Pre Workout Supplements | To Take Or Not To Take?

pre workout supplements

All About Pre Workout Supplements

pre workout supplements

Do you have to take a pre workout supplement to have a great workout? Of course not. Do not ever feel like you have to take any type of supplement. You can reach your fitness goals by fueling your gains with a clean diet. With that being said, do your own research and consult with a certified dietician before you decide to give any supplement a try.

 

What In The World Is It?

Pre-workout is a fitness supplement that helps give you extreme energy, improved strength, and concentration during your workout. Maybe you counted too many sheep the night before or you’ve had a long day at work. Pre workouts are just there for days when you need an extra boost. It’s important to not become dependent on this energy supplement. You should be fueling your body naturally by eating healthy foods and vitamins.

 

What’s In It? 

Pre workout supplements come in all kinds of varieties. It really depends on what your fitness goals are and what you prefer. The majority of pre workouts are designed to energize you, enhance focus, help burn fat and recover faster. However, there are several ingredients to consider whether or not you want them in a supplement.

 

pre workout supplements

 

What You Want In A Pre Workout

1. Beta Alanine

This helps you perform at higher intensities and gives you that little tingle. You’ll noticeably be able to do more reps and sets than you would without taking beta alanine. It helps raise carnosine levels, which is a building block for protein found in the body.

2. Citrulline Malate

This non-essential amino acid is changed into another compound that is important to your heart health. Citrulline can also help improve your immune system. This substance is also great to help treat diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and fatigue.

3. Creatine

Creatine increases your body’s ability to produce fast energy. This will allow you to train harder and longer. Creatine is also sold as a supplement by itself. Your muscles will also recover faster, which will allow you to train more frequently.

4. Caffeine

This stimulant gives you a boost of energy to help you lift heavier and improve your endurance. Studies have also been found that caffeine helps support fat loss.

5. Trimethylglycine

Trimethylglycine or betaine is found in beets, shellfish, and spinach. It increases water retention of cells and helps the muscles recover quickly.

What You Do Not Want In Your Pre Workout

1. 1-3 Dimethylamylamine

DMAA acts similarly to caffeine in the body and elevates the blood pressure. However, it works differently in the brain and has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and even deaths.

2. Proprietary Blends

In order to see the most results out of your pre-workout, you need to know what is in the formula. Some labels will list a “proprietary blend, which means you are just assuming they included the right amount of everything you need. Well, they also don’t list the amount per serving. This is such an issue because companies in the industry get to charge a lot for their product that is made of very inexpensive and ineffective ingredients.

3. Artificial Sweeteners

I try to look out for pre-workouts or any supplements for that matter with artificial sweeteners like Aspartame. This ingredient and many others like Neotame and Sucralose have very unpleasant side effects like headaches, nausea, and diarrhea.

4. Food Dyes

Most pre-workouts have food dyes and it’s kind of hard to get away from. But, if you can find some pre-workouts without food dyes, please let me know in the comments! Food dyes are a synthetic ingredient that can be toxic to you over time. So, it’s probably best for you to find one without these dyes, but that comes down to personal opinion.

 

pre workout supplements

 

Who Is Pre Workout For?

Pre workout is for people who want to push themselves to the next level. If you are trying to see how big and strong you can sculpt your body, pre workout might be the supplement for you. Many bikini competitors and bodybuilders take pre workout because it helps increase their gains. This supplement can help you push through a workout even after a long day at work.

When Do You Take Pre-Workout?

Typically, most pre-workout labels say take the supplement 30 minutes before you start your workout. My pre-workout actually recommends to take a scoop 30 minutes before and another scoop right before your workout. I actually suggest taking half a scoop 10-15 minutes before your workout. (You can always warm up to one scoop). There’s nothing worse than taking your pre-workout ½-1 hour before you get to the gym. The longer you wait, the more you will miss the “kick” or “boost” that pre-workout gives you.

Cautions

The majority of supplements are not regulated by the FDA. And pre workout is no exception. The market is also filled with supplements that are poison for you. There is a lot of money to be made in the fitness industry, and unfortunately, morality often gets thrown out the window. Just be careful and do your own research. It’s important to know exactly what you put into your body and how it will affect you.

Word to the wise, do not take pre-workout after 5 or 6 PM. I made this mistake and it kept me up until 3 AM. Keep in mind not everyone responds the same way to certain ingredients. It could just be the particular formula, but fyi, it’ll get you amped.

Although pre workout can help you reach your fitness goals faster, you should not take this supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Sources:

https://ansperformance.com/trimethylglycine-supplementation/

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jrod3.htm

https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/

https://citadelnutrition.com/pages/the-importance-of-non-proprietary-blends

 

 

What is your favorite pre workout? 

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Heather

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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 Easy Exercises For Low Back Pain Relief

low back pain relief

Daily Exercises For Low Back Pain Relief

Low back pain mostly affects people between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can occur at any age. There has even been an increase in children with low back pain in recent years because of overloaded backpacks. Being overweight or stressed, having poor posture, smoking, and physical inactivity can also cause chronic back pain. I myself am a rambunctious sleeper, so I usually wake up with aches and pains.

Exercise is an important part of treating and preventing low back pain. Remember to never think you have to work through the pain. Instead, focus on proper form and adequately warm up and cool down. These exercises can help reduce pain and symptoms over time if done correctly and daily. Anyone with low back pain should consult their physicians before starting a fitness program. Also, not all exercises are appropriate for everyone. 

 

low back pain relief low back pain relief

Cat-Camel

Start in a tabletop position with your back straight. As you exhale, push your spine upwards towards the sky and drop your abdominal muscles towards the floor. Hold this pose for 15 seconds and then arch your back and relax your head until your back is rounded. Hold this for 15 seconds and then return to the tabletop position.

 

low back pain relief

Modified Curl Up

Lie on the floor on your back. Only bend one leg, while keeping the other leg straight. Place a towel or your hands underneath the small of your back. Raise your chest off the ground. Then return to the starting position and repeat this on the opposite leg.

 

low back pain relief

Birddog

Start in a tabletop position with your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and knees underneath the hips. Keep your core muscles tight as you move your left leg and right arm outward until they are parallel to the floor. Do not tilt your shoulders upward and do not raise your leg higher than your hip. Slowly move your body back to the starting position and give the other side a try.

 

low back pain relief low back pain relief

Side Bridge

Lie on your side and distribute your weight between your knees, feet, and forearms. Hold this pose for at least 10 seconds. and repeat on the opposite side.

low back pain relief

Knee to Chest

Start with your back flat against the floor and toes pointed to the ceiling. Bend your knee gently towards your chest. You can wrap your arms around your knee or thigh and continue to pull the knee inward. Repeat this on each leg for at least 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in your lower back and glute muscles.

 

 

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Heather

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Workout Clothing Haul On A Budget

Workout Clothing Haul

Hey guys! So, I’ve always had an interest for fashion, but since I’ve started my fitness journey, I tend to notice workout clothing more. After my birthday, I hit up a few stores in the mall as well as Ross. Of course, I found some cute outfits, but I found a lot of really cute workout clothes. I understand that it’s winter, but not everywhere in the world is freezing. Las Vegas has been staying in the 50’s during the day.

I don’t normally shop at Nike or Dick’s Sporting Goods for my workout clothing. Ross, TJ Max, and Marshalls are every broke girl’s dream. Seriously, you can find major deals on fitness fashion. I hope this gives you guys a little motivation to get that blood flow pumping. Here is my large and in charge workout clothing haul on a budget. Don’t forget to comment and subscribe if you enjoy the post!

 

Outfit #1:

Sports Bra- Umbro

Bottoms: NYL

 

Outfit #2:

Sports Bra: Just One

Bottoms: Nike

 

Outfit #3:

Sports Bra: XIA

Bottoms: Reebok

 

 

Outfit #4:

Sports Bra: Sobra Sport

Bottoms: Spaulding

 

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Heather

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February Upper Body Workout With Dumbbells

Upper Body Workout With Dumbbells

Hey, ladies and gentlemen! Although I feel like more women connect with my blog, men can definitely do this workout as well. Anyone can adjust by adding more resistance if needed. I wanted to put together an effective upper body workout that works the biceps, triceps, and shoulders. I like to perform each exercise 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program. Also, if you rather watch the workout in action, I’ll leave my video below. Let’s get sweaty!

 

Standing V Raise-

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold your dumbbells in each hand. Next, raise both arms until they are parallel to the ground. Hold this position for a second and repeat 12-15 times. Make sure that you don’t use the momentu

Shoulder Press-

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your knees bent. Also, bend your arms at a 90-degree angle and bring your arms up straight until they are fully extended. Lower your arms back down to 90 degrees and repeat.

 

Tricep Kickbacks-

Hold dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing in. You’ll want to have a deep bend in the knee and get down low. Then, pull your arm muscles up behind you.

 

Triceps Extensions-

Stand with your back straight take a dumbbell in both hands. Lift the weight over your head until you can’t extend your arms anymore. Make sure the palms of your hands are facing upwards. Next, keep your elbow in and your upper arms near your head. Lower the weight behind your head slightly and return to the starting position.

 

Dips-

Sit on the floor with your feet on the floor and knees bent. Place your hands behind you with your fingers pointing forward. Next, bend your elbows and lower your body as close to the floor without touching the ground. Extend your arms and repeat again.

Elbow Planks-

Start by resting your forearms and knees on the floor. Bring your knees up and distribute your weight between your elbows and toes. Keep your back flat and tighten your core. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 60 seconds.

 

 

How do you like to tone the guns?

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Heather

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2017 Winter Running Playlist

Winter Running Playlist

We all know how difficult it is to run in the cold. I struggled a lot this winter with keeping myself motivated. I also have been getting disappointed with Pandora lately, so I decided to share my epic Winter running playlist.

Sometimes I like to run fast and other days I prefer to take my time. And I know I’m not the only one who likes variety. This awesome playlist will pump you up for any run or workout.

As I’ve mentioned on my YouTube channel, I am not running to train for any particular event. It would be awesome to sign up for one in the near future. But, my love for running is motivating enough to keep me on my toes for now. I must warn you, I enjoy a great variety of music, so be prepared! 

 

Leave My Girl Alone Stevie Ray Vaugh

Anna Sun Walk The Moon

Hold It Against Me Brittany Spears

Knock You Out Tiesto

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head Kylie Minogue

Perfect Illusion Lady Gaga

Paul Revere Beastie Boys

Fight The Power Public Enemy

The Edge of Glory Lady Gaga

Stereo Love Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

 

 

What’s your favorite songs to workout to?

 

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Fitness Bloggers To Look Out For In 2017


Fitness Bloggers To Look Out For In 2017

There are countless fitness blogs on the internet that give valuable information. Bloggers who have an intense passion for fitness and teach others to live healthier lifestyles really stand out to me. They not only motivate me to stay on track with my fitness program but also inspire me to write helpful posts. These are blogs that won’t waste your time. I just wanted to share my favorite fitness bloggers I read on a weekly basis. 

 

fitness bloggers

Love Sweat and Fitness 

I first came across Love Sweat and Fitness on YouTube. I was inspired by Katie’s weight loss journey and how committed she is to helping other women lose weight. You can do her workouts no matter where you are or what equipment you own. Not only can you find workout challenges on her blog, but also recipes and fitness tips.

Follow on: TwitterInstagram 

Favorite Post: https://www.lovesweatfitness.com/new-years-resolution-tracking-my-workouts/

 

fitness bloggers

 

Fit & Feminist 

Caitlin’s love for health and women’s issues is the foundation for her blog Fit & Feminist. She puts a focus on being strong inside and out. Fit & Feminist is an awesome source to find your inner she-ness.

Follow on: Twitter  Instagram

Favorite Post: https://fitandfeminist.com/2016/01/31/january-2016-recap-marathon-training-yoga/

 

fitness bloggers

Tone It Up

Dawn & Scott are fitness and nutritional experts, who both co-founded Tone It Up. They are both highly motivated women who are focused on spreading healthy lifestyle tips to millions of women. They post daily workouts, recipes, and inspiration to live a fit life.

Follow on: TwitterInstagram 

Favorite Post: https://www.toneitup.com/workouts/new-workout-video-core-on-the-floor/

 

Fit Bottomed Girls

Fit Bottomed Girls is one of the first fitness blogs I really got into. They are three girls dedicated to making fitness fun and improving the lives of their readers. You can find personal experiences of their journey, reviews and workouts. They bring humor and lightness to a world of heavy lifting and sweat.

Follow on: TwitterInstagram

Favorite Post: http://fitbottomedgirls.com/2016/12/2-things-must-reach-goals/

 

Sarah Fit 

I found Sarah’s YouTube channel first and then was introduced to her blog. Sarah Fit is dedicated to teaching her readers how to eat clean and bring balance to health and social life. Every post and video inspire confidence and motivation to keep going!

Follow on: TwitterInstagram

Favorite Post: http://sarahfit.com/top-5-reasons-youre-not-seeing-results/

 

 

Run To The Finish 

Run to The Finish is a blog I recently found on Bloglovin. Amanda shares tips on preventing injuries and how to stay motivated throughout your journey. Her posts are also filled with adventure thanks to her love of the outdoor life.

Follow on: TwitterInstagram

Favorite Post: http://www.runtothefinish.com/thoughts-while-running/

 

Eat Yourself Skinny

Kelly cuts out the guesswork when it comes to eating healthy. Eat Yourself Skinny is a great place to find clean eating ideas that are both delicious and affordable.

Follow on: TwitterInstagram 

Favorite Post: http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/baked-chicken-fajita-roll-ups/

 

 

Pumps And Iron

Nicole incorporates her love for health and beauty into one awesome blog. Not only will you see healthy recipes to try, but also fashion inspiration in or out of the gym. She helps to bring beauty to a world of fitness.

Follow on: TwitterInstagram

Favorite Post: http://pumpsandiron.com/2017/02/12/the-10-most-popular-workouts-on-pinterest/

 

 

Run Eat Repeat 

Run Eat Repeat is a blog I found on Bloglovin’. Monica shares diet tips and healthy recipes. She also shares her weight loss story throughout her posts. You can even find reviews on races that she’s ran, which include marathons, half-marathons, 5 and 10K.

Follow on: TwitterInstagram 

Favorite Post: http://runeatrepeat.com/2017/02/11/3-tips-to-start-running-now/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is your favorite fitness blogger?

 

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Heather

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What Should A Recovery Day Look Like?

recovery day

Why Are Recovery Days Important?

Whether you are a beginner or a long-time fitness enthusiast, your body needs to rest. I know it’s hard to put down the weights or unlace your trainers. But taking a recovery day or two can actually benefit you more than you know.

Why Does Your Body Need To Recover?

When you perform an intense enough workout, you are essentially breaking down your muscles. It takes approximately 1-2 days for these muscles to recover and rebuild. If you don’t let your muscles properly recover, you’ll be too exhausted to even finish your next workout. You also pose less of a risk of injuries when you take rest days. For example, runners place a huge amount of stress of the anterior leg muscles. Without proper rest, they risk shin splints, heel spur and muscle tears. 

 

How Often Should I Take Rest Days?

Although it’s awesome to workout as often as possible, there are some days you’d be better off skipping. The best advice on recovery days is to listen to your body. I’ve been guilty of taking 2 or more consecutive rest days before. Maybe you’ve come down with the flu or didn’t get much sleep the night before. Sometimes it’s just not in the cards to workout. Also, maybe you have been overtraining. Ask yourself when the last time you had a rest day and how hard you have been working out the past 5 days or so. If you have been killing it in the gym, you might need to take a rest day soon.


What To Do On Recovery Days?

Keep in mind that recovery days aren’t the same as cheat days. It’s easy to slack off on exercise and diet on rest days because you’re not in training mode. However, you shouldn’t spend these days being a couch potato. The human body was meant to move, so even walking and stretching can be beneficial. Also, one healthy habit always leads to another. Getting in a yoga session, walking, swimming, and hiking are great activities to do on rest days. You could also do something fun to break away from your normal routine like a sport or dance class. How do you spend your rest days?

Please share, if you enjoyed!

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Heather

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9 Hiking Essentials For Newbies

hiking essentials

The Hiking Essentials

 

hiking essentials

I might be the runner in the house, but my roommate recently got me into hiking. We went to the Red Rock Canyon Trails twice this week. And plan on driving to California to hike some trails there! I’ve found hiking to be much more mind-body connection than I thought. The last trail we hiked was the most strenuous one at Red Rock Canyon. Yes, it was challenging and there are times when I wanted to turn back. But once I got to the top of the peak, all that hard work was worth it. Hiking really does require mental and physical strength. In just a few hikes, I’ve learned that you don’t need to overpack but pack enough. As a newbie hiker, I wanted to share my tips of what you should pack if you are planning a hike. 

 

hiking essentials

Newbie Hiking Essentials:

1. Navigation

You never know when you might wind up off the trail. Sometimes paths aren’t defined and markers are worn away. I like to keep my Runtastic app running. Find a GPS tracker app on your phone or keep a compass on you.

2. Sun Protection

Sure, it feels cool when the mountains and canyons are blocking the sun. But even on a cloudy day, the sun will strike your precious skin. Trails often take hours to complete, so make sure to wear and bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and even a hat. Don’t forget to protect your lips with some balm.

3. Extra Clothes

No matter what the weather is, remember the temperature drops 6 degrees every 1000 meter rise in altitude. You also never know if it might drizzle, so it’s a good idea to bring a jacket, pants, ear muffs, and gloves. Gloves also come in handy when you’re dealing with thorns or sharp rocks.

4. First Aid

Unfortunately, accidents happen. But it’s better to be prepared for those cuts and scrapes by packing a small first aid kit. You don’t need a lot, just anti-bacterial solution, band-aids, aspirin, gauze, tweezers and gloves.

5. Knife

Nature is unpredictable and honestly, so are people. I never go hiking in a large group and being a petite young woman, I try to be even more observant of my surroundings. I highly recommend at least one person in your group carry a knife or weapon. Even carrying pepper spray is better than being unprepared.

6. Snacks

I made the mistake of not bringing anything to eat the first time I went hiking. Always bring snacks. You are burning a ridiculous amount of calories, so you are going to want to eat something. I think it would be a great idea to pack a light meal or two as well. When you’re out in the sun for 4 hours, you’ll be hungry.

7. Water

Bring as much water with you as you can. This is the most essential item on the list. You should be fully hydrated at all times. If you are going on a long day hike, I would carry 3/4- 1 gallon of water. Don’t forget to pump yourself with water before you start the hike as well.

8. Toilet paper

As I mentioned before, you are going to be on the trail for a while. So, you’re gonna need to use the restroom. I like to take some toilet paper with me and keep it in a ziploc bag.

9. Trashbag

Toilet paper, snacks, cigarettes, and whatever else trash you’re going to create along your journey needs to be contained. Bring a small trash bag or grocery bag to store all the trash.

 

 

 

With Love,

Heather

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The Benefits of Strength Training

The Benefits of Strength Training For Women

Strength training does more than help you bring your groceries in one trip. There’s a misconception that women will bulk up and start looking manly if they perform strength training exercises. Not only are women’s muscular structure different than men, but we do not produce as much testostorone and growth hormones. If you are afraid of strength training, the benefits just might change your mind.

Reasons You Should Start Strength Training

1. Restore Strength

Women and men who are sedentary and do not strength train can lose up to .5 pounds of muscle every year. Resistance training can restore and strengthen muscle tissue over time. This can significantly reduce the risk of falling in older adults as well as improve coordination and balance. 

2. Teaches You To Be Present

Resistance training helps you to focus on the mind and body relationship. When you know you have a 30 minute + cardio session your mind tends to wander. Strength training forces you to concentrate on your form and technique or the amount of weight you are lifting. 

3. Increases Metabolic Function

The decrease in muscle tissue from not being active also corresponds to a decrease in resting metabolic rate (RMR). Consequently, the 5-pound muscle loss per decade causes at least a 3% reduction in RMR. You’ll burn calories during and long after resistance training.

4. Improves Body Composition

With regular strength training, you will notice an increase in lean mass and a decrease in fat mass. Besides making you appear fit and healthy, weight lifting or body weight exercises has been linked to improving glucose levels, which helps patients with type 2 diabetes.

5. Decrease Depression

Resistance training helps boost confidence and makes you feel like you can accomplish anything! Endorphins

6. Improve Bone Density

Bone reacts to the amount of stress that’s placed upon it during exercise. Therefore, you are increasing bone density while you exercise. This helps to minimize the risks of breaks and fractures as you age.

 

 

 

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