Categories
fitness Holiday Fast Track Uncategorized

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LOSE MUSCLE?

While not ideal, many of us have to pause our workout routines from time to time. Whether you’re stressed, sick, injured, going on a holiday vacation or just need a break, there are plenty of reasons to take time off from exercise.

But, no matter how badly you need the break, you may worry about losing all your hard-earned muscle before you’re ready to start training again.

72 HOURS …

If you don’t train at all, you may start losing muscle mass after 72 hours, says Michele Olson, PhD, a professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. Even your heart, which is also a muscle, will show a decrease in the amount of blood it can pump per beat after 72 hours off from exercise.

You’ll notice the effects on your heart a lot sooner than your biceps or quads. “If you work out on Monday and miss three days, returning to a workout on Friday, you will feel a bit more breathless than typical, because less oxygenated blood is being sent out from the heart per beat,” Olson says. “It’s not training-breaking, but it can be noticeable.”

Although you start losing muscle mass after 72 hours, you probably won’t notice any losses until you’ve gone 3–4 weeks without training. One small study found that trained men could take three weeks off from exercise without any noticeable muscle loss.

FACTORS RELATED TO LOSING MUSCLE MASS

However, there are a few factors that determine how quickly you lose muscle mass, including:

HOW LONG (AND CONSISTENTLY) YOU’VE BEEN TRAINING

The longer you’ve been lifting, and the more muscle you have, the better off you’ll be if you decide — or have — to pause your routine. “If you’re fit with developed muscles, you will still have a baseline of muscle that others will not have after a period of inactivity,” Olson says.

YOUR DIET

Adequate protein, in particular, is key for building and maintaining muscle mass. If you skimp on it, your body won’t have enough amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to keep up with the constant breakdown and rebuilding of cells (muscle, red blood, hormones, etc.) that goes on all day, every day. Eventually, your body pulls from your muscle stores to get the amino acids it needs to keep your other cells and tissues functioning. The result? Muscle loss.

For example, in one stud, sedentary to moderately active elderly women who ate a low-protein diet (1.47 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day) lost roughly 14% of their muscle mass after nine weeks. (However, it’s worth noting this amount of protein falls within the range of 1.2–2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day recommended for older adults.)

So, even if you’re not training, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein to prevent muscle loss.

Protein needs vary from one person to the next, but as a general guideline, the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests active people aim for an overall daily protein intake between 1.4–2 grams per kilogram of body weight (older adults may need to aim for the higher end of the spectrum). To put that in numbers, a 150-pound active person needs roughly 95–136 grams of protein per day.

YOUR CHRONOLOGICAL AGE

Many age-related changes can make it harder to build and hold onto muscle. One of those changes relates to the nervous system.

As we age, we begin to lose motor neurons. Studies suggest there’s a drastic decrease between ages 60–70. Motor neurons transmit impulses from the spinal cord that tell our muscles to contract. When you lose motor neurons, it becomes harder to recruit muscle fibers, Olson says. If you can’t recruit muscle fibers, the fibers won’t break down and rebuild to grow back bigger and stronger.

Strength training can help reverse these changes to the nervous system — and other age-related changes — but once you stop training, the benefits gradually disappear.

YOUR SEX

Males have a slight advantage when it comes to muscle. “Men have more natural testosterone, which is anabolic to muscle tissue development and maintenance,” Olson says. (Anabolic refers to the process of building larger molecules out of smaller molecules, like building protein out of amino acids.)

THE BOTTOM LINE

How quickly you’ll lose muscle once you stop training depends on different factors, but in general, you’ll notice losses in 3–4 weeks.

If you have to cut back on exercise for whatever reason, and you don’t want to lose any hard-earned muscle, you may be able to get away with doing only two strength workouts per week, according to Olson. Target every major muscle group (back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves), and do at least 1–2 sets of 8–12 reps per exercise.

But even if you can’t — or don’t want to — train for a few weeks, you won’t have to go back to square one once you restart your routine. So long as you’ve been training consistently up until your break, you should be able to rebuild muscle and strength fairly quickly.

 Source: BY LAUREN BEDOSKY OCTOBER 7, 2020 

Categories
fitness Food & Nutrition Holiday Fast Track

8 Food That Are Surprisingly Good For Weight Loss

Click the link below to listen to my Podcast, Fat and Figuring It Out:

Losing weight doesn’t always have to be about deprivation and denial. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Successful, sustainable weight loss is far more attainable when you focus on the quality of food rather than the quantity. Eat wholesome, nutritious, (and even calorie-filled) foods and you’ll be far more satisfied and content on less. Many of the foods people think are off-limits when it comes to losing weight are the very foods that have the ability to actually help us reach our goal. Here are eight foods that cannot only help you reach your weight-loss goal, but help you keep it off for good.

Drink skim and stay slim? Not always so when it comes to dairy. A recent study published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that more than 18,000 women who consumed more higher-fat and whole-milk dairy products had a lower risk of being overweight

How can this be? Some essential fatty acids are stripped when milk is skimmed — the very component that may help you feel fuller sooner and stay full longer with full fat products. Several studies have found that when people reduce the amount of fat in their diet, they tend to replace it with sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can have a worse effect on overall health.

Bottom line: Eat a variety of dairy and worry less about how much fat it contains. Limit high-sugar ice cream treats, and buy plain yogurt with no added sugars, which tend to pile up in the flavored and fruited varieties.

In addition to healthy fats, nut butters contain an impressive amount of protein and fiber, too. Peanut butter boasts a plentiful 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons along with 2 grams of fiber. 

A study from Harvard School of Public Health found that regular nut consumption among a group of more than 51,000 women was associated with a lower risk of weight gain and obesity. A similar study in the Journal of Nutrition found that weight changed very little among people who consumed a normal versus nut-enhanced diet. In other words: Nuts and nut butters can be a healthy addition to your diet, even when trying to lose weight. Try snacking on nut butters in between meals to sustain your appetite. A 200-calorie cashew or peanut butter snack is far more satisfying and filling than say, 200 calories of crackers or pretzels.



Shopping tip: Skip the reduced-fat versions, which ironically tend to have more calories, sugar, sodium and preservatives than regular nut butter. Buy those that list nuts — and maybe a bit of salt — in the ingredient list, and use them as a way to eat more whole grains, fruits, and veggies. What’s not to love about an apple smeared in almond butter? 

Pasta is surprisingly low on the glycemic index — a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100, based on how quickly they raise blood-sugar levels. The lower the number, the longer it takes to digest, leaving you with a steadier source of fuel to support energy levels. Whole-grain pasta falls in the 32–37 range (about half that of white bread), while white pasta averages in the mid-40 range — still much lower than that slice of white bread. And because pasta is traditionally tossed with other wholesome foods like seafood, vegetables and olive oil, a healthy pasta meal is far from off-limits for those concerned about their weight. 

Pro tip: Stick to whole-grain varieties, double up on veggies and skip the super cheesy, cream-based sauces.

Rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals, eggs are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense choice when it comes to snacks and meals. At just 70 calories per egg, there’s no reason not to enjoy the entire egg, yolk and white combined. Yes, egg yolks are a source of dietary cholesterol, but recent studies now prove that dietary cholesterol has less of an effect on blood cholesterol than we once thought. The evidence says eating whole eggs in moderation is safe, and some studies even show they may aid in weight loss when eaten in place of refined carbs. 



Bonus: Eggs are super cheap and cook quickly — a perfect solution for busy, time-crunched mornings. Cook your eggs in olive oil and use them as a vessel for sautéed greens and vegetables, then serve them over whole-grain toast for a complete, well-balanced, weight-conscious meal. 

What most people fail to realize is that per ounce, dark meat chicken or turkey (from the leg and thigh) only has about 5 extra calories and 1g of fat more than white breast meat. The skin is where most of the fat lies — skip that on any part of the bird for a far more calorie-conscious choice. Dark meat poultry tends to be more tender, juicy and rich in flavor than white meat — requiring not only less butter and oil to cook with, but also less sauce or creamy condiments to make it palatable than breast meat. It’s a great source of lean protein that may leave you more satisfied at meal time, and less likely to overeat later. 

Dark meat contains more myoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein that gives it a gray-reddish color, as well as more iron and zinc — two immune-boosting minerals.


READ MORE > 4 SIGNS YOU’RE EATING TOO LITTLE WHEN TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT


Portion tip: Thighs are about half the size of the breast, making them a far more portion-savvy option than today’s 9- and 10-ounce breast halves. Double bonus: They’re cheaper, too.

When it comes to weight loss, limiting liquid calories can be the key to success. Alcohol carries 7 calories per gram, which not only adds up quickly, but goes down quickly, too. But giving up our occasional cocktail at the end of a long day is non-negotiable for some. 

Red wine may be more beneficial than white, according to one study from Washington State University, which found the polyphenols in red wine (including resveratrol) may even prevent obesity by aiding in metabolism. The heftiest boost of polyphenols comes from whole grapes, but wine certainly carries a portion of those benefits. 


READ MORE > THIS IS WHAT A SERVING OF WINE ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE


Bottom line: Alcoholic beverages won’t necessarily aid in weight loss, but they do help us relax and wind down from stressful days. In moderation, alcohol is good for the heart, too. Drink responsibly (not on an empty stomach), limit your intake and choose a 120-calorie glass of wine over sugar-loaded cocktails and carbohydrate-dense beer for better weight-loss success.

Your daily cup of joe may do more than just help you roll out of bed each morning. It stimulates the brain and nervous system, and contains antioxidants that may help improve glucose metabolism — which not only helps suppress the appetite, but also lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Caffeinated coffee may also stimulate thermogenesis, and the body’s ability to burn more fat stores, improving performance in endurance exercises like running and biking. 

While the effects of coffee on weight loss are likely minimal, the overall health benefits are reason enough to enjoy a cup or two each morning as part of your daily routine. A 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 studies found those who drank their morning cups of coffee were actually at the lowest risk for heart problems

A cup of advice: Not all coffee is created equal — most of the benefits associated with coffee are singular to black coffee — not the cream and sugar-filled coffee beverages from drive-thrus and coffee boutiques. Limit the flavored (and over-priced) lattes to a rare treat.

Just one or two bites of rich, satisfying chocolate can not only reduce stress levels, but help curb cravings for other sugar-loaded treats, too. High stress levels can lead to cortisol hormone spikes, which increase the appetite and emotional eating behaviors. 

The benefits of chocolate are specific to the concentration of cocoa flavonoids, which have been shown in studies to have multiple health benefits, such as improving blood flow to the brain and reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, blood sugar and blood pressure. The higher the percentage of cacao, the greater the benefits. 

Buying tip: Skip the convenience store and check-out lane chocolate bars, which contain a lot of added fats and sugars — which can counteract some of cocoa’s health benefits. Look for bars with at least 70% cacao or higher, with a short, simple ingredient list … and indulge in just an ounce or two. Eating too much will work against you.

Source: BY SIDNEY FRY, MS, RD

Categories
Food & Nutrition Holiday Fast Track Humor Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement

How to eat healthy while still enjoying graduation party season

graduation gif 2.gif

 With the end of the year and warmer weather comes celebration. And celebration often means delicious, decadent food and lots of it. Whether it be at a graduation party, family reunion or backyard barbecue with friends, there always seems to be a scrumptious spread calling your name. And let’s not forget the dessert table.
Overindulging at one celebration might not be so bad, but what happens when you have three parties to attend in one weekend? Before you know it, you’ll find yourself feeling tired, bloated and a perhaps a few pounds heavier—just in time for swimsuit season.

So how can you keep your body happy and healthy without missing the fun that summer celebrations bring? Read on for nine tips on how to enjoy parties while still keeping your health in mind.

1. Eat before you go.

Heading out to a graduation soiree where you know there will be killer desserts? Try eating a light, healthy meal before you go. You won’t be hungry for the main event like fatty fried chicken and instead will have room for that slice of cake. Even the smallest snack can help when it comes to having control over the buffet table. Just remember, no matter what you do, don’t go to a party starving. You’re likely to enter a “see-all-eat-all” mentality and go overboard.

2. Bring a healthy dish to pass.

By bringing a dish to pass, you’ll at least know there will be one healthy option to eat. Serve yourself a portion of your healthy contribution and supplement it with smaller portions of a few more indulgent items. Not only can you keep your diet in check, but you’ll also enable others to enjoy a lighter option.

3. Taste test.

The first time you visit the food spread, take a little bit of everything you want to try. Give it all a taste and decide on your favorites. Then go back and dish up what you know you will truly enjoy. This will prevent you from eating foods that are just so-so to your taste buds but are also high in calories and fat.

4. Distract yourself.

After trip one to the dessert table, walk away. Don’t stand or sit near it, as this can increase the temptation to make a return trip. Instead, offer to help the host out with dishes, take a break from the party to walk around the park or venture to the backyard to check out what else might be going on.

5. Be active.

graduation gif

After eating, don’t just sit around. Instead, get up and join in that slow-pitch softball game, round of cornhole or sand volleyball match. You might even burn enough calories to warrant an extra piece of cake!

6. Be mindful of your beverages.

Sure, nothing says it’s a party like a cold Spotted Cow or a fruity margarita. And by “a,” I mean one. Calories from beverages — whether it be from beer, mixed drinks, lemonade, punch or soda — can add up fast. Guzzle down two cans of Coke and you’ve just consumed 280 calories and nearly 80 grams of sugars. That’s about 20 teaspoons! Bottom line: it’s just as important to choose your beverages carefully as it is to choose your eats. Stick to one beverage of choice and then switch to water, diet soda or unsweetened tea.

7. Pack along a piece of gum.

After you’ve finished your first plate, whip out this little lifesaver. Choose a minty flavor to curb any cravings for another piece of chocolate cheesecake and to help take your mind off of food.

8. Balance your plate.

Just as you would for a typical dinner around the table at home, try to balance your plate. Load at least half of it with fruits and veggies, a quarter with lean protein, and the other quarter with grains. (Whole grains are best!)

9. Use a dessert plate.

Swing by the dessert table first before hitting up the food, but only to snatch a smaller, dessert-sized plate. Ditching an oversized dinner plate in favor of a smaller plate aids in portion control and will prevent you from overindulging right off the bat.

Now, I’d have to admit that part of the “party” is definitely the food, and that it’s perfectly okay to indulge every once in a while. But for all those other times, stick to these nine tips and you’ll be on your way to celebrating not only the occasion but also your commitment to a healthier lifestyle!

·

Categories
Holiday Fast Track Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement Uncategorized

Happy #MLKDay2018

MLK Day Quote pics

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.   -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

Martin Luther King Jr statue
©iStockphoto.com/Camrocker

What Do People Do?

Martin Luther King Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.

Martin Luther King Day, also known as Martin Luther King’s birthday and Martin Luther King Jr Day, is combined with other days in different states. For example, it is combined with Civil Rights Day in Arizona and New Hampshire, while it is observed together with Human Rights Day in Idaho. It is also a day that is combined with Robert E. Lee’s birthday in some states. The day is known as Wyoming Equality Day in the state of Wyoming.

Public Life

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday, but has slightly different names in some states. Non-essential Government departments are closed, as are many corporations. Some schools and colleges close but others stay open and teach their students about the life and work of Martin Luther King.

Small companies, such as grocery stores and restaurants tend to be open, although a growing number are choosing to close on this day. Some compensate by opening on Washington’s Birthday instead. Recent federal legislation encourages Americans to give some of their time on Martin Luther King Day as volunteers in citizen action groups. Public transit systems may or may not operate on their regular schedule.

Background

Martin Luther King was an important civil rights activist. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States. His most famous address was the “I Have A Dream” speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968.

In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King died, a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. It was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single “Happy Birthday” and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000. In 1990, the Wyoming legislature designated Martin Luther King Jr/Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday.

 

Categories
fitness Fitness on a Budget Holiday Fast Track Humor Uncategorized Workout Wednesday

How To Get Motivated To Workout:

workout1

Over 40% of women say that the reason they aren’t as fit and healthy as they would like is because of a lack of motivation. Another 40% say it’s because of laziness. So, how do you beat both laziness and a lack of motivation? You keep on reading, that’s how!

Here are 5 ways to get motivated and push your laziness aside – sure to get all 80% of you fit and healthy, fast!

Ask yourself why you want to get fit. Having a clear reason for working out and getting healthy – one that matters to you! – is the best way to get motivated and stay that way. So, figure out your reason (it will be different for everyone!). Maybe you want to be healthy to live a long life for your children or perhaps you want to be able to climb the stairs without getting winded at work. So, spend time figuring out why you want to get fit and remind yourself of your reason regularly. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you or set your computer background with an image that will keep you focused. If you can keep the reason you want to be fit in the forefront of your mind, you will stay motivated to get to the gym without even thinking about it!

 

Have fun. Finding a workout you enjoy is one of the easiest ways to ensure you stay motivated (and not bored!). It’s hard to stay motivated to do something you hate, but, if you can find an exercise you love, it will be easy! Not into running in circles around a track or elliptical training? Think outside the box! Plan a dance party with friends, take in intenSati class or make a deal with yourself that you can only watch your favorite TV show while moving!

workout 2

Set realistic goals. It’s easy to lose motivation when your goals are so lofty that you feel defeated before you’ve even begun. So, let’s change that! Instead of deciding to workout every day if you haven’t been to the gym in 6 months, aim to workout just 1 day each week at first. One easy way to ensure your workout goals are manageable is to try to increase your fitness by just 10% each week by either adding 10% more time to your workouts, 10% more weight while strength training or 10% more repetitions every 7 days.

Reward yourself. Each of us are motivated by different things – for some of us, working towards a new pair of shoeswill do the trick while others may be more motivated by the dream of a vacation. Give yourself a point for each goal you achieve (maybe you keep track of the number of miles you run or the number of dance classes you attend) and, when you hit a certain number of points, splurge on something that makes you happy! Need more constant reinforcement? Set smaller goals and reward yourself more often with smaller, more manageable rewards (like a dinner out!).

workout 3.gif

Reevaluate often. If you’re starting to feel lazy, be honest with yourself (without passing judgment) and start from scratch. Reevaluate why you want to get fit and redefine your answer. Find a new workout to try, alter your goals or change your reward system.

 

Source: http://thebeautybean.com/fitness-2/how-to-get-motivated-to-workout-5-ways-to-jump-start-your-fitness-motivation

Categories
fitness Fitness on a Budget Holiday Fast Track Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement recipes

START TODAY… TRAIN WITH BK!

18118752_10100404470854482_6379308278490186857_n

Don’t wait to lose weight, start today! Train with BK!

Love yourself enough to FIGHT for your health! Your health is your wealth, invest in your future.

 

Categories
Holiday Fast Track Uncategorized

Happy Healthy Holidays!

holiday photos

Happy holiday’s from BK and the Bricks By Bk crew! Enjoy your day. 

Categories
Holiday Fast Track Uncategorized

Your 9-Step Strategy to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays

 

BY DARYA ROSE

NOVEMBER 3, 2017

 

Categories
Holiday Fast Track Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement Uncategorized

9 ways to survive the holidays when you’re alone

 (fotostorm)

The holidays can be a bittersweet time of year. On the one hand, you’ve got twinkle lights, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer galore. On the other, you’re surrounded by not-so-subtle reminders of what’s missing in your life—particularly, if you’re separated, divorced, or widowed. And even if you’re content with being single the rest of the year, the idea of not having a significant other to swap gifts with can be enough to make you question your life choices. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Single people shouldn’t look to simply survive the holidays, but rather, use the reflective time of the season to thrive,” says Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, a Manhattan-based marriage and family therapist (check out these 7 awesome benefits of being single) . “To do this, they must gently shift their view of the holidays from an externally defined time of year to an internally defined one.”

At their most basic level, he explains, Christmas represents a period of rebirth and Hanukkah a time to regain control of one’s life. By digging deep, you’ll anchor yourself in something solid and real, and in turn, connect to the essence of the season. Here’s how to get started. (Let’s stay in touch! Sign up to get FREE health, weight loss, and relationship tips delivered straight to your inbox!)

Fess up about how you feel.

When the people around you are all merry and bright and you’re, well, not, sucking it up because you’re not “supposed” to feel bad during the holidays just leads to more crappy feelings. “Acknowledging your emotions gives you the opportunity to let them go,” says Vivian Sierra, a licensed marriage and family therapist in St. Louis. By suppressing them, you’re basically allowing your life to get stuck in neutral. “Being authentic is the gateway to future healthy relationships—and ultimately, love,” she says. Translation: Take the time to put your feet up and get your bah humbug on. (These 8 tricks will beat a rotten mood in 60 seconds flat.)

Get out there, even if you don’t feel like it.

It’s natural to assume that the link between behavior and mood only goes in one direction. (Think: “I feel depressed and therefore skipped the Christmas party.”) However, it’s a 2-way street more often than we realize—you may feel depressed precisely because you’re dodging holiday invites, and in turn, not coming into contact with more positive stimuli. “Increasing pleasant and meaningful activities have been shown to have broad support for individuals who have problems with mood,” says Jason Holland, PhD, geropsychologist and assistant professor at William James College in Boston. So force yourself to put at least one party on your calendar this month. You might be surprised by how much fun you have. (And if not? Well, it’s just one party.)

Develop a plan for dealing with potential holiday triggers.

For someone who’s adjusting to post-divorce singledom or widowhood, the holidays can bring back painful memories and exacerbate feelings of loneliness, says Holland. Stay ahead of the curve by clearly defining the people, places, or things that may trigger negative thoughts or emotions during the holiday season, he suggests, then come up with a game plan for how to best manage these situations before they crop up. Example: If your late husband’s sister is a drama queen and visits always leave you feeling on edge, come up with a reason ahead of time for why you can only stay at her place for an hour. Maybe that reason is meeting up with a friend who always puts you in a good mood.

Shake up your holiday routine.

“Switching things up gives your brain a workout by encouraging new associations versus the old neural pathways,” explains Nancy Irwin, PsyD, a Los Angeles-based therapist. If you and your ex-husband had a specific holiday itinerary that you followed every year, interrupting your old patterns can help lessen the blow—even little things like preparing different foods, shopping at different stores, or watching different movies can help you miss that person less.

Be proactive.

Planning ahead is always the best way to ward off a case of the lonelies, especially during the holidays. Reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances in advance and casually ask what their plans are. Once you share that you don’t have any plans, they’re likely to invite you to join them. “It’s important to remember that when we’re lonely, we tend to underestimate how much those around us care about us and would be happy to spend the holidays together,” says A.J. Marsden, PhD, assistant professor of human services and psychology at Beacon College in Florida. If this strategy is too awkward, who says you can’t do the inviting? Plan a shindig specifically for people who don’t have plans. (Feeling lonely is as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day—but here’s how to fight it.)

Get back to your roots.

Think back to a time when the holidays gave you the warm and fuzzies—what were the rituals or traditions that you loved most? Bringing them back into your present can help you regain that spark. “Rituals induce calm and relieve stress by projecting a sense of order and control into the unpredictability of life,” says Sierra. “They provide a sense of continuity and belonging that significantly contribute to mental health.”

Reach out to long lost friends and relatives.

Just because you’re unable to spend time with certain family members or friends during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them in other ways. “Reaching out to your social connections is good for your mental and emotional health,” says Sierra. It boosts your sense of belonging, while also strengthening your social network. All it takes is a festive text message, a funny Facebook post, or an old-school Christmas card to let someone know you care, which boosts their overall wellness too. It’s a win-win. (Just make sure you’re not breaking one of these 14 Facebook etiquette rules that will get you unfriended fast.)

Do some good.

It can be frightening to see the dark places your mind can wander to when given the opportunity. “Too much time on one’s hands can be dangerous,” says Hokemeyer. “Get out of the house and into the service of others.” Finding community service opportunities is easy, and not only will providing service boost your mood and morale, but it may also foster connections with new people.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

Try not to force yourself to have a certain type of holiday experience this year, or for “things to ‘be a certain way,'” says Marsden. Keep it simple, and remember that “spending the holidays alone can be a very enjoyable experience if you make time for yourself,” she says.

One place to start: Getting some fresh air. Recent research has shown that exercise can help ease depression, especially during the holidays, notes Marsden. Plus, “exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good and spending time outdoors can help increase vitamin D, which also helps ease depression.”

By Krissy Brady

Categories
fitness Fitness on a Budget Holiday Fast Track Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement Uncategorized Workout Wednesday

The 2 Exercises That Will Keep You Fit For Life No matter the season.

Courtesy of Goh Rhy Yan/Unsplash 
By Kevin Loria If you want to live a long and healthy life, you should make sure you’re getting enough exercise.

It will keep your brain healthy and can add years to your life. Researchers have found that many fit older adults have the muscles and bones of people years — even decades — younger.

And any exercise is good for you, whether you go for a quick swim or jog or even if you are just walking to the store instead of driving.

If you are doing any or all of that, great.

But while a basic minimum amount of exercise does have huge benefits, there are still potentially even greater benefits from doing more.

If you really want to stay strong even as you age and your body starts to decline, there are two exercises that are essential, Dr. Michael Joyner, a physician and Mayo Clinic researcher who is one of the world’s top experts on fitness and human performance, tells Business Insider. And you can do both year-round, no matter how cold or hot it is outside.

But these aren’t easy: burpees and jumping rope. (He recommends trying a weighted jump rope.)

jump rope fitness exercise workoutShutterstock/Dragon Images

Why burpees and jumping rope?

No matter what, your body starts to lose strength as you age. Most people reach their strength peak around age 25, and some research shows marathon runners tend to be fastest at 28, though, of course, this is going to vary from person to person. If you started strength-training after 25 and hadn’t before, your peak would come later.

But if you want to truly stay fit, you’re going to need to keep building strength to combat your body’s natural loss of muscle mass. It’s worth it to do so, and it may be the thing that keeps you young longest. As Joyner wrote for Outside Magazine, “study after study is showing that simple tests of physical performance are highly predictive of future mortality.” To achieve peak physical performance at any age, you need to go beyond endurance to build strength.

You can build strength in a lot of ways — lifting weights and adding intervals to endurance workouts both work. But these two workouts will build both your endurance and your strength, all at once.

“On hard days, I’ll sometimes alternate a minute of burpees with sets using a weighted jump rope,” Joyner tells us.

Ouch.

How to do these workouts

Trainers love to recommend burpees, simply because they’re hard to beat in terms of single exercises that will work your whole body. Instagram-famous fitness trainer Kayla Itsines recently said a burpee with a push-up would be the exercise she’d choose “if she had to pick one” for a full-body workout; and if you want a real crazy challenge, you could try trainer Bobby Maximus’ “prison burpee” workout that he uses to challenge Special Forces soldiers.

But it’s worth starting slow with burpees just to make sure you get the form right. If you start standing, you’ll then squat down until you can put your hands on the ground. Kick back into plank position, do a push-up, then kick your legs back into your squat position. Then jump.

Here’s a GIF to show you how it works, from this YouTube video by ScottHermanFitness:

https://giphy.com/embed/26BoCv5aP72ixM3ja

via GIPHY

This video by XHIT Daily on YouTube is also useful, showing burpees done with a wider stance, which can be more stable for someone not accustomed to the exercise.

Jumping rope with a weighted rope is a more straightforward exercise, but the challenge is no joke. You can find a variety of recommended workouts, but generally (once you get up to speed), you’ll want to do a series of sets, perhaps alternating with another exercise. If you’re feeling tough, you can try alternating with burpees, like Joyner.

Just remember this, though: These workouts are going to be hard. It’s great to push yourself, and there’s plenty of research showing strong benefits for vigorous exercise. But it takes time to build up to these kinds of exercises (and practice to get them right), and you should talk to your doctor first if you’re worried you might injure yourself.

Anyone who wants to attempts these intense workouts also needs to remember to rest. Most trainers recommend alternating between hard days and easy days.

“Make your hard days hard and your easy days easy,” says Joyner. “Control your pace or it will control you.”

This post originally appeared on businessinsider.com.

Source:

%d bloggers like this: