As we all navigate COVID-19, here ten health and fitness tips to help you during this high-stress, high-risk situation.
10. Switch to a maintenance mode mindset. Until these uncertain times diminish, focus on simply maintaining weight and not losing weight.
9. Keep your same workout schedule. If you were not working out, start. This is not the time to stop working out. If anything, you want to workout more. Working out releases endorphins which helps alleviate and reduce stress.
8. Modify what you do for your workouts. Do not stop working out because your gym is closed. You can have effective and efficient workouts using limited equipment such as: bodyweight, exercise balls, resistance bands, and light dumbbells. If you need a workout you can do at home, contact us.
7. Perform cardio using bodyweight exercises. If you do not have a bike, treadmill, elliptical, etc. at home, then perform exercises such as: jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees, and glute kickers for your cardio.
6. Eat clean. With more idle time, make a conscious effort to have great nutrition 95 percent of the time.
5. Increase your water intake. Carry a water bottle everywhere you go to sip water throughout the day. If you do not like water add pizzazz by adding in a lemon, strawberries, oranges, etc.
4. Focus on getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Adequate sleep will help reduce your stress levels.
3. Meditate at least 10 minutes a day. There is beauty in stillness. Visualize yourself navigating and conquering this time while not gaining weight.
2. Stay positive and keep your head up. Keep the glass is half-full and not half-empty mentality.
1. Enjoy the extra time with your loved ones. Find ways to create precious memories because time is our most precious asset.
My journey to becoming a professional figure competitor was as equally challenging emotionally as it was physically. I experienced the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and everything in between. If I had to do it all again, I would. Not only was every moment worth it, I am all the better for it.
Whether your goal is to train for a bodybuilding competition, attend your high school reunion, compete in a racquetball tournament, or fulfill your life dream of hiking Machu Picchu, you are going to experience emotional highs and lows. A lot of people do not realize all that it takes to accomplish a major goal. For instance, people saw me on stage competing but never thought about the hours, days, and months of sacrifice it took for me to step on stage. The process was not always fun or exciting but my love to meet my goals propelled me on days I wanted to give up. You too can overcome the many obstacles that you will face striving to achieve your goals. I hope my transparency and story provides you with insight and encouragement to keep pushing when you feel you want to give up.
Most people assume I have always been into fitness, but I have not. However, I have always been an athlete. Growing up, my best friend was male, and I was the only female my age in the neighborhood. Therefore, I spent much of my time playing sports with the boys. I never touched weights until my college roommate taught me how to lift. But it was not until 2005 that my passion for fitness sparked.
I saw my first bodybuilding show in April 2004; I was there to support a friend. While there, I had an opportunity to see some of the women competing in figure. At that moment, I thought to myself, I can do this. A sport I had never heard of amazed me because growing up, I was the kid that wanted to do everything. To me, this was a sport I had not tried, let alone conquered. When I set my mind to something, it is all about conquering that goal. At that time, it was all about conquering being on stage, like the women I saw. I wanted to see if I could transform my physique to new levels. In 2005, I decided to give the sport a try. The following year, I won my professional card and then competed at the professional level until September of 2018. Back in 2005, I never imagined I would fall in love with the sport, but I did, and the rest is now history.
Despite being highly driven, it can be quite challenging – even for me, to ignore instant gratification and focus on long-term results. Those who know me well know I love ice cream, cookies, pies, pizza, and Mexican food. I indulged and took part in the good life, but my overall goal was to eat clean 90% of the time during my off-season. I knew if I stuck with this, I would maintain my overall physique until it was time for me to begin training for my next competition. To be a top performer, your long-term goals must outweigh your short-term desires.
Like many people, I struggled with balancing everything in life and having a good off-season. On many occasions I was not able to make it to the gym more than a few times a week. What kept me going was:
1. Knowing that I am and must be a walking talking billboard for clients;2. Listening to my body. When I am fatigued, I rest (aiming for 7-8 hours a day);3. Exercising early in the morning before my day gets started; and,4. Utilizing a season training model like the one I teach my clients.
Your body cannot stay in a high-intense training mode year-round. I trained according to my goals. My regimen when in-season for competing was completely different from when I was more relaxed in the off-season.
Human nature leads us to be our own worst critics. This can quickly foster self-doubt, especially when success does not come immediately. In my first show, I did not even come close to placing. My horrible placement caused me to train fervently during my entire off-season the following year. All my arduous work and sacrifice paid off; I won my professional card during my second show. However, I learned that pro-level competing was a monster all on its own. Between 2006 and 2009, I never placed in a show. I endured four long years of disappointments and setbacks. I began to question whether I could compete at that level. Despite my moments of self-doubt, I pushed forward. Finally, in 2010, I began placing.
As with any setback in life you must be resilient. That is what drove me to keep going year after year. At the end of the day, I was able to accomplish my goals, and retire with content. As Gandhi said, Glory lies in the attempt to achieve one’s goal and not in attaining it. Both peaks and valleys filled my journey. Overcoming those valleys brought me the most joy. Enjoy your journey and congratulations on taking the steps to conquer your dreams. ~Candice
February is the month of love. This is the season of flowers, chocolates, and romantic dinners. While you are thinking about that perfect gift for your partner this month, consider the gift of health and fitness. Studies show that people working toward improving their health by adopting healthy habits, including exercise, have greater success when their counterparts are pursuing similar interests.
University College London (UCL) Psychologist, Sarah Jackson stated, “Now is the time to make resolutions to quit smoking, begin exercise, or lose weight. And doing it with your partner increases your chances of success.” In a recent study done by UCL of more than 3,000 couples, research indicated both men and women were impacted by their partners’ habits. If you’re wondering what’s in it for you, here are just a few incentives to consider:
Gain more time. Let’s face it, life gets in the way. Most relationships struggle with finding quality time together. Making healthy habits such as exercise or meal prep a requirement in which you both actively participate, gives you more time to be with one another.
Share new experiences. You may be a fitness enthusiast, but your partner may not be (or vice versa). Engaging in activities together allows you to create new memories as you discover new ways to connect. Brisk nature walks, a neighborhood run, or taking part in something neither of you have tried before can rekindle smoldering flames.
Pursue a shared vision. Couples with a common vision sync on multiple levels. Setting goals together automatically creates accountability. The synchronicity established when pursuing shared goals draw you closer to each other.
Improve your sex life. In addition to the many benefits increased exercise brings, elevated stamina is one of them. Increased activity releases endorphins and a side effect to that is increased desire.
So after the flowers and candy, or dinner and a movie, engage in a healthy sweat session. The perks are as sweet and rich as any box of chocolates!
2017 is history! The time to regain control of your overall health and well being through exercise, nutrition and rest is NOW! Before beginning, here is some important information.
1. Commitment, consistency, and candor are required 2. Your efforts determine your results. Do your best for you! 3. Your fitness journey goes beyond the physical. Dig deep and renew your thinking.
Whatever your reasons for deciding to improve your fitness, the first step of your journey takes place in your mind. Reflect on your reasons for pursuing fitness. More importantly, be honest with yourself.
List your top three reasons for change and rank them in priority order(1 being the top reason). Again, be honest with yourself as your reasons will directly propel your inner motivation. No reason is too small or too grand and you may have reasons that overlap.
Can you believe it is already December? It’s a great time to reflect on your fitness journey and your progress. If you have been maintaining a fitness journal, I encourage you to flip through some of your earlier entries to remember your physical and emotional challenges. Look at where you are today. Those strides you’ve made are highly commendable!
The season of festive foods is still upon us and that means temptation abounds. Don’t derail all the progress you’ve made for a few days of regrettable indulgence. Unbelievably, you can have a holiday that is healthy and fun, too! Incorporating healthy alternatives can ensure you satisfy your palate while maintaining your fitness gains. Don’t ditch those smaller size jeans for stretchy joggers this holiday; try one of these alternative recipes instead.
Ditch the traditional Eggnog. If you are like most and simply have to have Eggnog this time of year, keep in mind a single glass is roughly 500 calories! Make your own dairy- and alcohol-free eggnog this year! We found a wonderful Honey Almond Eggnog recipe (get it here) that requires 5 minutes of prep time and serves approximately 6-8 people.
Spice up your veggie life. If you are someone who becomes bored quickly with the traditional veggie prep during the holidays, give your veggies a hearty kick of citrus and spice. Cooking Light has a wonderful Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetable recipe you will love!
Exchanging some of your traditional dishes with some of these alternatives can help keep your waistline in check. Ultimately, accountability is what keeps us on track. Pace yourself. Give yourself 10-15 minutes after your first meal to listen to your body. If full, there’s no need for seconds.
During this season of giving, be sure to give yourself one of the greatest gifts of all, health, and fitness.