Mindful fitness: more effective than any medication

What is Mindful Fitness? A new and growing fitness and health trend is focusing more on the brain. For years, doctors have turned to medications to help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD and memory loss. While these pills do provide some temporary relief, most patients continue to suffer and sometimes experience unpleasant side-effects. Enter…

Mindful fitness: more effective than any medication was originally published on Self Evolve

Advertisements

What is Mindful Fitness?

A new and growing fitness and health trend is focusing more on the brain. For years, doctors have turned to medications to help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD and memory loss. While these pills do provide some temporary relief, most patients continue to suffer and sometimes experience unpleasant side-effects. Enter mindful fitness: a natural way to reduce the symptoms related to mood and an aging brain without the unwanted side effects.

Benefits of exercise on the brain

Most people think of the muscles they’ll gain or the fat they’ll lose by exercising, but don’t even think of the effects on the brain. Here are just a few benefits that come from exercising a mere 30 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week.

  • Improves and alleviates depression and anxiety (source)
  • Prevents Alzheimers (source)
  • Slows brain aging by 10 years (source)
  • Improves cognitive function and memory (source)
  • Improves mood and alleviates symptoms of ADHD (source)

Eight weeks to a better brain

A study done at Harvard proves meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s gray matter in 8 weeks. (source) What does this mean? Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.

So what is mindful fitness?

It is a proven combination of exercise and meditation that leads to a healthier brain. With just 30 minutes of exercise followed by 30 minutes of meditation, you can significantly change the way your brain functions. We offer classes and private sessions to help you on your journey to decreased stress, better memory, improved sense of self, and improved mood. We teach you techniques that you can apply to your daily life and that you can perform virtually anywhere. Currently offering in the Chicagoland area, but also able to set up something virtually if you’re interested.

What do you do to improve your mental health?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “mindful fitness”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “82244ba4ed2b0e491ecc40ce3b089ab0”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Mindful fitness: more effective than any medication was originally published on Self Evolve

Making and keeping fitness resolutions

This year is a little different for me. Most years, I write distinct fitness goals like lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks, or reach 18% body fat by a certain day. I even write up a workout plan, writing the days I will workout and the types of workouts I’ll do. I also put together…

Making and keeping fitness resolutions was originally published on Self Evolve

This year is a little different for me. Most years, I write distinct fitness goals like lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks, or reach 18% body fat by a certain day. I even write up a workout plan, writing the days I will workout and the types of workouts I’ll do. I also put together a meal plan so that I don’t cheat too much on the diet, which is about 75% of the effort anyways. But this year, I’m growing a human. How exactly do I write anything concrete while pregnant? How do I make and keep my fitness resolutions?

Write them down..

In pencil. The one thing they can’t tell you in pregnancy is the exact number of pounds you’ll gain. Of course, there’s a range they prefer you to stay in. But if you gain a few extra pounds in addition to that range, it isn’t the end of the world. I have a friend who gained 40 pounds for both her pregnancies, and has successfully lost it all and looks amazing afterwards. While it’s ideal to only gain 25-30 pounds while pregnant, it is okay if your weight gain isn’t textbook, as long as baby and you are healthy. So keep those goals written in pencil, but still keep the standard format.

Have a measurable

A number of pounds or even better percentage of body fat is ideal to write down. While pregnant with your first baby like me, you have no idea just how long it’ll take you to “bounce back.” We’re not all blessed like Beyonce, some of us will take longer than others. And it’s better to be realistic and give yourself time. For me, I have big ideas and hoping they manifest themselves this year. But goal-wise I keep it simple. When I got pregnant, I was hovering around 145-150 pounds and was pretty happy with my weight. My goal is to get back to that range 6 months after baby girl arrives. Obviously, 6 months is a long time. But this includes the 6 weeks post-partum that no high-intensity exercise is allowed. And this also includes caring for a baby full-time. Which I’m not sure but I hear is pretty time-consuming.

Don’t beat yourself up

If you don’t hit your exact goal by the exact date, don’t beat yourself up. Just keep plugging away. Maybe it’ll take you 8 months to reach those fitness resolutions. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Your health and fitness are number one. No one else should come before you. Not even that little adorable mini me demanding all of your time.

What are your fitness resolutions?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “fitness resolutions”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “e45fd15e964acaa8c1b312c23ae6b864”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Making and keeping fitness resolutions was originally published on Self Evolve

DEXA Scan: Accuracy and injury prevention

How do you track your progress? Most people turn to the scale to track their weight-loss progress. While this does show one aspect of your health, it doesn’t show the whole picture. Just because you’re losing weight and in the healthy weight zone doesn’t mean you’re healthy. It’s better to take a holistic approach when…

DEXA Scan: Accuracy and injury prevention was originally published on Self Evolve

How do you track your progress?

Most people turn to the scale to track their weight-loss progress. While this does show one aspect of your health, it doesn’t show the whole picture. Just because you’re losing weight and in the healthy weight zone doesn’t mean you’re healthy. It’s better to take a holistic approach when tracking your progress towards fitness and health. Most gyms offer the standard Omron hand-held device that detects your body-fat percentage. But this is not very accurate, seeing how it could be off by up to 5% either way, so if it says you’re 15% body fat, you could actually be 10 or 20%! So what’s a better option?

DEXA scan is the future

DEXA scan, or dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, uses x-ray technology to figure out the distribution of lean muscle, fat, water and bone in your body. Unlike any other body composition measuring tool, DEXA results are highly accurate and reproducible. And it’s quick! The scan only takes about 7 minutes and you get your thorough results right away. With hundreds of locations world-wide, it’s easy to schedule a scan at a nearby facility.

In addition to DEXA being a great way to track progress, it can also provide a window into many other areas of your health and fitness life. The scans show advanced findings such as muscle asymmetry and visceral fat. Knowing your muscle asymmetries can help you avoid injuries while working out and can help you tailor your exercises accordingly. Visceral fat is hard to detect but so very important since it affects your organs. Excess visceral fat can cause serious health problems.

Accuracy leads to better results

What type of results should you expect from the DEXA scan?

  • Total body bone mineral density
  • Total body muscle mass
  • Total body fat mass
  • Total body bone mass
  • Total body fat percentage
  • Muscle and fat mass in the trunk
  • Muscle and fat mass in your right and left arm
  • Muscle and fat mass in your right and left leg
  • Central abdominal fat measurement

With these results and information, your health and fitness journey becomes more stream-lined. They help you make a plan that works for you and your specific customized goals.

I plan on getting a DEXA scan after my baby girl arrives in April 2019. Although the amount of radiation in a DEXA scan is tiny, it isn’t recommended that a developing baby to be exposed to radiation no matter how low it is. But I’m excited to utilize the DEXA scan to help me make my plan of action to get my body back after baby.

How do you track your progress?

 

DEXA Scan: Accuracy and injury prevention was originally published on Self Evolve

Dumbbell Pullovers and why you should do them

Back in the classic era of bodybuilding, before steroids were a thing, the “squats and milk” routine was the number one method for getting ectomorphs jacked. What most people forget though is the third piece to this routine: pullovers. Squats for testosterone boost and whole-body muscle growth, and pullovers for the wide and thick barrel-chest,…

Dumbbell Pullovers and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

Back in the classic era of bodybuilding, before steroids were a thing, the “squats and milk” routine was the number one method for getting ectomorphs jacked. What most people forget though is the third piece to this routine: pullovers. Squats for testosterone boost and whole-body muscle growth, and pullovers for the wide and thick barrel-chest, and great back development. Bodybuilding greats swore that the dumbbell pullover played a huge role in their upper body development.

Arnold believed this exercise was responsible for expanding his rib cage. Though nobody knows for sure whether this is true, one thing is for certain: it’s an excellent exercise for the upper chest. For those of you out there wondering why you’d even want a thick upper chest, read on.

Benefits of a thick upper chest

pulloversNowadays, there’s too much focus on the flat bench press, which overdevelops the mid and lower pecs. As a result, you could end up looking like you have ‘man boobs’, even if you don’t. And for guys who have man boobs, this exercise can make them look worse by making them stick out more. A nice, thick upper-chest can really give your chest that stone-slab-like appearance. Also, if you have man boobs, a thick upper chest can help improve your appearance. The trouble is that isolating those upper chest fibers is no easy feat. Most people think the incline bench press is the only solution. However, the trouble with incline presses is the greater the incline, the more stress is placed on the anterior deltoid muscles of the shoulders.

Why pullovers?

To really grow a muscle to its maximum potential, you have to attack it from multiple different angles. Your chest muscles control the movement of your upper arm at the shoulder joint. Any movement where your upper arm is moving in toward the front of the body, will involve the pecs. Most people make the mistake that the only way to work the chest is to push something away from you or in a bear-hugging motion. This type of movement is called ‘horizontal adduction’ of the upper arms. But this is only one type of movement, which will limit your gains if you don’t change it up.

Dumbbell pullovers involve using upper arm extension. By doing this exercise, you work the upper chest from a whole different plane than if you were to do the incline dumbbell press. You stimulate different muscle fibers in a new way, leading to awesome gains.

How do you do pullovers?

Be sure to start out with a light weight and gradually increase over time. Lie on a bench with your head hanging over the end. Grasp the dumbbell from the side or from behind. Position the dumbbell over your chest with elbows slightly bent. Slowly lower the dumbbell over and beyond your head until your upper arms are in-line with your torso. Breathe in deeply while doing this. Slowly pull the dumbbell up and over the chest, back to the starting position. Breathe out while doing this. Repeat.

Do you incorporate pullovers in your chest routine?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “upper chest workouts”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6a8c0d8ad97e7db9ea81fb22d32295fd”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Dumbbell Pullovers and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

Fat and why you need it

Fat-free does not equal healthy So many of my clients think they’re winning when they tell me they’re reaching for fat-free foods; i.e. yogurt, milk, and other dairy products. While it may seem like this is a great way to lose weight, I’m here to tell you that the right fat is needed in your…

Fat and why you need it was originally published on Self Evolve

Fat-free does not equal healthy

So many of my clients think they’re winning when they tell me they’re reaching for fat-free foods; i.e. yogurt, milk, and other dairy products. While it may seem like this is a great way to lose weight, I’m here to tell you that the right fat is needed in your daily diet. I’m not saying to go for the high-fat ice cream and yogurt, but next time you’re in the store keep these simple facts in mind.

Good versus bad

When it comes to fat, we want to focus on eating the right types. Unsaturated fats are necessary to live: both poly and monounsaturated fats. Both of these can help reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. What are some good sources of unsaturated fats?

  • Fish (salmon, trout, catfish, mackerel)
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • olive, canola and peanut oils

Fats to cut back on

Saturated and trans fatty acids should be used sparingly. Both can raise cholesterol levels, clog arteries, and increase the risk for heart disease. Artificial trans fats should be avoided at all costs, but saturated and natural trans fatty acids should be 7% or less of your diet. Examples include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry skin
  • High-fat dairy
  • Eggs
  • Cookies
  • Baked goods
  • Crackers
  • Icing
  • Packaged snack foods
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Some margarine’s

I don’t know about you, but I can’t hold myself back when it comes to cookies. And I eat eggs like they’re going out of style. But I do try to eat most of the other things on this list in moderation. And I try to avoid the cookie aisle as often as possible.

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “healthy fats”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6a8c0d8ad97e7db9ea81fb22d32295fd”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Fat and why you need it was originally published on Self Evolve

Protein: building blocks of muscle

Muscular endurance and strength Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or body builder, you need muscle. Even for those couch potatoes out there who don’t lift, muscle is still needed for everyday basic functions such as walking and sitting upright. Or for those times you have to carry every grocery bag all at once (team one-trip!).…

Protein: building blocks of muscle was originally published on Self Evolve

Muscular endurance and strength

Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or body builder, you need muscle. Even for those couch potatoes out there who don’t lift, muscle is still needed for everyday basic functions such as walking and sitting upright. Or for those times you have to carry every grocery bag all at once (team one-trip!). But outside of skeletal muscle, there’s also the important cardiac and smooth muscle that keeps our organs intact and functioning properly. In order to build all muscle properly, we need to consume protein. And while you may think meat is the only option, I’m here to tell you it’s not.

Veggie protein

proteinMany people instantly think of chicken, beef, or pork when I mention protein sources. While meat has a high amount of protein, the animals we eat get their protein from their diet. And guess what? Cows, chickens, and pigs are all vegetarians. So we are just eating veggies through their carriers. While this may seem like a workaround and a reason for you to stop eating vegetables, it isn’t. Vegetables are still needed thanks to the awesome fiber and complex carbohydrates they provide. So be sure to cook up some veggies to eat with that meat!

Good sources of protein

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Tofu
  • Chia Seeds

And if you’re sitting here wondering where protein shakes and/or bars fall into this list, I’m here to tell you that natural sources/foods are always going to be better than a shake or bar. But when in a pinch, they work. Just be sure to pay attention to how much sugar is included. I recommend going with the 0g of sugar option when available. The less sugar the better, unless you’re looking to get some carbs.

What’s your favorite food to fuel your muscles?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “protein”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6a8c0d8ad97e7db9ea81fb22d32295fd”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Protein: building blocks of muscle was originally published on Self Evolve

The FitExpo Chicago 2018

My first FitExpo experience was a blast! This wasn’t my first fitness expo ever, but it was the first time I attended this specific event in Chicago. Actually, it was in Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention center. With the help of Groupon, I got in on the low for a few hours Saturday…

The FitExpo Chicago 2018 was originally published on Self Evolve

My first FitExpo experience was a blast!

This wasn’t my first fitness expo ever, but it was the first time I attended this specific event in Chicago. Actually, it was in Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention center. With the help of Groupon, I got in on the low for a few hours Saturday afternoon. I had so much fun walking around getting lots of free stuff and watching the various types of fitness shows/competitions. To anyone considering attending the FitExpo in the future, this is why you should go.

Swag

Not only did I get two t-shirts, I also got tons of samples including a tub of protein. Like a legit 1 pound tub. I also got other samples of BCAA’s, pre-workout, and post-workout supplements. There was a heavy protein focus all through the expo, and my friends and I would joke with every vendor if their product didn’t have protein then why bother? 🙂 I mean, we were there for gains weren’t we?

Competitions

FitExpoThere were several bodybuilding competitions going on, and I kept getting distracted by the amazing guys and their abs on display. I literally stood staring as my friend was trying to meet up with me. Whoops. Other than bodybuilding, there were powerlifting, crossfit, max reps, and other cool fitness competitions going on.

Workout classes

We got to get a good workout in, mostly by walking around for many hours. But my friends did take on the Spartan obstacle course which was a condensed version of the Spartan race. While this was an additional cost (unless you do it right before they close), there were other fitness classes offered for no fee. Unfortunately, they looked cardio based and I had already gotten in my cardio workout for the day.

Deals

There were many deals going on at the expo. Nearly every product there was at least 50% off the regular price. I bought some great-tasting BCAA’s at half the cost. I left with more muscles than I entered with. 😉

Two thumbs up

All in all, I would highly recommend The FitExpo Chicago. It’s an annual event that occurs either in May or June of every year. I had a great time and I look forward to attending next year!

 

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “crush bcaa’s”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6a8c0d8ad97e7db9ea81fb22d32295fd”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

The FitExpo Chicago 2018 was originally published on Self Evolve