How to Keep Your Hair From Aging

It may seem kind of crazy, but as you get older your hair even starts to change. It may not be as full as it used to be. It can become less naturally oily and can sometimes become incredibly difficult to style on a regular basis as it seems to become more uncooperative with your style methods Here’s why this happens and how to prevent/manage it.

younger hair

Getty Images

What is up with my hair?!

If it doesn’t seem as

healthy

as it used to, blame it on.life. “

Aging

can make hair thinner, drier and less manageable,” notes dermatologist Shani Francis, MD, director of the Hair Disorders Center of Excellence in Skokie, Ill. The trick is to restore hydration, add volume and

replenish shine

. Here’s your total plan.

Bring Back Softness
“I love how dry and brittle my hair is!” said no one ever. There’s a scientific explanation for why it’s like that: “Since oil glands are mostly under hormonal control, they can become less active as your body changes over time,” says Dr. Francis. Turning up the heat on your dryer or curling iron only adds to the parching problem.

TREAT IT

Restore your hair’s natural lipids with a weekly fix such as Kérastase Paris Resistance Masque Therapiste ($34;

amazon.com

), which packs hydrating plant sap plus peptides and

amino acids

to strengthen abused follicles.

STYLE IT
Coat damp hair with a thermal protectant that hasceramides; they bind to hair and reduce breakage, found a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Try Phyto Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray ($32; sephora.com). The suppler your strands, the less breakage youll see.

RELATED: 6 Nutrients for Healthy Hair

Boost Fullness
Thinning often happens gradually, but for some of us, it seems to occur overnight. One day you look in the mirror and-gasp!-you can see scalp. Or you notice your ponytail isnt as full. “Hair goes through growing cycles, and at a certain age, it can slow down,” says Dr. Francis. But all is not lost: Those sluggish follicles can be awakened.

TREAT IT
OD’ing on products leaves behind buildup that can impede hair growth. ReGenesis Thickening Shampoo ($34; nordstrom.com) has willow bark to de-gunk and flax protein to plump strands. For significant thinning, the go-to ingredient is minoxidil. It’s the only over-the- counter drug that’s FDA-approved for stimulating hair growth in women. Find it in Women’s Rogaine Hair Regrowth Treatment ($30 for a one-month supply; ulta.com). With daily use, you can expect results in as early as 12 weeks. Also FDA-approved to spur hair growth: low-level red-light laser therapy. The HairMax LaserComb Ultima 12 ($495; neimanmarcus.com) is an investment, but it can be as effective as minoxidil, says Dr. Francis, and more so if it’s used in conjunction with the drug. Run the pronged wand over your scalp three times a week for eight minutes to see improvement in 12 weeks.

STYLE IT
You guessed it-use volumizing spray. Try BloPro Blow Back Time Texture Spray ($20; blowpro.com), which infuses hair with specks of bulk-boosting powder. (No worries; its invisible.) Focus on the roots of dry hair, holding up 2-inch sections and spritzing them, says Nunzio Saviano, owner of the eponymous salon in New York City. “Brush through for more oomph.”

RELATED: 10 Foods for Stronger Nails and Thicker Hair

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younger hair

Getty Images

Erase the Grays

You may blame stress, but the

reality

is that the production of pigment in hair follicles starts to lag

with age

(at what point depends on your genes).

TREAT IT
To go longer between salon visits, touch up your roots with a box color. Clairol Age Defy ($7; amazon.com ) hides silver and adds sheen.

STYLE IT
When you spot annoying grays, hide them with a temporary fix like Redken Color Rebel Naturals Hair Makeup ($20; ulta.com). It dries quickly and lasts through a couple of shampoos. For your hairline, use a Q-tip to apply. Later, roots!

RELATED: 10 Secrets of People Who Age Gracefully

Get a Whole Lot of Shine
When you want your hair to glow, “treat your scalp the same way you do your skin,” says Liz Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist at the New York Philip Kingsley Clinic. Lay off the drying products and help strands glisten with light.

TREAT IT
Cut back on shampooing-it strips hair of its natural oils and gloss-to once or twice a week. You also want to protect hair from shine-sapping UV rays. Try Rene Furterer Solaire Leave-In Moisturizing Spray ($22; amazon.com), which has jojoba wax and camelina oil along with a UV filter. For extra luster, consider a salon gloss (usually with a hint of tint) or glaze (typically clear), advises Jet Rhys, a Solana Beach, Calif., stylist to the stars. “It’s like waxing your car,” she says. “You get a noticeable shine boost that lasts a couple of weeks.”

STYLE IT
Make shine serum your final styling step. Try L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Nutri-Gloss Mist ($10; amazon.com). “Apply a bit to the ends, which typically need the most TLC,” says Rhys. For extra de-frizzing, spritz your palms and run them over the length of your hair, avoiding roots.

RELATED: 15 Hair Products for a Shinier, Healthier Mane

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younger hair

Getty Images

3 Style Tricks for Younger Hair1. Zigzag your part.
“It can make hair appear fuller by hiding sparse spots,” says celeb stylist Jet Rhys. Use your finger to part instead of a comb for a natural look.

2. Go halfsies.
Pull just some of your hair back. “When you sweep the sides up toward the back of your head, it visually raises the cheekbones,” explains Rhys. Instant face-lift!

3. Do a high ponytail.
For a soft, flattering look, loosely brush hair back and up with a paddle brush, says Saviano, then secure with a ribbon hair elastic.”

Source: http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20959317,00.html

How You Feel About Aging May Actually Determine How You Age

There have been many studies about how attitude and mentality can shape your overall health but there is a new study that links very specific attitudes with ironically fitting consequences. This new study shows that negative attitudes about aging actually cause you to age poorly. Check out the full study below.

These adults also showed a greater decline in the volumes of their hippocampus-a part of the brain vital for memory-than people who felt more positive about seniors.

Related: The Better Man Project-2,000+ awesome tips on how to live your healthiest life

The researchers aren’t exactly sure why it happens, but they speculate that holding negative beliefs toward seniors can spike your stress levels, which may lead to harmful changes in your brain over time, says study author Becca Levy, Ph.D.

And if you believe these age stereotypes now, then you’ll probably believe them with each passing birthday, too. That can affect your brain health even more when you’re older, she says.

RELATED: 6 Easy Fixes to Improve Your Memory

The even crazier part: It’s likely only cynical thoughts toward the elderly-not an overall negative attitude in general-that can be tied to Alzheimer’s disease, Levy says.

In her study, the significant link between aging stereotypes and brain changes still existed even after controlling for the participants’ wellbeing.

So if you’re negative about everything but seniors, you probably won’t be as likely to get Alzheimer’s as the guy who loves everything except for grandparents.

Ask yourself these questions: How do you feel about the seniors in your life or the ones you come into contact with? Do you get frustrated with them? Do you find yourself talking down to them?

Noticing a connotation of pessimism in your answers? Levy suggests finding an older man or woman to respect and emulate. Someone who is living his life in a way that you would be proud to live yours at his age. He could be a family member or even a celebrity. (Or one of these 7 Old Guys Who Can Kick Your Ass.)

It may seem like a silly task to you now, but Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease. If the simple act of thinking more positively could potentially decrease your risk down the road, you should do it.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/aging-stereotypes-Alzheimers

Losing Weight is a Constant Cycle

Losing weight is something that most people aspire to do. Making sure to choose the healthier of the two options presented to you in every situation you encounter is one way to ensure weight loss but things change as you age if you are struggling to stay healthy and lose weight. Here’s a handy guide .

There’s Always a Group Dinner
Without kids or a spouse, a lot of women in their twenties have the freedom to eat out with friends whenever the hell they want. That means you eat way more calories from that yummy Thai restaurant than you would if you actually used your stove, says Ansel. But you can still stay on track without sitting at home. Since most restaurants have at least one healthy option, make it your goal to order first, she says. “Research shows people follow the lead of the first person to order in a group,” says Ansel. And instead of revisiting the same old high-cal spots, do your homework and suggest new (healthier) joints that your friends will like, too. Another option: Eat half of your meal, and box the rest for leftovers tomorrow night.

You Eat with Your Screens
Scarfing breakfast while checking email, working through lunch, and scrolling through your phone during dinner: Sound familiar? “When we eat in front of a computer or any screen, we eat more and feel less satisfied than when we eat in a tech-free zone,” says Ansel. Breaking the habit isn’t easy (we get it, a girl’s got to multitask), but consuming fewer mindless calories is worth the struggle. If you can’t get out to eat lunch during the workday, visit the office break room for a few minutes to chow down. Then, attempt to eat dinner without the TV on or your phone in front of you. You might find that you actually like focusing on your food.

You’re Late Night Snacking
Meals can feel fluid in your twenties. For example, maybe you had a few bites at happy hour, so you’re not starving for dinner. Or maybe breakfast was an office cupcake, so you put off lunch. But those habits can lead to serious late-night munchies. Here’s why: Your body is smart, says Ansel. When you don’t give it enough food during the day, it will demand it late at night, she says. Break the cycle by keeping a journal to see when you’re eating. “If you’re perpetually skipping certain meals, set an alarm on your cellphone to eat something healthy and satisfying, even if it’s just a Greek yogurt.”

In Your 30s

You Have No Time to Work Out
For new moms, it’s a win just to slip in a shower and brush your teeth. And though it seems impossible, you can make working out work. Ansels says that finding a gym with child care or subscribing to online workouts that you can do during naps can be a big help. For an active recovery, take long walks with your baby in his or her stroller-and you might be surprised how quickly you can bounce back into shape, says Ansel.

Your Fridge is Empty
Grocery trips become a lot harder (and infrequent) with a kid in tow. So it’s important to pack your pantry with healthy packaged foods that make quick meals. A bowl of oatmeal with fruit, nuts or chia seeds, and low-fat milk takes two minutes to make and can keep you full for hours. Same goes for scrambled eggs or whole-wheat French toast, says Ansel. Another idea: Stock up on low-sugar tomato sauce, whole-wheat pasta, and canned white beans, and toss them together for a 15-minute meal. You can also take two minutes to combine canned tuna or salmon with salad greens and some grape tomatoes, she says.

In Your 40s

You’re Losing Muscle Mass
As your body gets older, muscle naturally starts to break down and your metabolism slows, which causes pounds to creep on. But by eating protein throughout the day and weight training, you can fight that process, says Ansel. Most of us eat enough protein, but we don’t eat it at the right times, she says. When you eat a majority of your protein at dinner, your body doesn’t have time to use it all as energy, so it has to store it as fat. By spreading out your protein intake, you give your body a steady stream that it can use. Aim to eat 20 to 30 grams with each meal and five to 10 grams with each snack.

You Fall for Frozen Food and Takeout
If you’re shuttling little people around all afternoon and evening, it’s tough to get a healthy meal on the table before bedtime. “The key is to set aside 15 minutes every weekend to plan a quick healthy dinner for each weeknight,” says Ansel. And they don’t have to elaborate. A turkey sandwich or peanut butter and jelly is better than ordering Chinese food or baking a frozen pizza, she says.

Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/losing-weight-as-you-age

When to Throw Away Your Makeup

Makeup is expensive and something that we are all very reluctant to throw away but for your health and wellbeing it is important that you know when to throw certain items away. Here is a great list that will help you remember when to throw away common makeup items so that you will avoid infection and look fabulous!

Mascara
The product that goes bad in the shortest amount of time is mascara since bacteria breeds quickly and each use pumps drying air into the tube. Toss after two to three months-or even sooner if you notice it’s getting clumpy or smells weird, says Menzer.

Liquid Foundation
“I know how much people want to make these bottles last. However, they’re cream-based and get contaminated with bacteria from your fingers, brushes, and sponges,” says Menzer. Average shelf life can vary from eight to 12 months. Let go when the formula begins to separate.

Powder Foundation
Pay attention to the texture of the product, advises Menzer. If it begins to get a dry, hardened surface or turns flaky, that’s when it’s time to get a new one-typically from six months to a year after you’ve first used it. Powders will begin performing poorly and not look as good on your skin.

Concealer
Concealer tends to be a product we go through the slowest since it only takes a teeny bit to cover up most imperfections. When the color begins to change, you’ll want to part with it. For powders and sticks, that can be up to two years, while liquids typically go after one year.

Eye Shadow, Blush, and Bronzer
In powder form, these heavy hitters can last up to three years. Get a new one when the pigment fades or doesn’t apply as well as before. Liquid and cream versions have a much shorter shelf life and can typically last up to a year, says Menzer.

Eyeliner
“Pencils are regularly sharpened, so in my opinion, [they] never go bad since the bacteria is shaved away,” says Menzer. However, liquid eyeliners last between six to 12 months or until the formula dries out or starts clumping up.

Lipstick
If you’re stocking up on your favorite shade (we’ve been there, done that!), it can last up to three years if unopened immediately. Once opened, it’s time to toss if it starts to smell or taste funny and strong.

Lip Gloss
Glosses don’t last as long as lipstick formulas and have a shelf life between six to 12 months, depending how clean you keep the applicator. Once it gets extra tacky or sticky, it’s time to give it the heave-ho.

Want to get the longest possible use out of your cosmetics? Clean makeup brushes and sponges on a regular basis, and wash your hands before applying or touching up makeup, as doing both will help prevent bacteria growth on products, says Menzer. “And ladies, no matter how close you are to your bestie, don’t share your makeup,” she adds. (One woman in Australia even reported getting a staph infection-which left her in a wheelchair-from makeup brushes with a gal pal. Eek.)

We also love Stowaway Cosmetics, which makes smaller-sized mascaras, eyeliners, lip colors, and concealers that you can actually use up before they have a chance to turn. And big bonus: They’re easier to slip into a makeup bag for touchups on the go or while traveling, too.

Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/does-makeup-expire

Silent Heart Attacks

Most people think that if they were having a heart attack that everything would stop and they would absolutely know that they are having one but new studies show that this is not necessarily the case. Although in most situations, you will recognize a heart attack, new evidence suggests that people have silent heart attacks as well at an alarming rate.

They discovered 8 percent of the participants showed evidence of scarring-damaged tissue-on their hearts.

Of that scarring, the majority went unrecognized and uncared for, and nearly half of those looked typical of a heart attack.

(For more tips on how to chart a healthier life path from some of the greatest minds in the wellness world, sign up for The Unleash Your Greatness Summit. It’s FREE online from November 16-23!)

That means they may have experienced a heart attack and not even known it.

“In some cases, patients have symptoms that they feel are not bad enough to go to a doctor,” says study author David Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D., the director of radiology and imaging sciences at the NIH Clinical Center.

Those symptoms may include mild chest pain, nausea, vomiting, unexplained fatigue, heartburn, shortness of breath, or discomfort in the neck or jaw, he says.

That’s right: A silent heart attack may feel a lot like a bout of the stomach bug or the flu or indigestion. Unlike those illnesses and ailments, however, even a mild heart attack can leave scar tissue on your heart.

Related: The 4 Best Ways to Prevent a Cold

And here’s why that’s a huge deal: Scarring may mess with the electrical current in your heart, causing abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmia, says Dr. Bluemke.

When that happens, your heart may beat too quickly, leaving it unable to pump blood efficiently. This can lead to sudden cardiac arrest-or when your heart suddenly stops working.

So your best bet? Closely monitor your symptoms when you don’t feel 100 percent.

For younger, healthier guys, the chances of this being a heart attack is very rare, says Dr. Bluemke.

But if you’re over 50, 40+ with a strong family history of heart disease, or have other risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or smoking, you should head to your doctor as soon as possible if your symptoms persist longer than 20 minutes or seem to worsen with activity.

Don’t wait to see if they clear up.

Related: 10 Habits to Keep Your Heart Healthy for Life

Even if you’re not having symptoms, it’s a good idea to see a doctor for an annual physical, too.

That’s because an unrecognized heart attack isn’t the only thing that can scar the organ: Things like chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and smoking can also damage the heart.

In fact, 70 percent of people with unrecognized heart disease who died of sudden cardiac death actually showed previous scarring on their hearts, a previous study found.

That’s why early detection of heart disease is important, so your doc can control those factors before a heart attack hits. You should also ask your doctor for a CT calcium score or CT angiogram test, says Dr. Bluemke. These can detect plaque buildup at a very early stage.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/silent-heart-attack

An Off Day

When you are having a little bit of an off day and you just absolutely do not feel like exercising, instead of blowing it off, try one of these exercises that are extremely low impact but still help you on your health and wellness goals, rather than skipping out on the gym entirely. Do you have any of your own to share?

So I did my two remaining warmup sets, and then moved onto some speed and technique work at about 70-to-80 percent of my 1-rep max (RM), doing six sets of two reps.

Next I did some light higher-rep accessory work and finished with 30-minutes of non-stop alternating stepups. Then I called it a day.

It’s on days like that one when I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made in my fitness journey.

Related: The Get Back in Shape Workout, a 28-Day Program That Will Transform Your Body!

Why would I be happy with a less than my best workout? Because in the past I would have tried to grind it out, risking injury and leaving myself feeling worse than when I started.

But I still did something to improve myself-and I left the gym feeling better than before. Mission accomplished.

Too many of us approach each workout like it’s life or death. I get it: You want to PR at every session and it’s that “get better today” attitude that keeps the gainz coming month after month, year after year.

Truth is, it’s just not possible to beat your former self every single session. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do something that makes you better for the long haul every single day.

On days when you’re not at your best, you have two options:

  1. Skip the workout altogether.
  2. Modify the workout so that you move with a purpose. So that it’s more about stimulation, and less about annihilation.

The best bodies in the world are built with the dogged consistency of the second approach.  It’s an intuitive style of training where you auto-regulate your workouts based on “feel.”

Related: 6 Secrets to Transforming Your Legs-and Ultimately, Your Whole Body

If you’re considering skipping a session, use any of the outlined options below instead. They’ll keep you moving and grooving so you never miss a beat.

1. Lighten the Load

You can almost always predict your future performance based on how you felt during your first warmup set.

Sure, the warmup is meant to boost circulation, lubricate your joints, and improve mobility. But also allows you to gauge how much loading and volume you should put through your system that day.

That’s why it’s so important to embrace an extended warmup at any age.

On days when the warmup is feeling more like a workout, lighten the load and get some good technique work in. You can either do some power training or endurance work.

If you choose power, use a load that’s about 60 to 80 percent of your 1-RM. Then do 3 to 10 sets of 1 to 3 reps, lifting the load as fast as you possibly can. Do a set every 2 to 3 minutes.

You could also swap in a more ballistic exercise for a similar movement pattern, which inherently lightens the load.

For example, replace those heavy deadlifts with 10 sets of 10-rep kettlebell swings. Both exercises involve a hip hinge, but no matter how much weight you can swing, the actual load is still what amounts to warmup weight for deads.

If you choose endurance, use a load that’s no more than 50% of your 1-RM, and get in a lot of quality reps. You can do 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 20 reps with short one minute or less rest periods. This is what many call “barbell cardio.”

Related: The Cardio Workout Lifters Will Love

Or you can set the clock for 5 to 30 minutes and get as many quality reps as you can within that time frame.

Personally, I like to use the EMOM (every minute on the minute) protocol, in which I perform a set number of reps at the top of each minute and rest the remainder of each minute.

For instance, if I’m not feeling up for heavy barbell squats, I’ll swap in goblet squats with a dumbbell or kettlebell and do 10 reps EMOM for 10 minutes. (Sometimes I’ll go longer if I really hate myself).

2. Go Back to the Basics

When you’re feeling out of it, turn to your fundamentals.

Most guys make the mistake of thinking they’ve moved past easier exercises, particularly bodyweight moves like pushups, lunges, and squats. Trust me when I say that you’re never too good for “beginner-level” exercises. That’s like saying a house is too good for it’s foundation.

Related: Why You Should Do Easier Exercises

Do you know what 4-time CrossFit champion Rich Froning does to start every squat workout? Ten straight minutes of air squats.

Why? Because not only does it warm him up, but it burns a perfect squatting pattern into his brain so his hundredth rep looks just like his first rep. And that’s how you become a master of your own body.

My recommendation is to either do straight sets of a single bodyweight move for a certain rep total or time, or do a total bodyweight circuit.

For the former, I love to do 10-minute blocks of straight squatting, lunging, or crawling. Just get inside of the movement and own it.

There are two rules: don’t stop and keep going.

Do 10 minutes of each move for a great 30-minute equipment-free workout that will get you better at just about everything.

For the latter, here’s a great “bodyweight 8” circuit from my book Bodyweight Burners. Do each move for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between them.

  1. Hip-Thrusts (1 or 2 legs)
  2. Pushups or Planks
  3. Squats
  4. Rows or TRX Shoulder Raises
  5. Hip-Hinges (1 or 2 legs)
  6. Handstands or Dips
  7. Lunges or Stepups
  8. Hangs or Pullups

Rest two minutes after completing all eight moves. That’s one cycle. Do 3 to 5 total cycles.

For single-sided moves, switch sides from set to set, or at the halfway mark (25 seconds) into each work period.

3. Recovery Work

Active recovery work includes mobility and self-massage drills to improve tissue quality, joint positioning, and range of motion.

Related: 3 Exercises You Should Do Every Day

This is the boring, low-intensity stuff that you have to do if you want to have longevity in the fitness game. Neurologically, it helps you shift from a “fight-or-flight state” to “recovery mode.” This is crucial for overall health and performance.

The best resource for exercise recovery is the book “Becoming a Supple Leopard” by Kelly Starrett. You could also watch endless mobility videos at his site at MobilityWod.com.

I believe that there should exist a 1:1 ratio of high-to-low intensity exercise. So if you did a 30-minute workout, you should do 30 minutes of active recovery work at some point during the day as well.

On days when you don’t have any high-intensity work in you, just do more recovery work. You’ll still break a sweat and you’ll improve your exercise form and technique.

Physical therapists recommend a minimum of two minutes for mobility and foam rolling to create change in the tissue. Sometimes it takes as long as 5 to 10 minutes for really sore or tight muscle groups.

The better approach is to do a drill for as long as you need until you feel it make a change. Then move on to the next drill.

One of my favorite recovery workouts is what I call “Sweat and Stretch.”

Do a cardio exercise-like jump roping, running in place, or jumping jacks-for two minutes to get your heart rate up. Then do a mobility or self-massage drill for two minutes for active recovery. That’s 1 round. Move onto a new cardio and recovery move each round.

You could also break up the 2-minute cardio piece into 60 seconds for 2 moves, 40 seconds for 3 moves, or 30 seconds for 4 moves. This tends to be a little more fun and the time will pass faster.

4. Accessory Work

Accessory work is the extra stuff you do to help improve the most important exercises you train. These tend to be better for high-rep sets with lighter loads.

On a day when you can’t muster up the strength for your big core lift(s), do some higher-rep work on the accessory exercises that will make you better.

For example, close-grip bench presses, rows, dips, band pull-aparts, and triceps pushdowns tend to boost your bench press. Do 3 to 5 sets of 8 to 15-plus reps for each move. And maybe finish with 100 pushups in as few sets as you can.

Oh yeah, and don’t be afraid to use machines.

Are they as functional as free weights? No. But they are less taxing on your nervous system and joints because they don’t require as much stability. In this way, machine work is easier to recover from.

Plus, there’s nothing wrong with some dedicated isolation work. It’s the safest way to put your muscles under prolonged time under tensions to create a metabolic stress that triggers muscle growth.

For example, there’s simply no way you can create as much of a pump in your quads from squatting as you can with leg extensions. That’s because with squatting, you’ll reach technical failure before muscle failure.

Plus, with leg extensions you can’t enlist the help of any other muscle groups. It’s you versus your quads.

Finally, a machine-based workout consistently allows you to get in an extra session in each week, you’ll get better faster than the other guy who’s too good for machines and just takes the day off. That’s the bottom line.

One of my favorite accessory days is to just crank out a whole body workout moving from machine to machine.

You could do a 5 to 10 machine circuit, doing 10 to 20 reps (or max reps) of each move with little to no rest between moves.

But this may be hard to do in a gym setting when you’re constantly competing for space and equipment. So I’d recommend setting the clock for 5 minutes and doing as many reps on each machine as you can. Then move on to the next machine.

You’ll leave with an epic muscle pump and your central nervous system will get a much-needed break.

5. Have Fun

It seems cliché, but isn’t having fun the whole point of training?

Related: 3 Crazy-Fun Ab Exercises

On days when motivation is low, it’s the perfect time to try the new training techniques you’ve been researching. It infuses some excitement into a stale routine.

Or you could play some pickup basketball.

Or maybe you just go for a run or do 30 to 60 minutes of steady-state cardio while listening to some good music or a podcast.

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to move with purpose and break a good sweat without fail. There are an unlimited number of ways you can accomplish this.

And yes, technically Zumba counts too.

When I’m not into it, I love to take a long 1-2 hour walk with my wife and 2 dogs. It always energizes my body and mind and it reminds me that there is actually more to life than just exercising. And I’m referring to Netflix.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/workouts-when-you-dont-feel-like-working-out

An Off Day

When you are having a little bit of an off day and you just absolutely do not feel like exercising, instead of blowing it off, try one of these exercises that are extremely low impact but still help you on your health and wellness goals, rather than skipping out on the gym entirely. Do you have any of your own to share?

So I did my two remaining warmup sets, and then moved onto some speed and technique work at about 70-to-80 percent of my 1-rep max (RM), doing six sets of two reps.

Next I did some light higher-rep accessory work and finished with 30-minutes of non-stop alternating stepups. Then I called it a day.

It’s on days like that one when I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made in my fitness journey.  

Related: The Get Back in Shape Workout, a 28-Day Program That Will Transform Your Body!

Why would I be happy with a less than my best workout? Because in the past I would have tried to grind it out, risking injury and leaving myself feeling worse than when I started.

But I still did something to improve myself-and I left the gym feeling better than before. Mission accomplished.

Too many of us approach each workout like it’s life or death. I get it: You want to PR at every session and it’s that “get better today” attitude that keeps the gainz coming month after month, year after year.

Truth is, it’s just not possible to beat your former self every single session. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do something that makes you better for the long haul every single day.

On days when you’re not at your best, you have two options:

  1. Skip the workout altogether.
  2. Modify the workout so that you move with a purpose. So that it’s more about stimulation, and less about annihilation.

The best bodies in the world are built with the dogged consistency of the second approach.  It’s an intuitive style of training where you auto-regulate your workouts based on “feel.”

Related: 6 Secrets to Transforming Your Legs-and Ultimately, Your Whole Body

If you’re considering skipping a session, use any of the outlined options below instead. They’ll keep you moving and grooving so you never miss a beat.

1. Lighten the Load

You can almost always predict your future performance based on how you felt during your first warmup set.

Sure, the warmup is meant to boost circulation, lubricate your joints, and improve mobility. But also allows you to gauge how much loading and volume you should put through your system that day.

That’s why it’s so important to embrace an extended warmup at any age.

On days when the warmup is feeling more like a workout, lighten the load and get some good technique work in. You can either do some power training or endurance work.

If you choose power, use a load that’s about 60 to 80 percent of your 1-RM. Then do 3 to 10 sets of 1 to 3 reps, lifting the load as fast as you possibly can. Do a set every 2 to 3 minutes.

You could also swap in a more ballistic exercise for a similar movement pattern, which inherently lightens the load.

For example, replace those heavy deadlifts with 10 sets of 10-rep kettlebell swings. Both exercises involve a hip hinge, but no matter how much weight you can swing, the actual load is still what amounts to warmup weight for deads.

If you choose endurance, use a load that’s no more than 50% of your 1-RM, and get in a lot of quality reps. You can do 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 20 reps with short one minute or less rest periods. This is what many call “barbell cardio.”

Related: The Cardio Workout Lifters Will Love

Or you can set the clock for 5 to 30 minutes and get as many quality reps as you can within that time frame.

Personally, I like to use the EMOM (every minute on the minute) protocol, in which I perform a set number of reps at the top of each minute and rest the remainder of each minute.

For instance, if I’m not feeling up for heavy barbell squats, I’ll swap in goblet squats with a dumbbell or kettlebell and do 10 reps EMOM for 10 minutes. (Sometimes I’ll go longer if I really hate myself).

2. Go Back to the Basics

When you’re feeling out of it, turn to your fundamentals.

Most guys make the mistake of thinking they’ve moved past easier exercises, particularly bodyweight moves like pushups, lunges, and squats. Trust me when I say that you’re never too good for “beginner-level” exercises. That’s like saying a house is too good for it’s foundation.

Related: Why You Should Do Easier Exercises

Do you know what 4-time CrossFit champion Rich Froning does to start every squat workout? Ten straight minutes of air squats.

Why? Because not only does it warm him up, but it burns a perfect squatting pattern into his brain so his hundredth rep looks just like his first rep. And that’s how you become a master of your own body.

My recommendation is to either do straight sets of a single bodyweight move for a certain rep total or time, or do a total bodyweight circuit.

For the former, I love to do 10-minute blocks of straight squatting, lunging, or crawling. Just get inside of the movement and own it.

There are two rules: don’t stop and keep going.

Do 10 minutes of each move for a great 30-minute equipment-free workout that will get you better at just about everything.

For the latter, here’s a great “bodyweight 8” circuit from my book Bodyweight Burners. Do each move for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between them.

  1. Hip-Thrusts (1 or 2 legs)
  2. Pushups or Planks
  3. Squats
  4. Rows or TRX Shoulder Raises
  5. Hip-Hinges (1 or 2 legs)
  6. Handstands or Dips
  7. Lunges or Stepups
  8. Hangs or Pullups

Rest two minutes after completing all eight moves. That’s one cycle. Do 3 to 5 total cycles.

For single-sided moves, switch sides from set to set, or at the halfway mark (25 seconds) into each work period.

3. Recovery Work

Active recovery work includes mobility and self-massage drills to improve tissue quality, joint positioning, and range of motion.

Related: 3 Exercises You Should Do Every Day

This is the boring, low-intensity stuff that you have to do if you want to have longevity in the fitness game. Neurologically, it helps you shift from a “fight-or-flight state” to “recovery mode.” This is crucial for overall health and performance.

The best resource for exercise recovery is the book “Becoming a Supple Leopard” by Kelly Starrett. You could also watch endless mobility videos at his site at MobilityWod.com.

I believe that there should exist a 1:1 ratio of high-to-low intensity exercise. So if you did a 30-minute workout, you should do 30 minutes of active recovery work at some point during the day as well.

On days when you don’t have any high-intensity work in you, just do more recovery work. You’ll still break a sweat and you’ll improve your exercise form and technique.

Physical therapists recommend a minimum of two minutes for mobility and foam rolling to create change in the tissue. Sometimes it takes as long as 5 to 10 minutes for really sore or tight muscle groups.

The better approach is to do a drill for as long as you need until you feel it make a change. Then move on to the next drill.

One of my favorite recovery workouts is what I call “Sweat and Stretch.”

Do a cardio exercise-like jump roping, running in place, or jumping jacks-for two minutes to get your heart rate up. Then do a mobility or self-massage drill for two minutes for active recovery. That’s 1 round. Move onto a new cardio and recovery move each round.

You could also break up the 2-minute cardio piece into 60 seconds for 2 moves, 40 seconds for 3 moves, or 30 seconds for 4 moves. This tends to be a little more fun and the time will pass faster.

4. Accessory Work

Accessory work is the extra stuff you do to help improve the most important exercises you train. These tend to be better for high-rep sets with lighter loads.

On a day when you can’t muster up the strength for your big core lift(s), do some higher-rep work on the accessory exercises that will make you better.

For example, close-grip bench presses, rows, dips, band pull-aparts, and triceps pushdowns tend to boost your bench press. Do 3 to 5 sets of 8 to 15-plus reps for each move. And maybe finish with 100 pushups in as few sets as you can.

Oh yeah, and don’t be afraid to use machines.

 Are they as functional as free weights? No. But they are less taxing on your nervous system and joints because they don’t require as much stability. In this way, machine work is easier to recover from.

Plus, there’s nothing wrong with some dedicated isolation work. It’s the safest way to put your muscles under prolonged time under tensions to create a metabolic stress that triggers muscle growth.

For example, there’s simply no way you can create as much of a pump in your quads from squatting as you can with leg extensions. That’s because with squatting, you’ll reach technical failure before muscle failure.

Plus, with leg extensions you can’t enlist the help of any other muscle groups. It’s you versus your quads.

Finally, a machine-based workout consistently allows you to get in an extra session in each week, you’ll get better faster than the other guy who’s too good for machines and just takes the day off. That’s the bottom line.

One of my favorite accessory days is to just crank out a whole body workout moving from machine to machine.

You could do a 5 to 10 machine circuit, doing 10 to 20 reps (or max reps) of each move with little to no rest between moves.

But this may be hard to do in a gym setting when you’re constantly competing for space and equipment. So I’d recommend setting the clock for 5 minutes and doing as many reps on each machine as you can. Then move on to the next machine.

You’ll leave with an epic muscle pump and your central nervous system will get a much-needed break.

5. Have Fun

It seems cliché, but isn’t having fun the whole point of training?

Related: 3 Crazy-Fun Ab Exercises

On days when motivation is low, it’s the perfect time to try the new training techniques you’ve been researching. It infuses some excitement into a stale routine.

Or you could play some pickup basketball.

Or maybe you just go for a run or do 30 to 60 minutes of steady-state cardio while listening to some good music or a podcast.

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to move with purpose and break a good sweat without fail. There are an unlimited number of ways you can accomplish this.

And yes, technically Zumba counts too.

When I’m not into it, I love to take a long 1-2 hour walk with my wife and 2 dogs. It always energizes my body and mind and it reminds me that there is actually more to life than just exercising. And I’m referring to Netflix.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/workouts-when-you-dont-feel-like-working-out

An Off Day

When you are having a little bit of an off day and you just absolutely do not feel like exercising, instead of blowing it off, try one of these exercises that are extremely low impact but still help you on your health and wellness goals, rather than skipping out on the gym entirely. Do you have any of your own to share?

So I did my two remaining warmup sets, and then moved onto some speed and technique work at about 70-to-80 percent of my 1-rep max (RM), doing six sets of two reps.

Next I did some light higher-rep accessory work and finished with 30-minutes of non-stop alternating stepups. Then I called it a day.

It’s on days like that one when I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made in my fitness journey.  

Related: The Get Back in Shape Workout, a 28-Day Program That Will Transform Your Body!

Why would I be happy with a less than my best workout? Because in the past I would have tried to grind it out, risking injury and leaving myself feeling worse than when I started.

But I still did something to improve myself-and I left the gym feeling better than before. Mission accomplished.

Too many of us approach each workout like it’s life or death. I get it: You want to PR at every session and it’s that “get better today” attitude that keeps the gainz coming month after month, year after year.

Truth is, it’s just not possible to beat your former self every single session. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do something that makes you better for the long haul every single day.

On days when you’re not at your best, you have two options:

  1. Skip the workout altogether.
  2. Modify the workout so that you move with a purpose. So that it’s more about stimulation, and less about annihilation.

The best bodies in the world are built with the dogged consistency of the second approach.  It’s an intuitive style of training where you auto-regulate your workouts based on “feel.”

Related: 6 Secrets to Transforming Your Legs-and Ultimately, Your Whole Body

If you’re considering skipping a session, use any of the outlined options below instead. They’ll keep you moving and grooving so you never miss a beat.

1. Lighten the Load

You can almost always predict your future performance based on how you felt during your first warmup set.

Sure, the warmup is meant to boost circulation, lubricate your joints, and improve mobility. But also allows you to gauge how much loading and volume you should put through your system that day.

That’s why it’s so important to embrace an extended warmup at any age.

On days when the warmup is feeling more like a workout, lighten the load and get some good technique work in. You can either do some power training or endurance work.

If you choose power, use a load that’s about 60 to 80 percent of your 1-RM. Then do 3 to 10 sets of 1 to 3 reps, lifting the load as fast as you possibly can. Do a set every 2 to 3 minutes.

You could also swap in a more ballistic exercise for a similar movement pattern, which inherently lightens the load.

For example, replace those heavy deadlifts with 10 sets of 10-rep kettlebell swings. Both exercises involve a hip hinge, but no matter how much weight you can swing, the actual load is still what amounts to warmup weight for deads.

If you choose endurance, use a load that’s no more than 50% of your 1-RM, and get in a lot of quality reps. You can do 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 20 reps with short one minute or less rest periods. This is what many call “barbell cardio.”

Related: The Cardio Workout Lifters Will Love

Or you can set the clock for 5 to 30 minutes and get as many quality reps as you can within that time frame.

Personally, I like to use the EMOM (every minute on the minute) protocol, in which I perform a set number of reps at the top of each minute and rest the remainder of each minute.

For instance, if I’m not feeling up for heavy barbell squats, I’ll swap in goblet squats with a dumbbell or kettlebell and do 10 reps EMOM for 10 minutes. (Sometimes I’ll go longer if I really hate myself).

2. Go Back to the Basics

When you’re feeling out of it, turn to your fundamentals.

Most guys make the mistake of thinking they’ve moved past easier exercises, particularly bodyweight moves like pushups, lunges, and squats. Trust me when I say that you’re never too good for “beginner-level” exercises. That’s like saying a house is too good for it’s foundation.

Related: Why You Should Do Easier Exercises

Do you know what 4-time CrossFit champion Rich Froning does to start every squat workout? Ten straight minutes of air squats.

Why? Because not only does it warm him up, but it burns a perfect squatting pattern into his brain so his hundredth rep looks just like his first rep. And that’s how you become a master of your own body.

My recommendation is to either do straight sets of a single bodyweight move for a certain rep total or time, or do a total bodyweight circuit.

For the former, I love to do 10-minute blocks of straight squatting, lunging, or crawling. Just get inside of the movement and own it.

There are two rules: don’t stop and keep going.

Do 10 minutes of each move for a great 30-minute equipment-free workout that will get you better at just about everything.

For the latter, here’s a great “bodyweight 8” circuit from my book Bodyweight Burners. Do each move for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between them.

  1. Hip-Thrusts (1 or 2 legs)
  2. Pushups or Planks
  3. Squats
  4. Rows or TRX Shoulder Raises
  5. Hip-Hinges (1 or 2 legs)
  6. Handstands or Dips
  7. Lunges or Stepups
  8. Hangs or Pullups

Rest two minutes after completing all eight moves. That’s one cycle. Do 3 to 5 total cycles.

For single-sided moves, switch sides from set to set, or at the halfway mark (25 seconds) into each work period.

3. Recovery Work

Active recovery work includes mobility and self-massage drills to improve tissue quality, joint positioning, and range of motion.

Related: 3 Exercises You Should Do Every Day

This is the boring, low-intensity stuff that you have to do if you want to have longevity in the fitness game. Neurologically, it helps you shift from a “fight-or-flight state” to “recovery mode.” This is crucial for overall health and performance.

The best resource for exercise recovery is the book “Becoming a Supple Leopard” by Kelly Starrett. You could also watch endless mobility videos at his site at MobilityWod.com.

I believe that there should exist a 1:1 ratio of high-to-low intensity exercise. So if you did a 30-minute workout, you should do 30 minutes of active recovery work at some point during the day as well.

On days when you don’t have any high-intensity work in you, just do more recovery work. You’ll still break a sweat and you’ll improve your exercise form and technique.

Physical therapists recommend a minimum of two minutes for mobility and foam rolling to create change in the tissue. Sometimes it takes as long as 5 to 10 minutes for really sore or tight muscle groups.

The better approach is to do a drill for as long as you need until you feel it make a change. Then move on to the next drill.

One of my favorite recovery workouts is what I call “Sweat and Stretch.”

Do a cardio exercise-like jump roping, running in place, or jumping jacks-for two minutes to get your heart rate up. Then do a mobility or self-massage drill for two minutes for active recovery. That’s 1 round. Move onto a new cardio and recovery move each round.

You could also break up the 2-minute cardio piece into 60 seconds for 2 moves, 40 seconds for 3 moves, or 30 seconds for 4 moves. This tends to be a little more fun and the time will pass faster.

4. Accessory Work

Accessory work is the extra stuff you do to help improve the most important exercises you train. These tend to be better for high-rep sets with lighter loads.

On a day when you can’t muster up the strength for your big core lift(s), do some higher-rep work on the accessory exercises that will make you better.

For example, close-grip bench presses, rows, dips, band pull-aparts, and triceps pushdowns tend to boost your bench press. Do 3 to 5 sets of 8 to 15-plus reps for each move. And maybe finish with 100 pushups in as few sets as you can.

Oh yeah, and don’t be afraid to use machines.

 Are they as functional as free weights? No. But they are less taxing on your nervous system and joints because they don’t require as much stability. In this way, machine work is easier to recover from.

Plus, there’s nothing wrong with some dedicated isolation work. It’s the safest way to put your muscles under prolonged time under tensions to create a metabolic stress that triggers muscle growth.

For example, there’s simply no way you can create as much of a pump in your quads from squatting as you can with leg extensions. That’s because with squatting, you’ll reach technical failure before muscle failure.

Plus, with leg extensions you can’t enlist the help of any other muscle groups. It’s you versus your quads.

Finally, a machine-based workout consistently allows you to get in an extra session in each week, you’ll get better faster than the other guy who’s too good for machines and just takes the day off. That’s the bottom line.

One of my favorite accessory days is to just crank out a whole body workout moving from machine to machine.

You could do a 5 to 10 machine circuit, doing 10 to 20 reps (or max reps) of each move with little to no rest between moves.

But this may be hard to do in a gym setting when you’re constantly competing for space and equipment. So I’d recommend setting the clock for 5 minutes and doing as many reps on each machine as you can. Then move on to the next machine.

You’ll leave with an epic muscle pump and your central nervous system will get a much-needed break.

5. Have Fun

It seems cliché, but isn’t having fun the whole point of training?

Related: 3 Crazy-Fun Ab Exercises

On days when motivation is low, it’s the perfect time to try the new training techniques you’ve been researching. It infuses some excitement into a stale routine.

Or you could play some pickup basketball.

Or maybe you just go for a run or do 30 to 60 minutes of steady-state cardio while listening to some good music or a podcast.

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to move with purpose and break a good sweat without fail. There are an unlimited number of ways you can accomplish this.

And yes, technically Zumba counts too.

When I’m not into it, I love to take a long 1-2 hour walk with my wife and 2 dogs. It always energizes my body and mind and it reminds me that there is actually more to life than just exercising. And I’m referring to Netflix.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/workouts-when-you-dont-feel-like-working-out

An Off Day

When you are having a little bit of an off day and you just absolutely do not feel like exercising, instead of blowing it off, try one of these exercises that are extremely low impact but still help you on your health and wellness goals, rather than skipping out on the gym entirely. Do you have any of your own to share?

So I did my two remaining warmup sets, and then moved onto some speed and technique work at about 70-to-80 percent of my 1-rep max (RM), doing six sets of two reps.

Next I did some light higher-rep accessory work and finished with 30-minutes of non-stop alternating stepups. Then I called it a day.

It’s on days like that one when I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made in my fitness journey.

Related: The Get Back in Shape Workout, a 28-Day Program That Will Transform Your Body!

Why would I be happy with a less than my best workout? Because in the past I would have tried to grind it out, risking injury and leaving myself feeling worse than when I started.

But I still did something to improve myself-and I left the gym feeling better than before. Mission accomplished.

Too many of us approach each workout like it’s life or death. I get it: You want to PR at every session and it’s that “get better today” attitude that keeps the gainz coming month after month, year after year.

Truth is, it’s just not possible to beat your former self every single session. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do something that makes you better for the long haul every single day.

On days when you’re not at your best, you have two options:

  1. Skip the workout altogether.
  2. Modify the workout so that you move with a purpose. So that it’s more about stimulation, and less about annihilation.

The best bodies in the world are built with the dogged consistency of the second approach.  It’s an intuitive style of training where you auto-regulate your workouts based on “feel.”

Related: 6 Secrets to Transforming Your Legs-and Ultimately, Your Whole Body

If you’re considering skipping a session, use any of the outlined options below instead. They’ll keep you moving and grooving so you never miss a beat.

1. Lighten the Load

You can almost always predict your future performance based on how you felt during your first warmup set.

Sure, the warmup is meant to boost circulation, lubricate your joints, and improve mobility. But also allows you to gauge how much loading and volume you should put through your system that day.

That’s why it’s so important to embrace an extended warmup at any age.

On days when the warmup is feeling more like a workout, lighten the load and get some good technique work in. You can either do some power training or endurance work.

If you choose power, use a load that’s about 60 to 80 percent of your 1-RM. Then do 3 to 10 sets of 1 to 3 reps, lifting the load as fast as you possibly can. Do a set every 2 to 3 minutes.

You could also swap in a more ballistic exercise for a similar movement pattern, which inherently lightens the load.

For example, replace those heavy deadlifts with 10 sets of 10-rep kettlebell swings. Both exercises involve a hip hinge, but no matter how much weight you can swing, the actual load is still what amounts to warmup weight for deads.

If you choose endurance, use a load that’s no more than 50% of your 1-RM, and get in a lot of quality reps. You can do 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 20 reps with short one minute or less rest periods. This is what many call “barbell cardio.”

Related: The Cardio Workout Lifters Will Love

Or you can set the clock for 5 to 30 minutes and get as many quality reps as you can within that time frame.

Personally, I like to use the EMOM (every minute on the minute) protocol, in which I perform a set number of reps at the top of each minute and rest the remainder of each minute.

For instance, if I’m not feeling up for heavy barbell squats, I’ll swap in goblet squats with a dumbbell or kettlebell and do 10 reps EMOM for 10 minutes. (Sometimes I’ll go longer if I really hate myself).

2. Go Back to the Basics

When you’re feeling out of it, turn to your fundamentals.

Most guys make the mistake of thinking they’ve moved past easier exercises, particularly bodyweight moves like pushups, lunges, and squats. Trust me when I say that you’re never too good for “beginner-level” exercises. That’s like saying a house is too good for it’s foundation.

Related: Why You Should Do Easier Exercises

Do you know what 4-time CrossFit champion Rich Froning does to start every squat workout? Ten straight minutes of air squats.

Why? Because not only does it warm him up, but it burns a perfect squatting pattern into his brain so his hundredth rep looks just like his first rep. And that’s how you become a master of your own body.

My recommendation is to either do straight sets of a single bodyweight move for a certain rep total or time, or do a total bodyweight circuit.

For the former, I love to do 10-minute blocks of straight squatting, lunging, or crawling. Just get inside of the movement and own it.

There are two rules: don’t stop and keep going.

Do 10 minutes of each move for a great 30-minute equipment-free workout that will get you better at just about everything.

For the latter, here’s a great “bodyweight 8” circuit from my book Bodyweight Burners. Do each move for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between them.

  1. Hip-Thrusts (1 or 2 legs)
  2. Pushups or Planks
  3. Squats
  4. Rows or TRX Shoulder Raises
  5. Hip-Hinges (1 or 2 legs)
  6. Handstands or Dips
  7. Lunges or Stepups
  8. Hangs or Pullups

Rest two minutes after completing all eight moves. That’s one cycle. Do 3 to 5 total cycles.

For single-sided moves, switch sides from set to set, or at the halfway mark (25 seconds) into each work period.

3. Recovery Work

Active recovery work includes mobility and self-massage drills to improve tissue quality, joint positioning, and range of motion.

Related: 3 Exercises You Should Do Every Day

This is the boring, low-intensity stuff that you have to do if you want to have longevity in the fitness game. Neurologically, it helps you shift from a “fight-or-flight state” to “recovery mode.” This is crucial for overall health and performance.

The best resource for exercise recovery is the book “Becoming a Supple Leopard” by Kelly Starrett. You could also watch endless mobility videos at his site at MobilityWod.com.

I believe that there should exist a 1:1 ratio of high-to-low intensity exercise. So if you did a 30-minute workout, you should do 30 minutes of active recovery work at some point during the day as well.

On days when you don’t have any high-intensity work in you, just do more recovery work. You’ll still break a sweat and you’ll improve your exercise form and technique.

Physical therapists recommend a minimum of two minutes for mobility and foam rolling to create change in the tissue. Sometimes it takes as long as 5 to 10 minutes for really sore or tight muscle groups.

The better approach is to do a drill for as long as you need until you feel it make a change. Then move on to the next drill.

One of my favorite recovery workouts is what I call “Sweat and Stretch.”

Do a cardio exercise-like jump roping, running in place, or jumping jacks-for two minutes to get your heart rate up. Then do a mobility or self-massage drill for two minutes for active recovery. That’s 1 round. Move onto a new cardio and recovery move each round.

You could also break up the 2-minute cardio piece into 60 seconds for 2 moves, 40 seconds for 3 moves, or 30 seconds for 4 moves. This tends to be a little more fun and the time will pass faster.

4. Accessory Work

Accessory work is the extra stuff you do to help improve the most important exercises you train. These tend to be better for high-rep sets with lighter loads.

On a day when you can’t muster up the strength for your big core lift(s), do some higher-rep work on the accessory exercises that will make you better.

For example, close-grip bench presses, rows, dips, band pull-aparts, and triceps pushdowns tend to boost your bench press. Do 3 to 5 sets of 8 to 15-plus reps for each move. And maybe finish with 100 pushups in as few sets as you can.

Oh yeah, and don’t be afraid to use machines.

Are they as functional as free weights? No. But they are less taxing on your nervous system and joints because they don’t require as much stability. In this way, machine work is easier to recover from.

Plus, there’s nothing wrong with some dedicated isolation work. It’s the safest way to put your muscles under prolonged time under tensions to create a metabolic stress that triggers muscle growth.

For example, there’s simply no way you can create as much of a pump in your quads from squatting as you can with leg extensions. That’s because with squatting, you’ll reach technical failure before muscle failure.

Plus, with leg extensions you can’t enlist the help of any other muscle groups. It’s you versus your quads.

Finally, a machine-based workout consistently allows you to get in an extra session in each week, you’ll get better faster than the other guy who’s too good for machines and just takes the day off. That’s the bottom line.

One of my favorite accessory days is to just crank out a whole body workout moving from machine to machine.

You could do a 5 to 10 machine circuit, doing 10 to 20 reps (or max reps) of each move with little to no rest between moves.

But this may be hard to do in a gym setting when you’re constantly competing for space and equipment. So I’d recommend setting the clock for 5 minutes and doing as many reps on each machine as you can. Then move on to the next machine.

You’ll leave with an epic muscle pump and your central nervous system will get a much-needed break.

5. Have Fun

It seems cliché, but isn’t having fun the whole point of training?

Related: 3 Crazy-Fun Ab Exercises

On days when motivation is low, it’s the perfect time to try the new training techniques you’ve been researching. It infuses some excitement into a stale routine.

Or you could play some pickup basketball.

Or maybe you just go for a run or do 30 to 60 minutes of steady-state cardio while listening to some good music or a podcast.

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to move with purpose and break a good sweat without fail. There are an unlimited number of ways you can accomplish this.

And yes, technically Zumba counts too.

When I’m not into it, I love to take a long 1-2 hour walk with my wife and 2 dogs. It always energizes my body and mind and it reminds me that there is actually more to life than just exercising. And I’m referring to Netflix.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/workouts-when-you-dont-feel-like-working-out

Endocrinology and Blood Sugar

Understanding how your body reacts to sugars and how hormones regulate themselves in your body is an incredibly difficult thing because it is completely different from person to person. It is much like a finger print in the way that your unique organism reacts to different substances or stimuli. That’s where Protea Medical Center comes in. Call for an appointment today.

Scientists have released new results underscoring the importance of a personalized diet, prepared based on complex factors such as your gut microbes and lifestyle. Surprisingly, the foods that raise blood sugar levels differ dramatically from person to person.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/diet_and_weight_loss/~3/JNC-9oR4jlk/151119143445.htm