Tag Archives: exercise

Cardio or Weight Lifting? – What Would I Choose if I Could Only Pick One

When it comes to fitness, there is no denying that daily exercise has many positive effects on your life including extending your longevity, preventing serious health problems, boosting your mood, enhancing your physical attractiveness, etc. I cannot say enough positive things about working out and have been dedicated to living a healthy and active lifestyle since I was a teenager.

Not everyone has the time to work out everyday or as often as they would like; however, if you make your health and wellness a top priority, you can definitely find a way to incorporate it into your lifestyle whether that means waking up earlier to squeeze in a workout or maybe at night after a long work day. Remember that whatever that works for you is great and that it is extra beneficial if you can be consistent with how often you exercise. The question is, what is better for you–cardio or weight lifting? The obvious answer is BOTH! I think that it is important to put in time to do cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming, biking, etc. in order to keep your heart healthy and to prevent excess weight from accumulating over time. However, the weight lifting aspect of working out is what keeps your body lean and tight which ultimately sculpts your physique so that you have nice curves and more developed muscles. So although I will always preach to do BOTH, if you have to choose one to focus on more than the other, I would absolutely always choose WEIGHT LIFTING! Of course, keep in mind that everyone’s health goals and bodies are built differently but regardless, I don’t think you can go wrong with adding weight lifting into your fitness routine. Personally, I find weight lifting to feel good both mentally and physically. I know women often worry about bulking up but most women’s bodies are designed to actually become more fit and lean as opposed to men who are able to bulk up more easily. Keep in mind that your diet is also a huge component when it comes to staying in shape, so do not forget to pair your workouts with a good food schedule and nutrition plan which will only enhance your results and all your fitness efforts!

Why You Can’t Always Trust “Fitness” Influencers – Along with A Much Healthier Approach to Fitness

Nowadays thanks to social media, there is so much information about health and fitness. People post everything ranging from their workouts to what they eat each day. Just about anyone and everyone can post including normal people who are fitness enthusiasts, actual professionals who work as trainers or within the fitness industry, or people who call themselves fitness influencers who might have a massive following but do not have a professional background. You might also notice that fitness influencers try to sell fitness programs that are marketed to help you train to look just like them or try to obtain a certain physique. While I also like to turn to places like Instagram to learn new fitness moves or as fitness inspiration to help me vary my workouts, that is the extent that I rely on social media for this information because I know that there are many people out there who might make fitness claims that are not valid. For example, it often is a taboo subject to talk about plastic surgery or any type of body procedures; however, there are some people that have had work done but say that they look that way thanks to their workouts and programs. This is false advertising! That is why I don’t think you can take everything that you see on social media all too seriously. Also keep in mind that everyone’s genetics are designed differently so a specific diet and fitness routine that works on one person might not necessarily work as effectively on someone else.

I believe the healthiest approach to fitness is to first set realistic expectations and fitness goals that apply to you personally. From there, you can create a game plan to determine how you will reach these goals and then develop the right habits that you can adapt on a daily basis that will help you achieve the results that you are looking for. Consistency is the key and as long as you are consistent with your efforts, you will notice that you will make progress over time. It is natural that there will be off days but never let that bring you down and know that you can always pick right back up from where you started or where you were previously. It is much healthier to focus on your own fitness journey than to compare yourself to others because the majority of the time, the people who might have a major social media following are not always the most knowledgeable and/or might be taking extreme measures to appear “healthy” when they actually are not. It is important to find what works for you and to apply it in your everyday life so it becomes a lifestyle as opposed to feeling like a chore which is why that it is also beneficial to find physical activities that you love paired with a healthy diet that you find enjoyable.

3 Reasons Why Daily Exercise is Essential

While many would agree that staying healthy is a priority, not everyone puts the right practices into place to ensure that they maintain their health. I would say that there are many factors that contribute to living a healthy lifestyle that include implementing a nutritious diet, getting enough rest each day, keeping stress levels low, and daily exercise. While I know many people live very busy lives between their careers and personal lives, I do not think that should be an excuse or a free pass to ignore exercising a few days a week. Why? I believe that daily exercise is not only important for your health but that it is essential for your well being.

Exercise Boosts Your Mood – For me personally, I am in such a better mood for the day after I exercise. Whereas when I do not fit in the time for a workout, I notice a difference in my mood where I might not feel as happy and upbeat. Studies do show that exercise very well does not only uplift your mood but it also helps as a stress reliever. For many including myself, exercise also builds my mental strength which is just as important as your physical strength and perhaps even more so.

Exercise Helps With Weight Management – While some might not feel that they are in need of losing weight or building muscle, it is still a good habit to exercise to maintain your weight throughout your lifetime. As people age, it is natural to put on excess weight little by little due to the metabolism slowing down over time. I do believe that focusing on a healthy diet is more effective than exercise given the choice; however, if you eat well AND exercise daily, that is the golden combo in helping you stay physically fit and obtaining a desirable physique.

Exercise Prevents Potential Health Problems – I look at it like this, we only have one body that is going to carry us throughout life. It is for this reason that we should treat our bodies with care and in order to do so, we have to feed our bodies with the right nutrients and fuel while also keeping the body moving in order for it to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. By taking the time to exercise daily, it helps in preventing future health problems to occur and also can add many extra years to your life. Remember that every little bit of exercise helps and it is never too late to start!

How to Stay Fit and Fabulous Over the Holiday Season

As the upcoming holiday season approaches, we all know with that comes many celebrations and social gatherings. Since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, there might be a lesser amount of parties but I am sure there are still festivities to be celebrated. It is common for people to put on excess weight during this time because there are often more decadent foods and there tends to be a lack of structure during this time of year when prepping for the holidays. It happens and can be expected although there are ways to still enjoy this festive time and stay fit at the same time. I will discuss some healthy tips that will allow yourself to stay healthy but also not leave yourself feeling deprived.

Don’t Neglect Your Exercise Regime – I recognize that December can be an incredibly stressful and busy time of year, especially if you have a family and find yourself busier than usual with holiday activities. If you normally have a fitness routine, still continue to follow it as best you can or find creative ways to add exercise into your day. That might mean getting up a little earlier to fit it in or having to work out during times you normally would not be. Whatever you can do to find a way to keep your body moving will make a difference and remember that every little bit of exercise is better than absolutely nothing.

Indulge Within Moderation – Everything always comes back to moderation and this is especially helpful with making the right eating choices. When you are at a party or special event, I encourage you to eat what you love but it is important not to overeat because if you consistently overeat during these events, it is inevitable that you will put on excess weight. What I like to do is start with a small plate of all my favorite foods and create a little sampler. This way I can try everything and determine what I really enjoyed and get a little bit more of it if I choose to. Typically, I will already feel full after one plate but if I am still hungry, then I will go for a second plate and just grab what I enjoyed most. This way I don’t feel deprived but I still listen to my body to determine when I am full. By applying this same technique, you will be able to indulge within moderation.

Opt For Overall Healthier Choices – I know this can be tricky when you have access to more unhealthier foods and treats than you normally would. As I pointed out before, it is okay to have these things within moderation but it is also wise to choose the healthier food options that are available as opposed to filling your plate with all junk. The holiday season should not be a pass for all healthy eating habits to go out the window. You still want to try to eat as balanced of a diet as you can during this time of year while adding some treats that you don’t have all the time within reason.

Staying Healthy and Fit – 5 Things I Recommend Most

Before I share some of my healthy habits, there are a couple things to first recognize when it comes to health and fitness. For starters, everyone’s personal standard of what’s “healthy” is going to vary and secondly, what works for me might not necessarily work for you in its entirety as there are various contributing factors such as your body type, age, current health, etc. So please keep this in mind as you are reading because it’s easy to follow advice and then wonder why you are not obtaining the exact same results. As I mentioned, it’s because every body is different but at the same time, my general health tips are ones in which anyone can pick up at any time to achieve their very own personal success–so that means you can keep reading. 🙂

To me, staying healthy and fit is not only a LIFESTYLE but it also is a COMMITMENT to self. Chances are, my personal health standards are probably much higher than the average individual which is why it seems like I put in a lot more effort than most people. I’m sure I probably don’t need to put in as much work as I do to obtain results but I look at it like this: Why settle on mediocre results when I can opt for the very best results? I do what I know works for me and if that means extra workouts or a little extra focus on what I am eating, then it definitely is worth it.

Put in the Physical Work by Lifting Weights and Adding Cardio – Sometimes people are scared to lift weights because they think it will make them appear too bulky. Again, everyone’s body is genetically built differently but generally speaking, lifting weights will give you a desirable body composition and tone you up in all the right areas. Personally, I try to lift weights for an hour a day. I’ll switch up the moves each day to target different muscle groups but each day will be a mix of moves so that I can do a full body workout as opposed to isolating certain muscle groups on certain days. In terms of cardio workouts, I think it’s helpful to incorporate cardio workouts to burn a few extra calories in the day and that it is also good for your heart. With cardio, I try to fit 30-60 minutes of cardio about 5 days a week. (If I don’t have the time to do both in a day, I would choose to lift weights given the choice).

Eat a High Protein Diet – In order to keep the muscle and stay strong, it is important to make sure you eat enough protein in a day and ideally at every meal. If you consistently lift weights but are not feeding your muscles, then all the physical work could go to waste which is why you need to make sure you have enough protein built into your diet. Some forms of protein that I eat on a daily basis include: chicken, fish, eggs, and whey protein. I will also eat turkey and red meat on occasion.

Pay Attention to Portion Control – When I say “portion control,” I do not want this to ever translate as starvation because you absolutely need to fuel your body with enough high quality foods and nutrients in order to stay healthy and build your muscles. What I simply mean is to be mindful of how much you’re eating during each meal and to really listen to your body when you are full–no matter how good the food is (depending on what it is, you can always save it and eat more of it at a later time).

Stay Consistent with Both Your Exercise and Diet – “Getting” in shape is one thing but “staying” in shape is another. When people are determined enough, they can easily get fit but often times they cannot stay fit. The reason is that there is not enough consistency. In order to obtain any type of long lasting results, you need to stay consistent. For me personally, I consistently go to the gym in the mornings, usually 5-7 days a week. If you are just starting out a good fitness regime, I would say a minimum of 3-5 days are needed to build up consistency. You can’t expect to stay in shape when you workout sporadically or you skip weeks of any form of physical activity. The same also goes with your daily diet. While it is okay to indulge and enjoy a good meal here and there, it is important to stay focused on eating healthier and higher quality foods on a regular basis.

Track Food and Physical Activity – While many people might not see the benefits of writing down what they eat and their physical activity for the day, I personally think it’s extremely important for staying focused and holding myself accountable. That is not to say that if I wasn’t writing this down that I’d skip going to the gym and just eat whatever I want but I do think I’m extra mindful of my actions when I know I’m tracking it everyday. It also is a helpful tool to track progress over time which is another reason why I recommend taking the time to record what you eat along with your workouts.

5 Ways You Could Be Investing in Yourself Today

I truly believe that the greatest investments are the ones made towards investing in self–whether it be self development or improvement. As wonderful as we build our lives to be, let’s be honest, there is always room for growth and ways to make life even better than it is today. That’s the beauty of life, it is constantly in motion where we are experiencing, creating, learning, and becoming our best versions of self each and every day. This cannot be done unless we make the proactive choice to invest in our selves and thankfully, there are many ways in which we can be doing just that.

Continue to Educate Yourself – Your school days might be long over but that does not mean that learning has to stop forever. There are ways to continue to educate yourself in just about anything so I recommend picking up a self improvement book or taking a course to learn a completely new skill or perhaps improve upon a current skill set. It is never too late pick up a new personal hobby or profession and thanks to places like YouTube, you can also watch videos on just about anything nowadays to learn something new.

Create a Balanced Diet and Exercise Regime – Balance is the key to everything and will most certainly work in your favor when you take the time to invest in your health through both diet and exercise. If you don’t really enjoy working out in a traditional gym, there are still ways you can remain active by finding physical activities you love and staying committed to fitting them into your schedule. In terms of a healthy diet, the best way to really stay on track is to literally track what you eat which will train you to become more conscientious of not only what you are eating but how much you are eating. Remember that it is your personal responsibility to maintain optimal health by making the self investment through both eating well and staying fit.

Expand Your Financial Resources – I labeled this as “expanding your financial resources” because the way in which you go about this can look very different from individual to individual. For one, this could mean working for a big company and working from the bottom up in terms of obtaining a higher position for a company over time. For someone else, it could mean running one or multiple businesses. Another person might go about expanding financial resources by investing in real estate. There are unlimited ways of growing your personal economy in today’s world and this should absolutely be a top priority as a way of possessing financial freedom and security. In addition, by focusing on increasing your wealth, this provides you the opportunity to contribute money towards a retirement fund while also putting money aside for big purchases such as a house, nice car, and/or a dream vacation.

Set Goals and Execute Them – I emphasize goal setting quite often as we should constantly be setting goals for ourselves as a way to create new challenges and to hold ourselves accountable for placing higher expectations upon self. Even if you think you currently have it all, I challenge yourself to dig deeper and to reconsider ways you can still strive for more. Life is much more fulfilling when you are climbing towards achieving bigger goals as opposed to just staying in a state of stagnation.

Build the Right Social Circle – As much as I am for solitude and personal growth, that does not mean that you should ignore spending your time with others. It is important to invest in others who also invest in themselves and are like minded individuals with the same core values as yourself. It is also beneficial to surround yourself with people who are positive, successful, and who ultimately support you. There is no room for holding onto negative, miserable people and those who only bring you down which is why it is essential that you choose the right people to be a part of your social circle.

Look Great at ANY Age – You Must Do These Things If You Want to See Results

Is age really just a number? I think in today’s day in age, people have the capability to look even younger than their physical age more than they ever did before. It amazes me when I meet someone who tells me their age and I truly thought that they were at least 10 (sometimes up to 20 years younger). Did this happen from “good genes” alone or by luck? Of course not! That is the most reassuring aspect of the aging process is that we actually are very much in control of the pace in which we age. By that, I mean with the right habits, we can actually extend our youth and look great for many years to come while also adding longevity and strengthening our health at the same time. In order for us to achieve these things, like anything in life–it starts with a focused and positive mindset along with some work. Nowadays, most people want results in the form of instant gratification without putting in the work but as we all know, it does not work like that. So what exactly does work then?

Make a Commitment to Self – First and foremost, you need to make a commitment to yourself that you will do what it takes to stay healthy and fit throughout the course of your lifetime. Not once in awhile or only when health problems occur but AT ALL TIMES!

Many people will make any excuse out of the book such as, “Oh I have good genes where I can eat what I want and not have to ever step foot in a gym.” My counter to that is, “good genes” is a facade. Why? You might look good on the outside now but you cannot rely on just your genetics alone to carry you through life. (On a side note, I cannot tell you how many people I have seen who looked great in their youth and then aged quite horrifically from a lack of steady self care). In addition, if you aren’t taking good care of yourself in the inside, you might find that you’ll have some hidden health problems down the line. So no, good genes does not give you a free pass to not care about your health and wellness in my book!

Another popular excuse is, “I’m old now so who cares at this point? Plus, it’s so much harder to stay fit and healthy when you get to my age.” For starters, this is such a weak and sad way to think! (Isn’t it?) Getting old does not mean that things have to go on a steady decline downhill and that health has to fall by wayside in its entirety. It should be the OPPOSITE! As we age, we need to take even MORE personal responsibility of our health! Yes, it might get slightly tougher as we age to stay fit but guess what, all that means is that we TOUGHEN up! We step up our routines and put in a little more extra work along the way.

Self Care Today and Everyday – I labeled this as “self care” because that can include a wide range of things that you can do personally to take care of yourself but as I mentioned–it really needs to be today and everyday. Specifically, I want to point out the importance of implementing a healthy diet AND having a creating a daily fitness routine. There is no denying that people who eat well and work out not only look phenomenal but tend to look ten plus years younger. (Coincidence? I think NOT!) These are the people who truly are committed to self and trust me, it shows!

Besides diet and exercise, we also cannot forget personal grooming such as taking care of our skin (let’s not forget that sun protection is essential), teeth, nails, hair, etc. These are all major components of self care and ones that should never be left neglected.

Put in the Effort and Stay Consistent – The level of effort and consistency is all determined by YOU! This is a good thing because that means that if you put in a good amount of effort and stay consistent over time, you are guaranteed to get results. Of course there are going to be off days or perhaps off periods in your life in which you get off track a bit but as long as you quickly jump back on a healthy track and stay on it, you’ll be good again! Remember that you’re worth it which is why staying healthy and fit is so incredibly worth it for extending your youth and longevity.

You Don’t Need to Be An Athlete to Have The Body of One

Depending on the sport, often athletes are not only admired for their abilities but also for being in great physical shape. In order to be skilled and play at their very best, it is required to spend many hours practicing their sport but also plenty of hours of physical training. This would explain why the majority of athletes have an attractive and often highly desired physique. Despite all this, keep in mind that you do NOT need to be an athlete to be in the best shape of your life. Anyone can put the time to physically train their bodies and implement the proper diet to maximize their results. People often complain that genetically they are too thin or too heavy to begin with so it is impossible to get in the shape that they want. On top of this, many people are just straight up unmotivated paired with a lack of willpower to commit the time and work needed to get the results. The good news is, these are all excuses and far from the reality. The bad news (for some) is that as I mentioned, hard work and discipline will be required to get in exceptional shape.

So where do you start? You cannot “kind of want” to be healthy and have a nice body. Your mind first determines the outcome by having the burning desire to achieve something. If your mind is set and firm that this is the goal, then from there, all you need to do is take action. By action, it does not need to be extreme but can be small daily actions that gradually increase over time. If you are completely new to adding fitness into your lifestyle in general, then I definitely recommend starting slow rather than adding too much which could burn you out to the point where you want to quit right away.

In this specific scenario, I cannot push enough the importance of tracking your progress with whatever system that works best for you. This can be done either digitally on your phone (or digital device of choice) or handwritten in a notebook. Tracking always holds you more accountable and keeps the mind focused on the target. Once you have your tracker, you are going to track down your action which includes recording the exercises you perform each day and I recommend keeping track of what you eat on a daily basis as well. Personally, I do both.

In terms of what types of exercise, always strive towards the activities you naturally enjoy. In addition, teach yourself new exercises by hiring a professional or looking up fitness resources online. As I recently mentioned, I actually have learned so much in the past few months just by watching short clips on Instagram by fitness professionals and enthusiasts. At the end of the day, you need to want to make the change and then actually take the action needed to make it happen. You will be amazed that as soon as you really put your mind to it, the rest of the work that is involved will actually happen quite naturally because of your mental focus. So what are you waiting for? 😉

How I Stepped Up My Fitness Routines Thanks to Instagram

When it comes to exercise and fitness, if you are someone who is already very active and not a novice at the gym, it can be challenging to find ways to elevate your everyday workouts. Someone like myself who utilizes a gym membership by going on a regular basis, it is easy to gravitate towards the same weight machines and do the same moves all the time. Although I do make the effort to switch things up and change up the routines, I still feel there is more room for change. When it comes to any type of exercise, the body adapts pretty quickly which is why you need to incorporate various moves and activities where the body feels challenged on a regular basis or otherwise, it will not change over time. People often do not understand why they have reached a plateau and usually this is due to not challenging the body enough and doing too much of the same stuff.

Although there are many resources on YouTube and plenty of workouts you can probably access through an app, I actually find Instagram to be the most ideal place to find new workouts. There are many fitness professionals and enthusiasts who post their workouts on Instagram. To find a workout, you can use hashtags to find exactly what you are looking for. For example, you can type something like #legsworkout and you will find plenty of results where people post a short video of their routine or it might feature a single move. It is great because they are usually short clips versus watching a full hour of someone’s workout. On Instagram, there is also a way you can bookmark people’s posts so I have an entire bookmarked section, “Fitness” where I bookmark moves that I like from various people. I cannot always rely on my memory to remember everything I viewed which is why the bookmarking feature on Instagram is extremely beneficial as I can refer back to it at any time.

So before I go to the gym, I look through some of my bookmarked videos on Instagram so I have an idea what I want to do when I get there. I find that having the video is helpful for viewing the proper form of the exercise to ensure I can execute it correctly at the gym myself. When it comes to fitness, being that it is a very important component of my lifestyle and a self investment I will never neglect, I always want to find ways to try new things and pick up new challenges along the way. There are certain exercises I really like which I will still continue to do but there is always room for growth and improvement. As they say, “no pain, no gain” so rather than stay in the comfort zone, it is valuable to push yourself to maximize your long term results.

Don’t Like to Exercise? – Maybe I Can Convince You Otherwise

For me personally, heath and fitness have always been a huge priority in my life. I started exercising on a regular basis since I was in high school and although my routines have varied throughout my life, there was never a time I took an extended break from it or was too busy to exercise. The truth of the matter is, we are never “too busy” for the things we care about most. Being that staying healthy and in shape are important to me, a good diet paired with an exercise routine are both essentials. I do not believe that you can rely solely on good genetics–that is not enough. Although the science shows that what you eat has more of a higher impact on your overall health and well being than exercise, there is no doubt that putting both into practice will provide you with the very best results.

I actually truly do not understand people who do not exercise. People should want to take care of themselves and take accountability for their health. I suppose the reasons can vary from not enjoying it, too many professional and/or personal obligations, getting bored doing it, or maybe not looking at the long term positive effects of incorporating exercise into daily life. Even if you cannot find a little time out of your day to do it a few days a week, I always say that any time you can commit to yourself is always better than nothing.

If you are in the category where you never exercise or maybe you do so at random but there is no real emphasis on making it a priority, I would like to provide some reasons as to why you need to start making it a habit.

Keeps You Young and Looking Good – People who take the time to exercise regularly always look way younger than their physical age. I will admit, this was always one of the many incentives as to why I stuck with it was because I knew that it would preserve my youth over time. Aesthetically, I also always wanted to stay in shape and knew that the work (aka exercise) would provide the results I was looking for.

Improves Energy Levels / Mood / Mental Health – Without a doubt, after a good workout, I feel amazing. This includes feeling accomplished, energized, strong (both mentally and physically), productive, happy, and so much more. I am naturally a positive and happy person but by adding a solid workout to my day really takes it to a higher level by uplifting my mood and building my mental strength.

Prevents Potential Health Problems From Occurring Later in Life – Exercise cannot prevent everything as we know that certain health problems are genetic and are completely out of our hands no matter how much we eat well and exercise. However, keeping the body healthy definitely adds a layer of protection in preventing serious health problems to arise.

Helps with Weight Management – As we age, it is natural for the metabolism to slow down and unexpected weight to appear out of no where. Even if you have consistently been a relatively healthy individual, it is still easy for the body to put on weight over time. This is where exercise helps by burning excess calories and if you also weight train, the muscle you build will aid in weight management by keeping the body lean and trim. (If genetically, you are thin to begin with, this does not give you a pass to not have to exercise. Even though you might not be looking to lose weight, you can still exercise by lifting weights to add muscle to your body which is ideal).

Increases Longevity – I know for some, people live day by day, not thinking about their future, let alone tomorrow. However, if you could live a longer and healthier life, wouldn’t that be the best scenario? By adding exercise, you are staying healthy and ultimately extending your life by investing in your health.


Even though these are all reasons that you probably are familiar with and they are nothing new to you, at the very least, I hope reading this can inspire you to make a healthy life change and open your mind to the idea of making exercise a part of your lifestyle–not just a temporary resolution that you make and fail to keep each year.

How to Get Started TODAY: The best thing you can do is start incorporating small amounts at a time and vary the activities. Ideally, find things that you enjoy. If you like going on nature walks, I would still count that as a form of exercise because at least you are moving. Over time, you can increase the amount of time you allot during the week and increase the intensity. Again, start small and gradually you can always do more as time progresses.

* If you are totally clueless when it comes to working out or what would be the best moves for your current fitness level, consider hiring a professional who can personalize a routine just for you and teach you how to exercise properly.

* If you really want to take it a step further, write down your activity each day. Even for someone like myself who has the self motivation to exercise daily, there is still a need to stay on track and record the progress. How do I stay disciplined and regimented? — I write it down every single day! I simply record the activity and how many minutes along with what I ate that day. As I mentioned, a nutritious diet and a fitness regime are the golden combo when it comes to staying healthy! 🙂