lifestyle.

Read below to learn the best ways to gain weight the healthy way:

Limit high intensity exercise

Avoid any type of high intensity exercise, such as running or interval training. These types of exercises tend to burn the most amount of calories and may even blunt your appetite – not what you want when you are trying to gain weight. You don’t have to completely stop exercising (some exercise can actually help to boost appetite) but stick to low impact activities such as walking and body weight exercises.

Pair carbohydrates with fat

Carbohydrates paired with fat is basically the best combination to gain weight. Stick to natural and non-processed carbohydrates and fats, such as sweet potato with nut butter – one of my personal favorite combos!

Eat smaller, more frequent meals

Eating smaller meals is easier for your body to digest so that you can make room for another meal soon. When you eat a large meal, especially a carb and fat heavy meal, this can overload your digestive system and cause you to not want to eat for a long time.

Avoid fat-free foods

If you are trying to gain weight, go for full-fat foods which will have more calories and will help to put on the pounds.

Go for sandwiches rather than salads

Salad greens virtually have no calories and they take up space in your stomach which can make you feel fuller faster – not what you want when you are trying to gain weight. The bread in sandwiches adds a good amount of carbs and calories to your meal.

Pair a smoothie with a meal

Smoothies are great for helping you to gain weight because drinking something doesn’t trigger your brain that you are full as much as eating and chewing something does.

Some of my favorite high calorie ingredients include organic full-fat milk, fruit, nut butter, yogurt, and protein powder.

Don’t go low carb

A low carb diet is great for keeping you full – not what you want when you are trying to gain weight. Carbohydrates are very helpful for gaining weight because they won’t make you as full as eating a high fat or high protein diet. Aim to eat some carbs at every snack and meal.

Use organic milk instead of water

Using organic whole milk instead of water is an excellent way to get  in more calories, protein, fat, calcium and other nutrients.  For example, if you normally use water to make meals such as oatmeal or protein shakes, use organic whole milk instead. Can’t drink milk? No problem, use a nut milk which will at least have more calories than just plain water.

Main takeaways…

If you are someone that needs to gain weight, understand that this doesn’t mean you need to gorge on pasta or pizza. Stick to non-processed real foods, and aim to have a mix of carbohydrates and fat at every meal.

6 Signs You Need A Rest Day From Your Workout




There is such a thing as too much exercise and this is called over training. Overtraining can lead to not only burnout from exercise, but also injury and pain and can end up doing much more harm than good when you push too hard for too long. If you have been hitting the gym hard daily and you can’t remember the last time you took a day off from working out, it is probably a good idea to take a rest from the gym. 

Below are the top 6 signs you need to take a rest day:




1. You have low energy

Feeling tired and low energy is a sign that you might be overtraining and need to take a day off from the gym. This is because when you do hard exercise daily this can exhaust your nervous system and lead to burn out and fatigue.



2. Your easy workout feels hard

If you are having a difficult time getting through a workout that you can normally do with no problem, this is a clear sign your body needs a break. Instead go for a walk around the neighborhood and try a yoga class.



3. You are having trouble sleeping

If you are having trouble sleeping this is a sign that your body has been overly stressed and may need rest. Exercises increases the stress hormones in your body, and when they do not have a chance to come down and level out, the stress response can last throughout the day and into the evening to disrupt sleep.



4. Soreness isn’t going away

It’s normal to feel sore after a hard workout, but if it’s been several days or even weeks that you are still sore, this is a clear sign you need to give your muscles a rest. Exercise breaks muscle down so that they can rebuild to become toned and stronger, however, if you don’t give them adequate rest they will just continue to break down.



5. Your resting heart rate is elevated

Your resting heart rate is exactly that – your heart rate at rest. Individuals who work out regularly will have lower resting heart rates because exercise works out the heart muscle, hence the word “cardio.” As the heart muscle gets stronger it is able to pump out more blood with a greater force per beat, leading to less heart beats per minute. An elevated resting heart rate from your normal rate is a sign of stress, which can be both psychological and exercise induced. If you have been working out hard several days in a row consider taking a rest day and see if your heart rate returns to normal.



6. You’re feeling stressed 

Working out hard causes a rise of cortisol, the primary stress hormone in your body. Too much exercise can cause excessive cortisol production which can start to make you feel stressed. Exercise is the best thing to relieve mental stress, however, if you over due it on the exercise this can actually induce more mental stress.



Main takeaway…

If you are experiencing one or more of the above, consider whether you need to take a rest day to recover and feel better. A rest day doesn’t mean sitting on the couch all day. Make it an active rest day and still aim for 10,000 steps or try a light yoga class.




References

  1. http://www.medicaldaily.com/5-signs-overtraining-racing-heart-rate-poor-sleep-396376
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/icb200070




Top Signs and Symptoms You Need A Day Off From Exercise




Go ahead and pat yourself on the back if you have consistently been hitting the gym and working out! That being said, there is such a thing as too much exercise and if you aren’t giving your body the rest it needs it will start to breakdown. 

Read below to learn the top signs and symptoms that you need a break from your workout:




You’re not sleeping well

If your body is under a ton of stress from grueling daily workouts, you can bet your sleep is going to suffer. If you’re suddenly not sleeping well, this could be a sign that you need a break from your workout.

You’re always sore

Feeling a little sore for a day or two after a tough workout is normal, but if it’s been several days or weeks and you are still feeling sore, this is a clear sign that you need to let your muscles rest and recover. Remember that muscles get stronger AFTER a workout and need adequate time to recover to become stronger.



You feel low energy

Too much physical stress on the body can make you feel lethargic. If you are feeling low energy throughout the day and you’ve been consistently hitting the gym, this could mean you need to give your body a break.

You’re not enjoying your workouts

You definitely don’t want to associate a workout with dread! If you start to dread a workout that you once enjoyed, this is a sign you need to take a break.



You’re workout makes you feel more tired

A workout is supposed to give you energy, not make you tired. If you are finding that you feel even more exhausted after your workout is over, this is an indicator that your body has not been able to recover properly from previous workouts.

You’re resting heart rate is elevated

An elevation in resting heart rate indicates your body is under stress. When your body is under stress this causes the fight or flight response which causes your body to release hormones that will speed up your heart rate to pump more oxygen to your organs and brain.

The best time to check your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning when you wake up, before jumping out of bed. Another option is  to use a fitness monitor that will tell you your lowest heart rate for the day.



You’re having a hard time getting through your normal workout

If you’re barely making it through a workout that you can normally do with no problem, this is a sign that your body needs a break to rest and recover.

You’ve stopped making progress

Whether it be that you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, if you’ve noticed that your results have leveled off despite consistently working out, this could mean you need to take a break from your workout. Remember, the magic happens when you are not in the gym – aka when you are resting.

Main takeaways…

If you’ve been experiencing one or more of the above, think back about the last time you took a break from working out. If it’s been a while or you can’t remember, then it is a very good idea to take a day or two off from heavy exercise – your body will thank you! Read here to learn how to make the most of a rest day.



About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.

Follow us on Instagram!





Should You Eat Breakfast Before Or After Exercise?




I am a huge advocate for exercising first thing in the morning for many reasons, including how it sets the tone for the day, gives you energy, and makes you feel good. I am also an advocate for going into your morning workout on an empty stomach, aka in a fasted state, and saving your breakfast for after your workout is finished.

Read below to learn why I recommend eating AFTER your morning workout:

1. It could make you burn more fat

Research shows you may burn more fat if you go into your workout in a fasted state. This is because overnight your body runs out of glucose (aka carbs) for energy and so it starts burning fat for fuel while you sleep. When you wake up your body is still in this fat-burning state, meaning exercising on an empty stomach first thing could accelerate this fat-burning. If you eat carbs first thing in the morning, this breaks the fast (hence breakfast) and you are no longer in a fat-burning state and you are now in a carb burning state.

Health Hack: Coffee before a workout has been shown to possibly accelerate fat-burning. If you need something to get you going in the morning, consider having a cup of coffee with non-dairy milk and a glass of water.



2. You don’t have to wait to workout

Most individuals do not have a lot of time in the morning, am I right? If you plan to eat after your workout then you can just get up and go rather than having to prepare your breakfast, eat your breakfast, and then wait for it to digest.

3. You won’t get heartburn

The worst is when you eat right before a workout and then you have heartburn all throughout the exercise. When you go into your workout with an empty stomach you don’t have to worry about this uncomfortable situation!



4. You won’t feel as lethargic

When you eat before a workout this can cause you to feel weighed down and even tired, especially if you had a carb heavy breakfast.

5. You’ll get through your workout faster

If you have your breakfast to look forward to after your workout, this will make you want to get your workout done more efficiently and quickly, rather than just socializing or wasting time at the gym.

6. Big refuel after

Hooray your workout is done! Now you can feast on a good meal after.



7. Less time planning

Rather than wasting your precious time thinking about what you should eat when you first wake up, you can just get up and go and think about what you want for breakfast during your workout.

8. MUCH less likely to talk yourself out of working out

The longer you wait to exercise in the morning, the higher the likelihood you will convince yourself you don’t need to workout. This is especially true after eating breakfast which can make you feel more relaxed, and make your bed look very inviting.



9. You’ll enjoy your breakfast more

A hard workout makes you feel accomplished and because you literally worked for your breakfast, it makes that meal that much better – you deserved it!

Main takeaways…

It can definitely be an adjustment to waiting to eat until after your workout is finished, but the benefits are worth it! 



 

Top Factors You Should Be Monitoring For Weight Loss




If you have cleaned up your diet and started exercising, yet you are still having trouble losing weight, it is a good idea to take a look at your day-to-day activities. This means keeping a daily journal of the different factors that can make or break your progress.

Below lists the top factors you should be keeping track of to lose weight:




Sleep

Take note of how much sleep you are getting. Also take note if you are having a hard time getting to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night which could be signs of stress. High levels of stress in the body can cause your body to hold onto fat. 

Stress levels

This includes taking note of when you felt stressed, what prompted the stress, how long the stress lasted for, and what you did about the stress. This is a great way to understand what stresses you and if you are doing anything to sabotage your fitness progress when a stressor hits.



Exercise

Take note of what exercise you are doing, the intensity, your heart rate. Exercise is going to help accelerate your results and should be part of your weight loss program. Taking note of different exercise parameters will let you see how you can change up your routine if you hit a plateau or you aren’t losing much weight.

Movement

This can be tracked in a variety of ways, but the easiest ways is steps. Aim to get at least 10,000 steps per day and this does not include steps from exercise you did. If you have an Apple watch then you can also track your calories and movement. Note that calories are never going to be completely accurate, so just set a calorie goal understanding that it’s not going to be accurate and use the same device that tracks your calories not between devices.



Snacking

Note if you had to snack between meals and what happened right before your urge to snack – were you stressed, bored, or actually just hungry?

Timing of meals

Take note of what time you are eating your meals and how long it is between meals. Too short or too long a time period can be setting you back. Too short means your meals aren’t large enough.

Main takeaways…

If you are committed to losing weight and keeping it off, you should start taking notes of the above. Weight loss is multi-factorial and you have to take in many different factors when it comes to getting lasting results.




 

7 Benefits of Yoga for Men




It was a little over four years ago that I was quite literally “dragged” me to my very first yoga class. I can assume many of our male readers have been put in a similar situation and may or may not have obliged…this post is designed to push you to give it a try and hopefully build it into a new positive habit. And to all of the women out there reading this, let this serve as your arsenal of yoga benefits to motivate your male friends, colleagues, husbands, fathers, etc. to take up a yoga practice.
 
Here are my top 7 benefits of yoga for men:
 

1. Back pain relief

I had to put this at #1 as if it was the only benefit of yoga, it would still be worth it to me. I long suffered from low back pain, and I know many other men do too. Yoga puts an emphasis on a strong core and a lot of the poses focus on the low back region. The working out and strengthening of the back has not only gotten rid of my low back pain entirely, but also improved my posture.




 

2. Injury prevention

A lack of flexibility and “stiffness” is often the root cause of our injuries. We tend to get injured playing a pickup game of basketball or hitting the slopes because our tight bodies can’t handle any movements outside the norm. Yoga is designed to help us get to a point where our muscles and joints move in their FULL range, thus decreasing any surprising jolts to the body.




 

3. Builds muscle

Anyone who has ever done body weight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, etc.) knows how effective they really are. Yoga is all about leveraging your body weight and introduces you to poses that sculpt everything from your triceps to calves. As someone who mostly focused on weight training in the past, I can say it’s definitely a surprise benefit of yoga.

 

4. Challenges you




Trust me on this, yoga is a challenge on both your mind and body. You’ll find some poses are easy, while others you couldn’t imagine ever being able to do. But each class, you’ll notice that you’re getting better. It’s a lifelong challenge and one that you never “win”, but instead enjoy the journey of.

 

5. Improves breathing

Breathing is not something we think about doing (by design!), but is an amazing anchor into the vitality of our lives. Yoga focuses on the breath while you are challenging the body. The type of “belly” breathing learned in class, referred to as Diaphragmatic breathing, can help you relax and lower stress outside of class in your everyday life.

 

6. Quiets the mind

With all of the breathe and body work, it’s hard (and nearly impossible) to let your mind wander and worry about things outside of class. Many people find traditional meditation to be a challenge, but get a lot of the same benefits of quieting the mind through yoga.




 

7. Improves circulation

Yoga has long been shown to promote healthy blood flow throughout the body – leading to healthy skin, positive cell growth, and improved energy / brain performance.

Bonus: It’s something you can do for your entire life and the benefits only compound. As we get older our posture and spine get worse and worse – making it even difficult to walk for some. There are several 50+ year olds in our yoga classes that are in great shape, it’s inspiring to see there flexibility and strength – it motivates me to continue it for life.

Ok men, go give it a try!

Ditch The Scale – Track These Instead!




There are so many different – and even better! – ways to track your body composition rather than the scale. When you use a scale, it tells you nothing about where your weight is coming from and it can be very frustrating when you know you’re less flabby but it is not reflected in the scale. Whether you are trying to gain muscle or lose weight, the tools below will help you achieve your goal.

Below lists the best ways to track your body composition:


1. Body fat monitor

This is hands-down the best tool to determine where your weight is coming from. This also goes for those of you who want to gain weight because you probably want to gain weight in the form of muscle right? Using a body fat monitor not only helps to track your progress, but it can also help you determine whether your current diet and fitness regimen is working.

Examples:

Say you lost weight but the body fat monitor found that this weight came from muscle and not fat – this means you might need to start strength training or take a day off from exercise. Another example, say you didn’t lose any weight but the body fat monitor told you this was because you gained muscle and lost fat and these evened out. See how helpful this tool is?! It doesn’t matter which body fat monitor you use, the important thing is that you use the same monitor to track your progress. 



2. Measuring tape

A measuring tape is a great tool to track where you are losing weight from or where you are gaining muscle. I recommend measuring the arms, waist, hips, and thighs, but you can measure anywhere you want. Be sure to measure the exact same spot every time you measure!



3. Selfies 

A great way to visually see your results is to take pictures of yourself each each or at least every couple of weeks. You likely won’t notice changes in your body because the changes are gradual and you see yourself everyday. When you put a side-to-side picture of yourself this lets you see the changes you’ve made in your body composition – and if you don’t see any changes then you may want to change up your diet and exercise routine. I recommend taking a front and back picture with legs together and another with legs apart, as well as a side profile of both your right and left sides.



4. Clothes fit

Do your clothes feel looser? Hopefully not tighter! This is a great way to feel the difference in how your weight has shifted with how your clothes are fitting. Take a minute to think about whether your jeans are feeling a little looser or if you had pants you couldn’t wear before and now they fit just right. How your clothes fit is one of the best ways to tell if you’ve lost fat and/or gained muscle.



Main takeaway…

Try one or more of the above ways to track your progress in addition or in place of the scale and you will better understand your progress.

 



6 Reasons Jumping Rope Is An Awesome Workout




Jumping rope is one the oldest forms of workout equipment, and also one of the most under utilized forms of workout equipment! We love jumping rope for an effective and efficient workout. It burns tons of calories in a short amount of time, without needing much equipment or even needing to put much thought into it! Just pick up a jump rope and start going, you can get a good workout in just a few minutes a couple times a week. 

Below lists the top 6 reasons why jumping rope is an awesome workout:




1. Cardio

Jumping rope is a great exercise to get your heart rate up quickly and it burns roughly 10 calories per minute (more or less depending on intensity) which is a solid way to burn calories quickly. Increase the burn by doing high intensity interval training with the jump rope by increasing the intensity for 30 seconds, then decreasing the intensity and speed for 60 seconds, alternating 10 times.



2. Builds strength

Not only is jumping rope a great cardio workout, it also works several of your major muscle groups including glutes, hamstrings, abs, and forearms. Muscle not only gives you a toned body, but it also is metabolically active tissue meaning you will burn significantly more calories at rest when you have more muscle. 



3. You can do it anywhere

Literally anywhere. You can jump rope outside, in your garage, in the kitchen 😉 if you have space to stand then you should have space to jump rope. Being able to exercise anywhere, anytime, is one of the best things about jumping rope. No excuses now for not working out on vacation! Next time bring the jump rope.




4. Simple…but effective

Jumping rope is incredibly simple, no crazy maneuvers, you literally just move your wrists and take tiny jumps! Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated to get a good workout.



5. Full body exercise

As discussed above, jumping rope works your upper body, lower body, and midsection giving you a full body workout. Using your whole body during exercise is ideal because it saves time rather than having to work one muscle group at a time. Using more muscles at once is more effective and gives you the greatest bang for your workout buck.



6. Inexpensive

Have a great workout!




Top 8 Benefits of Foam Rolling




Foam rolling is also referred to as “self-myofascial release” which is a fancy way of saying “self-massage.” Knots in muscles are also known as myofascial trigger points, small bits of hyper-tensed muscle which cause discomfort. A foam roller is an easy and effective way for you to massage out hard to reach tense areas of muscle which cause pain and tightness. 

Below lists the top 8 benefits of foam rolling:

1. Releases tension

This goes for both tension in your mind and body. The act of rolling out these tight areas of muscle is soothing to our mind as much as it is the actual muscle, and you feel a sense of release in your brain from the act of releasing muscular tension. 



2. Increases circulation

Foam rolling increases blood flow to tissues by breaking up the muscle knots that were blocking the flow. We want blood flow to muscle tissue because blood carries oxygen and nutrients to muscles so that they can recover from exercise faster and become stronger.



3. Increases range of motion

Foam rolling is an effective way to increase your range of motion by breaking up those tense areas of muscle, allowing the muscle to stretch farther and with greater ease. Increased range of motion improves balance, joint stability, and allows for greater muscle activation during exercise. 



4. Decreases recovery time after a workout

Being able to recover from a workout quicker is key to prevent muscle breakdown and overuse of muscles. A foam roller helps to flush out lactic acid and other metabolic wastes that buildup in muscle tissue with exercise.



5. Saves you money

Foam rolling is a form of self massage, meaning it will decrease the amount of actual massages you will need to get. This is awesome for your wallet because a good massage does not come cheap, especially if you are getting frequent massages.



6. Decreases soreness

Foam rolling after a workout decreases delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. Muscle soreness is uncomfortable and can prevent you from working out for a few days. 



7. Improves sleep

As discussed above, foam rolling relieves tension and prevents soreness in muscles. When your muscles are relaxed this allows your entire body to relax and allows for a more restful sleep. Try foam rolling for 10 minutes before sleep to relieve any aches or soreness to have a better sleep.



8. Prevents injury

Many injuries start with tight muscles and overuse of these tight muscles. Foam rolling after workouts keeps muscles nice and loose, which decreases the chance of injury.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26618062
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24343353
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642244/
  4. http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2011/03001/The_Effects_of_Foam_Rolling_on_Myofascial_Release.45.aspx%20[




21 Fitness Tips To Help Get You In Shape





Our resident health and fitness expert serves up her 21 favorite fitness tips to help you get in shape and reach your goals. Let’s get fit!

P.S. Don’t forget to try out Daily FitBot on Messenger for free workouts that you can do without a gym in 30 minutes or less!

 

1. Protein helps muscles heal faster, and athletes who consume adequate amounts are able to recover quicker after hard workouts and are less likely to get hurt. 

2. Strength training increases stability of muscles and helps to improve structural weaknesses in your body, whether in the muscles, joints, or connective tissues.




 

3. Foam rolling helps to break up muscle knots, restores blood flow through these tight areas, thereby increasing circulation and allowing oxygen and other mediators to repair muscle tissue.

4. Avoid a hard workout right before bed as this may make it harder to fall asleep. Allow for 2-3 hours from your workout to sleep time.




5. Working out first thing in the morning allows for less chance of life getting in the way of preventing your workout.

6. High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, is a highly efficient and effective style of exercise that alternates between short sprints with short periods of recovery.

7. Do you have tight hamstrings, calves, or sore feet? Try rolling a small ball such as a lacrosse ball under each foot daily for 5 minutes to relieve tightness.




 

8. DID YOU KNOW? Low back pain is a sign of weak abdominal muscles. Add in core exercises to your daily workout routine to prevent this from happening.

9. The plank exercise is one of the best ways to get a toned stomach, but it also improves posture and balance, as well as firing your glutes and hamstrings.

10 The benefits of exercise go way beyond weight loss. Exercise helps with attention, concentration, focus, energy, and stress release.




 

11. Full body exercises such as running or burpees are the most efficient forms of exercise because you engage more muscles at once in less amount of time- the more muscle groups you engage, the higher the calories burn.

12. Make exercise a priority by making it part of your daily routine. The most consistent exercisers are the ones who carve out a particular time of day and stick to that time for exercise on a daily basis.

13. Drinking coffee 30-60 minutes before a workout can boost your workout and fat burning.





 

14. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. It is much easier to eat 1,000 calories than to burn 1,000 calories. Exercise should be seen as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle, but diet is always number one.

15. If you aren’t exercising at all, start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car farther away from the destination, get off from the train a stop early and walk the rest of the way. All of these small movements add up at the end of the day.

16. Enjoyment of an exercise is fundamentally linked to how likely an individual is to stick with that exercise – meaning it doesn’t matter what you do for exercise, the most important thing is that you enjoy doing it.




17. To get yourself motivated to exercise, think about how great you feel AFTER your workout.

18. You will burn more calories running outside versus running on a treadmill at the same speed. Why? On the treadmill you have no wind resistance and you have a belt to help pull you along. To simulate outdoor running, set the incline to 1-2% on your next treadmill run.

19. Exercising regularly can help to boost your immunity, making you less likely to get sick.




20. Studies have shown that older people who exercise tend to have significantly less chance of cognitive decline compared to those who do not exercise regularly.

21. FYI. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase your good cholesterol aka HDL cholesterol. Get moving!