Monday, April 29, 2019

Why I Started Implementing Stretching Into My Daily Routine & Why You Should Do The Same.

Ever since I can remember I haven't had that much flexibility.  This is something that I have ignored for most of my life, but as I get older I am starting to realize that if I continue to not take care of my body's flexibility that I will end up not being able to get around when I get old.

Maybe you clicked on this because you are in the same boat, or maybe you want to learn more about why you should start stretching.

Today we are going to discuss why I started stretching and why it is important for you to start stretching as well!

My story.

I have always noticed tension and tightness in my hamstrings for pretty much my entire life.  This has been one of the biggest motivators for me along my journey, and I know down the road, tight hamstrings can lead to back problems.  It also causes discomfort in regular day to day life.  Although it isn't painful all the time, it can still be annoying, and affects my mobility in the gym during exercises such as squats.

I created this blog as a way to live your healthiest and best life.  I don't care how much muscle you or I grow, if we aren't flexible and can't use that muscle what's the point of having it?

Over the last month I have been consistent pretty much every single day with my stretching routine, (I think I only skipped three days or something).  From what I heard, it takes the average person about six months to start to notice more flexibility in their body.

This seems like a long time to me, but I know it'll be worth it.

I've actually started to look forward to stretching most days and now I actually find it fun.

What is my current routine?

I personally like to follow along with a couple of videos on YouTube.  Click here to watch my favorite one!

However, some days I just like to set a timer for 10 minutes and do my own routine of whatever muscles I notice need to be stretched on that day.

To start out I highly recommend following along with a YouTube video as it will help you to have motivation and give you someone to follow along with that knows what they are talking about.

Why is stretching important to your life?

Most of us don't ever think of stretching or flexibility.  But what happens if you don't stretch your entire life?  You end up hunched over, using a cane, or "best case" in pain all the time.  I would say the biggest benefit of stretching is keeping mobility for your whole life (or most of it).

Also if you are working out, stretching is even more important to your body.  To preform essential exercises such as squats with good form, stretching is a must!  It will also help prevent injury during your workouts as well.

I have also noticed improved posture in my own life.  Posture is something that is huge today, where everyone is looking down at their phones (I'm guilty of it as well).  Most of us all end up getting a sore neck from time to time, and overtime this could actually lead to bad posture in our neck.  Even when we sit down we tend to slouch, causing our spine to curve.

By doing basic stretches on a consistent basis you will notice pain go away, as long as posture get better slowly.

Closing thoughts.

Remember: The results wont happen right away, as most people take about six months to notice more flexibility and less pain etc.  But it will be worth it,  even after about a month I have noticed better posture and less pain in my own body, I still have a long way to go but I am making progress in my own life.  You can do the same.  Lets do this, and continue to grow together!

Make the best of today,

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Three Ways to Get Out of a State of Negativity.

Yesterday for whatever reason I was just feeling really pissed off and every thing was aggravating me.  Literally stuff that usually wouldn't even bother me put me in a rage.  For whatever reason I noticed how I was acting but for some reason I just couldn't stop being in that mood.  This lasted for a few hours.

Honestly I have no clue what triggered this feeling of rage inside me.  It felt like there was a fire burning inside my body that I couldn't put out.

You probably clicked on this blog because you are in a similar situation.

Today I am going to share with you a few ways that will help you get into a higher vibration or more positive vibration state when you start to feel this way.

This isn't some blog about avoiding a negative state, instead we are going to discuss real tips and solutions that you can implement the moment you are done reading this blog!

1. Watch something funny or listen to uplifting music on Youtube to make yourself laugh or be in a more positive mood.

The second I start feeling crabby or pissed off I know that I need to either breathe and relax or laugh my ass off.  Not laughing at other people or degrading people because that will only make me be moe pissed off and bring out more negativity into the world.  Instead I could watch stand up comedy or just something funny on Youtube.

If I want to watch or listen to something uplifting on youtube I like to listen to either some calming music, beach sounds, a good audiobook, or some trance to pump me up.  The reason being, is that it puts me in a positive state and takes my mind off of most of the negativity.

2. Take some time to yourself.

three ways to get out of a state of negativity.
As an introvert I can get pretty pissed off if I never have alone time.  This doesn't mean I hate being around people, in fact I love it (as long as I am not feeling as if I need to recharge).  The only problem is, sometimes if I spend over 6-8 hours around people I can feel the need to be alone, and if I am not alone I can literally out of nowhere become pissed off.

So if you ever need to be alone don't be afraid of it.  Embrace it and accept it.  Everyone needs alone time and if you are an introvert you will come back feeling even more recharged and ready to go.  You will even want to be around people.

I wouldn't recommend saying to yourself "I'm and introvert so I can just stay inside all day and never be around people".  This is just a plain crazy way to act.  And it is very easy to do if you start to build a habit of isolation.  So take healthy time to yourself during the day if you need it to recharge.

Time to reflect on your life can also be beneficial.  You are probably in this negative state for a reason.  We don't want to cover up why we feel this way all the time.  Although the first point of this blog can be helpful to lift you up, after a while we will need to get to the bottom of why we are feeling this way.  Taking time to yourself and reflecting will help you to get out of a state of negativity.

3. Eat high vibration foods.

Think of how you feel when you eat some over processed junk that takes from your body more than it gives.  It may feel good in the moment but right after you usually end up feeling like shit.

Eating high vibration foods really brings you into the now.  If you eat brussell sprouts you will notice they taste very bland (to people who aren't used to eating them) (this is why most people despise them).  But the second you put one in your mouth you just feel positive and present energy, and you realize you are eating a piece of real food that is fueling you.

Myself the best food combo to really relax me fast is kombucha and 95% dark chocolate.  For whatever reason it really helps me become present.  Dark chocolate has been proven to relax you, but with kombucha I feel 10 times more relaxed compared to when I just have the dark chocolate alone.  (I prefer GTS Multi Green Kombucha and Taza's 95% Wicked Dark Chocolate.)  

I also find that a Tuna salad made with mixed greens, cucumber, olive oil, ACV  (apple cider vinegar), and crushed nuts, and whatever other veggies I have in the fridge that I can throw in the salad can help me to get extremely present in the moment.  You can notice the same form of presence just from eating some greens such as spinach and focussing on the texture and flavor of the spinach. 
I just find that a salad is more of a "flavor bomb" and I prefer to get some healthy protein and fats with my greens.

Bonus:  Take a nap

Some days a nap can actually be one of the most beneficial ways to get into a positive state.  I wanted to add this in here because this is something that I have noticed in my own life to work really well.

I have also found that if I meditate right before my nap that it helps me to feel even better when I wake up afterwards.

I added this as a bonus because I know we can't always take naps every single day, but if you have the time and your day isn't going well, or you are in a negative mood then give this a try!  Sometimes we just need to sleep on whatever is on our minds!

Closing thoughts.

I hope this quick guide helped you if you are feeling angry or pissed off or even depressed right now. I really only could share my best tips along my journey so far with dealing with feelings of being pissed off for no reason.  And remember to take a deep breathe and try these out for yourself!  Also let me know if these helped you in any way, or if you have other ways that I didn't mention here that could help others!

Make the best of today,

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bodybuilding Physique Update 3.

Setting my 3-5 year goal.

Since my previous physique update I have set out a goal of weighing 165 pounds lean within the next 3-5 years (2022-2024). To achieve this goal, I also decided that I was going to learn from others more than trying to create a program for myself at the moment. This led me to the idea of starting the Greek God Program by Kinobody once again. This is a program that I started a couple years ago, made some strength gain on, and then ended up switching up after a few months since I wasn't seeing the muscle growth that I wanted at the time. I wanted to try out the program again to see how it would work for me at this point in my life, hoping to see better results in terms of muscle growth. So far I can say that I am noticing a bigger back, shoulders and arms, however I have only been on the program again for about a month, and due to visiting Miami and driving back to Michigan I didn't work out for a week and a half or so besides some occasional pushups. My exact goal came about from listening to Think & Grow Rich. Throughout the book Napoleon Hill talks about the importance of setting an exact goal for yourself. Although I wanted to set an exact goal for a while now, I have been procrastinating setting this goal for the first month and a half of 2019. So creating this goal for myself is a huge motivator, as it helps me envision myself lean at 165 pounds, but even more importantly, I know that once I achieve this goal that I will be able to help you achieve your fitness goals better.
As I write this I have noticed a little more fat gain than I would like, so I am also starting to track my calories daily again until I get my body fat down to a level I would like or maintain the body fat I currently have while gaining muscle.  The reason being is that I don't want to achieve my goal of 165 and then have to drop a bunch of fat, and put the muscle that I lost from cutting back on after.

I am hoping that this will make the process a little bit easier for me down the road.  Obviously I will still have to eat some extra calories to put on muscle, so I probably won't lose a whole bunch of fat, but at the same time, I don't have a whole bunch of fat to lose at this moment (I just have a few more pounds of fat than I would like to have).

Closing thoughts.

Setting a specific goal for yourself and your body can be a massive benefit.  Personally when I think of being 165 pounds of lean muscle, it helps me be in the mindset of "what would I do to get to this goal" more often.

So write down a definite goal for yourself.  Maybe it's a 3 month goal or a 10 year goal for your body.  Whatever it is for you, by having this goal in mind you will be inspired to achieve it so much so that your entire mindset will change for the better.

Live your life to the fullest,


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

5 Ways Daily Gratitude Can Improve Your Life.

Today we are going to discuss 5 ways daily gratitude has positively impacted my life, and how it can change your life for the better.  I am also sharing with you how not practicing gratitude on a daily basis will lead to you in turn living a life of misery.

I didn't want to write some "feel good" gratitude blog, but instead, I wrote something that will actually lead you to take action on starting daily gratitude and living your best life.

I do share the benefits of gratitude and how it will make you feel better day to day.  But I also had to touch on some points of how it will cause pain in your life.  I did this because most people like to read blogs that make them feel good (I love it to), but those blogs never get me to make a positive change in my life because they don't touch on the pain of not taking action, which is what really gets people to change their lives.

So please read over this and take action today.  My daily gratitude takes about 1 minute per night before bed.  This is one of the easier habits to start, but just because its easy doesn't mean it isn't important.  This one habit has been what has caused me to see more good in my life and the world.  So lets jump right into how gratitude will make your life better!

Over the past 6 months I have been consistently practicing daily gratitude every single night before bed, with the exception of some days here and there where I forgot to log my gratitude for the day, or didn't have a sheet of paper to write down 3 things I was grateful during that day.

Although I have practiced this in the past, I found myself not staying consistent until the past 6 months or so.  But after staying consistent for the past 6 months, I wanted to share 5 benefits that I have noticed in my own life by practicing daily gratitude.

I hope that these 5 benefits will be an influence to you to start a daily gratitude journal of your own!

1. It becomes easier to focus on the good throughout your day.

In today's world it is easy for us to constantly focus on the negative.  We are constantly fed fear mongering news which gets us focused on the negative in the world all the time.  Maybe you are also surrounded by people that constantly complain about how much their life "sucks".

When you start to practice daily gratitude, you will noticed that you don't resonate with their negativity anymore, or if you do, you'll put dramatically less focus on the negative.  In fact instead of noticing all the "bad" that the news shoves down your throat, you will notice that the world is actually mostly filled with good.

2. You go to sleep in a positive state of mind.

How many nights have you ended up going to sleep pissed of or dragged down from the day you had?  Don't worry it happens to everyone, we all have bad days.  But we don't need to always go to bed feeling this way after having a bad day.

By writing out 3 things you are grateful for about your day right before you go to bed, you will be switching your minds focus to the good things that happened throughout your day.  This has probably been the biggest benefit that I have noticed from practicing gratitude before bed on a daily basis.

Before I started doing this I would notice that I would go to sleep holding on to all the negative thoughts that I had throughout the day.  My focus was in the wrong place.  I also have noticed that by focusing on the good before bed, that you will wake up the next morning in a better mood (most of the time) than you are used to waking up in (this is just my personal experience, it may be different for you).

3. You are able to enjoy the moment more often.

Daily gratitude has also helped me realize that every moment we have is precious.  The problem is that when we don't practice gratitude we never really get to enjoy the moments of our lives as much as we could if we were to practice gratitude.

Gratitude helps you to focus on smaller moments you might not otherwise think of.  Think of right now if you were sitting at a table in a 5 start restaurant eating a perfectly prepared steak dinner.  You would probably eat the dinner slowly and savor each and every bite of the steak.  But how often do you do this when you are eating some cheap food or fast food?  My guess is that you never savor each and every bite.

And I'm not saying that when you practice gratitude on a daily basis that every meal will feel like eating a steak at a 5 start restaurant.  But you will be able to enjoy what you are doing in the moment more often than you would before.

4. You take less for granted.

We have so much going for us in our lives, but most of us don't even take the time to realize this.  We usually feel a lack in our lives.  Whether that is you don't have the best car, food, house or whatever it may be.  Now don't get me wrong I am striving for a better life and I love luxuries such as a nice car, house or some good food.  Go for the things that you want in life, there is nothing wrong with that!

The problem comes when we aren't grateful for what we currently have.  We start to think that what we have isn't enough.  We are so focused on complaining about the things we have right now, but how often do you think to yourself "you know what I am grateful for the car/house/phone/shoes that I have".

Imagine how much better you would feel if you were grateful for the things you have in life right now.

Practicing daily gratitude has helped me to focus on how much I actually already have more often.

5. You will notice most of what you used to focus on was useless.

I actually really noticed myself complaining a couple of weeks ago.  I was leaving Florida and driving back up to Michigan.  If you know me you know that I despise cold and cloudy days, and I was starting to feel triggered.  In fact this feeling lasted for a couple of days after I arrived back home.  I noticed myself complaining all day about being back in Michigan.  Although half of my complaints were me just joking, the other half were real complaints, I spent so much time thinking about how "bad" it is to be back in Michigan.

After a couple of days I snapped out of it.  Part of it was my dad telling me to look at a few reasons to be happy to be back in Michigan, the other part was that I realized that if I wasn't grateful throughout my day (or at least at night) that this cycle would continue and soon be out of control.

One small thing that I remember being grateful for was that the Whole Foods close to where I live in Michigan sells the best açaí bowls that I have ever had in my life.  None of the Whole Foods in Florida sell them, so you bet I was happy to get back to this Whole Foods for my açaí bowl!

If you are reading this it is probably easy to realize how ridiculous my complaining was being back in Michigan.  Maybe you are in the same boat but you don't even realize it (it is always easy to notice other peoples faults but never our own).  From my experience above I can say that after being grateful to be back in Michigan my day to day mood has gotten better since those first couple of days.

If you are in a similar phase, practicing daily gratitude before bed is the easiest way to break the habit.

And soon after you will wonder why you spent so much time focusing on BS.

Closing thoughts.

I hope that reading the benefits of gratitude has influenced you to start keeping a daily gratitude journal of your own.  I personally like to use the same page in my notebook that I write out the plan for my day on, but you may prefer to keep a separate journal just for your daily gratitude.

Let me know, how has keeping a gratitude journal impacted your life, what benefits have you noticed?

Live your life to the fullest,