At-Home Fitness and Nutrition
How long after a meal can I workout out?
Ever hear this at the pool: “No swimming for 30 minutes after eating!”
Okay Mom… but does that really matter? More importantly, can it affect the effectiveness of your workout?
When it comes to working out we want our bodies to be running at full capacity. If exercising after a large meal can disrupt this then it’s something to consider. What’s more, is that exercising too soon after eating can cause stomach cramps or even diarrhea. Yeah, we don’t want in the middle of performing our 3rd set of squats…
Why Exercising Immediately after a Large Meal is Bad
After a large meal (at least 600 calories; especially ones that are protein dense), our bodies send a large percentage of our blood towards the digestive system to help in the digestive process. This diversion of blood (and energy) to our stomachs is one of the main causes of that sluggish feeling we get after a large meal! So first of all we don’t want to exercise when we are sluggish because we won’t get an optimal workout!
Secondly, the diversion of blood (and energy) to the digestive system takes away from where we want the blood during our workouts; our muscles. To achieve a really good workout we want the targeted muscles to be full of blood and get the muscle tightening “pump” that makes you feel bigger then Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk.
Exercising on a full stomach will have your muscles and your digestive system competing for blood, they both won’t run nearly as efficiently! As sports medicine physician Dr. Phoenyx Austin said,
“So basically, our body is not designed to do both digestion and exercise at the same time. That’s why people can get things like stomach cramps and stomach aches when trying to run/exercise on a full stomach.”
How Long Should I Wait?
So how much time do we need to wait before any intense workout? If you are planning on doing light exercise you should wait AT LEAST 60 minutes after a large meal. Ideally, if you are doing an intense exercise it might be wiser to wait 2-3 hours after a large carb and protein dense meal before you exercise. Also, the greater the intensity of the exercise you are planning on doing the longer you should wait. Back to Dr. Phoenyx Austin,
“Furthermore, if your exercise routine requires a lot of intensity, you may even want to wait up to 2 hours after eating a large meal.”
That being said, don’t exercise on an empty stomach. A carb and protein rich snack (less than 200 calories) 30-60 minutes before your workout can help ramp up your blood sugar and give you an energy boost to really kill your workout. You don’t want to go into the gym without being properly energized.
Likewise, you don’t want to go into the gym feeling sluggish which could occur after a quick fat-heavy snack before a workout! This is because fat can take longer to digest and can result in an upset stomach during an intense workout.
How long do you need to wait to workout after a meal?
- After a large meal (more than 600 calories), you should wait at least 2 hours to allow your digestive processes to finish.
- After a carb and protein rich snack (less than 200 calories) 30-60 minutes before your workout.
This will allow your muscles to have all the blood they need to give you a great workout and therefore make it as effective as possible!
How At-Home Workouts Can Be Beneficial
When it comes to making a workout regime work there are a two main components. The first component is making the workout regime convenient and the second component (sort of goes with first one) is making the workout regime sustainable. If it is convenient it's more then likely to be sustainable. Many people like to workout at the gym, but what happens on the days the life interrupts and they can't make it to the gym? The fact is, to make your exercise program sustainable you need to include at-home workouts to be your back-up plan when life happens.
Did you know research has shown that at-home functional strength training can be just as effective as traditional strength training at a gym (Weiss et al. 2010)? Functional strength training improves the strength that helps you carry out your everyday activities like playing tag football with your kids, walking up the stairs, or packing up Christmas decorations. Functional strength training helps improve your quality of life and is very important for older individuals in particular. Some simple at-home exercises that improve your functional strength are body weight exercises such as pushups, squats, and pullups!
There are many benefits of creating a sustainable workout that features at-home training. Here is a short list:
- Saves you money if you don't have a gym membership
- Saves you the commute to the gym
- Don't have to worry about overcrowding at the gym
- Will not have to worry about being insecure or intimidated at the gym
- Workout whenever you want (fits your time schedule)
- Workout however you want
- Can create a highly personalized exercise plan that is convenient for you
- When life happens you can still get a quick workout in
- Just as effective as traditional weightlifting if the intensity and exercise plan are correct
- Improve your quality of life through functional strength training from the comforts of your own home
The benefits of implementing some at-home workouts into your fitness plan or just having them as a plan B can really help you stick to your fitness regime! Remember, when life happens make sure to have a sustainable at-home back up plan!
If you still need more in depth information on working out at-home and creating a sustainable lifestyle visit Always Active Athletics.
Weiss T, Kreitinger J, Wilde H, Wiora C, Steege M, Dalleck L, Janot J (2010) Effect of functional resistance training on muscular fitness outcomes in young adults. J Exer Sci & Fitness 8(2):113-122.
How often to you eat egg yolks?
Eggs, Eggs, Eggs
A Sustainable At-Home Lifestyle Includes Eggs
I love breakfast and I think we should all eat it every single day! That breakfast should include eggs! Why? Well science has demonstrated that eggs satiate the appetite (less snacking throughout the morning; Vander Wal et al 2005) and they are loaded with muscle building protein for only containing ~71 calories (size-dependent)!
Get this though, for individuals who are already dieting, eating eggs in the morning can really help you shed pounds. A study conducted by Louisiana State University in 2008 demonstrated that a group that ate eggs every morning lost 65% more weight then a group that did not eat eggs everyone morning (Vander Wal et al. 2008). That is truly incredible, adding eggs can have big benefits!
Many people only eat egg whites, but I'm here to tell you that is a big mistake! An average egg contains 71 calories, 6g protien, 5g fat, and 211 mg cholesterol. On the other hand a raw egg yolk contains 54 calories, 3g protein, 5g total fat, 211mg cholesterol. While raw egg whites (33g) of a large egg has 16 calories, 4g protein, 0 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol (http://www.nutritiondata.com)
By breaking down this comparison its easier to see that yolks have more fat and cholesterol but on a gram-per-gram basis they have a ton more protein. Their fat content is great for the digestive system, slows the absorption of food, and satiates your appetites longer! Plus their associated nutrients and vitamins can be very beneficial!
Most nutritionists recommend eating only 3 eggs yolks per week if you have a chance of heart disease to get their added benefits. Likewise, nutritionists say you can eat as many egg white as you want since they are pretty much cholesterol free! Egg yolks are great for you, just make sure not to throw them out every single time!
Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, & Dhurandhar NV (2008) Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int, J Obesity 32:1545-1551.
Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, Jen KC, & Dhurandhar NV (2005) Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Col Nutr 24:510-515.
Your Typical Workout Regime
How often do you workout per week?
Start Your At-Home Exercise Journey Here
So you are a beginner and want to start getting in shape, even from home if at all possible. Well I'm here to tell you not to jump-in head first, test the waters first. If you begin a hardcore workout regime right away you will be really sore and that can lead to program drop-out.
One way for beginners to get into the swing of thing is to simply start walking briskly 45 minutes everyday. I'm not joking this can have extraordinary effects on your physique. This brisk walking will increase your exercise capacity, oxygen consumption efficiency, and burn a lot of calories. Taking the step from laying around to walking everyday is a major step, don't kid yourself.
As your exercise capacity increases you can start to implement 2-3 full body resistance training sessions a week. This really is the best form of exercise because it gets you consuming a lot of oxygen and your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. Begin with three full body workouts that hit all the major muscle groups. Make sure to keep them relatively short but at a very high intensity. This will keep them conveniently short but also extraordinarily efficient!
Lastly, if you feel like you need to break through a weight plateau (where it doesn't seem like you can lose anymore weight) try high intensity interval training sessions (HIITs). HIITs session are amazing because they are fairly short (<20mintes) and can give you the same results of 60 minute steady state cardio sessions can. For instance, just performing three 15 minute HIIT sessions a week will increase your metabolism and your exercise endurance (Gibala & McGee 2008). These are a way for sedentary people that don't want to take the time to preform long-duration stead-state cardio to still get healthier cardiovascular wise in a shorter amount of time.
By doing 2-3 HIIT sessions a week you can get amazing results. Here is a typical HIIT session:
●5-10 min warm-up
●15 min session: The idea is to alternative between 30 second bouts or intervals of all-out sprinting and 30 second bouts of walking. You must push yourself as hard as possible to see the maximum effects!
●5 min cool-down
That's how you go from couch potato to getting in shape. Start slow with 45 minutes of brisk walking everyday. Move to walking and 3 full body strength training sessions. Finally, graduate to strength training session and 2-3 HIIT session per week. The beautiful thing is that this can all be done at-home in a sustainable fashion!
Gibala MJ, McGee SL (2008) Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain. Ex Sport Sci Rev 36:58-63.
At-Home Tricep Routine
I commonly get the question by women and men alike about how to get rid of the extra "flab" from their triceps. Triceps are basically the three muscles located on the backside of the biceps and act as their counter. Many people think they can spot train to remove fat from there. Wrong, you can't spot train to remove fat. To remove fat you need to work in the kitchen and on your nutrition to remove fat throughout the body. You can spot train muscles though to cause them to grow. If you are lifting weight and eating properly, you will remove fat and build up muscle leading to the toned look everyone wants.
Here are some great exercises for working on your triceps from the comforts of your own home. The main pieces of equipment you may need are light dumbbells and resistance bands, both are relatively cheap compared to a gym membership. Both can be used for many other at-home exercises.
One hand overhead extension - make sure to keep you elbows in towards your head fully extending the arm and really concentrating on contracting the triceps! If you have a heavier weight you can do a two hand extension. Picture #1.
Bent-over resistance band kickback - you want to keep your upper arm that you are working parallel to the ground. Likewise, your elbow should act as a fulcrum as you move the weight back parallel to the ground as you straighten out your arm. Picture #2.
Tricep pushdown - keep your elbows in towards your side. One again the upper arm doesn't move, the elbow is the fulcrum, and concentrate on the contraction! Picture #3.
These are three very common and easy exercises that you can perform at-home. The beauty is that they literally cost maybe $20 in equipment. You can utilize that equipment for numerous other exercises. The main thing to remember when doing these exercises is that your elbow will act as a fulcrum, keep your upper arm stabilized no matter which exercise you are doing, keep your elbows tucked in towards the body, and remember to really concentrate on the contraction. Perform each of these exercise for 3 sets of 10-12. The 9-10 rep should really be rather hard, if it isn't do more reps! Hit this 3 times a week. Try it out and you might go from arm-flab to arm-fab!
At-Home Bicep Workout
Another part of having great sculpted arms is having well defined biceps. These are what all the guys want to impress the girls with and what the girls should want to look toned. There is really no secret; just curl. Try some of these simple variations to get a great at-home bicep workout. Combine a few of the tricep and bicep exercises to get a total arm burn!
Bicep Curl – This has long been the traditional go-to bicep exercise. This exercise can be done either one arm at a time or both arms simultaneously. Likewise, you can also perform it sitting down or standing up. Make sure to bring the weight from resting (by your side) and explode up and really concentrate on contracting the muscle. To really work the bicep, do a slight inward twist of the weight at the very top of the contraction.
Reverse Curl – This exercise really works the forearms! This exercise can be done either one arm at a time or both arms simultaneously. Likewise, you can also perform it sitting down or standing up. Focus on the contraction!
Concentration Curl – These are one of the main muscle building exercises because it really isolates your bicep muscles; taxing them extremely hard! As the name implies, you really want to concentrate on the contraction! To really work the bicep, do a slight inward twist of the weight at the very top of the contraction. This can also be done standing.
Hammer Curl – This slight variations "hammers" the forearms. This exercise can be done either one arm at a time or both arms simultaneously. Likewise, you can also perform it sitting down or standing up. One variation is to bring the weight up across your chest or a Cross Body Hammer Curl
Combining these exercises with some of the previous tricep exercises can really help you build up and tone your arms! When exercising is this convenient you have no excuse to skip it! Try it out and go from those flabby arms to fab arms!
First of all, you cannot spot-train fat loss.To get a six-pack it all starts with nutrition. As you lose fat throughout the body because of your nutrition regime, those crunches will start to cause your abs to grow and show!
Standing resistance band crunch - This exercise is great for utilizing your resistance bands! Keep your knees slightly bent, your butt against the door and crunch down towards your knees. You should really feel it in your upper abs. Really concentrate on contracting your abs! Try three sets of 20 (depending on your resistance band weight).
"Crazy" planks - This exercise is great for tightening up your core and also works your glutes in the process! You can either perform one leg at a time or for a challenge try lifting one arm and the opposite foot at the same time! You can perform theses in sets or timed.
Toe touches - I HATE these, they burn so good. Keep your core engaged the whole time and reach up towards your toes (you don’t actually have to touch them) in a rapid timely fashion. Try three sets of 25!
Bicycles - Another great exercise that works the upper and lower abs. Bring your elbow up towards the opposite knee at the same time (you don’t have to actually touch them together) and straighten out the other leg completely. These should be performed in a rapid timely fashion as well! Do three sets of 20 (bringing both elbows up is one).
These are just a few exercises you can do at-home to tighten up your core and grow your abs. Continue with your nutrition program and in a matter of time you will start to see the outline of your not-so-mythical abs. You’ll dominate that swimsuit this year!
At-Home Recipe: Hummus
Hummus is an amazing food. What makes it even better is that you can simply make it at home! What's so great about hummus anyway?
Well first of all, it tastes amazing! Secondly it is full of fiber (beans) that aide in numerous things from digestion to helping the immune system. Third, hummus has a ton of fat burning lignans (tahini) that will help get your metabolism ramped up and demolishing calories! Finally, the omega-3s (olive oil) in the hummus is incredibly good for your heart!. The beauty of homemade hummus is that you can create, experiment, and make it exactly how you like!
I've found that one of the best ways to eat this is on fresh broccoli! You can also eat it on pita bread or wheat/hummus chips!
- Blend all of the ingredients in your food processor until they are thoroughly mixed and pasty! If it is too runny, add more garbanzo beans. If it is too stiff add a little water!
- Taste test and add seasoning to suite your taste. Remix to make sure the seasoning is mixed in thoroughly.
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- to taste salt and pepper
More Information On At-Home Fitness
Motivational Quotes To Keep You Going
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." – Michael Jordan
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”– Christopher Columbus
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Geothe
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." – Mark Twain
Don't Be Afraid
Don't be intimidated by at-home health plans. They can literally be fun and very rewarding. They are so great because they are so convenient. Having a convenient, sustainable diet and nutrition plan is the Holy Grail of fitness. One last tip: maybe if you having trouble staying on a fitness regime, stop making goals. Stop worrying about weight loss and start just trying to make it fun and convenient. You may see a massive improvement!
Lastly, Aristotle had it right when he said,
"First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end."
You know your goals and you have the means.....the only person that can make it happen is YOU!