Relax, Refresh, Recharge

Have you ever felt guilty for taking a rest day? If you have, this is a reminder that 1. It is okay and 2. sometimes your body needs it, especially for those of you who do a lot of weight training. 

Here are some of the reasons why you need to have a rest day:

  1. Muscle recovery. When we lift heavy weights, it puts stress on our muscle fibres which cause them to break down. When we then take a rest from lifting weights, these fibres recover, in turn making our muscles stronger. 
  2. Decrease in strength and performance. When we lift heavy everyday, are we actually able to give 100% in each session? The answer here is probably no. If this is the case you are probably hindering the progress that you are making, even causing a potential loss in muscle. 
  3. To prevent injury. You can run the risk of overtraining. Alongside this, it can increase your susceptibility to muscle soreness and also pose the risk of injuring yourself in the long run.
  4. To stay motivated. It’s great to have the eagerness to train on a daily basis, but if you do too much you will lose the enthusiasm for doing your workout and the quantity will outweigh the quality of the workout. It is better to train less but focus all the attention on the days that you are training.
  5. Because you can. You may have a lot to do on a particular day or you may simply just not feel like going to the gym or doing exercise. That is okay as well, because resting both physically and mentally are equally as important as one another. 

Next time you feel guilty for taking a rest day, remember the above. Making progress means having a rest. Your body will thank you for it and you will come back stronger. 


Are You Who You Want To Be?

There is so much more to life than aesthetic change. 

Many people are in the cycle of being desperate to lose weight and scared to gain wait. 

Could you actually live in the worst case scenario so that you can live your best life?

  1. No more guilt from missing a workout 
  2. Focusing on other people because you do not just care about yourself 
  3. Working to grow and be successful in all aspects of life i.e. mental health, relationships and career?

Those that are happy with themselves are the most confident people.

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

It’s Not A Race, It’s A Journey

Calorie cycling more commonly known as calorie shifting is an eating pattern that allows us to go from low calorie and high calorie periods. 

Calorie shifting enables you to eat all the foods that you want to, it is just the number of calories that you eat on certain days differ. 

Calorie cycling can help to improve our weight loss goals, feel less hungry and actually enable us to stick to our goals. 

If you did a conventional diet, it is most likely you will fail. This is because once you come off the diet, you return to your previous habits. Also, alongside this, diets actually cause a negative impact on metabolism. This occurs because your body believes that it is in a dangerous state and wants to survive and save energy.

Dieting increases our hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the hormone leptin that makes us feel fuller and satisfied. Through calorie shifting, this can reduce the negative impact on our hormones. 

One way to implement calorie cycling is to have higher calorie days each week. This could be 6 days low calorie, 1 day high calorie or 5 days low calorie, 2 days high calorie. Some may prefer to have routines. This may be to add more higher calorie days following a few weeks of lower calorie days. It all depends on how your body responds. 

If this is combined with exercise, then higher calorie days should be on the days you train more intensely and the lower calories for when you have less strenuous workouts. 

Many people do well with structure when it comes to weight loss but change is always good. The main ingredient is to choose wisely when it comes to eating extra calories. 

Hungover Are We?

Firstly, happy new year.

Secondly, after drinking last night, a fair few of us may be feeling worse for wear. For me, I find that the next day after drinking alcohol, I feel down in the dumps, so here are my tips to get you through the hangover.

  1. Avoid coffee. Coffee will make you feel more dehydrated than you already do.
  2. Drink your greens. These are essential for replacing the lost elecrtolytes from your body after all the drinking.
  3. Eat a good breakfast. The thought of stomaching food may be difficult but food is vital to getting you on the right track. Avocado and eggs on toast is one of the best as it helps to rebalance your blood sugar from the fibre in the toast and avocado contains potassium which is depleted when we drink alcohol.
  4. Have a nap. Sleep is one of the best cures for a hangover. If you don’t have the time for a nap, ensure you get an early night.
  5. Exercise. While the thought of exercising on a hangover is dreadful, actually the endorphins will make you feel positive.

The next time you have a few too many and experience a hangover, try these tips and see what a difference they make to your day.

Have Fun When You Workout And It Wont Feel Like Work

Working out can be hard so here are a few tips that I find helps to keep me going and to make the most out of the workouts that I do.

  1. Do workouts that challenge you, mentally and physically as this will keep you engaged. On top of this you will more than likely stick to the schedule.
  2. Figure out the exercise before adding weights. Form is very important when it comes to exercise as you could do some serious damage if not.
  3. Remember results don’t happen overnight. Don’t let this have a negative effect on your workouts, keep at it.
  4. Respect your body and what it can do. Be proud of what your body can achieve when it comes to exercise. By doing this you will enjoy your workout routine more.
  5. The big one- do not compare yourself to others. Every fitness journey is different. You are your own competition not anyone else.

You Give Life To What You Give Energy To.

When we need to complete tasks on a daily basis, our body requires energy.

Doing a workout has a higher input than output, making it seem like it is a lot of effort to do.

Us humans are taught that comfort is the best situation, such as chilling on your sofa with a blanket, tea, biscuits and Netflix. Sounds like the life. Now imagine a tough sweaty weights and cardio session in the gym. It sounds like a picture of health but by no means comforting.

If we want our bodies to grow and for us to become strong and fit, we need to be able to muster up the energy to place our self in this discomfort.

Exercise is known to make us feel happier and energised after finishing a workout. This is the complete opposite to when we have lazy days. After a lazy day, we feel more tired than when we actually woke up. The reason for this is that our body hasn’t used any of the energy that we have stored.  When we exercise, our body has no choice but to exert this energy which leaves us feeling fresh.

The only way we are going to better ourselves is by pushing through that workout even when you didn’t feel like it. The majority of the time, the best workouts are the ones that we didn’t want to do and the only bad workout is the one that we didn’t do.

Home Is Where I Work

Whatever you do, do it like a boss. 

With the majority of us working from home during this pandemic, it is important that we still find a routine that works for us. It takes a lot of trial and error, however it is also a time for us to discover when we work best and are most productive. 

When you have a lot of time on your hands, it is easy to think how am I supposed to get anything done, so here are my tips for working from home. 

  • I for one know that being at home is where you are comfortable with being in your pyjamas and having your hair in a messy bun and no makeup on, so you need to get up and get ready. You need to look the part as though you are actually going to work. You need to feel as though you are mentally there. 
  • Write a list of the things that you need to get done each day and estimate how long this should take. You need to be accountable for the tasks that you have to complete.
  • Go for a walk or do a workout. It is important to keep active as this will get you equipped for the rest of the day. 
  • When you have jobs to do each of these have a deeper meaning so it is important to understand the purpose of why you are completing this. Once you have deciphered this, you will be more motivated to complete your tasks. 
  • Remove distractions such as your social media. It is easy to get distracted so it is important to time block your schedule. 
  • Wind down in a way you enjoy after you finish your days’ work. Whatever that may be, by playing games, watching TV, listening to music. Shut off as you would do when you return home from work. 

Embrace this time period, learn about yourself and enable yourself to grow in a positive way.

Exercising Makes Me Happy

A thumping heart is your body’s way of saying thank you. 

Cardio seems to be everyone’s favourite activity right about now and given the current situation we are all trying to incorporate this into our daily routine. 

I want to stress how important it is that you still ensure you prioritise strength training in order to build your muscle and also to preserve muscle tissue. The other thing is if you choose to do cardio, do it at the end of your workout.

There is a perfectly logical reason for this:

The first source of energy that you will use are your glycogen stores also known as carbs. These are easy for your body to use and also, they provide energy very quickly. 

When it comes to resistance training you need to ensure that your glycogen stores are fully stocked up in order to provide us with enough energy for the sets and reps that you complete. 

Now you have finished your weight training and you have used your glycogen stores, it means that when you start cardio, your fat burning process will begin sooner than it would do if you begin your exercise with a fully stocked tank of glycogen. 

Through using your greatest energy source for your workout, it also means that you will be able to put more into the training session and it will most likely increase the post-lift caloric expenditure due to the body’s increase in a need for recovery.