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

Why you should try the Keto diet

Have you heard of the Keto diet? If you haven’t heard of the Keto diet, it’s possible you live under a rock under the sea like SpongeBob Square Pants. The Ketogenic diet is the current trending diet. The one that’s helping people shed pounds easily, and even more importantly helping some improve their health. The keto…

Why you should try the Keto diet was originally published on Self Evolve

Have you heard of the Keto diet? If you haven’t heard of the Keto diet, it’s possible you live under a rock under the sea like SpongeBob Square Pants. The Ketogenic diet is the current trending diet. The one that’s helping people shed pounds easily, and even more importantly helping some improve their health. The keto…

Why you should try the Keto diet was originally published on Self Evolve

Coffee: Why that extra cup of java is good for you

Too much coffee? Historically, we’ve been told to limit our caffeine intake. I’ve always been told anything more then 2-3 cups a day isn’t good for you. Well, I’m here today with some good news for you coffee lovers out there (like me)! A new study shows the more coffee you drink, the better your…

Coffee: Why that extra cup of java is good for you was originally published on Self Evolve

Too much coffee?

extra cup of java is goodHistorically, we’ve been told to limit our caffeine intake. I’ve always been told anything more then 2-3 cups a day isn’t good for you. Well, I’m here today with some good news for you coffee lovers out there (like me)! A new study shows the more coffee you drink, the better your heart will be. So next time you’re at Starbucks, remember that extra cup of java is good for you!

Health benefits of coffee

  • Cuts the pain. You know that post-workout soreness? Coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%, so drink up!
  • Increases your fiber intake. A cup of coffee contains up to 1.8 grams of fiber, which counts towards the daily recommended intake of 20 to 38 grams of fiber.
  • Lowers your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Recent research shows with every cup of coffee you drink, your risk of diabetes lowers by 9%.
  • Lowers your risk of heart disease. A recent study shows for every cup of coffee you drink, your risk of suffering heart failure or stroke decreases by 8%.
  • Coffee drinkers have stronger DNA. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that coffee drinkers have DNA with stronger integrity since the white blood cells of coffee drinkers have far less instance of spontaneous DNA strand breakage.
  • Coffee reduces risk of Colon cancer. Moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the odds of developing colorectal cancer by 26%. This protective benefit increases with more consumption.

Extra cup of java is good for you

What do all of these benefits have in common? The more you drink, the better your health is! And while you’re at it, add some cinnamon to your coffee for even more benefits!

What’s your favorite brand of coffee?

Do you like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee? Or perhaps you prefer McDonald’s. Or do you brew your own coffee? Post below your favorite brew!

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Coffee: Why that extra cup of java is good for you 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