By Jamie Zacharias, RN, MSN, Nurse Practitioner, GFI
In an effort to find the “new” normal with Covid-19 not going away anytime soon, how many goals have you set personally and professionally? If you are like me, I feel like there are plenty I used to have but the thought of even setting one seems overwhelming given the environment we are in. How did this happen? Goal setting used to be simple regardless of whether the goal was actually achieved or not. Little did I know that when I made my list of goals for 2020 at the end of the last year, how many life changes we were all going to experience together as a society. If you haven’t already, give yourself permission to not have it all together.
While things have happened not according to plan, I have learned a great deal about myself and how I needed to change my approach to getting anything done. I still have great aspirations this year for my family, work as an NP, and getting MASHUP® into the hands of more fitness professionals and fitness enthusiasts with our certification, live classes and app. However, I discovered that if any headway was to be made, I had to change my approach to goals by focusing on creating new good habits. If I think about my goals amidst the out-of-control days and constant interruptions, I default to saying I’ll start on a certain date when I have more time but then that goal doesn’t seem as significant and it gets put on the back burner. I’m tired of getting distracted with the big picture and rationalizing my decisions to set certain goals aside because they feel unattainable and I have been defeated.
We really do like change if it means better outcomes for us.
What most of are good at is being creatures of habit. Maybe we should run with that instead of focusing on the goal to get somewhere. Let your goal point you a certain direction but focus on the new habits that need to occur instead. I would bet that we could almost even ignore the goal and focus solely on what we should do daily and get the same results.
Let's say a live group fitness instructor branches out into the virtual realm ignoring their goal of building the same size class on Zoom that they had at the gym. Instead they focus on what new habits they need to do at each class to accommodate the virtual environment while delivering a beneficial experience for participants. Chances are that their class is going to grow and the things they doing to create the growth are more important than the goal anyway.
A postpartum mom's goal is to lose her baby weight. While their are many things she could start doing, is it realistic? Sometimes trying to do everything at once can be so overwhelming that none of them happen. If she focuses on implementing 1 or 2 new good habits daily (exercise for 15 minutes and drink half of her body weight in water). She will feel successful, motivated, healthier and happier everyday along the way without having to wait until she get's to her goal weight.
Now, changing old habits is very difficult. We find comfort in old behaviors or old ways of thinking which is tied to our identity. Instead of trying to just change old habits, we should focus on creating good ones; habits that can be a part of your identity if they are truly going to stick. The live group ex instructor has adopted a new identity: “I’m a virtual group ex instructor”.
Hopefully, down the road the old ones will fade away or get replaced. If we can focus on completing a good habit (it does not have to be a drastic one) daily, we create a sense of accomplishment. While one new habit might seem marginal, that new repetitive behavior points us in the direction we need to go while achieving success along the way. Continuing one small habit can turn into something significant. Daily success boosts confidence and motivation which is evidence that the new habit is worthwhile and that the end goal is achievable.
Reaching a goal is one moment in time whereas habits are everlasting.
Getting to your goal is admirable. What happens after that? Do we change what we are doing because we reached it? I don’t know about you, but I want and need to feel successful and happy every day in order to keep my head on straight, not just when I attain my goal. Ultimately, it’s the daily habits we repeat that can bring us the feeling of success and happiness and long-term progress. Most of us want to continue feeling that way versus not. We want to win daily versus an occasionally when we get to a goal. Committing to good daily habits is what really is going to make a difference in seeing progress!
About the Author
Jamie Zacharias, RN, MSN, Nurse Practitioner, is a Cooper Physical Fitness Specialist and AFAA Group Fitness Instructor, TCU collegiate athlete, and co-founder of MASHUP®. Jamie has been in the health and fitness industry for 19 years and lives in the DFW area. She teaches classes at various fitness facilities, manages MASHUP® and works as a Nurse Practitioner at MEDI Weightloss Clinics of Fort Worth. In addition to teaching live classes, she has featured digital workouts on various platforms including the MASHUP® app.
Do you want to sleep better, get better workout recovery and be less stressed out? Almost 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium and many symptoms will let you know you need more magnesium in your diet. Magnesium is in more than 300 different enzymes in your body, making it responsible for a host of processes needed to function properly. Many people even well versed in nutrition are unaware of this common deficiency and are suffering from lack of sleep, stress, and are also more at risk for high blood pressure and osteoporosis. There are so many people taking prescription drugs to provide relief of common symptoms they may be having due to a lack of magnesium.
Many foods that are high in magnesium will enhance your levels such as nuts (especially almonds), fish, and green leafy vegetables. While foods such as whole grains and wheat germ contain magnesium they also cause inflammation which actually prevents your body from absorbing the beneficial nutrients so they are not recommended as ideal food sources. As with most nutrients, daily needs for magnesium cannot be met from food alone due to modern agricultural methods leaving our soil mineral depleted. Therefore, magnesium supplementation is recommended as well. Easy ways to increase your levels of magnesium include eating more magnesium rich foods, taking a mineral supplement or alternative magnesium supplement that you can drink such as Natural Calm which can be found online as well at Sprouts, Central, Market, Whole Foods, Sunflower Shoppe and GNC.
You can even boost levels of magnesium transdermally by taking Epsom salt baths and applying magnesium lotion to your skin. These are great ways to enhance your magnesium levels to improve your sleep, reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, and decrease stress levels.
Other cool benefits of magnesium include:
· Minimizing headaches
· Boosting energy levels
· Improving insulin sensitivity (decreasing risk for diabetes or improving diabetes)
· Preventing osteoporosis
· Relief from symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
· Minimizing the risk of premature labor
· Relief from bronchospasm (constricted airways) in the lungs
· Improvement of parathyroid function
· Increases bio-availability of vitamin B6 and cholesterol
· Improves muscle functioning
· Alleviates insomnia
· Decreases constipation
· Reduces risk of heart attacks
· Decreases high blood pressure
· Decrease occurrence of kidney stones and gallstones
If you ever attend a live MASHUP™ class, you will continue to be fed little tidbits of information such as this to help you further your health and fitness efforts far beyond just exercise.
Knowledge is power when it comes to achieving optimal wellness!
Feeling run down, frustrated, and disconnected from your own body can feel much worse than any type of workout!
Many find their wellbeing is enhanced when they exercise, not just because their moods are better immediately following a workout, but also because sleep quality improves, and they find themselves making much better food choices!
If you want to get the most bang for your buck when exercising, interval training is recommended. Interval training workouts allow you to work out more efficiently and effectively. You can burn more calories in less time and have more energy throughout the rest of your day because you spent less time exercising!
And find out why MASHUP® was featured!
In 2018, MASHUP® held it’s first certification abroad and is now paving the way for setting the
gold standard in Variable-intensity Interval Training world-wide.
By November 2019, we will have certified coaches teaching live classes in
Singapore, China, and Thailand to name a few.
Check out Master Trainer Jonathan Goh as delivers certification workshops abroad.
Physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and the benefits of regular exercise have been well established. Adopting your fitness routine to include more interval training can bring great benefits to your energy levels, body composition, and overall fitness. If you are exercising regularly, you’re already doing a great job at trying to be healthier. Unfortunately, you might find yourself among the masses of people that routinely do low to moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise for extended periods of time and therefore seeing very little results. You may also be plagued with injury because you have a weak core muscle stature and poor posture. Lastly, you may see delayed results because you are not building muscle through agility and strength exercises. With that said, we recommend a combination of Mind Body, Agility and Strength and High Intensity Intervals (HIIT) for the perfect workout so you can see maximum results in less time.
Low-volume high-intensity workouts recruit fast twitch muscle fibers increasing the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) naturally and normalizing insulin levels. Interval training produces healthy levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which start to decline around the age of 30. One study from the Journal of Sport Sciences showed that HGH levels were up 450% by performing 30-second high intensity intervals. Benefits of healthy levels of HGH and regulated insulin levels include but are not limited to: decreasing body fat, improving muscle tone, slowing down the aging process, boosting energy, decreasing stress, preventing disease, improving athletic speed and performance and achieving fitness goals much faster.
While high intensity intervals seem perfect for losing body fat and improving lean muscle mass, we know that high levels of the hormone cortisol can cause the body to hold onto fat. That is why it is always beneficial to change up your routine where you are only performing HIIT several days per week, insert other types of physical activity in between or mix it all up on the same day and take days off in between. Instead of doing additional days of interval training, try engaging in some type of active recovery such as walking or yoga. You may find that this stress reducing exercise helps you recover more quickly from your more intense exercise schedule. In 1963, Tudor Bompa introduced this idea of periodization (AKA muscle confusion) that focuses on loading muscles in a variety of ways for optimal performance and results. By varying your workouts, the body is constantly adapting and improving upon its weaknesses, which leads to greater results.
There are numerous options to execute this type of workout. Intervals can be performed on any type of cardio equipment (stationary bike, elliptical, stairmaster, treadmill), with equipments such as kettlebells, or simply using just your body (sprinting outdoors, performing different full body functional movements). There are clear definitions of what is considered an interval and there are many variations of those definitions which can achieve the same benefit. One type of interval training is a Tabata where they exercise is performed intensely for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of recovery repeated a total of 4 times. Other forms of interval training could consist of performing the exercise intensely for 30 seconds followed by 90 seconds of recovery. For example, the 30 seconds on, 90 seconds off could be repeated 8-10 times for 15-20 minutes worth of intervals. These workouts could be done 2-3 times per week in addition to core and strengthening exercises 2-3 times per week. If you are looking for a way to easily combine all of these elements into one workout, you can try this TEMPO workout from the MASHUP® app. Within 15 minutes you get 5 minutes each of Mind/Body, Agility & Strength, and High Intensity Intervals. Enjoy!
And Food Matters
Roughly, 80% of your body’s composition is a result of nutrition and only 20% is a result of physical activity; so get serious. While decreasing your carbohydrate consumption is often seen as the best way to decrease body fat, when performing High Intensity Intervals you need to ensure you are getting proper nutrition. Always start by removing the bad influences first: starches (all grains) and sugars. Then focus on getting plenty of healthy proteins (grass-fed, wild caught) and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter or ghee), vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Always drink lots of water. Beginning a meal or snack with healthy proteins or fats and then loading up on vegetables and some fruit for your carbohydrates can be enough to support your energy needs. Some good examples of pre and post workout snacks include but are not limited scrambled eggs with berries, avocados and grass-fed beef, an apple with almond butter, chicken and sweet potatoes.
And Get Rest
We all know that lack of sleep leaves us looking ragged the next morning. More and more research is showing that a good night’s sleep is essential for our health. In fact, getting adequate sleep to allow recovery from intense exercise is vital to maximizing the benefits from it while also preventing conditions such as high blood pressure, metabolic diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. If you are having trouble sleeping through the night, you may need to reconfigure your workout regimen. It is best to get into a routine where you consistently go to bed and wake up on a regular schedule, limit distractions before sleep such as television, and practice relaxation techniques.
Studies show that those who do not sleep through the night are more at risk for numerous conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.We all know that lack of sleep leaves us looking ragged the next morning. More and more research is showing that a good night’s sleep is essential for our health. In fact, getting adequate sleep to allow recovery from intense exercise is vital to maximizing the benefits from it while also preventing conditions such as high blood pressure, metabolic diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. If you are having trouble sleeping through the night, you may need to reconfigure your workout regimen. It is best to get into a routine where you consistently go to bed and wake up on a regular schedule, limit distractions before sleep such as television, and practice relaxation techniques. Studies show that those who do not sleep through the night are more at risk for numerous conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Essential oils have gained popularity over the last several years due to their health benefits as well as their therapeutic incentives. They have proven their effectiveness and are now showing that they can also enhance not only your workout experience but also your athletic performance. MASHUP™ always advocates nutrition to be 80% of your physical wellness and exercise along with other healthy lifestyle factors to be 20%. However, when both are practiced together substantial, long lasting health benefits can be achieved.
For centuries other cultures have used oils to enhance their wellness and also used as medicinal aids. Many athletes have touted their perceived benefits of oils in their training regimen but not until recently has this actually been backed up by research. A new study published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition researched peppermint oil and its effects on running performance. Each participant in the study used .05ml of peppermint oil in a drink, consumed 1x per day for 10 days. They tested the runners before and after consumption for various indicators of cardiovascular performance. The results were stunning! After consuming the oil the participants’ exercise performance, respiratory function, blood pressure and heart rate, and respiratory gas exchange improved. It also reduced resting blood pressure and heart rate. The amount of total work by each participant was increased by an amazing 51% and this included an increase in the time to exhaustion of about 25%. Not only did the participants work 51% harder but they went 25% farther after the peppermint oil drink! We do not know if any supplements that can even come close to those odds.
Peppermint can also benefit your workout by using it not only in your water as you workout but also by sharpening your mind and concentration to get you exercise-ready. If you need an extra boost to get you going just the smell of peppermint can get you in the mood by dabbing a few drops on each wrist 30 min. before you workout. You can also rub 4 or 5 drops on your chest at least 5 minutes prior to your start time help support normal breathing during your workout. Peppermint can also aid muscle fatigue and soreness by massaging a few drops on the affected area after your workout or with stretching pre-workout.
According to other oil experts there are also other beneficial oils that can improve your workout experience, boost your energy and mojo pre-workout and also aid in post-workout recovery. As with all oils and supplements of any kind, we strongly advise you to look into the company and grade of oils and supplements you use for your safety and benefit. Some oils are no more than scented perfumes and it is important that you know where your oils are processed and how they are distilled as well as what grade they are. This will tell you if it is safe to ingest that particular type of oil and how to use the oil on your body.
Lemongrass essential oil can support good energy and healthy weight management. It has a compound called citral that supports the production of heat in your body (thermogenesis) that can speed up your metabolism. This helps you burn more calories and get a more effective workout. It is recommended to use four to six drops of lemongrass essential oil applied to your skin or feet before your workout, which helps to ramp up energy and endurance. If your workout is challenging, you can also use lemongrass on sore muscles after leaving the gym. For best results, combine it with basil, clary sage and coconut oil rubbing the blend on the body part.
Eucalyptus not only smells soothing but it can actually help support your mood and energy as well as you prepare to workout. It is recommended to spray it on the body before you begin to warm up. The mixture is in 4oz of water with a couple of drops of eucalyptus along with geranium, peppermint, rosemary and palmarosa giving the body a cooling and refreshed feeling as you begin your workout. Eucalyptus is also said to support a healthy respiratory system by mixing a few drops with coconut oil and rubbing it on your temples, throat and neck. However, eucalyptus is primarily recognized because of its anti-inflammatory properties and many athletes use eucalyptus oil in their Epsom salt recovery baths. Eucalyptus provides relief for the strains and tears muscles experience during exercise and reduces the inflammation associated with these tears. It is also used by massaging onto aching muscles. It is recommended to use good quality oil on aching muscles after your workout. Be sure to use a gentle motion sweeping toward the heart to help with removal of lactic acid buildup.
Lemon oil is an energizing mood booster and can help motivate you to start your workout as well as aid with post work out exhaustion. It is also thought to stimulate your immune system, promote lymphatic drainage and fat loss. This essential oil can also help with your post exercise detox. It is recommended to add a few drops to your water and sip as you would normally. This pre-exercise drink will better hydrate your body during your workout and add flavor encouraging you to drink more.
Marjoram has calming and relaxing properties and can be used before or after your workout to soothe your muscles.
It can be diffused, directly inhaled, or applied topically. Here are a few suggestions for use:
MASHUP™ wants to encourage you to be the best you possibly can. Hopefully these essential oil tips can make your workout more productive, energized and therefore help you achieve your wellness and fitness goals. We would love to hear from you and any tips or successes you have had using essential oils in your workout regimen!
Original post on www.fortworth.citymomsblog.com
It’s no coincidence that many people depend on New Year’s resolutions every January to restart their health and fitness goals. The holiday season is usually a time where we allow ourselves to spend less time getting outdoors for a walk or jog, fall short in the gym, or just slack in general from our typical routine. Many times, this leads to accumulated stress and anxiety, illness, and potentially weight gain that we convince ourselves is tolerable until January gets here. This is easily understandable, given all of the parties, traveling, family obligations, and tasty food we are surrounded with.
If you are wondering whether or not you will survive the holidays and if you will really start off on the right foot in January, let’s rethink your strategy. Right now is actually one of the best times to start a fitness regimen if you haven’t already. One reason is that kids are in school, and you have somewhat of a predictable schedule. Routine paired with a little commitment makes it easier to predict when and how we can sneak in some physical activity.
So, get a jumpstart on the holiday season. Usually, when someone starts doing something beforehand, there is more momentum making it easier to continue through the holiday season, resulting in better overall health and a head start on a new year resolution that is on the list. By planning ahead and having the right strategy in place, you can start working on your goals or maintain your current fitness level while still enjoying time with the family.
Here are a few ideas to get started!
1. Plan out your physical activity for at least one week in advance. This is especially important when you know you have a holiday vacation or family trip just around the corner. If you know you’ll be out of town for a few days, plan on using those
days as an active recovery time (get out for a short brisk walk or do a few yoga poses in your hotel room), and then really ramp up your workout intensity on the days before and after your trip.
2. Use this holiday season to spend with your friends and family while staying active. Include others by going to a class at the gym with them, playing a game outside with the family, or inviting friends to sign up for your local 5k. This way, you can stay connected and hold each other accountable to be active.
3. While school and work commitments fluctuate over the holidays, family commitments can increase. Try changing your schedule a little to get in your workout before anyone wakes up. This way, you can fit it in and have plenty of time for getting all the busy holiday stuff done during the day.
4. Instead of leaving your schedule vulnerable to get squashed, set aside dedicated time to go for a run, make it to an exercise class, or hit play on your DVD workout at home.
5. With all of the tempting treats you will be surrounded by, think 80/20. It’s 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise and other healthy lifestyle factors to achieve a healthy body composition. Don’t deprive yourself from enjoying your favorite foods, but be picky and try to only indulge in the ones that are really worth it. When you do, limit yourself to one serving, and put the rest away. It is less likely that you will overdo it if it is out of sight.
6. Even if you can’t go to your favorite class or get outside during the holiday season, you can still get a great workout in your living room. This can be done anywhere using little to no equipment and in as little as 15 minutes. Focusing on shorter, more intense workouts, such as Variable-intensity Interval Training (VIIT), is where you can save time and get in a full body workout. For example, I invite you to try either this 15-minute digital or this written sample workout. Live MASHUP® classes and app workouts demonstrate three fitness levels for each exercise.
Read about our feature on our partner's site Custom On It!
Do you ever forget one of your eight passwords on your computer?
Lose your keys for the second time in a week?
Leave the house without your wallet?
Wouldn’t it be great if your workout could actually help boost your brainpower? Well it can!
As if we haven’t heard enough benefits from High-intensity interval training (HIIT), there is even newer info that is being researched as an added benefit of High Intensity Interval training. Not only does HIIT give you 5x the results and benefits as regular steady state cardiovascular training and produce Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which is the anti-aging hormone linked to fat loss etc., but now it is linked to keeping your brain young and functioning better; especially for the middle age population.
After all, our brain (though it is complex) is just another organ in our body that would benefit from the same type of training that has been proven to benefit so many other areas of our body. New research shows that your workout can actually help your brain stay young and fight off dementia amongst other brain-related aging diseases.
The research has just begun in this area so it would be no surprise if this study were just the tip of the iceberg in the many ways HIIT can benefit your brain! Let’s face it, we could all use all the help we can to stay not only our fittest but also our sharpest!
If you want to get the most bang for your buck when doing HIIT, we recommend Variable-intensity Interval Training (VIIT). VIIT workouts which allow you to work out more efficiently and effectively because it enables you to do true HIIT intervals that have a necessary recovery period. MASHUP®'s VIIT workouts combine Agility & Strength, HIIT, and MindBody to ensure you are getting everything in that you need within a short period of time and that you always have three fitness levels to choose from.
Try a few different workouts for free on the MASHUP® app for seven days and see if it is something you want to add to your regimen!
For more information on brain health, hormone health and memory improvement
delivered by experts at Wellness Family Summit.
If you only have limited time and you had to pick just one exercise to work your entire body...choose the Squat Thrust!
We love incorporating this into our MASHUP® workouts in various ways at least once a week because you really get a lot of bang for your buck with this one.
Squat thrusts use almost every muscle group including your core. Primary muscles used are: hamstrings, quads, and gluteus. Assuming you are doing them correctly with your knees rotated out and squatting to parallel, you should be using your hip adductors as well. Also if you add dumbbells you are also working chest, shoulders and back if you go into a push up after you squat down and add a shoulder press after you stand up.
One of the other added benefits is that it is also a cardiovascular exercise. We like these types of exercises and call them Agility and Strength in our workout program because they call upon numerous muscle groups and continue to keep your heart rate up during the exercise.
In MASHUP®, you will find the Squat Thrust along with other exercises that will challenge your heart as your muscles are burning. We tell our clients “Why waste your time on the treadmill when you can get the same benefit while toning your muscles in a quarter of the time!“ Add a few high-intensity Intervals and some mind/body and you have our complete training system.
Make sure you keep proper form during a squat thrust for safety and follow these directions below:
Level 1 Modification
Reach arms straight over your head then squat down bringing elbows to 90 degrees then return to standing. Throughout the movement you want to focus on pulling your navel toward your spine to keep the core engaged. Our Level 1 modification never has to get on the floor. Other Level 1 exercises may incorporate a chair or using the wall.
Level 2/3 Modifications
Stand with your feet together and squat down as mentioned in Level 1. Jump your feet backwards until you are in a push up position maintaining a straight torso. Then, jump your feet back forward between your hands and stand up.
Bud Jefferies at StrongerMan.com claims that you can maximize your benefit with a simple workout of 100 squat thrusts done without resting. He states that it is “high enough reps to involve muscular endurance and shoot your cardio through the roof.”