5 Fun Facts about Fitness

If you’ve been staying off social media recently (it’s always good to take a break and reset, am I right?) you may have missed these five fun facts about fitness!  

We’ve been mindful about teaching healthy habits in our community and encouraging our members to set boundaries around their screen time, especially with all the extra time at home.  

Did you know there is such a thing as residual attention?

According to Cal Newport, who wrote Digital Minimalism, it’s the energy your mind devotes to social media, the tv, and distractions that lasts long after you set your phone down or walk away from the news to return to your task.  My mind was blown when I learned about that the other day as well as these five fun facts about fitness we looked into this month while!

  1. Exercise is one of the best relievers of stress, anxiety and depression, because it releases endorphins and gives your mind something else to focus on.  This backs up the point about residual attention we made earlier.  When you need a break from your task at hand because you are stuck or overwhelmed, try 10 minutes of exercise instead!  
  2. The average person walks about 70,000 miles in their lifetime. That’s enough to circle the earth almost three times!  Do you have a Fitbit?  One of our members recently remarked that in the last couple months, she had walked the length of Italy!  A whole 730 plus miles!  Way to go Jen!
  3. If all the muscles in your body could pull in the same direction, you could lift 25 tons.  Of course, many of our muscles are meant for pulling and stabilizing the joints, so this is a fun fact that can hardly be applied to our every day lives.  But did you know that your pulling muscles (back) need to be trained twice as much as your pushing muscles (chest) to prevent imbalances and injuries?
  4. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories.  More bang for your buck right here!  In 30 minutes of HIIT, you can continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after a good hard workout!
  5. Exercising boosts brain activity and helps build new brain cells.  Just one more reason to think about how much time we devote to screens that distract us and to find ways to replace those brain cells we just lost!

If you would like to hear more about the impact fitness has in our lives and learn how to lose 20 pounds by 2021!

Join me for a free fitness class where you can ask me anything about fitness, nutrition, and personal growth!

Just click here to save your seat for one of the live zoom classes I am hosting!

7 Reasons to Start a Strength Program Now!

And the 7 excuses we hear you use to talk yourself out of beginning today!

Our members have come to us with very specific goals over the years and we have seen some common themes pop up! Those goals are listed below along with the reasons we’ve heard that hold you back from starting today.

1. You want to lose weight and most of our clients have a weight loss goal that ranges between 15-20 pounds but sometimes as high as 50-75! These goals are totally doable! We often times recommend that we begin with realistic goals such as losing 1-2 pounds per week. That comes out to be about a change of 350 calories per day. Feels more manageable, right? When we set more realistic goals, our mindset changes automatically from “I can’t” to “I will!” The reason we have heard from our community is that they don’t have the time, so why even start?!

2. You want to feel better with more energy, more confidence, and less stress! These are the reasons I began my strength program after graduating from college in ’11. I was so exhausted from work, family, social life, and school that I had gained 15# of unhealthy body fat. I didn’t feel as if I was leading my community by example and so I set out to make some serious changes in my life. I began meal prepping, exercising regularly, and even started a new hobby in boxing which eventually led me to jiu-jitsu! The top reason I hear from our members is that they don’t have a game plan or program that works!

3. You want to look better because life has caught up with us. Whether that be work is overwhelming and draining or family has consumed all of your free time. The reason we allow this to happen to ourselves is that you prioritize others’ needs above your own. And many times, there are moments when our relationships are a top priority but when we are drained physically and we aren’t happy in our own skin, that’s the time to put yourself first! Make yourself a top priority!

4. You want to perform better at work, at home, during your favorite activities, or sports! When I began losing the unwanted weight, I gained so much more from the journey that I had envisioned when I set out with just that goal. As the body fat came off, my energy skyrocketed and I had plenty leftover each day to begin a new hobby in boxing and eventually it led to my lifelong passion for jiu-jitsu. Putting performance at the top of my list of goals, allowed me to shift my mindset to learning a new skill as opposed to losing weight. You may hold yourself back from setting performance goals because you may think you could not possibly improve your performance at your age, this time in your life, or with everything else you have on your plate. My performance improved in every area of my life when I put performance as a priority!

5. You want to build lean muscle mass for toning or a performance goal. Lean muscle mass does so much for us for so many reasons. It helps us look, feel, and perform better but it also burns more calories per day which helps us reach our weight loss goals! The reason you may not start a strength program is because you can’t envision how easy and beneficial building lean muscle mass is at any age!

6. You want to be an example for your family, community, or coworkers which can impact so many lives around you, so I get why this is a big motivator. I have also begun a new strength program or modality because I wanted to be a better leader at Fit Life! Kettlebells, olympic lifting, and non-linear periodization are all programs I’ve educated myself on since beginning Fit Life in 2011. The reason you may hold yourself back here is because of limiting beliefs such as “I could never be an example” or “I don’t have enough expertise to lead”. Trust me, I’ve been there before and I want to remind you that someone is always watching you. Your kids (coworkers, family, friends) look up to you and if they see you taking one small step each day, that’s where your example for them begins!

7. You want to live a better life because you have been stuck in a plateau for a little while now. A strength training program can and will JUMPSTART a new period in your life so that you can achieve all that you have ever wished to! This is why I believe exercise is a great place to begin a personal growth journey. It just so happens to be one of the five pillars of optimal health we teach in our holistic approach to coaching our members. You may not have even realized this was a reason you’ve been held back physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

What reason stands out at you today? What has been holding you back from getting started now? Join our private facebook community today for more tips and articles just like this to help you reach your goals quickly and safely!

5 Summer Workouts You Can Do Outside the Gym

5 Summer Time Workouts Outside of the Gym


Welcome to the peak of summer! It’s heating up out there but we have some cool ideas for you to find exercise routines to do outside of the gym.

Hiking- This feels like an obvious solution for those of us living in areas well known for hiking. However, you can always take your hiking game to the next level! Next time you go for a hike, pick up the pace so that you can include a cardiovascular component to this popular low impact form of outdoor exercise.


The “Mini Incline” in Castle Rock- Phillip S. Miller Park is home to a miniature version of the popular incline in Manitou Springs (closed for the season). It’s also home to an outdoor gym and recreation center with sports fields athletes can use for soccer, sprints, and footwork drills!

Cycling- We are so blessed in Colorado because we have miles of cycling trails for this popular low impact form of cardio and endurance training. One thing to keep in mind about cycling is that you will still need to compliment it with an “off the bike” resistance training program because the amount of low impact hours on the bike can lower bone density. Resistance training with weights or body weight exercises helps stress your bones to keep them strong unlike the low impact form of exercise that cycling gives you.

Kayaking/Canoeing- This is for our adventure seekers out there and not for the faint of heart! Kayaking or canoeing does so much for us to reconnect to the wilderness, get outside, and find some vitamin D! The sun is one of the only sources of vitamin D outside of supplements and it is crucial to get a good dose of this plentiful micronutrient. Fun fact about vitamin D is that you can never get enough of it from the sun (short of daily sun burns) but you can get too much of it from supplements. We recommend the natural route!

Hit the Dog Park- My sidekick Chloe has been the best motivator to get me out of the house for daily walks. But if you’ve ever wanted to take it up a notch, bring a “Chuck it” with you to get your arm workout and mobility in, or jog with your pup to wear you both out!

For more ideas on in home exercises to compliment your favorite outdoor workouts, check out our trial of the Body Weight Warrior program below!

How to Make the Best Use of Your Time at the Gym

We are all busy and probably struggle to get a workout in when we have so many other demands for our time like work, family, hobbies, and household responsibilities. Most people do not have unlimited time to spend at the gym or working out at home, so having a plan for our workout will help ensure that we are getting in and getting out in a reasonable amount of time! Here are 15 tips to make the best use of your time at the gym.

Before we begin, it is always best to vary your workouts. Your body adapts to the same routine very quickly, so it’s imperative to mix up and change your routine up. Most experts recommend changing your routine at least every six to eight weeks, or even more often if you like the variety. Plus it helps keep your motivation higher and prevents boredom. These are not one-size-fits-all recommendations, it’s always important to consider your personal goals, preferences, and abilities. 

  1. Keep socializing, social media, and texting to a minimum. It may seem like these distractions only take a minute or so here and there, but the time adds up. Plus they take your focus away from your ultimate goal of getting an awesome workout completed in the most time efficient way possible. 
  2. Have a plan before you go to work out. Start with a warm-up (five to ten minutes), then move to either cardio or resistance training and switch halfway through (if you are doing both in the same exercise session). Use a comprehensive exercise library with instructions, photos, videos, and muscles worked like on Exercise.com. Finish with a cool down and flexibility/stretching at the end (ten minutes). 
  3. Include the warm-up, cool down, or flexibility/stretching exercises in your routine, don’t skip out on them to save time. The warm-up should only take five to ten minutes and cool down and flexibility around ten minutes. Both are a very important part of your workout and very beneficial to health and well-being. Flexibility helps us move better during normal daily activities and functional movements, like reaching to grab something from a high shelf or getting in and out of our car. 
  4. Consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to save time on cardiovascular activities. Research supports the health benefits of HIIT, which usually take less time to complete when compared to steady-state intensity cardiovascular exercises. For example, spending 15-20 minutes doing intervals of vigorous effort with short rest periods has comparable health and cardiovascular benefits as 30 minutes of running on the treadmill at the same speed (Foster et al., 2015).
  5. Don’t forget about full-body cardiovascular and power exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, squat jumps, or jumping rope. They don’t take a lot of time, don’t take a lot of space or equipment, and get your heart rate up quickly. 
  6. Focus on multi-joint, compound, or combination activities in the weight room. Examples of multi-joint or compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, or kettlebell swings. Focus on combination exercises like bicep curls with a shoulder press or bench squat with a lateral raise. Body weight exercises like push-ups, lunges, planks, or wall sits are also time efficient and do not require any equipment.  
  7. Another tip for the weight room is to complete an upper body exercise, then while you are resting, complete a lower body exercise. This is what fitness professionals call a “superset” and it’s just when you alternate exercises with no rest in between. For example, do one set of bent over rows then immediately do one set of lunges. This allows the first group of muscles to rest while you are working out the second group. It is a very effective way to utilize your time. You are still allowing one group of muscles to rest while the other muscle group is active.
  8. One more tip for resistance training to keep your workout simple and straightforward. Two sets of ten repetitions is easy to remember, time efficient, and works both muscular strength and muscular endurance. 
  9. Consider taking a class where the workout is pre-designed for you, like a streaming fitness class, yoga class, spinning class, bootcamp, Camp Gladiator, OrangeTheory fitness, Crossfit, F45, or 9Round. All you have to do is show up, work out, then leave. 
  10. Find a certified personal trainer and let them know you want the most effective workout in the time you have available (30, 45, 60 minutes, etc) and let the professional design a great workout for you. Personal trainers have a wealth of experience designing exercise routines and can take the guesswork out of it for you to get a full-body workout in the time you have available. 
  11. Use a fitness wearable, like a Garmin, Apple watch, or Fitbit to track your calories and heart rate. Set a goal for your calories burned or minutes that your heart rate is in the cardio or peak heart rate zone. There are a lot of mobile apps available that can track calories burned and/or heart rate zones with your wearable device. Once you reach that goal, move on to your cool down and flexibility exercises to finish your workout. 
  12. Complete a circuit training routine with a friend. Find a workout plan online or on an app, or many fitness professionals also post routines on their social media. Take turns timing your exercises, or do them at the same time, and help push each other to the finish. 
  13. Design your workout playlist ahead of time or consider a mobile app that already has playlists ready to go, like Spotify or RockMyRun. This keeps you from stopping to change songs or playlists during your workout. You can just start it and let it play for your entire workout!
  14. Figure out the time of day when your energy levels are the highest and you feel the best working out. It might take some trial and error for a few weeks to determine this, but it will help prevent the sluggishness which might slow down your workout. 
  15. Get plenty of recovery and sleep. Recovery, rest, and sleep are the critical times when your body repairs itself from the effects of exercise, including rebuilding muscles, repairing tissues, and replenishing energy stores. Sleep and exercise have a reciprocal relationship, they both influence each other (Chennaoui, Arnal, Sauvet, & Léger, 2015). Adequate recovery and sleep ensures that you will be able to maximize your workouts and be at the top of your game!

References:

Chennaoui, M., Arnal, P. J., Sauvet, F., Léger, D. (2015). Sleep and exercise: A reciprocal issue? Sleep Medicine Reviews, 20, 59-72, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2014.06.008.

Foster, C., Farland, C. V., Guidotti, F., Harbin, M., Roberts, B., Schuette, J., … Porcari, J. P. (2015). The effects of high intensity interval training vs steady state training on aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 14(4), 747–755.

Melissa Morris is a professor by day and a part-time writer for Exercise.com. Melissa has a BS and MS in exercise science and an EdD in educational leadership. She teaches nutrition and applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa and has worked in health education, fitness, and nutrition for 15 years. In her free time, Melissa loves to workout at Orangetheory fitness and run 5K and 10K races.

Bio:

What Fitness Equipment Do I Need to Workout at Home?

We are excited to welcome you to the only online personal training program for busy adults that want to improve mental health, decrease stress, and boost energy!

Before you get started, it is important to make sure that you have the equipment needed to perform all of the exercises. So here is your shopping list with fitness equipment that will allow you to exercise in the comfort of your home safely and efficiently.

Must haves in order to get started right away:

– Dumbbells (two pairs ranging from 15 to 50 lbs.) – besides the 25# you have, look for 15s, 20s, and 30s to get started or select the power block feature below!
– Swiss Ball
– Bands with Handles
– Pull Up Bar

Recommended equipment to get more out of your workout experience.

– Flat Bands
– Kettlebells (two kettlebells ranging between 15 and 50 lbs.)
– Power Block (Power Blocks are essentially dumbbells with variable resistance)- as a better investment and substitute to dumbbells

Email us know if you have any questions, and enjoy you workout!

Fresh Spinach Salad

To save time and money with meal prep, we love simple green salads with chicken.  Often, we spice up our salads with veggies and fruits plus a homemade dressing, such as a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!

The prep time and cook time for this lunch fit in with consolidating steps of meal prep perfectly.  Taking about 20 minutes to cook the chicken and 5 minutes of actually putting your lunch salads together.

  1. Handful of loosely packed fresh spinach placed in meal prep container
  2. Chilled, grilled or baked chicken portioned out to the specifications of your macronutrient guide
  3. 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  5. 1/4 tsp of cracked black pepper
  6. Mixed veggies to taste and to the specifications of your macronutrient guide

Steps to prepare your lunches before your busy work week.

  1. Thaw and Grill chicken breast(about 1 pound) seasoned to taste.  Let chicken cool in refrigerator.  Slice thin.
  2. Grab one loosely packed handful of fresh spinach and place in meal prep container.  Easily swap out brown rice in the perfect portion called for in your macronutrient guide!
  3. Add thinly sliced chicken breast to meal prep container.
  4. Add assorted veggies, your choice.
  5. Store in fridge until the morning to grab and go, prepared for lunch ahead of your busy day!

Spinach Salad

Overnight Oats

I’m a simple guy.  Really simple.

I generally pick a few ingredients and make it into a meal, breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  That particular strategy is beneficial to weight management and fueling the body for performance…  Most of the time.

Until I get tired of eating same things, all the time!

Because of PrepWars, I’ve learned how to have some fun with meal prep, and the following recipes are just the trick to change up my routine.  Follow @fitlifechampions on Facebook and Learn to Meal Prep on Instagram to learn how to make overnight oatmeal work for you and your busy week ahead!

Please check out these recipes for some fun variations on overnight oatmeal!  Remember to use almond or coconut milk instead of dairy for optimal health and performance through your busy week!

Overnight oatmeal recipes to save you time!

 

Fast and Easy Egg Cups

The purpose of meal prep ahead of your busy week is to save you time AND money.  Adding this fast meal prep recipe will save you boatloads of each!  Once your ingredients are prepped, diced, sliced, mixed and placed in the oven, you are free to grill or saute your other meals for the upcoming week.

Egg Cups

To save time and money, prepare your breakfasts ahead of your busy week!

This simple to make meal-prep breakfast is a great way to make your morning routine quick and healthy!

Items needed:

  • 6 section (minimum) muffin tin, non-stick
  • 1 quart egg whites
  • 6 pack of eggs
  • Diced vegetables of your choice (peppers, onions, brussel sprouts, zucchini, etc.)
  • Spinach sliced
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper

 

Instructions:

  • If not a non-stick pan, lightly grease tin with coconut oil.
  • Dice your choice of vegetables to smaller than bite-size portions
  • Divide veggies equally between each section of the muffin tin.
  • Crack one egg into each section of the muffin tin.
  • Pour the equivalent of two egg whites into each section of the muffin tin.
  • Sprinkle spinach over top of each section, crack black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or to desired consistency.  Eggs should be firm once fully cooked.
  • Remove from oven and quickly remove eggs, add your choice of protein (1/8 c.) and portion into containers for grab n go meals in the morning!

Egg Cups Finished

Brand Ambassador Program

Do you want to make a quick $50?!

Are you looking to make extra income in the fitness and nutrition industry?

Fit Life Champions has a brand ambassador program that’s the right fit for you!  In order for you to know exactly how to share the program with others, we will give you access to a FREE weeklong program to try out immediately!

Simply share your unique code with friends and family and earn $50 per referral!

Click HERE NOW now to apply!  And watch the video below to learn more details!

The 5 Best Books that Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals

Five years ago when we began our coaching journey, we stressed how important exercise was to help you reach your goals.  And while very impactful to help you reach your goals, fitness alone will not make as big of a change!

We realized after about a year and a half that we weren’t providing the elite level of service that we held ourselves to so we dedicated 18 weeks to learning the advanced application of sports nutrition from Precision Nutrition!  That education was a game changer for our community once we added in the #PrepWars Meal Prep Workshop!

Finally, we discovered the next step to help you reach your fitness goals was to add in some very important books that launched our clients forward!

The TOP 5 LIFE CHANGING books we recommend along with a the top 3 reasons they make a difference are….

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

  1. The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
  2. Exercise is a keystone habit that impacts every area of your life because it boosts energy, decreases stress, and establishes a routine.
  3. Once a routine of exercise has begun, nutrition changes soon follow to support the additional energy expenditure while building lean muscle mass and decreasing body composition.

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

  1. This book demonstrates how to eliminate the barriers to success by overcoming false fears and beliefs.
  2. Two limiting beliefs that stand out are Burden and Not Feeling Good Enough, this book helps lay out a strategy to overcome these debilitating limiting beliefs.
  3. “Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”

Find Your Why by Simon Sinek

  1. “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.”
  2. Finding and committing wholeheartedly to your purpose helps to remind us why we begin a fitness journey and keeps us on the path when distractions or set backs arise.
  3. “Before we can stand out, we must first get clear on what we stand for.”

Mindset by Carol Dewick

  1. It is your mindset that will help you achieve your goals quickly and safely.  If you have a growth mindset you are more likely to believe that you will reach the destination you set out on a quest for.
  2. “No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
  3. When you avoid the trap of a fixed mindset, your achievements will come to you faster and are more likely to stick as a lifestyle change.

The Sacred Enneagram by Chris Heurtz

  1. By learning and identifying our personalities, we can recognize our tendencies, both good and bad in order to become our best selves.
  2. “When it comes to recognizing the truth of our own identities, most of us experience a symbolic version of blindness that keeps us from seeing ourselves for who we really are.”
  3. Our personal growth journey is propelled forward by connecting with our identity and our personalities.  Once a connection is made with out true selves, our spiritual journey can begin wholeheartedly.

By combining a strong purpose with a safe and effective workout and nutrition program, we see our clients reach their goals faster than any one of the three dimensions on their own.

To connect with a certified personal trainer at Fit Life Champions, book a complimentary consultation at www.calendly.com/riseup