Lift Your Mood

 

LiftYourMood2

Have you ever wondered what exercise is really doing to cause such an increase in your mood?  Exercise doesn’t improve your attitude merely because you believe it will.  This is not a case of your classic placebo effect.  Chemical reactions are taking place within you to stimulate happiness, invigorate your body, and create therapeutic value.  HIT takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to improving overall attitude and quality of life.  Here’s how to increase happiness, invigorate your body, and improve the therapeutic feeling of your workouts.

Happy

One of life’s inevitable gifts is emotion.  Happy, sad, angry, confused, joyful—you name, we’ve all felt it.  A feeling of constant happiness is the goal, but unfortunately, other emotions tend to get in the way.  Being happy is a continual pursuit that takes work.  One way to work on that happiness is through exercise.

Science can help explain why exercise makes us so happy.  Endorphins, the body’s “feel good” chemicals, are released from the pituitary gland during exercise.   Every lift you do, every step you take, every sit-up you push yourself to do is helping release endorphins.  Sure, the extra work may seem like torture in the moment.  That last squat rep hurts, your whole body shakes on your final pull-up, but in reality, that small moment of pain leads to increased feelings of happiness.  The release of endorphins prompts the body to experience exhilaration while blocking negative feelings of pain, leading to a phenomenon commonly referred to as “runner’s high.” Physical activity also increases the flow of oxygen, which helps to stimulate the brain and increase productivity.  Increased productivity leads to greater happiness.

A happy life is comprised of both a happy body and happy mind.  At times when working out doesn’t sound enticing, remember that “in every workout a single step is not just a step closer to a healthier body, but also to a healthier mind.”

Consistent exercise is also an excellent way to boost self-esteem.  The better you look and the better you feel, the happier you will be.  Look good, feel good, play good.  A major part of excelling in life is confidence in your self.

Invigorating

After a long, exhausting day of work, the last thing you want to do is work out.  You’re too tired—there’s always tomorrow, right?  Wrong.  Contrary to popular belief, “regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy…”  Though the idea is counterintuitive, exercise works to increase energy levels.  When you’re feeling sluggish and fatigued the miracle cure might be hidden in a little workout.

According to a recent University of Georgia study, “Sedentary people who regularly complain of fatigue can increase their energy levels by 20 percent and decrease their fatigue by 65 percent by engaging in regular, low-intensity exercise.”

Pushing yourself to exercise, especially when the remote and couch are calling your name, allows your body to more effectively produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the coenzyme that is responsible for providing the body with energy.  ATP production equals more energy and more energy equals invigoration!  Exercise helps to increase ATP production as well as to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the body’s tissues.  In turn, the body’s cardiovascular system functions more efficiently and as a result, you are filled with more energy to tackle the day.  Invigorate yourself—get out and exercise!

Therapeutic

The benefits of consistent exercise extend far beyond just the physical.  Regular physical activity can help mental health by fighting depression and anxiety.  In a way, exercise is a form of exposure therapy for those struggling with anxiety.  Anxiety stimulates fear in people causing them to experience increased heart rates and heavy perspiration, characteristics also felt during physical activity.  The more frequent and regular someone with anxiety exercises, the more accustomed he/she becomes to an increased heart rate.  As a result, those with anxiety may begin to associate increases in heart rate and perspiration with positive experiences such as exercise, rather than fearful, anxiety-induced instances of the past.

A little bit of exercise goes a long way. Be happy, get invigorated, and improve your physical and mental health by getting out and exercising!

Sources
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/29/the-cure-for-exhaustion-more-exercise/?_r=0

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2012/10/24-exercise-productivity-pozen

http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/low-intensity-exercise-reduces-fatigue-symptoms-by-65-percent-study-finds/

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

Super Bowl Recipes That Are Sure to Be A HIT

With the big game on Sunday, it is time to start your meal preparations.  Here are a few ideas for the party that won’t throw away all your hard work and will have you asking for seconds.

 

CLASSIC HOT WINGS

INGREDIENTS:
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken, then trim off visible fat.
  2. Place chicken in a large pot. Fill pot with cold water until chicken is covered by two inches.
  3. Bring water to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Set broiler to high with the rack about 6 inches from the flame.
  5. Once chicken is done, remove from water and place on baking sheet.
  6. Broil chicken for 6 minutes on each side until skin starts to crisp.
  7. In a large bowl, cover chicken with Frank’s Hot Sauce.
  8. Serve with celery and Walden Farm’s blue cheese dressing.
  9. Enjoy!

Nutrients per serving (4-5 wings): calories 272, total fat 10g, total carbs 1g, protein 45g

NACHOS

INGREDIENTS:
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp ancho or Mexican chile powder, divided
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 10 6-inch corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers (seeded if desired), chopped
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp organic unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can unsalted black beans (NOTE: Do not drain and rinse; open can and drain just a small amount of excess liquid from top.)
  • 1 to 2 tsp hot sauce, optional (TRY: Tessemae’s All Natural Hot Sauce/Wing Sauce)
  • 4 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend or a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
OPTIONAL GARNISHES:
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced crosswise into wheels
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat broiler to high and position oven rack 6 to 8 inches away from heat. Line a large baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray, then place chicken on foil and mist with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp chile powder, 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper evenly on both sides. Broil until center is no longer pink and temperature registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes per side. When cool enough to handle, shred into small pieces.
  2. Switch oven to bake setting at 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil and mist with cooking spray, then arrange tortillas in a single layer and mist with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tsp chile powder. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven for 14 to 15 minutes, turning tortilla chips and switching positions of sheets halfway through, until chips are firm and lightly browned (they will crisp up as they cool). Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
  3. Prepare pico de gallo: In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, cilantro, lime juice, oil and 1/4 tsp salt.
  4. In a medium saucepan on medium, heat butter. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add beans along with their liquid. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently until liquid is bubbling. Stir in hot sauce (if using) and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Remove from heat and mash until consistency is slightly chunky.
  5. Re-line one of the large rimmed baking sheets with foil. In center of foil, spread one-half of chips. Top with about half of beans, half of chicken and half of cheese. Top with a smaller layer of chips (about 20), then top with about two-thirds of the remaining beans, chicken and cheese. Top previous layer with remaining chips, beans, chicken and cheese. Bake in center of oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. If you want to use a serving platter, use the foil lining to carefully slide nachos onto platter or place foil directly onto platter; you can also serve nachos on baking sheet (remember, it will be hot!). Immediately top nachos with about 1 cup of pico de gallo and avocado. Add any of optional garnishes. Serve with remaining pico de gallo and sour cream on the side.

Nutrients per serving (10 chips with toppings): calories 346, total fat 24.5 g, sat. fat 7 g, carbs 33 g, fiber 8 g, sugars 5 g, protein 17 g, sodium 383 mg, cholesterol 47 mg

 

TURKEY SLIDERS

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1.25 lbs. organic lean ground turkey
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid aminos
  • 2 large cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground Himalayan pink salt
  • ½ cup yellow sweet onion; finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley; finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. milder hot sauce (I used Tapatio brand)
OPTIONAL:
  • 2 ripe avocados; peeled, pitted and mashed
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • ¼ Red onion; half finely chopped for quick guacamole, other half sliced and used for burger topping
  • 1 small jalapeno; seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small lime; juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce of your choice
  • Lettuce wraps to serve them in (large romaine leaves, butter lettuce, collard greens, etc.,)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, olive oil, mustard, liquid aminos, garlic and seasonings.
  2. Add in chopped sweet onion, parsley and hot sauce.
  3. With clean hands, combine mixture completely. You want the texture to seem almost mushy in order for it to stick and stay together.
  4. Once your turkey is well mixed, grab an amount that is slightly smaller than a tennis ball to form a patty with your hands. Patties should be about ¾” thick.
  5. Place patties on a non-stick baking sheet with edges (you cannot use a flat sheet as the juices will run everywhere). Repeat process until all of your turkey is used. You should have about 8 patties total.
  6. Move your oven rack about 6″ from the broiler, and turn broiler on the high setting. Allow it to heat up for a few minutes.
  7. Place your baking sheet into the oven and allow patties to cook for approximately 7 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 7 minutes on the other. The outer portion of your turkey should turn a golden brown.
  8. When finished, remove patties from oven and check the internal temperature of your thickest patty with a meat thermometer. The temperature needs to be at least 165F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, a patty is finished when the juices run clear and the interior is opaque with no pink.
  9. In a medium mixing bowl, combine avocados, lime juice, cilantro, chopped red onion and chopped jalapeno, mixing thoroughly.
  10. Place turkey burger on one half of your lettuce leaf and top with red onion slices, a spoonful of guacamole and a drizzle of hot sauce. Place other lettuce leaf on top and enjoy!

TWICE BAKED SWEET POTATOES

INGREDIENTS:
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 small (3-oz) sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp seeded and minced jalapeño chile pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can unsalted black beans (about 1½ cups), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup finely chopped beefsteak tomato
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp lime zest plus 1 tsp fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Mist potatoes on all sides with cooking spray. Bake potatoes until tender and golden brown on outside, about 55 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan on medium and brush with oil. Add onion, jalapeño, garlic, chile powder and 1/4 tsp salt and sauté until onion softens, about 6 minutes. Add beans, tomato, 1 tbsp cilantro, honey and 1 tsp lime juice; simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Prepare lime yogurt: In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and 1 tsp lime zest; set aside.
  4. Carefully transfer potatoes to serving plates. Cut each potato in half, slightly mashing and fluffing potato flesh with a fork. Sprinkle remaining ¼tsp salt over potato flesh. Spoon bean mixture over potatoes and top with avocado, lime yogurt and remaining 1 tbsp cilantro.

Nutrients per serving (1 stuffed sweet potato): calories: 430,  total fat: 15 g, sat. fat: 3 g, monounsaturated fat: 7 g, polyunsaturated fat: 4 g, carbs: 43 g, fiber: 9 g, sugars: 12 g, protein: 35 g, sodium: 624 mg, cholesterol: 78 mg 

 

Sources:

Wings – bodybuilding.com

Nachos – cleaneatingmag.com

Sliders – thecleaneatingmachine.com

Sweet Potatoes – cleaneatingmag.com

Get Back on Track After the Holidays

The holidays have come and gone but your celebratory eating has not!  It’s time to get back on track to start the year off right.  Here are a few helpful tips to get started:

 

PREPARATION

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  -Benjamin Franklin

It is so important to plan ahead when you are trying to stay fit which, includes planning out your meals and workouts.  Layout out your schedule for the week and then plan your workouts.  After you know when you are working out, plan out your meals.  Since you are already in prep mode, you might as well prep your food for the week too!

 

2SET GOALS

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”  -Tony Robbins

Wether you are wanting to lose weight, tone up or just feel better, be sure to see a goal to keep yourself accountable.  Decide what you are trying to achieve and how to get there.  Then set a goal that is attainable, measurable and also challenging.  Goals will keep you motivated when nothing else can!

 

 

Untitled-1REST UP

“Life is a balance of rest and movement.”

It is so important that your body rests and regains strength if you want to see progress.  It is suggested that you sleep 7 hours or more to allow your body the proper amount of time to recover.  If you plan on seeing the best gains, REST UP!

 

 

4

DRINK UP

“Water is the only drink for a wise man.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Not the alcohol or the sugary drinks, drink up the water!  Your body needs water to replenish the muscles and for all of the systems to function properly.  It is recommended that you drink two-thirds of your body weight in ounces of water.  It seems like a lot of water but if you are exercising and moving throughout the day, your body needs it.

Tips to Stay Fit Through the Holidays

With the Holiday season in full effect you need to take actions now to prevent a complete destruction of your progress!  Here are some tips to implement and keep your body trim:

 

Plan Your Workouts

Take the time to schedule your workouts through the busy season.  If you have a plan, your are more likely to stick to it.  If you are going to wing it, then don’t be surprised if 10PM rolls around and you haven’t hit the weights.

 

 

Workout Early

With many festivities happening after work or in the evenings, it is best to start your day with a workout.  There are many benefits to working out in the morning which include, an increase in focus, a boost to your metabolism and even a better attitude!

Stay Home & Workout

Let’s be honest, time is of the essence when we are all scrambling to get the last minute shopping and holiday preparations done.  Working out at home can help save time when you need it most.  Just in the travel time to the gym, you could gain an extra 30 minutes.  If you don’t have weights or a treadmill at home, there are plenty of bodyweight exercises that give you the burn that you need.

 

Buddy Up

It is a huge part of setting your goals and accomplishing them.  If you have someone to relate to and keep you accountable, accomplishing your fitness goals can be fun and rewarding.  Keep your buddy on track with their plan and they will help you do the same.

 

Fruits Come First

With all of the holiday parties and get-togethers, there is guaranteed to be plenty of eating!  It is hard to stay away from the sweets, goodies and pounds…when you get your plate, start by taking the healthy stuff.  Grab fruits and vegetables then go for the meats, like turkey or chicken.  Hopefully after you have eaten that first plate, you will minimize all of the unhealthy foods on your second round.

 

Be Active With Family

If your goal during the holiday season is to enjoy family time but you are also trying to stay fit, why not try a workout with your family?  You could take a jog together or play a family game of basketball.  If you live in a snowy climate, go sledding or skiing!  The family will have so much fun won’t even realize how many calories they are actually burning.

 

Live It Up On the Holiday (not days)

It is okay to splurge and have a cheat day or rest day on the actually holiday.  Take a day to enjoy all of the foods, family and fun this season.  Make sure that you aren’t cheating throughout the whole holiday season, though!

 

 

Take these tips and HIT your goals this holiday season!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You are in a Training Slump

Has your training hit a plateau? Are you only maintaining muscle and strength, when you want to be gaining? To get out of your slump and make your workouts count again, you need to find the source of your slump. Here are 5 questions to help you beat that training slump.

 

WeightQuestion 1: Have you been remembering to schedule rest days?

Your body can’t train constantly. You need regular rest days or even rest weeks to keep your training on track. If you’ve hit a slump, check the calendar. When was the last time you took a rest week? Body building experts recommend a rest week for every 6 to 8 weeks of training.

 

ScheduleQuestion 2: Do you need to vary your reps?

You may be in a slump because your workout has gotten too routine. Try fewer, more intense reps to build strength. Or add reps with your current load to build endurance. Shaking things up may shake you out of your training slump.

 

NutritionQuestion 3: And speaking of shakes, how is your nutrition?

Has your nutrition been keeping pace with your training? As you build muscles, you need more calories and protein. You may have hit a training plateau because you’re not eating enough, or you’re eating the wrong foods. You can’t get stronger if you don’t give your body the tools it needs to train. Try adding a supplement like Core Athlete Premium Whey Blend to your diet so that your muscles can get back to work.

 

PostureQuestion 4: How is your posture?

Your mother might have been on to something when she told you to sit up straight and pay attention. Posture can affect your workouts. If you work at a computer all day or don’t use proper form when you’re lifting, you might develop a shoulder slump. Poor posture forces your body to work in all the wrong ways. You may be slouching your way into a training slump.

 

BuddyQuestion 5: Do you use the buddy system?

Have you been working out alone, or do you have a buddy? You’ll work harder and improve more quickly if you don’t go it alone. Get a workout partner with similar goals. You can urge each other on, help spot each other on lifts, and keep an eye on each other’s health. Remember, training is a community activity. If you’re not part of an active community, your lone wolf status might actually be holding you back.

Now that you’ve figured out the cause of your slump, get to work! It’s time to get back to building strength, increasing endurance, and reaching your goals.

 

Five Habits That Can Make or Break Your Progress

We all work hard to stay in shape, but what if parts of your regimen are sabotaging your results? Sometimes bad habits go unnoticed, it’s possible you may take three steps forward and two steps back.

Here are 5 habits that can make or break your success.

1.) Diet

There is plenty of information out there on how to support a healthy diet. One thing is for certain, eating right and at the right times can have a huge impact on your results. Two details that may be overlooked and are thus hurting your performance are:

  • Overeating before a workout. Doing so may cause fatigue as it takes plenty of energy to digest the food.
  • Not eating enough. You wouldn’t go on a road trip with an empty gas tank, the same goes for your body. Make sure you are eating pre-workout unless you have planned ahead for a fasted training session. Generally speaking, fuel up with carbs like oats an hour or so before you HIT the gym.

2.) Sleep

If you have hit a plateau, it may be due to lack of sleep. You need recovery time. Make sure you are getting a good amount of shut-eye.

3.) Too much/too little water

As excellent and important as water is to a workout routine, too much water can make you bloated, crampy or nauseous. On the other hand, you need to stay hydrated in order to HIT workouts hard. As a general rule, you should drink .5-1 ounces of water per pound of body weight. If you are working out a lot or live in a hotter climate, try to get at least 1 ounce per pound.

4.) Stretching

Many athletes love to get a good pump, it looks cool and feels great. However, there is more to being fit than brute strength. Paying attention to mobility will help your form and ward off injury. Being able to hit full range of motion is not always easy, take time to stretch, the payoff is huge.

5.) Setting Goals

Set goals for yourself. Working out without a specific goal may keep your progress stagnant. Challenging yourself to hit PR’s, go on stage, or drop 2% body fat will keep you moving in the right direction.

5 Facts Every High Performance Athlete Should Know

Do you care about your athletic performance and your long-term health? Here are some statistics to keep in mind as you exercise, rest, and eat.

1. High Intensity Training Delivers Measurable Returns. Researchers say that HIT produces big gains in muscle thickness, power, and performance.

2. Hydration is Key. Dehydration during exercise can cause damage to your muscles and kidneys. In one study on dehydrated U.S. Soldiers, 25% suffered from rhabdomyolysis, and 13% went through kidney failure. Stay hydrated while you’re working out. Make sure to drink a beverage with a healthy mix of carbohydrates and electrolytes to increase the positive effects of the workout.

3. Nitrates can Improve Performance. In studies on athletes, scientists found that nitrates like the ones found in beetroot can increase time-to-exhaustion by 14-25%. So, a nitrate boost could help you train longer and harder. So, if you want to extend your work-outs, you might want to give beet juice a try.

4. HMB-FA is Showing Promise. A recent study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that a chemical called HMB-FA may prevent muscle damage and speed recovery after exercise.

5. Whey Protein and Leucine are Musts for Weight Training. To reach your training potential, you need to consume nearly 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. If you’re trying to get that sort of nutrition from food alone, you’ll have to spend a lot of time cooking and eating. If you’re dedicated to your training, you can’t afford to spend that much time in the kitchen.

Studies have found that protein supplements before and after exercise improve both short-term and long-term performance. Good supplements must contain whey and leucine. For a better amino acid balance, choose grass-fed protein sources over factory farmed cattle.

6. You Need Fat for Top Performance. Your body can metabolize fat more efficiently and get energy quickly if you include mono-unsaturated and saturated fats in your diet. Fat consumption also helps keep your testosterone at healthy levels. If you want to take your work-out to the next level, don’t skimp on the fat.

How to Beat Negativity and Stay Motivated

3 Keys to Changing Your Outlook and Improving Your Life

We’re all familiar with that little voice in the back of our heads. It tells us that we’re not good enough, that we’re never good enough, and that we might as well give up now. That voice is a liar. It’s the voice of negativity, and it saps our motivation and our drive. Here are three quick tips staying motivated even when training gets tough.

1. Pay Attention to Your Moods.  

Sometimes, negativity is just a sign you’re in a lousy mood. All sorts of things affect our moods. To stay positive, you need to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and get outside. If you’re exhausted and rundown, supplement with glutamine to get a needed mood boost. Avoid foods containing refined grains and sugars, since they can contribute to your ups and downs. Make sure you get some sunshine every day, especially in the afternoon. The sun’s rays provide a natural mood and energy boost, and will help you sleep better at night.

2. Focus on How Far You’ve Come.

If you look at what you haven’t accomplished yet, it’s easy to feel like a failure. Take a little time each day or week to look backwards. Write a list of what you accomplished at the gym today, this week, and this month. You’re probably doing better than you think, especially when you see all your accomplishments written out.

3. Find Cheerleaders.

Talk to good friends about your struggles and accomplishments. An outside point of view gives you helpful advice. Focus on constructive, rather than destructive criticism.

Keep a cheerleader in your life – someone who’s genuinely happy for you and who wants to see you succeed. Your personal cheerleader can give you a reality check when you’re down.   If you don’t have a friend like that, be your own cheerleader. Record your thoughts and feelings when you’re happy with your training and your progress as a reminder to yourself. On your down days, plug into your past enthusiasm to get motivated.

Finally, remember that everyone feels negative and unmotivated sometimes. The mark of a great athlete is that he never gives up, even when he feels discouraged. If you push through the negativity and lack of motivation, you’ll reach new heights and find new strengths.

7 Steps to Better Rest Days

If you love to work out, rest days really suck. What are you supposed to do when you can’t train? Suddenly, you have a huge chunk of time to waste on mindless television, unhealthy food, or plain old boredom. Even though rest days are tough, experts agree that they’re an essential part of your training regimen. Use these steps to turn ‘suck’ into success.

Step 1: Plan your time.

It’s your rest day. Suddenly you have a large block of time and nothing to do. Approach your rest days with the same mindset you use on your training days. Go into the rest day with a plan for what you’re going to accomplish and how you’re going to spend your time.

Step 2: Keep up with your Supplements.

Even though you don’t train on your rest days, your body still needs nutrients so that to repair and recharge itself. Take a recovery blend like Muscle Matrix BCAA to ensure that you’ll achieve peak performance once you’re finished resting.

Step 3: Work on Nutrition.

Good nutrition takes effort and planning, so use your rest days to promote total body fitness. Plan your meals for the week, and get the jump on cooking. Look for healthy, protein-packed recipes that will leave you satisfied. Shop for ingredients. Make freezer meals so that you’ll eat healthy all week long.

Step 4: Reconnect with Friends and Family

When was the last time you called your grandma? Do you have a friend you’ve been meaning to email? Set aside at least 15 minutes a rest-day to reconnect with someone you love.

Step 5: Tackle an “Always Wanted To”.

Have you always wanted to learn to paint? Do you talk about writing a book? Is there somewhere nearby you’ve always wanted to visit? Rest days are your chance to learn new skills and see new places. Art, writing, and gardening all take time, perseverance and practice – the same skills you use at the gym.

Step 6: Get into Green.

The human mind actually needs time outdoors in green spaces like parks and yards to recharge. Use your rest day as a chance to take in some of your local greenspaces.

Step 7: Rest.

An enforced rest day can suck, especially when you’re used to the thrills of the gym. But by filling your rest time with important, meaningful activities, you may find yourself embracing the rhythm of the rest day.

Recover faster with a little help from Glutamine

Glutamine  is a “non-essential” amino acid. This means that your body produces it naturally. So why would you ever need to take a Glutamine supplement? Good question. In normal circumstances your body should be capable of producing the necessary amounts of glutamine. I’m going to assume that everyone reading this article has been depleting their Glutamine resources with intense physical activity. Remember that two hour leg day you had on the other day? The one that left your muscles screaming? After intense exercise your Glutamine levels can fall too low resulting in fatigue, soreness and in extreme cases muscle loss. Glutamine is essential for muscle recovery.

When should you take Glutamine?
Glutamine should be taken during workout sessions and throughout the day on both training and non-training days. Glutamine is necessary to drive protein straight to the muscle cells where it will be used for muscle growth. Taking Reform Matrix Glutamine Blend after an intense workout will replenish your Glutamine levels, saving your body the hours or even days it would take replenish those levels naturally. Which means faster recovery time.

What are the benefits?
You might be surprised to discover that Glutamine offers additional benefits outside of the gym:

  1. Slows the muscle breakdown that usually happens after an extended period of stress
  2. Helps fight fatigue, both physical and mental
  3. Reduces muscle soreness
  4. Helps with long and short term memory
  5. Stronger immune system less prone to disease and infection
  6. Speeds recovery and recuperation
  7. Glutamine is a mood elevator

Is it safe?
Glutamine is naturally produced in your body and is very safe. There are no side effects to taking Glutamine. Always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement routine.

* These statments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.