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.
Part 1 of our interview last week with Candice McField gave us an inside look into what drives her passion for fitness and helping others through fitness coaching. This week, Candice McField happily answers your fitness and nutrition questions.
We sat down with Candice one week after taking the stage and here are her responses to your inquiries:
What advice would you give people who want to improve their fitness but feel they don’t have the time?
Remember the saying ‘Una mas’. It’s Spanish for “one more. I say it all the time in life and especially when working out. There is power in “one more. Do one more rep, hit the gym one more day, get started one more time, don’t give up one more time, etc. For those that feel they don’t have the time, I would say the first step is to admit they are making an excuse. The truth is we are all busy and do not have time. The difference is we make time for the people we love and the things that are important to us. I would say to that person, give me 10 minutes a day, and let’s grow from there. The cost of ten minutes of working out greatly exceeds the cost of today’s medical bills, health complications, or the devastation your family will feel should something tragic happen to you. Start today, no excuses. Give me 10 minutes and remember, una mas.
How do I train my brain to ignore instant gratification and stay focused on long-term results?
Personally, I have always been highly driven. I won’t lie, 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 desserts – ice cream, cookies, pies, cakes, you name it! Moreover, I can’t forget about pizza, Mexican food, and adult beverages! I definitely indulge and take part in the “good life, but my overall goal is to eat clean 90% of the time when I’m off-season. I know if I stick with this, I will maintain where I want to be until it is time for me to roll back to in-season mode. Your long-term goals have to outweigh your short-term desires. For instance, I love Mexican food and I love a great margarita. If I am going to have a margarita, then I will order a salad. If I am not going to have a margarita then I’ll order a traditional dish. Lastly, I do not beat myself up if I fall off-the bandwagon. I rarely have a ‘cheat day’ rather it will be a chat meal a few times a week. Remember, una mas. Get on the bandwagon and stay on the bandwagon.
I’m cursed with butt and thighs, what are your secret workout tricks to keep those butt and thighs tight and right?
I am sure some people would kill to be cursed with glutes and thighs! We tend to be the toughest critics of our own bodies and I totally understand the desire to want to keep things right and tight. Many minorities, especially African Americans tend to hold most of their weight in their glutes, hips, and quads. There is not a secret workout trick to combat this. You have to do everything…eat clean, workout consistently, sleep 7-8 hours consistently, etc. Training for my show this year, I incorporated a new exercise to assist with my glute and hip development. Not only do I walk at an incline, I also walk sideways, working the abductor and adductor muscles. It is an incredible way to keep the glutes, hips, and quads right and tight.
What’s the best trick to shred those last 5 pounds? Should I do more sprints or more ab workouts?
It is not a question of more sprints or ab workouts. Simply doing only one of the two options most likely won’t get you to your 5-pound weight loss goal. It’s about eating clean and in this case, 100% of the time, plus increasing your cardio and getting adequate rest. Those last five pounds most likely require you to dial in your nutrition and increase your cardio versus doing more ab workouts.
What’s the best cardio to tone or weight workout routine to tone? Do I do more reps at lighter weight or heavier weights?
There is no one-method-fits-all to tone. It is more about constantly keeping your body guessing and conquering plateaus. It is also about listening and understanding your body to know what exactly is best for you. For example, I know my body can handle carbs better than some others can. I also know that incline work and sprints are great for my body. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best way to unlock optimal performance for everyone else. Overtime, you will discover what is best for you. The main idea is to keep the body guessing by diversifying your reps, sets, and amount of weight used.Lastly, I truly think it is important to give your body one day off per week to recover.
How often do you think we should have a cheat meal? Should we have one cheat meal per week or one cheat meal every 2 weeks?
There is no hard, set rule. As always, it’s about understanding your body and knowing what works best for you. Whether you should or should not consume cheat meals depends on what your goals are and how close you are to meeting those goals. For example, an individual may need to achieve 100% accuracy in all areas(e.g., nutrition, strength training, sleep) in order to reach their goal. If that is the case, there can be no cheat meals. The number of cheat meals one can have varies from 0-4 (maybe 5), depending on where they are starting and where they’d like to end in terms of personal fitness goals. What’s more important to note is that we are speaking of cheat meals, not days. Cheat meals must be reasonable. You can’t eat an entire large pizza and call that a cheat meal. A cheat meal would be two slices of pizza.
Do you have questions for Candice? Submit them to, email@example.com.
Today, Candice McField will take the stage. She won’t be speaking to a large crowd. She will be competing. As the clock winds down, the mental fortitude and willful discipline kicks into high gear. Candice is a competitor in every sense of the word. She competes in life, business, and fitness; her greatest competition is herself.
In this 2-part interview series, Candice gives you some insight into exactly who she is.
Have you always been into fitness?
No. I wasn’t always in fitness but I have been an athlete from 3 or 4 years old. Growing up, my best friend was male and I was the only female my age in the neighborhood. Much of my time was spent playing many sports with the boys. I never truly lifted weights until college when my roommate taught me how to lift, but it wasn’t until 2005 that my passion for ‘fitness’ sparked.
What attracted you to figure competition?
I have always been very driven. I saw my first bodybuilding show in April 2004. I was there in support of 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. 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. One year later, I decided to try it. Two years later, I won my pro card and I’ve been competing ever since. I never imagined I would fall in love with the sport, but I have and here I am 13 years later.
What attracted you to personal training as a career?
As mentioned, I began competing in 2005 and during this time, I worked in finance. While working in finance, I always had people asking me about what they should eat and what exercises they should perform. My dream and passion quickly turned into being able to help people transform their life and physiques. Because I have been an athlete all of my life, it is such a natural fit. I love what I do, inspiring others as a health coach.
How do you balance career and personal fitness goals?
Like many people, I struggle with balancing everything in life. Life for me in graduate school was incredibly busy and I found myself only having time to make it to the gym a few times a week. At the end of the day, what keeps me going is:
Knowing that I am and have to be a walking talking billboard for clients;
Listening to my body. When I am fatigued, I rest (aiming for 7-8 hours a day);
I exercise early in the morning before my day gets started; and,
Finally, I utilize a seasons training model like the one I teach my clients.
Your body cannot stay in a high-intense training model year-round. I train according to my goals. My regimen when ‘in-season’ for competing is completely different from when I am more relaxed in the ‘off-season’.