What happens to your body when you go for a walk?

If there’s just one exercise you do for the rest of your life, it should be walking. Studies show that simply adding 20 minutes of brisk walking each day can reduce the risk of mortality by 24% in people of normal weight and by 16% in people who are obese. And walking just 20 minutes a day will help you burn over 10lbs in a year!

And that’s not all!

MyFitnessPal has put together this cool little graphic to explain all of the benefits your body gets from walking.

Why I want to encourage you to be more eccentric when working out 🤪

Eccentric is often defined as:

a person of unconventional and slightly strange views or behavior.

Wow, that sounds just like me! 🤪

However, when I say that I want you to be more eccentric when working out, I don’t mean wearing crazy colors and boogieing between sets to your favorite playlist (although, please send a video if you do!) What I mean is being mindful of the eccentric component of any exercise your perform.

When you work a muscle, there are three components that can contribute. Concentric, eccentric, and isometric*. This image will help explain the three: Continue reading “Why I want to encourage you to be more eccentric when working out 🤪”

This one simple coffee hack will help me lose more than 7 lbs!

Admit it. Part of you didn’t want to click on this article because you thought “no way that can be true!” but part of you was curious anyway. Well, it’s true and it was really simple. Let me explain what I discovered.

I love my morning coffee. In fact, I will drink at least 3 cups in the morning and sometimes even 4 cups. I normally drink half-caf coffee, so it’s not a simple case of just wanting the caffeine. I love the taste.

Even during my diet and fitness overhaul, I have used full-fat half & half creamer in my coffee. Mostly because it was organic and cheap at Costco. However, that’s 40 extra calories per cup of coffee. Well, today, I finally made a change and switched to a coconut-almond creamer that has just 15 calories per serving.

25 calories saved X 3 cups X 365 (yes, I drink coffee every day) ÷ 3500 (the standard number of calories per 1lb) = 7.82 lbs lost over the next year!

Wow! Nearly 8 pounds will be lost over the next 12 months and all I did was switch coffee creamers!!!

Not only does that show you how hidden calories can quickly add up to extra pounds over a year, but there are many that you can cut or substitute and subsequently lose weight without much effort.

Take a look in your pantry. Take a look at your daily diet. What can you change? Start small and you can still see big results!

Why I’m excited that I only lost 1lb during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic

Once the 2019 holiday festivities were behind me I switched my focus and training to my March 15th goal–complete my 2nd half-marathon and crush my previous time. I trained hard, completed many runs, and was ready to line up and race. Then, 3 days before race day, the race was canceled and the state of North Carolina joined many other states in a Coronavirus/COVID-19 lockdown and keeping everyone at home.

I was devastated, but instead of quitting altogether, I adjusted my plans and worked harder than ever on my health. Over the last 3 months, I have stayed committed to my diet, exercise, and mental health plans and, after weighing in this week?

I lost 1 pound–and I’m pretty happy with that number. Here’s why…

Continue reading “Why I’m excited that I only lost 1lb during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic”

5 reasons why cross-training is for everyone, not just athletes!

cross-training-benefits

When I first started working out and getting healthy I heard the phrase “cross-training” many times, but never really looked into what it actually meant. Before I give you my own definition, here’s the official definition of cross-training:

the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport. “most serious athletes in any sport these days do some form of cross-training”

And with that definition, I never considered myself that much of an expert in any one sport so I didn’t need to worry about improving it by adding a complementary activity.

These days, I have come up with my own definition for cross-training:

adding variety to your main exercise of choice so that you don’t get bored, fatigued, or hit a plateau

Allow me to explain the benefits of cross-training for those of us that don’t aspire to become an elite athlete. Continue reading “5 reasons why cross-training is for everyone, not just athletes!”

The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist – 7 key initial steps for building a healthier you

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have already made a decision to improve your health and fitness. There’s also a good chance you’re not sure where to start.

That’s why I created The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist!

I have put together 7 key steps everyone should consider before jumping in and getting started on a path to a healthier YOU!

The Beginner's Fitness Checklist
Click to enlarge The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist

What’s your fitness goal? I’ve found it vital to have some kind of goal in mind when starting any new fitness goal. If you don’t set a goal, you won’t have something to focus on. Continue reading “The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist – 7 key initial steps for building a healthier you”

Use your mind-muscle connection for better muscle growth at the gym

mind-muscle-connection

How much weight should I use?

How many repetitions should I start with?

How many pushups should I do?

How long should I hold a plank?

Well, there are all kinds of research studies that can provide in-depth answers to those common questions, and while they are a good rule of thumb, there’s one important technique that is much more important–especially if you’re just starting out on your road to better fitness: Continue reading “Use your mind-muscle connection for better muscle growth at the gym”

Supersets are a super cool way to supersize your workouts without being super scary (super fast too!)

supersets-explained

Did I mention “super” enough in my title? 😁

What is a Superset?

OK, enough of the super silly humor, let’s get to it. A superset is basically where two different exercises are performed back-to-back. Instead of doing three sets of bench presses, with a rest between each set, THEN moving on to three sets of seated rows, with a rest between each set, you do one set of bench presses then IMMEDIATELY move on to do one set of seated rows. THEN you take a rest, before repeating.

So, instead of:

Exercise 1 – rest, Exercise 1 – rest, Exercise 1 – rest, Exercise 2 – rest, Exercise 2 – rest, Exercise 2 – rest

You do

Exercise 1, Exercise 2 – rest, Exercise 1, Exercise 2 – rest, Exercise 1, Exercise 2 – rest

Why should you use Supersets in your workouts?

Continue reading “Supersets are a super cool way to supersize your workouts without being super scary (super fast too!)”

Starting a new exercise or sport? 5 lessons I learned about being frugal

When I started tennis, I bought a cheap racquet from a big-box sporting store.

When I started running, I bought appropriate running shoes but ones that were two models older, in order to get a bargain price.

When I started mountain biking, I bought an entry-level bike that checked the boxes of what I needed but was not going to break the bank.

When I started Yoga, I bought a mat and some bricks on sale at Amazon.

When I started Pilates, I found a coupon to get a good price on clothing that was stretchy and wouldn’t keep riding up.

The first three I stuck with, the last two not so much.

Whenever you decide on a new sport, hobby, or exercise class, it can be tempting to buy the very best equipment out there, but here are 5 lessons I have learned about being frugal when starting a new workout or hobby. Continue reading “Starting a new exercise or sport? 5 lessons I learned about being frugal”