July 19, 2023
Our goal as a fitness community is to foster a healthy mind, body, spirit—and no, we don’t mean spooky spirits. This month, we touched on the power of a positive mindset. Everything from sticking to a healthy diet, finding your most effective routine, and pushing yourself in every workout all stemming from a strong and positive mentality. After all, how can you accomplish great things if you don’t first allow yourself to set “great” as your expectation?
Article I. Health and Nutrition
From good ingredients to good routines, it’s all about the balance!
Ingredient of the month
We! Love! Black beans! Jack’s bean stock probably grew from some of these bad boys because they are made of some truly great stuff. Think of your favorite veggie patty or your favorite burrito bowl, what do they have in common? You guessed it. This high-protein, high-fiber, cancer-preventing legume has it all. In addition to being low in calories, each cup of black beans contains 15g of protein, enough to classify them as both a vegetable and a protein! Also, there are more added benefits to this level of fiber, like lowering cholesterol, losing weight through strong digestion and lowering the risk of cancer!
Treats, not tricks!
Halloween is right around the corner, which means every house, grocery store, and kid’s backpack will be filled to the brim with toothache-inducing amounts of candy. So how do you stop yourself from reaching into that candy jar? The first thing to understand: moderation. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you couldn’t resist a celebratory bite of Halloween chocolate. We’ve all done it, but the key is finding balance, maintaining control of your diet, and finding satisfying alternatives to keep your mind and body happy.
Candied Apple vs Apple with Caramel Yogurt
Everyone loves a good apple, so this one isn’t off to a bad start. The sugary candied coating will likely have a minimum of 300 calories, maybe even up to 1,500 at the right place. While the caramel yogurt sits at a max of around 270 calories with half as much sugar as the candied apple.
Candy Corn vs Popcorn
A crowd-pleaser since it’s almost purely sugar and 100% carbs, a serving of about 20 candy corn bites sits at over 150 calories. When air-popped with the appropriate seasoning, popcorn can prove to be a healthy snack, with under 100 calories per serving.
Milk Chocolate vs Dark Chocolate
From one chocolate to another, the caloric difference isn’t much. However, it is important to note that healthy alternatives aren’t always about cutting calories. Dark chocolate is usually about 70% cocoa, meaning it will not only have significantly less sugar but when portioned correctly, it can be quite a healthy snack with plenty of antioxidants!
TRUE OF FALSE
Can the answer be true and false? Sure!
As your fitness community, it isn’t our job to tell you what to do. Our job is to give you the information you need to make the healthiest decisions for your life. Although there isn’t a right or wrong answer, there are benefits to both that you might find helpful when creating your workout routine.
Morning workouts are great, there’s no denying that. If your goal is to lose weight, working out on an empty stomach, before breakfast, is the best way to burn stored fat and has been shown to reduce your appetite throughout the day. Plus, hitting the gym first thing kick starts your metabolism, meaning you will burn more resting calories throughout the day, as you do in your sleep. The benefits can even stem past the physiological, giving you high levels of endorphins that could improve your mood and energy throughout the day.
On the other side, you might be at your strongest in the afternoon or early evening. You’ve eaten a meal or two, meaning you’ve fostered a necessary rise in blood glucose levels that send your workouts into overdrive. Healthline sites that “between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. your body temperature is at its highest,” meaning this could be when your body can most effectively workout.
Your body has been also shown to have its quickest reaction times and lowest blood pressure, giving you the best environment for an intense HIIT workout with the least likely chance of injury.
Your health journey is about you and how you can make your life the best it can be. Everyone’s schedule is different and everyone has a different preference for how they go about their routine, so don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it wrong. Because, if you’re doing something, you’re doing it right.
Article II. Circuit of the Month
It’s our 3rd month of #FCFitCircuit, where we challenged you to follow along each week while we built a circuit workout exercise by exercise! Leg day? Try leg month! This time we’re hitting it low and we’re hitting it hard.
We started this circuit out with 12 reps of Squat Jumps to get your heart pumping! Working to strengthen your explosive power, stand about shoulder-width apart. Then, keeping your back straight, sit back into a standard squat until your legs are parallel to the ground. Making sure your knees are never past your toes, explode up into the air, driving your legs, and pushing up off the balls of your feet. Lastly, land with your legs slightly bent and fall straight into the next rep.
Round 2 is what we might call a butt burner! Grab some floor space for 20 reps each side of Single-legged Glute Kickbacks. Get on your mat on all fours with hands shoulder width apart and knees hip width apart. Lift one leg up with a 90-degree bend, then lift and lower. Work on engaging your glutes while keeping your core tight and your back straight as you lift.
Next, we’re hopping up and getting moving with 20 reps of High Knees per leg! This exercise works to get your heart pumping while improving your stability and flexibility. Keep your core engaged and your back straight as you raise one knee towards your chest, shifting your balance from side to side on alternate legs at a running pace. Pro Tip: place your arms in front with your palms flat down as a reminder to try and touch your thighs to your hands as you go.
Lastly, we’re going to finish things up with 20 reps of Single-legged Lower Body Leg Lift. Back on the ground, we’ll be putting all the energy we have left into tightening our core as we keep our legs straight and lift them off the ground. Try not to let either leg touch the ground when alternating between reps.
There we have it, a full-blown circuit workout! And if you’ve been following along, you now have three in your back pocket for the next time you need a little extra push! As always, make sure to drink plenty of water and stretch those legs to avoid cramping or soreness. For those who participated in this month’s circuit, don’t forget to tag us on IG and include #FCFitCircuit to show us how it’s done!
Article III. UGC – Featured Members of the Month
Member @quadzillaalizz shows us that the toughest battle is facing your own self-doubt. Every workout is hard, that’s how you know it’s working. But that doesn’t make it any easier if you think you’re in this alone. By highlighting the struggles we all face, and emphasizing the power of confident goal-setting, we are able to unite as a fitness community. When you go into a workout with an army behind you and the mindset of “I will”—"can’t” just isn’t an option.
Keep up the amazing work!
Have any questions about safety concerns or a healthy eating regimen? Need some more workouts to try in the gym or at home? Visit us at Fitness Connection today and our staff of fitness experts will be glad to help on your fitness journey.