How To Warm Up Before Your Workout

warm up

You might show up late to class or barely even have enough time to squeeze in a workout. Who has time for a warm up? It’s not that important, right? Wrong! So, don’t go skipping out on those 10 important minutes. Skip this step and you will not only have a harder time during your workout but also put yourself more at risk to injuries. Well, what is a warm up and why should you do it? Keep reading to find out all the answers to your questions.

A warm up is generally characterized by a short 5-20 minute bout of low-intensity exercise. If you plan on an intense workout, recovering from an injury, or are an older adult make sure your warm up routine is longer in duration.

Prevent Injuries

Acute injuries such as muscle tears happen more frequently when the muscles are cold. Slowly increasing the blood flow to your muscles will prevent them from overstretching. Since warming up helps the body increase its range of motion, your joints and muscles will move more smoothly. 

Maximize Your Performance

Because of this increase in blood flow, the muscles will actually warm up in temperature.This will cause the muscles to contract with greater force, increasing your strength and speed. Warming up increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which will prevent you from getting winded early on in your workout.

Get Your Head In The Game

Besides the physical preparation, developing a warm up routine can get your mind ready for the workout. You most likely have been stuck behind a desk all day, which means that your mind is still stuck. Your head might be thinking about deadlines, kids, and everything but working out. In order to get focused on the task ahead, perform a 10-15 minute warm up before every workout. Warming up also prepares you for the times during your workout when you want to quit.

Ways To Warm Up

The type of warm up you do will depend on which physical activity you are going to perform. Obviously, you wouldn’t need to do many squats for your warm up if you were going to be training your shoulders that day. The point of a warm up is to get your body prepared for the exercise you are going to be doing.

For example, on leg day I like to do a dynamic lower body warm up that includes activating my glutes, hammies, and quads. Days when I do my dreaded cardio, I like to hop on the treadmill and walk at a fast pace on the highest incline for a few minutes. Jumping rope is also a great way to elevate that heart rate and get your body ready for work. I’ve also included a general 10 minute warm up that you can do before any workout!

 

Find out what you are doing wrong after your workout and what you can do to fix them here!

 

 

What is your favorite way to warm up? 

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Heather

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5 Reasons Why You Can’t Find Your Abs

find your abs

Reasons Why Your Abs Aren’t Showing

It’s funny when people say “why don’t I have abs?” Because that’s like saying you don’t have triceps. Your abdominals are just like any other muscle in your body and need to be trained. If you have only been doing crunches every morning and still not seeing the results you want, keep reading. Find out which mistakes you are making and how you can fix them.

 

 

1. You Have Too Much Body Fat

It’s important to remember that nutrition plays a huge role in uncovering those abs. If you have too much body fat surrounding your abdominals, you will never find your 6 pack. Food is fuel, so eat the proper recommendations that you need for energy and muscle recovery.

 

2. You Don’t Give Your Abs A Rest Day

In all honesty, you train your abs without realizing it. If you have ever done a single deadlift or military press, you were working that core. Typically you need 48 hours to recover your muscles. So, if you are training your abs every day, you are not allowing enough time for your abs to heal in between sessions.

 

3. Learn To Spice Up Your Routine

If you are trying to grow your biceps, you wouldn’t do 100 bicep curls, so doing 100 crunches is actually doing you an injustice. In order to get that toned definition that you want, learn which exercises help target the rectus abdominous, internal and external obliques, the transverse abdominals, and the muscles on the back side.

4. You Are Not Amping Up The Intensity

Just like any other muscle in the body, the abdominals can hit a plateau because you are simply not increasing the intensity. Start adding resistance to your exercises like resistance bands, plates, or dumbbells. Since you want your abs to show, you want to train for muscle hypertrophy. This means that you will be typically doing 8-12 reps for each exercise.

 

5. You Don’t Sleep Enough

Eight hours might not be possible, but rack up as many hours as you can. People who don’t get enough rest overeat by at least 300 calories. If you don’t catch enough z’s, you are going to be craving junk food and sweets all day. Try to establish a night time routine that will help you destress and fall asleep faster. Recovery is a huge part of building the body of your dreams.

 

 

 

 

What are your tips for toning up those abs? 

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Eating Healthy When You’re Traveling

I understand how difficult it is to eat healthy while you are staying out of town for business or vacation. There are so many unhealthy restaurants on every corner. Although your options might be limited, most hotels will have a refrigerator and a microwave. Some rooms even have a small stove, so make sure you call and ask ahead of time to see if these are available.

As long as you prepare and plan ahead and accept that you will have to make adjustments, eating healthy while you’re out of town doesn’t have to be stressful.

My roommate and I planned a vacation and we bought some foods we could take on the trip. You can also find healthy alternatives at local supermarkets or even convenience stores. Most gas stations at least have apples, bananas, nuts, beef jerky, and protein bars. Here are some yummy snacks I bought from Walmart that we enjoyed along the drive. These are also some snacks you can store in your hotel fridge. If you would like to see more quick and healthy recipes, I will leave the link down below to my Fit Vacation series.

 

Greek Yogurt

I’m really into yogurt, especially on mornings when I don’t have a huge appetite. I recently changed what yogurt I buy because there are healthier options. Yoplait is a fan favorite, but mainly because they use artificially-sweetened flavors. Greek yogurt not only has twice as much protein as other yogurts, it contains less sugar too!

 

 

Nuts

Nuts are awesome snacks packed full of protein and fiber, which helps keep you full longer. No matter which nut you choose, they are all healthy in moderation and relatively low in calories.

 

 

Fresh Fruit

Fruits do so much more than give you vitamins and mineral to energize your body. Fruits & veggies also keep your digestive system regular and help prevent so many illnesses.

 

Apple Sauce

I have recently discovered my love for applesauce. If I’m feeling a little tired or need a little ounce of energy, I will grab a packet of this delicious snack. It’s a fun way to get in some extra carbs.

 

 

Quest Bars

So, anything will a lot of protein is going to taste… well, you know. I can actually handle Quest bars. I don’t feel like I have to gag them down. Right now, my favorite flavors are the chocolate chip mint & the cookies n’ cream. The macros are banging! Fat: 7g Carbs: 23g, Protein: 20g

 

 

Freeze Dried Fruits

Maybe you don’t have access to a fridge for some strange reason. You can buy freeze dried fruit instead. Most frozen fruits are packed with sugar, but the sugar is actually extracted from the freeze-dried fruit. They are also a very low-calorie snack with lots or fiber.

 

Microwaveable Rice

 

You could get a little creative with your side dishes. Microwaveable rice is another great carb choice that helps to fuel your muscles. You could add this to any meal or snack. You can make regular rice in the microwave by adding 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice and cooking it for 15-20 minutes.

Tuna

Fish isn’t always the easiest food to incorporate into your diet. But the amount of vitamins and minerals that you get when eating fish has a beneficial impact on the body. Tuna contains a low amount of saturated fats, which are known to cause high cholesterol. Not only is it healthy for your heart, but it is a great source of protein.

 

 

Protein Shake

The beautiful thing about protein shakes is that all you need is a shaker bottle and some protein powder. I picked up this travel packet from The Vitamin Shoppe and all you do is add water!

 

 

 

What are your favorite snacks? 

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Heather

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How To Create The Perfect Workout Split For You

How To Make A Workout Split

Hey, guys! I have been seeing a lot of questions on social media about how to create a workout split. So, I’ve decided to break it all down and share my own workout split routine. My workouts are never set in stone because some days I am way more sore than I anticipated. It’s important to give your muscles plenty of time to recover, which is typically 48 hours. If you are not allowing your muscles to heal, chances are, you will hit a plateau or even injury yourself. 

 

Where Do I Start?

Everyone has their own specific fitness goals, therefore, your split is probably different than mine and that is okay. There are so many things that factor into how you create your split, So, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you create your split:

What are your fitness goals?

How busy is your schedule?

How long does it take your muscles to recover?

My Workout Split

Next, let’s talk about my workout split! I was going to start training for a 5K, but I got reintroduced to the weightlifting world a few months ago. Needless to say, I have new goals in mind now. I still really like to run distance, but I am seeing more results by doing shorter, higher intensity cardio exercises along with strength training. If you ladies are afraid to start lifting, don’t worry. Because I have a short video that might convince you otherwise. But, here is a typical split for me:

 

Monday- Rest (…because Mondays)

Tuesday- Legs 

Wednesday- Shoulders & Abs

Thursday- HIIT

Friday- Back & Biceps

Saturday- Abs & Cardio 

Sunday- Legs- Glute focused

 

But if you are a complete beginner and have no idea where to start, then you can try out one of these workout splits down below. Generally, you should be training each major muscle group twice a week if you are looking to lose fat and build lean muscle. You can always modify your split to fit into your fitness goals. These splits are a foundation that can help you build your own. 

 

Split A

Monday- Full Body

Tuesday- Rest

Wednesday- Full Body

Thursday- Rest

Friday- Full Body

Saturday- Rest

Sunday- Rest

 

Split B

Monday-upper body

Tuesday-lower body

Wednesday- rest

Thursday- upper body

Friday- lower body

Saturday- rest

Sunday- rest

 

Split C

Monday- chest, shoulders, triceps

Tuesday- back and biceps

Wednesday- legs and abs

Thursday- chest, shoulders, triceps

Friday- back and biceps

Saturday- legs and abs

Sunday – Rest

 

What is your current workout split?

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Heather

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The Benefits Of Wheatgrass & My Funny Reaction

wheatgrass

Wheatgrass, what’s up with that stuff? I’m going to explain everything you need to know about this amazing superfood. I’ve seen it all over the internet and decided to give it a try myself, but first I learned a little more about this liquid gold.

 

What is Wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is a type of gluten-free grass from the common wheat plant. It is either crushed into a powder or made into a shot. You can also take wheatgrass by pill, tablet, or capsule form. But because the liquid form is the freshest, that’s the best way to take it.You can learn how to make wheatgrass shots fresh at home. Or you can purchase them at establishments like Jamba Juice or Smoothie King. 

What’s In It?

Chlorophyll:

Besides giving wheatgrass it’s green color, chlorophyll has many jobs. Chlorophyll helps to detoxify the body by reducing harmful carcinogens and other free radicals that speed up the aging progress. It also helps to restore your energy levels as well as restore sex hormones.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important part in having a healthy immune system and bone growth. In order to have good vision and a clear complexion, you need to incorporate vitamin A into your diet.

B-complex

Your body needs these B vitamins in order to transfer food into energy. Some B vitamins work to protect the immune system, help oxygen transport throughout the body, and even elevate HDL cholesterol (which is the good kind).

Vitamin C

You can strengthen your immune system and lower your blood pressure by taking your daily dose of vitamin C. By reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension, this amazing vitamin decreases their chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is powerful in removing free radicals from the body while balancing your cholesterol & hormones. Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin E also helps promote blood circulation to the skin and scalp.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential in protecting your heart from disease and preventing other diseases in the body like osteoporosis and cancer. It also keeps your bones strong and helps your blood to clot correctly.

More Benefits Of Wheatgrass

  • Clear skin from both acne and scarring
  • Improved eyesight
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Improved concentration and focus
  • Prevents tooth decay
  • Used to treat infections

 

Before You Try It

Wheatgrass is a raw food.So, like any uncooked food, there is a risk you are taking in coming into contain with bacteria. Even though wheatgrass gives you so many vitamins & minerals, never use it to replace your recommended serving of veggies & fruit. I suggest taking your wheatgrass shot or pill after you have something in your stomach. A few negative side effects of taking wheatgrass is nausea and digestive trouble. And having an empty stomach can make the problem even worse.

 

 

 

Have you tried wheatgrass? 

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How To Stay Healthy While You’re On Vacation

How To Have A Fit Vacation

You don’t have to compromise staying healthy for a good time. Vacation is supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation. Remember while a vacation is time away from your usual routine, this doesn’t mean your fitness life should come to a hiatus. Besides, calories still count when you’re out of town.

Don’t let your hard work go to waste. The day you resume your normal fitness program, you will regret stalling and even reversing your progress.

I’m not saying stress out all your friends because you can only drink green smoothies. So, don’t forget to live a little because you are on vacation. I want to help you live with balance with these powerful tips.

Here are 6 tips on how to stay healthy while you’re on vacation.

 

HIIT Workouts-

Look at it as a break from scheduling split workout routines. You’re going to want to do as many full body and HIIT workouts as you can. Luckily, just 1-2 high-intensity interval workouts a week will help boost your metabolism for up to 48 hours. You can read more about HIIT workouts here!

 

Plan Physical Activities-

You don’t have to lift heavy or run sprints to get your exercise. You can workout by finding a beautiful trail nearby, or lakes to swim in. A quick google search can tell you the nearest activity

 

Pack healthy-

It can be so easy to stop at the nearest McDonald’s to grab a small meal when you’re hangry. But there is a better way. I always keep healthy snacks with me if I’m out of town. You can also shop at your local supermarket for clean eating. Remember to always request a fridge and microwave ahead of time, because some hotels only accept requests. 

 

Bring Some The Essentials-

In all honesty, if you simply can’t bring any workout equipment with you, PROGRESS can still be made with body weight alone. But in case you can make some room in your suitcase, you can bring a light pair of dumbbells, a yoga mat, resistance bands, a medicine ball, and a jump rope. Most hotels have a fitness facility on the property with basic gym equipment.

 

Keep It Simple When You’re Eating Out-

Most restaurants have plain chicken breast and vegetables, which is probably the healthiest choice. In order to avoid the extra sodium and seasonings, just ask them to grill everything without seasonings. Also, make sure to ask for all sauces on the side.

Walk

If you are visiting the beach, see how far you can walk along the shore. Walk everywhere you can, while keeping yourself safe. Find restaurants and shops that are close enough for you to walk to. If you have a car, park as far away as possible, so you have a longer distance to travel. It’s easy to get lazy during vacation, so try to get out and walk as much as humanly possible. You should also take the stairs. There are so many buildings with escalators and elevators for easy access. Take the path less traveled and walk!

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Heather

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Beginner Friendly Cardio Workout

Cardio Workout To Recover From The Holiday!

Hey, guys! I hope everyone had a happy Easter holiday. And just in case you ate too many Cadbury eggs, I wanted to share a workout to shed that fat. Cardio helps with more than with weight loss. 

Your heart needs to be strengthened just like the other muscles in the body. So, how do you workout your heart? Cardiorespiratory exercise raises your heart rate for an extended amount of time. This pumps oxygen throughout the body, which helps your muscles work their strongest.

Even if you are bodybuilding, cardio can help your muscles lift at maximal levels. Aerobic exercise has so many benefits in improving your health.You might think that aerobic exercise involves high-intensity sprints or long boring jogs. But you can get your cardio in by swimming, walking, dancing, or any activity that elevates your heart rate.

Here is a quick, 10-minute cardio exercise for beginners! This will get your blood pumping and speed up your metabolism. So, let me know in the comments if you loved it and don’t forget to subscribe for more posts every week! I’ll also be linking the workout video down below.

 

 

cardio workout

High knees

 

cardio workout

Jog in place – 20 seconds

cardio workout

Mountain Climbers- 40 seconds

cardio workout

Jog in place- 20 seconds

cardio workout

Jump squats

 

cardio workout

Jog in place

cardio workout

Jumping jacks

 

cardio workout

Jog in place

Butt kicks

 

cardio workout

Jog in place

 

Jumping lunges

 

cardio workout

Jog in place

cardio workout

Fly jacks

 

cardio workout

Jog in place

cardio workout

High knee pause

 

cardio workout
Jog in place

 

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Heather

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5 Effects Of Not Eating Enough Calories

The Dangerous Effects Of Not Eating Enough 

 

You are playing a dangerous game when you are not intaking enough calories. Everyone requires a different amount of calories depending on their body types, metabolism, and fitness goals. Food should be treated as fuel for the body and not just something you have to eat for survival. Most people resort to cutting back calories to help them lose weight.

If you are not eating enough and sweating buckets 6 days a week, you will not only plateau but also create major health problems for yourself. It is so important for your body to get the right amount of food it needs to function properly. You might not even realize that you are not eating enough. My tip is to start counting your macros (carbs, protein, and fats) for a week just to see if you are overeating or undereating. Here are a few red flags that you need to up your calories.

 

Effects of Not Intaking Enough Calories:

You’re hangry

Have you ever lost your temper with someone after your stomach started growling? This is called being hangry and it’s caused by having low blood sugar. Your body requires fats, protein, and carbs to be broken down into glucose to be passed through the bloodstream. Your blood sugar drops when you aren’t supplying your system with these nutrients. As a result, your body goes into starvation mode and you start losing your self-control.

You Have Zero Energy

Think of your body as a car and carbs as gasoline. When you run out of gas, your car stops working. Consequently, when you don’t nourish your body, it will crash. Your body stores carbohydrates and vitamins inside the muscles so that it can use them as energy. If you are not eating enough, chances are you are not getting enough B vitamins like B-6 and biotin. This can cause a major energy crisis.

 

You Can’t Get Pregnant

Eating a low-calorie diet can even cause irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. In order for the ovaries to produce eggs, the hypothalamus is responsible for releasing hormones from the pituitary gland. When you are not receiving enough food to break down into energy, your body can actually stop this process completely. Many former crash dieters have a hard time gaining back their fertility. Don’t ever limit your diet or try to lose weight while you are or trying to become pregnant.

 

You’ve Hit A Plateau

How is the scale reading the same number when you have decrease your caloric intake and increased your training? A lot of people make the mistake of drastically cutting back carbs and calories. But your metabolic system does not like change. In fact, when you start a restricting diet, your body stores fat because it doesn’t know when you are going to eat next. If your body doesn’t have any carbs to use, it will resort to attacking muscle tissue.

You Can’t Sleep

If you aren’t eating enough, your liver will not be able to store the glycogen it needs to balance out your blood sugar levels. The decrease in calories and carbs causes your glucose levels to drop and your stress levels to spike. And when your body releases too many stress hormones, it can keep you awake at night.

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Heather

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What Is the RICE Treatment?

Why Do You RICE After An Injury?

The RICE treatment is used to treat soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Remember that this method is not always enough to heal an injury. Although RICE has been proved to reduce swelling, pain and bruising from certain injuries, be sure to consult with your physician before trying to treat yourself.

 

Rest

Stop the activity that you are doing and rest the injured area. Your body takes at least 1-2 days to heal a minor injury and rebuild muscle. Make sure you rest enough so that you don’t disrupt the healing process. However, movement is vital to a healthy life. So, just remember to rest just enough to allow your body to heal. It only takes 2 weeks of inactivity to regress your gains by 33%. 

 

Ice

It’s important to place ice on the injury during the healing process. Ice is helpful for relieving inflammation, swelling and pain of the affected area. You want to apply ice every 10-20 minutes every hour. Remember to wrap the ice pack in a towel to prevent frostbite. Also, if you are a diabetes patient or have a history of vascular disease, please consult your doctor before applying ice.

 

Compression

The next step is to apply pressure to further reduce the bruising and swelling. I used to sprain my ankle when I played soccer. Elastic bandages became a necessity to carry around. The compression should be snug, but make sure you don’t wrap the bandage or tighten the brace too much. You’ll start to feel numbness and pain underneath the bandage.

 

 

Elevation

Raising the injured area 6 inches above your heart in the beginning stages of healing can also reduce swelling. The elevation will drain the fluid and draw the blood away from the injury. It’s a good idea to apply the ice and compression while the injured limb is elevated.

 

 

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9 Beach Bum Exercises For Beginners

Beach Bum Toning Workout

Hey, ladies! So, Summer will be here before you know it. Which means, it’s time to start sculpting that body. I went to the beach with my best friend and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to film a beach booty workout! These bum exercises will make your booty bigger and rounder!

 

Besides filling out those cute denim shorts, having a great butt has other benefits as well. Building your glutes can actually lessen the load on your other muscles like hamstrings and back. This is important in preventing injuries from bending and lifting movements.

I hope you have fun with the workout and enjoy the view. I also filmed a vlog at Newport. Which means you should subscribe to my channel and blog so you can watch all my latest content!

 

 

Workout:

Bridge

Single leg bridge

Squats

Lunges

Curtsy Lunges

Side Lunges

Deadlifts

Donkey Kicks

Fire Hydrants

 

 

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