Wellness Archives — ShesTough
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Category: Wellness

HOW TO RELIEVE STRESS DURING QUARANTINE

2020 has been a stressful year for many. Coronavirus, self-isolation, social distancing, changes in income, and increased pressure have impacted many people in the world. These stressors can certainly take a toll on both your physical and mental health. In this article, we will outline strategies to create an environment for less stress and more health.

 

Simply put, you can use these two strategies: Actions to approach vs actions to avoid

 

Some things you have the power to control and should consider approaching include:

 

  • Taking care of your self– this can include exercising, going on a walk, eating clean, drinking water, and being kind to yourself. If you feel overwhelmed doing nothing and taking time off is okay too.
  • Starting/ending the day with mind settling strategies – this can include meditation, positive word affirmations, goal setting for the week, journaling, or writing down 3 things you are grateful for.
  • Turning off the news and limiting social media – stay informed but don’t read about the pandemic every day. Information overload can create a burden of stress on your well-being. Also, consider unsubscribing or un-following pages that don’t add positivity or value to your life and replacing with positive shows and pages. If you are going to stay informed focus on the facts and avoiding conspiracy theories
  • Having fun with friends and family – this includes playing games, going on walks, and implementing any form of fun or play. This can be virtual or in-person (following social distancing guidelines of course).
  • Planning for the week ahead, a year ahead –this might include: personal development, career development, and re-arranging priorities in your life that align with a more desirable future.
  • Following public health recommendations – social distancing, hand sanitizing, and following other protocols because we are all in this together! It is important we all cooperate for the greater good of our communities.

 

Some things you should consider letting go and avoiding include:

 

  • Predicting what will happen next – no one has this answer so it’s not worth dwelling over.
  • Judging others’ actions or decisions – focus on you as you cannot control anyone but yourself.
  • Predicting how long this will last for – this is out of your hands.
  • Judging your anxieties – don’t be too hard on yourself. Let your emotions naturally express themselves and focus on creating balance and support around them. Be compassionate to yourself.
  • Being over-analytical – too much analyzing can lead to anxiousness, fear, worry, and high stress if it gets out of control. We suggest creating balance instead. Find times in your day to unwind and follow the above-mentioned stress reduction techniques

 

We are going through a process and it will take some time to pan out.  It’s a pandemic, after all, so give your self some grace. In the meantime try these strategies to relieve stress during this social distancing period. Stay well 💪🏽 Follow on Facebook!

5 WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY DURING COVID-19 SELF-ISOLATION

Today’s ShesTough article we look at 5 ways to stay healthy during self-isolation times.

1. Get Exercise

During self-isolation, it is so important you keep your body finely tuned. It is very easy to fall into the pattern of more sitting, more eating, less moving pattern when you are spending long periods inside. This leads to a lot of health issues like weight gain, poor sleeping habits, and discomfort in the spine. By exercising, you can ensure your body stays finely tuned and far away from negative consequences. Consider our in-home training programs here at ShesTough, that can keep you fit and well during the self-isolation period.

 

2. Get Fresh Air + Sunlight

Self-isolation can be a dark time for some. Excessive periods inside mixed with energy-draining stress coming from the external world can be a recipe for depression. As noted above, exercise will help you balance your body, which can also really help with decreasing stress and depression. We suggest you also get as much sunlight and fresh air in your day as possible while following social distancing guidelines. Start by opening up all your blinds and windows, let in as much sunlight and fresh air as possible. Research shows that sunlight is an excellent option for fighting off depression. Try and go for at least one social distancing walk a day. Make it as long as possible and try and focus on positive things. Something as simple as being grateful for the little things in life, like fresh air and sunlight will help the body and mind shift into a more positive state.

 

3. Settle your mind daily with Mindfulness

We are living in very stressful times. But the reality is that the external world (the world outside of us) is always shifting. What we suggest focusing on first is your own world. This begins first with your mind. Try settling your mind 1-2 per day. This can have profound effects on your emotions, ability to focus, attention span, and outlook on life. There are many mindfulness apps and programs out there you can try for free. Research shows that partaking in a mindfulness routine twice a day for 8 weeks can literally change your brain in a positive way. Imagine coming out of this self-isolation period with a better mind? Start with 10-minutes twice per day.

 

4. Stay on a routine

Routine is the key to maintaining order. If there is no order, there is chaos. We suggest developing a daily routine during these times to maintain order in your life and to decrease chaos. If you are working from home, that’s great. Before work, mid-way, and after work, try to incorporate something productive. If you are not working, try and develop a daily routine. This could include waking up exercising or meditating, reading, going on a long walk, getting groceries, cooking and exploring new recipes, and maybe even learning a new skill. The key is to stay busy and productive! The mind loves that. If you have children, you know how important it is for them to have a routine. Try incorporating a routine together with your children.

 

5. Go on a negative energy detox

Let’s face it. There is a lot of draining energy out there. It is easy to fall into the trap of being ‘energy leeched’. Your energy and positivity are at risk of being decreased every time you look at your phone, turn on your tv, or talk to someone. We suggest protecting it. Ask yourself the question, every time you listen, watch, or take in something. Did this give me energy? Did this do nothing to my energy? Did this take away my energy? If you lost energy during the process, considering decreasing this intake. Less is more. If you didn’t lose or even gained energy during this interaction, this is what we call taking care of your self. Please take care of yourself during these times. We are going through a storm, which will eventually end. To stay well during these times, we recommend following the tips mentioned above. Stay well everyone

4 FITNESS MYTHS THAT ARE MESSING WITH YOUR RESULTS

Shestough shares 4 common fitness myths that are sabotaging your results..

 

  • You have to work out every day.

This is untrue. Research shows that 2 interval sessions per week alone can bring forth results. We recommend at least 2 interval cardio days and 2 weight- training circuits per week to start. Outside of this, the main focus should be on the diet, as this is the key factor in driving results and pushing past plateaus. Once your diet is in check, you should see better results.

  • You have to train for over an hour.

Your exercise duration doesn’t need to be long, but it has to be effective. Research shows that shorter duration exercise routines with more intensity are more effective than longer exercise routines with less intensity. Working out for over an hour can spike your stress hormone and leave your energy depleted at the end. Over time this can actually work against you and slow your metabolism down, which means less muscle building/toning and more body fat gain. Try circuit training, drop set training, and interval training. These modalities can be as short as 20 minutes in length and leave you sweating buckets at the end, without the expense of slowing your metabolism down.

  • Low carb diets

While going lower carb for strictly, weight loss holds some truth; you must be careful. Going too low can significantly affect your energy levels. With low energy levels, you will struggle to push yourself to an intensity needed to see results in your workouts. Try consuming at least one fist portion of carbs per day. If your energy is still low in your workouts, up your carbs to two fist portions, spread out of two different meals. Stick with low glycemic complex carbs like dark fruit, root vegetables, and whole grains.

  • You can out-train a bad diet or poor sleeping habits.

A poor diet and sleeping patterns will automatically increase your stress hormone in your body. Too much stress hormone will put your body into survival mode. Survival mode consists of putting your biological needs before your performance goals. This means fat-storing, aka energy preservation. Get your blood sugar levels healthy by eating a balanced meal plan that consists of clean proteins, veggies, healthy fats, and complex carbs. For sleep, aim for at least 6 hours per night. If sleep is an issue, try doing an Epsom salt bath, meditation, walking, or a stretch out before bed-time. Blue light blocking glasses are also a great idea if you tend to have lots of screen time once the sun goes down. Finally, make sure your room is as dark as possible. Invest in blackout blinds so you can stay asleep all night long.

Take your fitness to greater heights! Join shestough.com today with one of our popular transformation programs. START NOW!

BENEFITS OF CHEAT MEALS

Cheat meals are a popular topic of discussion in the world of fitness and physical transformation. To cheat meal or not is the question?

This article can be broken down into two sections. First, cheat meals for putting on mass and secondly, cheat meals for losing fat.

 

Let’s start with cheat meals for mass building.

It is no walk in the park, putting on weight. Not only do you have to work out, but you also need to eat, constantly. Because of the high caloric needs in order to consistently put on muscle mass, cheat meals can be a beneficial and a convenient way to up your calories. Now depending on if you want to put on muscle, muscle/fat, or just fat, you should watch what you cheat with. Cheating with clean calories will help you put on muscle mass without all the body fat that comes with ‘dirty’ cheat meals. Clean cheat calories can be defined as whole foods that do your body good. Too many “bad calories,” such as sugars, refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats, alcoholic beverages, etc., will increase inflammation. This can lead to increased belly fat gain and decreased muscle gain. An example of a clean cheat meal is whole grain pasta, pizza, burrito, or sushi. Focus on higher carb with moderate protein.

Having a cheat meal can also help you power through your workouts. After indulging in a high carbohydrate cheat meal, your muscles will be full of energy. The more energy you have, the more you can power through your workouts and break down muscle fibers. The more you break down, the more you can potentially build up.

In conclusion, adding in a high-calorie cheat meal (high carb, moderate protein) every 2-3 days can be beneficial both for upping your overall calories and increasing your fitness and strength performance.

Now let’s discuss the benefits of cheat meals for fat burning.

Incorporating cheat meals for fat loss is beneficial for satiation hormones. When on a calorie-restricted diet, individuals often struggle with hunger cravings. To understand this more, let’s talk about the two key hormones involved:

Leptin and Ghrelin are your hunger hormones that influence your appetite, satiation, and body weight. These two make sure you don’t get too fat or too skinny. These homeostatic hormones will either trigger hunger (Ghrelin) or satiety (Leptin).  When dieting and losing weight on a calorie-restricted diet Leptin can drop, this is because leptin lives in your body fat, and as you burn body fat, your leptin is triggered. If leptin drops, it gives your brain the impression that you are not satiated. When leptin decreases, Ghrelin increases, which begins to tell your brain that you are hungry. Can you imagine how much harder dieting is when you are feeling hungry all the time?

So how do you increase Leptin while dieting, so you don’t feel hungry all the time?

 

1) ADDING AN EFFECTIVE CHEAT MEAL

Having a high carbohydrate cheat meal can trigger a leptin spike. Bare in mind, both fat and MSG (artificial sweetener) can do the opposite. So make sure your cheat meal is more glucose-based then fat-based. How often should you consume a cheat meal? We recommend one every two weeks.

Tips for cheat meals:

A. Make it yourself. When you have a cheat meal at a restaurant, you do not know what is in your food. As discussed above, artificial sweeteners like MSG and high amounts of sodium are typically used in many dishes at restaurants.

B. Consider consuming digestive enzyme, lemons, or apple cider vinegar before cheat meal. A cheat meal can be strenuous on the digestive stem. Digestive enzymes, freshly squeezed lemon in lukewarm water and ACV can all support digestive processes, aiding in the processing of a high-calorie cheat meal.

C. Exercise the following day. After a high-calorie cheat meal, your muscle stores will be full of fuel. Capitalize on a killer workout by exercising the following morning.

 

2) INCORPORATE INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting (IF)  typically consists of 16-hour fast window followed by an 8-hour feed window. Research shows that IF may decrease ghrelin and increase leptin. We recommend incorporating IF in on two non-consecutive days per week to avoid hormonal adaptation.

 

3) GETTING BETTER SLEEP

This is by far the most important. Research shows that sleep deprivation can result in a dip of leptin, giving your constant feeling of hunger.

Increase your sleep health by cutting out all stimulants 12 hours before bed, exercising in the morning rather than evening, and considering a wind-down routine before bedtime. This might consist of stretching, meditation, Epsom salt baths, or listening to Binaural Beats.

In conclusion,  cheat meals can undoubtedly work to your advantage. Bear in mind, and it is a cheat meal, not a cheat day. If you find eating a cheat meal every couple of weeks pushes you off the rails, consider avoiding it altogether. Remember, it is all about balance.

 

Take your fitness and nutrition to the next level by joining one of our popular programs here at shestough.com 💪🏽

7 WAYS TO BE BETTER AT SELF-CARE

Self-Care is essential for life. People who spend a bulk of their time taking care of others have the inherent ability to put other people’s interest first before theirs. From parents to nurses, and even personal trainers, they all have similar traits to look after others. This is what makes each and every one of them good at what they do.

The downside of this is that this trait means lots of women end up keeping their own goals and aspirations aside, and in other words, self-care is neglected.

Lots of women don’t follow up on what is vital to them, such as their wellness and female fitness goals because they feel guilty about given themselves time. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Self-care time is a very important time and one that shouldn’t be compromised on, whether you are a parent or a coach. Let’s take a look at what self-care really is.

 

Understanding what self-care is

For some, self-care means a cozy day at the spa or a sweet weekend Caribbean cruise. While those are great ways to spend your time, they don’t define what self-care is.

Put simply, self-care revolves around giving yourself quality time on a daily basis. It entails giving yourself enough sleep, eating healthy meals, improving your female fitness, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that are beneficial to your health and wellness.

It is understandable that engaging in all of these activities might be huge for different people, but there are ways you can incorporate them into your lives. The following are ways you can improve your self-care.

 

Take things slowly

Making wholesale changes in your life all at once can be quite tasking. Rather than focusing on several self-care activities, focus on just one. It could be preparing a healthy meal, or ticking a box off your female fitness program list. Taking things slowly allows you to set you’re up for success.

 

Go easy on yourself

Success gets you more success, and the same can be said for failure. You can build up success most, especially when it comes to self-care is by starting small and going for the easy option. The rule of thumb is to pick a self-care strategy that you love and enjoy the most. You can then build from that.

 

Make it a habit

As soon as you pick a self-care strategy, you enjoy, work on it, and make it a habit. The more you do it, the more it becomes easy for you, and more importantly, it encourages you to incorporate more self-care practices.

 

Add it to your schedule

Make it a part of your daily plan, and work it into your schedule and calendar. When you do this, you give yourself every chance to engage yourself in it and make it a part of daily life.

 

Self-care is essential, and it shouldn’t be neglected in any way. Try and make self-care a part of your daily life, and you will be surprised at the changes you see.

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