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5 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

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For most people, maintaining a truly well-balanced diet can be a bit of a feat. Though most of us manage just fine by eating regularly, you might be surprised to learn just how many little physical problems can be linked to an unbalanced diet. If you are experiencing some unusual problems, food might be the culprit.

This is why we brought together this list of indications that you might not be getting enough protein. For people with vegetarian or vegan diets, particularly those who are new to them, this is actually a fairly common occurrence. We will help you recognise it for what it is when it pops up.

 

You Feel Weak

A fairly common indicator that you are not getting enough protein is a general feeling of weakness and fatigue. For plenty of people, a lack of protein ends up coming off as a lack of energy. It leaves many people feeling as if they could just sleep or just don’t have the energy to put out a lot of physical output. Though we all feel like this from time to time, if you feel it consistently, try eating a little more protein.

 

You Can’t Get Full

It is incredibly common for people who are not getting enough protein to feel like that are hungry all the time. Protein is a requirement for a balanced diet. It plays a significant role in allowing our body to keep doing what it is doing. If you feel like you can’t get full, your body might just be telling you that you aren’t getting what it needs. This can be a biological response to let you know that something is missing.

 

You Are Losing Muscle Mass

For people who are used to having some kind of muscle, this one can be pretty notable. Your muscles need protein to grow and thrive. This is why so many athletes rely on a protein-based diet. If you aren’t gaining muscle or you start losing it, try eating more protein.

 

You’re Catching Every Cold at the Office

Proteins play a huge role in keeping your immune system up and running. If you aren’t getting enough protein, your body will struggle to absorb the nutrients that keep you healthy and happy. No amount of Emergen-C will save you if your body doesn’t have what it needs to absorb it.

 

Your Skin and Hair Are Dull and Lifeless

If you are the kind of person who normally has perfect nails and shiny hair, you will probably be dismayed to see it lose that energy. A lack of protein in your diet can actually result in a lot of problems pertaining to your physical appearance. Protein is a base for all of your favourite physical features, so a lack of them can have physical consequences.

 

Conclusion

For most of us, these kinds of symptoms could indicate a bad day or week. However, if you begin to notice a number of these problems with some degree of consistency, it might just be time to check your protein intake. There are plenty of ways to get protein both from plants and animals. If you suspect that you might be lacking in protein, try adding a little more to your diet and see what happens.

best fitness apps 2020

The best fitness apps for 2020

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Getting in shape in the modern age is a completely different animal. For most people, it is a matter of finding a program that works for them, but things look a little different now that we have so many amazing opportunities being presented by technology.

Fitness apps are becoming one of the top performing types of apps on mobile devices, and they can offer some truly amazing assistance when it comes to getting in shape. Depending on what kind of workouts you want to do, there is probably an app for you, and some of the really amazing ones are completely free!

 

free fitness app 2020

Nike Training Club

The Nike Training Club (NTC) app is so full of amazing workout opportunities that you won’t even believe all that it has to offer. This completely free app grants you access to a variety of amazing workout videos led by talented trainers. You can either choose styles of workout or even select something by the part of your body that you want to work out. It is filled with amazing content.

 

All Trails

All Trails isn’t generally marketed as a traditional fitness app purely because it has so much more to offer, but it definitely counts as one. This amazing app makes it easy for you to not only find trails to hike, run, or bike, but you can also track your progress on them. When you pair this with the All Trails community, you will find that this is the perfect fitness app for lovers of nature.

 

free fitness apps 2020

Zombies, Run!

This app has been around for over ten years and to say it has improved with time would be an understatement. This is a running app that turns your exercise experience into a fun zombie-filled adventure. You can set your goals and get taken on a thrilling audio-drama experience while collecting resources and materials to support your very own base.

 

Apple Activity

For those with an Apple Watch, the activity app is an absolutely amazing experience. You can easily compete with yourself and friends to win rewards and come out on top in various challenges. The Apple Watch makes it easy for you to set and achieve reasonable goals without any of the hassle that some of the more manual apps offer.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to finding a good fitness app, you need to look for something that suits your needs. Depending on what statistics you want measured and what kind of exercises you plan on doing, you will find that some apps might be better for you than others. Feel free to experiment with various apps until you find one that is right for you. There are some truly amazing tools on the market!

Getting Back Into Shape After Injury

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For active or athletic people, there are few things worse than suffering from an injury. An injury can have dramatic impacts on mental and physical health, and as a general rule can feel like a punishment. When you are the kind of person who lives an active life, an injury can mean the complete destruction of your habits and passions.

Fortunately, most injuries can heal with time or medical intervention, but the path back to health can come with its own set of challenges. Many athletes find themselves grappling with getting back into shape after an injury. This is why we created this article to discuss what that process looks like.

 

It can be frustrating

One difficult thing for many people to accept when they begin to work out or play their respective sport again is the fact that it doesn’t all come back overnight. It can be frustrating to find yourself struggling with something that you used to be good at, but this is the challenge that many people face when getting back at after sustaining an injury. It is important to remember that the body is a tool that must be used in order to operate in prime condition.

While you might have been in perfect shape before your injury, the downtime spent unable to do certain things can have a fairly significant impact on the body. For most people, this means that there will be a period in time where their muscles are no longer honed for the skills that they once used to have. While many people want to lean into this and push through it, this is actually a terrible idea. Not only do you run the risk of causing another injury, you run a greater risk of accidentally aggravating the injury you just got over.

 

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Be Patient

When it comes time to start getting back at it after a long break, the biggest thing to remember is that you should be patient with your body. It is going to be a slow and steady process to return to your former glory, but it will also be well worth it. You simply have to remember that your body needs time to adjust in order to get back into shape.

Being patient and listening to your body is the best possible way to get the most out of your workout process. It will allow you to steadily regain what you have lost without overdoing it. Instead of wishing for immediate overnight results, give your body the love and respect that it deserves.

It can be demoralising to realise how out of shape you are after you have experienced an injury, but don’t let that stop you from getting back to it. Remember that while it might be a bit of a process to get back to where you were, it is important for you to focus on doing right by your body.

Respect the process and allow yourself to be patient as you pursue your goals once again. The important part is that you made the decision to get back in shape at all. Everything else will fall into place over time.

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Muscle Aches? It’s Time To Stretch

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As we all grow and change, our bodies begin to develop peculiar new sensations. On this list of fun changes is often a tendency towards random muscle aches. The majority of people do not experience muscle aches at random until they get a little older, but that doesn’t mean that once you have begun to experience them, you are stuck. In reality, muscles aches are very easily managed whether they are from simple aging or being caused by some form of exercise. As long as you know how to tend to them, you can easily get rid of those pesky muscle aches.

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to the unpleasant stiffness that comes with muscles that have been compromised in one form or another. You might wake up feeling fine and not realise that anything is even wrong until you get your morning stretch in. Not only does this unpleasant sensation make it difficult for you to enjoy your day or even get ready in the morning, but it is otherwise a hindrance and point of extreme discomfort. Fortunately, all you have to do to improve the quality of your muscles is to incorporate stretching into your life.

 

You will notice changes

While there are many benefits to taking up a yoga practice or comparable equivalent, you don’t have to give yourself over to an entire practice to alleviate muscular pain. In reality, adding a few simple stretches to your daily routine makes it easy for you to find quick relief, improve your overall body health, and prevent future muscle aches as well. In order to approach this, you can use a few different methods.

If you are experiencing muscle aches in a specific place, you can easily search for stretches that target that area. However, if you are just looking to alleviate general body aches, it can be easier to find a quick routine of basic stretches to accommodate this. Popular areas for stretching include the back, neck, shoulders, and legs.

After you incorporate stretching into your daily routine, you will begin to notice some key changes. In addition to reducing muscles aches, you will find that your muscles become more relaxed as a whole. You will likely receive subtle increases in mobility and find that you are all around more comfortable. Stretching out your muscles helps them to remain smooth and fluid in motion. Doing this daily will have notable impacts.

 

Just ten minutes every day!

Muscle aches can be a bit of a pain, particularly if they strike you first thing in the morning. In order to dodge this horrible stiff feeling, it can be best to find a good routine that accommodates your needs. You don’t need to spend thirty minutes or even ten minutes stretching every single day.

Find a quick routine that works for you, and you will be amazed by just how much a few simple stretches can improve your overall quality of life. Adding stretches to your routine makes it easy for you to find more comfort in your body as a whole. Don’t miss out on this simple way to improve your physical health.

women lifting weights

Women Lifting Weights – Myths Debunked

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Women and weightlifting have an interesting relationship. The majority of women think that weightlifting is something that is better for the more masculine folk among us, but the reality is that weight lifting has a wide variety of benefits.

While some people are prone to thinking that weightlifting is only something that should be done by people who are looking to gain massive muscles, the truth is that weightlifting is an amazing form of exercise that can match any health goal. This is why we have brought together this list of common myths to help you understand what weightlifting can do for you.

 

Weightlifting Makes You Bulk Up

Many people believe that weightlifting is only useful in the event that you want to bulk up, but the reality is that weightlifting will not make you bulk up. Some people use weightlifting as a primary way to bulk up, but that has to be done in conjunction with a specific type of diet. In the event that you plan on only using weightlifting rather than focusing on also increasing your dietary intake, you will not bulk up using this method.

The truth is that you will assist with weight loss and toning your muscles, but under no circumstances are you going to become a body builder without a variety of other steps. This is honestly just a great way to improve your overall health.

 

Weightlifting Is Hard

A lot of people operate under the ides that weightlifting is a kind of workout that requires more than so many have to give, but this actually isn’t true. The fact of the matter is that weightlifting is an amazing exercise plan for people of all skills and fitness levels. Weightlifting gives you a great amount of control when it comes to figuring out your routine.

Since you can easily decide when you need more or less weight for a workout, you can easily use this form of working out to manage your exact fitness level. This is great for people who want an exercise plan that they can grow into.

 

Women Aren’t Built For Weightlifting

There is a fairly common rumour that women don’t have the right build to lift weight successfully. This could not be any further from the truth. In reality, weightlifting is a great form of exercise for women to experience and practice. It is easy for women to not only get into this form of exercise, but excel at it. This is a great way to get that dream body that you have been looking for!

 

Conclusion

When it comes to finding a good approach to exercise, everyone has their own preferences. We all have things that work better for us or feel more appropriate for our interests. While some people might think that weightlifting is not the most effective way for a woman to work out, the reality is that there are a variety of health benefits that can come from this process.

If you have been wondering if weightlifting is right for you, we would highly encourage you to try. You never know what might work out for you. Weightlifting can do plenty for improving your physical health, so give it a try and see how it works for you.

cold shower fitness

How Cold Showers Can Improve Your Health Span

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When most of us think of a refreshing shower, the majority of people imagine luxuriating in a nice warm waterfall as they recreate their own personalised spa experience. A hot shower can be great for helping you to relax and refresh yourself for an upcoming day or even for settling into bed at night. However, one thing that very few people tend to consider is taking a cold shower.

Most people believe that cold showers are something of nightmares, but the reality is that taking a cold shower can actually do your body a lot of good. Cold showers are great for boosting several processes in your body, and many people find that they have lasting benefits that carry into the day.

There are a few key basic reasons that taking a shower is good for you. The first thing is that it is really helpful for waking up and getting your mind working properly. A cold shower will make your body come to life, quickly activating everything that gets you moving in a day.

 

Boost Your Energy

This is an excellent way to boost your energy levels in the morning, and is actually linked to more peaceful sleep at night. In addition to this, a cold shower can help you to improve the quality of your hair and skin. Hot showers are actually damaging and drying for our hair and skin, but a cold shower will help minimise your pores and seal the ends of your hair so that it can retain more moisture. This is a great way to help naturally improve the characteristics of these features without using any expensive products.

The real benefits of taking a cold shower are built around your health. Cold showers actually manage to do a lot of work for your immune system, making it easier for your body to handle any invaders. Taking a cold shower even a couple of times a week has been linked to immune boosts in many cases, so a cold shower a day might just keep the cold away.

 

Improve Mental Health

It also helps with a variety of other health processes that regulate your body as a whole. One huge selling point when it comes to taking cold showers is that it can drastically improve your mental health. In some studies, taking a cold shower has been comfortably linked to a reduction in depression and anxiety. The boosts it gives your body can have incredibly positive effects.

You might be thinking that a cold shower is just going to be terrible, but you’ll be happy to know that people report how easy it is to get into this habit after the first few times. In fact, people who continuously do this find their showers to be refreshing and pleasant, even before they start to experience all of the exciting health benefits.

If you don’t want to take a cold shower every day, that is completely fine. Even adding a couple of cold showers to your week can do wonders for your body. Be brave and give it a try. You might find that you like it.

when to have protein shake

When To Take Protein Shakes During Your Day

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Protein shakes are an absolutely invaluable tool when you are trying to get in shape. These amazing drinks are a great way to help you to build mass so that you can enjoy that dream body that you are aiming for. While it might be difficult for you to eat four chicken breasts in a sitting, protein shakes make it easy for you to get your sustenance in an easy to digest format with a great taste.

A good protein shake can help you to bulk up quickly as you really raise your workout routine. Using these drinks effectively is a matter of understanding what your body needs. Fortunately, we’re here to teach you how to use them.

 

Firstly, how much?

The first thing that you will need to do when it comes to effectively using protein shakes is to first decide how much you are going to use. This depends on how much you want to gain as you begin working out. There are plenty of ways to make these determinations, but a lot of the time the protein shakes themselves will tell you how to pick the right amount. After you have determined how many of these shakes in a day you will be drinking, you will be able to plan your schedule for drinking them. There are a couple of different ways to go about this.

In the event that you are well and truly trying to bulk up, you might be drinking multiple protein shakes every single day. If this is the case, the best way to use them is in the same capacity that you would a snack. Instead of subbing in beef jerky or something like that, you will spend your time drinking protein shakes intermittently between meals. Finding the best approach here will depend on how you react to the protein shakes. Sometimes people might get energised or feel more tired after drinking a protein shake, so factor this in to determine what time of day works best. They are best used between meals.

 

Around Workouts

Since you will likely be using these in a workout capacity, it is important to always schedule a protein shake around your workout in order to get the much-needed boost. Some people drink a protein shake before they go to the gym in the morning, and that is one great option. However, most studies show that there is even more benefit to drinking a protein shake after you workout so your body can begin building up your muscles with the provided nutrients.

 

Find the right shake

Finding a good protein shake is really a matter of personal preference more than anything. Many people find that protein shakes help them stack on muscle, so that they can pursue the body type that they are chasing. In some cases, protein shakes can come with additional vitamins or energy boosting benefits as well. Find one that works well for you and then take your time experimenting to find a good schedule.

Just make sure that you give your body at least one around your workout, and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

imstrong fitness

Why Lack of Sleep Might Be Damaging Your Health

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Tiredness is a normal part of life, but if you’re constantly finding it hard to sleep – then it will be more damaging than you may think. So, why is it happening and what can you do to stop it? Read on to find out…

 

Sleep Deprivation: What Causes It?

Sleep deprivation – i.e. short sleep, chronic sleep loss, etc. – usually plagues new mothers. Not having a regular amount of sleep every night can result in what is known as “Sleep Debt.” This can only happen when you lose sleep one night after the other.

 

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

This is usually the result of a lack of quality sleep during the night. However, it can also serve as a symptom to other chronic conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory issues
  • Problems with focus, etc.

Prolonged lack of sleep can influence both your mental and physical performance over time. This could result in chronic health issues.

Other causes of sleep deprivation include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Other obscure sleep disorders

 

Effects of Lack of Sleep

Tiredness

Have you ever received the complimentary “You look tired” greeting? One quick look into the compact’s mirror will confirm this.

Dark bags adorn your face, right under tired-looking, sleep-deprived eyes staring back at you. Your face looks somewhat sallow, and the youthfulness of your skin appears to have faded away.

Your body also reacts to your heightened lack of sleep by shooting your blood pressure to high heavens.

 

Poor Food Choices

Lack of sleep can also make you start making poor food choices regularly. This is because the hunger responses in your body have also been affected by your lack of sleep.

Your body will trick you into thinking it wants a lot of food that is loaded with nutrients. This will make you go for foods with high sugar and fat content.

This a clear indication of the relationship between a lack of sleep and weight gain as a result of slower metabolism.

Lack of sleep can also trigger severe fluctuations in the level of your blood sugar.

 

Susceptibility to Cold

Sleep deprivation also exposes you to the opportunity of catching a cold really fast. This is as a result of a suppressed immune system due to lack of sleep.

 

What Can You Do to Remedy This Situation?

So, what can you do to remedy this unpleasant situation that is affecting your health?

It starts with the following:

  • Get to bed early enough
  • Take time to unwind before you eventually go to sleep
  • Get help
  • No screen time before bed
  • Create a sleeping pattern for your baby if you have one

 

Conclusion

The bottom line is, you need to take care of yourself and you can’t do this if your health spirals out of control.

So, if you must be productive – or active – for at least 16 hours every day, you need to spend the remaining eight hours in bed, fast asleep.

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The Whole Macro Diet Thing Explained

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In recent years, the macro diet has gained a huge popularity, especially among people looking to lose weight. Before the diet, the traditional method through which people lose weight is to eat fewer calories than they burn every day, therefore creating a calorie deficit. But in the real sense, does counting calories tells us anything about how balanced our diet should be? No. it only focuses on cutting down our calorie intake even when those foods are not healthy for us. 

However, fitness-conscious people have found a far better alternative to calorie counting – and that is counting macros. Whether what you want is to lose weight or build some body mass, you can tailor macro diet to fit your goals. 

 

What exactly is the Macro Diet?

The word ‘macros’ is a short form of macronutrients, which comprises three categories of foods; protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Foods eaten are divided up into a combination of these three classes of foods, and that’s how calorie content is made in the first place. 

While one gram of fat contains 9 calories, a gram of carbohydrate and protein both contain 4 calories. So whether you want to bulk up or shed some pounds, combining calorie counting with the macro diet makes it easier for you to get the optimum result. 

 

Why Do You Need to Count Your Macros?

If your goal is to lose weight, it will be a great idea for you to count your macros. Weight loss is a game of calories, and when you take the step to count your macros, you are also excellently accounting for your calories, which thus results in easy and natural weight loss. 

Following your macro diet plan to the letters also means you are creating a calorie deficit – which is how weight loss happens in the first place. 

 

How Do You Start Counting Macros?

There are different ways available for you to count your macros. But whichever one of the available one you choose, one thing is certain, you will be doing some math and lots of it. Outlined below are three steps to help you demystify the whole process of counting macros. 

 

  • Determine your daily calorie requirement

There is a certain amount of calories you need daily for your body to function well and allow you to perform your daily activities. This is usually dependent on your weight, gender, and how active you are. In order to lose weight, you are required to eat fewer calories than you burn. This helps to put your body on a calorie deficit. At the same time, if your goal is to bulk up, you will need to eat more calories than you burn. 

Not sure how much calories you need? There are several online calculators that can help you out. These calculators typically use your gender, weight, height, and activity level to calculate your daily calorie requirement. 

When you know how many calories you need, then you can either add or subtract a certain amount of calories from it, depending on whether you want to lose or gain. 

 

  • Determine how you want to ‘budget’ those calories into macros

Again, you will need to consider your goal. Adults are recommended to try to get around 45-65% of their daily calories from carbs, 20-35% from fat, and 10-35% from protein. But if you are looking to lose weight, you are required to get about 40% of your calories from protein for obvious reasons. 

However, even as you are expected to eat lots of protein to lose weight, it is recommended you focus on getting your protein from plant-based sources rather than from red meats.

 

  • Convert your calories into grams and count

Since you know that one gram of protein and barbs contain 4 calories and one gram of fat is 9 calories, it won’t be difficult for you to convert your budgeted calories into grams. If you still don’t know how, simply divide your carbs and protein calories by 4 and your fat calories by 9. Then count the macros of every of the food you eat. You can do that using online calculators or do that on paper. 

 

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What Macros Should You Eat to Lose Weight?

If you want to lose weight, you will need to count your macros in such a way that you are also cutting calories. So, after determining your daily calorie requirement, then budget your calories into macros thus: make your daily calorie 40-50% protein, 10-30% carbs, and 30-40% fat. 

You can then adjust this accordingly. For example, you may need to increase your carbs intake if you are the active type because you will need more energy to do your things. A typical example here: if you exercise 5 days a week, you will need to take around 450 grams of carbs every day. 

 

What Should Your Macros Look Like to Build Muscle?

If you are going on the macros diet to build some lean muscles, you will be required to add to your overall calories. This is a good ratio to follow: get 25-35% of your daily calories from protein, 40-60% from carbs, and 15-25% from fat. While you need to eat lots of protein to build muscles and pack on some lean mass, overdoing fat can prevent you from gaining the muscles you want. 

But going by way of counting macros, it is much easier to get the hang of how your foods are affecting your overall results.

how to get bigger chest

Bulk Your Chest with these 3 Workouts

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Do you look at your chest and all you can see is a chest like a sheet of plywood? Do you spend all days on the bench press and yet can’t achieve the mountains of mountains you desire? Well, it’s not the time to give up on your goal. You can still have a big chest.

In this article, you’ll learn the top 3 chest workout you can do to gain size in your chest. This may not be the hardest chest workout; it is the best among the best mass builders. But before we go into that, let’s see some common mistakes that might be stopping you from building your chest to your goal.

 

Top 5 Chest Building Mistakes You Should Avoid

  • Eating like a pigeon: don’t make the mistake of eating too little and expecting to bulk up. You won’t be able to get a big chest if you are 120lbs and 6’. You will need to eat more to build mass in your chest.
  • Isolating your chest: the truth is that you can’t isolate your lower or upper chest. You can only emphasise it.
  • Only using machines to train: machines are certainly great for challenging the muscles. But you could achieve much better when you also use free weights to maximise the resistance your body is presently experiencing.
  • Spending too much time on the bench: you need to mix up your workout. When you spend some time doing the traditional bench press, you should also challenge your chest with some other forms of training.
  • Neglecting your shoulder: until you have developed enough shoulder strength that could handle heavy bench press, don’t do it.

 

3 Workouts to Help You Bulk Your Chest

Barbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is a workout exercise that puts the most emphasis on the middle chest as it also helps you build overall chest thickness. There has been overwhelming evidence supporting the effectiveness of this workout exercise when it comes to building a strong and huge chest.

It is simply the exercise in which you can lift the most weight with, which one of the things that contribute to its effectiveness. In many cases, according to several studies, a strong bench press often means a big chest. You only need to bench press for some time before you start seeing its effects on your chest.

 

Dips (Regular Dips or Straight Bar)

The second exercise here is the dips, which has been shown by different studies to be the most effective for lower chest. From the way your shoulder is suspended in an extended position, you will surely agree with the studies too.

The straight-bar dips are recommended over the regular dips for building the lower chest. This exercise puts an added internal rotation during the movement, which further challenges your lower chest while also giving your core a good workout.

You can either perform this on a smith machine bar or just reach for any barbell set up on a rack. Try to lean your upper body slightly over the bar while you gradually bring your legs forward under the bar as you descend to stay balanced.

Now, using your triceps and lower chest, try to push up while making sure your elbow is kept from flaring out too much. At the same time, ensure the bar doesn’t drag against your body throughout the movement.

Even though the straight-bar dips can be challenging and tough, it is also guaranteed a huge improvement after some time of doing it. However, if you find it too challenging, just stick to the regular dips for now.

The regular dips only require you to slightly lean forward to hit your chest more rather than your triceps, while you gradually keep adding weight as you progress.

 

Push-up

Obviously, the push-up is one of the most popular and oldest exercises for the upper body in the world. It is easy to get into your workout virtually anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment to perform. You can also tweak things up and make it more challenging by raising your feet, bringing your hands closer to your hips, or wearing a weighted vest or backpack.

So if you are the type that loves traveling a lot, or just recovering from an injury, this will make an excellent exercise for you. However, after your newbie gains have dried up, you may not find push-up challenging again. So you may need to consider another exercise for building your chest.

If you are too weak to do bench press, you can start building your upper body with bodyweight push-up and gradually gain some strength for bench press. Try pushing yourself to do 30 push-ups in one set before quitting.