Tips To Motivate Yourself To Workout

Tips To Motivate Yourself To Workout

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to workout. There’s always something to do in Houston, TX, that can divert your attention from exercise. The same thing is true of every city and municipality in the country. Whether it’s a busy schedule or just dreading the workout, it can end an exercise program very quickly.

One way to motivate yourself is to remember why you started working out in the first place.

Was it a glance in the mirror that made you wince or how tight your favorite outfit was? Sometimes, it’s not about looks but having stamina to keep up with others. A health scare is another motivating factor. Write down your reason for starting your program and post it where you can see it. When you’re tempted to skip a workout, that subtle reminder can help. Visualize accomplishing your goal or have pictures or posters that represent that visual.

Take a picture of yourself before you start your workout.

Every two weeks put on the same clothing and take a picture in the same spot. Changes are slow, and seeing the changes is very motivating. By taking pictures every two weeks, you can see the changes. If you’ve worked out for several months, comparing the before with a recent photo is eye-opening and dramatic. Those changes can spark pride and make you glad you started exercising.

Trainers get results. Holding you accountable is one reason.

If you’re working out at home and don’t have a trainer, you can get some of the benefits of a trainer by having a workout partner. When you workout with a trainer, you know the trainer is waiting for you at the gym, giving you more impetus to go. Like a trainer, the workout partner can do that and push you harder when you’re not putting forth enough effort. A workout buddy can provide friendly competition, too.

  • Be consistent and make your workout a habit. Put your workout in your schedule as you would any appointment. Doing it the same time each day makes it a habit, which is harder to break.
  • Change your mind. If you dread working out, it makes it harder to start. Find reasons to love your workout. Focus on how you feel, how it will feel to accomplish your goal or the new control you have over your muscles.
  • Track your progress and make it a game. Write down every workout, the number of reps, and how hard it was to do. Record your weight, endurance, or any way you measure your success.
  • You might not see changes in your body immediately, but you will notice changes in your energy level in the first few weeks. Look for every change and write it down or make a mental note about your improvement.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Foods That Are Good For Your Gut Health

Foods That Are Good For Your Gut Health

If you’re not getting the nutrients you need, your body won’t function properly, affecting your overall health. Your gut is responsible for most of the digestive processes and the food you consume can either be bad or good for it. A diet high in sugar creates many problems, from too few beneficial microbes to inflammation. A compromised gut means compromised health. If you’re taking gas relievers or antacids after each meal, it’s time to switch your diet.

Introduce probiotic food into your diet.

What are probiotic foods? They are foods with beneficial microbes. A healthy microbiome—the collection of microbes in your gut—means better health throughout the body. A lot of things can affect the balance of microbes in the gut, creating an unhealthy environment. Medications, stress, a poor diet, and lack of exercise are a few. Probiotics replenish the beneficial bacteria. Probiotic foods are fermented foods that contain live cultures. It includes kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, some types of cheese, kombucha, kimchi, miso, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

Add foods that are high in fiber to your diet.

Food high in soluble fiber is prebiotic. The soluble fiber in the food improves the population of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract by providing food for them. The result is short-chain fatty acids that aid in mucus production, boost immunity, and deal with inflammation. Food high in soluble fiber includes beans, avocados, Brussels sprouts, apples, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. The other type of fiber, insoluble fiber, provides bulk to the stool, prevents blood sugar spikes, and hemorrhoids, and keeps food moving through the tract. Consuming nuts, whole grain products, and apple peels can boost insoluble fiber intake.

A diet high in plant-based food, but low in added sugar can be a big benefit to gut health.

A diet high in sugar boosts the population of yeast and other pathogens. As the colony of bad microbes grows, cravings for more sugar increase, causing more inflammation and weight gain. It can cause malnutrition, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, cancer, and mental health conditions. Skip the candy bar and eat fresh fruit. Cut back on red meat and replace it with vegetable protein sources. It takes longer to digest meat, which can create digestive issues.

  • Consume food high in collagen to heal the gut. Collagen regulates stomach acid and heals leaky gut, IBS, and inflammation. You can boost collagen by adding bone broth or protein-rich foods to your diet.
  • Gut health also benefits from additional vitamin C, zinc, and copper. Citrus fruit, bell peppers, cheese, nuts, organ meat, and cocoa powder can increase the intake of at least one of those nutrients.
  • Apples are excellent for gut health. They improve digestion, plus provide pectin to increase the beneficial bacteria, reduce the risk of acid reflux, boost weight loss, and aid hair and nail growth.
  • Antibiotics kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria. If you have to take an antibiotic, consume fermented food an hour before taking the antibiotic or an hour after taking it to protect gut health.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Healthy Rewards After A Workout

Healthy Rewards After A Workout

You know that looking and feeling great will be the ultimate reward for working out and eating healthily, but that takes a long time. In the meantime, you need healthy rewards to congratulate yourself for making it through a tough workout or going to the gym when you felt like staying home. Pizza, beer or hot fudge sundaes are definitely inappropriate, so what is a good option? It has to be in line with your fitness goals and also be something you enjoy.

Sometimes just recording your success is enough.

One reason tracking your workout is so important is that it can drive you to do better each time. If your best workout involved 6 sets of each exercise and you had a tough time, then celebrate when you make it to 7 sets. Give yourself an overall score after each workout. Compete against yourself. The reward is often knowing you accomplished something you couldn’t do previously.

If you need more than just the accomplishment, find something you want that is frivolous.

Not everyone is driven by gold stars and a sense of accomplishment. It’s why they pay you when you go to work, instead of just giving stickers. Find something super lavish that’s not in your normal range of extravagance. Maybe it’s a special shampoo, comfortable, upscale casual wear, or an expensive pair of shoes. Every time you complete a particularly grueling workout, give yourself permission to use the object you chose. If you’re achieving your goals regularly, you’ll have that shampoo gone in no time or those shoes well broken in.

Treat yourself to dinner.

Do you hate cooking, then find a place to buy healthy meals and take yourself and/or your family out to dinner instead of cooking. If you love cooking, have special recipes ready and buy what you need at a local farmers’ market. Indulge yourself with recipes that you’d save for special occasions. You are the special occasion of the day.

  • Only you know what drives you. Some people hate running, but find it tolerable if they’re running toward a destination. In that case, the reward is arriving at the destination.
  • If what you want is way out of line with your budget, pay yourself to workout and then use the money you’ve saved. Put a few dollars in a jar every time you hit a goal or worked hard. It won’t take long to treat yourself to something expensive.
  • Take “me” time. Carve out an hour and let yourself enjoy it, doing whatever you want. You can plan ahead and if you don’t hit a goal, choose a task to do that you’ve been neglecting and do it instead.
  • Make your next workout something you love to do. You don’t have to go to the gym, go dancing instead and dance to every song. Take a day at the pool and do pool calisthenics. Have fun and get fit at the same time.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

How To Train For A Marathon

How To Train For A Marathon

There are a variety of marathons near Houston, TX, this year, as well as other races. A marathon is one of the most grueling races at 42 kilometers—26.2 miles. You don’t go from living a sedentary lifestyle to running a 26.2-mile race overnight. You have to train for a marathon. Sometimes, the training is in the gym and sometimes it’s out running. It’s all about building endurance and knowing your limits first. If your last running experience was playing dodgeball in grade school, you have a long way to go. Take it slowly.

Test your limits.

Start by getting a physical or checking with your healthcare professional, since a marathon is especially grueling. The less fit you are, the more important it is. You have a goal, running a marathon, but which marathon and when? If you’ve never exercised, start slowly and plan for a marathon as far as a year in the future. Beginners can start with a 20-minute walk/run routine, where you run for as little as 15 seconds and then walk for a minute to catch your breath, returning to running. As you get fitter, extend the running period and shorten the recovery time. Once you can run a full 20 minutes, it’s time to start training for your marathon.

Build your mileage.

Marathons are grueling for a reason….they’re really long! Once you can run 20 minutes straight, start working on your mileage. Work out 3-5 times a week, with at least one long run every 7-10 days. Many runners use Fartlek techniques that constantly vary pace throughout the run. Instead of going at high-intensity and recovery, you go at close to high-intensity speed, medium, low speed, and everywhere in between the three, but never slow down to recovery pace, always keeping your heart rate slightly higher. Run on various types of terrain.

Build up your distance.

Alter the way you increase your distance run. Start by increasing your long run by a mile every week or two. If you’re running 10 miles, the next distance run, go 11 miles, then 12 miles. Instead of going 13 miles the next distance session, revert to 10 miles, and the following session, increase it to 13. Don’t worry about your pace on the distance run, but distance. Rest on the days you’re not running. It should be active rest, like swimming, calisthenics, or yoga.

  • Focus on sleep. Sleep allows the body to heal and produce HGH—human growth hormone. HGH aids in muscle repair.
  • Hydration is important. Get a hydration pack or belt. If you don’t want to carry the water, create a path that goes past water sources, like fountains. Drink lots of water before any long run.
  • You have to feed your body right to be your best. Eat a healthy diet throughout training. The night before a long run, or the marathon itself, make your meal rich in carbs and carry energy packs or fruit during long runs.
  • If running a marathon is your goal, personal training can help. Our small group in-person training is also another good option.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Meal Planning Supplies You Can't Live Without

Meal Planning Supplies You Can’t Live Without

If you want to start meal planning as a way to get fitter, save money and make life easier once you start, you need to get the meal planning supplies. Meal planning starts by writing down your meals on any type of paper or creating a calendar on your computer and filling in the blanks with the meals you’re serving that week with a space to include the grocery list. Some people opt for actual meal planning online programs that can vary in price. They come with meal plans, a grocery list and recipes.

You need a place to store the meals you planned.

Those handy microwavable containers for individual servings. Most people like bento boxes with separated areas. You need enough for a week’s worth of meals. If you cook your meals on the weekend, two meals will be served immediately, so you just need five per person. If you’re making food, you’ll be using it every day, like overnight oats, glass mason jars are also important. They provide a tight seal to keep that food fresh longer.

An instant pot and slow cooker are also good options.

Cooking several meals at once can be far too much for any stove, so you need help. Supplementing with countertop cookers like an instant pot can help you do that. Most instant pots do the jobs of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, steamer or rice cooker. If you cook for a large family, having a slow cooker in addition to the instant pot is also a good idea. Just like the instant pot helps relieve the pressure of cooking too many things on the stove, adding a slow cooker can do the same.

If you’re packing future meals in plastic freezer bags, you can save money by getting reusable ones.

If you’re doing meal planning and use plastic freezer bags, you’ll end up spending a lot of money and throwing away a lot of used plastic bags. Instead, consider getting reusable plastic freezer safe storage bags. Get ones that are BPA-free, freezer-safe and safe to use in the microwave, in boiling water and ovens, as long as the temperature is less than 425 degrees. These are particularly good since sometimes you forget to put the frozen sauce or soup and need to thaw it quickly and that requires heat. If it’s not suitable for the microwave, you have to destroy the bag to remove the frozen contents.

  • A good vegetable slicer can make it easier to use fresh veggies without the hassle of chopping. If your meals are a lot like mine, a lot of your time is spent slicing and dicing, which makes slicing in bulk faster.
  • A food processor can help you save money and turn those leftover fruits and veggies into a quick smoothie. However, they’re also good for chopping garlic, grinding nuts and turning chicken into bits for chicken salad.
  • Basic kitchen utensils like a cutting board, measuring spoons, measuring cup and a high-quality, sharp knife. You’ll need microwavable containers, a set of pots and pans and a roasting pan.
  • An immersible blender is also a good investment. You can use it directly in the pot while you’re cooking. It has unlimited capacity and is perfect for everything from soup to salad dressing.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Make Working Out A Habit This Year

Make Working Out A Habit This Year

When I talk with clients in Houston, TX, I find that the ones that are most successful at sticking with a fitness program tend to make working out a habit. Most of us think of negative habits, like smoking, binge-watching videos or TV or leaving dirty dishes on the floor, but habits can be good, too. If you make it a habit to eat healthy meals or exercise at a certain time every morning, you’ll be just as apt to do it as you would a bad habit. Most of the time, you automatically do it or it’s uncomfortable when you don’t.

Working out is essential for a healthy life.

Your workout doesn’t have to be formal. It’s all about living an active, varied lifestyle. You need flexibility, strength, endurance and balance training throughout life. If you’re active, moving furniture, dancing, playing basketball or riding bikes might be part of the way to do it, but it even an active lifestyle doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get all types of exercise or work all parts of the body. A program of exercise does. If you don’t get all the types of training or work on all parts of the body, it can leave you vulnerable.

Start by scheduling your workout.

Just like any appointment, you’ll be more apt to keep that appointment with yourself when it’s on your schedule. You’ll also start to associate that time with your workout. Have you ever switched jobs or had your job schedule change and found yourself driving to your old workplace instead of your new one, or driving to work when you meant to go to the grocery? It happens. Just like establishing any habit, whether it’s eating healthy food or going to work, once it’s a normal part of your daily life, you don’t even have to think about it, you just do it.

Don’t try to do it all at once.

If you haven’t worked out for a while, or ever, you need to monitor yourself and start slower. Instead of pushing yourself to do an astronomical amount of reps, cut back on the reps and focus on form for the first few weeks. The proper form is one of the most important parts of any workout routine. Slowly add repetitions and sets as you go. Don’t risk injury by pushing too hard.

  • You can follow our online services for a workout that’s created to bring success. Schedule time for personal training, small group or bootcamp training to create a scheduled workout and create a habit.
  • Make working out a habit by being prepared for the next day’s workout. Pack your gym bag or have your workout clothes laid out. If you have the bag next to the door, you won’t forget it.
  • Workout with a friend. Working out with a friend means you’ll be held accountable for showing up. It’s one reason personal trainers have such great success. They hold clients accountable.
  • Track your progress. Tracking your progress means writing down your workout, including the number of reps. Make notes on how hard or easy the workout felt and how you increased difficulty as you went. Winners keep score.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Strength Training After Having A Baby

Strength Training After Having A Baby

A lot has changed over the years. Women are no longer subject to weeks of bedrest after having a baby and even the present rule of waiting to exercise for six weeks after childbirth has its exceptions. If you’ve exercised throughout your pregnancy, you may be able to start even sooner. That doesn’t include women who had complications or a C-section. You may be able to start strength training before the six weeks’ time, but before you start any exercise program, check with your health care professional.

Moderation is the key.

Whether you exercised before you had your baby or not, start slowly. Your body is undergoing some dramatic changes, with muscles and skin being stretched to the limit. Your ligaments and joints are also looser, so there’s more chance of injury. Start with something simple and productive. Walk with your baby in your arms. Lifting the baby also provides great strength training. The baby is the weight of many small weights you’d use in the gym to begin strength training. Even better, as you get stronger, your baby also gets heavier and more challenging to carry.

Core strength and pelvic floor strength are extremely important.

Laying on your back with thighs at a 90 degree angle to the floor, knees bent and parallel or at an almost 90 to 105 degree angle to your thighs. If you want, baby on your tummy, do toe taps while bonding with your bundle of joy. Lower one leg and tap the floor with your toes then raise that leg and lower the other, also tapping. Repeat.

Walking, doing pelvic tilts and some yoga can help strengthen your body.

A pelvic tilt can be done in a number of ways, standing, sitting or lying on the floor. It’s a matter of moving your back so you have it straight, taking the normal curve out of the spin, then returning back to normal position. It’s almost a rocking forward and backward of the hips. Doing simple yoga positions, like child position, cat/cow, mountain pose and goddess pose can build strength without putting too much stress.

  • If you were actively doing strength training before the baby was born, don’t expect to start where you left off. You need to go slowly but will find you’ll be back to your previous level quickly.
  • When you first start working out, don’t use weights. Focus more on form than on repetitions or how much weight you can lift. Always work to strengthen the pelvic and core areas first.
  • In the first six weeks, avoid barbells or weights. Lifting your baby’s body weight will be enough to help build or maintain strength. When you’re ready for more strenuous workouts, consider getting inexpensive resistance bands.
  • Focus on posture and avoid high impact workouts. Your abdominal muscles and pelvic muscles have been through a lot and aren’t ready yet. Focus on improving your posture, which changed during pregnancy due to weight shift.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

How To Exercise With Bad Feet

How To Exercise With Bad Feet

If you have bad feet, running long distances in Houston, TX, isn’t the type of exercise you should be doing, but you should be doing some form of exercise. The right type of exercise can even help strengthen both your feet and ankles. A physical therapist can help you with those. Here are some exercises you can do for the rest of your body. They’ll help strengthen every part, plus build cardio and flexibility fitness. Start with stretches. If your issue with your feet doesn’t allow you to put pressure on them. You can do stretching while sitting.

Bad feet means avoiding high impact exercises.

Whether the problem is temporary, like a twisted ankle or cut, or something that heals more slowly, low impact workouts like water exercises or seated workouts can be perfect. Even battle ropes can be done in a seated position. Modifying some of the positions can be helpful for relieving the stress on the feet. Instead of butt kicks, where you’re standing, get on hands and knees and do donkey kicks, removing the pressure from the feet.

A chair can be workout equipment.

You can sit in a chair and workout or use the chair as a rest for your feet as you lay on your back on the floor. Even people with walking boots can train. Always start your workout with stretching then begin with an upper body workout. Throw punches, do air boxing, make angel wings or do shoulder presses. Doing the arm motions to a jumping jack, without the jump, can also get your blood circulating and provide good exercise for upper body toning and cardio.

Work your lower body without putting pressure on your feet.

That same chair used for the upper body workout, where you sat on it, now becomes a bench for your feet. This time you lay on the floor and lift your feet, putting them on the chair making your knee angle almost 90 degrees. Keep your hands beside your body and lift your bottom off the floor, creating a 45 degree angle from your shoulders to your knees. This is a modified bridge that puts no pressure on your feet. It strengthens the core muscles, while also working on the glutes.

  • Do ankle circles throughout the day to build the muscles in the ankles, calves and feet. Do foot stretches to strengthen the muscles in your feet. Always check with your health care professional first.
  • If you feel pain or undo pressure when doing any foot or ankle exercise, stop. Putting pressure on an already injured area will slow the healing.
  • You can even modify push-ups by using a footrest, chair or couch. Lay the front of your thigh on your support of choice and do upper body workouts, like push-ups.
  • If you’re confined to a couch, you can still do strength training. Just use resistance bands. You can even use them while watching TV. It will keep your hands busy and make it less likely you’ll snack while sitting.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

The Truth About Gluten

The Truth About Gluten

If you’re considering buying gluten-free products, just because you believe they’re healthier, you might be wasting your money and even decreasing health benefits. For instance, potato chips are naturally gluten free, but they’re not healthier than a slice of whole wheat bread, which contains gluten. Gluten is an amino acid that’s found in rye, wheat and barley. It can’t be digested and may permeate the intestinal lining. In some people, the body mistakes the gluten for an invader, which starts the immune response, which can also cause intestinal cells to be killed and set off a series of digestive issues.

Celiac disease is just one issue gluten can cause.

You don’t have to have celiac disease to have gluten intolerance. The most common symptoms of celiac disease are abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating and constipation. Not everyone has the same symptoms, which makes it so difficult to diagnose without taking tests. Other symptoms can include cognitive impairment, depression, fatigue, migraines, anemia, dermatitis, joint pain, missed periods, osteoporosis, peripheral neuropathy and excessive weight loss.

People who are gluten intolerant may actually gain weight when giving up gluten.

Nobody wants to make it easier to gain weight, but in the case of gluten intolerance, it’s far better than being sick all the time or getting dermatitis that cause open sores all over your body. If you follow a gluten restricted diet, your body will return to normal weight slowly, but there’s also a benefit. You won’t have that bloated appearance that gluten intolerance can cause, so you potentially could look thinner and most definitely healthier.

If you believe you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, try going gluten-free.

A gluten-free diet may actually help you lose weight if it’s well-balanced. Instead of eating baked goods, bread and other high fat, sugary, processed products, focusing on whole foods could be the key to shedding those extra pounds. Be careful, some foods that are gluten-free are still high in calories and not necessarily good for you. The key is not the gluten-free aspect, but the healthier diet.

  • There are anecdotal reports that gluten may be linked to autism and even schizophrenia. There is some evidence that a change in diet can alter behavior and even cause personality changes.
  • If you go gluten-free, make sure you have adequate fiber in your diet. Many gluten products are a good source of fiber and vitamins and minerals.
  • Gluten intolerance is more prevalent than it used to be. It may be because we’re more aware of it, there’s more gluten in the flour used, or we’re cleaner, which may lead to an overactive immune system.
  • If you show any signs of celiac disease or gluten intolerance, see your health care professional as soon as possible. Irreparable damage can be done if you have celiac disease and continue eating foods that are high in gluten.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

The Healing Benefits Of Bone Broth

The Healing Benefits Of Bone Broth

Some people in Houston, TX, still make bone broth from scratch. They start by roasting leftover bones, then simmering the bones in water for hours. It’s a healthy option as a base for soup and extremely delicious. Homemade bone broth also has healing benefits, but best of all it’s free, you just need to invest time. You can make bone broth from any kind of bones, including those from leftovers. Some people save and freeze the bones, while others buy bones specifically for the broth, opting for those from pastured chicken or beef.

Bone broth helps keep your gut healthy.

Our food undergoes so many assaults that never used to exist. That means our gut has the same issues. The food is different from that of just 70 years ago, with the names of ingredients often sounding like a chemistry experiment. Even whole foods that shouldn’t have additives often are coated with pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. To make matters even worse, what heals us can hurt us. Many medications, especially antibiotics, are hard on the gut. All these things can damage the gut lining and create inflammation. Gelatin, found in bone broth, can help boost collagen levels and help heal the gut.

You’ll help relieve aching joints when you eat bone broth regularly.

All your joints contain cartilage, which can be damaged or worn away as you age. When that happens, you know it because it hurts every time you move your joints, due to the scraping of bone on bone. Luckily, the body can rebuild much of the cartilage, but it has to have the raw materials, which include collagen, chondroitin, glucosamine and gelatin

Your heart, brain and organs will thank you for consuming bone broth daily.

You’ll boost your brain power when you eat bone broth regularly. It helps boost your memory, have more focus and think clearer due to the compounds that bone broth contains. The glycine in it helps regulate how the brain uses energy and even improves cognitive performance. Chondroitin increases brain plasticity—the ability to learn more and build new neural pathways—which can even cause an IQ increase. It has heart healthy ingredients that can reduce the risk of heart disease and significantly reduce the severity of a heart attack. Bone broth helps reduce inflammation that can cause other serious conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

  • Bone broth is packed with nutrients. Bone broth has 17 amino acids, which help renew the body. The amount of each will vary by the bones used, cooking time, other ingredients added and whether an acid, like apple cider vinegar, has been added.
  • If you want to lose weight, consider adding bone broth to your diet. It’s nutritious, but also filling and low in calories. Some people continuously brew it in a slow cooker and add it to their meals each day.
  • The bones you use make a difference in nutrition and health benefits. Use the bones of pastured or wild animals. Always roast the bones before simmering. Add herbs and spices, such as ginger, turmeric or peppercorn.
  • The glycine in bone broth can help you sleep better. It’s not only good for helping reduce brain fog, but excellent for insomnia. You’ll fall asleep faster and have a deeper, more restful sleep.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness