6 Reasons to Cross Train

by admin on March 1, 2015

6 Reasons to Cross Train

woman doing push-ups

 

 

 

If your results have hit a brick wall even though you’ve been following your fitness routine faithfully, maybe it’s time to try cross training. What’s that, you say? It’s when you change your regular workout and add in other types of exercise. Here are 6 of the best reasons to cross train:

1. Prevent injury. Doing the same workout over and over again stresses joints, muscles, and ligaments without giving them full recovery. Overuse is one of the primary reasons for injury. Working the same muscles in a different way, or completely different muscle groups, can give your muscles the rest they need to help prevent problems that keep you from training!

2. Balance your muscles. By working different muscle groups, you will maintain muscular symmetry. If you’ve been doing mostly squats and lunges, focusing on your lower body, your upper body may lack the definition that your legs and buns have. Add in an upper-body workout, one that includes resistance training to help you achieve total-body balance. Plus, you’ll get the extra benefit of looking toned all over!

3. Gain strength. With cross training you can increase the overall strength of your muscles. For example, if you run, or do mostly cardio-based workouts, add a sculpting routine. Resistance training dumbbells or bands) can translate into faster running times, and better endurance, not to mention a speedier metabolism.

4. Prevent boredom. Doing the same old thing gets old. Spice up your workout by trying something—or someone—new! If you’ve been following a particular trainer’s programs, try someone else’s. Each trainer has a different style and will challenge—and even entertain you—in different ways. If you’ve done ‘em all, maybe you just need to get outside for a bit. Consider a sport that’s always interested you.

5. Keep making progress with your muscles. Progress with a training routine plateaus somewhere between 4 and 12 weeks. By changing your workout, you make more consistent progress!

6. Rest tired muscles. OK, so you don’t want to give up your workouts, but you feel like your performance is going downhill? Maybe you just need to rest the groups of muscles you’ve been working relentlessly for months on end. Give em’ a break by doing something different. Go for a hike, a bike ride, or a swim.

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Three Ways to Get Back on Track

by admin on February 25, 2015

 

Three Ways to Get Back on Track

3-ways-back-on-track

 

 

 

It happens to the best of us. A few great days (or even weeks) of following your fitness and nutrition plan and then—BANG—life happens. A late night out with friends, a last-minute business trip, a sick child at home, or something as simple as a bad mood can force you off kilter. Maybe you’ve missed your fitness session. Maybe you simply don’t have the energy (or desire) to prepare a healthy meal. Regardless, you’ve hit a wall. You’re having an “off” day.

Sometimes an off day is just that: one day off track. You wake up the next morning back to being motivated and focused on your goals. Other times, it can take several days to regain your fitness mojo. At these moments, off days can be vicious—but they can also be stopped.

As an expert of sport psychology, one of my objectives is to help my clients quickly recover from these off days. Here are three tips from my personal playbook you can use to not only get switched back on during an off day, but also limit the amount of off days you experience altogether. The end result is that you’ll give yourself the greatest opportunity to stick to your daily intentions and get the body you deserve.

 

1. Change the internal conversation: undervalue the bad times and overvalue the good ones.
We have been conditioned to harp on our mistakes and gloss over our successes. It’s time to change the internal conversation and pay more attention to the things that bring us confidence so that we can continue to live a fun, healthy, and energetic life.

In sports, professional athletes and coaches often say that the person who wins is usually the person who can best recover from errors. Top athletes have learned to identify their mistakes, but instead of dwelling on them, they quickly learn from them and move on. They also take the time to pat themselves on the back for all of their achievements, both big and small.

When life gets in the way of sticking to your training or nutrition plan, take one minute for positive personal reflection. Identify the key things you could do better next time to prevent this off day. Then, focus on at least one achievement you have already made that day (or perhaps yesterday). Use your past achievement to give you the confidence and energy you need to make your very next meal or training session a positive one.

 

2. Change the environment.
Having an off day can cost us the motivation to exercise and eat healthy. Instead, we crave instant gratification in an unhealthy, overflowing bowl—or carton—of ice cream or an extra hour on the couch. Fortunately, there is a quick fix to this problem.

Research continues to prove that motivation and productivity increase with a change in environment. In fact, a commonly used phrase in sport psychology is: “A change is as good as a rest.”

Any type of change, such as stepping outside for some fresh air, turning on motivational music, or finding a new healthy recipe, can spark some motivation to move forward toward achieving your goals.

Whenever you feel a lack of energy and inspiration, change up at least one aspect of your environment and experience what it’s like to have your batteries recharged and motivation restored!

 

3. Use the five-minute just move rule.
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is get up and start to move. However, once you start moving, it releases feel good, motivating hormones like dopamine and endorphins. When this happens, you’ll find it much easier to keep going.

During off days, make a deal with yourself to commit to five minutes of fitness. Most often, five minutes is all it will take to get the heart pumping and the energy flowing, inspiring you to stay for the entire training session. Also, it’s okay if you don’t have 100 percent effort to give that day. If you only have 50 percent, do your best to exert all of it. I guarantee you’ll be proud of yourself and your off day will be long gone.

For nutrition, if you don’t feel like spending 20 minutes in the kitchen preparing a healthy meal, commit to grabbing something simple to eat, such as a glass of Shakeology, that’s satisfying yet still healthy.

Off days do not have to completely throw you sideways. With these three tools, you can quickly recover from an off day and keep moving forward with the confidence and excitement you need to live the life you want.

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How to Enjoy Winter Squash

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9 Reasons Why Working Out at Home Is Better than the Gym

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8 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget

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Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution. Make a #REALsolution.

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