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

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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

Branched-Chain Amino Acids: how BCAAs can help you

Are you a supplement guru? Do you take your protein shake shaken or stirred? With milk or cold water? Or are you lost when you enter that section of the grocery store meant for the weight lifters and health nuts of the world? I’m here to tell you how BCAAs can help you, whether you’re…

Branched-Chain Amino Acids: how BCAAs can help you was originally published on Self Evolve

Are you a supplement guru? Do you take your protein shake shaken or stirred? With milk or cold water? Or are you lost when you enter that section of the grocery store meant for the weight lifters and health nuts of the world? I’m here to tell you how BCAAs can help you, whether you’re…

Branched-Chain Amino Acids: how BCAAs can help you was originally published on Self Evolve

My neck, my back, my lats, my traps: Back workout!

One of my favorite days of the week is back workout day! It’s the day I get to hit my back muscles in multiple ways at the gym. One of my favorite things about working my back is that I see results quickly. One of my least favorite things is walking around all stiff like…

My neck, my back, my lats, my traps: Back workout! was originally published on Self Evolve

back workoutOne of my favorite days of the week is back workout day! It’s the day I get to hit my back muscles in multiple ways at the gym. One of my favorite things about working my back is that I see results quickly. One of my least favorite things is walking around all stiff like an old lady the next day or two. But after the stiffness subsides, I feel stronger and my posture is improved. Today I’m going to go over a great all-encompassing back workout and why you should be hitting the back weekly.

Great back workout exercises!

Keep in mind that everyone is at a different point in their training. If you’re new to back exercises, grab lighter weights to start with. You can ALWAYS move up if the weights are too light, but don’t go too heavy to start since you don’t know how you’ll feel during or after the exercise.

  • Barbell Deadlift. This is technically more than a back exercise but it’s the absolute best for overall backside development. Technique is very important, but once you nail it you can progress to lifting monster weights that will recruit maximum muscle and help your muscles grow. If you’re lifting heavy, it’s best to do these near the beginning of your workout. If you’re doing them for repetitions, you can do them later in your workout. New to this? I would highly recommend hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions to learn the proper form. If that’s not an option, look up the proper technique HERE.
  • Bent-Over Barbell Deadlift. This is the second-best back movement in terms of sheet weight you can lift. This exercise will work the larger muscle groups of the upper and lower back equally. This is another technical move that requires excellent form but rewards you with a ton of muscle. Do bent-over rows toward the start of your back workout for heavy set in lower rep ranges. See proper form HERE.
  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Row. This is a great unilateral exercise that allows you to move a lot of weight. You’ll get greater range of motion when training unilaterally and you won’t be restrained if your weaker side fails first. Keep your elbow close to your body and pull straight up. This exercise will focus more on your lower lats. Do it anywhere from the middle to the end of your workout. See proper form HERE.

 Put your back into it!

back workout
©Ozzie Ramsay Photography | ALL Rights Reserved 2017

Your goals will determine how many reps and sets you do, but in general it’s best to do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps. Like I said, start light then add more weight over time as you nail down the proper form. If you need help getting your technique down, I highly recommend working with a certified personal trainer like myself. Even just a few sessions will give you a lot of feedback to work with and learn from! Avoid bad form which leads to injury!

What’s your favorite back exercise?

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My neck, my back, my lats, my traps: Back workout! was originally published on Self Evolve

How to avoid Thanksgiving feast food coma: Holidays

The Holidays are here Do you hear the sleigh-bells ringing? Are they glistening? Or is that just the turkey basting in the oven? If you’re anything like me, you’re licking your lips as you imagine yourself chowing down during this Holiday season. But with a big meal comes a big post-meal nap. And for some…

How to avoid Thanksgiving feast food coma: Holidays was originally published on Self Evolve

The Holidays are here

avoid Thanksgiving feast food comaDo you hear the sleigh-bells ringing? Are they glistening? Or is that just the turkey basting in the oven? If you’re anything like me, you’re licking your lips as you imagine yourself chowing down during this Holiday season. But with a big meal comes a big post-meal nap. And for some of us, this may interfere with our Holiday shopping plans. I’m here to tell you how you can avoid Thanksgiving feast food coma.

Eat throughout the day

Whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast in lieu of an extra-large dinner! Just be smart about what you eat: stick to some protein like eggs or yogurt to hold you over until the big feast. Starving yourself all day just to gorge out at your Aunt Marge’s house is not a good idea! Be smart, and don’t starve yourself. This will also help you to not over-indulge on sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Try to eat a balanced diet

avoid Thanksgiving feast food comaEat more than just the carbs! Stuffing and potatoes are great, but get your protein in too! Be sure to eat a healthy amount of turkey (or tofurky, for you vegans out there) in addition to those carbs. This way, you will feel full faster and hopefully avoid the itis. The I just turned into Frankenstein I’m so stuffed itis. The I just took a 5 hour long nap itis. All the things that make you miss out on life post-holiday mealtime, i.e. Black Friday. Also, be sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated! This will also help you eat a more moderate amount.

What if it’s too late to avoid Thanksgiving feast food coma?

At the end of the day, I’m not going to tell you to not indulge! We only have a huge feast like this once a year, right? Or, if you’re like me, you hit multiple family member’s houses to get your Thanksgiving portion doubled or tripled in one day. Thanksgiving has historically been one of my favorite holidays, only because I love to eat. And eat I do. So eat away! And even if you fall into a slump afterwards, I say more power to you! BUT, I am going to challenge you to workout the next day! Most of us get the day after Thanksgiving off, and while some of us go shopping, Black Friday is a great day to hit the gym! Almost no one’s there (uh, empty gym? yes please!) and you can sweat out those extra calories you consumed the day before. If you’re not a gym junkie like me, at least go for a nice, long walk!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

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How to avoid Thanksgiving feast food coma: Holidays was originally published on Self Evolve

How to find the right gym for you: What to ask

Whether you’re training for that next race or looking to lose a few extra pounds, getting a gym membership should be one of the first few things on your to-do list. Many people don’t know where to start, so today I’m going to go over the best way to find the right gym for you.…

How to find the right gym for you: What to ask was originally published on Self Evolve

Whether you’re training for that next race or looking to lose a few extra pounds, getting a gym membership should be one of the first few things on your to-do list. Many people don’t know where to start, so today I’m going to go over the best way to find the right gym for you.…

How to find the right gym for you: What to ask was originally published on Self Evolve

Carry your stuff while running with efficiency and ease

If you’ve been following along with my running-themed posts, you likely have deduced that as you run you will also have to bring a few things with you: i.e. water, a way to track your run, and perhaps your keys to get back in your home after your run. To make running easier and more…

Carry your stuff while running with efficiency and ease was originally published on Self Evolve

carry your stuff while runningIf you’ve been following along with my running-themed posts, you likely have deduced that as you run you will also have to bring a few things with you: i.e. water, a way to track your run, and perhaps your keys to get back in your home after your run. To make running easier and more enjoyable, it’s a good idea to find an efficient way to carry your stuff while running. After trying a few different methods of carrying my stuff while running, I’m here to review them all with you.

Hold whatever…

One option is to just hold whatever it is you need. Hold onto that water bottle, and maybe stick those keys in your pocket along with your phone or map (for tracking purposes). Or just wear that tracking device on your wrist (i.e. a fitbit). But for the shorter distance runs, there really shouldn’t be any issue holding onto your stuff as long as you keep that stuff to the bare minimum.

Use a utility belt, Batman

carry your stuff while running

Running belts these days can carry almost anything: that water bottle (or multiple), those keys, and that huge Apple X phone (phablet?). I absolutely love my Nathan running belt. It holds my phone, keys, and energy chews. This brand also makes great belts that hold water bottles too! Alternatively, you could just get a bad-ass Batman belt and fight crime as you run around town.

 

See a few great options below.
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Use your arm, Popeye

carry your stuff while runningYou could get an armband or wristband instead to hold your phone and keys. I personally think armbands jiggle a lot when I run with them. However, some runners prefer an armband as it can add a little extra weight training in to your cardio days (well, at least for one of your arms so you might look like Popeye).

Check out the options below for your next run.
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Carry protection…

Another good idea is to carry something to protect yourself, especially if you’re running at night and/or through an area that’s new to you. Be sure to have pepper spray, your keys, or a self-carry your stuff while runningdefense stick on hand just in case. This doesn’t only apply to females, anyone can be attacked no matter your gender, age, or any other factor. Run safely at all times!

See some great self-defense options below.
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How do you carry your stuff while running? Comment below with what works for you.

Carry your stuff while running with efficiency and ease was originally published on Self Evolve

Never too late to start: Age is just a number

I’ve heard the saying “I’m too old to start working out” more times than I’d like to count. My normal response to these people is that age is just a number and that it’s never too late to start. I usually get eye rolls and even more excuses as to why they can’t (or rather,…

Never too late to start: Age is just a number was originally published on Self Evolve

I’ve heard the saying “I’m too old to start working out” more times than I’d like to count. My normal response to these people is that age is just a number and that it’s never too late to start. I usually get eye rolls and even more excuses as to why they can’t (or rather, won’t) work out. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to start exercising, even if you think it’s impossible.

Picking up a new exercise regime at age 100

never too lateJulia Hawkins, a.k.a. Hurricane, is a 101-year-old Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native new runner who just started running a year ago- at age 100. She earned the nickname “Hurricane” last summer, when her speed and spunk on the track fascinated live spectators.

“I like the fact that hurricanes are fast and that I was fast, but hurricanes do damage and I don’t want to do damage,” Hawkins says.

But she’s already done damage, to the record books at least. Her numbers are amazing, especially for a centenarian. But she doesn’t do it alone.

Never too late

How does Julia make it work? How does she pull off not only starting but also excelling at running at age 101? Here’s a few tips from the record-breaker herself.

  1. Get a good support system. Hawkins credits her four children for providing unrelenting moral support. In addition to this, she relies on track-side assistance to keep her going. She finds herself out of breath and exhausted at the end of races, so someone there to catch her helps a lot.
  2. Maintain realistic expectations. At an advanced age, it’s unlikely you will get better at what you’re doing. Each day, you will likely be a little bit worse. Hawkins doesn’t train much for her races, but she does keep busy, spending significant time tending to her backyard. “I do a little running around each day-not a certain amount or time-but just age is just a numberto keep everything going.”
  3. Don’t stretch too much. Julia’s warm up consists of jiggling up and down a little, and she saves the stretching for afterwards.
  4. Find a talisman. Shortly before her race in Birmingham, Hawkins opened a fortune cookie that prophesied: You will make a sudden rise in life. She believes this ties into that race. She kept the slip of paper and often tucks it into her pocket for on-the-go good luck.

It’s no mystery why Julia is smiling. The next time you think to yourself that you’re too old to start, think of Julia and where she’d be if she thought the same thing.

Age is just a number

What motivates you to exercise? What’s holding you back if you haven’t started yet? If running isn’t for you, maybe you’d rather lift weights.

Great resources to start running at any age

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Never too late to start: Age is just a number was originally published on Self Evolve