All Articles Tagged "exercise"
In the email thread I’m included on for a lovely art collective and book club, we send each other messages about the different things we have going on and that are on our minds. One of the young women in the group sent out an email saying she was thinking of everyone after the recent shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, and the protests that followed. A few of the members responded, including one woman whose message struck me: “I’m sending you all back that love. Be ruthless about self care during these times.”
We underestimate just how important it is to look out for ourselves as the world around us becomes increasingly unstable. We are subject to images of our people being gunned down, we’re literally falling ill due to the chaos at our place of work, and we’re also trying to combat negative narratives that claim we aren’t enough of this, while being too much of that. When it feels like no one is looking out for us, we have to take care of ourselves. Self-care is central to good health and well-being, so you need to find a way to make it a priority. If you’re wondering how exactly you can practice self-care, here are a few examples to help you out.
Know When It’s Best to Say No
When we worry about letting people down, many of us end up saying yes to things that we know we really don’t want to do. We’re invited to an for work, and to make a good impression, we agree to check it out though we knew we wanted to do something else that evening. We agree to help a friend with something that we’re already overwhelmed by the idea of. We fit yet another responsibility into our calendar so that we can be everything to everybody. Know when to put yourself first. As one woman once told me, if something suggested for you to take part in “is not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.”
Clean up Your Circle
You can’t practice good self-care if all of the people you surround yourself with leave you stressed and anxious. If the individuals in your life don’t do a good job of bringing some much-needed solace into it, or they can’t even be positive when they’re in your presence, don’t feel bad about distancing yourself from such negativity.
Do Things That Genuinely Make You Feel Good
If you want to stay in your pajamas and watch Disney movies all Saturday afternoon, why not? If you want to paint your nails while listening to the newest Frank Ocean album, go right ahead. If you just want to sleep and restore your system so you can be your best self, make it a priority. Do whatever truly brings you joy so that no matter what, you can find your own little slice of happiness during hectic times.
Treat Yourself to Some Personal Perk
Treat yourself to a massage, some new shoes, an ice cream cone — some kind of treat to celebrate making it through another week. Reward yourself for being the awesome person you are.
Run for Your Life
I know that exercising sounds so cliché and lame, but the endorphins you can release after a good workout will bring about positive feelings and provide you with a reprieve from…well, the bullsh-t. Running six miles always sounds like an overwhelming task for me, but when I finish, I literally feel at my peak on any day.
Talk to Yourself
Talk to yourself, as in, check in with yourself. If something feels off, address it. If you’re feeling exhausted, make sure you carve out time to rest at some point in the day or throughout the weekend. Feeling more stressed than usual at work? Take advantage of those vacation days you let go to waste last year and go on a trip — even if it’s just a trip to your couch for a few days. Take note of how you’re faring and do what it takes to keep yourself from feeling tapped out.
Give yourself a break from the sensory overload that is social media. Log off and learn how to enjoy the moment. Disconnect from the foolishness for a day, or a few days, as it can definitely put your mind at ease.
For some people, yoga isn’t just a discipline, it’s a way of life. For the Centers for Disease Control, however, yoga is not an adequate form of physical activity. At least, it’s not an adequate form in terms of the moderate-intensity level aerobic exercise encouraged for 30 minutes a day to improve your health.
Clearly people haven’t tried hot yoga…
According to a recent study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the intensity of holding most Hatha yoga poses in classes does not meet the criteria for moderate-intensity physical activity. Research was done into past investigations of how many calories are burned in yoga and the metabolic intensity of poses and breathing exercises, including the sun salutations sequence.
Researchers found that most of the poses, and yoga in general, fit the classification of light-intensity activity. The sun salutations sequence, however, does meet moderate intensity. If those moves (including planks, lunges, upward and downward dog) are done throughout the day, it can help you meet the recommended daily activity requirements from the CDC’s Physical Activity Guideline for Americans. But if you do the normal range of Hatha poses, you’re not really getting the burn you could get from, say, 30 minutes of brisk walking, which can help you meet the level encouraged to boost your health.
However, the study also noted that even if it isn’t very intense at times, the benefits of doing Hatha yoga are still great. You can build some serious strength (and muscle-strengthening activities are part of the guidelines), especially in your core. Moves can also have quite the impact on your balance and flexibility. And, of course, one of the greatest benefits of Hatha yoga is that it helps you combat stress and calms you. In this hectic world, such practices can go a very long way in preserving your mental health. And if we’re talking about improving health, per the CDC’s guidelines, it’s also important to look out for more than just the physical.
When I first started working out in college it was exciting. I weighed 246 pounds when I began my journey to healthy living, and during my weekly weigh-in what I saw on the scale never disappointed me. Every week I lost anywhere from three to six pounds. My clothes were becoming looser and when I looked at pictures of myself I saw a new, slimmer me. But after losing 50 pounds, I got bored. My mix of gym and at-home beginner workouts became blase, so I started working out strictly at home and let Shaun T and Jillian Michaels supply me with heart-pumping sweat sessions. But after a few months, that got dull too. Then my weight loss slowed down, which really made me loathe exercising at one point. Why work out if I wasn’t losing pounds? Plus, I became sick of eating the same veggie-based meals. I had slowly lost my desire to sweat it out and I hit a plateau, but by stepping out of my comfort zone I was able to overcome it and find the fun in being fit again.
I was always scared to run on the treadmill or outside. (I tried to run once on the treadmill and got a painful cramp so I didn’t try anymore.) I’m also clumsy so when I thought about hitting the pavement I’d envision myself stumbling to the ground. A few years later, I tried for the second time. By shocking my body and changing up my workout I knew I would start to shed pounds again, so I gave it a try. I paced myself and ran and walked in intervals and before I knew it I was running at least 4 times a week. After my run, I noticed a boost in my mood thanks to what’s known as a “runner’s high.” Research has shown that running, and exercise in general, leads to your brain producing endorphins, a chemical that reduces pain perception and promotes a more positive mood. With some guidance from a trainer and a running app, I then ran my first 5K race. The feeling of accomplishing something I thought I would never do was invigorating.
Another thing that helped me get out of my rut was changing my diet. I became weary of the same ole chicken, seafood and veggies combo. When the grocery store in my neighborhood closed shop, grocery shopping became difficult, especially when I wanted to try new things. So I decided to give HerbaLife a try and it turned out to be a great fit. I have long work days as a therapist, so eating three meals a day isn’t easy. With my HerbaLife program, I have a shake for breakfast and dinner and I eat a meal for lunch. I have my shake before I leave for work and while I am sitting in my last session of the day I sip on my shake for dinner and then head off to the gym. Plus, the shakes come in flavors like Dulce de Leche, Cookies and Cream and Dutch Chocolate, which have all left my taste buds satisfied.
Meeting with a trainer also helped put me back on the right track. I used the same machines repeatedly, so to help me use the gym more effectively, I consulted with a trainer for guidance. She educated me on the right moves to target my problem areas and showed me exercises that help me capitalize on my workouts and burn more fat. I was familiar with certain moves thanks to Insanity and Jillian Michaels DVDs, but there was so much more to learn. Having a trainer advise me and show me new things made me motivated to lace up my Pumas and train harder.
I’m usually solo dolo during my daily fit fest, but having a workout buddy is pretty helpful. Not only does the workout go faster, but I pick up on some of my partner’s different workouts and give them a try. When I am with him I am more likely to pick up the weights and do some strength training, which I neglect at times due to my love for everything cardio.
Being in a funk when you’re trying to be fit can be a major setback. Finding ways to revamp your workout and spice up your diet can be just what you need to get back to going hard in the gridiron.
We all know at least one person who loves to work out. They invite you to their CrossFit classes, look forward to mud runs, and often make you wonder, “How do they do it?”
But for a lot of other people, sticking to an exercise plan can mean boarding the motivation struggle bus. If your goal is to have a long-term relationship with physical fitness, it might pay to think about it in a different way. When exercise is a chore, nobody looks forward to it. But there are a few ways to make exercise a lot more fun. And even more ways to fake it ’til you make your way to motivation.
Fitness experts say the key is to make your workout routine easy. When getting in a few workouts a week sounds like fun, they are easier to fit into your schedule.
According to studies, those who work out with a partner end up enjoying exercise a lot more, and therefore, get their physical fitness on more often. That isn’t a shock. When you do just about anything with people you get along well with, you have a better time. And yet, many of us try to go it alone when it comes to our fitness goals. We buy expensive gym memberships and then we rarely take advantage of them while facilities continue to collect our hard-earned money. It’s time for a change.
Need that extra push? Get yourself a workout partner to hold you accountable. But don’t just ask anybody to spot you, run with you or check out the newest Zumba class. There are a few things you need to keep in mind in order for your workouts with a partner to be effective.
As long as Kevin Hart has been on the scene, I’ve always thought of him as just the little, funny guy. So when women I know would comment on how cute they thought he was, I would reply with “Really?” as though someone was talking about my nerdy next door neighbor. But after seeing him on the cover of the October issue of Men’s Fitness, I must admit that I had to clutch my Forever 21 pearls. The comedian definitely isn’t so little anymore…
Hart has been on a fitness journey for some time now, and recently told People about his diet and exercise regimen. He noted that he mixes it up: running outside, on the treadmill, doing beach workouts and pumping iron in the gym. No matter what his schedule looks like, Hart doesn’t miss out on a training day: “No excuses. No days off.”
And he’s even coordinated 5K runs with Nike. Plus, he just took part in the Hood to Coast relay where he ran 18 miles:
Here is a quick recap video of this past weekends “Hood To Coast” event….I still can’t believe that I did it lmao….I ran 18.2miles in 1 Day. I’m so proud of myself….This is just the beginning people, I plan on doing so much more!!!!! I want everybody to set a running goal & begin working towards it. Make sure you use the #MoveWithHart ….Lets be great together!!!! Join my movement #MoveWithHart #HustleHart
As for his diet, Hart keeps it pretty clean while also making sure to fit in a cheat day here and there for his beloved fried chicken.
“I’m a healthy eater – brown rice, baked chicken, vegetables, salads,” Hart said. “I’m not a foodie, so it’s not hard for me to stay in the healthy diet area. I’m a structure guy, so as long as it fits the structure, then I’m happy.”
As he told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year, his healthy lifestyle is something he doesn’t play about.
“When I started working out 4 1/2 years ago, I realized that the more exercise you do, the more rewards you get. After all, what type of person do you want to be?” he asked. “Do you want to see results? I do, so I put in six or seven days of exercise a week. I have a trainer who works out with me every day at 5 a.m., for 30 to 90 minutes, and it’s his job to push me to the limit and try new things: CrossFit, high-intensity training, strength and conditioning, endurance. Every workout we compete against each other.”
Clearly, all his hard work is paying off. Check out more images of Hart’s Men’s Fitness spread and be careful that you don’t find yourself lusting a little too much. He’s a married man now!
#RelationshipGoals: Meagan Good, DeVon Franklin Remind Us Couples Who Work Out Together Stay Together
Studies have found that couples who work out together, stay together. Why? Because they’re happier, healthier and more in love.
A study in 2000 found that after doing a physical challenge or activity as a couple, pairs felt happier with their relationships and more in love with their significant other.
And not to mention, having someone hold you accountable helps you reach your fitness goals. Plus, exercise, in general, can help you live longer to stay around longer for your spouse.
But how many of us are really hitting the track, the gym, the court and more with our partners? Meagan Good and husband DeVon Franklin are making it happen, going hard in the gym as a couple. The pair recently shared video of themselves running with resistance bands strapped to them, doing bench jumps, mountain climbers, sledgehammer workouts, pushing weighted sleds and more. Oh, and fitting in a kiss here and there:
Partner up!! There really is strength in numbers. Surround yourself with people who support you on your journey and will push you to be the best you can possibly be! Thanks @forcefitnessinc for helping me and @meagangood add another dimension to our marriage! #thewait #faith #love #success #templefit
This guy 💙 @DeVonFrankiln .. Reminded me not to just follow my dreams but “prepare” for them.. #FaithWithoutWorksIsDead Special thanks to @ForceFitnessINC , Mike T 💪🏾 for “literally” changing my body #TheWait #workout #fitchicks #bodybuilding #weighttraining #fit #fitness #trainer #abs #instafit #igfitness #squats #lifting #inspiration #motivation #gohard #strong #muscle #majorkeys #training #forcefitnessINC
” RELATIONSHIP GOALS ” 💪 Couples Push N Pull #patience #teamwork @meagangood ❤ @devonfranklin #workout #fitchicks #bodybuilding #weighttraining#womenwholift #fit #fitness #trainer #npc #abs#instafit #igfitness #lifestyle #squats #lifting #inspiration #motivation #yoga #pilates#gohard #strong #muscle #majorkeys#training #trainer #forcfitnessinc #meagangood #thewait #devonfranklin
They also find time to be active together by riding bikes around L.A., which is super cute:
But they’re not the only couple who like to get active. In fact, Ne-Yo and his wife, Crystal Renay, actually work out with the same coach as Good and Franklin, celebrity trainer Mike T. They also look like quite the fit pair:
” Meet The Smiths ” 💪 @Neyo ❤ @itscrystalsmith #workout #fitchicks #bodybuilding #weighttraining#womenwholift #fit #fitness #trainer #npc #abs#instafit #igfitness #lifestyle #squats #workouts#lifting #inspiration #motivation #yoga #music gohard #strong #muscle #neyo #training #trainer #forcfitnessinc
JUST IN TIME FOR PRESEASON 🏈. LADDER DRILLS FOR A GREAT PRE WORKOUT SWEAT! @NEYO @ItsCRYSTALSMITH @1j.SILVER #workout #fitchicks #bodybuilding #weighttraining#womenwholift #fit #fitness #trainer #npc #instafit #igfitness #squats #workouts#lifting #inspiration #yoga #pilates#gohard #strong #muscle #neyo #training #trainer #forcfitnessinc #nfl #footwork #track #football
Love a fit and fab couple! If you and your partner can make the time, exercise together. Not only can you get in shape together, but teaming up can help make the workout struggle a little less real. Talk about a win-win.
One major Hollywood star always makes time for fitness. Guess who? Actress Gabrielle Union, 43. She has a basketball star for a husband, so it’s not hard to imagine that they keep each other motivated. She’s in shape and has managed to look the same way for over a decade.
“With her body, she’s a natural athlete,” Union’s trainer, Ahmad Baari, told Us Weekly. “Depending on her schedule we’ll do about three or four months that I will see her regularly, she’ll leave and then come back and we work to get her back to where she wants to be. She tells me exactly what she needs. We try to keep it down to 90 minutes, each workout. That includes stretching about 15 to 20 minutes before and after,” he said of her workout regimen. He added, “As far as diet, I try to suggest lots of organic foods. It’s mind body spirit way of working out.”
After getting engaged to Dwyane Wade, Gab divulged her unorthodox approach to keeping her fabulous physique on Conan earlier this year: an exercise and diet regimen she dubbed “The Porn Diet.”
Her gurus? Adult film stars, who happen to work out at her gym.
When host Conan O’Brien asked whether she watches them exercise near her, like on the Stairmaster, Union amusingly replied, “Yep, and I’ll be on the next one going, ‘You’re not getting off before me!’ ”
“I’ll watch and see what they’re ordering [at the juice bar],” the Being Mary Jane star said, adding that they appear to adhere to a vegan diet. Who knows, but whatever she’s doing, it’s working.
Take a look at the actress off-duty and in the gym putting in work.
43 And Fit: Gabrielle Union Workout Plan
If you haven’t followed Halle Berry’s Instagram page, you really need to. It’s filled with such love, and light, and peace, and color. Oh yeah, and fitness goals.
The actress seems to love connecting with her fans through images. And when she’s not showing us Nahla’s artwork, having fun with friends or just being all artsy fartsy, she’s striking a very fit pose for the cameras. Like this one:
The image was from the same photo shoot that Berry shared this picture from a few weeks back, looking just as amazing:
When asked in the past what allows her to stay in such great shape, the 50-year-old has said that eating right is what works for her. And it’s important to do so, as Berry has said that she has Type II diabetes and was diagnosed with it at the age of 19. For her, that means no to breads, very few carbs and sugars, lots of veggies, as well as water, and her occasional guilty pleasure of red wine.
“It’s a lot harder than it used to be [she laughs]. As I get older, I am more conscious of what I eat,” Berry told The Los Angeles Times last year. “I have never worked out with a lot of weights unless I had to for a film role. Left to my own devices, I just do cardio. I do exercises that involve my own body weight, because I never want to get too muscly. I am diabetic, so exercising has always been a part of managing my disease and keeping my sugars under control.”
It’s definitely working for Berry. Check out a few other times the beauty gave us fitness goals (and the feels) via her Instagram page:
We often use the wide variety of Labor Day sales that pop up as a time to ransack the shelves of our favorite stores. New shoes? Got ’em. Leather bag on sale? Already in your possession. And while we love to take advantage of the sales to get all of the clothes our closets can handle, many of us sleep on some pretty great deals for active wear. And considering that so many of us complain about the price of workout clothing and use that as a reason we don’t go to the gym, there’s no better time than the present to stock up. So, here are a few active wear brands whose websites you should check out today.
The brand, which offers cute and functional workout essentials for women of all sizes, is providing the masses with 40 percent off everything on their site, including sale goodies. Use the code 3DayWknd and prepare to sweat in style.
I definitely took advantage of the Victoria Secret’s Sport sale this weekend, and so should you. They’re selling any bra (the expensive maximum support joints, too) and any pair of workout pants together for $50. Use the code SPORT50 to take home an entire outfit for a pretty amazing price. And considering the good quality of Victoria Sport pieces, it really is a steal.
Don’t sleep on Reebok, folks! The brand is having a 20 percent sitewide sale. Even better, the more things you buy, the more of deal you can get. Buy three items and you get 30 percent off. Four? You guessed it: 40 percent off. Take advantage of this sale by using the code LABORDAY. They also have free shipping on orders over $49. Stock up on CrossFit gear and make quite the impression in your next class.
Wanted those furry FENTY slides by Rihanna but refuse to pay $80 for them? Well, you will have to continue to wait for someone to buy them for you. Limited edition shoes are excluded, but a majority of the fitness clothing offered on Puma’s site is 25 percent off for Labor Day. I’m talking colorful training shoes for $38, sports bras for $19, and free shipping on orders over $75. Use the code LONGWEEKEND16 and get digging.
Not only does Asics have great casual shoes, but the brand also has some phenomenal running shoes and active wear. Their court shoes, specifically for tennis and volleyball, are also pretty popular. Get that and a lot more with 50 percent off select styles on everything from beanies to running underwear and sneakers — get suited up from head to toe for the low. Plus, you won’t have to pay for shipping!
Yes, if you sign up for VIP membership with Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, you can get your first outfit for just $15. That’s a pretty great deal, and who doesn’t love having access to exclusive workout wear for an affordable price? However, be cognizant of the fact that once you sign up, even if you don’t buy an outfit as the months go on, you will end up being charged a fee. You have to log into your account and choose to “Skip the Month” by the 5th of each month to avoid that. If not, you will have to pay $49.95 on the 6th. Fabletics says that charge “can be used as a credit to spend or save.” So, as with every membership, take advantage or make sure you cancel when you realize you aren’t as serious as you thought so you don’t waste money.