Tag Archives: muscle

Working out during shutdown

I’ve heard quite a few people talk about gaining the COVID 19 due to being stuck at home, maybe unable to go to the gym, stress/quarantine baking, etc. It is tricky when life gets changed around so drastically to keep to good healthy routines. One of those areas is exercise.

Healthy eating is only part of the puzzle. Physical activity is also an important part. I recently stood on the scale just out of curiosity. I don’t weigh myself often, usually allowing any doctor visit to do that for me. But I was actually surprised at the number. Mostly because it was lower than I felt I looked. This is so important to remember. Weight and BMI are just numbers. Feeling physically strong and able to do the things you want is also very important. Exercise – both cardio and strength – is key for having a body LOOK the way you want.

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Today, I’m sharing a few sites, apps, resources, etc that I have found useful for exercising at or near home. Most are free or have free options as well. I personally don’t love paying to workout, so that bias is evident here. If you have any other favorites, I’d love if you shared in the comments!

(None of this information is sponsored. Just things I have tried or have been told about by friends.)

Sworkit app – This app allows you to put in your personal goals and will provide workout recommendations based on those goals. You do it on your schedule. You can choose the length of the workout. You have access to personal trainers. You get 1 month free (I believe), then you pay after that.

Fitness Blender – I have been doing Fitness Blender’s workout videos for over 5 years now. They have a HUGE library of free workout videos on youtube. You can search in youtube whatever kind of workout you want and how long and you’ll probably find it. For example, “fitness blender strength 30 minutes”. My only complaint is they don’t always include a warm up or cool down in their videos. I’m too lazy to click on more than one video. Sorry. As I said above, their videos are all free online. You can pay for 4 week programs (or more) if you want something more guided.

Sydney Cummings – This is also a free channel on youtube. I have recently discovered her workouts, and I really like them. She has a variety of cardio and strength. She also has a paid program you can subscribe to, but it is a curated program of the free videos on youtube.

Popsugar Fitness – Popsugar has LOTS of workout videos online. I find most of them are 30 minutes are less. They often feature different “celebrity” trainers. Some are better than others. You kind of find the videos/trainers you like and search for them. At least I do. For example, I really like their videos with Jake Dupree and Kit Rich.

Les Mills app – Les Mills is a popular workout program often offered at gyms. They also have a paid app you can use to get their workouts at home. I have several friends who are instructors and love this program. You can search Les Mills on youtube to find some sample workouts. They have different levels as well, so be aware of what intensity level you try.

High Fitness – High fitness is a group aerobics class that I really enjoy. With the shut down of many gyms, they have started offering live classes online, have a couple playlists on youtube, and many instructors offer zoom classes (some free, some not). I’ve heard rumors of them having an app, but it isn’t available yet.

Barre3 – There are lots of barre companies and workouts out there. I haven’t tried them all. I have tried Barre3 and like them. They have an app, studios, and a few free videos on youtube. If you are interested in trying barre of any kind, search barre workout on youtube. There are a lot.

Yoga with Adriene – This is a great youtube channel with different yoga videos. These can help you stretch, strengthen/tone muscle, or calm your mind and spirit during these difficult times.

I don’t have a link for this last one, but if you have been attending workout classes (in person or online) for awhile and feel comfortable, create your own workout. I downloaded a tabata app and have done some workouts on my own. It is nice to feel in control and blast my own music while I exercise.

And never forget a good old run, walk, or bike ride outside. Fresh air and workout endorphins cannot be beat!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these or have any other great resources in the comments!

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

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All of us should be worried about our muscles, even if you are not lifting weights or training for some sort of athletic event. As we age, the amount of muscle in our body naturally declines, and this begins as early as our thirties and forties. Loss of muscle is associated with increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death.

I have been learning quite a bit about protein intakes and maintaining muscle lately, especially protein in breakfast. More and more research indicates that eating the recommended amount of protein in a day may not be good enough. The timing of protein intake seems to be important. We should be eating equally balanced meals of protein throughout the day if we want to maintain our muscles.

For most of us, breakfast is a carb fest with a little protein thrown in on the side. Cereal, pancakes, toast, bagels, etc all are breakfast staples, but none provide much protein. Even the meat most people eat at breakfast – sausage or bacon – is mostly fat.

Here are some tips to boost your protein intake in the morning:

– Try oatmeal rather than cold cereal. One cup of cooked oatmeal made with milk provides 13 g of protein compared with 7 g from 1 cup of Cheerios with half a cup of milk.

– Eggs are a great source of protein. While many are concerned about the cholesterol, most people can enjoy an egg a day without negatively effecting heart health. Hard-boiled eggs are great for a breakfast on the go. You can easily prepare several in advance for the week ahead. One hard-boiled egg on a slice of whole-wheat toast provides 9 g of protein. Add oneĀ ounce of cheese and you are up to 16 g protein.

– Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, can provide a protein punch at breakfast. One container of Greek yogurt (5 ounces) with half a cup of granola can provide up to 26 g of protein, depending on the brand of yogurt.

– Try a non-traditional breakfast. A turkey sandwich is a quick, easy breakfast that can provide a nice protein boost for your day.

So eat a breakfast your muscles can appreciate, and you’ll feel better today and in the long run.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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