It's finally winter, ah the cold is coming in. Time for fluffy jackets and hot cocoa on the couch with those little mallows. Yes? Wrong, it's time to put in the real work. Winter is a fantastic time for us to focus on ourselves as the cold sets in for the next 3-6 months. While cuddling up on the couch with a cup of cocoa and a good book are idyllic it's not necessarily conducive to our health to hibernate with the bears. This is a great time to get your stress, food intake and health under control. So let's take a look at the 3 simple ways that we all sabotage ourselves in our journey.
1. Stress is still too high and we claim we can't manage it. Listen, I understand and I hear you. However, you are not the exception. Know this, everyone is struggling with their stress and learning what you are learning, stress management. This is such a huge one because stress affects our hormone production. If our hormones are out of balance we suffer. Create mood disorders, sleep disorders, eating issues and disorders, unwanted fat gain and inflammation. The list continues even. So what can we do? Learn techniques that work for you to help you manage your stress levels throughout the day. For example, I have terrible road rage and I drive all the time. When I encounter a bad driver or someone moving just a bit too slow for the speed limit, I take a few deep breaths rather than allow myself to yell and scream at them. This keeps me calm. I also remind myself that everyone is in their own world and doing their own thing. (This shouldn't negate our mindful side for those around us and our surroundings however.) Breath work is one of the best ways to begin. Learning to breathe controls how much stress hormone you release, or don't. Yoga is another great way to learn breath work and patience. Many of us do not like to sit still, there is a reason. Look at your lifestyle and the world created for us. It literally tells us we have to move and be productive to be worthy. Not true. Slow down. And finally, journaling/self therapy techniques also help. This allows your subconscious to release trauma, worries, doubts, and intrusive thoughts you just can't quite let go of.
Working out also puts a particular type of stress called eustress on the body. Over time your body adapts to this physical stress making environmental stressors easier to manage and handle.
2. Cardio is just as important as lifting. In the beginning of your journey you NEED cardio. This does in fact assist with burning up that fat off your body. Fat supplies energy more than muscle, if you have excess fat on you then you have energy to burn. The body also needs cardio for a stronger heart, better blood pressure, and lower resting heart rate. Unless you are a conditioned athlete or bodybuilder (all of which do cardio as well) you need to incorporate a few days per week of some type of intense cardio. Walking is NOT cardio. Walking is a daily necessity. If you choose to walk, do so at an incline to burn more. The intensity is what assists our consistency in bringing results.
3. Eat your food and drink your water! I cannot stress this one enough. Our world is so prideful of lean, svelte bodies that we forget food and water are natural medication and necessary for survival! Many times clients beginning out will inform me that they do not eat breakfast or hardly at all and they can't lose the fat. If your body is in a deficit too long, of course it won't work. This has become your new baseline. Nutrition is much more complicated than just eating. You must eat for fuel as energy to the cells, muscles and brain as well as the recovery aspect. Drinking water also does the same thing by keeping your hydrated. Without water many of our nutrients have nothing to carry them around the body. Same with our food. If we cut out salt, electrolytes for example, have trouble transporting from cell to cell. Those electrolytes keep the body moving and supply the electricity to do so! My best advice is to consume a protein shake immediately following your training session and a full meal with protein and complex carbohydrates within 1 hour of working out. Fuel yourself for the best results otherwise we stay stagnant.
So here you have it, 3 simple ways you may be sabotaging your own progress. Use this winter to gain the health and the body you desire for this coming spring and summer. Don't be afraid to put in the work and wow yourself!
And remember, this is self-care.
Note from the Team.
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