My Favourite Forms of Cardio

If you spend hours on the elliptical then I’m sorry but you’re doing it wrong, unless you have bad knees or you’re training to be a gazelle. When I first started at the gym I always went on the elliptical because well, it was easy. Now I pretty much despise any cardio that involves a machine (although I use treadmills in the winter because I live in Canada and well snow).

Here are a few of my favourite forms of cardio (this doesn’t mean I love cardio, I still hate it):

  1. Skipping – this shit will get your heart rate up in a hurry. Try skipping in intervals and then when you get really good at it try double unders.
  2. Burpees – pretty much the worst exercise known to man but burpees are effective. Use burpees as a finisher to fully destroy you after a workout.
  3. Jump Squats – these will help perk up your butt and that’s pretty much all the reason I need to do them. Add jump squats into your warm up and your body will be warm in no time.
  4. Running – get outside and run like hell (unless there’s snow on the ground).
  5. Rowing – yes it’s a machine but it’s f*cking hard. Add rowing into your normal gym routine, you’ll hate it so much you’ll love it

Add one (or more) of these moves to your regular routine and you’ll feel your heart rate increase and the sweat pour out of your body.

 

Let’s Talk About Carbs

Whenever I hear someone say “carbs are bad for you” I want to punch them. I’m not a violent person but when it comes to people speaking ill of carbohydrates I go full Terminator. Some people act like carbs are the devil and I honestly can’t handle it. Carbs are not bad, carbs will not murder your family so take a seat. If you eat pasta at every meal, then yeah you’re probably not going to lose weight. If you eat the right kind of carbs you can still lose weight and be happy because carbs = happiness. I’ll give you an example, a few months ago I did a whole30 reset and I ate potatoes (sweet and regular) pretty much everyday and I still lost 14 lbs. I was able to lose weight because I was eating only whole foods and exercising regularly, the potatoes I ate gave me the energy I needed to get through a day of work and to get through a workout.

When choosing what carbs to eat look for whole grain or whole food alternative, if it comes from nature, chances are it’s good for you, unless it’s poisonous berries, don’t eat those. Try and eat carbs in as close to their natural state as possible, simply put potato chips are not a healthy choice.

Good Carbs: starchy vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, fruits,  greens.

Bad Carbs: soda, sugary cereals, white pasta, highly processed carbs etc.

There are some popular “diets” that promote low carb plans, but they’re just a quick fix, neglecting carbs in the long term is honestly not sustainable #sorrynotsorry. Some long term affects of low carb diets include weight gain, kidney problems, bowel problems, high cholesterol and the list goes on.

Reasons you should put some carbs in your mouth:

  1. Carbs fill you up – the body digests carbs at a slower rate then protein or fat, which leaves you feeling fuller longer.
  2. Increase Athletic Performance – Wanna be better? faster? stronger? eat some f*cking carbs. The body breaks down sugars in carbohydrates to fuel the body, it’s that simple.
  3. More Food Freedom – you can eat a wider variety of foods and don’t have to feel limited.
  4. Brain Health – people who eat carbs tend to have better memories than those who don’t.
  5. Heart Health – people who eat carbs tend to have lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good) cholesterol.

Don’t eat a certain way because it’s trendy, eat in moderation, watch your portion sizes and stop hating on carbs.

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Source: Giphy

Working Out is My Therapy

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I saw the above quote a few days and it hit me so hard in the feels that I actually became emotional. Working out has provided me with the most effective stress relief. Working out consistently gives me a ‘happy’ boost, when I go through a tough time and I don’t workout, I feel very down in the dumps (down in the dumps is an understatement). It only took me like 5 years into my fitness journey to figure out the cycle, but hey at least I have it figured out now.

When you workout it starts a cascade of positive events in your body, such as a reduction in certain health risks (heart disease, diabetes etc). But more importantly your body will have improved brain function. People who suffer from depression have a smaller Hippocampus (this is the area of the brain that helps regulate mood), studies show that exercising encourages cell growth in the Hippocampus. EXERCISING IS SO NEAT.

In the words of Elle Woods:

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There is also a direct correlation between the way your body feels and how your brain feels. If you’re body feels good, your brain will most likely feel the same way. Endorphins actually act as natural pain killers and they help you sleep which helps you stress less. You don’t need some expensive gym membership to get your body some endorphins, simply go for a run, skip, play outside with your friends or kids.

Here’s to stressing less and smiling more!

Tips to crush your goals this week

New week, new you right? Here are some tips for keeping on track this week:

  1. Be Prepared – Meal prep is the best and easiest way to stay on track for the week. With healthy already made meals in the fridge it becomes a million times easier to stick to your goals.
  2. Schedule Out Your Week – Grab your planner or print off a calendar, make sure to schedule in workouts, social time and whatever else you need to do or want to do for the week.
  3. Take it One Day at a Time – Don’t stress about the days or the numbers just try and get through one day at a time, one decision at a time.
  4. Prepare for Detours – Think of all the things that could get you off track this week and come up with a plan or plans to avoid getting off track. Maybe this includes bringing snacks wherever you go or drinking more water.
  5. Don’t Reward Yourself With Food – Stop rewarding yourself with food, food is fuel, it is not a reward. Come up with a special reward for yourself, maybe it’s getting your nails done or buying new workout clothes.
  6. Don’t be to Hard on Yourself – If your week doesn’t go as planned don’t put yourself down. Negativity is not the answer, pick out the positives from the day or week and be happy with what you did or achieved, it doesn’t matter if it’s small or large.

Good luck this week guys, I’m rooting for you!

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Source: Giphy

 

How to spot a gym douche

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Disclaimer: I’m blonde and blunt, this post may offend you if you identify as a douche.

According to urban dictionary the word douche is “a word to describe an individual who has shown themself to be very brainless in one way or another, thus comparing them to the cleansing product for vaginas.” I personally use the word douche to describe certain people (male or female) at the gym who exhibit any of the following behaviours:

  1. No regards for the people around them. This person usually takes up a lot of machines all at once or refuses to clean up after themselves, they probably also probably don’t wash their hands after they use the bathroom.
  2. Mocks other gym goers. PSA everyone at the gym is working on themselves, I don’t care what size they are, do not make fun of anyone at the gym, at least they’re trying. In my opinion this kind of behaviour makes you the biggest douche of all.
  3. Moans excessively. Not every rep deserves a loud grunt or moan, most of the people that grunt consistently aren’t actually lifting intensely. We’re not in the wild, you’re mating call is not needed.
  4. Hits on everything that moves. There’s always that one guy at the gym who feels the need to hit on every girl. I get that the gym is a great place to find a significant other but stop hitting on everyone, girls talk and we know you’ve hit on all of us. Also don’t interrupt a workout to hit on someone, wait until they’re on a rest or just wait until they’re done working out, patience is key young grasshopper.
  5. You can smell them from a mile away. Usually they don’t smell like body odour, they just smell like they bathed in their cologne/perfume for a week straight. Deodorant is appreciated, excessive body spray is not.
  6. Refuses to work legs, probably trains chest every day that ends in ‘y’. This point is pretty self explanatory.
  7. Thinks that they’re better than everyone else. These people often brag about how great of shape they’re in, if you have to brag about it, you’re probably over compensating for something.

In closing, just don’t be a douche folks.

 

How to Visualize Success

What is visualization? In short visualization is the formation of a mental image of something. Some naysayers may call it day dreaming and I guarantee you that those people aren’t where they want to be in life. I am a firm believer in visualization and using vision boards to bring those mental images to life. Visualization takes time sometimes days, maybe months and possibly years but keep believing in your mental images, keep focusing on what you want to achieve or where you want to be in life. Yes sometimes visualization actually requires you to do some work to achieve your goals, the things worth having in life often don’t come easy. Visualization helps drive us to grind day in and day out for the life we want for ourselves. I want you to take a minute or longer and visualize where you want to be in 5 years. Maybe you want kids, maybe you want to own your own house or be a millionaire, whatever your goal is, I want you to hang a picture or write a note and hang it somewhere where you’ll see it everyday. I’m a very visual person so I enjoy making vision boards using images that symbolize or represent what I want in life. I update my vision board almost yearly and I look at it daily, when I’m not feeling motivated to wake up and grind I look to my vision board for motivation.

 

Board Your Vision

When it comes to weight loss or fitness related goals, I believe visualization (especially a vision board) is a key component in success. If you’re not visualizing, you’re probably not achieving. Making a vision board isn’t hard, simply go through magazines or look online for images that speak to you and your goals. Now put those images in a collage or on a bulletin board a voila, you have yourself a vision board and an amazing source of motivation. Sometimes making a vision board on Pinterest is really helpful and easy especially for those who aren’t crafty.

I’m also a firm believer in telling others about your goals. I mean maybe don’t tell everyone you meet but definitely find people that support you and let them know what you’re up to. Do not be ashamed of your goals, I use to always shy away from telling people about my goals because I was embarrassed and feared not being able to achieve them, but with the right mind set and support system, you can achieve anything.

What’s on your vision board? Share with me in the comments below!