Sweat Together, Stay Together: Fitness Leads to Happiness in Long Term Relationships

Sweat Together Stay Together

Sweat Together, Stay Together

Fitness Leads to Happiness in Long Term Relationships

You’ve heard the old adage “opposites attract.” The saying might have even been true for you at one point, but unfortunately it doesn’t apply when it comes to health and fitness.

If you’ve made the commitment to invest in your body and your partner is still spending their weekends on the couch, you may have the beginnings of a breakup on your hands.

It may sound superficial to fight over fitness, but seeing your partner disregard their health is a serious issue that causes emotional strain, anxiety for the other person’s wellbeing and calls into question their motivation and commitment.

When you add in the loss of attraction, it can become a core issue in the relationship.

Mutual attraction is one of the most basic needs we have with our partners. Psychology Today reported the results of a 2012 Harris Interactive survey which indicated that physical attraction was a strong measure of success in romantic relationships. Let’s face it: you want your partner to look good.

Attraction matters, and it’s harder to achieve once the “spark” of a new relationship fades. While there are many other factors that determine how we view our partner beyond their bodies, we are naturally more attracted to our partners when they are healthy and fit.

Commitment to personal health and fitness is an attractive quality. When we see our partner making their health a priority, setting goals, putting in the work and achieving results, we are drawn to that ambition and drive. Forming goal-setting habits through exercise affects other aspects of your life as well, including both work and personal relationships.

Exercise improves mental health, reduces depression and anxiety, boosts confidence and can lead to an increased sex drive, which helps partners to experience healthier, more open, more satisfying relationships with one another.

For couples in long-term relationships, you may want to consider that exercise has been proven to reduce the effects of aging and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Even initiated later in life, regular exercise has a dramatic effect on our longevity, health and happiness as we age. For committed couples, this can mean increasing valuable years spent together later in life, and ensuring that the time you have is as healthy, active and happy as possible.

Making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle influences the places you go, things you do and people you surround yourself with.

If your partner agrees to make the commitment with you, you can turn your fitness time into romantic, quality time spent together. You can go on long hikes, cook healthy meals, join a dance class, try rock climbing- there are hundreds of ways to start making healthy changes together.

Need a little extra encouragement to get your lazy love off the couch? Check out our 5 Ways to Motivate Your Partner to Work Out.

Demetrius Fincher, LMSW, NASM-CPT
Invest in Your Body
Founder

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5 Nutrition Hacks for a Healthier Lifestyle

5 Nutrition Hacks for a Healthier Lifestyle

5 Nutrition Hacks for a Healthier Lifestyle

Diet. It’s everyone’s least favorite four-letter word. When you picture a diet, you may picture a sad plate of cottage cheese and celery or a low-carb energy bar that tastes like chalk. Americans hate dieting so much that we’re becoming obsessed with finding the newest, fastest way to drop ten pounds by eating this low-cal product or drinking that fat-burning tea.

With a cultural obsession with ‘diet’ and mass confusion about nutrition, it’s no wonder that so many people turn to quick-fix products, get discouraged and find themselves gaining back every ounce they may have lost (and then some). It’s the classic yo-yo dieting dilemma: how can you drop the weight and keep it off without constantly switching from one extreme plan to the next?

The answer is actually pretty simple: stop dieting. Diets are short-term “solutions” for lasting health problems. It’s like putting a bandaid on a broken leg. It doesn’t make any sense!

You want to lose weight, get into great shape, give your body all the essential nutrients it needs and actually enjoy your food? You need a lifestyle change that you can enjoy and stick to, not a diet that you’ll struggle through.

Try incorporating these five easy nutrition hacks into your everyday eating, and watch what happens when you invest the time, energy and effort into feeding your body the way it deserves to be fed!

  1. Drink Water All Day, Every Day

It’s the first piece of health and fitness advice on every list, and yet most people are missing the mark when it comes to hydration.If you’re not already drinking water all day, every day, your body is missing out on some major health benefits. You are 60% water, and every major organ in your body depends on water to perform. Do yourself a favor and drink up!

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Drinking water is a proven weight loss technique that improves the effectiveness of your nutrition and fitness. Critical during exercise, water improves muscle performance and rehydrates your body after a workout. Staying hydrated can help you avoid cravings and quiet your sweet tooth, and replacing sugary drinks with water will quickly eliminate hundreds of calories from your diet. In an article published by Webmd.com it was stated that drinking lots of water also improves the appearance of your skin and aids in digestion.

Improve your water intake by drinking one glass immediately upon waking up, with every meal and before bed. Push yourself to spend at least two days a week drinking only water. Cut out the sugary drinks and  carbonated sodas, and limit your intake of coffee and alcohol. When you do go out for social drinking, make sure you’re balancing out the beers: your kidneys can’t process the toxins in alcohol when you’re dehydrated, and drinking more alcohol isn’t going to help.

  1. Steamed or Baked > Fried or Smothered

Think you’re eating healthy foods but seeing no difference in your body? Your dieting downfalls may have less to do with what you’re eating and more to do with how you’re cooking. If you’re frying your chicken and smothering your broccoli in cream sauce, you’re losing what would be healthy ingredients in a sea of fat, salt and sugar.

Friedvsbaked

An article published by Livestrong.com states  “every tablespoon of oil that you add during prep adds120 calories and 14 grams of fat to your meal”. What’s more, deep frying foods means getting those oils up temperatures high enough that the oil becomes oxidized. Oils with low burning points, like healthy olive oil and palm oil, become dangerous to the lungs, kidneys and heart when heated to the point of oxidation.

Use cooking methods that require less oil, butter and cream and use spices and marinades to amp up the flavor of your favorite ingredients. Grilling, steaming, baking or roasting are great options to impart delicious flavor into your food without loading up on the extra fats. Opt for fresh herbs and lay on the spicy condiments, but try and limit sugar-laden BBQ sauce, ketchup and pre-made marinades.

  1. Get Your Raw Greens

Specifically raw, leafy greens, but adding more raw fruits and vegetables of any variety to your diet is a great way to start improving your overall health and nutrition. To get the most out of the fruits and vegetables in your diet, you’ll want to have a healthy mix of raw and cooked options on the table every week.Fast-With-Herbs-Fruits-Vegetables

“Raw fruits and vegetables, particularly those rich in vitamins A and C, lose essential nutrients when heated to high temperatures or boiled in water”, as reported in an article by Livestrong.com. Even though your roast broccoli is a great healthy side dish, raw broccoli packs in three times more of the cancer-fighting enzyme myrosinase. Raw fruits and vegetables also have a higher water content and fewer calories per gram than their cooked counterparts, making them a perfect option when you’re looking to cut calories and lose weight.

Make it a goal to have a salad for lunch or with dinner at least three days a week. Start with a bed of dark, nutrient-dense leafy greens like kale, spinach or arugula. Skip the creamy ranch dressing (heart-healthy olive oil with balsamic vinegar is an easy, healthy option) and load up with a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts and proteins to keep it fresh and filling.

  1. Grocery Shop With a List

As with any diet and exercise regime: planning is the key to success. Decide on your menu before you hit the store, make a grocery list for all of your ingredients and stick to the list. Not only does this cut down on time and energy at the grocery store- having a planned grocery list helps shoppers stop themselves from impulse buying fatty snacks and sugary drinks.

Grocery

Having a preset weekly menu helps you stick to your dietary plan by eliminating day-to-day choices. Sounds like restricting, but really it’s about de-stressing. Imagine that after a long day at work you come home and decide to start dinner. If you have planned your meals, you can open the fridge, pull out what you know you’ve chosen for that night and get cooking. If you’re flying by the seat of your pants at dinner time, you’re more likely to throw together a less nutritious option (or just order a pizza.)

Stock your kitchen with raw fruits and veggies for snacking, whole grains and lean protein. You may even want to try prepping your meals in advance by chopping veggies, cooking sauces or portioning out and marinating your protein the night before or on the weekend. Make food buying and meal preparation a part of your routine, and you’ll be amazed by how much healthier your habits can become.

  1. Start Your Day with Breakfast!

You’ve heard it about a thousand times from your mom, and you’re about to hear it once more from us: do not skip breakfast. And no, a cup of coffee and a stale muffin you grabbed from the conference room does not count as a healthy breakfast.

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Your body needs breakfast to jump start in the morning the same way a car needs fuel to start up and go. If you’re running on fumes from the night before and not recharging when you wake up, your body can only coast along. Your first meal of the day kickstarts your metabolism by giving your body a dose of healthy, nutrient-dense calories to burn over the first few waking hours. Without that kickstart, your metabolism will stay in starvation mode and you suffer the consequences. With fewer hours left to burn, the calories that you snack on later are more likely to stick to you in the form of excess body fat.

Beyond getting you up and going, a yahoo lifestyle article states that the long-term health benefits of establishing a healthy breakfast routine are undeniable. Eating a healthy breakfast within two hours of waking up improves mood, attention span,  mental performance, and helps you maintain healthy muscles and keeps you on track to lose those last few pounds. Research presented in an article by live science.com has shown that people who start their day with a healthy breakfast eat fewer calories throughout the day and are less likely to fall victim to nighttime snacking.

Eating a healthy breakfast doesn’t mean that you have to wake up an hour early. Raw fruit, smoothies, whole grain toast, hard boiled eggs are just a few of the quick, grab-and-go options that can help you start your day the right way.

Your body deserves so much better than crash-diets, pre-packaged foods and half-assed nutrition, and getting the right nutrients and the right calories doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. Incorporating these five simple rules into your eating habits will go a long way towards getting you on the right path to achieve your health and fitness goals.

Want more no-nonsense nutrition and fitness tips, plus discounts and coupons to the Invest in Your Body Shop so you can show off your progress?  Join our mailing list today to get exclusive updates and offers!

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Demetrius Fincher, LMSW, NASM-CPT
Invest in Your Body
Founder

Losing Weight vs. Burning Fat

Losing Weight vs. Burning Fat

Losing Weight vs. Burning Fat

Do You Understand The Difference Between The Two?

When setting goals for personal health and fitness, it is essential to understand the difference between diets and exercises that promote “losing weight” and nutrition and fitness regimes that promote “burning fat”. The two may sound similar, but the motivations, methods and measurements are dramatically different.

Weight loss refers to a decrease in total body mass, or a decrease in the sum of a person’s bones, organs, fat, muscles and fluids. Weight is measured using a scale, and successfully losing weight means little more than that the number of pounds and ounces on the scale goes down, regardless as to whether it’s water, fat or muscle that is being lost. Because there are so many factors that can contribute to weight fluctuations, watching the scale is both relatively unreliable and uninformative. While weighing in is a standard for measuring the success of diet and exercise, but not all pounds are created equal.

BMI body mass index formula in a notepad.

BMI body mass index formula.

Burning fat refers to a decrease only in the total body fat, and is made possible through building and maintaining muscle. Calculated with fat calipers and similar tools, fat percentage is not as easily measured as weight, but decreasing body fat is a more targeted goal that has a significantly greater impact on long-term health. A high body fat percentage is the defining characteristic of obesity. It is possible to have a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) and a body fat percentage high enough to induce health risks, as described by The Mayo Clinic.

On the surface, the methods required to lose weight and burn fat are relatively similar, as diet and exercise consistently have the greatest impact on both body weight and body fat. One way to decipher the difference is to look at whether the diet and exercise plan is designed for short term or long term results.

crash-diets

Typically, diets designed for weight loss are low calorie, low carb and low fat: the emphasis on consuming less. Commonly referred to as “crash diets,” these plans are usually short term and highly restrictive. Weight loss occurs, even significantly, but once the diet is over the pounds tend to creep back on. The same goes for calorie-burning cardio exercises: when engaging in long, regular stretches of low impact cardio, weight loss occurs. Unfortunately, the American Council on Exercise estimates that with cardio alone, about 25% of every pound lost is calorie-burning muscle. Diet and exercise that values pounds lost in muscle and fat equally do less to contribute to long-term health and fitness than plans that also focus on nutrition and strength training.

Regimes that heavily consider nutrition and are designed to promote muscle gain and fat burn emphasize attainable lifestyle changes for long-term results. Low carb, low fat, low calorie diets – or “crash diets,” will not produce muscle gain because proper nutrition including protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats is essential for building muscle. Cardio exercises can help increase fat loss, but without resistance training, muscle weight loss occurs. High impact strength training– plyometrics, intervals and resistance training, are required to build and maintain muscle mass.

An increase in muscle mass can actually result in weight gain, even while sculpting a trimmer figure. Muscle has a higher density than fat: approximately 0.9 g/mL versus 1.1 g/mL. In other words, a liter of muscle weighs approximately a third of a pound more than a liter of fat, but a pound of muscle takes up only about four-fifths as much space as a pound of fat. This is where it becomes clear that a scale is unreliable as a sole measure of success: it is possible to gain body weight while losing body fat, but in this case the added pounds are healthy and helpful. A pound of muscle burns two to three times more calories per day than a pound fat. (Livestrong.com)
Clearly defined goals are the cornerstone of any successful health and fitness regime, and it is essential to understand what those goals really mean, and how to achieve them. At Invest in Your Body (IYB), we believe in increasing strength, flexibility and endurance. Building a lean, toned figure takes consistency and effort; but it’s something everyone can commit to. Take the extra step to invest the time and energy into nutrition and exercise plans that support healthy muscle growth and fat loss, and your body will thank you.CTA-Subcribe

Demetrius Fincher, LMSW, NASM-CPT
Invest in Your Body
Founder

6 Steps to Achieve Your 2016 Fitness Resolutions

6 Steps to Achieve Your 2016 Fitness Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. Time for everyone to make all those New Year’s Resolutions. You know the drill. You tell yourself and anyone who will listen that you WILL accomplish the goals that you’ve set time and time again. You blow up your social media feed with posts about how you’re going to become a better you. You’re positive that this is the year you’ll push yourself, but a few weeks later you’ve fallen back into your comfort zone and feel like the same ol’ you.

All of January, the gyms will be full and you’ll walk inside psyched to lose weight or gain muscle. You want to fit into that bikini or rock those skinny jeans, and you’re determined to make it happen. The motivation starts strong, but it’s not long before you arrive at the gym and circle it once, only to say to yourself, “there’s no parking: I guess I’m just not meant to work out today.”

How long before your workout DVD takes a backseat to that friend who needs advice about the same crisis he or she was facing last week? How long before that morning jog gets put off for another half hour of sleep?

Not this year. 2016 is the year that you’ll put an end to the procrastination, and Invest in Your Body is here to help. We’ve got six easy, actionable tips that will help you turn your New Year’s Resolutions into New Year’s Reality.

Here’s how to set goals that you’ll crush:

  1. Make Your Goals Visible
    Write out exactly what you want to accomplish and hang it somewhere that you will see it every single day.  Place it on your fridge.  Hang it on the rearview mirror of your car.  Make it the screen saver on your phone.  Remind yourself every day that you have a purpose.  Remind yourself that your daily actions must support your goals.

goal-setting-exercise

  1. Read a Health and Fitness Article At Least Once a Week
    When you know better, you do better. The more you educate yourself about your health and fitness, the more confident you’ll be taking action. Most people don’t reach their fitness goals, not because they are lazy but because they simply don’t know how to execute their plan. Start educating yourself! Learn about fat loss vs. weight loss so that you can design a workout plan that ensures you develop that lean figure you want. There is so much information right at your fingertips. Invest in Your Body is your fitness-friendly resource, and we’ll be providing you clear, accurate fitness and nutrition information all year long.

FitnessArticle

  1. Have a Piece of Fitness Equipment at Home
    We know that the gym can be overwhelming at times.  Whether it’s large crowds, the creepy guy who always seems to workout next to you, or the pushy personal trainer who is trying to sell you a 10 pack (now discounted to only $2,843.00!) It is always good to have a piece of fitness equipment that you can use at home.  It doesn’t have to be a large cumbersome piece of equipment, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. Get yourself a small, quality piece of equipment that is always readily available to you. Perfect examples include resistance bands, a kettlebell or a jump rope.

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  1. Invest in Fitness Apparel
    Having fitness apparel that you love makes you want to look good wearing it. Those mini shorts look great on you after leg day! That sexy tank top will show off your shoulder presses! Fitness gear can be expensive, but we aren’t saying go to lululemon and make it rain. Purchase a few items that show off your body and keep you honest about your trouble areas. No shame plug: we’ve developed some slick, stylish gear that you can rock in the gym and on the street: check it out in the online shop.

Fitness Apparel

  1. Find an Accountability Partner
    Its easier to complete a task when you have support.  Find someone who has their own fitness goals and agree to hold each other accountable.  Goals do not have to be the same: one of you may want to drop 10lbs of fat while the other wants to add 10lbs of muscle. Your workouts may be different, but your dedication and discipline must be the same. Check in on each other and motivate each other to execute your plans. Share new information that you’ve learned from reading your weekly fitness article. Send each other your transformation photos. You’re committing to a difficult journey, so agree to carry each other across the finish line! The IYB Community is always here to support you. Share your goals and your progress with us on Invest in Your Body Facebook Page.

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  1. Never Go 3 Days Without Exercise
    Listen, life happens. It can hit you the hardest when you’re so close to accomplishing your goals. Make yourself and your fitness a priority, and make a point to never go three days without exercise unless you are physically unable. If you can build this habit, you will feel incomplete when you miss your workout.

Follow these 6 steps and you are on your way to finally realizing that New Year’s Resolution. That two piece bikini or shirtless-ready beach body is not as far away as you think. It’s 2016: this is the year for you to make the investment!!

Share your new fitness and nutrition goals with us on the Invest in Your Body Facebook Page.

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Demetrius Fincher, LMSW, NASM-CPT
Invest in Your Body (IYB)
Founder

 

 

Do Healthier Employees Increase Productivity?

invest in your body shirt fitness clothing

Employers are always looking for innovative ways to achieve the greatest output of work, effort, and production from their employees. One way to improve employee productivity is to promote the importance of health and fitness. Several research groups have found that healthy employees are generally more productive.

In an article published by the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of consistent exercise and a diet with nutritional value include:

  • Improved Mood
  • Boosts Energy
  • Combats Health Conditions and Disease
  • Promotes Better Sleep

heslthy Employee

The benefits listed above will influence an individuals’ personal life as well as their professional life. Combating health conditions and disease can directly lead to improved attendance. According to the Center for Disease Control, “healthy employees are less likely to call out sick or use vacation time due to illness”. Better sleep can directly lead to arriving on time and increased awareness when performing tasks. An individual’s most important ability may be their “availability”.

Employees with more energy will generally complete tasks more efficiently than those who may be lacking energy. Employees with improved mood will likely contribute to a more positive work environment. Energy and positive mood amongst employees are key characteristics of a positive work culture.

Improved employee health can also directly affect the cost of insurance and employee benefits. Unhealthy employees can increase a company’s health care cost, workers compensation cost, and disability insurance cost. In addition, when employees are away from work due to illness, companies incur the cost of salaries to absent employees, cost of temporary replacement, and administrative costs during their absence.impact-of-having-healthy-employees

Employers constantly struggle with ensuring that employee activity is in line with the mission of their company. Many employers do not have the resources to dedicate staff toward encouraging employees to live a healthier life style. Some companies have addressed this issue by instituting health and wellness programs. Health and wellness programs can vary significantly in cost and range of services. Many large corporations have the resources to provide their employees with comprehensive programs that may include an on-site fitness facility, subsidized meal programs, and sophisticated fitness assessments. Small businesses may not have the ability to provide such a service. Albeit, small business cannot afford to stand idle either. Small business owners are encouraged locate affordable wellness programs that will offer great benefits to their employees at a manageable cost. Encourage employees to invest in their body, the company will benefit in return.

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Demetrius Fincher LMSW, NASM-CPT
Invest in Your Body (IYB)
Founder