Monday, 27 January 2014

Stronger For Longer: The Benefits of Resistance Training

Stronger for Longer: The Benefits of Resistance Training

Special Guest Post by Melissa Windsor, JQ Fitness

I used to think that cardio was the be-all and end-all of exercise. When someone would ask me if I “worked out”, my immediate thought was well I go to the gym and go on the elliptical, so yes, I workout.  Little did I know how much I was missing out on.

My workouts were always cardio focused, so when I lost weight I merely became a smaller person with the same, pudgy shaped body. So while the number on the scale would move occasionally, I lacked definition, strength and the muscular endurance that I now know comes as a byproduct of resistance training.

If you’re a part of iluvthis Bootcamp, we incorporate resistance training in many different ways rather than your traditional weight lifting at the gym (which is also great for you, don’t get me wrong – I actually do it all the time).  Different forms of resistance training include body weight exercises like squats, lunges, & pushups - exercises with the bands, anything that we get you to use your dumbbells for, as well as kettlebells and your stability ball! Plus, with the added benefit of cardio intervals you really are getting the most time efficient and effective full-body workout.

I know sometimes you might not feel motivated to get to bootcamp and kill your workout, or if you’re a gym-kinda person, you might not feel motivated to get your butt to the gym and hammer it out, but it’s so worth it to take that time for yourself and realize what you are actually doing for your body.

Intentionality is everything. This is something that I’ve come to realize the importance of. I need a clear goal, a direction, a WHY behind the action – otherwise you’ll forget why you’re doing what you’re doing and unfortunately you’ll probably stop doing it.

In addition to being super intentional and goal oriented about your workouts, when you are struggling with motivation or even just to keep the motivation that you already have, remind yourself of these awesome benefits that you can and will experience as a result of resistance training:

Improved muscle strength & tone – aka your ticket to a rockin’ bod…
Weight management & increased muscle-to-fat-ratio – Burning more calories at rest means your body is working more efficiently!
Greater staminayou won’t get tired as easily, this is awesome for whatever activities you might want to participate in ;)
Increased bone density -  as we age we lose muscle – this will help to keep it and because muscle pulls on bones you’ll also have stronger bones reducing your risk of osteoporosis
Reduced body fat – aka also your ticket to a hot bod (part II)
Better sleep – we’re all exhausted these days, sooo enough said! Catch some awesome Z’s!
Increased ability to perform everyday tasksits all about functional movements! Building your muscles through resistance training will help in all areas of your life!
Decreased Insulin Resistance Insulin is the fat fighting hormone & lifting weights will help you be more sensitive to it and therefore you’ll burn more fat – Hooray! I can just hear my fat cells crying right now…

Best of all, you’ll feel stronger, leaner, meaner and be able to survive Jeff’s workouts at 6:00am…


Until next time,

Sunday, 19 January 2014

At A Crossroads

Special Guest Post by Melissa Windsor, JQ Fitness

There are so many times in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroads. Choice A or Choice B (or C or D or E… you get the picture). When I reach these places in my own life I often find myself crippled and paralyzed by fear – fear of the unknown, fear or the know, fear of stepping out and failing, fear or looking like an idiot in front of the people I care about, or even looking like an idiot in front of complete strangers.

So I wait. I sit on the decisions that I know I need to be making because I feel that if I wait, maybe, just maybe, everything will right itself, or solve itself and I wont have to do any growing or changing.

And every time this happens I realize what a completely silly notion that really is.

Life isn’t about sitting around and waiting for the hard things to pass you by, or watching the people around you struggle and then succeed while you look on…

Life is about living, making mistakes, making the right choice sometimes and other times making the completely wrong choice but being able to pick yourself up and move on, stronger (and hopefully wiser) than you were before.

Often the things that I am the most proud of accomplishing are the things that have frightened me the most. Like losing weight, and changing my lifestyle. 

From my vantage point last year, so many things stood in the way of me accomplishing my goals. Everything I saw was a challenge that needed to be overcome and it felt like too much. Eventually though, the fear I felt about how hard it would be & that “what if I fail” question at the back of my mind became less and less important. I realized the only thing holding me back was me; Not my genetic pre-disposition to be overweight like many of my family members, not my family history of heart disease. I was the one doing this. I was eating crap, and treating my body like a trash can rather than a living, breathing, beautiful thing that needed to be nurtured and cared for.

So I stepped out, I took a risk; I changed my diet and started exercising. I felt like crap on some days, but I kept at it. I realized that one bad day didn’t define me, that one bad day wouldn’t ruin my progress, but that many bad days together would.

I learned to have grace for myself.

And through the process I realized that taking the leap is just the beginning.

Maybe today you find yourself facing a similar situation or even a situation that is completely different from mine. The concept is still the same. Don’t let yourself be held back and paralyzed by fear. Embrace that fear, and press through the challenges you find yourself facing. On the other side you’ll discover strength inside of yourself that you’ll be forever grateful for.

You are strong
You are capable
& You can accomplish  the things you set your mind to.

So go out today, and rock it.