A while ago I conducted a non-scientific (but still eye-opening!) poll.
I asked a bunch of people who had a regular workout routine WHY they exercised.
A lot of these people were in their 60s, 70s, and beyond, and most of them had been working out for decades.
Their answer: The mood and mental health benefits!
There is REAL science to back that up. We usually associate cardio with lifting your spirits, but it turns out strength training is also a MAJOR mood and mental health booster.
Studies show that strength training can help with:
● Less anxiety
● Lower depression
● Sharper thinking
● Better memory
● More energy & less chronic fatigue
● Better sleep
● More confidence and self-esteem
● Plus an even longer list of physical health benefits
Still, if you’ve never tried strength training before, getting started can seem a little intimidating.
I probably don’t have to ask you if you’ve ever thought about “losing weight” or “burning fat” — but how often do you think about building muscle?
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give your muscles much thought until you go to pick up something heavy or throw on a swim suit.
But here’s a surprising fact:
Although the idea of building muscle is typically linked with how we look, your muscles are closely linked with your overall health – and also with the aging process.
Here are 7 reasons to build more muscle, starting right now:
1. You start losing muscle around the age of 30. 🤯
Yes, you read that right. On average, people lose around 3%-8% each decade… and then it speeds up after you turn 60.
The sooner you get started on building your muscle “bank,” the better!
Muscle loss is one of the top causes of disability for older people – they become too weak to live alone and are more prone to falls and injuries.
2. You’ll build stronger bones.
Did you know that many people start losing about 1% of their bone mass PER YEAR after the age of 40?
Stressing your bones (when you’re doing it in a healthy way through strength training!) will help boost your bone density and cut the risk of osteoporosis and fractures when you get older.
3. It can help you manage chronic conditions.
Lifting weights can help you cut back on symptoms of arthritis, chronic pain, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and obesity.
4. It can help with fat loss.
If you’re trying to lose weight, strength-training workouts are an important tool – and they can help you keep (and maybe even build a little) muscle as you get leaner.
5. It can help sharpen your thinking.
Studies link regular strength training and aerobic exercise with better brain function. 🧠
6. It’ll improve your quality of life. Your everyday activities get easier – starting ASAP! Plus, it can improve your balance and protect your joints from injury.
7. It helps you keep your balance.
Again, this can help you avoid slip & fall accidents now and as you get older.
Plus… having toned muscles is great for your confidence and energy level!
The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll start feeling (and seeing) results.
How many kinds of stress are you dealing with right now?
(There are SIX major types of it.)
Stress is like a double-edged sword for our health.
In manageable doses, it can actually be good for you and boost your resilience.
It can motivate you to push forward to new heights and it can boost your focus and energy.
It can even make your body release hormones to raise your performance, both mentally and physically.
But too much stress has the opposite effect. It can affect your mood, your sleep, and your overall health. It’s linked with high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and more.
Having an outlet to manage stress (like exercise!) is a major component of living a healthy lifestyle.
Recognizing stress is the first step to managing it!
6 Most Common Types of Stress:
1. Acute stress: The most common form of stress, it’s usually a response to an immediate challenge. This could be something like speaking to a group, dealing with a one-time difficult situation, or taking a test. Feeling this kind of stress can actually be helpful because it keeps you alert and focused.
2.Episodic acute stress: This is when you have a lot of acute stress in your life, like a high-stress job or when you’re juggling a lot of responsibilities and challenges at the same time. If this type of stress lasts too long, it can affect your health.
3.Chronic stress: This takes that acute stress and stretches it out over a long period of time with little to no break. Common causes include a difficult job, money problems, relationship problems, etc. Chronic stress can have severe effects on your physical and mental health.
4.Traumatic stress: This occurs when something bad happens, like an accident, natural disaster, or violence. It can cause long-lasting emotional & psychological effects.
5.Psychological stress: This is when you experience negative thoughts, depression/hopelessness, and low self-esteem. It can be caused by trauma or chronic stress.
6.Physiological stress: This is caused by physical problems like medical problems, illness, or injuries. It doesn’t only affect your body, but also your mental and emotional well-being, and over time it can turn into chronic stress.
Bottom Line: Don’t let stress take over your life!
You have the power to manage your stress and lead a happier, healthier life.
Remember, self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary!
Wishing you a stress-free and fulfilling day,
The other day I sent you an email about a trait called “grit” — which is connected to mental toughness and resilience.
It’s the drive that helps you see your goals through to the end.
But there’s something about grit/mental toughness that we tend to forget as we get older…
It’s actually EMPOWERING and FUN to build it!
Remember when you were a kid and you were learning a new skill — swimming, riding a bike, jumping rope, shooting baskets, etc — and you’d challenge yourself to do just a little more?
And then you’d be so proud of yourself as you got better and better?
Well, that’s all a part of building more grit and mental toughness.
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, shared a few ways to build more grit to make the process more fun.
1. Define what “grit” means to you.
● Working out 3 days a week for an entire month, without missing a single workout
● Meal prepping your meals (& actually eating them)
● Meditating for 5 minutes every morning
Once you come up with something meaningful, start building your “grit” muscles by getting it done, no matter WHAT.
Tell yourself: “GO TIME!” … and put on your game face.
Pro tip: Choose just 1 thing to work on at a time. Layer on more when you’re ready. This keeps it positive vs. just another “thing” to add to your to-do list.
2. Find small ways to prove yourself to yourself. |
Go the extra mile (or minute). Spend an extra minute or two on the treadmill, or go for an extra rep during your next workout … just to see if you can (while being safe, obviously).
When you add that element of playfulness, it makes it fun — and it also helps you get better, faster!
Any time you are tempted to “cheat” or cut corners … DON’T.
It’s almost always worse in our heads than it is in real life.
And you will be SUPER PROUD of yourself when you’re done (which keeps you moving forward).
One of the things I love most about this approach is that it helps you focus on your possibilities vs. your limits.
A lot of people ask me about willpower because they think they don’t have enough of it.
Here’s what’s wild about that: it turns out, the fact that they think they don’t have enough willpower might be why they don’t have enough.
Back in the 1990s, scientists came up with a theory called “ego depletion,” which basically says that willpower is a limited resource.
And, if you’re tired, stressed, or have made a ton of decisions during the day, you’re more likely to run out of it.
Which sets you up for skipping your planned workouts, ordering takeout instead of eating a healthy home-cooked meal, etc.
BUT… new research suggests that ego depletion may only apply if you believe in it.
So, if you believe you will run out of willpower, you probably WILL.
But this is actually really good news.
It means you can take back control (and personal responsibility!) over your actions — and stop “relying” on willpower!
One way to do that: the next time you feel like you don’t have willpower, go into PROBLEM-SOLVING MODE.
Ask yourself: Why do you feel like your willpower is slipping?
● Is it a schedule problem?
● A planning problem?
● Are your expectations too high, too soon?
● Are you tired?
● Are you stressed or upset?
Here’s a real-life example from my own life. I noticed that every Thursday night, I was feeling extra-tempted to order out instead of eating at home.
After I did some thinking about it, I realized what the problem was: Thursday was the day I ran out of my planned & prepped meals for the week.
The solution: Set aside a little time on Wednesday to restock my kitchen so I’ve got healthy food in the house.
Nothing is more motivating than feeling like you’re making solid progress — and the way to keep moving forward is to keep solving those problems!
There’s a trait that separates people who reach their goals from those who struggle.
It’s not talent, luck, or genetics (although those things don’t hurt).
This trait does more than just help you reach your health/fitness goals.
It also helps you do better in school, excel in sports and your career, and it also plays a role in being a better parent and/or spouse.
It’s mental toughness — aka personal responsibility and accountability — and it’s something you can get better at, over time.
FUN FACT: It might mean something different than you think.
It’s NOT about being a single-minded drill sergeant who harps on discipline all the time.
In fact, it’s almost the OPPOSITE of that.
It’s more about being able to stay focused and determined when challenges pop up — and having the resilience and flexibility to overcome obstacles so you can keep moving toward your goals.
It pays off by helping you manage your thoughts, emotions, and actions so that you can keep a positive mindset!
And even more importantly, it’s about LOVING YOURSELF enough to follow through on your self-care and your goals.
You deserve it!
And that leads me to a little assignment for you — one that has BIG payoffs.
Step 1: Come up with ONE THING that you can do this week to move you closer to one of your goals.
Choose something that you know you have the time and resources for. Examples:
● Hitting all your workouts
● Avoiding processed or junk food
● Meditating every morning
● Signing up for [Your Coaching Program] 😉
Step 2: COMMIT to follow through and get it done.
Following through with the commitments you make to yourself helps build confidence… which leads to even greater mental toughness.
Here’s a quote to keep in mind:
The oak tree fought the wind and was broken, but the willow tree bent and survived.
– Robert Jordan
Hit reply and let me know what your ONE THING is!
Let’s talk about cravings for junk food – and what you can do to beat them.
You know what I’m talking about… you’re sitting at your desk at 2 p.m. and suddenly ALL you can think about are chocolate chip cookies. Or you’re watching TV at night and feel the ice cream or chips in the kitchen calling your name.
These cravings are super common — and they can be caused by a lot of things.
● You could be hungry
● You might be stressed, lonely, or bored
● You’ve developed a habit of snacking around a certain time or activity
● Your hunger hormones might be out of whack from a bad night of sleep or because it’s that time of the month
● You might have a nutrient deficiency
Eating a special treat every once in a while is fine — and even encouraged! But on a regular basis, it can get in the way of your results (not to mention your health).
I’ve got a 4-point list to help you slay those junk food cravings and take back control!
1.Plan ahead. Have healthier options on hand: fruits, cut-up veggies, nuts, etc. (PS: I know you already know this — but do you actually DO it? 🙂 )
2.Hide food offenders. If you have foods in the house that bring on cravings, keep them out of sight!
3.Eat it. Allow yourself to snack on your favorites once in a while. This way they don’t become “forbidden foods” that make you crave them even more.
4.Try mindful eating. When you do indulge, make eating that food your only activity. Turn off the TV, get off your phone, and savor every bite, noticing its taste, texture, temperature, etc. This can help you feel more satisfied with a smaller portion. Plus it can help you decide whether you’re eating because you’re actually hungry… or because of something else (entertainment, to relax, bored, etc.).
Habits can be changed — they just take time!
I remember the very first time I cleaned up my diet.
I felt like crud. I had a headache, my stomach wasn’t happy, and I was (to say the least) super grouchy.
The good news is, those feelings went away pretty quickly.
But the fact is, feeling a little “off” after changing your diet is pretty common, and it can catch you by surprise ….
Because how could you feel worse when you are taking steps to feel better?
If it happens to you, here are a few possible causes:
● Detox symptoms: When you change the way you eat, your body has to get used to it. This can cause headaches, fatigue, and irritability. The good news is, this is usually temporary and you’ll start feeling better as your body gets used to the new foods.
● More fiber than you’re used to: If you have been eating a low-fiber diet and suddenly start loading up on it, it can take your digestive system a while to adjust. Try gradually increasing the amount of fiber you eat instead of making big changes.
● Dehydration: It’s important to drink enough water throughout the day (especially if you boost your fiber). If you’re not getting enough fluids, you might start to feel worse.
● Lack of planning: It can be harder to stick to a healthy diet if you’re not planning and preparing your meals in advance! This can make it harder to eat enough food and/or eat balanced meals.
Just keep in mind that it takes time for your body to get used to a new way of eating.
Also: If it keeps up, check in with your healthcare provider!
Have you ever noticed that foods that aren’t exactly “good” for you seem to taste amazing?
It’s kind of like Mother Nature is playing a practical joke… but there are a few reasons this happens.
- Many “crave-worthy” foods are loaded with sugar, salt, fat, and empty calories.
- Our brains are hardwired to crave tasty, high-energy (aka high-calorie) foods because they help us survive when food is scarce. (Except for most of us, food isn’t scarce anymore — so we have to be careful not to overeat these foods.)
- Manufacturers spend a LOT of time and money making these foods as delicious as possible – and also on ads to entice us. It’s no surprise that some of these foods are hard to resist!
So if you find yourself craving these foods, that’s by design!
I’m sharing this with you because I believe knowledge is power — and keeping this in mind helps me keep my own food choices in check!
According to the National Academy of Sciences, people eat too many calories, saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugars; too much sodium; and not enough vitamin D, calcium, potassium, or fiber.
Here’s the kicker: the top causes of death (heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, etc.) are strongly associated with our food choices!
Now, I am all for moderation (80%-90% healthy foods, 10%-20% “extras”) … but I also know that walking that tightrope can be a real challenge sometimes!
It’s time to discover just how GREAT you can feel!
Committed to your health,
Here’s a trap almost everyone has fallen into at one point or another…
Have you ever heard yourself say (maybe only to yourself):
“When [insert anything you are waiting/hoping for] happens, I’ll start focusing more on my fitness/health”?
It could be when …
- the weekend is over
- your schedule eases up
- the seasons change
- your kids reach a certain age
- and on and on and on!
Author Bill Phillips once said…
“If you wait until everything in your life is perfect before you begin something challenging and new, you’ll be waiting forever. The best time is now.”
In other words, stop waiting!
If you keep waiting for the planets to align to get started — because you think it will be easier or somehow “better” — you are robbing yourself of how good you could feel RIGHT NOW!
Remember: It’s not about being perfect. It’s about taking small, imperfect steps in the direction of your goal.
What step can you take today?
Even if it’s something that takes just 2-5 minutes.
Tell yourself it’s “go” time … and go get it done!
I know you can do it.
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