With New Year’s just right around the corner, one of the most common resolutions people make is to get fit, shed the pounds they packed on over the holidays, and start living more healthfully. However, in just a few short months, over 95% of these people have given up on their New Year’s Day resolutions and gone back to their former habits.
Why do they give up? Because they start to feel pain and discomfort, and they do not feel like they can push any harder. Their muscles and bodies ache from exercising. They figure they can take a few days off from the gym to let their bodies rest. After taking a few days off, they go back to the gym, only to find they are losing their motivation. They do not feel like they can get back on that treadmill and walk another mile or do another set of weight lifting. Eventually, they end up talking themselves out of working out, with excuses like “It hurts,” “It takes too much time away from some other activity,” and so on.
The biggest way to avoid falling short on your New Year’s Day resolutions is to learn how to push through the pain and stay motivated. The old adage “No pain, no gain!” is entirely true. You have to remember that your body is going through major changes, and there are going to be muscle aches and pains. This simply means your muscles are becoming stronger. What can you do to keep motivated and push through the pain?
Listen to Your Favorite Music
While you work out, listen to your favorite tunes on your smartphone or music player. Your music selections can help push you along and distract your mind from the pain so you can reach your daily fitness goals.
Repeat a Mantra Over and Over
Pick a mantra you like, and repeat it over and over in your head if you find you are having difficulties reaching the end of your workout routine for the day. Select a mantra that motivates you and which keeps you going. You can even make one up.
Set Realistic and Daily Goals
One reason so many people fail their New Year fitness resolutions is because they do not set realistic or daily goals. Without goals, you will mindlessly wander through your workouts and quickly lose motivation.
Visualize How You Feel after a Workout
Think about how you and your body feel after completing a workout if you are considering stopping short of your daily goal. Most people feel a sense of accomplishment. Once you are done for the day, you can sit, relax, and do whatever you want.
Reward Yourself with a Healthy Treat
Make it a habit to reward yourself for reaching your daily goal with a healthy treat afterward, like a protein bar, energy bar, or fruit smoothie.
If you are looking for healthy bars to use as rewards after your workouts, you will find a wide variety of flavors available from Promax® Nutrition.
Keeping in line with your diet can be a real chore over the holidays. It’s bad enough that you spend more time inside when it’s cold, and are more apt to snack, but the holidays also bring bountiful feasts and get-togethers that are centered around food. Tips and tricks like eating nutrition bars instead of sweet treats can help you keep your diet goals in check while still making the most of the holiday season.
Don’t Dress for Comfort
The more comfortable you are in your clothes, the less concerned you are about how they look. Items that fit loosely around the waist are comfortable, but they also offer plenty of room for you to just keep eating.
Keep Hands Busy
Grab a drink of water as soon as you walk in. This gives you something to start filling up on, but it also keeps something in your hand so it isn’t as easy to just keep grabbing snacks. If you keep your hands occupied, you’re less likely to keep going for seconds (and thirds) on all of those unhealthy holiday treats.
Fill Up on Healthy Items
Holiday dinners can be fun, but they can also zap the energy right out of you. Snack on one of your favorite protein bars before you go to the dinner. And once you arrive, sip on some water and opt for the veggie tray. By the time dinner rolls around, you won’t be quite as ravenous.
Exercise Before You Go
If you take the time to get some exercise in before the dinner, you won’t want to blow of all your hard work on unhealthy foods. Instead, you will be more alert and more interested in conversation or activities than you are when eating large quantities of food, plus you will have burned a few extra calories in case you wind up eating more than planned.
Play a Game
Much of the holiday eating that occurs does so because people tend to sit around the table chatting, with nothing else to do but snack on treats or leftovers. If you have a game to play, you will keep your hands and mind occupied so that sugary sweets don’t remain the focal point for the duration of the evening.
Push Away from the Table
Avoid sitting at a table that holds large amounts of food. Instead, find your way to the couch or another area that doesn’t involve temptations likely to thwart your personal health and fitness goals. This way, you can still socialize, but you aren’t constantly distracted by all of the snacks (and the smells that come along with them).
A large part of making it through the holidays with your diet intact is planning ahead. Keep your cravings in check by shopping Promax protein bars online this holiday season.
As soon as daylight savings time goes into effect, it becomes harder to maintain an outdoor workout plan. Winter’s earlier sunsets, inclement weather, and freezing temperatures can be a dangerous combination for those who exercise outside. Handle winter workouts in stride by preparing for the worst with the tips below.
Follow Weather Conditions
Be sure to check the weather forecast before you head outside for a workout. If you have not already, it helps to download a smartphone app with real-time weather updates. That way, you’ll receive warnings when a surprise storm is on the way, which can be helpful while you’re on a run or bicycling outside.
Wear Reflective Clothing
With daylight savings now in effect, the sun sets earlier everyday. If your schedule can only accommodate evening workouts, it is important to stay safe with reflective clothing and accessories. For most workouts, a glowing running jacket or vest with reflective tape should be plenty. Other types of outdoor exercise, such as bicycling or skiing, may need additional gear.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
It is important to protect your skin from the sun, even when temperatures are low. During outdoor workouts, always wear sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays, plus protective lip balm. If there is snow on the ground, you can shield your eyes from glare using dark glasses or goggles.
In cold weather, your body works to stay warm by concentrating blood flow toward the torso, leaving your hands, head, and feet vulnerable. To prevent frostbite, make sure you wear protective gear on all exposed areas of the body:
- Hands: Double-up for best results. Layer fleece or wool gloves on top of a pair of thin glove liners made from wicking material like polypropylene. This helps keep heat trapped inside both layers for protection. Plus, if your hands start to sweat, simply remove the outer layer.
- Head: Wear a hat or headband to shield your ears from low temperatures and windburn. If the weather is extremely frigid, you may even want to cover your face with a scarf or ski mask.
- Feet: Consider a pair of winter-only workout shoes in one half-size larger than you normally wear, to allow room for thick thermal socks. You can also fit foot-warming insoles inside your shoe for added coziness, which is especially helpful for skiers and other winter sport enthusiasts.
Know the Symptoms of Hypothermia
When planning to spend an extended period of time outdoors, make sure you’re aware of the warning signs of hypothermia:
- Pale, cold skin
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Mental confusion or mumbling
- Slowed breathing and heart rate
Great tasting protein bars from Promax Nutrition provide the fuel needed to power any workout, during any season. Our bars fit easily in your pocket, offering replenishing protein on the go, whether riding the slopes or working it out on the track. Best of all, our bars are gluten free and never contain artificial sweeteners. Shop online today!
Ahhhh. The post-season. A time for sleeping in, forgetting about training and eating whatever you want…..Not so fast!
First of all, YES, reducing the workload in the post-season a must. It’s time to shift the load through smart tailoring and allow physical, mental and emotional healing to occur. But simply taking months off with no plan and no structure will sabotage next year’s potential. Many athletes find themselves spending the majority of the new year trying to simply recover what they have lost.
Let’s be clear about one thing – it’s post-season and then it’s pre-season. There is no such thing as off-season. You cannot be successful by taking weeks and months off from all activity.
Typically, athletes plan to take some much-needed time off. However, without a structure in place, what was intended to be a few weeks of light sessions turns into a few months. Many athletes find themselves in the middle of January with a much reduced level of fitness and confusion as to how they got there.
You can’t build upon a base if you’ve allowed that base to deteriorate beyond repair. You’ll first have to rebuild the base, leaving little time to actually construct a successful season on top of it.
While the post season doesn’t have a lot of stress or load, there are specific things that you need to accomplish in order to set yourself up for success.
Your initial focus during the post-season should be as follows:
- Initially, a complete break from structure, racing and training. Stay active but don’t “train.” No gadgets allowed. Don’t aim to hit training zones, pace, power or heartrate. Just be. Enjoy the freedom. Get back in touch with the “feel” of being active.
- Allow healing. Reduced stress, reduced loads. More nutrition. More rest. More recovery. Embrace this.
- Avoid building up fatigue. Fatigue will be counterproductive to the above bullets and will limit your growth.
After a couple of weeks of the above it’s time to smartly ease back into training. But we MUST get the focus correct. We don’t just jump into the same training we were doing before our last big race or event. The focus now is completely different.
Now our focus is:
- Build up the body. Lay the foundation in strength, technique and development that will allow your body to accept and excel under the high training loads that will come in the spring. This includes improvements in strength and functional fitness as well as technical improvements in all of your disciplines. Be patient here!
- Do NOT build up fatigue in this phase. Listen to your body.
- Keep life balanced. This is the time to ensure you are dedicating required time to the other pursuits of your life: family, career, friends, hobbies, etc.
- Establish positive habits that will be the basis for improved performance gains: commit to fueling after every workout (grab your favorite PROMAX bar!); commit to proper rest and recovery; and commit to good nutrition throughout the day.
Your success in 2016 will be directly related to how well you are able to do these things.
The last thing, and perhaps the most important, is to COMMIT. Commit to the training. While a training session that leaves you completely spent afterwards feels great, the athlete that lives off of those rarely maintains consistency in those efforts. The truth is that day-to-day 80 percent efforts are much more valuable over the long haul. Commit to frequent, but shorter, training sessions. Keep showing up.
Success comes from consistency. Day to day, week to week and season to season.
Thanksgiving is coming, and that means one thing: you’re going to eat. A lot.
But that doesn’t have to destroy what you’ve built or what you’re working toward. That’s right – even in the midst of the chaos of Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the crazy amounts of calories you’re confronted with!
Instead, follow these simple tips for a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast:
Have a High Volume Workout Beforehand
If you know you won’t be able to avoiding loading your plate with holiday food, prepare for the event by working so hard you earn that food.
If you perform a strenuous weight lifting and cardio-heavy workout just before, or even several times in the lead up to Thanksgiving dinner, your body will be ready for that meal and will absorb its nutrients with gusto.
Eat a High-Protein Snack Before the Main Course
When Thanksgiving Day has arrived and you’re waiting for the announcement that the food is served, eat a high-protein snack to curb your appetite and prep your stomach for the feast ahead. That way, you won’t be ravenously hungry and willing to scarf down everything in sight when filling your plate.
Focus on Lean Protein and Vegetables
When the time comes to fill your plate, choose wisely. Go for the lean protein, which has the highest short-term satiating power to keep you fuller for longer. And you can’t be too liberal with vegetables, especially any leafy greens available. Your typical Thanksgiving dinner usually has a healthy selection of broccoli, collard greens, and maybe Brussels sprouts to fill in those empty spots around your turkey or ham.
Don’t Eat All Day
Because of the vast volume of food often prepared for Thanksgiving Day, there are likely to be tons of leftovers and new dishes being prepared throughout the holiday. You may be tempted to keep refilling your plate with the food still calling you into the kitchen, but you must resist.
Limit yourself to one large meal or two medium sized meals, and keep track of your overall calorie consumption like you would any other day.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
At some Thanksgiving celebrations, you may find a large supply of alcoholic beverages available for the adults. But if you drink some, you don’t have to feel guilty.
Eat primarily protein for your calories. Both alcohol and protein have higher thermic effects that are unlikely to contribute to fat gain directly. Heavily limit your fat and carb intake by substituting them with veggies. Combined, these effects can even out what you consumed from alcohol.
Remember not to overindulge in alcohol, or you may encourage yourself to overeat.
Avoid the Dessert Table
Stay away from sweet desserts and anything that contains large amounts of sugar. Of course, you want a big slice of pie after your turkey, but if you’re serious about your goals, you won’t give in.
If you absolutely must have that piece of pie for your holiday to feel complete, make sure the rest of your meal is balanced by heavily restricting fats and carbs.
If you’re dedicated to achieving the body you want, you won’t go easy on yourself on Thanksgiving. You may give in and eat all your heart desires, but you’ll do everything in your power to mitigate the damage afterward.
But remember, Thanksgiving is only one day a year. Treat it as a celebration of what you’ve accomplished, knowing that you’re about to make some serious progress thanks to the anabolic powers of food.
If we know exercise is so good for us, then why do we always find ways to procrastinate our workouts? Sometimes the act of actually getting to the gym can be the hardest part of the process. It helps to create an informal reward system to stay motivated toward your fitness goals and work your way to better health. Rewards can be food-based, like incorporating great-tasting energy bars into regular workouts, or centered on larger needs, like a well-deserved vacation.
Personal trainers recommend alternating workouts to avoid plateaued results. Switching between cardio and weight training daily, for example, will continuously challenge muscles and ensure increasing progress. Undergoing new forms of activity can result in sore muscles, so be sure to stretch often. You can loosen up even further by rewarding long sessions at the gym with a trip to the spa. Set a goal, like booking a massage appointment after you reach a new UFC weight class or karate belt color.
Many of us experience feelings of hunger from an intense workout. With the average adult burning nearly 700 calories after an hour on the treadmill,1 regular treats are well deserved. Create a goal, like visiting the gym five times every week. Each time you follow through, splurge on dinner at your favorite restaurant. Everything in moderation, of course, but this reward can be used to experience decadent foods that are normally removed from the average weight loss plan.
Those who are working out to lose weight and gain definition should consider a points system with clothing rewards. Set a plan that corresponds with how much weight you’re looking to lose, and plan a shopping trip when you reach your goal.
Go on an Active Adventure
The best part of keeping up with your regular gym routine is seeing – and feeling – the results. As you whip your body into shape, you’ll be able to reach goals that never seemed possible before, like cutting your mile time in half or tackling the steepest hiking trail at your local park. Reward your progress with an active trip you’ve always dreamed of, like a weekend spent backpacking in the Grand Canyon.
Splurge on New Gear
Reward yourself for a job well done with a new piece of equipment that can improve your workouts. After a month’s worth of successful gym sessions, treat yourself to a new toy. Whether it’s a state of the art armband to keep your MP3 player hands-free for lifting, or a Fitbit to track each morning run, stay up to date with the latest devices to monitor your health and fitness progress.
While you work toward achieving your fitness goals with a custom reward system, stay energized with replenishing Promax protein bars. Each bar provides the fuel needed to power through long sessions at the gym, including 2:1 carbs to protein for strength and recovery. Our workout bars are safe for vegetarians, fully gluten free and kosher, and never contain artificial sweeteners. To learn more, please check out our website.
Sleep, or the lack of sleep, has a major impact on athletic performance, among other things. While many athletes are focused on things like finding the right energy bars to fit in with their caloric methods, they might be neglecting things like sleeping for the right amount of time.
What Does Sleep Do?
Sleeping is the body’s way of repairing itself and managing the information for the day. It’s like the late night filter that tosses out all the things you don’t need so that your body and brain aren’t full of useless information. It also helps repair tired muscles so that they can perform at their best on the next day. The recommended amount of sleep a person gets is 7-9 hours, but athletes in training should plan on sleeping more hours than that, since their bodies will need more healing and rest.
Stanford University recently conducted a study to see how sleep affected performance in athletes. When athletes slept for 2 more hours than they normally did, their speed increased by 5%, while their free throw accuracy increased by 9%. Another study revealed that athletes who got a full night’s sleep experienced enhanced performance in the afternoon as opposed to the morning hours. While these studies touched on different details, it’s easy to see that sleep has a measurable impact on the performance of athletes, as well as an impact on what time of the day their performance is optimal.
Suggestions for Athletes
Just as athletes adjust their diets to include things like low-carb protein bars, they have to adjust their sleep schedule as well. If you are in training and therefore more active than usual, plan on going to bed a bit earlier. Remember that the body has to rest and repair while you sleep, so you need to give it ample time to do just that.
Avoid Sleep Aids
Sleep aids can impact the way you sleep and what your body does while sleeping. Instead of using sleep aids, consider developing a pattern that tells your body it’s time to go to sleep. Do the same thing every night to prepare your body for rest. You can even adjust your diet for this purpose. Just as you might eat energy bars to increase performance, consider drinking teas with natural relaxers to help relax the body and prepare it for sleep. Chamomile tea is one suggestion, but there are several other teas that also aid in relaxation.
Sleep deprivation can reduce your level of performance, while added hours of sleep can increase it. You should always get a good night’s sleep, but when you are in training, it’s even more important to make sure you add a bit extra to compensate for the extra effort your body is putting forth. It’s especially important that you avoid chemicals that can impact your sleep at this time, like alcohol and caffeine. Treat your body right by giving it the proper sleep and nutrition it needs, and it will treat you right by performing to the standards you require.
Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian snack bars. To learn more about Promax Nutrition products, check us out online.
Testing your strength against other weightlifting enthusiasts is an important milestone in the personal fitness journey of many men and women. In competition, all those workouts and energy bars pay off as you get to share your achievements with others and get the rush that comes from striving to be the best.
For first time weightlifting competitors, events may be intimidating, and there are many mistakes that new competitors may make that can result in embarrassment or injury. To make your first competition a memorable one for the right reasons, try these preparations for your debut event:
- Know the rules – Weightlifting is a very detail oriented sport, and there’s little leeway for error at competition. Be sure you know your weigh-in and lift time, and be prompt. Also, be sure you lift according to the rules, and avoid lowering the bar until you hear the “down” command from the center judge.
- Don’t compete until you’re confident – Lifting in front of judges and an audience can cause a bit of stage fright, especially among lifters who are unsure about their strength and abilities. Enter an event when you’re sure you are ready to compete.
- Have and established training routine – Prior to a competition, you should have a steady diet and workout regimen. Just a few weeks before competition is no time to make major changes to your routine.
- Be conservative in your initial lifts – Don’t overextend yourself or try to lift something heavier than you usually do. Ease your way into competition, and realize that it will take some practice before you start winning events.
- Have the right attire – Not having the right attire not only puts you at risk of injury, it can also make you the object of derision among fellow lifters. Take the time to get the right shoes, belts, braces, and other gear you need to compete at weightlifting events.
- Work with a coach – If you plan to lift competitively, working with a coach is strongly advised. Coaches can guide you through the mechanical aspects of a competition, ensuring that your form and technique are proper. They can also help you with the social aspect of competition, instructing you on proper etiquette during events. The weightlifting community is pretty tight-knit, so connecting with a coach who knows the ins and outs of competitions is a huge help.
Better coaching, a renewed national interest in fitness and increasing numbers of women participating in weightlifting is quickly growing this exciting sport. Competitive weightlifting is a great way to build your physical and mental strength, and make new friends and social contacts. Making a good first impression by hitting all the right cues on your debut event will go a long way toward helping you make the most of competitions.
Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian snack bars. To learn more about Promax Nutrition products, check us out online.
There are certain reasons why you might want to change your workout routine. It is important to not change your routines too often—otherwise, you will never receive the benefits of making the change in the first place. Most routines will provide the desired benefits, and changes are not always necessary as long as you do not have outrageous goals. However, there are times when a change is needed, such as:
- You change your goals. For instance, initially your goal was to lose fat, and now you want to build muscle. Adding weight training and replacing some, but not all, of your aerobic exercise routines will help start building muscle.
- You are getting bored with your routines. If you are getting bored, and it is affecting your motivation to exercise and train, a change could help reinvigorate your motivation. You might want to work with a professional trainer to create new routines that still address your goals and objectives.
- You have reached a plateau, and your routines are no longer working. It is worth mentioning, if you are just starting out, that it takes longer for your body to adapt and adjust, so it is essential to wait for a longer period of time, of about two months, before making any changes. If you have been working out longer, and your body and muscles have adapted to your routine, it could be time to consider a change.
- Something has occurred requiring a change. You may have injured yourself, your schedule has changed, or the weather has changed, and so on, forcing you to make a change to your routines. For example, you were in an accident and broke your leg. As a result, you are not going to be able to do some of your routines until your leg heals, but you should find others to do until it does heal.
These are the four most common reasons why you should change your workout routine. For most people, there should be no need to make changes unless their reason falls within one of these parameters. Rather, you should be patient and stick with what you are doing, as long as it is working and helping you reach your goals.
Keep in mind, changes are often subtle, so it may not look like you are getting any benefits from your current routines, when you are. One useful tip is to use a cloth or paper tape measure and record different body measurements on a weekly basis, like your hips, waist, chest, and so on. You might be surprised by the changes you notice when taking measurements. In addition, never, ever, under any circumstances, base your progress solely upon your weight, because fat weighs less than muscle. As your body starts shedding fat and building muscle, your weight can increase.
Additionally, changes to your eating habits and diet are highly recommended to help supplement your exercise and weight training goals. Your body requires additional nutrients, energy, and other vitamins used during your routines. This is why many people use energy bars, protein bars, and other such products, and incorporate them into their daily routines. To learn more about the nutritional benefits of using protein bars and related products, please feel free to reach out to us through our website.
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