- Drink wisely -Not saying you have to restrict yourself from alcohol completely, summer is the best time to enjoy a nice cold beverage after work or on the weekends. Summer consists of many events that call for some bevies. The trick is to choose your drink wisely. This meaning stay away from mixed cocktails that contain a lot of sugar, migrate towards something with club soda with lemon or lime flavoring, try a lower calorie beer, or low sugar content red wine. These will still allow you to enjoy yourself without all the extra empty calories and excess sugars. There are now more brands and company’s producing lower calorie and sugar drinks-you just have to take a look around or ask at your liquor store.
- Sleep well–We need to ensure we are getting 6-8 hours of good sleep a night-what I mean by good sleep is undisturbed, restless-free sleep. If your body is not sleeping properly it can do funny things to your hormone balance, which then leads to cravings, hunger, and loss of energy. Proper sleep not only makes you feel good the next day, it gives you alertness, concentration and motivation. You will find it easier to stick to your goals if you are getting enough sleep.
- Plan your meals-summer can be a busy time and its just so easy to stop by a fast food place and pick up something on the go, but it might not necessarily be healthy or contain the nutrients you are looking for. Planning meals is a huge part in weight loss, if you have specific foods or meals set out for the day or week you are much more likely to strive to eat those things. This will keep you on track as well as boost your metabolism if you plan according to your goals. Preparing foods ahead of time also makes it easier to grab and go-smoothies,overnight oats, salads and even pre-made frozen dinners are all things that can be prepped ahead of time.
- Move more-summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather. If its a nice day and you have the choice of sitting down and watching TV after dinner or going for a walk with a friend, partner or children, make that decision a good one! Summer isn’t here for long so we have to take advantage of it while we can. Do some yard work, bike or walk to work, go for a hike or adventure. All these things are not only enjoyable in the nice weather-you are also burning extra calories and keeping your body moving.
- Eat more fruits and veggies-These are not only low in calories, they are cold, refreshing, and in much better condition than in the winter months. They are usually a lot more cost friendly in the summer as well because we have more access to them. Fill at least half your plate with them at each meal. Avoid those heavy starchy carbs that comfort you in the winter, they will just make you feel tired and sluggish. Fruits and veggies will fill you up and give you a boost of energy, not to mention you can incorporate them into so many different kinds of healthy recipes and even healthy treats!
People are often misguided when it comes to working the back muscles. Just because they are not typically visible in the day to day outfit doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be working on those muscle groups! There are many reasons why working the back is important. First off it is not just one big muscle back there, the back is composed of 5 different muscles!
- Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)
- Trapezius (Traps)
- Erector Spinae (Spinal Erectors)
- Teres Major
When working each of these different muscles, they perform different functions-mostly pulling movements. The back is a huge part of our core stability and strength, which is why it is important for overall strength. Keeping these muscles strong not only improves our posture, it helps all of its surrounding muscles and structures stay strong as well. In women especially though my experience; we tend to have tighter chest muscles which cause our posterior muscles to stretch and become weak, one of the reasons being our lovely breasts that can weigh us down in the front! Therefore it is EXTRA important for us to work on our backs, because as we get older those muscles become weaker over time, so we need to make them strong and keep ’em that way!
There are SO many exercises for the back muscles, this being another good reason to add a back day to your routine! You won’t get bored. You can use so many different pieces of equipment to work, strengthen and tone your back!
Some common exercises for the back are exercises like rows, pull downs, dead lifts and hyper extension. There are also many many variations of these common ones you can do in order to change up your routine! When working back you are also using many other accessory muscles as well like biceps, posterior deltoids, and core! As well as muscle building, you are also burning fat (more muscle you have more fat you burn on the daily) doing resistance training a few times a week amps up your metabolism and helps your shred more calories day to day. So anyone looking for that “lean” “shredded” look, get crackin on the back days!
*Making sure you hit all the muscle groups ensures for a balanced looking physique. If you are avoiding certain muscle groups it can lead to imbalances, injures and over compensating muscles!
TIP: When working any back muscle (any muscles in general but this is important) make sure you are using that muscle to complete the exercise. You can do this by making a mind muscle connection-think about what muscle you are trying to use and focus on it. In some cases our stronger more dominant muscles can take over without us even knowing! For example many times when I am training clients I often mention “use your back not your arms” when completing something like a row or a pull down. It is easy to use your arms and biceps to pull instead of focusing on the back>this happens because we use our arms more than our back on a daily basis, so if you are not thinking about it your arms will take over and you will lose the isolation for the back muscle you are trying to work!
So remember! Next time you are trying to think of what to do at the gym! A few extra back exercises won’t hurt 😉
Many women are afraid to pick up the damn dumbbells. Whether its fear of looking “manly” or “bulking” or lack of knowledge as to what to do with them.Let me tell you why you should NOT be avoiding lifting heavy weights.
First off, Resistance and weight training are necessary when building a “lean”, “toned” sexy physique! If you are just doing hours of cardio all the time, not only will you be weaker, you will not be embracing our amazing womanly curves!
DON’T FEAR THE HEAVY ONES
Lifting heavier weights not only burns more calories, strengthens your bones, muscles and joints- but it keeps you burning more calories hours after you finish your workout! Muscle burns fat-therefore the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn, this will bring out that “toned” look that everyone wants. Many of my clients have said to me”I want to look toned but not bulky”. OK i understand that but here’s the thing, you will not get bulky or look manly! Men are created differently than women for a reason, they have more testosterone which produces more muscle mass giving them that bulky look. Women are made differently, in order for you to look extremely bulking, you would have to be consuming 3000+ calories a day(not necessarily healthy ones either) and lifting 6x a week with no cardio. I do not know many women that do that, unless they are an extreme physique body builder.
MIND OVER MATTER
Don’t be scared. Just try it! I will guarantee it will leave you pleased with your workout & happy with your results (maybe a little sore) but it will help you reach your goals of the aesthetic you desire. Its also a great additive to boost your mental health, it gives you something to focus on, new goals to set and achieve and most importantly its focusing on yourself, your body and your achievements. Weight lifting opens a whole new world to exercise, there are so many different things you are able to do, its like going to a park and playing on different new equipment when you were a kid. There are so many great resources out there to get ideas and learn from. Creating your workouts will become more enjoyable because you have so many muscles in your body that you have the opportunity to build and strengthen.
Cardio isn’t the only thing that makes you sweat like a pig. If you are challenging yourself with weights and doing them in a circuit style-you’ll be sweating trust me. You can also incorporate different cardio activities in between lifting weights to give you 2 in 1. Another benefit to this is you will notice that everyday things become easier- going up stairs, lifting up boxes at work or you children if you have them! You will feel invincible, small little changes can make a big difference in day to day life, all you have to do is challenge yourself and not give up. Bad day at work? Sweat it out with improving yourself in the gym, try a new arm exercise and master it-whatever it takes to get your mind away from negativity and towards bettering yourself.
All in all you just have to try, it might require a little more work and focus but it will be worth it after a couple weeks-you will learn to love the weights and see how many ways they can change your body.
Everyone has always been taught that drinking water is important & necessary. Do we really know why it’s so important though? Maybe not. Well I am going to tell you.
Water is everywhere and is needed everywhere. Humans need it, animals need it, plants need it. Water is essential for survival but that’s not all, it has so many endless benefits to our bodies.
It cleans our systems and rids toxins.
When water passes through our systems it not only cleans them it provides them with hydration and helps them function better. Whether it’s a hot summer day and we need that little bit of extra hydration, or we are unbelievably hungover and all we want is a massive jug of cold water, its essential. It also keeps our skin hydrated which creates a healthy glow. It can also aid in clearing acne and red blotchy patches some of us experience.
Try this experiment.
Drink one full bottle of water as soon as you get up in the morning, before you do anything else. You will not only feel energized right away, but it will brighten up your face and diminish those dark circles almost instantly. When the water goes through our system it gets all our organs going and “wakes them up” which also revs up our metabolism (which can aid in weight loss). It is comparable to a cup of coffee in terms to getting us awake and alert. Try this every day and see the difference you feel and see.
Water to some people is difficult to drink because it’s tasteless. Let me give you some tips on how to stay motivated to get those liters down!
- Lemon water-Add some lemon juice or a couple slices of lemon right into your bottle; it adds flavor and is a great antioxidant.
- Add others!-you can add fruits aside from lemon (some people find it to acidic) like berries, kiwi, or apple. Some enjoy adding fresh herbs like mint to their water for that extra flavor. Try to stay away from things like mio or other artificial flavorings that are nutrient-less and have dyes and artificial sweeteners in them.
- Draw time lines. Add lines to your water bottle with different times of the day on them, and you have to have drank that much by the time on the line. Example- a half way mark on the bottle saying 10am, so if its 10am and you haven’t had a sip, chug a few gulps to meet your goal.
- Make it a competition with office staff, your spouse, or a friend. See who can drink more water by the end of the day! A little competition always gets people going.
- Get a fun reusable water bottle. People are more likely to use something if its appealing to their eye. Get your favorite colour or a fun design to get you to put that right on your desk in front of you so you don’t forget.
*In addition to drinking more water, it might make you have to use the washroom more-which is great! It not only encourages you to get up and move around a little, it cleans out more toxins in your body.
Helps increase your energy and relieve fatigue
Like I said above water wakes up all your systems, and keeps them going all day. The more you sip on water the more your systems have to stay awake and alert to, ready to go. The more hydrated you feel the less sluggish you feel as well. Everyone always complains about lack of energy, so next time you feel lazy or tired-have a bottle of water and see what a difference it makes.
Boosts immune system
When you have a cold or the flu have you ever heard anyone say to you “get your fluids in!” Well they aren’t saying that for no reason. Staying hydrated, when you are sick helps your systems keep going and fight off whatever bug you picked up. If you are dehydrated your body doesn’t function properly, and if you are sick and dehydrated guess what- you’re down more than you think you are and it will be twice as hard to recover. Staying hydrated on a regular basis can be used as a preventative measure of catching something, also if you do end up with a bug you are already ahead by giving your body the h2O it needs. It is also a natural headache remedy so next time you have one, before you go for the advil-try having a few glasses of water, see if it makes a difference.
Prevents cramps and sprains
Keeping your muscles hydrated is just as important. Have you ever had a bad sprain that happened so easily you don’t understand why? When muscles are dehydrated they do not get quite as much blood flow, which causes them not to function to their potential.
Fluid comes into play here because fluid helps muscles contract and relax and also keep muscle cells hydrated. If there is an inadequate water supply, muscles will not work as good as they should, causing strain– and then the cramps.
I have never heard of one negative thing about water. It is a marvelous, natural thing that we as humans do not take advantage of. Try-just for a week consuming more water and your body will thank you.
1. Move more, other than your regular exercise routine.
Take the stairs at work, go for a walk on your lunch break, walk the dog twice a day instead of once(they will enjoy the extra exercise also;) ). Taking more trips in the house when carrying groceries, every time there is a commercial on TV get up and do 25 jumping jacks. Its simple to get those extra moves in and burn those calories. Burning more calories aids in burning fat and losing it for GOOD.
2.Water.Drink more water.
Drinking water is a big part in weight loss, it not only keeps you full it cleanses your body of all those nasty toxins and flushes your organs. Water helps you stay hydrated which can prevent diseases, and even the common cold. Drinking 5-10 glasses of water a day-or more, a day can be very beneficial to your health and aid in weight loss. Try competing with a co-worker or partner to entice you to have those extra gulps.
3. Shop on the outskirts of the grocery store.
Fill your cart with Fresh vegetables,fruit, fresh grains and poultry. Avoid the center isles filled with things in boxes,bags and cans. Fresh foods are always filled with more nutrients, vitamins, fiber and good proteins. All of these things aid in weight loss, they are good for your body in many ways and keep you full to avoid binge eating later.
4.Eat 6 smaller meals a day instead of 3 big ones.
You can also eat 3 smaller breakfast lunch and dinners, and have healthy fibrous snacks in between. This keeps you full all day to avoid late night snacking and cravings. This way your metabolism is revved up all day long which keeps you burning calories-even while you sleep!
5. Keep it Simple!
No need to have a fat burning diet pill or follow a complicated exercise plan. No following some trendy diet restricting yourself from important nutrients. The equation is simple- Eat Clean and be active! Consistency to those to things will not only help you reach your goals but they will keep your body healthy and strong, preventing sicknesses and the most important part – Happiness. When you look and feel your best you wont believe the kind of impact that has on your mood.