The Intermittent Fasting Workout: Benefits Of Exercising In A Fasted State

workout

If you’re an intermittent fasting (IF) pro, or fasting for the first time, you may be wondering how this lifestyle will mesh with your workouts.

Or if it’s safe to work out at all while fasting.

The great news is that, yes, you can continue your fitness regimen.

As it turns out, training while intermittent fasting has some pretty impressive health benefits which I know you’re going to love.

The Benefits Of Exercising While Fasting

Did you know that exercise and fasting combine to cause oxidative stress on your muscles? It may sound bad, but in this case it’s actually beneficial.

Fitness expert Ori Hofmekler explains acute states of oxidative stress are:

” … essential for keeping your muscle machinery tuned. Technically, acute oxidative stress makes your muscle increasingly resilient to oxidative stress; it stimulates glutathione and SOD [superoxide dismutase, the first antioxidant mobilized by your cells for defense] production in your mitochondria along with increased muscular capacity to utilize energy, generate force and resist fatigue.

Hence, exercise and fasting help counteract all the main determinants of muscle aging. But there is something else about exercise and fasting. When combined, they trigger a mechanism that recycles and rejuvenates your brain and muscle tissues.”

Exercising in a fasted state can help you:

  • burn fat (1)
  • lose weight
  • improve body composition (2)
  • boost cognitive function (3)
  • increase growth hormone (4)

All great reasons to work out before breakfast!

What Kind Of Workout Should I Do While Fasting?

Technically, you can simply fast and reap the benefits. But many people want to work out and further maximize their results.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have to involve going to the gym everyday for an hour, unless you want it to.

The great thing is, this is highly individualized. You can find what works best for you and what activities you enjoy most and do that. Depending on your commitment level and your current personal fitness, your workouts can be tailored to your goals and abilities.

Because intermittent fasting is a lifestyle, you’ll likely find different workouts and schedules that best suit your goals and needs over time. Here are some examples of workout options you might choose while intermittent fasting:

  • Many beginners starting out with IM enjoy taking a gentle walk 2 or 3 days a week for 20 minutes.

    workout
    Intermittent fasting workouts are individualized and fun!
  • If you’re looking for full-body training, you might want to check out 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout or The Health Benefits Of Rebounding On A Mini Trampoline for kettlebell and rebounding workouts, which are both fun and invigorating.
  • Many people who love the IM lifestyle find that short, quick bursts of exercise followed by brief recovery periods, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is very effective.
  • Looking for muscle gains and definition? Strength training may be what you’re looking for.
  • Swimming, hiking, yoga, rollerblading, skiing, jogging, dancing, Pilates, team sports, etc. Any activity that gets you moving it great!

So now that you have some ideas for how to train while fasting, I want to share some important tips to help you get the most out of your workouts, as well as some special considerations to be aware of.

Tips For An Intermittent Fasting Workout

  • An easy way to get the fat-burning effects of working out in the fasted state is by exercising first thing in the morning before you eat your first meal of the day. This works great with the 16/8 (or other) IF plan and allows your body to tap into its fat stores.
  • If you’re planning on doing heavy lifting, or other strenuous activity, make sure to eat a protein-rich meal within 30 minutes after your workout. Whey protein is especially beneficial and makes for a quick meal on the go. This is our favorite whey protein. It has 30 grams of whey protein per serving, is gluten-free and has no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.
  • Listen to your body. Be mindful of individual factors such as medical history, whether you’re taking prescriptions, age, and physical fitness level. If you need/want to drink a whey protein shake before your workout, do it. If you feel light-headed, your ears are ringing, or you feel like you’re going to pass out during a workout, don’t “tough it out”. Use common sense and pay attention to warning signs like these. Plus, here’s something to consider: A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise journal revealed that consuming 20 grams of whey protein 30 minutes before a resistance training session boosted metabolism for up to 24 hours after the workout. (5)

The Takeaway

To sum up, working out and intermittent fasting can be done together, with many health benefits. These impressive benefits include fat burning, weight loss, improved cognitive and hormone function and improved body composition.

There are a variety of workouts you can do while enjoying the IF lifestyle. Keep in mind if you’re doing heavy lifting or other strenuous workouts, you should eat a high-protein meal, such as a whey protein shake, after your training session. Everyone is unique and requires a specialized fitness regimen. Always listen to your body and use common sense when working out and fasting.


What tips do you have for working out and intermittent fasting? Please share below!


You may want to read more about intermittent fasting here:

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The Health Benefits Of Rebounding On A Mini Trampoline

benefits of rebounding

What’s airborne and wears a big smile?

You…jumping on a mini trampoline!

Corny jokes aside, rebounding is one of the healthiest (and most fun) activities you can do.

It improves lymph flow, is easy on the joints, increases strength and bone mass and is great for detoxing.

The NASA Rebounding Study

Astronauts lose muscle and bone mass in space due to the weightlessness they experience in the zero gravity environment.

NASA was looking for an exercise which would help astronauts regain bone and muscle mass. As you probably know, weight-bearing exercise increases bone mass.

In 1980 NASA studied the benefits of rebounding. They learned it is a highly effective weight-bearing exercise which is easy on the skeletal system and joints.

When rebounding the pressure, or G-force, is more evenly distributed throughout the body. In contrast, when you’re running almost all of the pressure is at the ankles, which can lead to injuries.

These findings were recorded in The Journal Of Applied Physiology.

And more good news for those of you who despise running — NASA’ s research showed that rebounding can be twice as effective as running on a treadmill! (1) 😉

Benefits Of Rebounding

1. Improves balance

In a study of elderly women, significant improvements in postural balance were recorded after the women completed trampoline workouts for 12 weeks. (2).

2. Relieves stress

Turn on some upbeat jams and jump your worries away!

Once your blood starts pumping you’ll forget about your to-do list.

3. Circulates oxygen to the tissues

Oxygen is vital for survival and strengthens our cells.

In one study, participants jumping on a trampoline showed increased oxygen uptake. Because of gravity changes that take place when rebounding, more oxygen is able to get to the cells. (3)

4. Improves lymphatic circulation and detoxification

Our lymph system is in charge of moving the “junk” out of our bodies.  And exercise encourages this full-body detox.

The up-down movement of rebounding is one of the best ways to increase lymph flow, helping move toxins out.

Many holistic doctors recommend it for their patients.

You may want to read more about the lymph system here.

5. Improves the resting metabolic rate

As your muscles grow stronger, your body burns more energy when it is at rest. This can help if you’re trying to lose weight.

6. Strengthens the heart and other muscles

Rebounding provides cardiovascular benefits and strengthens the heart muscle.

According to James White, Ph.D., director of research and rehabilitation in the physical education department at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), jumping offers many benefits to other muscles as well:

Rebounding allows the muscles to go through the full range of motion at equal force. It helps people learn to shift their weight properly and to be aware of body positions and balance.

7. Increases bone mass

As I mentioned above, the NASA study showed astronauts returning from space had improvements in bone density after doing rebounding workouts.

8. Strengthens the immune system

The rebounding movement stimulates the body’s immune system due to the increased G-force.

The immune cells include the macrophages and T-lymphocytes. Their job is to rid the body of harmful bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.

How To Do A Rebounding Workout

If you’re just starting out, I suggest taking it slow.

Rather than jumping too high, you can start with small bounces, keeping your feet in contact with the trampoline or mini trampoline.

As you get used to the feeling of being on the trampoline you can jump a little higher, increase the intensity, or try a variety of different moves such as high knees, jumping jacks and trampoline squats.

But if you like to keep it simple, feel free to do a basic bounce.

I usually rebound 5-15 minutes a day for detox.

The Takeawaybenefits of rebounding

Rebounding on a mini trampoline has some pretty impressive health benefits. These include increased muscle and bone mass, enhanced digestion, detox and lymph drainage.

Purchasing a mini trampoline is a small investment. I bought mine through Amazon.com and it only cost $27.22 (with Prime shipping). I’m really happy with it.

You can check out the mini trampoline I bought here.


 Do you own a trampoline? Can you think of more benefits to add to this list?


If you enjoyed this article, you might like to read:

Here’s a beginner’s rebounding workout you might like to try.

 

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20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

kettlebell

Are you a part of the kettlebell revolution?

Yep, it’s a real thing.

Although it may seem like a fitness fad, it’s been around for years and has research-backed benefits for strength, balance and flexibility.

Kettlebells look like cannonballs with a handle on top.

They are made of cast iron or vinyl-coated and filled with sand, concrete, or gravel.

Kettlebell training focuses on whole-body functional training, not just the isolated muscle movements you get with weightlifting. No one is knocking weight training here at all, because it is beneficial too.

But if you want to see amazing strength gains and you’re short on time,  you may just want to try a kettlebell workout for yourself.

It’s my new favorite!

20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

1. It’s Functional Strength Training

Training your body this way can help you do everyday activities.

2. Doesn’t Take Up Much Space

Kettlebells are compact and portable.

Compared to a weight bench and a set of free weights, they take up minimal room. You can stick them in the closet when they’re not being used.

3. Improved Posture

Did you know having poor posture can actually steal your body’s energy?

When your posture is out of alignment it stresses your body by trying to keep it upright. This can cause back pain.

When using a kettlebell focus on your hips, core and shoulder movements to correct your posture.

4. Great For Busy People

They give an intense workout in much less time than most others. Some people see incredible results with as little as 10 to 20 minutes twice a week!

Although many of us are busy, most people can carve out 10 minutes in a 24-hour day.

5. They’re For Everyone

Anyone can do it.

Whether you’re a muscled-up weightlifter or a 50-year-old couch potato (no judgement here), you can learn the proper form and train with kettlebells.

(Please check out the instructional video at the end of this article for help with your form.)

kettlebell
Kettlebells are filled with a variety of materials and come in different weights.

6. Increased Strength

The strength gains are quite impressive! (1)

And because it gives you a whole-body workout your entire body gets stronger.

This can help you do everyday tasks such as housework, yard work and lifting boxes. Being strong can also protect against injury.

7. Fat Loss And Calorie Burn

By increasing muscle mass, your body will burn more fat, even when it is at rest.

Some say you can burn up to 20 calories or more per minute training with kettlebells.

8. Combines Strength, Cardio And Flexibility For A Full-Body Workout

The strength and cardio gains are real! And the fluid full range of motion movements increase flexibility.

This is one of the best quick workouts you can do for your health!

9. It’s Fun!

If you’re like me, you get bored doing the same workouts all the time. But, I’ve never been bored with my kettlebell.

There are so many different types of workouts you can do.

10. Saves Money

I spent around $40 for my vinyl-coated kettlebell. You can easily find them on Amazon and in sporting good stores.

Compared to a gym membership or purchasing a weight bench and dumbbells, they’re much more cost-effective.

11. Ladies Won’t Bulk Up

Some of you girls might be concerned if you do any form of weight training you’ll end up looking like the Hulk. I used to have this same concern.

Fortunately, kettlebelling (my made up word) builds long, lean muscles, not bulky ones. 😉 So, never fear, your kettlebell is here! (You get the point.)

12. Easy On Your Joints

The ballistic physics at work when you perform different kettlebell movements actually protect your joints from injury. They encourage natural movements.

13. Simplicity

If you’re into simplicity and minimalism the kettlebell is perfect for you!

With just one simple movement, such as the swing, you can experience amazing strength and cardio improvements.

14. Great For Core Strength

When you do kettlebell movements correctly your core stays engaged. This results in a stronger, shredded core.

15. Engages The Entire Body

When you lift weights isolated muscles are used. But with kettlebells your entire body is activated and involved.

16. Can Help With Lower Back Pain

This is a big one for many people who suffer with low back pain.

Your back was not intended to compensate for weak hips and glutes. When it does your back hurts.

By strengthening your core (not to mention all the other muscles in the body) kettleballing engages the hips and glutes. This trains the body how to correctly lift objects and do everyday tasks more efficiently.

17. Relieves Body Pain And Stiffness

Kettleballing is my go to when I’m dealing with chronic pain. If you have ongoing pain you might try it and see if it helps you too.

18. Boosts Weight Loss

Because so many muscles are involved you can get a serious calorie burn.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin‚ La Crosse have studied how many calories are burned during a workout. They equate it to running a 6-minute mile!

19. Improves Balance

A recent study conducted by ACE Fitness experts found that training with kettlebells significantly improved balance. (1)

20. Superior Results

kettlebell
20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout INFOGRAPHIC

Because training with kettlebells involves the entire body, results are impressive. It’s a fierce cardio-respiratory workout which involves all the major muscle groups.

People often see faster gains doing a kettlebell workout twice weekly than doing just about anything else.

Kettlebell Weight?

Depending on who you talk to, here are some general recommendations:

  • For men, start with a 16-kg (35lb) kettlebell.
  • For women, start with an 8-kg (18 lb.) kettlebell.

These are high quality, reasonably-priced kettlebells.

Please keep in mind that everyone is different. These weights are merely suggestions, but if you are already strong and fit you may want to start with more weight.

Alternatively, if you are chronically ill or have recovered from an illness or injury you might need to start with less weight. Please use your judgement.

Special Considerations

If you haven’t exercised in a while you may want to consult with your physician before training with kettlebells.

Please watch the instructional videos below to learn proper form and prevent injuries.

kettlebellThe Takeaway

Kettlebell workouts offer an intense workout and incredible results for the entire body. They increase overall body strength, burn calories and deliver impressive cardiovascular improvements.


Have you tried working out with a kettlebell? Please leave your comments and questions below. I love hearing from you!


Kettlebell Swing Tutorial

This short video shows how to do the basic swing move with proper form.

 

Beginners Kettlebell Workout

If you enjoyed this, (you health nut, you) you might like to check out:

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Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Health

small changes

Small changes can make a big difference!

Persistence, even in little things (like nutrition and fitness) can have a big impact in your overall health.

Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Small Changes

  • Drink 8 or 9 glasses of water per day and not your usual 6 or 7.
  • Chew your food slowly instead of scarfing down your meal.
  • Power walk 30 minutes instead of your usual 15.
  • Work out while you watch TV instead of vegging out, munching on chips.
  • Wake up early in the morning and work out instead of waiting until after work when you’re tired and busy and less likely to follow through.
  • Park your car further away from your destination so you can take more steps on your way in to work (or the grocery story, movie theater, church, etc.).
  • Avoid self-defeating messages. Instead change your thoughts to reflect the positive goals you’re working to achieve. You might want to journal about your feelings and goals. Some people like to have a mantra that they repeat when the start being hard (unforgiving) on themselves. I like these:
    1. Stop beating yourself up.  You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.
    2. Ask yourself, “Who do I want to be?”
    3. The true measure of your success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.
    4. The story of your life has many chapters.  One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end.  So stop re-reading the bad one already and turn the page.
    5. This too shall pass.
    6. You got this!
    7. With change comes opportunity.
    8. And one of my favorites, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (from The Help) You might want to check out the video clip below.

What changes have you made? What have you noticed as a result of your efforts?


 

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