Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. Remove the wrap, and use a foam roller to massage away tension. Place the foam roller between your back and the wall or floor. Then move the foam roller to another spot and continue.
Laugh Out Loud
A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally. It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood. Lighten up by tuning in to your favorite sitcom or video, reading the comics, or chatting with someone who makes you smile.
Crank Up the Tunes
Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Create a playlist of songs or nature sounds (the ocean, a bubbling brook, birds chirping), and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece. You also can blow off steam by rocking out to more upbeat tunes -- or singing at the top of your lungs!
You don’t have to run in order to get a runner’s high. All forms of exercise (especially mine), yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, track, along the river, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrugs at your desk.
Keep a gratitude journal or several (one by your bed, one in your purse, and one at work) to help you remember all the things that are good in your life. Being grateful for your blessings cancels out negative thoughts and worries. Use these journals to savor good experiences like a child’s smile, a sunshine-filled day, and good health. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments like mastering a new task at work, beating a previous fitness challenge or a new hobby.
Take a bath
Soaking in water has a soothing effect. Add lavender bath oils or aromatherapy candles and you’re well on your way to complete Zen.
Get a Swedish Massage Once a Month
This can improve circulation and help you chill out. Treat yourself once a month you DESERVE IT!
If your mind is in it to follow a healthy and fit lifestyle, the body will follow.
Here are 5 ways to help your mind stay on a healthy & fit track.
1. Be Positive. Telling yourself again and again that you will never lose weight, never look good in a bikini, or never stick to a healthy diet and workout plan will only set you up for failure. You must think positive and use positive affirmations when acknowledging the healthy lifestyle you want to live.
2. Surround Yourself with Positive People. It is so important to surround yourself with those that support you and encourage you to work toward the goals that you want. Forget the naysayers and stick to friends who are truly happy for you to succeed.
3. Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Know that you may mess up, and no one is perfect. It is OK to make a mistake and more important to continue to stay on track even when you fall off a bit.
4. Use Social Media: Research, LIKE, and FOLLOW websites and blogs on social media that encourage healthy exercise and eating. You can find so many sites with new recipes, exercise videos, tips and tricks. Surrounding yourself with such environments will help your mind stay connected to being healthier.
5. Choose a workout you enjoy. Find what it is that truly motivates you and makes you happy. There are so many options and some that you may not even be aware of (Dancing, Softball league, Zumba, Spinning, pilates, yoga, boot camp, barre, Crossfit and of course ICUfit TRAINING). Research your local gyms, community center, boutique studios and find something that sparks your interest.
MY TOP 7 PROTEIN SMOOTHIE/SHAKES!
A protein-packed breakfast or lunch can prevent overeating by making you feel fuller longer and protein after exercising helps build and repair muscle tissue. Below are sample smoothies/shakes with various protein sources. For each recipe, put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until your shake reaches the desired consistency. I like to use my nutribullet when I make my shakes/smoothies but I guess a blender would work as well.
1. Protein source: whey vanilla protein powder
Whey protein, tablespoon of peanut butter, cup of unsweetened almond milk, 4 frozen baby carrots, frozen strawberries, two tablespoons of uncooked oats, tablespoon of flax seeds and a half of banana.
2. Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Smoothie
Protein source: Peanut butter, flax seeds peanut butter, banana, almond milk, flax seeds and oats.
3. Banana Raspberry Chia Smoothie
Protein source: Greek yogurt, protein powder, chia seeds, bananas and frozen raspberries.
4. OATMEAL SHAKE: 1 cup dry oatmeal, vanilla protein powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 cup sugar-free maple syrup, 1 tbsp. chopped almonds, 1 1/2 cup water or low-fat milk.
5. BANANA ALMOND CREAM SHAKE: 1 banana, 1/2 cup milk, 10 almonds, 1 scoop protein, 1 handful ice.
6. WILD BERRY SHAKE:
whey protein, 8 raspberries, 4 strawberries, 15 blueberries, 2 cups non-fat milk or almond milk, 1 handful ice.
7. STRAWBERRY VANILLA SHAKE: protein powder, 1 handful ice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 banana, 2-3 frozen strawberries.
Unbelievable read what he had to say: On January 1, 2015 I was ready to commit myself and become dedicated to change my lifestyle. You have helped guide me on the right path of exercising, eating healthy, and motivating me to believe in reaching my goals. I will always remember our first training session together. The half hour fitness test was brutal and made me realize how much I let myself go. I have played sports all my life and always tried to stay fit. Unfortunately, I started to make excuses not to work out and made many bad choice with unhealthy foods. However, during the 30 day challenge I learned that I am capable of eating healthy and making time to work out with no excuses. Your program is simple but powerful. I was able to work out only for thirty minutes a day. All the exercises in your program I was able to do at home with little equipment. My family become involved in my daily routine. My daughter and son helped count for me, play music and marked off my times. It was a truly epic moment as my wife also become motivated to work out with me. My family now became much healthier and happier as we can spend more time together. Overall, I truly thank you for your time, guidance, knowledge, and motivational message that have helped me reach some incredible numbers. I started at 260 pounds barely able to do a sit up, push up, or burpee. Today, after 30 days I am 234 pounds and able to do sit ups, pushups, and burpees better than I did in my earlier years. It is amazing to me how I feel so much stronger, younger, energetic, and motivated. I look forward to my daily workout because I know that in a half hour I will have work harder than I would ever have spending hours at a gym. Thank you for changing my life and I look forward to the next phases of training.
Understand it’s never over
Health and fitness is a life long commitment. Too many people sabotage their efforts because they think they are finished when they hit their weight loss goal.
Once they lose the weight they want, they go right back to their previous life style that caused the excess weight gain in the first place! NO! You’ve got to stick with it! And remember, it is easier to maintain once you reach your goal.
5 Tips to Relieve Muscle Soreness
1. Start SLOW
It’s very tempting to begin an exercise program with a lot of enthusiasm, but try your best to go at a reasonable pace. If you’ve never exercised, or it’s been a long time since you have, go much easier than you feel you are capable of on Day 1 and ramp things up at a pace that is based on how you feel. If you’re not sore, go a little harder the next day. If you’re a little sore, take it down a notch.
Dehydration can also make you sore. In fact, once you’re used to your workout program, nearly all-excessive soreness is due to dehydration or nutritional deficiencies. Adding exercise increases your water needs. A lot. Hydration is your body’s first defense against, not only soreness, but also most illnesses and other maladies.
How much water you need varies depending on your activity level, lifestyle, where you live, etc., but an easy gauge to use is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. That’s before you account for exercise. For each hour you work out, you should add another 32 ounces (on average). This, too, varies based on the individual, heat, humidity, exercise intensity, and so forth, but you probably get the idea. You need a lot of water for optimal performance.
3. Have a Post-workout Fuel
After you finish exercising is your nutrition sweet spot. The quicker your muscles recover, the less sore you get, so you never want to skip your post-workout meal! What this meal should consist of has been debated for ages but countless modern studies show that glycogen depletion (replenished quickest with simple carbohydrates), should be your primary concern. Glycogen is a fuel that your muscles store in limited amounts. When you run out of it during exercise, your workout goes south very quickly. When it’s gone, muscle damage increases until it’s been restored.
Protein, which repairs muscle tissue, your muscles are hungry after exertion they crave protein. Choose natural sources such as fish, poultry, lean meats, nuts, lentils and quinoa.
4. Move More
Even though you might want to flop onto the couch, cold drink in hand, first move a little more. Slowly and gently is fine. Get the blood flowing into those sore muscles by simply walking around the house or around your neighborhood.
5. Soak in a Tub
A warm bath cures many ills, and always helps ease stiff muscles. You'll also sleep better after a bath, helping you awake refreshed.
Whether it’s lasagna, spaghetti, ravioli, or any type of
pasta dish I’m all in.
I love Italian foods.
The only problem is they’re all way too high in calories,
fatty oils, sauces, and cheeses.
Although things like spaghetti are usually "off limits" unless
it’s a cheat day, today’s recipe is an exception to the rule.
So if you’re sick and tired of Chicken and Broccoli, you’re
going to love the new recipe below.
Introducing Low Carb Turkey Spaghetti
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 lb. ground organic or farm raised turkey breast
- 4 cups low fat marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup of raw parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. In a shallow
baking dish place skin side up in 1 inch of water and bake
uncovered for 45 minutes.
3. When cool enough to handle, hold squash with 1 hand
and with a fork in the other hand, remove center into a
bowl (it will come out looking like spaghetti).
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. In a medium skillet, cook turkey until no longer pink and crumbled.
6. Season with salt and pepper.
7. In a small saucepan heat marinara until warm and add cooked
turkey to sauce.
8. Place 1 serving of squash on a dinner plate and top with 1
serving marinara sauce.
9. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and enjoy.
You can even substitute the turkey breast with grass fed
beef or buffalo if you want.
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Prep Time Saves Time (prepare meals ahead of time)
Eating healthy can be a pain when it comes to time. Healthy foods are not ready made in bags that you can tear off shelves. Nope, the foods with staying power have a lot of chemicals and other junk in them. That’s why they can sit on shelves for so long in the first place.
Consider making meals for the week on a Sunday, putting them in containers and freezing them, saving you time during the week.
2. Summertime Playlist: Update your tunes with a summer time playlist that has you thinking summer, beach, and bikini! Motivate your body and mind with some upbeat music.
3. Crank Up the Cardio: For better fitness results and a healthier you increase the intensity of your cardio sessions by making them longer, adding intervals of strength training or trying a new routine(example: Spinning, Kickboxing, Zumba).
4. Add Yoga: Beginning a yoga practice will help the body gain strength, balance and increase flexibility. Yoga helps promote metal focus and can keep your body and mind motivated to your goals.
5. Add Weight: Increasing the resistance load in your strength training workouts will help add a challenge and increase the intensity of your session.