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

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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

Top 5 Instagram Fitness Influencers of 2018

Insta-famous Have you heard the term Insta-famous before? It’s basically those people who became Instagram famous over night. Some become famous over a viral video, whereas others become famous based on a trending hashtag. Today I’m going to go over the top 5 Instagram fitness influencers. These are the guys and gals who are out…

Top 5 Instagram Fitness Influencers of 2018 was originally published on Self Evolve

Insta-famous

Have you heard the term Insta-famous before? It’s basically those people who became Instagram famous over night. Some become famous over a viral video, whereas others become famous based on a trending hashtag. Today I’m going to go over the top 5 Instagram fitness influencers. These are the guys and gals who are out there motivating us to get our butts back into shape.

Top 5 Instagram Fitness InfluencersInstagram fitness influencers

  1. Michelle Lewin with nearly 13 million followers, she is hands-down the most influential fitness hottie on Instagram (not counting celebrities, of course). She has just over a thousand posts, mostly workout videos, that provide motivation to those who follow her. Check out her profile HERE
  2.  Jen Selter is a close number two, with nearly 12 million followers. She also has just over a thousand posts that include workout videos and motivational quotes. Check out her profile HERE.
  3. Ana Chari has nearly 11 million followers. Most of her posts are of her doing daily activities and of her incredible booty. Check out her profile HERE.
  4. Ulisses Jr. is the top male influencer at over 4 million followers. Men have it harder than females, but for a guy he’s pretty ripped. He posts a lot of great workout videos for those looking to build muscle. Check out his profile HERE.
  5. Simeon Panda is close at just under 4 million followers. He’s a body builder who posts incredible videos of him lifting heavy weights. He also makes daily chores, like ironing, look sexy as hell. Check out his profile HERE.

Instagram fitness influencers

While all of these accounts are great, I personally prefer to hear about the underdogs. You know, the not as influential people who are still doing what they love and sharing it for all of us to be motivated. I’ll be writing a follow-up post soon on the less famous but still awesome Instagram influencers.

Who influences you the most? Who do you follow for motivation?

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Top 5 Instagram Fitness Influencers of 2018 was originally published on Self Evolve

Weight Loss: Losing weight with Reddit

Reddit for weight loss? Have you heard of Reddit? It is the front page of the internet. In addition to the news and other random stories, people are losing weight with Reddit. With over 670,000 subscribers to the weight loss sub-reddit channel LOSEIT, a robust community is forming online. They offer a weight-loss Quick Start…

Weight Loss: Losing weight with Reddit was originally published on Self Evolve

Reddit for weight loss?

losing weight with redditHave you heard of Reddit? It is the front page of the internet. In addition to the news and other random stories, people are losing weight with Reddit. With over 670,000 subscribers to the weight loss sub-reddit channel LOSEIT, a robust community is forming online. They offer a weight-loss Quick Start Guide and many 30-day challenges to keep their subscribers motivated. While this is all fine and dandy, there are a few things to keep in mind as you join this community and start your weight-loss journey.

Losing weight with Reddit

  • Don’t forget about “non-scale” victories. Many people get weight-obsessed while completely missing out all the other signs of getting healthier. The scale along with tracking your body fat percentage will show a better picture of your health progress. Not only body fat, but also pay attention to your energy levels, sleep quality, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and inches lost. These non-scale victories are just as important as the scale ones.
  • “Tantrum Tuesday” is a part of the channel where people go to vent in regards to losing weight. While for some venting helps, it may not help others to read that type of negativity. If you know this is affect you, be sure to steer clear of this channel.
  • Find support outside of LOSEIT too. You need more than just an online community to stay motivated. Seek out support from your friends or co-workers if you can. Or even through social media as it’s less anonymous than Reddit.
  • Take other peoples’ progress pictures with a grain of salt. Photos are a great way to track progress and looking at other’s pictures can be encouraging. But with photo-editing software and apps that are available today, photos can easily be edited to make people appear thinner than they really are. If looking at certain progress pictures makes you negative in regards to your weight loss journey, stop looking.
  • Watch your language. No one likes a negative Nancy! The way we talk about our weight loss journeys is ultimately how we will see them. Try not to demonize foods and instead focus on the positive in regards to what you’re eating and your workouts.
  • Know that LOSEIT doesn’t work for everyone and that’s OK. The community provides a lot, but sometimes it isn’t enough for certain people. Everyone is different. If needed, seek out additional support from a dietitian or nutritionist.

Have you tried LOSEIT on Reddit?

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Weight Loss: Losing weight with Reddit was originally published on Self Evolve

How to find your Swolemate: Fitness friends

Motivation is key Whether you’re just starting out your fitness journey or you’ve been at it for awhile, you will notice that motivation is needed to get your butt into gear. Ideally, you should find motivation and discipline within yourself. But sometimes, it’s good to have fitness friends to keep us accountable and active. How…

How to find your Swolemate: Fitness friends was originally published on Self Evolve

Motivation is key

fitness friendsWhether you’re just starting out your fitness journey or you’ve been at it for awhile, you will notice that motivation is needed to get your butt into gear. Ideally, you should find motivation and discipline within yourself. But sometimes, it’s good to have fitness friends to keep us accountable and active.

How I met your mother (or father)

Many people reach out to me and ask how can I find friends and/or a significant other to workout with? Well, I’m here to tell you there are many ways for you to find fitness-minded people in and around your local area.

  • Join a local running group. Earlier this year, I joined a local running group that meets once a week for an easy 3 mile fun run. Through the group, I’ve easily made about 25 to 30 new friends who all enjoy running nearly as much as I do.
  • There’s an app for that. Workout Buddies is a great app to find nearby fitness friends looking for a lifting buddy. You never know, you might meet your swolemate through it.
  • Fitness meet-ups. If you haven’t been on MeetUp yet, it’s a great way to social network! Whether you’re looking for a new job, new friends, a date, or a fitness friend, MeetUp is the way to go.
  • Free fitness classes at your local gyms. Pay attention to the local nearby gyms and attend their free classes when they offer them. You never know who you’ll meet in the middle of that Zumba sweat sesh.
  • Talk to someone at the gym (but not in a creepy way). This one is tricky. It’s likely easier to just not try, but I have heard success stories from people just simply saying hi and how are you to people in the gym. You have to ease into it, and don’t force it if they aren’t into it. Also, don’t say hi to someone wearing headphones. That means they’re not there to socialize.
  • Ask a co-worker! Sometimes you’ll be surprised to find a fitness friend out of one of your co-workers. I actually got into running with an ex-coworker of mine. If I never asked her to run with me, I likely wouldn’t have started running when I did. And I likely wouldn’t have ran that Chicago Marathon this past year.

How do you find fitness friends? Do you have any other ideas?

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How to find your Swolemate: Fitness friends was originally published on Self Evolve

Rest and Recovery: Epsom Salt Baths

Have you tried Epsom salt baths? I had never used Epsom salt prior to training for a marathon this past year. But I’m here to tell you, they are amazing for recovery, especially after those painful long training runs (I’m talking 15+ miles, bro). Soak in salt.. First of all, who doesn’t enjoy a nice warm…

Rest and Recovery: Epsom Salt Baths was originally published on Self Evolve

Have you tried Epsom salt baths? I had never used Epsom salt prior to training for a marathon this past year. But I’m here to tell you, they are amazing for recovery, especially after those painful long training runs (I’m talking 15+ miles, bro).

Soak in salt..epsom salt baths

First of all, who doesn’t enjoy a nice warm bath? The idea of drawing up a steaming hot bath always makes me feel better, even before getting into the water. Maybe it’s just me, but I am actually naturally lazy. Whenever I get 20 minutes to be lazy and warm, I usually take a bath. And if I’m sore, Epsom salt will be included. Whether it’s after a hard run or a hard training session at the gym, the Epsom salt works it’s magic and I feel better afterwards. Especially as we enter Flu season, rest and recovery are very important.

Facts about Epsom salt

  1. It is named after a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England.
  2. It isn’t actually a salt, it’s a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.
  3. Both magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed through the skin, which makes Epsom salt baths an easy and effective way to enjoy the benefits (see below).
  4. Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function, and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins, and help ease migraine headaches.

Benefits of Epsom salt bathsepsom salt baths

  1. Eases stress and relaxes the body. Stress drains the body of magnesium. Magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP, the energy packets made in the cells.
  2. Relieves pain and muscle cramps. Epsom salt baths help ease pain and relieve inflammation, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma, and migraine headaches. Epsom salt softens skin and will even neutralize foot odor in addition to helping your achy feet feel better.
  3. Helps muscles and nerves function properly. Studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Magnesium is critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.
  4. Helps prevent hardening of arteries and blood clots. Epsom salt improves blood circulation, protects the elasticity of arteries, prevents blood clots, and reduces the risk of sudden heart attacks. This alone makes the salt baths worth it!
  5. Eliminates toxins from the body. The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells. This helps ease muscle pain and helps the body to eliminate harmful substances.

The best part is..

It’s cheap! You can get a big bag of Epsom salt that will last you weeks for only a few dollars. Hit up your local drugstore, or find some great buys below.

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Rest and Recovery: Epsom Salt Baths was originally published on Self Evolve

Embracing nature

To organic or to not organic? That is the question. What do you do? Do you go out of your way to buy organic, or do you just grab whichever is more convenient? This can go multiple ways, but today we’re going to try to focus on two product types: deodorant and sunscreen. Two essentials…

Embracing nature was originally published on Self Evolve

To organic or to not organic? That is the question. What do you do? Do you go out of your way to buy organic, or do you just grab whichever is more convenient? This can go multiple ways, but today we’re going to try to focus on two product types: deodorant and sunscreen. Two essentials while working out, especially while working out outside (i.e. running or attending my weekly strength and conditioning class).

For natural deodorant, what does that look like? Ideally, at the very least, deodorant without aluminum. Why not aluminum? While aluminum is used for things like cans of soda, it is not ideal on our skin. First of all, you may have an allergy to aluminum. A good amount of people break out in a rash when using antiperspirants. Also, aluminum may cause other issues outside of just a rash, i.e. it can interfere with your hormones. Aluminum isn’t the only thing to avoid, triclosan could be a stronger endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so try to avoid it as well.

The tricky part about going natural is finding a deodorant that stands up to sweat sessions, i.e. that super humid run or when you’re doing planks at the gym. The deodorant that I use and find effective is Arrow Protect Natural Deodorant by Birchbox. It smells good and stands up to my tough workouts. Which one do you use?

As for sunscreen, it’s important to read the ingredients on the bottle as well. Many sunscreens claim to be natural, but are they? Ingredients to avoid for SPF include chemicals such as oxybenzone, octinoxate  and homosalate. There are other chemicals to watch out for. Ideally, you want to reach for the organic option that uses mineral filters rather than chemical filters.

Mineral sunscreens are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, usually in the form of nanoparticles. There is good evidence that little if any zinc or titanium particles penetrate the skin to reach living tissues. Thus, mineral sunscreens tend to rate better than chemical sunscreens. What sunscreen do you use? Do you read the ingredients before buying sunscreen or just grab the most convenient sunscreen at the store? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Embracing nature was originally published on Self Evolve