Stronger arms, more speed

Are you trying to run faster? To be honest, runners aren’t necessarily known for their arms. It’s easy to neglect your top half when it seems like your legs do all the work. Failing to train your upper body, however, can hold you back big time. It may seem strange, but a strong upper body…

Stronger arms, more speed was originally published on Self Evolve

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Are you trying to run faster?

To be honest, runners aren’t necessarily known for their arms. It’s easy to neglect your top half when it seems like your legs do all the work. Failing to train your upper body, however, can hold you back big time. It may seem strange, but a strong upper body is just as important as trained legs to run fast and easy. With stronger arms comes a faster running pace.

Stronger arms will pump your way to faster running

stronger arms

“Have you ever tried to run without your arms? It’s weird, inefficient, and hard as hell. Arm drive is a big part of running– when your legs get tired, you use your arms more because of the kinetic chain; you can’t have one without the other.” – Pamela Geisel, exercise physiologist.

Building a strong upper body will help you maintain good form as the miles tick by. Also, that stable, upright posture can increase your endurance by improving your lung capacity. In addition, your oxygen requirement will be reduced, leading to faster runs while using the same amount of energy.

Avoid injury

Not only will you run faster you’ll also prevent injury and create bone density while building muscular strength. And don’t go for the light weights, you have to be willing to lift heavier things if you want to prevent injury, improve your speed and last longer while running. Lifting light weights for a high number of reps achieves the same goal as running- building endurance, not strength.

Most runners skip the weights since they feel like they don’t have time, but it’s easy to break it into 10 minute increments. Taking 10 minutes off the duration of your run and doing a quick strength set provides more benefits than 10 more minutes on the road.

Is your goal to PR?

If so, save the hard-core lifting for cross-training days so you can focus on getting in a quality, high-intensity run. Otherwise, schedule a short circuit of strength training exercises pre-run: A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that doing so can make you more likely to bust out extra reps and help you maintain proper form throughout. And if the weight room is intimidating, body weight can be more than enough. i.e. push-ups and TRX rows. Whatever you do, be sure to warm up with core exercises such as planks and side planks.

Do you workout your arms?

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Stronger arms, more speed was originally published on Self Evolve

Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym

If you live in the Midwest, you know snow And this snow is snow joke. I was literally trapped the other day, and couldn’t get to the gym for several hours. Since it’s my job to actually be at the gym, I eventually got there and was able to sneak in a workout after my…

Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym was originally published on Self Evolve

If you live in the Midwest, you know snow

snowstorm workoutAnd this snow is snow joke. I was literally trapped the other day, and couldn’t get to the gym for several hours. Since it’s my job to actually be at the gym, I eventually got there and was able to sneak in a workout after my shift. But if I didn’t work at the gym, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the gym that day. And I would’ve either missed my workout (not an option) or had to have created a snowstorm workout. Being a personal trainer, this is easy for me. But for the average Joe, it may be hard to create a workout on a whim.

Of course, you could try to google a home workout, but the results may overwhelm you. With so many to choose from, you may just opt to sit on the couch surfing the internet instead. Well, no fear! Today I will share a great and easy workout that you can do virtually anywhere.

Snowstorm Workout

Tabata workout! Make the most of your time with a simple workout that can be done in as little as 4 minutes. This is all that’s needed to work up a sweat. The idea is to do an exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. You do that 8 times and you’re at 4 minutes. You can stop there, or repeat the entire set to increase the time. Be sure to rest for a minute between sets though! Here are some body weight exercises you can do anywhere:

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Push ups

How do you stay active on snow days?

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Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym was originally published on Self Evolve

Building habits and finding accountability

How long does it take to form a new habit? On average, it takes over two months to form a new habit. 66 days to be exact, but this depends on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. The overall range can be anywhere from 18 days to 254 days. To think you can start…

Building habits and finding accountability was originally published on Self Evolve

How long does it take to form a new habit?

On average, it takes over two months to form a new habit. 66 days to be exact, but this depends on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. The overall range can be anywhere from 18 days to 254 days. To think you can start a new habit within weeks isn’t completely unrealistic, but it’s unlikely. The key to making a new habit into a routine? Accountability.

Where do you find accountability?

There are several resources you can use to find accountability. For me, I rely on my friends to hold me accountable. I have a great group of running friends who make sure I continue to run. I have an entire gym full of members who provide me daily encouragement. If they can workout before or after work, I have no excuse since I work at the gym. As a personal trainer, I feel like it’s my job to workout and eat healthy. If I don’t practice what I preach then I won’t be able to excel at what I do. This doesn’t mean I don’t have cheat days, though. I am human, after all.

accountabilityA great app to find accountability is HabitShare. You can download it from the Apple or Google Play store. The idea is you put in habits you want to start doing, and you check in daily (or however often you want to do the action). The best part is you add friends who are doing the same thing, and you keep each other accountable. It’s a great tool to keep you on track to reaching your goals.

Do you track your habits and goal progress? How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

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Building habits and finding accountability was originally published on Self Evolve

The underdogs of Instagram Influencers

As promised.. A few weeks back, I posted about the top Instagram influencers of 2018. Today I’m going to shine a light on the lesser-known but still awesome underdogs of Instagram. These are the people hustling every day to get their fitness motivation and advice out there. Workout ideas, diet help, and motivational quotes are…

The underdogs of Instagram Influencers was originally published on Self Evolve

As promised..

A few weeks back, I posted about the top Instagram influencers of 2018. Today I’m going to shine a light on the lesser-known but still awesome underdogs of Instagram. These are the people hustling every day to get their fitness motivation and advice out there. Workout ideas, diet help, and motivational quotes are just the beginning of what can be found on these accounts. Check them out today and be sure to like and follow them!

Underdogs of Instagram

  • run4donuts is a runner with my name and my passions! She loves to run, drink coffee, and eat donuts. She’s definitely ran way more races than me and is a little faster than me too. But I love her posts as they’re always inspiring me to lace up and run.
  • kemomarriott is crazy. I have to say I love his videos though! They keep me going, especially on the days when I don’t feel like working hard. He’s proof that hard work pays off.
  • pt_dunn is a freelance trainer in London. Aside from his sexy accent, he does Kobox which is where Fight Club meets Nightclub. I think I’ll move to London..
  • underdogs of instagrammixon_fitness is Batman at night and Clark Kent by day. A trainer who posts up great workout and fitness videos regularly over on YouTube. He keeps me coming back to learn more every week. To be honest, I usually steal his ideas and write about them. Just don’t tell him.
  • yogawithninauk is a vegan yogi who’s also recently pregnant. She continues to inspire me to push myself in my yoga practice, and shows me there’s no excuse to not work on my flexibility and strength.

Who’s your favorite Instagram underdog?

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The underdogs of Instagram Influencers was originally published on Self Evolve

Valentine’s day: fitness gifts for your loved one

Today is Valentine’s day. Cupid’s day to go around shooting everyone with arrows. The typical go-to gift is usually a card with either flowers, chocolate or both. But as you become more health-conscious and earth-friendly, you may be struggling with new gift ideas. Well, no fear! For I am here to give you plenty of…

Valentine’s day: fitness gifts for your loved one was originally published on Self Evolve

Today is Valentine’s day. Cupid’s day to go around shooting everyone with arrows. The typical go-to gift is usually a card with either flowers, chocolate or both. But as you become more health-conscious and earth-friendly, you may be struggling with new gift ideas. Well, no fear! For I am here to give you plenty of great fitness and health-friendly gift ideas for your loved one or friends.

Valentine’s day gift ideas

  • Workout outfit. Everyone loves new clothes to workout in. Personally, if I have great clothes to workout in I’m more likely to workout more often. As far as where to go? I’d recommend Athleta, Lulu Lemon, or even Target has some great workout gear.valentine's day
  • Water bottle. Most people don’t drink enough water when working out. What better way to keep your sweetheart hydrated than getting them a large, reusable water bottle for them to bring to the gym.
  • Protein and supplements (i.e. food). I’m all about the food. I literally workout just to eat. And yes I have a problem. I have to make sure I have a good protein shake so I don’t go for the cookies. 
  • Activity tracker. In case you haven’t noticed, I absolutely love my Garmin VivoSmart HR+. I think if I had a boyfriend and he got me an activity tracker as a gift, I may just take him on walks on the beach with me. Or perhaps just walk to the local bakery and get donuts.
  • Gym membership or classes at a local gym or studio. If you have a girl you’re shopping for, I can’t recommend barre classes more. Get her a month of classes to try it out, she may get hooked. If there’s a guy in your life, consider boxing or martial arts classes.

What are you getting your sweetie for Valentine’s day?

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Valentine’s day: fitness gifts for your loved one was originally published on Self Evolve

Don’t be a starter, be a finisher

It’s easy to start.. You start out every year strong. This is the year I’ll… (insert New Year’s Resolution here). You have great intentions. Lose ten pounds, start working out, eat better, write a book, finish that thesis, etc. But how many of us actually finish what we start? Are you a finisher? I’m not…

Don’t be a starter, be a finisher was originally published on Self Evolve

It’s easy to start..

finisherYou start out every year strong. This is the year I’ll… (insert New Year’s Resolution here). You have great intentions. Lose ten pounds, start working out, eat better, write a book, finish that thesis, etc. But how many of us actually finish what we start? Are you a finisher?

I’m not pointing any fingers since I’ve definitely started many projects and goals only to stop and never finish them. It’s easy to start something, but way more satisfying to finish something. To crush that goal, no matter how small. To complete that big project, and be able to move onward and upward. The feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. But sometimes we lose motivation, discipline, or lack knowledge in regards to finishing our goals.

Stay motivated

Motivation is key to finishing any goal or project. If we see results, we tend to stay motivated. For example, if you continue to lose body fat week after week while dieting and exercising, you’ll continue dieting and working out. Staying motivated is one of the biggest hurdles we face. I like to look to positive social media accounts for motivational quotes and images. I try to share them on my social media as well in order to motivate others.

Be disciplined

There will be days where you don’t feel like eating well or working out. There will be days when you don’t feel like working on your projects. But you have to push through the thoughts that are holding you back. Most of the time, it’s mental. If you can push yourself to work towards your goals and projects despite not wanting to, you’ll be making progress towards being a finisher.

Do your research

If you get stuck halfway through your project, do your research. If you’ve been doing the same workout and stop seeing results, look up some new exercises to change your workouts. Research helps us expand our knowledge and make progress in reaching our goals. The more you know, the more you’ll accomplish.

What projects and goals are you working on?

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Don’t be a starter, be a finisher was originally published on Self Evolve

Skinny-fat: High metabolism and poor diet combo

Some of us are blessed with height, others are blessed with beautiful teeth or perhaps gorgeous eyes. Genes play a huge role in many of our features, and some people are blessed with an extremely high metabolism that seems to never slow down. I have friends who can eat whatever they want and as much…

Skinny-fat: High metabolism and poor diet combo was originally published on Self Evolve

skinny-fatSome of us are blessed with height, others are blessed with beautiful teeth or perhaps gorgeous eyes. Genes play a huge role in many of our features, and some people are blessed with an extremely high metabolism that seems to never slow down. I have friends who can eat whatever they want and as much as they want and not even gain a pound. These people are referred to as skinny-fat. Indeed, they are thin and appear to be healthy when looking at their BMI, but upon further investigation they aren’t as healthy as they look.

Skinny-fat: skinny on the outside

Guys and girls alike who are blessed with high metabolism may feel like they have won the genetic lottery. They can literally eat anything and not gain a pound! I know for some this isn’t the case. Many guys and gals are steering away from the skinny look and prefer the more athletic/muscular/toned look. For those with high metabolisms, it can be a struggle to put on any weight, including muscle weight. They often have to eat even more than the average person just to keep up with their strength training and cardio workouts.

Fat on the inside

While these people look and feel skinny, their insides often tell a different story. Depending on what they’re eating, they may actually be holding on to more fat than what meets the eye. If their diet is high in unhealthy fats and processed foods, i.e. lots of fast food, they’re likely much more unhealthy than one would think. For most of us, fat is visible when we’re overweight. For someone with a high metabolism, their fat may be hidden. Fat can be found surrounding our organs and within our cardiovascular system. Oftentimes, people who look skinny may actually be carrying a lot of extra fat throughout their body systems. To combat this, muscle is needed in order to start burning the extra unseen fat.

Are you skinny-fat? What’s your favorite feature on your body?

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Skinny-fat: High metabolism and poor diet combo was originally published on Self Evolve