Ready, Set, REST! – 10 Benefits of Resting!

Top 10 benefits of rest!

I know we usually get less than enough rest throughout the week and the stress just accumulates.

rest-timeIf you were wondering how rest could benefit you, check this out! These are some benefits of getting an adequate amount of rest!

Ready, set, rest!

  1. Optimal physical performance
  2. Feeling Relaxed
  3. Improve memory
  4. Beautiful skin
  5. Lowers Stress
  6. Higher level of energy
  7. Protects your heart
  8. Keeps you safe from depression
  9. Sharpens your creative abilities
  10. Improves decision making skills
  1. Optimal physical performance

Rest is required in order to maintain a physically fit and healthy body. Not only is rest important in the recovery process of your muscles but it also promotes a healthy immune system. In order to avoid getting sick pay attention to your body. If you have been going balls to the wall in the gym day in and day out and you’re feeling run down … maybe it’s time to take a day or two of rest AWAY from the gym.

  1. Relaxation

Rest is key in achieving feelings of relaxation. Some people might get rest or relaxation confused with other hobbies like hiking or walking. The truth of the matter is, in order to truly rest and relax you have to be still and quiet your mind. Try lying down, watching a movie, or head to the pool to soak in some vitamin D! These are also a great way to boost those feel good hormones also known as endorphins!

  1. Improve memory!

Our schedules can get a little chaotic at times and remembering everything we have to do can be damn near impossible. What if I told you that rest actually helps improve your memory! Studies show that participants who read a story and took a resting break remember more of the details than the people who did not take a rest. They also remembered the information up to a week later! So, the next time you have a lot on your mind to remember … get some rest!

  1. Beautiful Skin

We have all noticed it, the morning after a terrible nights’ sleep. You have sagging bags under your eyes and the glow your skin used to hold … well, it’s lacking its luster. “Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the look of dark circles,” says dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco. Your skin and your whole body go into repair mode while you sleep improving the look of your skin dramatically!

  1. Lowers Stress

Resting promotes a relaxing atmosphere which in turn will help lower your stress levels. By keeping still and quieting your mind you can let go of all of the negativity in your life that may be clouding your mind.

  1. Higher energy level

We all know how it feels to wake up after a terrible nights’ sleep and have that overwhelming feeling of being rundown, groggy, and sluggish, it’s horrible! Resting helps your body recover from your busy day-to-day activities and will allow your body to return to a healthy and refreshed state.

  1. Protects your heart

A lack of rest or sleep does not necessarily CAUSE heart disease or high blood pressure but it certainly increases the risk. Studies have shown that people who get less than 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night are at an increased risk of high blood pressure. Need a reason to have lazy day and rest? Protect your heart!

  1. Keeps you safe from depression

Simply put rest promotes a relaxing atmosphere. When you are relaxed you’re happy which then results in a boost of endorphins, the feel good hormone. Being happy and feeling good prevents depression and feelings of sadness! So go ahead, get a massage or watch a comedy while lounging in your pajamas.

  1. Sharpens your creative abilities

If you are a writer, like myself, you probably are aware of just how important stepping away for taking a break from your work. This goes for anyone who relies on their “creative juices” to complete a task. Writers experience what is called “writers block”. This is where we pretty much just hit a wall. We lose any ideas or thoughts that can propel us forward in completing a blog post or book. When this happens we literally HAVE to stop and put our work aside for a certain amount of time.

  1. Improves your decision-making skills

When you are well rested you are less likely to make compulsive decisions and more likely to make intelligent decisions!

Now that you have a few reasons why you should rest, go ahead! Close your eyes, catch some zZzZ’s and relax.

-mk

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5 Ways to Recharge your Workout!

Recharge your training routine with these simple changes!

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We’ve all been there. That moment you realize that you’re bored with the training routine you have been using for a month or two now. I know I have; actually I’m there quite often. It seems like my body adapts to workouts very easily so I have to keep changing it up!

I’m going to help you recharge your workout by implementing these 5 quick and easy techniques!

  1. Drop Sets
  2. Super Sets
  3. Utilize different equipment
  4. Incorporate HIIT
  5. Pre-Exhaustion
  1. Drop Sets

Drop sets are a great way to recharge your boring workout. Drop sets are sets where you start with a heavier weight and do as many reps as possible with that weight. Then, here’s the kicker, you choose a lighter weight and do as many reps as possible until you can’t complete any more (otherwise known as reaching failure).

There are a couple of ways that I have utilized drop sets in my routine. One option is completing three sets of a challenging weight and then for the fourth set, or your last set, you go up in weight or remain at the same weight; you complete as many reps of that weight as you can and then drop the weight down to a medium – light weight and rep that weight out until you hit failure. The key here is only using a drop set as your last or final set in each exercise.

Another option is utilizing drop sets every set for every exercise. This might sound daunting and trust me it is but, it is one hell of a workout!

Try it out on your next training day!

  1. Super Sets

Super sets are known as sets where you incorporate two different exercises usually opposing muscle groups (back and chest) into the same set. So, that might look like this:

  • Pull – ups / push – ups : 10×4
    • In other words, 10 pull – ups, drop off of the pull – up bar straight into 10 push – ups, repeat four times (four sets).

This will send your body into hyper drive especially if you are someone who has always trained in the traditional manner of designating each day to a certain muscle group. Adding super-sets will help confuse your body and allow more room for growth.  Who doesn’t want their muscles to grow?

  1. Vary your equipment!

This may seem pretty elementary but listen; it is pretty easy to get stuck in the same routine using the same types of equipment. I have to admit, I have to make conscious decisions to use different equipment when I train. I get stuck using dumbbells so often! I enjoy them.

So if you are like me, in love with dumbbells, try utilizing cables, barbells, or even machines. Switching up the equipment you use will help confuse your body and allow more room for your body to grow.

  1. Incorporate HIIT

Don’t shy away just yet, especially you men, yes I’m talking to you because men are less likely to get involved in any sort of cardio training (from what I’ve seen). Incorporating different plyos or HIIT techniques can be very beneficial in your training. Not only is it important for maintaining a healthy heart and blood pressure but it is a great way to shed fat AND keep the muscle you have worked so hard to build.

Try adding box jumps, weighted squat jumps, wall balls, jumping lunges, sprints, or bench jumps in between sets or create a circuit.

  1. Pre – Exhaust Exercises

These can be painful (in a good way) and you might be thinking to yourself, “Why?!” Well, the answer to that is easy … GROWTH!

So, what is pre – exhaustion? It is basically a couple of isolated lifts or movements where you can exhaust the muscle before going into your compound or heavier lifts.

For instance, the other day I trained triceps. Before I went into any of my heavier lifts, I decided to start with cable press downs with a rope. I completed two sets of what is called a pyramid set. A pyramid set is where you start with a light weight, kind of like a warm-up, complete a few reps maybe 10, then bump it up five pounds and complete a few reps maybe 8 – 10, and then you bump it up again and complete a few more reps. By this point I’m dying so I can only complete maybe 5 – 8 reps … but wait! We aren’t finished yet. After you have killed your triceps at the heaviest weight you would then drop it down back to the medium weight, complete as many as you can, and then back down the lowest weight complete a few reps and then you’re finished.

Sounds like a lot, huh? Well, it is and it hurts! But, it is a great way to get your blood pumpin’. You may not be able to go very heavy for the rest of your exercises but with form and time under tensions you should be exhausted by the end of your training session!

So go ahead, try some of these techniques in your next training day. You never know how your body will react to the change in training until you try.

-mk

T.G.I.M – One positive thought a day!

10-15-Monday-Morning-MotivationIs sacrificing the good in your day really worth that one negative thought?

Negativity is like a disease.

One thought turns into this rapidly growing, self mutilating disease that escaping from seems impossible.

Why would you let that one negative thought grow and grow inside your brain destroying your hope, motivation, and dreams?

Wouldn’t it be simpler to have at least one positive thought a day?

A positive thought that begins a chain reaction of happiness, motivation, and possibility.

I can tell you right now I would rather have positive thoughts flood my mind than allow negativity to destroy it.

It truly comes down to you; you decide how you want to feel today.

Choose happiness.

Choose possibility.

Choose positive vibes!

-mk

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T.G.I.M: Quotes of encouragement for your Monday morning!

Sometimes it’s the simple things.

I have collected a few of my favorite Pinterest encouragement quotes and I hope they can help you get motivated to start your day and week off on the right foot!

Happy Monday to you!

Enjoy!

-mk

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Which protein powder is best for you and your goals? Find out now!

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Protein is one of the most important nutrient sources for building and recovering lean muscle. In order to build lean muscle you have to supply your body with enough protein throughout the day. Protein is made up of amino acids which happen to be the building blocks of your muscles and body! There are many different brands and types of protein supplements on the market today making it difficult and confusing for beginners. Below is a list of some of the most popular proteins and what they can offer you.

Find out which protein is right for you and your fitness goals!

  1. Hydrolysate Protein
  • Most expensive protein you will find on the shelves
  • Highest quality protein
  • It is easily absorbed by the body and is easy- going on the stomach.
  • This protein would be great for people with stomach sensitivity.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout
  1. Whey Isolate
  • Not the most expensive, but still quite pricey.
  • One of the quickest absorbing proteins on the market
  • Great for low carb diets; very low/if any carbs or sugars.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout
  1. Whey Concentrate
  • Least expensive protein
  • One of the most basic forms of protein
  • Great for those of you who are just being introduced to protein supplementation/beginners
  • Some people will find that this protein source is not easily digested and may leave you feeling gassy and bloated.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout; as a snack during the day; not a preferred source at night.
  1. Casein Protein
  • Slow digesting protein; takes about 5 – 7 hours to fully digest
  • Can be used as a meal replacement to stay full throughout the day
  • A preferred source at night before bed
  • Your body enters a state of starvation while you sleep. Casein protein allows your body to absorb and utilize the nutrients throughout the night avoiding this period of starvation.
  1. Milk Protein Isolate
  • Contain both casein and whey
  • Used mostly in blended protein sources
  • Not a preferred source to be used at night
  1. Soy Protein
  • Great vegetarian source
  • Contains many beneficial nutrients like glutamine (aids in recovery), arginine (helps dilate blood vessels to help with absorption of nutrients into the muscles), and BCAA’s (aids in recovery).
  • Helps support healthy cholesterol levels
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout or anytime throughout the day
  • Not a preferred source to be used at night
  1. Tri-Blend Protein
  • A tri-blend consists of three different sources of protein.
  • Clinical Sports Labs offers an ultra premium time released protein that blends together whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and milk protein concentrate (60:40 ratio whey protein to milk protein).
  • Studies have shown that proteins blended with this ratio allow for greater results than just whey protein alone.
  • Most other proteins allow for digestion and absorption for only about an hour or so after consumption.
  • Clinical Protein by CSL offers slow absorbing and fast absorbing proteins that allow the body to take in nutrients over the course of about 3.5 hours!

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Seeing as how protein plays such a huge role in building lean muscle, getting the right amount of it is important. If your diet and lifestyle don’t allow you to consume the amount of protein you need, you might want to look into supplementing with protein shakes. They are a quick and easy way you get the nutrients you need while living your active lifestyle.

I am a huge fan of supplementing with protein because I work long hours and may go periods of time without eating. This makes it difficult to get the nutrients my body needs for recovery through my diet alone. It’s easier and time efficient to put water and protein in a shaker bottle, shake it and drink. Boom! Instant protein.

Not sure what brand to start with? Check out Clinical Sports Labs’ ultra premium tri-blend clinical protein!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-chocolate-milk-delight/

-mk

Why you should incorporate weight-training into your fitness regimen!

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There are many reasons why you should incorporate weight lifting into your fitness regimen. Weight lifting is not only beneficial when it comes to aesthetics but it also helps ward off disease, relieve stress, and blast away belly fat! You don’t have to hit the gym hard like the hulk to gain the benefits of weight lifting. By incorporating as little as 30 minutes of weight training a day you will be able to lose the weight and keep the muscle! (Something a treadmill can’t offer).

Below is a list of a few of the benefits of incorporating weight training into your fitness regimen!

  1. Constant calorie burn following training
    • For up to 36 hours after your weight training session, your metabolism remains high allowing your body to keep burning calories.

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  1. Long – term metabolic increase
    • Weight training allows for the growth of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle is what serves as a fire to burn calories and fat in the body.
    • Naturally for women it is more difficult to gain muscle where men can easily gain lean muscle mass allowing them to consume more food.
    • Lean muscle boosts your basal metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories when lying or sitting still). In other words, the more lean muscle you have on your body the higher this rate will be, resulting in a higher amount of calories to be burned over a 24 hour period.

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  1. Body Re-shaping
    • Unlike cardio training, weight training allows you to change the overall look of your body.
    • Cardio will help you lose weight but it will be a combo of a loss in fat AND muscle. You will lose weight but you will also lose the natural curves of your body.
    • Weight training allows you to melt away fat AND build upon these natural curves
    • Ladies, there is a common misconception that lifting weights, especially heavier weights, will cause you to look bulky or too muscular. This is simply not accurate because women do NOT produce enough testosterone naturally to support a large amount of muscularity.

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Conclusion:       

The health benefits differ between cardio and weight lifting. Cardio provides great cardiovascular training resulting in warding off high blood pressure, heart and cardiovascular disease. Weight lifting not only strengthens bones but allows your body to continue burning fat even after your training session. I believe a fitness regimen that makes room for both weight lifting AND cardio is the perfect plan of action.

-mk

T.G.I.M: Is the fear of failure slowing you down?

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A Letter to Failure

Dear Failure,

What if I told you that every experience I have in life,

that every sacrifice I make in life is a victory in itself?

What if I did not measure my success in life by my wins and my losses,

but by my will to persist, my triumph over slumber,

my focus to prepare, and my courage to contend.

What if I told you I win every morning I open my eyes?

Failure, you will not triumph over me because

I’m Possible.

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Confidence from within is key.

Start your day willing to do what it takes to achieve success.

Work harder than you have ever worked before.

Train longer than you have ever needed to before.

Life is a continuous learning experience regardless if you win or lose.

You have the choice to either stay down or stand back up,

The only thing standing between you and your goals is YOU. 

-mk

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