More of the Best Secret Fitness Tips Around
Alright, we are back with some awesome, off-beat fitness tips from the top experts in fitness, nutrition, physiology, and even psychology – Part I was awesome with our first 15 experts! For Part II, we have 17 top experts lined up to dish out their best advice that might not be “mainstream” yet and even some that are simply too important not to mention! From fitness to nutrition to just living the DIY lifestyle, you’ll find some interesting tips from these experts below!
So without my usual verbose chatter, we are going to dive right into some of the best off-beat or secret fitness tips that you might not find anywhere else! Oh yeah, one more thing – want awesome content like this emailed to you? Get it here!
Our Best Secret Fitness Tips
1. Yoga your way to better sleep – Find something that isn’t muscle-oriented and doesn’t create heat in your body.
Try yin yoga. Yin encourages you to get out of your muscles and let your joints, ligaments, and fascia OPEN! It feels great, and you’ll sleep like a baby afterward.
2. Restore, restore, restore – Battling stress is key. Stress can cause your body to store fat. It’s a hormonal thing.
Take time for yourself to relax and restore.
– Dorian Madreperla is a fitness expert and founder of Sphericality
1. Skip the gum, artificial sweeteners, and diet bars/shakes – Not only are these foods loaded with processed ingredients, but they can also cause your belly to swell, make you gassy + chewing gum like a cow is so not cute.
You may be doing your body more harm than good to save a few hundred calories. Instead focus on lean meats, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
2. Take a shower before bed and a cold shower in the morning – Taking a shower before bed activates your body’s thermometer causing you to hit the hay quicker. When you go to bed earlier you reduce the amount of stress hormone cortisol which causes fat gain.
Taking a cold shower in the morning leaves your skin shiny, makes you more alert, makes your skin tight, and can even help burn fat!
– Courtney Bentley is a NASM certified personal trainer, fitness physique competitor, and blogger at CourtneyVioletBentley.com
1. Check your hormones – Hormones like cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen play a vital role in your body’s ability to release weight. Testosterone drops in men starting at age 25, depending on their levels it can cause them to gain fat, lose muscle mass, or simply plateau.
Get with your doctor or medical professional to get a baseline of lab work that can help you measure success.
2. Slow it down – If you are used to high interval training or Olympic weightlifting, slow it down and give your body a change of pace.
Try a barre or Pilates class for a crazy burn, put less stress on the overall system and joints. Take a yoga class to stretch and lengthen muscles and release some of the body’s stress.
It is a surprising change for those used to pushing 110% in every workout but can do wonders for the body and mind recovery.
– Corey Feldman, MMS, PA-C, ACSM-CPT is the founder of Trivida
1. Get to bed by no later than 10:30 p.m. – Due to our circadian rhythm, most of our physical repair processes take place between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
Hence, if you don’t fall asleep until after roughly 10:30 p.m., you’re cutting in to the time hormonally-dictated repair processes have to facilitate recovery from exercise.
Additionally, staying up late and watching TV or working on the computer can contribute to adrenal fatigue as the light from the screen triggers the release of cortisol, which prevents the normal release of melatonin, growth hormones, and various immune factors during the crucial recovery window between approximately 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
2. Use visualization – This may sound like hocus-pocus but due to the “magnetic looping” configuration of DNA one can (to an extent) influence genetic expression through intentional communication in the form of visualization or “seeing through the mind’s eye.”
Therefore, desired changes within the physical body can be communicated to one’s DNA through the use of clear and focused visualization of such changes.
This can be accomplished most effectively during meditation when contradictory or doubtful thoughts are less likely to arise and conflict with your visualizing.
– Denton Coleman is a Certified: Exercise Physiologist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist,
Orthopedic Exercise Specialist, Holistic Fitness Specialist, Personal Trainer and the founder of Satori Institute
1. Running backward – This burns fifth more calories than running forwards.
It also enhances your other senses since you can’t see where you’re going, your other senses will compensate like your sense of hearing and peripheral vision.
2. Fidget – When you are unnecessarily moving when you’re nervous or bored (A.K.A. fidgeting), you burn up to 350 calories.
Some studies show that one of the common characteristics lean people have is this habit.
– Jane Dizon is the Head of Digital at GymandFitness.com.au
1. Veg it up – Having some veggies in the fridge at all times especially instant edible ones like spinach, so you could stuff a few bites every time you went to the fridge, had a meal, or substitute for lettuce.
2. Stop buying crap – It’s so much easier to resist unhealthy food when it’s not staring you in the face, if people would have sweet, juicy, fruit in their fridges instead of junk food it would very quickly become a mouth-watering habit.
– Johnny Martinez is the Founder of Quintessential Living
1. HIITs are key – Interval training is increasing in popularity, as strangely enough, it helps to improve your endurance.
Short, fast bursts of hill sprints will make a huge difference to your training, as it will target muscles you may have not used as much.
[Editor’s Note: This is definitely no secret and becoming all the rage these days! It’s a great training tool to know about!]
2. Plyometric exercises burn more calories, much faster – If you’re trying to get a quick workout in before you head to work, moves such as jump squats, mountain climbers, and box jumps will burn the most amount of fat in the shortest amount of time.
– Lee Pickering is a personal trainer at DW Fitness
1. Listen to music while you workout – This improves performance and increases exercise efficiency. Perhaps it’s the metronome impact on your pace, the tapping into your emotions, or just plain distraction. Nevertheless, it’s a good training partner.
2. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) – It’s time-efficient and an effective exercise strategy. It involves shorter workouts (no more than 20 minutes) with repeating intervals of high-intensity and recovery periods (say, 30-60 seconds).
Research shows HIIT can be as effective as traditional continuous exercise, and likely offers unique fitness benefits.
– Courtney Hughes has a Ph.D. in health services, M.S. in kinesiology, and blogger at CourtneyHughes.com
1. Water – A well-hydrated machine is one that will work really well. When you don’t get enough water, your body won’t function at optimal levels. Aim for 2-3L per day.
2. Sleep – Life gets in the way of sleep, but setting a bedtime and creating a night-time routine can help you get the necessary 7-8 hours of sleep.
Sleep is when your muscles and your body recover from what you put it through during the day.
– Chris Cooper is an NSCA personal trainer, Precision Nutrition coach, and co-owner of Active Movement and Performance
1. Treat negative mood states – People engage in many harmful behaviors in order to lift a negative mood such as depression, boredom, and stress.
Depression needs to be treated and fill your life with enriching activities to prevent boredom which often results in cravings and behaviors to lift the negative mood.
2. Start with small steps – Only 20% of people have enough motivation to follow their healthcare provider’s prescription for a healthy lifestyle (Prochaska, Norcross & DiClemente, 1994). 80% are stuck in an inaction stage of denial, weighing the pros versus the cons of taking small baby steps.
Small-not big steps are needed to get them moving toward taking healthier actions so they will not become overwhelmed.
– Dr. Jennie Johnson founder of Living for a Healthy Heart, LLC and author of Wake Up Call 911
1. Adopt a marriage mindset – Stop thinking about weight loss or fitness as a goal to get to or a destination to reach. Fitness is an everyday, long-term practice (habit).
You’re not just saying “yes” to the ring (your goal weight/speed/lift max/etc); you’re agreeing to wake up with a practice of self-care for life.
Set it up so you can live with it, be loving, kind, and patient–just like you would a spouse.
2. Snack on Exercise – Stop thinking of exercise as an event that requires an hour + of your day and a shower. Break your workout into bite-sized, 10-minute chunks and “snack” on it throughout the day (e.g. AM planks & squats for 10 min; lunchtime walk for 10+ min; midday pushups & bicycle abs; pre-dinner another 10+ min walk/jog or DB rows).
1. 12 hour fast between dinner and breakfast – This maintains your weight and/or loses weight after an indulgent vacation. It was always ingrained in my head that breakfast was the most important meal of the day and that you should have breakfast as soon as you wake up.
I found that by delaying my breakfast I am better able to ward off cravings for unhealthy foods the rest of the day.
2. Green tea – Incorporate a cup of antioxidant loaded green tea into your day, which has also be proven to help burn fat and maintain brain health!
– Jenna Quilty, M.S. is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Exercise, Certified Spinning Instructor, Training the Pregnant and Postpartum Client Specialty Certification and fitness manager at Body and Brain Fitness
1. Start with strength – Start your training with a big strength movement like a squat, deadlift, any pressing exercise, or pull-ups. Do 4-5 sets of 3-5 reps with 2-3 min rest in-between.
When you’re stronger it makes everything easier, including fat loss.
2. Use tempo – During the eccentric (lowering) phase of any exercise, your muscles are 20% stronger.
Taking 3-5 seconds to lower the resistance keeps your muscles under tension longer, creating more muscular damage = more calorie burn, muscle building, and fat loss. A win-win!
– Shane “The Balance Guy” McLean, is Personal Trainer at the T. Boone Pickens YMCA, Dallas, Texas
1. Swap your squats for hip thrusts – Hip thrusts, popularized by Bret Contreras, actually activate the glutes a lot more than squats!
If you’re trying to target your booty, stick to hip thrusts. In fact, I rarely have clients do any additional glute work. Here is a great guide to the hip thrust!
2. Act like you’ve got somewhere to be – This one is so simple but so effective. If you ever find yourself on a cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical, bike, rower) make sure you are doing some type of sprint. Try going as fast as you can for 15 seconds and then slowing down for 15 seconds.
Repeat for 5 minutes and tell me how you feel! Sprinting can accomplish the same amount of work in 10 minutes as jogging can in one hour, so you have time to do other things in the gym – or get out of the gym more quickly!
– Henry Halse is a CSCS, CPT and you can find him at Halse Strength and Fitness
1. Eat more protein – Research finds that eating protein frequently may be more important than the total amount you eat.
Including protein with each meal and getting a boost of protein during snacks, by grabbing a quick and portable snack, like a handful of almonds (which provide six grams of protein per ounce), maybe just the solution for maximum energy and health.
2. Recover after that grueling workout – And that includes a sufficient cool down before walking out of the gym.
This is the time for some static stretching to get the recovery part of the workout started before refueling your tired muscles.
– Chris Mohr Ph.D., RD is a nutrition expert and has worked routinely with clients ranging from soccer moms to collegiate and professional athletes
1. Get naked – Be as naked as possible as often as possible in the sun. Getting skin exposure to natural light helps with increased vitamin D production (which is tied to a litany of health markers moving in the right direction) improved serotonin levels (helps increase your mood) and a recent study showed being in natural light for just an hour lowered the blood pressure in all 34 participants.
So get outside and get some time by the pool, walking in the park, or chilling on your back deck!
2. Masticate more (chew your food) – Proper digestion starts with fully chewing your food. If food is not properly ground down by the teeth then all following digestive steps will be less effective.
This means that fewer micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) get into your system. Without these, your body’s metabolism can’t fully function and that can not only stifle fat loss but cause weight gain.
Luckily the chewing processes the most enjoyable part because you are tasting the food so most are happy to adhere to this.
If someone is a habitually fast eater, I will have them chew each bite 30 times. This usually builds the habit in a week.
– Brandon Mancine is a NASM CES, USAW L1, CFL2, and owner of Brandon Mancine Fitness
1. Perform short foot exercises every day – This is true especially before running or working out. A short foot is an exercise that sequences the foot with the core. Since the core is our center of stability – getting the foot and core to sequence means faster stability during running.
The faster you can stabilize your core, leg, and foot – the better you will load impact forces. The better you load impact forces the less risk of injury and the faster the running times.
2. Focus on recovery – A common post-workout habit that harms the body is not focusing on recovery. The body can only be stressed so much before it breaks. This is especially common with the feet as we demand so much of our feet to simply walk around every day.
Add in a workout such as running and the risk of foot injury rapidly goes up. A person cannot just do intense workouts, whether it be a kickboxing class or running, and not stretch or foam roll.
Our tissue needs a little TLC after any workout, especially those that involve impact forces (like running). Perform at least 5 – 10 minutes of recovery/mobility work at the end of their workout.
– Dr. Emily Splichal is a Celebrity Podiatrist, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), Master’s Human Movement (MS), NASM-CES, NASM-PES, NSCA-CPT and can be found at www.DrEmilySplichal.com. Dr. Emily includes this information and more in her go-to guide Barefoot Strong: Unlock the Secrets to Movement Longevity
There you go, folks! There are over 30 tips and surely one or two you can implement into your daily routine! Plus, you can go back and check out 30 more tips from Part I!
So until next time, start implementing these tips and start getting results – DIY Style!
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