Tag Archives: strength

The Health Benefits of A High Protein Diet

Hello lovelies!

Can you believe it’s November?!

Sofia’s first Halloween has come and gone, but I will cherish this memory forever. *Look at how cute she was!!!*

IMG_7131 edit 1

Even though it is still technically fall, once we have our car tires changed for winter ones and start seeing Christmas decorations lighting up outside, I inevitably think of winter coming. And I am not sure if it is purely psychological or temperature related, but I tend to gravitate towards comforting food around this time of the year. *I don’t regret the majority of those decisions YET! Haha!* 

funny-man-hugging-pizza-slice-you-belong-to-me

I see nothing wrong with indulging ourselves from time to time, but I also believe in renewing focus to eat healthy. The problem with junk food is that once you’ve had too much, you start feeling crappy about yourself. And what could be worse than having low self-esteem when everything around you screams joy?!

One of the proven ways to fool your stomach is to give preference to foods that fill you up faster such as food rich in fiber and protein.

Bodybuilding Warehouse, one of the UK’s leading supplement companies, provided me with the following infographic highlighting the health benefits of a high protein diet.

health benefits of a high protein diet

According to Bodybuilding Warehouse, “In a world filled with junk and processed food it’s now vital to make sure you understand what you’re consuming. Over the last 10 years studies have shown again and again that a high protein diet is highly effective in not only helping you feel curb hunger but also improves brain function, strength and aids in muscular hypertrophy. Before we look into the what benefits a high protein diet offers it’s important to note what we mean by “high protein”. High protein to a bodybuilder could mean 400 g of protein a day, we don’t recommend that. Our data is based on the 1-1.5 g of protein per pound of body-weight approach. Some people many find it difficult to consume higher amounts of protein but it’s perfectly safe to consume bodybuilding supplements like whey protein to help aid you reach your target protein per day.”

What are your thoughts? How do you incorporate protein in your diet?

xoxo
Olena

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Fitness, Health

Benefits Of A Bicycle: Keep Calm & Ride On

Confession: My 8-mile run did not happen yesterday.

I could give you many reasons, but then why? Yes, my hubby wasn’t there ‘mentally’ as he put it, but I still could have gone. The truth is I just didn’t feel like running yesterday. I definitely can choose to be upset over it, but I prefer to simply move on and not let this affect my mood. I guess, my body needed a break; so I’ll take it at its face value.

I'm Choosing Happiness

Source

My workout today includes some biking. This brought some good memories back.

Like this little evening trip with my parents over 5 years ago.

Biking with parents edited

 

split edited

*A few of you asked me to do a post on my rhythmic gymnastics days. I promise, I will. I’ll pick up some pictures when I go to Europe next week. Pinky swear!*

Or this little day trip with my brother in Summer 2009.

biking with Bohdan edited

another split edited

*I guess there is some weird correlation between me biking and wanting to do splits. Haha!*

Not all of my bike trips were so nice and sweet, however. At some point of time, I would go biking pretty much every single time after work. Once as I was stopping at an intersection, my foot got caught in a strap. Needless to say, I plummeted to the ground. Thankfully, the closest car was a little further away from me and I wasn’t run over or hit. My ego was shot and so were my hands and knees. But then you know how it is, you fall, people run up to you to ask if you’re fine, and you laugh it off as if nothing happened and you aren’t hurt at all *while weeping silently inside*. Good times!

you forgot to unclip

Source

TechnoGym provided the following suggestions on how to exercise safely on a stationary bicycle.

The only thing you need to remember when using a bike is to adjust the seat properly. 
This will make your workout more comfortable while preventing your joints from being subjected to unnecessary stress. 
This is how to do it:

  •  On an indoor or classic vertical bike: climb onto the machine and hold the handlebars. Then rest the center of each foot on the pedals and make sure that the leg in the lower position is bent by 5/10 degrees
  • On a reclined bike: you have found the right position when, with both feet on the pedals, one of your legs is almost completely extended and forms an angle of 5/10 degrees

Source

Clearly, there are many benefits to riding a bike. These are some of them *SO CUTE!!!*.

benefits of a bicycle

Source

So this is how my workout looks like today.

Warm-up jump rope: Skip, high knee jog, skip side to side, skip front to back – 10 minutes

Unbreakable Strength: 

Repeat this 5 times:

Dumbbell Lunge for 30 seconds on each leg
Split-Lunge jumps for 30 seconds
Plank walk for 45 seconds
Shoulder taps for 45 seconds
(Rest for 3 minutes between sets.)

Spartan Bike Sprints: 35 minutes

Warm up for 10 minutes in zone 2
Ride for 20 minutes in zone 3
Every other minute, sprint as hard as possible for 10 seconds
Cool down easy for 5 minutes.

+ 30 push ups for 30 days challenge

keep calm and ride on

Source

Do you bike? What are some of funny/scary things that happened to you while biking? 

xoxo
Olena

25 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health

The Success Indicator: Setbacks & How To Deal With Them

Happy Tuesday y’all! *In my mind Southern accent = warm = Summer!!! Could you tell I’m fed up with cold?!* It’s April Fool’s Day, so beware! Haha!

Today, I’d like to write about something that each and every one of us stumbles upon at some point of our lives: SETBACKS. The reason why I decided to bring this subject up is because one of my fellow bloggers, Laura from The Gluten-Free Treadmill, who is my big inspiration, attempted to run an ultra marathon this past weekend. It was super windy and as a result Laura was able to complete 75 out of 100 km. It’s not really surprising that she was feeling upset, frustrated and disappointed.

one defeat

Source

Obviously, running 75 km is a HUGE accomplishment in itself, and Laura definitely should not feel this way. That being said, it’s very easy to be a bystander and give advice on how to feel or not feel. However, let’s just think for a moment of how many expectations we have of ourselves. It is important to have goals and dreams. The problem is, however, when those dreams and expectations fail to motivate us and on the contrary make us doubt our abilities and alter our progress.

giving up on your goal

Source

So how do we move on from setbacks? According to Huffington Post, there are a few things we can do:

  1. Put it into perspective.successSource
  2. Evaluate: What is the lesson learned from this situation?

    strengthSource

  3. Do something differently: ‘Do you want to try again to achieve the same goal or relationship or career change with a different tactic? Or maybe you want to achieve something totally different the next time. Whether you want the same thing or something else, you need to take what you discovered in tip number two and figure out how you are going to approach working towards the goal differently this time. And although you cannot plan out all of life and its obstacles, you can decide to try something new such as taking on a new attitude, or being more flexible to changing course sooner, or being more open to whatever comes your way.’

    do something you've never doneSource

  4. Commit to self-integrity: ‘Hold yourself up to not repeating the patterns that are stopping you from getting what you want, and follow through on the new ways that you have committed to doing things. Making this commitment is important for two reasons: First, it builds confidence because you learn that you can have some control over the direction of your life, and second, it stops you from backsliding and repeating the past experience (and then saying “see, I knew this would never work”).’

    commitmentSource

  5. Be all over the place: Change it up, spread your possible options.

    possibilitiesSource

  6. Always be your best friend: Don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to have setbacks. What’s most important is how you come back up.

    love yourselfSource

In other words, it’s okay to be upset, but just for a little bit. Be proud of your accomplishments and your journey. Don’t let any setbacks get you off the road to success and happiness! *Love you, Laura!!!!!*

My workout for today is Bourbon on the Rocks (cross-training) and Ab 500 (strength). Also, do not forget that today is the first day of the Spartan 30 push ups for 30 days challenge!!! *Woop woop!*

successful people

Source

How do you deal with setbacks? Have you ever had a roadblock that you weren’t sure you could overcome?

xoxo
Olena

 

16 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation

Nuts For Health? The Ultimate Guide To Nuts & Bourbon On The Rocks Cross-Train Workout

I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that majority of us, fitness bloggers and health addicts, are totally nuts when it comes to NUTS! Haha! And why wouldn’t we? Nuts are a great snack because they’re loaded with nutrients and are super filling. But how much do we actually know about their diversity and health benefits? Personally, probably not enough. To fix this little issue, I decided to look for more information. Look what I found!

the-ultimate-guide-to-nuts

Source

Pretty crazy, huh?!

useless fact about nuts

Source

According to Health Me Up, there are multiple ways you can add nuts to your diet:

  • Add them to salads: I personally love adding sliced almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds.
  • Add nuts to curries‘Try peanuts with stir-fried cabbage. Walnuts with gentle fish curries. Or almonds with spicy chicken curries. Very soon, you’ll find that you end up loving the new taste of these nutty curries.’
  • Add them to your pastas and sauces: ‘Pastas cooked with spinach, broccoli and other greens go beautifully with thinly sliced almonds.’
  • Add powdered nuts in soups and casseroles as thickening agents: ‘They thicken low-fat milk and yogurt quite wonderfully and add there own distinct flavor to the mix.’
  • Add nuts to fruit or other natural food desserts: ‘The trick here is to stick to portion sizes. So if you’re looking at filling a small bowl with a fruit dessert, then take your daily recommended dose of nuts and sprinkle them on top. In fact, chopped bananas with clove honey, sprinkled with sliced almonds and walnuts, and topped with a dash of powdered cinnamon is an exquisite and healthy dessert.’

Quotation-Penn-Jillette-love-humor-inspirational-Meetville-Quotes-108370

Source

It’s time for some cross training and strength. I love the name of my workout today: Bourbon on the Rocks. Sounds… FANCY?! Haha! According to the Spartan Guide, some may find this difficult to swallow though. Here is how it goes.

10 push-ups
10 burpees
5 pull-ups
30-second sprint
1-minute rest
Repeat 5 times.

Then, with a rock *ummm, in my case with dumbbells and a medicine ball haha!*

15 squats
Lunge-walk 50 yards
10 chest-passes
10 underhand toss
Repeat 4 times, resting for 1 minute between each circuit.

AB 500 + 30 squats for 30 days challenge

Strength

Source

How nuts are you for nuts? How do you ‘spice up’ your dishes by adding nuts? How’s your Spartan 30 squats for 30 days coming along?

xoxo
Olena

 

11 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Kitchen Adventures

Pull Ups 101: Red Bull Doesn’t Give You Wings… Pull Ups Do!

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs Run For The Pizza by Emmeline. She came up with a super duper idea to have a contest: All you have to do is to train to do as many push-ups and pull-ups as possible. Now, it really works out perfectly for me! Why? Because I literally SUCK at doing both of these exercises!!!

Oh well, at least I’m not alone…

1106-bieber-pullups-akm-gsi-3

Source

*Okay there, Justin Bieber’s fans, calm down! This picture IS funny! Haha!*

However, in all seriousness *hmmm… not sure if I could really be serious after that picture…*, I could really benefit from this challenge, since I have to strengthen my arms and core big time to successfully complete the Spartan Trifecta this year.

I actually was really good at doing pull ups when I was 10-11 years old. I remember how impressed some older boys looked at me when I would go for a set of pull ups or ‘walk’ the entire curved monkey bars back and forth. *Ah, good old days!* Imagine my shock, when I asked my hubby to put up his chin up bar and tried to do a couple of them… It was a BIG FAIL!

 
big fail

Source

*Believe me, this what your reaction would look like if you saw me doing them! I SWEAR!*

I must admit though, Justin was very supportive and even told me I was doing great… *Yup! I guess that’s what they call a great husband. LOL!*

Anyhow, back to the subject. There are many benefits of pull ups:

  • Strengthen fingers, arms, shoulders, back, and core;
  • Can be done pretty much anywhere;
  • There are many variations of pull ups; thus, the intensity of the exercise can be adjusted easily;
  • Get your heart rate up = make that fat sweat!

pull up your big girl pants

Source

*LITERALLY!*

My commitments is to be able to do at least 30+ push ups and 15 pull ups in a row by summer. I think, it’s doable. What do you think? In any case, I’ll have to videotape it, so now my pride is on the line too! Haha!

I was trying to look online for some guidance on how to get this thing started and came across this great post by another blog that I love, The Art Of Manliness. Here is what Brett suggests.

“So if you’re ready to start cranking out pull-ups, here’s your routine.

If you currently can only do one pull-up, start out by doing 12 sets of 1 pull-up with a 45 second break between sets. Do the routine two times a week. Once you can do two pull-ups, begin this routine:

Week 1: 6 sets of 2 reps. 45 second break in between sets. Twice a week.

Week 2: 5 sets of 3 reps. Twice a week.

Week 3: 4 Sets of 4 reps. Twice a week.

Week 4: 3 Sets of 6 reps. Twice a week. If you’re able to do more, go ahead. Like I said, by this time I was able to increase my reps to 10.

When you get to the point that you’re able to do more than 12, it’s time to start adding weight to your pull-up routine.”

In my opinion, it sounds like a reasonable plan. Does it?

progress vs perfection

Source

Need some motivation? According to the Guinness World Records, here are some EXTRAORDINARY achievements:

  • Most pull ups in 1 minute: 41
  • Most pull ups in 1 hour: 1,009
  • Most pull ups in 6 hours: 3,288
  • Most pull ups in 12 hours: 4,020
  • Most pull ups in 24 hours: 4,030

Anyone dares to compete with any of these? Haha! Well, let’s start from a baby pull up first!

baby-pull-up

Source

What are you focusing on right now? Are there any exercises you’d like to improve on? 

xoxo
Olena

29 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health

Workout Nutrition: The Ultimate Guide

For some reason lately I’ve been hearing more and more girls making comments about how unhappy they are with their weight. It might be an effect of the post holiday season, but I also blame media for influencing the way we see ourselves. However, this feeling is not strange to me either.

Print

Source: Image by Samantha Hatten

As a former gymnast from Ukraine, I struggled with my body image for many years as well. From a very early age, I’d been constantly weighed in front of others and told about how my body should and shouldn’t like. When I went to a university, many of my friends started dieting, and I even remember how at some point I hadn’t eaten anything at all for a few days and drank just water.

I’ve never really been overweight, and yet only a couple of years ago I didn’t feel comfortable wearing short shorts or a bathing suit… And this is SO WRONG! I am sick and tired of a perceived image of what our bodies should look like. Our happiness should not depend on a number on a scale!

Even though I feel comfortable with the way I look now and for the first time in my life don’t strive to lose any weight, I am still learning about how to eat properly. It’s definitely challenging to change old habits. Yet, if there is willingness, everything is possible! Don’t you think?

Anyhow, I found this great guide on Pinterest and figured I’d share it with you. Oh, c’mon, don’t give me that “I eat properly already” excuse, there is always room for new knowledge and improvement! *BOOM!* Fueling our bodies before, during and after the workout is detrimental to our fitness success. Therefore, without further ado: the ultimate guide to workout nutrition.

Ultimate workout nutrition guide

Source

What are your thoughts about this guide? What are your favorite pre- and post-workout food? I’d love to know!

xoxo
Olena

16 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Motivation