High Intensity Interval Training: Better than Lipo

It may not seem like a lot, but when your body fat percentage is low to begin with, losing 5 lbs takes a lot of work! I’ve been doing HIIT training and it has been working like a charm. In between each set of weight training, I do one minute of really intense, all-out cardio. 

Some benefits of HIIT are outlined in Shape Magazine, they include: increased metabolism, fat loss and muscle gains, results in less time–just to name a few.

I like doing HIIT because I find that my 50 minute workouts fly by and I actually feel like I challenged my body by the end of the session. 

Try this: include one minute of vigorous jumping jacks or jumping rope in between each set during your next workout. If one minute is too much, start at 30 seconds.

 

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Thursday Inspiration: Ashley Horner

Yes, originally I was biased toward posting about Ashley Horner because obviously her name is awesome (my last name is Horner, I haven’t met very many Horners), but she does the name proud! She is amazingly fit, inspirational, and a totally dedicated hardbody. I follow her Instagram feed, but you can check out her website here.

Not only does Ashley contribute to MMA Uncaged and Fit & FIrm, but she is busy building a brand that is as stellar as her body; she has training programs, nutrition programs, life coaching services, and cookbooks. What is even more impressive is that Ashley is a single mother of two boys. 

Every moment has a purpose. We are given 1,440 minutes in a day, these minutes can not be put in a savings account and they don’t roll over to the next day, once that moment has passed we cant take it back.

                           –Ashley Horner

Image

I found this image online doing a Google search, it’s not mine, I didn’t take it and I will gladly give credit to the person who took it. I have not altered it in any way–she just looks that good! 🙂

Cortisol Levels Rising

Cortisol is naturally released in the body in response to stress. There isn’t a specific kind of stress that cortisol is related to, it can be anything from a traumatic accident to walking up a flight of stairs. High levels of Cortisol make it easy for the body to store fats, retain water, and lower immunity–you know that spare tire around your mid-section [I will begrudgingly call it the “pooch” as so many other do, but for whatever reason I HATE that word]? That could be because of high levels of Cortisol.

Some signs that you might have high Cortisol levels: w

  • eight gain, moodiness, muscular or skeletal weakness, high blood pressure, blood-sugar issues, and problems sleeping. 

    I’m being extra careful to combat my stress right now. My partner and his ex are going through a custody dispute (no end in sight) and tensions are running high. This could explain why I’ve had a sinus infection for the past two weeks, just after recovering from a nasty bout of cold/flu, and why I’ve needed some help sleeping in the past month.

 

Prevention.com has a good article on cutting your Cortisol levels, you can read it here.

I have some of my own ways to deal with stress and the accompanying overdose of Cortisol:

1. Workout: I feel better when I workout, it’s a great way to get my mind off whatever it is that is bothering me.

2. Yoga: A different kind of strenuous from lifting and sprinting, Yoga has the ability to make me feel relaxed and refreshed. I love Yin Yoga for this reason and I find the temperature in a Hot Yoga studio to be very therapeutic.

3. Watch a “Safety” Show. Okay, so this isn’t the best solution, but I find that it does help me shake a mood. I define a safety show as a non-controversial show where the characters nearly always come out on top and the plot is mostly predictable. They do not challenge your views of the world in any way. Examples of good safety shows are: Gilmore Girls, Friends, Golden Girls, Alf, Saved by the Bell, Will & Grace, Full House, I Love Lucy, Leave It to Beaver, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Drop Dead Diva. 

4. Go For a Tan. Okay, I know, you’re thinking it’s not the best choice to purposefully expose yourself to UV rays. I’m not telling you to turn yourself into a jerky; I’m suggesting going outside into the sun and lying out in the grass or on some sand, with no plans beyond doing just that. 

5. Magnesium. I have an extra dose of magnesium with my supplement mix, it is supposed to help the body combat high Cortisol levels.

6. Fish Oils. I take liquid fish oils in the middle of the day (yes, they are extremely yucky), they too are supposed to help with symptoms of stress.

7. Boss naps. The Prevention.com article did mention sleep and napping as an effective way of lowering Cortisol, but I’ll reiterate. There is nothing like having a little cat nap in the middle of your day to make you feel refreshed. I’m not talking about a 3-hour tour kind of nap, just a 45 minute eyelid rest. Thomas Edison had a cot in his laboratory for these kind of occasions, maybe you should, too.

 

Reality Bites

I’m a little bummed out today; I vowed after the last competition that I wouldn’t let myself go and that I’d keep working hard…I didn’t. Now, I’m paying for it. That is not to diminish the strides I’m making toward my goal of competing and placing on June 15, but the fact is that I’m further away from my goal than I was at this point before my last competition. This is just motivation to be more dedicated and work as hard as I can. I guess I’m just disappointed in myself for doing the things I said I wouldn’t. 

I’ve beaten me up enough about it, time to move forward.

Double-Dog Dares

My partner and I are trying to motivate each-other through a little friendly competition:

The person that loses 10lbs first gets to treat themselves to an indulgence of their choice–a new pair of shoes, new jeans, fancy haircut, etc.

I’m at 153.8 lbs–my heaviest in awhile, in fact, I’m about 10 lbs away from my usual weight. 

My reward will probably be an eyebrow threading and a hair colour (at a salon, not the DIY kits I usually buy).