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

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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

10 Success Quotes that will Skyrocket Your Motivation!

10 Success Quotes that will Skyrocket Your Motivation!

“Inspire to Motivate”

I am a quote fanatic! They are all over my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages; not to mention all over my walls in my apartment! They inspire me and help motivate me to take on my day! It helps to see someone who has experienced life give you a piece of their wisdom; something that they learned from living their life, right?

Here is a list of the Top 10 success quotes I compiled to help inspire you! I also included some fun and unique ways for you to keep your favorite quote(s) readily available in case of emergencies! 😉

  1. “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”– Eric Thomas
  2. “The will to succeed is important but the will to prepare is just as important.” – Eric Thomas
  3. “Don’t expect anyone else to believe in your doggone dream, it’s yours!” – Eric Thomas (you can tell I love Eric Thomas quotes huh?)
  4. “The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment, to sacrifice what you are for what you will become.” – Charles Du Bos
  5. “There will never be a right time to do a great thing. You have to create that time. You have to create that opportunity.” – Eric Thomas
  6. “No one is going to hand me success. I must go out and get it myself. That’s why I’m here. To dominate. To conquer. Both the world and myself.” — Anonymous
  7. “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown
  8. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray
  9. “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”– Bill Cosby
  10. “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “ I have a favorite quote that motivates me so much but I have such a hard time remembering it.” Well, today is your lucky day! I am going to give you some unique ways for you to keep inspiration and motivation around you throughout your day!

  1. Inspirational Jewelry – Inspirational jewelry has blown up within the past few years and is something I am completely in love with! What better way to keep inspiration and motivation with you than around your neck or on your wrist; some place where you will see it daily! Small boutiques have great assortments and also online. Click the link below to find jewelry that speaks to your heart!

https://www.etsy.com/search/jewelry?q=inspirational+quote+jewelry

  1. Inspirational Wallet Cards – You can order a personalized wallet sized card that you can have with you wherever you go! This is such a great idea, especially for those of you men who aren’t really into the whole jewelry thing. These would be great small gifts for friends, family, or your significant other! Click the link below to look at inspirational wallet cards.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/riskybeads?ref=l2-shopheader-name

  1. Do – it – yourself Picture Frame Quote – I am sure you have seen something like this in department stores or home goods stores but why spend $20 on something you can make yourself at home! All you need is a printer with ink and an old picture frame. Of course if you want to get all fancy you can spend the extra few dollars and buy a new frame. Either way all you have to do is type up your favorite quote on a program like Word, Publisher, or Photoshop. Edit it however you would like (change the fonts, colors, background colors, etc.) save and print! After that all you have to do is cut it down to size, stick it in the frame and BOOM! You just made your very own picture frame quote.
  • I recommend hanging it or sitting it somewhere you will see it every morning and night like your bathroom counter or on your night stand!
  1. Set your favorite quote as your wallpaper on your cell phone, Ipad, laptop, and desktop computer! We live in an ever-growing technological world. Everywhere you turn there is a piece of technology to look at … why not add inspiration and motivation to it that will keep you on track throughout your day?
  1. Create easily accessible bookmarks on your computer that will hold any and all links to your favorite motivational and inspirational quotes! All you have to do is open your preferred search engine, for me it is Google chrome, and when you come across a link you want to save just click the star at the right hand side. It will then ask you to add to folder OR you can create a new folder. You can name it “My Inspiration” or “What Motivates Me”.

There are so many unique ways to keep yourself motivated and inspired throughout your day! Utilize some of these and you will be amazed at how your motivation sky rockets! Know someone who could use some inspiration today?

Share this post!

“We rise by lifting others.”

Meagan Kunisch

“Abs are made in the kitchen”

How many times have you heard the saying,” Abs are made in the kitchen”? I know I have heard it many times and I see it all over Instagram! It is honestly one of the truest sayings out there. No matter how hard you workout in the gym you cannot out-train a bad diet. It catches up to you eventually.

Over the past year I have been experimenting with meal prepping. I always do my best to prepare nutritious food to eat during the week when I am at my busiest. I tend to keep my meal preps very basic and I add small ingredients here and there to spice it up a bit before I eat. I always choose the following to prep:

  • Lean protein choice: chicken, salmon, turkey
    • Lean protein helps repair muscle tissue and aids in muscle growth. It also helps with the development of skin, hair, and nails.
    • Check out the following link for more information on specific protein sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/91587-four-major-sources-protein/

  • healthy carbohydrate: sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa,couscous, vegetables,etc.
    • Carbs are your body’s energy source; think of it as fuel to the fire. One of the most common misconceptions is that “carbohydrates make you fat”, this is just simply not an accurate statement! Think about it, too much of any food even healthy can cause weight gain. Carbohydrates can help you lose weight and help promote healthy weight loss. Moderation is key.
    • Check out the link below for six reasons why you should eat carbohydrates!:

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_exercise_tips/6_reasons_you_should_be_eating_carbs?page=3

  • Vegetables (a complex carb):I choose dark leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, or field greens. I also eat a lot of broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and asparagus. Even though vegetables are technically carbs because they have carbs, they still provide important vitamins and minerals that other carbs like brown rice or sweet potato may not provide.
    • Dark green, leafy vegetables are excellent source of fiber, folate, and carotenoids. They contain important vitamins and minerals that act as antioxidants in the body. Visit the link below for further information on how to choose these vegetables and how to store and prepare them:

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/fcs3/fcs3567/fcs3567.pdf

  •  Fat: I choose cooking oils such as olive oil or vegetable oil and I choose foods high in healthy fats like almonds, almond butter, avocados, etc.
    • Despite its name, fats are very important when it comes to a healthy diet. Fats are very important for energy and provide storage spots for your body’s energy. It also helps transport vitamin a, d, e, and k throughout your bloodstream and helps absorb them into your body.
    • Visit the link below for more information on fat and it’s functions in the body:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/43948-fats-important-diet/

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The picture above is from my meal prep today 🙂 I cooked quinoa for the first time. It came out bland. I am going to research some recipes to help season it up a bit. If anyone has any recipes you would like to share with me that would be so very helpful!

I also chose to cook broccoli because it is one of the easiest veggies to cook and one of my favorites!

For my protein source I almost always go with chicken. I add garlic powder, black pepper and this time I added a European Basil blend. It came out absolutely delicious and I did not need to add any salt. 🙂 I like bland/earthy flavors so you can obviously season your chicken with anything you prefer!

A couple of great low sodium or zero sodium options are:

  1. Mrs. Dash: you can get this seasoning at your local grocery store
  2. Flavor God: http://flavorgod.com/

Meal prepping doesn’t only have to be for the person who is a body builder or woman/man who is prepping for a show. Meal prepping can be applied to anyone’s weekly routine! It helps to have that food readily available when you’re tight on time. It is already prepared and cooked, just heat it up and chow down!

Happy Prepping!

M.

Destined for Greatness

Do you ever get that feeling that you’re destined for something more? That fire you feel within you burning day in and day out. Do you feel it?

The feeling that you are destined for something more than just what is; something more than the day-to-day activities that fleetingly pass us by like the wind through our fingertips. I do. I don’t feel like I was put on this earth to just wake up, work, pay bills, and partake in the small activities that keep our souls happily nourished. Now, don’t get me wrong I love my hobbies and activities I participate in but, I do feel that there is more that life has to offer than the “norm”. I do feel that I was put here to inspire and help motivate others as are so many of you! I can easily count on two hands the names of people who have come into my life and inspired me towards the healthy life I live today. I want to be that person someone turns to and says, “Thank you so much for inspiring me. You are the reason I now live a healthy life. You are the reason I was able to make a complete “180” and turn my life around.” To hear someone say those words would make my heart scream out with pure exhilaration.

I can’t wait to experience what the competition world has to offer me: the excitement, the glamour, the hard work: blood, sweat, and tears. I can’t wait to put in the hours of training and meal prepping it takes to succeed. You know why? I don’t expect anything less from myself. I know I will reach this goal of being on stage, win or lose. What sets you apart from the rest is confidence. Your self-confidence will radiate like the sun’s rays setting fires in other people’s hearts, a fire that will burn and motivate them towards achieving their own goals. I may not be strong every day but I can tell you one thing I get back up and get back at it, I don’t stop. I won’t stop until I am where I need to be, until I am where I know I should be.

So, here is my question to you:

Do you feel that you are destined for more, that you are destined for greatness? 

M.

“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”

C.S. Lewis

The differences between bikini, figure, physique, and body building divisions.

For the past few days I have been thinking hard and long about my fitness goals. Do I want to participate in athletic competitions like power lifting OR do I want to compete in an aesthetic competition like bikini, figure, physique, etc.? So far, I have decided that I want to participate in an aesthetic competition but, here is what I realized … I honestly have no clue what the differences are between the different divisions! To help me help you here is the breakdown:

Bikini – Bikini competitors are judged on the following:

  • Balance and shape
  • Physical Appearance
  • Complexion and skin tone
  • Poise
  • Overall presentation

bikiniimage

(Ashley Kaltwasser)

Figure – Figure competitors are judged on the following:

  • Small degree of muscularity with separation (no visible striations)
  • Overall muscle tone with shapely lines
  • Overall firmness
  • Not excessively lean
  • Healthy appearance

figureimage

(Erin Stern shown above. This is the division I will be prepping for and competing in!)

Physique – Physique competitors are judged on the following:

  • Overall aesthetics and look that is found in figure
  • Muscularity
  • Shape
  • Proportion
  • Muscle Tone
  • Poise
  • Beauty flow

physiqueimage

(DLB or Dana Lynn Bailey)

Bodybuilding – Bodybuilding competitors are judged on the following:

  • Judged in weight categories
  • Presentation
  • Muscular development
  • Overall assessment of symmetry

bodybuildingimage

So there ya go!

Listed above are all of the differences between each division. Here is a side by side picture that will help show you the differences.

Bikini, Figure, Physique, Bodybuilding 2

I have always been under the impression that I have a body built for bikini. I think the posing is very feminine (which I like), the suits are sexy, and there isn’t a huge demand for overall muscularity. I also like the figure division and is what I will be competing in. The division does not focus on a large degree of muscularity (which I like) but they still have an ATHLETIC/FIT appearance.

Competitions take 100% dedication. They will test not only your physical strength but your mental strength as well. You have to be consistent with both diet and workout regimen. As of right now I feel like I have been training my mind for competitions. I meal prep and I have just recently started counting my macros (fats, carbs, and proteins) so I can get a feel for it when the day comes that I begin prepping for a show. Hey! You know what they say, “You never know until you try!”

M.

“I am too positive to be doubtful. Too optimistic to be fearful. And too determined to be defeated.”