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Stress

Physical signs of stress

26 Physical signs of stress
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We´ve all fell stress at some point, some of us live with chronic stress but not all of us know the physical signs which will make it easier for understand what our body is trying to tell us and we could act the best way possible according to each situation.

We know that stress is the response of our body to protect us and keep us safe in harmful situations, it´s the fight or flight response. When we are under stress we can experience some signs which can help us identify it and this is really helpful to know what we can do at those moments, some signs are:

1.- Sweat.- Some of us start to sweat or feel our hands sweating.

2.- Our heart rate goes up

3.- We feel tension in our muscles and body

4.- We feel nervous and start shaking

5.- We get anxious

6.- We over think

This are some of the most common physical signs of stress and we´ve all felt them more than once. One helpful tool we can use to be able to act the best way possible and to make the best choices when we´re in stressful scenarios is reframing the situation, don´t think of it as stress, think of it as excitement, the physical signs of stress and excitement can be really similar. This is what great people like professional athletes, leaders, CEOs do, they think about situations like this as excitement and by thinking this way it´s easier to stay in a positive state and find the best solutions.

If it seems impossible to reframe the situations then stop for a moment and take some deep breathes, breathing in an excellent way to calm down and bring you back to focus, after some deep breathes you will feel more relax and the tension in your body and muscle start to come down, at this moment you´ll be able to think of solutions and find the best outcome, depending of the situation you´ll also be able to reframe it so you can start seeing it as excitement.

This is easy to say ad hard to do, you need to have total control of your mind and body so that you can stay calm or calm yourself in any stressful situations and to reframe the scenario, with practice you´ll be able to change your mindset and link this physical sings as signs of excitement and not stress.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Mindset

How to set goals and achieve them

26 How to set goals and achieve them
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I´ve seen so many people set goals, from New Year’s Resolution to monthly goals but not all of them achieve their goals, around 90% give up and there are many reasons why people tend to set goals without achieving them.

Here are the steps you need to follow to set your goals and achieve them, if you follow each step you´ll get results:

1.- Be specific.- Clarity is everything, you need to be very clear and specific on what you want to achieve. Do you want to lose weight? Remember that the goal must be to improve body composition, how much fat do you want to lose? what is your actual weight? what is your weight goal? what is the percentage of body fat you want to achieve? You need to be able to paint a clear image on your mind.

2.- Set a deadline.- When do you want to achieve your goal? you need to make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to get to your goal, if you have to much weight to lose you won´t make it un 2 months.  If it´s a big goal, you can give yourself one year maybe 2 years but you´ll need to break that big goal into smaller goals, set small goals for each month, then for each week.

3.- Design a plan of action.- You need to design a plan action for your big goal and work backwards with activities you need to do every single day that will get you to your goal, do you need to workout 20 minutes a day? or do you need to workout 90 minutes a day? do you need to eat clean and make some adjustments to your nutrition program? do you need to improve the quality of sleep? do you need to make stress work for you?

4.- Law of Attraction.- So much has now been said about this law and you can use it to help you achieve your goal. For this you need to keep your thoughts, emotions and actions in harmony. Your thoughts create an image of what your goal looks like, your emotions create the feeling of how it feels to achieved your goal and your actions keep you working for it. Energy, frequency and vibration working together – Nikola Tesla.

5.- Act.- Take action every single day, you´ve already designed your plan of action on step 3, the only thing missing is that you put the time and effort every single day doing the activities you need to do whether you want it or not, whether you feel like doing it or not. Don´t think about it just get up and do it.

There´s no secret for setting goals and achieving them, if you follow this 5 steps which we all know and you do it for as long as you need you´ll achieve your goal, if your goal is to get in amazing shape, step 3 is in part done for you, we created some programs that will get you there, you only need to set your macronutrient ratios and start following the program.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life. Pam

Fitness goals

Social life and fitness

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It´s not that hard to enjoy social life when you want to make fitness part of your life.

Don´t let your life revolve around training and nutrition, they are tools to help you live a better and healthier life not to make your life more stressful, we´re here to enjoy life and live to the fullest and the only way to blend fitness into your life is to follow a nutrition plan that is flexible, that gives you the freedom to eat whatever you want when you´re with friends and family without feeling guilty and develop good daily habits like working out every day.

We all love food and we must have the freedom to eat those favorite dishes, snacks or desserts without feeling guilty. Many people who follow strict diet plans to lose weight are afraid of going out to parties, meetings or family reunions because they can´t eat what they want, this makes them feel so bad and in a certain point they end eating that what they´ve been thinking about and they eat the whole box or bag.

If you´re starting it may be difficult but once you develop new habits and behaviors it will be so simple to achieve any goal and sustain it, if you are in good shape and your health is great you don´t need to make fitness so stressful you can just stay with the basics with time you´ll find it easier to make healthier decisions, you enjoy life a lot more and fitness will become second nature for you.

To make fitness work for you, you need to keep everything simple for nutrition, training, mindset, sleep and stress. You must develop the habit of working out one hour every day, if you want to do more exercise it´s up to you, the type of exercise or training program you follow will vary according to your goals. Once you develop the habit of working out half of the work is already done just keep changing your workouts to fit your goals and more importantly to keep it fun and challenging.

For nutrition the simplest way to make it enjoyable is to keep it simple, stop over thinking and over complicating things, avoid processed foods as much as possible and stay with real, natural, fresh foods. This is the most effective and simple way to achieve any goal and to sustain it, it may be hard if your diet right now is based on junk food but once you get used to it, you´ll start feeling better and you´ll make healthier choices.

Try to get more quality sleep every night at least 6 hour sometimes we´re sleeping 7 or 8 hours but when we wake up we don´t feel rested, it´s important to focus on quality and to really rest and recover. Take some time every morning to meditate which is a tool that will help you lower stress and keep a positive attitude.

Even when you´re going to develop the habit of eating real, natural foods you have the freedom to eat your favorite dishes, snacks, desserts and junk food every now and then. You can go to all those parties, meetings and reunions with friends and family and eat what you want, some eat have their favorite dish or snack every week and call it cheat meal, you don´t have to call it cheat meal. You can have your favorite dish or dessert once a week or maybe twice a week, or once a month, this depends of you and your body.

How your body handles carbohydrates, trans fats and all the chemicals in processed foods varies from one person to another, you may have your favorite candy bar every day and maintain an awesome physique, sadly this is not possible for all of us. You just need to realize that you can still have it maybe one time per week.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Do we need to exercise every day?

06 How to manage stress
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If you hate doing exercise you may be waiting for a no to be the answer and the truth is you don´t need to go to the gym everyday. There are two cases in which I recommend going to the gym everyday, if you are one of this cases then you may consider scheduling one hour a day to workout.

First if you are beginning your fitness journey and you´re just starting training, the reason why is because to sustain your results and stay lean almost effortless you need to develop the habits necessary and exercising is one of those habits you need to develop. To develop a new habit you need to do that activity you want to develop as a habit over and over and over again, habits are develop through repetition and getting up to exercise is one of the most difficult so you need consistency, if you schedule one hour of your day and you get up and do some exercise every single day whether you feel like doing it or not, don´t think about it just get up and do it, it´ll be easier and faster to make this habit stick.

Second if you want to get results as fast as possible, the more consistent you are, the more effort and hard work you put to your goal the faster you´ll achieve it so if you want to achieve your goal as fast as possible you need to do exercise everyday, at least 6 days a week, if you are patient and you don´t mind going slower you can exercise 4 days a week.

The reason why most people hate exercise is the pain and struggle and that most of the time they hate the workouts and routines add to this that  it takes time to see results and those results are not what they were expecting, as they keep losing weight they see that they need to eat less and less and do a lot of exercise to maintain which gets to a point where it´s almost impossible to sustain it.

If your workouts and routines are based on some activities or exercise that you enjoy doing or are fun it´ll be easier for you to do them and the results you get are also important to motivate you and continue with your program.

My goal is that you make fitness part your life and making the training part more enjoyable and fun giving you the best results possible, that you love the way you feel and love the way you look, this is why my programs are different from most fitness programs.

If you exercise everyday you develop the habit faster and get results faster, your progress in your workouts will also be faster. You´ll be doing 3 to 4 days of resistance training to maintain and build muscle and the 3 or 4 days lefts you´ll be doing cardio to help you burn fat.

Since you´re working on developing the habit of working out daily there´ll be days when you don´t feel like doing it, get up and do it anyway by not listening to the negative thoughts on your mind and all the reasons why you don´t need to do it today and just shutting up all of them and doing your workout you tell your mind that you´re stronger, you´re conditioning your mind and body to do what you need to do when you need to do it.

Even when the workouts are hard they are more enjoyable, on resistance training you want to get stronger, getting stronger means more muscle and on your cardio workouts you´re burning some calories to lose fat, they´re simple and effective. You´ll be performing 3 to 4 exercises for each muscle and you´ll do some cardio that you love.

We´re keeping things simple sticking with the basics and taking out all the complicated things that don´t give you much results. The simplicity and effectiveness of the workouts will make it easier for you to stick to the program and to develop the habit o daily exercise.

Exercising everyday has so many benefits for your health which combined with the other 4 principles help you live a more healthier life and achieve so many things, it´s not only about looking good, the goal is to live the life you want to live.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

What we need to know about ghrelin

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In the past nutrition post with talked about leptin and how this hormone is one of the reasons why is hard for you to lose weight, stay lean because you are not satisfied and you feel hungry. In today’s post will talk about another important hormone that works together with leptin, this new hormone is called ghrelin.

Ghrelin is the hormone that increases appetite, it tells us when we´re hungry and we need to eat which is the contrary of what leptin does. This hormone can also be triggered by several factors and if we triggered it the wrong way it will cause so many problems and make it harder for us to lose weight and stay lean.

Some of our unhealthy habits are triggering this hormone the wrong way and one of them is lack of sleep or poor quality sleep which increases ghrelin and this increases your appetite throughout the day and make you feel hungry.

Studies show that when we follow a weight loss program and reduce calories, ghrelin increases as a response of our body to protect us from starvation, the lower we go in calories the high this hormone goes and the longer we stay with the diet the higher this hormone goes.

So if ghrelin increases and leptin decreases it´s the best way to gain weight and it´s so hard to lose weight and stay lean, we need to keep ghrelin low and leptin high so that our brain gets the right message. We don´t feel hungry all day long and we know when it´s enough at every meal. There are some steps we can take to make this happens which are:

1.- Get enough good quality sleep every night, at least 6 hours per night and make those 6 hours of good quality.

2.- Follow a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate nutrition program at least for a period of time to improve insulin and which also helps to keep appetite more in control.

3.- Follow some type of intermittent fasting having 2 meals per day which also helps lower insulin which helps us lose fat and keep hormones more balanced.

As we´ve seen there are several things that come into play when we talk about getting in amazing shape and sustain it, it´s more about hormones, macronutrients and how everything works together. It´s not only about following a very extreme and restrictive diet low in calories, and just to lose weight fast which will cause more harm to our body, it´s about understanding how things work and doing the right things to be able to sustain our results.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

How caffeine affects sleep

08 Sleep and hormones
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I love coffee and chances are you love it too but how much of it we drink per day and at what times of the day can be beneficial or a complete mistake. Some of us do not know how much caffeine we´re taking every day because it can be found on coffee, tea, chocolate, drinks and some drugs.

Most of us use coffee every morning to wake up and start our day the right way and also some use it in the afternoon or late night to stay alert through the rest of the day but even when I haven´t heard and found any big negative impact on health with moderate coffee or tea we need to put a limit.

Since caffeine is a stimulant it keeps us alert and it can cause insomnia and when we´re trying to get more sleep of improve the quality of sleep this is a huge problem, I´m not saying to eliminate caffeine and by this I mean coffee, tea or chocolate (dark chocolate 70% cacao or more) they all have amazing benefits for our health but what we need to do is be aware of the time we consume it.

When we consume caffeine, specially coffee, drinks or drugs studies show that it´s harder to fall asleep, we sleep less, we awake more during the night. We don´t need too much studies for this if you are sensitive to caffeine and you´ve had a cup of coffee late in the afternoon you may have get some of those symptoms. There are guys who are not sensitive to caffeine, they can have a cup of coffee around 3 or 4 hours before going to bed and they will get enough good sleep.

It also has a lot to do with the amount of caffeine we take, we can become dependent of it and each time we´ll need more and more and although it has amazing benefits, too much of a good think can have a negative impact.

I recommend having coffee in the morning from 1 to 2 cups per day, in the afternoon you can have a cup of tea if you can stick with 1 cup of coffee in the morning and 1 cup of tea in the afternoon that´s great, if you want chocolate you can have one small piece of dark chocolate at least 70% cacao or more.

Caffeine is great as an appetite suppressant so if you do intermittent fasting having a cup of coffee or tea will make it easier to stay fasted, if you fast in the morning skipping breakfast you can have coffee, or if it´s at night you can have tea.

If you are sensitive to caffeine and you take a cup of coffee or tea late in the afternoon you will start feeling anxious and it will cause insomnia, since it keeps you alert and awake it will take you longer to fall asleep and the next day you won´t feel rested because you didn´t get enough sleep.

Your body wasn´t able to recover, heal and prepare for the day because it stayed in an alert state for some time during the night and it wasn´t able to relax.

If you know you are sensitive to caffeine limit the intake to the morning so that you have at least 10 hours from the time you drink your coffee to the time you go to bed to take the effects of alertness down, be aware of energetic drinks and some drugs which can also be causing problems.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Can stress be good for us?

25 Can stress be good for us
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We´ve talked about how stress can be really bad for us if we let it harm us but there´s good stress which is actually good for us and there´s bad stress and even when we can´t say that it´s good we can learn how to manage and control it so that it doesn´t have any negative effects on us.

The problem is that most of us don´t know how to manage bad stress which makes it harmful and is one of the causes of diseases and we avoid good stress as much as possible and this has created a negative relationship and this negative relationships is the cause of so many problems, not stress.

Good stress is good for us, it has many benefits for our health and body, the only way for us to grow personally, emotionally, to get stronger, to get better is with stress. challenges, pain and suffering is what makes us grow and is what keep us moving forward and achieving greater things in life. So yes stress is good for us, here we´re talking about good stress but; what about bad stress?

I don´t think bad stress can be good for us but we need to make sure that it doesn´t affects negatively so how we think about it, how we manage it on a daily basis and how we act on stressful situations will make a huge difference.

We all need stress in our lives it has benefits, the problem is taking bad stress and making it good for us, in some cases this can be possible but there will be situations where we can´t make that bad stress be good and the only thing we can do is manage it and lower it so that it doesn´t affect us negatively or that its impact is as low as possible.

Stress is good for definitely the problem is how we think about it, stress is a trigger to help us grow and achieve bigger things, some of us don´t like challenges and think really bad about stress this is what makes stress so bad and harmful, if we change the way we think about stress and we start taking challenges as a way to grow stress is helpful.

There´s a huge problem for most of us, if we don´t like our jobs, if we don´t like what we do that´s stress and this means we´re going to live with chronic stress for as long as we keep doing the same and this bad stress is going to be the cause of many negative stuff in our lives if we let it.

Working and doing something we love is passion and we don´t see it as stress even when there are challenges, we see those challenges as excitement which keeps us focus and moving forward.

We need to change our thoughts about stress to make the most out of it and we also need to learn how to act in stressful situations and how to lower and manage it so that even when bad stress is obviously not good, it does not have a negative impact in our life and health and understand that every situation has something to teach us so instead of making every situation a lot more stressful than it is just learn from it and move on.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Mindset

Live your life now and don´t have regrets later

25 Live your life now and don´t have regrets later
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For the past years I´ve listened to many people I know say how they will have fun on weekend, how they will travel the world when they retire, how they will start taking care of themselves when they lose weight, how they will spend more time with friends and family when they don´t have too much work, and the list goes on and on.

I´ve also listen to many people having a lot of regrets, working too much, not spending enough time with friends and family, not giving themselves time to travel and know the world, not having fun, not taking care of themselves.

The only thing we have is now so there´s no reason to keep waiting for something to happen so that we can have fun, so that we can take care of ourselves, spend time with the people we love and care about.

If you don´t start taking of yourself today then you´ll never lost weight, you need to get healthier for that excess of weight to come off, you start with taking care of yourself and at that same time you´ll start losing weight and in a couple of weeks you´ll start seeing and feeling the results, you´ll feel great with more energy and you´ll start seeing your body changing.

There´ll always be work and something to do, more projects, meetings but time is limited so don´t think twice about spending time with people you care about, especially with the ones who support you and care about you, don´t think twice about traveling, find a way to save money every month in an account specifically for traveling and travel at least one time per year, you can do it alone and take some time for yourself or you can do it with friends or family.

Finds ways to be happy right now and enjoy every moment, happiness comes from inside, you are responsible of your own happiness and you deserve to be happy and have fun every single moment of every day. Don´t let your happiness depend of something external, don´t wait for a situation, to be happy, don´t wait for a person to make you happy they can make you smile but being happy depends of you. Do not wait for the right time and right person to fall in love, fall in love with yourself right now, take care of yourself right and eventually the right person  will arrive.

There´s no reason to postpone our happiness and our well being to sometime in the future that will never come but when we start working on ourselves by taking care of our body physically, emotionally and mentally, when we´re happy and have fun amazing things start to happen in our lives.

Live your life today, be who you are do not worry about what other say or think of you, they´re already talking about you for good or bad and there will always be someone talking bad and criticizing so stop paying attention to them, the moment you stop worrying about others and you start living at your own expectation and who your really are without hiding anything you feel more freedom and less pressure, that moment you´ll start living a lot more happy and enjoying your life.

We´ve given one chance to live our best life so make sure that you don´t waste any second of it, make it the best it can be and don´t forget to help as much people as possible throughout your journey, that´s what gives you the most fulfillment.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life. Pam

Fitness goals

Carbohydrate cycling for muscle growth

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Some of us have more ambitious goals related to fitness and wanting to take our physiques to a new level. For some that means gaining more muscle but if we want to maintain a great physique which means gaining muscle mass with the least amount of fat this can get complicated.

Carbohydrate cycling is a tool that can help us gain muscle without too much fat so that we can stay lean and maintain a great physique. Carbohydrate cycling helps us cycle calories, we need to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle which means that we need to eat more but if we eat too much we will gain fat.

When we want to build muscle, working each muscle group 2 times per week is more effective so we may be doing resistance training 6 days a week and 1 day for cardio or rest day, for nutrition we will have moderate carbohydrate days and high carbohydrate days. We need to schedule our nutrition program according to our workout program, on the more intense workout days we have high carbohydrate days, on moderate training days we have moderate carbohydrate days and you can have one low carbohydrate day if you have a rest day.

For high carbohydrate days you can increase calories around 400 to 500 calories per day, on moderate days you can increase calories around 200 to 300 calories, on low carbohydrate days you can keep calories at maintenance. This numbers are just a guide so we need to measure our progress and results every week to make the adjustments needed. If you want to calculate your macronutrient ratios you can check this post.

What we do with this tool is to give nutrients and energy to our body according to its needs, the day we train harder we give it more nutrients and energy so that it has everything it needs to recover and build muscle, on moderate days we lower it a little just to make sure that it still has everything it needs without being too much and we can use lower carbohydrates day to stay at maintenance on our rest days to make sure that most of the weight we gain is muscle and fat just a minimum.

Building muscle takes time, nutrition is key but if we eat too much and we don´t exercise the right way we will gain too much fat. Muscle growth is the result of the right stimulus to the muscle and enough nutrients. This is a combination of progressive overload, the right volume and frequency plus the right macronutrient ratios that can supply our body with energy for the workouts, our daily activities, recovery and growth.

This strategy is effective because muscle growth takes time and if we stick with the same macronutrient ratios every day for a long period of time our body adapts and we need to keep changing things to keep challenging our body, that´s what makes it change. But, this tool takes more time, effort and time, you need to have a clear idea of how portions look like  to eye ball what you eat, it´s hard in the beginning but with time we get use to it.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Can we out-exercise a bad diet?

23 Can you out train a bad diet
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I get asked this question a lot of times, specially from guys or girls who love to train and workout but hate to follow a strict diet. There´s not a correct answer for this, for some of you it may be possible for others won´t.

We are all unique, our genetics, metabolism and other factors play an important role on how strict and discipline we need to be with our nutrition and training program, for some guys it is easier to lose fat than for others, there are some guys that gain weight easier than others, you may know someone who´s diet is the same as other normal guys who eat mostly junk, processed and fast food and eats a lot but is able to maintain his weight or physique and stay lean or skinny if he doesn´t work out. You may have asked him how can he eat all those things and stay lean. There are other guys who with just a bite of pizza or a single bite of a piece of cake they gain weight, some of them say that even water makes them gain weight.

The only one who knows if you can out train a bad diet is you, you are the only who knows your body, if you are starting your fitness journey it may be harder for you to see if you can do it or not until you get more experienced and understand how your body works and how it respond to all 5 elements of fitness.

Some simple points you can consider are, is it hard for you to lose weight? if it´s hard for you to lose weight and you know you need to be more discipline and watch out what you eat in order to lose weight then you may not be able to out train a bad diet. If it is easier for you to lose weight and maintain your new weight without paying too much attention to what you eat or the amounts you have more chances.

Also you need to consider that nutrition is one piece of the fitness puzzle, if the other 4 pieces are on point you may be able to out train your diet. Your workout program plays and important part on whether you can do it or not, but also your sleep and stress can help you.

What´s the point of out training a bad diet? or why do you want to do it? The goal of fitness is to help you live a better life, to get you in shape and healthy prepared to whatever you might need to face and ready to live the most amazing times and enjoy them. If you do it the right way you don´t need to worry about out training a bad diet, your nutrition program must give you the freedom to try and eat almost all foods as long as they are real, fresh and natural or meals cooked with fresh ingredients you also have the freedom to have your favorite snack or unhealthy food every now and then, maybe once a week.

There´s no reason you need to be asking this question if your goal is to live a better life, I need to make something clear here, for some guys it´s possible to lose weight and maintain eating unhealthy foods but that doesn´t mean they´re healthy. You don´t need to follow strict low calorie diets or eliminate certain foods completely. For some guys if they´re not giving nutrients to their body it gets harder to get to the gym and workout, when you are exercising your body needs certain nutrients to recover and get stronger, faster, leaner and better. If your body is not recovering you may feel tired, sore and unfocused with can make your workout routine and can lead to injuries and over training.

As you can see with this and the other posts, there are so many different things that come into play, if you understand each of them, know their function and how your body responds with time you´ll see that if you keep things simple and stick with the basics you don´t need to worry or get stress with diets or the scale.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam