Is it more important to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep or a Workout?

If you had to pick one… an extra hour of

SLEEP OR WORKOUT

Which one would you choose?? Continue reading Is it more important to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep or a Workout?

Do you want to win?

What if I could  promise you that you could improve your quality of sleep, reduce  anxiety and blood pressure, improve your brain health, reduce your risk of eight types of cancer, reduce your risk for fall-related injuries if your a little older, AND reduce your risk of excessive weight gain. AND improve your insulin sensitivity?

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Wait… thats not all… you can also manage It can decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis, reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease.

This is almost like winning the ‘life lottery’!!

What if I told you that all you have to do is MOVE  for 150 minutes a week!! That is only 21.428 minutes a day!!! Lets just round it off to 22 minutes a day.

On November 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released  a second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting.  

Apparently the United States has low levels of adherence to the previous guidelines which stated that only 10-minute bouts of physical activity counted toward meeting the guidelines!

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Only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women, and 20 percent of adolescents meet the recommendations. So because of America’s lack of physical activity  there are health and economic consequences for the nation.  Nearly $117 billion dollars in annual healthcare costs and 10 percent of all premature mortality attribute to ‘the failure to meet levels of aerobic physical activity in the recommended in the guidelines.’

The new recommendation states that Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity each week, with muscle strengthening activities on two days during the week to stay healthy. Youth ages 6 through 17 need 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day.

Take a pick – Walk. Run. Dance. Play.

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Physical activity can make daily life better. So get more active — Why would’t you want to:

  • Boost your mood

  • Sharpen your focus

  • Reduce your stress

  • Improve your sleep

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Don’t just sit there!!!

Have you ever thought about adding nutrition to your body through moving and walking more?

sitting more than 4 hours/day results in a 50% increased risk of death from any cause.

Research has shown us that people aren’t either active or sedentary—they can be both!! Even the active people can be actively sedentary! WHAT???? You can go to the gym – workout for one, two or more hours, and if you sit for 4 or more hours a day, you are still considered sedentary

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We all need to become more physically active throughout the day.

Here are some ideas…

1. Move or stretch at least 3-4 minutes every hour.
2. Hold a walking meeting.
3. Organize group walks during lunch or breaks.
4. Add steps to your day the easy way, park further away!
5. Walk to communicate instead of calling, emailing, or texting.
6. Use your lunch hour to walk/exercise AND bring your own lunch
7. Take the stairs to another floor’s restroom.
8. Take the stairs when traveling less than two flights.
9. Get off the elevator 2 or 3 flights before your floor and take the stairs
10. Do partial squats while waiting for the copier/microwave/ fax etc.
11. Wait by walking instead of sitting.
12. Fidget and squirm, you will burn more calories!
13. Get a sit-stand workstation.
14. Move your feet by doing ankle circles or flexing them up and down
15. Change your position or posture often

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Americans sit almost 10 hours each day (on average)!!

calculate how many hours a day you sit.

So don’t just sit there – get up and move!!! Here are more ideas to get you moving throughout your day!

Want to upgrade your conditioning?

I have a love/hate relationship with cardio. I used to enjoy running, but its become something I don’t enjoy anymore –  Im pretty sure cardio is something that most of us avoid, some of us hate, and very few of us love.  Bottom line, is cardio will improve health, push you towards your fat loss result faster, (if thats one of your goals) and it will actually help you look more muscular if you’re pushing for hypertrophy (muscle gain), and it will absolutely improve your strength training in the gym.

Here are  the favorite and most recommended:

PROWLER

If have never pushed a prowler in or at the end of a workout… YOU ARE  MISSING OUT!!!! Prowlers are number one because they’re the best all around tool, that anyone can use safely while getting an insane metabolic workout in.

You can load it up and build strength without harming the knees and hips. You can keep it light and use it for injury free sprints. You can push it fast for short explosive bursts or you can push it slower for long steady pace durations.

So when we want to add cardio in without getting sore, this is perfect! Here’s an awesome Prowler finisher that never fails.

Prowler Suicides

Set Out 3 Cones (10 Yards, 15 Yards, 20 Yards)

– Prowler Push (Sprint Pace) To Each Cone and Back For Time x3-6 Rounds

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 SLED PULLS

Sled pulls are also a good  choice, for almost all the same reasons as the prowler.  It’s joint friendly, can be light and fast or heavy and slow, can be used by almost anyone, and has multiple purposes or benefits behind it. The difference here, that makes it truly great, is that you can pull it in so many different ways – depending on what you’re going after.

You can row it, you can sprint forward with it, you can drag it backwards, you can bear crawl with it, you can walk laterally with it… the list goes on, it’s a great piece of equipment.   Try this for sled pulls –

Distance Sled Drags

3 Minutes On / 1.5 Minutes Rest x6-8 Rounds

– Pull Forward x20-25 Yards & Drag Backwards x20-25 Yards

ROWER

The Rower, is one of my favorite cardio go to – but not because it’s the ultimate fat burner (although it’s great for that).

I love the rower because it also trains your back musculature and can promote better posture. Too many people in the gym are stuck on their anterior chain (front side) for 75% of their training volume. Squats, sit-ups, bench presses, and curls. All things that promote shortened hip flexors and protracted shoulder blades.

We should to row 2x more than we push, in order to combat bad posture. In other words, let’s work our back side more than our front side. Well with rowing, we accomplish that. In fact it’s one of the only cardio methods that is repetitive posterior chain movements – which makes it a top dog for the average American gym goer.

But let’s add to that for the sake of burning fat and increase aerobic capacity. It is a movement that builds aerobic capacity and can seriously crank up your metabolic rate during a session. This will  allow you to maintain and build some muscle, promotes quality movement patterns, and can burn some calories if you program it properly.

Here’s 4 ways to program your rowing for cardio, depending on your goals:

Duration/Endurance

Intervals of 90 Seconds work / 60-90 Seconds Rest

Last Call Finisher

1,000 Meters / As Fast As Possible, 1 Round At The End Of A Strength Workout

Bursts

250 Meters For Time / 45-60 Seconds Rest, 5-10 Rounds

Countdown

500 Meters / 60 Second Rest

400 Meters / 60 Second Rest

300 Meters / 60 Second Rest

200 Meters / 60 Second Rest

100 Meters / DONE

ASSAULT BIKE

The assault bike is a mental battle for me – you HAVE to be mentally strong to push through your time, distance, or calorie burn allotment on the assault bike.

Assault bikes are great because again, they’re super joint friendly. As you can see, that’s my number 1 priority with prescribing cardio. Cardio should NOT interfere with our lifting/workout goals, it should enhance it, and it should never negatively impact our movement capabilities.

But another thing I love about the assault bike is that it actually improves our squat form. They did a study that showed people who chose the bike for their cardio vs. walking or running, actually improved their squat. This is probably because of the movement of the hip and knees, moving together in unison.

But if we’re referring to aerobic capacity, building muscle, or fat loss – again it’s one of the best forms of cardio you can possibly choose.

Because it actually works the muscles in your legs. This  means the assault bike can actually help BUILD muscle when not in a serious caloric deficit. This is HUGE because more cardio is known to be catabolic (aka – anti-muscle building).

Racing For Calories….

– 10 Calories For Time / 60-120 Seconds Rest x10 Rounds

HILL SPRINTS

Hill sprints have less hip extension, because the hill gets in the way. So although flat ground sprints may develop better hamstrings (probably splitting hairs with that statement), it takes down the injury risk of any lower back, hip, or hamstring injuries occurring. And again, if you cannot do it consistently then there’s no point in doing it at all.

Sprints in general, though, are fantastic because they build explosive speed and power, work on fast twitch muscle fibers, and create a very short burst high intensity stimulus – which we know is fantastic for increasing metabolic rate and burning body fat.

So for anyone who is or wants to become an athlete, or just look and perform like one, hill sprints are a definite suggestion of mine. The beauty of them, too, is that the protocols are so simple you really can’t mess them up:

 

Escalating Hills

3-4 Rounds Of Each Distance, For Time / Rest 60-120 Sec Between Rounds

– 10 Yards, 20 Yards, 30 Yards, 40 Yards

Kylee, Esther, Sarah Barefoot

Walking

Walking can help lower cortisol, in fact, studies show that it’s literally the only type of cardio that can possibly lower our cortisol levels.

The best part about walking, though, is that it’s almost impossible to over do it and create a state of under-recovery.  Walking is great because we can plan walks, count steps, or even hit the treadmill ALL while easily fitting it into your lifestyle plan.

Walking predominantly burns fat for fuel, can help burn a lot of extra calories, can help reduce stress if approached properly, and is extremely safe on joints and muscle mass. So if you’re looking to cut some calories but at a very low stress/demand approach – this is your go to.

Just walk more. Don’t overthink it.

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METCONS

For metcons, you are  training bodyweight strength movements, in a high intensity fashion. Your heart rate is cranked, metabolism jumps up, and you can possibly even build some muscle. It is a great fat loss cardio method; it just works.

The benefits are that you’re promoting full body movement patterns in a way that can apply to and benefit much more than just cardio alone.