Cultivate Your Energy

1. Movement- When it comes to cultivating your energy, you need to move your body. Moving your body will increase blood circulation and improve blood flow to your brain. Whether you are doing exercise, joining a dancing class or playing outside, moving your body on a daily basis is crucial to making sure you have enough energy.

2. Eat nourishing foods- It’s no secret that packaged, processed, and some canned foods are packed with sugar, sodium and other culprits that make you feel sluggish, tired, anxious, drained, and downright awful. To avoid headaches and feeling ill, simply eat healthy foods that nourish your body and soul. Eat fun and nutritious foods like Nuts, leafy greens, eggs, beans and organic fruits. These foods are all packed with nutrients that boost your energy on a daily basis.

3. Daily ritual- Whether you like to pray or meditate, start your day off with a daily ritual that trains your mind. Close your eyes and visualize your self being full of energy and vitality. Imagine how you will feel after a workout or taking some kind of class that involves body movement. Simply take 10-30 minutes to focus on cultivating your physical energy on a daily basis. Once you train your mind to see what is possible, it will be very easy for you to cultivate your energy on a consistent basis.

4. Yoga/Breathing- Get more in touch with your body and breathe through Yoga. Whether you do Bikram yoga, Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, or any other type of yoga, they all can help you cultivate your energy. Yoga has the ability to improve circulation, increase metabolism, lower cholesterol, enhance breathing and endurance. All the benefits that yoga provides have the power to improve energy.

5. Essential Oils- Just like you take supplements for nutrition; you can take Doterra essential oils for your mind, body and soul. While there are many essential oils that promote vitality and well-being, there is one that is absolutely perfect for helping you with your energy levels. This particular essential oil is known as Wild Orange. Wild Orange essential oil is perfect for promoting energy, uplifting spirits, promoting calmness and giving a sense of joy. Not only that, but wild orange is also anti-cancer, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, to name a few of the many benefits that it provides.

Jump Rope Workouts

Don’t feel that you are missing out due to the fact that you can’t do these tricks– as pointed out before; basic skipping exercises are just as effective as the more showy moves.

In order of difficulty, here are the five best jumping rope exercises for beginners…

• Two-footed double jumps

For this workout, you keep your feet with each other and allow yourself an extra “mini jump” between rope turns. This allows you to swing the rope a little bit more slowly and gives you opportunity to master skipping at a moderate pace. In your mind count “one and two”– the “and” being your mini jump in between turns. Once you have mastered this standard workout, it’s time to move on.

• Two-footed jumps

Spin the rope a little faster and you won’t have time for your mini jump so now it’s time to drop it and do one jump each turn. Again, keep your feet with each other and stay on the balls of your feet. Keep low to the ground and only just clear the rope. The jump should come from your ankles rather than your knees and remember to keep your shoulders down and arms relaxed.

• Two-footed side to side jumps

Rather than just bouncing up and down on your feet, begin to shift your weight a little from side to side. You’ll still come down on both feet but your weight will land more on one foot. Push your hips from side to side as you shift your weight.

• Boxers’ skip

Ready to look like a pro? From side to side jumps, lift your non-weight-bearing foot and tap your heel a little on the ground in front of you. In aerobics, this is called a heel dig. Do a single double-footed jump in between heel digs so your feet go left heel, both feet, right heel, both feet. As soon as you feel confident, drop the double footed jump and go for alternating heels.

• Knee ups

Lastly, switch over from heel digs to knee lifts. It’s basically the same step but you are lifting your knee up so your heel is clear of the floor. Start with low knee lifts and work toward pulling your thigh up to parallel to the floor. Use the same left, both, right rhythm you used before then slowly wean yourself off the double footed jump till you have the ability to do alternating high knee ups.

Increasing Physical Activity

1. Do a reality check: Be completely honest with yourself about how fit you are. Start off slowly. Many people bite off more than they can chew in the beginning, which leads to frustration, making it more likely that you’ll stop before making real progress. Pick something you like so you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Keep a record of your progress so you can see how far you’ve come.

2. Set a fitness goal and make a plan: Want to run a 5K but you’ve never run before? Maybe you want to move from a 5K to a 10K. Would you love to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded? Wherever you’re starting from, be sure to start with a plan. Create realistic goals and reward yourself (without food!) when you reach them. Speak with someone who has experience doing what you want to do for pointers. Try to schedule your workouts as you would any other appointment.

3. Recruit a buddy: You’re less likely to bail on a workout if you know a friend is waiting for you. Seek out a friend who has a “you can do it” attitude; that positive energy is contagious and will keep you going after the initial excitement of starting something new wears off. An activity partner is also good for any emotional support you may need along the way. If you need to meet with a coworker, walk over to their desk instead of sending an email, or suggest taking a walk outside instead of sitting in a conference room.

4. Fuel your body: Physical activity burns calories so you may find you’re hungrier once you start moving more. Pay attention to your hunger and satiety signals. Choose whole foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Balanced eating will keep your energy stores full and help build muscle. Water is also a type of fuel. Your body doesn’t work as efficiently if it’s dehydrated so aim for at least 8 cups of water each day, before, during, and after your physical activity.

5. Don’t give up: Some days will be easier than others. Life gets in the way sometimes and you may miss a workout because you’re sick or because you simply need a break. The key to continuing your success is to not throw in the towel if you miss a few days. Everyone misses days, but people who stick with their routines don’t let those missed days derail their overall success. Progress is made slowly over time, so pick up wherever you left off and keep up the great work!

Building a Garage Gym

  • A quality gym at home is amazing… and possible. Thanks to some innovative companies and some stiff competition in the fitness industry, outfitting a genuine gym at home is more affordable than ever. Matter of fact, for not a lot more money than you would spend on junk equipment at a chain sporting goods store, you can get your hands on commercial-grade equipment that will probably outlive us all.
  • Where to start? Let me give a few suggestions based on my own personal experience with my garage gym along with some good information I’ve picked up on the web.
  • Of course the best equipment to start with will vary from person to person slightly, but I think that there are some essential pieces to consider right out of the gate.
  • 45 lb. Olympic Barbell.
    • Olympic Plates: Bumper-plates are great, but typically more expensive than standard steel plates. It also depends on what your lifting goals are. Buy as a set to save some money. You’ll want at least one pair of each 45 lb, 25 lb, 10 lb and 5 lbs. You may also consider 2½ lb plates.
    • Power Rack (Squat Rack): This will set you back a little. It will likely be your biggest expense in creating a gym. A rack allows you to safely lift without a spotter. Squats, bench press, clean, shoulder press… you name it, you can do it in a power rack. It should also have a pull up bar. Be sure and compare the ceiling height with the rack height. Especially important for older homes with 8′ ceilings.
    • Weight Bench: This is something you’ll probably want early on as well. Just a flat weight bench for starters. You can spend a little more and get an adjustable bench. I have an entire post comparing weight benches here.
    • Dumbbells: Do what I do, buy dumbbells as you need them. Spreads out the spending a little bit.
  • Jump rope: Jumping rope is just amazing. I’ve bought and then turned around and sold a couple pieces of cardio equipment in the last couple years. Can’t beat a $5 jump rope for true cardio. However, if you’re really big into using commercial gym type cardio equipment, like the Life Fitness or Precor bikes, ellipticals and treadmills, it is worth mentioning that these companies have alternative models of their commercial stuff for a bit less money… but they are still way more reliable and sturdy machines than the box sporting good store stuff.
  • So if you have a barbell, some plates and dumbbells, and get a power rack and bench, I’d think you’d be in a great position to get some awesome workout sessions started. Here are some things I think you’ll eventually want to pick up. I have added a lot of this to my original set up as well.
    • Medicine Balls of varying weights
    • Kettlebells of varying weights
    • Some form of plate and dumbbell storage.
    • Dip Station: Rogue racks have an add-on station called the Matador. Very solid.
    • Plyo box(es) (also can be used for dips).
    • Resistance bands: Many racks have band pegs for these.
    • Adjustable bench if you only purchased a flat bench initially.
    • Large mirror (if you’re into that).
    • Punching bag
    • Fan! It gets hot everywhere at some point. Get a good fan. Spend $75 on a high speed metal fan. They’re loud, but they work.
    • Flooring: Dense, rubber flooring is great for your joints and your equipment.
    • Programmable wall clock.
  • Dry Erase board. I personally track all my workouts in a book, but having a dry erase is nice for tracking records and other random notes, reminders, perhaps even motivational affirmations or whatever =)