How fitness can impact your relationship!

Studies show that fitness can make relationships stronger. It can create a fun environment for couples to challenge and motivate each-other while spending time together; building strength not only physically but strengthening the relationship as a whole.

Couples-Fitness

Below are 5 takeaways of couples living an active lifestyle together!

  1. Unbreakable Bond – Living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body is very important when it comes to living a healthy and strong life; it’s even better when your significant other is dedicated to health and fitness just like you. It allows you two to spend time together pushing and motivating each-other in ways you never thought possible.
  2. Great Motivation – Talk about some great motivation! When you two are both interested in fitness and have goals you are trying to meet, one of the most motivating factors in your life can be your significant other. For me my boyfriend pushes me and tests my limits in ways I never could do for myself. When couples train together the motivation levels increase dramatically!
  3. Confidence Boost – One of the most important results fitness gives you is self-confidence. Living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body makes you feel like you are in control. You can change your body with exercise and nutrition and for some people this change brings on an amazing confidence boost! When you are confident in your own skin that light will shine in your relationship!
  4. Improved Patience and Understanding – We all know that training times can range from very short to pretty dang long! Couples who train together understand that some training days may be longer than others and sometimes training has to come before movie dates and dinners. This understanding improves the level of patience in a relationship.
  5. Improved Sex Life – Your active lifestyle in the gym can improve your active lifestyle in bed! Exercise improves your energy, stamina, and flexibility. It also gets your blood pumping and raises testosterone levels. The confidence you get from fitness will give that added boost of confidence and sex appeal under the sheets!

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One of the biggest keys to success is motivation. Whether it is self motivation or motivation from an outside source, it is important for your significant other to be there for you and motivate you in working towards your goals. That is what strengthens and bonds relationships.

Below are a couple of comments my readers left on my blog when I asked how fitness has impacted their relationship!

“Fitness has become a big part of my life in the last 3 years. Robb my boyfriend of the last 3 years has definitely contributed to getting me in the gym especially weight lifting rather than my usual cardio. He bought me a gym membership (which I took no offense too lol) our first Christmas together so that we could workout together at his gym Fitness 19. He made me enjoy the gym and helped me learn how to lift weights. It has never affected our relationship in a negative way, it brings us closer and is just another hobby we have together. Health and nutrition also plays a huge role in our household and we educate each other on how to be healthy and fit together. The gym has definitely helped me with anxiety issues that I have. Some days the gym is therapy for me and I know it’s the same for Robb as well. Nothing is more of a turn on in a relationship than dedication and motivation on yourself and appearance.” – Lauren

With her boyfriend motivating her along the way Lauren is able to live a stronger more healthy life. Proof that fitness can certainly bond two people in a relationship and bring them closer together!

Another reader said,

“I think working out is a fun and healthy way to spend time together. It’s definitely an important part of my relationship with my fiancé considering I have a hard time motivating myself to go alone. It’s good to remember to keep it fun and not take it too seriously, whether working out together or alone. Don’t ever obsess over your body or your significant other’s body which be detrimental to the relationship. Just be happy, love and enjoy each other.” – Shalimar

It seems like the biggest factor that comes into play is motivation. When your significant other is able to motivate you and encourage you to do what you enjoy, your relationship naturally strengthens. When he/she is constantly frustrated with your fitness hobbies motivation can diminish drastically.

So, what if you are someone whose significant other is less than motivated in the gym? I know it can be truly frustrating but you can’t sacrifice your own happiness for someone else’s. If living a healthy and fit lifestyle is something you enjoy, I say take the time you need to satisfy that part of you!

Below are a few ways you can still enjoy fitness when your significant other is less than interested!

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  1. Outdoors Activities – There are many, many ways you can stay fit with your boyfriend or girlfriend. I am a huge fan of hiking. I would recommend researching hiking trails in your area that you two can take a day and visit together. My favorite is Amicalola Falls in Georgia. The hike ranges from beginner to experienced. What makes the trip so much more rewarding is the breathtaking view of the waterfall at the end of the hike!
  2. Races – Races like the Savage race or Warrior Dash are fun way to get involved in fitness outside of the gym. If your significant other despises lifting weights in a room, try suggesting you two take part in a race like this! They are fun, motivating, and the sense of community is truly inspirational!
  3. Walks – Taking walks is not only a great way to refresh and reboot you mentally but is also a great way for couples to bond. I suggest going in the evening or morning and leaving behind any technology. This allows you two to engage in meaningful conversation!

There are always ways around not living a healthy and fit life. I know from experience that it can be frustrating and it can drastically diminish your individual motivation when your loved one doesn’t care about health and exercise; but, it doesn’t have to!

Don’t sacrifice your own happiness and individual needs for someone else’s. Communication is key. Talk to your significant other about your feelings and hopefully you two will be able to meet in the middle.

-mk

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Are you taking the right supplements for your goals?

Supplements can give you an added boost in achieving your desired physique and can also help boost your immune function. There are many varieties of supplements on the market today which makes it tricky in choosing the right product that works best for you. I have compiled a list of the top supplements I recommend (my favorites!) and what they can do for you.

supplements

  1. Multi-Vitamins
    • If you maintain a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy oils, and nuts you may not need to supplement with a multi-vitamin or other vitamins.
    • Multi-vitamins help fill in the missing pieces to your body’s health puzzle. What you may not be getting from your diet your multi-vitamin will fill that in. For example, Folic Acid and Vitamin D are a few things we may not get enough of in our diet. Taking a multi-vitamin will help provide these for our body.
    • Be careful not to take too much of a certain vitamin. Have you ever heard the saying, “Too much of a good thing”? Well it’s true. Too much of a good thing can be harmful. Take the recommended daily dose.
    • The best way for your body to get the nutrients it needs is to eat whole foods. Following the food pyramid is a great starting point. A multi-vitamin will help fight any nutrients your body may be deficient in.
    • Keep in mind that the quality and composition of multi – vitamins can vary significantly between different brands. Below is an excerpt from Charlie Seltzer author of “Should you take a multi – vitamin? Benefits and side effects” on builtlean.com,

I like to break down multivitamins into two broad categories: whole-food derived (found in natural, whole foods) and synthetic (created in laboratories). Without getting too technical, it is important to understand that just because something has been synthesized in a laboratory doesn’t necessarily mean it is not the same as what is found in nature. However, it is often different – for instance, synthetic Vitamin E is structurally unique from that of natural Vitamin E.”

  • Charlie Seltzer MD recommends whole food multi-vitamins by Megafood and Garden of Life. These don’t contain any chemicals or synthetic nutrients.
  1. Omega – 3’s or Fish Oils
  • Fish oils are important in preventing heart disease/managing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reduces triglycerides, and can help slow the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
  • The best way for the body to obtain omega – 3s is from eating fish 2 -3 times a week.
  • Fish high in omega – 3s are: salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, lake trout and tuna.
  • For those of you who do not like fish, supplementing with a omega – 3s in pill form is a great choice.
  • Take the recommended dose; usually no more than 3 grams a day.
  1. Glucosamine
    • Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance found in the fluid around our joints.
  • Glucosamine is very important in the process of building cartilage. Cartilage helps cushion the joints.
  • As we age glucosamine levels decrease making the possibility of joint injury more likely.
  • Glucosamine is a great supplement for those suffering with bone or joint issues.

Now, let’s get into some fun supplements that are geared more towards the fitness aesthetics and performance!

 ropes

  1. Pre – Workout!
    • Pre – workouts are supplements that contain ingredients that provide a boost of energy, focus, increased strength, speed, and endurance.
    • Most athletes and “gym-rats” (like me) take pre – workouts before training sessions.
    • My favorite pre – workout brands are Metabolic Nutrition’s ESP Blue Raspberry flavor and Cellucor’s C4 mimosa flavor. (de-lish!)
    • Just a little bit of advice on pre – workouts. If you have been working out without using a pre-workout and you don’t need the added energy it provides I would recommend not starting regular consumption. Like any caffeinated beverage, it is addictive. Once you start taking it you feel the need to keep taking it and keep taking it. Catch my drift? If you do decide to begin taking a pre-workout supplement, I recommend cycling on and off to avoid becoming addicted!
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  1. Creatine
    • Creatine is a compound formed in protein metabolism and is present in much living tissue. It is involved in the supply of energy for muscular contraction.
    • Helps increase your overall workout intensity; allows you to workout longer and harder.
    • Better muscular contraction (especially good for athletes who train using stop and go movements).
    • Allows you to participate in frequent training sessions
    • Results in huge muscle pumps (yesss!)
    • Helps increase your metabolic rate
    • running_photography_justin_grant
  1. Glutamine
    • “Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in your muscles – over 61% of skeletal muscle is Glutamine. Glutamine consists of 19% nitrogen, making it the primary transporter of nitrogen into your muscle cells.” (bodybuilding.com)
    • “During intense training, glutamine levels are greatly depleted in your body, which decreases strength, stamina and recovery. It could take up to 6 days for glutamine levels to return to normal – and glutamine plays a key role in protein synthesis. Studies have shown that L-glutamine supplementation can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.” (bodybuilding.com)
    • Helps your body secrete the human growth hormone or HGH which helps burn fat and supports new muscle growth.
    • The best times to take glutamine are pre- and post-workout and right before bed.

For more information on the benefits of glutamine visit the link below:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/glutamine.htm

  1. Protein Powder
    • Supplementing with protein powder can be beneficial if used properly.
    • Protein is used by the body to build and repair muscles and bones after times of stress.
    • Protein is an essential nutrient that is needed daily by the body.
    • If you cannot consume the adequate amount of protein needed by the body through your diet alone, supplementing with a protein powder can be very beneficial.
    • Do not assume that any and all protein powders can be used as meal replacements. Do your research. Some proteins can replace meals and others can’t. Be sure to read the labels!

There are different types of protein powders that exist to fit your goals and needs.

  • Whey Concentrate
  • Casein Protein
  • Whey Isolates
  • Hydrolysate Protein
  • Soy Protein
  • Milk Protein Isolate
  • Egg Albumin

Follow the link below to find the right protein for you!

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/protein-types-best-for-you.htm

Supplements are called supplements for a reason. They should not replace anything in your diet unless specified by a doctor. They are to be used ALONG WITH a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and oils.

The true definition of the word supplements is

“Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.”

I hope this information will help you in your future fitness and health endeavors. Honestly, fitness is all about trial and error. What works well for someone may not work well for another person. The same can be said for supplements. Some people may have great reactions to supplementing with creatine or glutamine but that doesn’t mean you will. You have to try it out and see for yourself!

What are your favorite supplements?

-mk

References

5 Types of Fat Shredding Cardio

First let me say that I am not one of those religious cardio bunnies you see sweating their life away for an hour on the treadmill. Unless you’re main goal is to shred tons of fat, and even then it’s questionable, I don’t feel like steady state cardio is as much of a necessity as weight lifting; but everyone is different. However, I do believe that various types of cardio or cardiovascular training are extremely important about 5 days a week. Cardio keeps your heart strong and healthy and also keeps your body fat down.

Below is a list of five different types of cardio and what they can do for your body!

  1. Steady State Training

treadmill

  • Involves training at the same workload OR the same speed & level for an extended period of time ranging from about 20 minutes to 60 minutes.
  • Steady state cardio is constant; there are no moments of rest.
  • Steady state cardio will burn fat AND muscle. Those of you more focused on building muscle might want to avoid steady state training.
  • An example would be jogging at speed level 7 for 30 minutes on a treadmill or using the Stairmaster at level 4 for 30 minutes.
  • This type of cardio training is great for all fitness levels especially beginners.
  1. HIIT: High Intensity Interval training (my favorite!)hiit
  • HIIT requires you to train at a high level for a short period of time followed by a relaxed recovery period.
  • The switch from a higher intensity to a lower intensity really heats things up and confuses the body.
  • This type of training is great for all fitness levels.
  • For those of you who are focused on burning fat without eating away at the muscle you have worked so hard to build, I would recommend utilizing HIIT. It allows the body to burn fat while holding on to muscle.
  • An example would be training on theStairmaster beginning at level 4 for the first 4 minutes. Bump it up 2 levels to level 6 for 2 minutes. Bump it up 2 more levels to level 8 for 2 minutes then bump it up to level 9 for the last-minute. Repeat this process 1 – 2 more times to complete the training sequence.
    • You can adjust levels/speeds to your fitness level. Beginners may start at level 3 instead of 4.
  1. Fartlek Training – My brother introduced me to this type of cardio training after he received his PT certification.

fartlek

  • Fartlek training is very similar to HIIT.
  • Traditional Fartlek training is unstructured and is performed by surging from one landmark to another.
  • It can also be structured. What I mean by that is you can train by determining what speed and time to perform at; basically creating a routine.
  • This type of training is very demanding, therefore is recommended for people who are experienced with running and fitness.
  • For more information on Fartlek training and sample Fartlek training workouts click the link below.

http://running.competitor.com/2012/03/training/workout-of-the-week-fartlek-session_49932

  1. Circuit Training or Super Circuit Trainingdeadlift
  • Traditional circuit training involves rotating through pre-determined exercises for a certain amount of time or rounds.
  • Super Circuit Training is aerobic training that involves a combination of anaerobic exercises like resistance training with short periods of cardio.
  • An example of this would be to perform 3 minutes on the treadmill followed by 1 minute of squats then immediately performing 3 minutes on the elliptical followed by 1 minute of leg presses, so on and so forth.
  • This type of training is perfect for those of you trying to squeeze maximum training into a short period of time.
  • Super Circuit training is also great for those of you competing in anesthetic competitions like body building. It allows you to burn the fat without wasting precious muscle mass.
  1. Cross Trainingcrosstraining
  • When I do decide to train cardio, I am a huge fan of cross training. I get bored easily so I like to switch it up to keep my motivation high.
  • Cross training is simply switching from different cardio machines remaining on one machine for a certain amount of time and then switching to another for a certain amount of time.
  • An example of this type of training would be performing 10 minutes on the treadmill, switch to 10 minutes on the arc trainer, and then 10 minutes on the stationary bike.
  • You can also choose to switch machines each day: stationary bike one day, treadmill the next day, etc.

Frequency, Duration, & Intensity

  • 3 – 5 sessions a week is recommended
  • 20 – 60 minute sessions
  • 55% – 90% of your max heart rate

These numbers can change. We aren’t robots therefore we are not all the same and do not require the same times, intensities, and frequencies. Consult with your doctor or personal trainer to determine what your body needs.

Not one type of cardio is better than the other though each one yields very different results. When determining which type of cardio training is best for you I recommend utilizing one that you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy cardio at all HIIT or Super Circuit Training might be right up your ally. If you are a book-worm and don’t mind reading while doing steady state cardio then by all means give it a whirl!

You need to find the type of physical activity you enjoy doing to keep your body and mind as healthy as possible. If you don’t enjoy it, do you think you’ll be motivated to do it 3 – 5 times a week? My guess is probably not; I wouldn’t.

Be healthy. Be happy.

-mk

Does fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship?

I am putting together some ideas for a future blog post and I need YOUR help. I have actually seen a couple posts about relationships and fitness but I really wanted to find out for myself from all of you!

Here is my question:

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  • Does health and/or fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship? Whether it is yes or no, can you explain why?

Fitness and health play huge roles in my relationship. My boyfriend Joey trains in Jiu Jitsu about 4 – 5 days a week. I weight-lift about the same amount of days. We both encourage and motivate each-other to work hard doing what we enjoy. He is okay with the time I take to weight-lift and I am okay with the time he takes to train. Two people in a relationship should be able to take time to do what they enjoy even if it involves being apart. Don’t get me wrong we workout together too! 😉

Please comment and leave me your thoughts and opinions. Your comments will help me write my next blog post on Fitness and how it impacts relationships!

-mk

Diet or Exercise – Which one is more important? – Part. 2

Dieting-vs.-Exercising-Which-Works-More-For-Weight-Loss

Not only is nutrition vital in living a healthy lifestyle but so is exercise. Exercise should be as much of a necessity as good nutrition for many reasons. One of the most important is that it helps to treat and prevent bone diseases like Osteoporosis.

Exercise also helps build and improve:

  • Muscle strength
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Overall health

Exercise is my absolute favorite part of my day! It’s all I think about when I am at work all the way up until I walk through my gym’s doors. But not everyone enjoys exercise like I do. Below are a few statistics I found on www.fitness.gov about Americans and exercise:

  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
  • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.
  • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer).

http://www.fitness.gov/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/

I don’t know about you, but I am appalled! I am pretty sure I scared my mother with the sound my jaw made when it hit the ground (okay, not really, but it was a pretty good visual!) I can and can’t believe the percentage of adults that participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day: 5%! That’s it?!

Did you know that by participating in 30 minutes of cardio vascular training and weightlifting you can:

  • Help prevent heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #5 killer of Americans.
  • Achieve greater peak bone mass
    • Bone is living tissue, like muscle, that gets stronger as a result of being put under pressure. Bone mass typically peaks in the third decade of life. After this time, bone deteriorates
    • The best exercise for building strong bones is the weight-bearing kind (i.e. weight lifting, hiking, jogging, tennis, and dancing). Swimming and bicycling are not weight-bearing forms of exercise although they are great for cardiovascular training.
    • Improve balance, coordination, and muscle strength.

Remember: always consult your doctor before starting any form of training, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart issues, diabetes or obesity.

A great example as to why diet and exercise go hand in hand is bone diseases like Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the deterioration of the bones where they become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help prevent and/or manage osteoporosis. Also, regular physical activity strengthens the bone as a result of being put under pressure (weight bearing exercise).

Nutrition alone cannot help prevent and manage bone disease and vice versa. Both exercise and nutrition are needed. Physically active people hold calcium in their bones, while sedentary people tend to lose calcium. Weight bearing exercises are recommended for people at any age.

As you can see both exercise and nutrition are needed to successfully help prevent and manage not only Osteoporosis but your over-all health.

Now that you know why you should exercise, maybe you don’t know where to start. Below are some recommendations I came up with to help you get started:

  • Join a gym: A sense of community can be very motivating.
  • Get an accountability partner: It’s easier to stay motivated when you are held accountable.
  • Do your own research: There are various kinds of exercise tutorials all over the internet. Check out bodybuilding.com, you-tube, and instagram for help with learning new exercises or diet tips.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/training.html

https://www.youtube.com/

https://instagram.com/fitlife.mk/

  • Begin with a personal trainer. Personal trainers can be a huge help or can be a huge disaster. Be picky in choosing who you work with, and trust your gut. If you are not comfortable with the way he/she trains, ask for someone else. Do not ever put your well being on the line. You can learn a lot from personal trainers. If you start out training with a personal trainer for a few months, chances are you will learn some knowledge that will give a foundation to build upon and get you started on your own. For example, I started training with my brother. He was certified at the time and knew much more than I did. That was three years ago. Now, I workout on my own. I do my own research and put together my own workouts.
  • Utilize Technology: we live in a very technologically advanced world. Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track nutrition and exercise. You can also use fitness bracelets like FitBit. The only warning I give with utilizing apps and bracelets is that they should not be the sole form of tracking your physical activity/nutrition. They should be supplemental, or used along with tracking your fitness manually. They are not 100% accurate and are likely to malfunction at any time (psh, technology, right?).
  • Keep a fitness journal: This was another thing I used to get started in fitness. All you need is a blank notebook and a pen. Jot down the date and what muscle group you are training. Underneath this you simply write down the exercises you want to do along with how many sets and repetitions. Also, write down the weight you did for each exercise. The reason for this is so that you have something you can refer back to in the future. In order to get stronger you have to move up in weight. Having a visual record helps you judge how much to bump up your weight.

Below is an example of how you would write out your routine:

6/9/15 – Back and Bis

  1. Lat Pull Down – 10 x 4 (10 repetitions for 4 sets) – 50lbs (the weight you used)
  2. Barbell Row – 10 x 4 – 45lbs
  3. Close Grip Row – 10 x 4 – 40lbs
  4. Pull-ups – 10 x 4 – body weight

Nutrition and exercise are vital to living a healthy lifestyle. I truly believe you cannot have one without the other unless you are a person with disabilities that hinder you from participating in physical exercise like people who are paralyzed. In this situation, nutrition would be most important.

If living a healthy lifestyle is a goal of yours or if you are looking to turn your life around only YOU can make that decision. Only YOU can take that first step. No one is going to do it for you. It will be hard, it will be frustrating. You will have days where you want to give up, but guess what? You will have many more days of feeling successful; Days where the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it. The overwhelming feeling of accomplishment truly trumps the feeling of failure.

It’s time to make your move towards living a healthy life!

Follow my blog to help inspire and motivate you towards living a FitLife.

-mk

Diet or Exercise – Which one is more important? Part. 1

Part 1: Diet or Exercise – Which one is more important?

For the past couple of days I have been posing this question to my friends on Facebook, my followers on Instagram and on Twitter and the responses have been amazing!

So, which one is more important?

I found that choosing one or the other can be very situational.

One blogger commented that,

“They are both important. But it depends on what either of them can and will do for someone. Are either for weight loss, disease prevention, diagnosis corrections, build of stamina, preparation of a marathon, walk increase. One may be more important than the other depending on the situation.”

Determining what your goals are is essential to figuring out where you should start and what you should focus on first. If you are working on weight loss many might say to focus on your diet first and later down the road exercise will come into play. Some would also say to focus on diet MAINLY along with a light fitness regimen.

Another blogger posted that,

Wellness is achieved through a balance of many elements. Nutrition and exercise are two of the most important factors in determining your health status. As a registered nurse, I educate patients on both topics. In terms of preventative health, lifestyle modifications like diet and exercise are a great defense against chronic illness. There is a direct correlation between diet/exercise and risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and many other debilitating illnesses. Diet is more crucial for my patient population because they are paralyzed and do not have the luxury of physical activity.”

Did you catch that?

Her patient population consists of people who are paralyzed. Do you think they have the luxury of exercise? Certainly not, diet is most important to keep their bodies as healthy as possible.

Almost all of the responses I received were in agreement with both of them (diet and exercise) being equally important as a whole, but when it came down to choosing one or the other nutrition took center stage.

What is considered good nutrition?

According to the National Food Service Management Institute, “good nutrition means getting the calories we need for energy and the nutrients we need for proper growth.” They also state that, “Variety, balance, and moderation are keys to good nutrition”. If we look at those three keys to good nutrition how many of us can honestly say that we pick the foods we eat because we need the nutrients it gives us? My guess would be not too many. We pick the foods we eat

because it’s what we like, it’s what we crave, out of habit, or addiction. Good nutrition can be achieved after we have educated ourselves on what foods give our body what it needs.

The link below lists types of foods and lists specific nutrients they offer!

http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

Here are some pointers in achieving variety, balance, and moderation:rainbownutrition

  • Variety
  • An easy way to obtain variety in your diet is to make sure you’re meals include an array of different colors, much like a rainbow!
  • Balance
  •     Fruit and vegetables should make up half of your plate shown in picture B. The remaining half should be split between protein choice and starchy/whole grains choice.divided_plate_630
  •     Learn how to calculate the calories you need daily. The link below can help you figure out the total calories you need daily for your size and also show you how to calculate the calories you need to lose weight.

http://www.eatingwell.com/diet_nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_reports_information/3_easy_ways_to_balance_your_di?page=2

  • Moderation

I know you have heard time and time again, “Moderation is key” Well, it is!

  • Moderation is the control or the regulation of food intake WITHOUT depriving yourself of the foods you love.

This is key when it comes to good nutrition or dieting.

Utilizing moderation in your diet does NOT mean depriving your body of the foods you crave or enjoy.

For instance, I LOVE chocolate chip cookies but does that mean I am going to sit down and eat the whole container? No. One or two cookies will suffice! This can also be applied to alcohol consumption. Ladies, I know we love our wine but does that mean we have to drink the whole bottle? No. Moderation is key. One or two glasses are all we truly need unless your ultimate goal is to get plastered … (yikes!)

Moderation also means “changing it up”.

Consuming the same foods in excess can cause major health issues. Some nutrients may accumulate to toxic amounts, which can lead to serious disease. For example, too much vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects.

By “changing it up” we can lower toxic levels in our body. Instead of eating a banana every single morning try eating an apple one day, a banana the next, and maybe berries another day. This gives us a variety of different vitamins and minerals and not too much of the same vitamin or mineral.

What can good nutrition do for you?

No one can deny that good nutrition has unlimited health benefits. Good nutrition is essential for our bodies to operate optimally for a lifetime. Medical online states it perfectly,

“…the benefits of good nutrition can be found in physical and mental health because a healthy diet provides energy, promotes good sleep, and gives the body what it needs to stay healthy.”

Here is a list of health benefits good nutrition offers (just a few):

  • Healthy heart
  • Strong bones
  • Higher energy levels
  • Better weight control
  • Positive brain health
  • May reduce the risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Help decrease bone loss

Above are some of the most important aspects of good nutrition. We can all agree that these are just a few examples among the thousands of ways to achieve good nutrition. Eating whole foods and drinking lots of water is the best way to maintain a healthy body. Try staying away from any beverages and snacks high in artificial ingredients and artificial sweeteners (splenda, equal, sweet ‘n’ low, etc.). Be sure to utilize the three keys to good nutrition: variety, balance, and moderation. Also, try to “eat a rainbow a day”; this simply means to choose colorful foods. These are just a few easy ways that will help you switch from an unhealthy diet to a nutrient dense, healthy diet.

If your ultimate goal is to live a healthy lifestyle nutrition alone won’t give that to you.

You have to be willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears in the gym!

I know, I know … it’s hard and it hurts. Well, look at it this way, if it was easy every person in the world would be doing it! Nutrition and exercise truly go hand in hand. They’re “two peas in a pod”, “two halves to a whole”, or even your “yin and yang”; you truly cannot have one without the other unless you have a physical impairment hindering you from moving your body. Physical exercise should be as much of a necessity as breathing!

Let me paint a picture for you.

You don’t exercise nor do you like to. You believe that you are a healthy individual because you “never” get sick during flu season. You consider yourself a pretty healthy person even though that long walk from your car to your office or climbing a couple of flights of stairs makes you feel like you just ran a marathon! You’re pretty convinced that you just don’t NEED to exercise because you “never” get sick.

What happens as you age and maintain this sedentary lifestyle?

Your heart grows weak and heavy; it isn’t strong enough to pump the blood your body needs to move effortlessly. Heavy breathing ensues not just when you walk up a flight of stairs but the slightest physical exertion standing up out of a chair can throw you into a breathing frenzy! Your muscles slowly waste away not only as a result of aging but as a result of inactivity making you prone to injury. You also develop osteoporosis in your bones making them very brittle, frail, and very susceptible to fractures or injury.

Before you know it, you’re either bed ridden or ordered to be in a wheel chair for the remainder of your life all because you decided not to designate only 30 minutes a day to exercise.

Here is an amazing fact:

Just 30 minutes of cardio and weight lifting each day can have an amazing effect on your bones when they…

6.9.2015 – Part.2 of Diet or Exercise – Which is more important?

meagan kunisch

Budgeting for my 12 week prep

So over the past few weeks I have been researching information on show costs for participating in a competition. Holy cow! It is expensive, but I already knew that going into the research. I am determined to save, save, save and save up to be able to afford the costs for my show. There is a lot you have to take into consideration. I will post the prices when I begin prepping to show you how it all adds up. $$$

– federation membership fee

– federation card

– tan, makeup, hair, and nails

– bikini

– heels

– jewelry

– food and supplement costs

– Posing classes

– Trainer

Are you starting to get the picture? I have been asking myself, “How on earth is a 24 year old server going to be able to come up with the money that is required to participate in a show?” The answer to that is … I honestly don’t know. I am going to take it one day at a time and will do what I must to make it happen. I have a plan but it wont be easy and I will have to work very hard to achieve this goal. Nothing worth having comes easy and I am prepared to put in the hours of blood, sweat, and tears that it takes to be successful.

I would love some feedback from those of you who have participated in a show and have personally experienced the prep process physically and financially. I always welcome and appreciate advice!

M.

hardworkabs