CARDIVASCULAR SYSTEM (YOUR HEART)
Do your cardiovascular system a favor; throw some blue berries and strawberries into your protein shakes regularly or just simply snack on them as is. Research performed at the University of East Anglia in England, in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, found that women who ate three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week experienced a 32% reduction in heart disease compared with those that ate berries once a month or less. The research was done on women, but guys should be able to benefit from berries too!
Healthy snaking is critical when trying to keep good eating habits, as well as keeping a busy workout routine.
Many people make smoothies as an afternoon snack. But sometimes there are other healthy options that can be a little more exciting. Here are a few to think about:
1- Peanut butter/ strawberry sandwich without the bread, of course!
2- Plain yogurt with lots of blueberries and yes...honey, for that sweet tooth! Yum!
3- Coat bananas in dark chocolate and top with your favorite nuts. Bananas are full of potassium and are very satisfying especially after an intense workout.
4- Finally, if you are like me and you prefer to stay away from sweets, try old fashioned chick pea hummus to dip your favorite vegetables (red peppers, cucumbers, baby carrots, etc.)
Keeping these healthy options on hand will help prevent yourself from falling into the trap of making poor choices.
Make sure to include healthy snacks in your next shopping list
Here is an example of a two day meal prep:
Brown rice, chicken and kale, hard boiled eggs, carrots, and raw trail mix. *Use natural, single ingredient seasonings, like garlic, onions and extra virgin olive oil.* Store in the refrigerator and eat within three days, or freeze.
Some things to take into consideration when preparing your meals for the next few days...is your shopping list. Buy the items that you need and will prepare as soon as you get home. Make sure your list includes: veggies (greens are a must) lean protein, whole grain, dairy and fresh fruit.
You are not alone!
It takes a lot to stay motivated...here are some simple suggestions to pick you up:
Stay motivated...Stay strong...Stay true to yourself!
KEEP YOUR CORE STRONG
The core is made up of several muscles from your hips to your shoulders. The core is a group of muscles that support the body. But most importantly, the core is a group of muscles that work together to stabilize and support the spine. Having a strong core increases strength and reduces injury and pain. To strengthen your core, you should not isolate your abdomen. It will negatively affect your upper and lower back. Exercises like planks are best, not crunches. You can also gain strength in your core by bracing your core. You do this by pulling your naval in towards your spine. You should be able to breathe evenly without holding your breath while you brace your core. Most importantly, a flat belly starts in the kitchen. If you want to have a flat belly you should also concentrate on a healthy diet based on water, fruits, veggies, and protein from meat.
Rest and recovery are crucial to successful training programs. SLEEP like a baby! Take naps. Sleep is the most important element needed to recover. Sleep provides mental, and muscular recovery. HYDRATION is crucial. Drink water! Flavorings make your body work harder to process these additives. Stick to lemon or lime in your water. NUTRITION is key to recovery. Alcohol and processed foods can be harmful. Clean eating is highly recommended. There is nothing better than giving your body the fuel it needs to recover and that will allow your muscles to take shape. Eating in moderation is necessary. Plan ahead; have healthy snacks. Many people process dairy and wheat differently, so educate yourself on this. Have good POSTURE. Poor posture does not provide rest, it causes pain. Sit straight; stand straight. STRETCH. Flexibility allows for a greater range of motion and decreases possible injury. Following these tips will enhance your progress and improve your overall fitness ability!