Want to Push the Limit? 5 Tips for Getting the Most Intense Workout

Going to the gym everyday can get pretty routine, especially if you’re used to doing a similar workout. That’s one of the reasons Cross-fit has become so popular; your mind and your body plateau, and the only way to improve your condition is by mixing up the exercises.

Every once in a while, it’s a good thing to take your workout to an extreme. Disclaimer: if you’re not already active or you have any injuries, hold off on extreme intensity for now. But if you feel up to it, here are some tips to guide you through your experience:

1. Wear proper clothing: You’ll want to dress in materials that contain wicking. When you sweat profusely, you’ll want your clothes to absorb the wetness and keep your body as dry as possible. You don’t want to overheat, nor do you want to get a chill from being wet. Also, the right socks and shoes are important to keep your feet from blistering and also to protect your ankles and shins.

2. Breathe: As your activity becomes more intense, your lungs will require more oxygen. Naturally, you will breathe heavier. What’s great about interval training is that during the “rest” periods, you get the opportunity to take slower, deeper breaths, and sort of “catch up”—right before it’s time to go into intense mode again!

3. Stay headstrong: If you begin to feel a bit lightheaded, that’s understandable. Blood is rushing to all different parts of your body and its muscles. It may also be an endorphin rush you’re feeling as well. Of course, if you feel dizzy or too lightheaded, slow down, hold onto something stable, and take deep breaths.

4. Keep your brain in the game: The first few minutes of intense exercise most of us scream inside, “I can’t do this!” Well, yes you can. Pushing to extreme truly is mind over matter.

If your body is in shape or you exercise regularly, you absolutely can push yourself a little farther if you decide to. If the pain feels like you are injuring yourself, stop. But if it’s a good pain, stick with it. When your workout is over, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment.

5. Hydrate and stretch: during and after. Drink water and also indulge in a beverage with electrolytes to replenish. You can incorporate stretches into your workout once your muscles are already warm. It’s very important after an intense session that you take the time to stretch or you will cramp or feel undue soreness the next day.

Congratulations for taking such good care of your body. It’s yours to enjoy and cherish. Have a great workout!


10 Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy

We’ve all been there—projects, deadlines, laundry and dishes piling up, workout a-waiting, kids needing rides and help with homework… We start out the day Superhero strong, and by noon some of us have pooped-out like weaklings.

It’s no wonder so many of us suffer from a daily energy crisis.

Instead of reaching for your fifth cup of coffee or that unnatural  “natural energy” drink, there are other ways to resolve your physical and mental effort to remain conscious—and even productive! The following 10 tips will hopefully offer you doldrum-rebound strategies. (Some may seem like common sense, but a few might just surprise you!)

  1. Slow Down on Sweets

An exceeding amount of studies have detailed the numerous negative aspects of sugar. The most obvious is that it spikes your blood sugar, and then you crash. This is horrible for mood swings and that feeling of dreaded fatigue. Sugar is a key culprit in messing with your energy levels. Moderating intake is a positive step. Instead of reaching for a sugary snack or drink when you’re fading, perhaps instead grab some fresh fruit, veggies, or nuts. And, remember to hydrate!

  1. Sleep, Perchance Dream

It can be difficult to meet, but experts agree that the sweet spot for feeling refreshed each day is a solid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. While it may not always be practical, aiming for this magic number can pay off. Napping is not an ideal substitute for sound sleep, but it can restore you when you are lacking. Napping = catching up on sleep.

  1. Stretch Yourself

Stretching increases circulation and boosts endorphins. It also just feels darn good. As part of your morning wake-up routine, try some simple stretches to start the day right. Do it throughout the day whenever you feel the need for a boost.

  1. Contrast your Shower

Many cold-climate dwelling people (think Nordic, Russian, etc.) have long known the benefits of alternating hot and cold temperatures on the skin. You don’t necessarily need to take a sauna and jump in an icy fjord to reap the energizing effects.  A four-to-six minute shower alternating hot and cold temperatures every minute can revitalize muscles and increase your energy.

  1. Pace your Caffeine

Too much caffeine can do as much harm to your endurance as sugar.  Don’t stop drinking your favorite pick-me-up; simply savor it. Many researchers have discovered that low doses of caffeine over a prolonged period are better than large amounts all at once. So, sip slowly to supplement your stamina.

  1. Eat Well

Eating well doesn’t mean eat a lot. Choose your food groups and portions mindfully. Besides watching your sugar, keep your refined (simple) carbs in check to keep your blood sugar steady. Make sure you eat enough protein, complex carbs, fruits, and vegetables to keep you fueled. Magnesium, Vitamin B, and iron are important elements in your energy output, so eat enough foods with those energy boosters.

  1. Listen Up!

Food feeds the body, but studies show that music can actually fuel your body.  Pop in the earbuds or crank the stereo with some upbeat, positive music. You can melodically improve your mood and energy.

  1. Check your Head

Taking a break. Meditation. Listing things that bring you joy. Watching a happy video. Taking deep breaths. Walking outdoors. Simply staring out the window and letting your mind wander. All these things can clear your mind and revitalize you.

  1. Yawn

There is a reason we yawn when we are tired, beyond gulping more oxygen.  Yawning stretches your facial muscles, increases blood flow, and literally clears out your brain by increasing fluid circulation. Just remember to cover your mouth (and try not to do it when someone is talking to you.)

  1. Disconnect

As an aid to better sleep and a clear mind, remember to unplug from your screens when you can, especially an hour before your bedtime.  You’ll fall asleep faster and awaken more refreshed.

These simple steps should have your energy levels soaring to new heights in no time.  For more energizing ideas, recipes, and information, just search www.GetThrive.com.