Monday, January 31, 2022

Why You Should Document Your Fitness Journey


How many times have you been on the verge of quitting your workout? Everyone hits a training plateau now and then, but this isn't a hint that you should stop working out. You only need a little prodding to get back into your training shoes, and chronicling your fitness journey may be beneficial in these cases. Documenting your fitness journey may appear to be an amateur habit to have when on a training regimen, but you will be surprised at the benefits of doing so. Whether you prefer selfies or journals, everything that aids you in this instance is beneficial.

Here are five reasons why you should keep track of your fitness progress.

1. Plan

This is one of the most compelling reasons to keep track of your fitness progress. The majority of people abandon their exercise program because they lack a clear fitness plan. You'll need a firm plan of action if you want to enjoy a blistering training session. To be successful in your fitness journey, you must have a fitness plan. Documenting your progress also encourages you to make a fitness plan and assists you in achieving your fitness goals.

2. Progress

Your mind might sometimes fool you into believing you haven't made any progress. This can demotivate you and perhaps cause you to stop exercising. Thus, you should keep track of your progress by keeping a fitness journal. If you track your progress, you can readily see where you are in your journey and how much further you need to go to attain your objective. Set a goal for yourself and keep track of important statistics like weight, stamina, and other factors that might help you track your progress.

3. Accountability

Work and time are not valid excuses for skipping workouts. Stop creating excuses for not working out and start doing it. To stick to your exercise routine, you must retain personal accountability. While having a long-term plan may motivate you to achieve your goal, recording your fitness journey forces you to be accountable to yourself and keeps you on track.

4. Suitability

Every workout isn't suitable for everyone. A training program's success is determined by your lifestyle and physical conditioning. Maintaining a fitness blog or diary to track your progress is similar to keeping a database that allows you to compare workout plans. You may easily refer to your database and change your routines if you reach a training plateau.

5. Motivation

It's difficult to find the motivation to stick to a fitness routine these days, and it's all too easy to lose the stamina to keep going. Keeping track of your fitness progress will provide you with the incentive you require to stay on a fitness plan. It provides you with something to concentrate on and helps you stay on track to achieve your objective. Furthermore, the documentation of your health or fitness journey may be useful to others. When someone sees your paperwork and learns about your incredible trip, they will be inspired, and that is one life you have touched for the better.

Documenting your fitness progress motivates you to keep going with your fitness routine. When you look back on your achievements, the path you've charted will serve as a blueprint for your next triumph. So, start keeping track of your fitness progress and reap the rewards.


Monday, January 24, 2022

Winter Wellness: Tips To Get Through The Winter Months


1. Get Outside Often

It's easy to avoid going outside in winter. A covered garage can make it easy to go from your car to your office then back to your car again to arrive back home without ever feeling that icy sharpness on your face.

But staying inside for days on end, with nothing but artificial warmth and sniffing companions for company, can increase your chances of getting sick over winter.

Choose a day when the sky is blue and clear or it's not raining. Dress warmly, and step out and feel that winter sunshine. Admire how beautiful and clean your world looks when there is snow on the ground. You'll feel much better for it.

2. Keep Up the Exercise

Thumbs up if you have made it your goal to exercise more. How's that going for you?

Don't begrudge yourself if things haven't gone as well as planned. We know that it can be harder to stay motivated when it's cold outside and the days are shorter.

Choose a gym that is close to your home or work, or find a local fitness group or yoga class that fits in with your life. Buy something appropriate to wear and schedule in workouts as you would an appointment. Download a mobile app such as Fitness Buddy to chart your fitness. Make the most of a beautiful sunny winter's day, dress warmly, and run in the cold.

3. Make the Most of Nutritious Winter Fruits and Vegetables

Eating during winter doesn't have to be boring and vitamin deficient. Keep carbohydrate-laden foods such as white bread and pasta to a minimum and fill your plate with dark leafy greens, winter squash, citrus and pomegranate, which thrive in the chill of winter.

These fruits and vegetables are laden with nutrients, antioxidants and fiber which increase your energy and help keep that winter-weight at bay. They may help reduce your risk of cancer too.

4. Protect Your Skin From the Inside-Out and Outside-In

Cold, dry air quickly sucks moisture from our skin. Combine that with a blasting of hot air from a central heating unit and some nice scratchy winter fabric and your skin can end up being one dry, itchy, scaly mess.

Keep moisture locked into your skin with a heavy, oil-based moisturizer. Lather it on every time you bath or shower or whenever your skin feels dry. Drink plenty of water and eat foods like berries which are high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts, or take omega-3 supplements), and consider using a humidifier to help add moisture to the air.

5. Watch Your Vitamin D Levels

Do you seem to succumb to every cold, flu, or stomach bug doing the rounds? Perhaps you are just generally feeling a bit blue. Both our immune system and our mood rely on vitamin D. Because vitamin D is made in our bodies after exposure to the sun, it is not uncommon for people to become vitamin D deficient during the winter months. Vitamin D also helps ensure that our bodies absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus for building bone.

Ask you doctor for a blood test to determine where your vitamin D levels fall. If yours are low, you may benefit from a daily vitamin D supplement of 400–800 IU/day (10–20 micrograms).

6. Try to Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule

Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by the hormone melatonin, which is released in response to light. Exposing yourself to too much light at night - such as that emitted from computer screens, TV screens or electronic devices - inhibits the release of melatonin which decreases sleep quality and quantity. This makes us feel sluggish and tired the next day.

Get up and go to bed at the same time of day regardless of the season. Restrict computer use and TV watching at night. Consider a melatonin and magnesium supplement if you also have trouble sleeping.

7. Thwart That Cold or Flu In Its Tracks

Maybe your throat has become a bit sore or scratchy. Perhaps your nose or eyes are starting to feel a bit congested. You can feel a change in your health but it's still in the early stages.

Keep some natural remedies at home to take at the first sign of a cold or flu. Olive leaf, garlic, echinacea, elderberry, vitamin C, and zinc may help to boost your immunity and increase our resistance to those nasty winter viruses.

8. Be Mindful of Your Heart

Extreme cold coupled with unaccustomed exertion is bad for your heart. Studies have shown that heart attack rates increase as temperatures decrease, and normally sedentary people who subject themselves to intense bursts of activity are more at risk.

So be careful if you have to go out on a freezing cold day and shovel snow. Use a small shovel and just move small amounts of snow at a time. Take any chest pain seriously. Seek medical help immediately if you feel discomfort, chest tightening, or pain in the chest, upper arm or neck area. Most heart attacks start with mild symptoms initially so it is important to get any symptoms of chest pain checked out.

9. Stay in Control of Your Asthma

Winter can be a challenging time for people with asthma. Cold and flu viruses can trigger asthma attacks; dry air or smoke from the fireplace can irritate airways; and the Christmas tree may harbor invisible mold spores that exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Try to avoid known triggers if you can. Buy an artificial Christmas tree and cover your mouth with a scarf when going outside. Keep taking your asthma medications, even if you are feeling well. See your doctor in the winter months if you feel your  asthma is not under good control.

10. Shine Some Light on Those Winter Blues

Thirty percent of people in the northern U.S. states struggle with the winter blues each year. A few of them suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that happens around the same time each year.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Benefits of Sleep Masks



The basic premise of a sleep mask is very simply to block any light from reaching your eyes. Exposure to light when you’re trying to sleep confuses your circadian rhythm, the body’s 24-hour internal clock that regulates sleep patterns.

Our circadian rhythms are essentially set by light. If you have even very small amounts of light in your bedroom you’re pretty much telling your body it’s daytime, which means don’t sleep, and you actually inhibit the production of the sleep promoting hormone melatonin.”


Chances are, almost everyone can likely benefit from going to sleep with an eye mask on. In particular, a sleep mask may be useful for anybody who:

- Suffers from insomnia

- Is a light sleeper

- Works night shifts or has to sleep during the day

- Travels frequently 


A study reports that those wearing a sleep mask show substantial improvements in their sleep and next-day recovery. On average, their total time asleep increases by 27 minutes, they see a 2% gain in REM sleep, and their recovery is boosted by 9%.

These stats were found to be generally consistent across all age groups, and for both men and women. Analysis of those wearing a night mask also considered possible confounding factors as well, meaning other behaviors to help sleep were controlled, like wearing blue-light blocking glasses or reading before bed.

Beyond more time asleep, increased REM sleep, and better recovery, here are 5 additional benefits of sleep masks:

Stop distractions and prevent you from viewing screened devices in bed. You’re not going to look at your phone or turn on the TV if you’ve got a mask on.

Cheap and easy. A sleep mask costs a lot less than blackout curtains and is much simpler than trying to eliminate all sources of light around you.

Travel well. You might have complete darkness in your bedroom at home, but that can be extremely difficult to replicate anywhere else you sleep.

Improve dry itchy eyes. Covering your eyes may prevent them from being exposed to dust, dry air, or other potential irritants.

Protect your skin. Over time, a mask can help preserve the delicate skin around your eyes and stave off wrinkles.



In order to get the most out of a sleep mask, it’s important to find the right one for you. Here are some key characteristics to look for:

  • Make sure you find it comfortable, easy to wear, and that it doesn’t bother you if you have sensitive          skin
  • Check to see that it blocks out ALL light
  • Avoid masks that feel too tight–an adjustable strap may be useful
  • Get one that fits your sleeping style (for example, one that won’t slide off or put pressure on your                face if you sleep on your side.)


Monday, January 10, 2022

Your Detox Pathways Matter


Things like stress, eating processed foods, exposure to environmental toxins, lack of movement, compromised sleep, and pharmaceutical drugs can all hinder your body’s natural detox systems.

What organs play a role? There are several involved:

The skin through sweat, lungs through breathings, kidneys through urine, intestines through feces, and the liver clears toxins.

How can you support these organs? You can ADD simple things like these to your daily routine:


There is nothing like a delicious cup of matcha in the morning. It is FULL of chlorophyll – which is great for detoxification. 


Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, oranges in ice water are amazing for the kidneys and FULL of vitamin C.


Cruciferous vegetables like: arugula, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and mustard greens are all SUPER AWESOME at helping the liver to detox.  Add these guys to salads, saute on the stove with some pasture butter, or make yourself a delicious grass-finished burger wrapped in a cabbage bun.  

Garlic and onion are both super potent and packs a swift punch full of detoxifying properties.  Caramelized onions “all day every day”, and garlic in EVERYTHING is just better!


Herbs like cilantro (salsa or guacamole), parsley (chimichurri), and rosemary (with a juicy steak or rack of lamb) are powerhouses for the detox pathways.

Turmeric and curry are absolute rockstars at reducing inflammation AND, your guessed it, detoxing the body.


Move your body, in some form or fashion, and sweat daily.  Your skin will applaud you.


Please take DEEP breaths too throughout the day.  Ideally 100 conscious deep belly breaths. 


A nice warm cup of delicious bone broth is an excellent assistance to the gut, kidneys and liver.


Dandelion, turnip, beet greens are a great detoxifying additions to fresh salads.  An apple cider vinegar / olive oil based dressing with a tiny touch of maple syrup will counteract the bitterness perfectly.  


After dinner, tea is a great way to settle into the night.  Tea with herbs like milk thistle, burdock root, licorice root, ginger root, and dandelion root are the best.   


Before bed, slap a dob of castor oil into your hand and rub it over your kidneys and liver.  Castor oil is a MAJOR healer and fantastic for detoxification.  P.S. Wear and old t-shirt because the oil can stain.  You can also search for castor oil packs on the internet.


Sleep 7-9 hours every night, please!!! Our bodies work really hard to detox and repair through the night.  Honor that process with good rest. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Isometric Exercises You Should Be Doing

Isometric exercises place tension on particular muscles without moving the surrounding joints. By applying constant tension to the muscles, isometric exercises can be useful for improving physical endurance and posture by strengthening and stabilizing the muscles.

There are two types of muscle contraction: isotonic and isometric. Isotonic contractions occur when muscles become shorter or longer against resistance, and tension remains the same. Isometric contractions occur when tension increases but the muscle remains at a constant length.

Many strength building exercises involve concentric or eccentric movements, which are both isotonic contractions. Concentric movements cause the muscle to shorten, and eccentric movements lengthen the muscle.

Isometric exercises do not involve the muscles shortening or lengthening. During isometric exercises, the joints are still, and the muscles do not change shape or size. People will typically hold the isometric contraction for several seconds or minutes.

Some isometric exercises develop tension by holding the body in a certain position, while others may involve holding weights. Holding the muscle contraction allows the muscle tissue to fill with blood and create metabolic stress on the muscle. This can help improve strength and endurance.

An advantage of isometric exercises is that they are fairly easy to perform, usually do not require any equipment, and are easily incorporable into many weight lifting exercises.

Benefits of isometric exercises 

Many exercise regimens will include some isometric movements, along with more dynamic exercises.

Some benefits of isometric exercises may include:

  • They are useful exercises for activating many muscle fibers at once.
  • They require less practice to perform exercises with good form compared with some dynamic movements, such as squats.
  • They are suitable for people with an injury or medical condition that restricts movement. For example, a 2012 study found that isometric exercises are suitable for people with osteoarthritis.
  • Some research suggests that isometric exercise training may be an effective way to lower blood pressure. 
  • According to a 2015 study, these exercises can improve muscle stability and the ability to hold weight over longer periods.
  • Some research suggests that isometric exercises may help with pain relief for lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis, and neck pain. 

Risks of isometric exercises

In general, isometric exercises are less intense for major muscle groups than many dynamic movements. However, although they can be safer, isometric exercises may still cause or worsen existing injuries.

Performing isometric exercises with poor form can also lead to injury. For example, performing a plank without proper form can increase tension in the lower back, potentially leading to an injury.

If a person notices any pain or discomfort while performing an isometric exercise, they should stop immediately.

Examples of isometric exercises and how to do them

There are many types of isometric exercise, and each targets different muscle groups. Some common isometric exercises include:


Performing plank exercises is an effective way of strengthening the core muscles. To perform a plank: 

  • Start in a pressup position.
  • Bend the elbows so that the forearms are flat on the ground.
  • Hold the body in a straight line, with the forearms underneath the shoulders, keeping the core muscles tight.
  • Start with holding this position for 10 seconds, and build up over time.

Wall sit

The wall sit is a simple exercise for improving muscle endurance in the thighs without straining the lower back muscles. To perform a wall sit:

  • Stand around 2 feet in front of a wall, with the feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly lower the body into a sitting position so that the back rests flat against the wall.
  • Bend the knees to a 90-degree angle as if sitting on a chair, keeping tension in the core.
  • Hold this position for as long as possible.

Glute bridge

The glute bridge exercise targets the gluteal muscles behind the quadriceps. To perform a glute bridge: 

  • Lie on the back with the knees bent upward so that the feet are planted flat on the floor. Extend the arms and face the palms upward.
  • Engage the core muscles and lift the hips away from the ground until the torso is a straight line, using the arms for stability.
  • Hold this position while keeping the core muscles active.

Dead hang

The dead hang will work the upper body, particularly the shoulders. To perform this exercise:

  • Grab a pullup bar with the hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Cross the feet and lift them back off the ground so that the body is hanging in the air.
  • Hold this position for as long as possible. 

Isometric squat

This exercise is a variation of the traditional squat that builds endurance in the leg muscles. To perform this exercise:

  • Stand with feet at least shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly bend the knees, push the hips backward, and lower into a squat position.
  • At the bottom of the movement, move the arms forward to aid balance.
  • Hold this position.