FitITproNews Special Issue: COVID-19, remote work and maintain (or embracing!) fitness

In this week’s newsletter

Weightloss tips during COVID-19. Mental health in quarantine. Running through a pandemic. Recovery in the time of Covid-19. The natives are beyond restless! Progressive overload. COVID-19, CAKES, COOKIES, and CANDY. Bands, bands, bands.

Enjoy this week’s issue of FitITproNews and feel free to send us feedback on any of the topics we’ve covered — we love hearing from our readers!

Cheers!
Mitch Tulloch, Senior Editor

 

Subscribe to FitITproNews!

Subscribe today to our FitITproNews newsletter and join 200,000 other IT professionals around the world who receive articles, stories, and tips on exercise and nutrition that can help you transform yourself from a fat IT pro to a fit IT pro! Just go to this page and select FitITproNews to receive our monthly newsletter in your inbox! You can also find the latest issues of our newsletter online at fititpronews.com while back issues from our first two years can be found in our old archive.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here “as is” with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Please read our full disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Mailbag

In our March newsletter columnist Kris Lall talked about how DNA can reveal useful information about certain foods being a better match for specific genetic profiles. Reader Sarah Trammell added a further comment on this subject:

It’s expensive, but if you can afford it, I would opt for whole genome sequencing (WGS) if you’re interested in genetic testing. WGS covers your entire DNA instead of just a very small fraction of it. Dante Labs (dantelabs.com) and sequencing.com are two companies that offer this testing. They offer reports, some for free and some for a fee, that can let you know about any known genetic diseases, nutrition issues, etc., and Dante Labs at least offers genetic counseling for a fee. I’ve ordered testing through Dante Labs, and it took nine months to get the results! Since they now do sequencing in-house rather than through third-party labs, turnaround times should hopefully be better. I’m currently working with a genetic counselor through Dante Labs to look for genetic causes for some issues I have.

And here’s a helpful article that was recommended to us by reader John Blackmore:

Soreness Is Good and Scales Are Pointless: The 10 Biggest Myths in Fitness (The Guardian)

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/soreness-is-good-and-scales-are-pointless-the-10-biggest-myths-in-fitness

If any readers have other fitness, health and nutrition articles you’d like to recommend for other readers of our newsletter you can email them to us at [email protected]

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email us at [email protected] today!

 

Weightloss tips during COVID-19 (Mitch Tulloch)

Mitch Tulloch is the Senior Editor of FitITproNews and a recovering fat IT pro who lost 50 lbs in midlife and is now on his way to becoming a fit IT pro. Mitch is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies who has authored or been Series Editor of numerous books/ebooks from Microsoft Press. Mitch is also the Senior Editor of WServerNews and writes frequently for TechGenix.

As a “recovering fat IT pro” shedding excess fat from my body has been my primary goal in exercising from Day One. To accomplish this I’ve introduced regular exercise into my life, cleaned up my diet, and learned generally about nutrition, supplementation, and health. But when something like the COVID-19 situation arises and threatens to overturn your carefully scheduled work/life/exercise balance, the tendency is to try to keep losing fat the top priority as the days grow longer and harder. Unfortunately this can backfire.

So along these lines, I’d like to share a couple of tips that may be of some help to other recovering fat IT pros stay properly oriented as far as their weightless efforts are concerned. As I offer you these tips please in mind my disclaimer that I’m not a medical or fitness professional. But I am an educated layman and I have almost 10 years of experience in losing weight, eating properly, and trying to become a “fit IT pro.”

The most important thing I want to suggest is that now is not the time to get too intense with your exercise. While HIIT is a great way to cause fat to melt away from your body, it can also place great stress on your immune system. Because of this I recommend that you scale back on those hill sprints you’ve been doing, or Tataba routine, or marathon running, especially if you’ve been performing these exercises to try and lose weight. Instead focus on caloric restriction — eating a few hundred calories than your caloric maintenance level each day — if your goal right now is to lose weight. To be honest, I’ve found that exercise of any sort isn’t really a very good way of losing those kilograms (or tens of kilograms) of fat that are hugging your belly. You’ve got to include some form of caloric restriction too — and commit to eating less as a lifestyle — if you want to lose, and keep off forever, that excess weight.

So how can you scale back your workout routine to make it less intense? Here are a few things you can try:

  • Switch from doing 15-20 min of HIIT to 30-45 min of steady state cardio e.g. biking, running, even brisk walking.
  • Check your ego at the door when you’re lifting weights and don’t try to increase your 1RM. Stick instead with weights you can do at least 8 reps with.
  • Get more sleep! An extra hour or two of sleep can easily be gained by going to bed and hour or two earlier. Instead of staying up late watching Netflix.
  • Give yourself 2 days to recover after an intense workout instead of just one recovery day. And if you really feel guilty about adding that extra recovery day, take a nice long walk outside instead — fresh air is better than the atmosphere in gyms, right? And remember, muscles aren’t built when you exercise — they’re built by resting, eating and sleeping. The role of exercise is to break muscle down so it can grow when you feed it and give it time to heal.

Be sure also to listen carefully to your body. This morning for example I was planning on doing another barbell workout similar to the one I did two days ago, but then I noticed that my pectoral and shoulder muscles were still sore to the touch. So I decided to give myself an extra day to recover and went instead for a nice long early morning walk at a moderately brisk pace. Easy to moderate cardio like this can help speed recovery, especially if you spend most of your day as an IT drone glued to a chair.

Another thing you may want to do is add 5-10 grams of Glutamine to your post-workout shake. There’s good evidence that Glutamine boosts the immune system, so consuming it after heaving lifting or a lengthy run may help speed recovery and prevent you from feeling that tickle in your throat you feel an hour after a doing a workout that leave you feeling wiped. And if you don’t usually consume a post-workout shake, then simply dissolve some Glutamine in a glass of water along with a bit of lemon juice or your favorite sweetener and drink it down immediately after exercising.

You can buy Glutamine at any supplement store and the good news is it’s pretty cheap. BTW try to shop at a local supplement store if they’re still open — supporting our local businesses is something positive we can try to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, what should you do if you do begin to feel that tickle inside your ears or in the back of your throat that indicates you might be coming down with an upper-respiratory infection? I mean besides seeing the doctor or whatever — remember, I’m not providing medical advice here, only my own experience and opinion. I deal with this type of situation by immediately putting a 50 mg Zinc Citrate tablet in a glass that has about a quarter-cup of sparkling water like Perrier or San Pellegrino. Then once the Zinc tablet has dissolved, I take a mouthful of it and tilt my head back and gargle well in the back of my throat for about a minute. I tried this on two occasions recently when I began to feel that tickle after some pretty intense workouts, and in both instances the ticklish feeling disappeared almost immediately after gargling this way. Zinc kills germs, and taking it regularly can also help protect you against the flu — and perhaps the Coronavirus as well, though Examine.com cautions against extrapolating zinc’s benefits — but I don’t want to get the flu or even a common cold either as it could weaken my immune system. One more thing: be sure don’t swallow this Zinc solution after you gargle as it’s possible to overdose on zinc — see the Examine.com article for more info.

Anyways, whatever you do or don’t do, maintaining a healthy immune system is critical right now in this situation. So modify your workouts accordingly and possibly your nutrition too as needed.

And if you have any tips of your own you’d like to recommend on how best to maintain your fitness and health during this COVID-19 season, email them to us at [email protected] and we’ll share them with our readers in our next issue.

In the meantime, everyone please stay healthy and safe!

 

Mental health in quarantine (Robin Camp)

Robin Camp works as tech support for an Orthodontic Practice Management Software company called New Horizons Software ( www.nhsoftware.com). As a professional photographer on the side, Robin does fashion, glamour weddings and more in his spare time (www.dancingwithlightphoto.com). You can also now find him working out on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/fitittech/.

So, I am going to take a new path this week, don’t worry it will still include slight rambles, incomplete thoughts and obvious signs I have been interrupted several times.

By now most of us have had our lives turned upside down, most of us with this situation are even busier than before, helping people transition from the workplace to working from home. If you have had a few spare minutes (PLEASE tell me where you found those) you have had a chance to search the internet for ways to work out without a gym, you have found chair dips, pushups, pullups, crunches, using your kids for squat’s, all sorts of exercise’s to plug that routine that has been up ended. The physical routine is great and a virtual fist bump to everyone who has managed to keep some semblance of a workout going.

Two things I would like to encourage everyone to do at this point, that I don’t see getting covered are remembering now, more than ever to also focus on your mental health, and to keep an eye out for family members and friend’s mental health. Mental health is a big part and often overlooked part of the fitness lifestyle, it’s not just curls and dieting (that would be too easy!).

So a few suggestions, as always adjust as needed!

  1. For those of us introverts living with extroverts and vice versa, remember that with different communication and attention needs in closed quarantined quarters a little more tolerance of different spatial needs and communication styles will need to be developed for everyone’s sanity
  2. Keep an eye on cooped up kids, a lot of them are used to socializing daily, and the withdrawal from that may cause depression (this obviously doesn’t just apply to kids, that’s just my personal worry right now) Even if you feel frazzled, take a few moments with family members, check in on them, try to include them in your exercise routine if they have any interest, or just share a cup of hot cocoa with them.
  3. Try to limit screen time occasionally, we all know by now things have gone fairly sideways, even the kids, try to limit the time looking at negative information and create some positive activities (NOT SAYING IGNORE the news, just don’t’ obsess)
  4. Share interests! Have everyone choose a favorite movie or board game, give it a try even if it doesn’t interest you, you are showing interest in your family or friends.
  5. Keep ingesting those positive motivational documentaries or YouTube videos, read positive books and other materials, share them with people. One I would highly suggest that I feel even benefited me at work, is a short story called The Go Giver, a reflective piece about changing the way we deal with business from a cut throat world to a more personal and less stressful world that ends up benefitting everyone. For kids, www.boredpanda.com is a great place for positive stories and pictures of cute animals to take their minds off what they can’t do.
  6. Last but not least, remember for you and everyone in close vicinity to you, to focus on finding things you CAN DO and to stop focusing on the things you can’t, no matter how ridiculous they end up being, a little bit of positivity can help turn things around, and that is coming from one of the world’s top ten cranks ; )

Stay Safe everyone. A quote I have had been relying on lately to maintain some semblance of sanity comes from Shakespeare, reminding us to be grateful for what we still have, “I cried when I had no shoes, but I stopped crying when I saw a man without legs. Life is full of blessings, sometimes we don’t value it.”

 

Running through a pandemic (Rod Trent)

Professionally, Rod Trent is a PFE/STA for Microsoft, focusing on Azure Identity and Governance and EMS. Privately, Rod is dedicated to fitness through diet, running, and other activities, but also a TV and movie junkie. You can find Rod active on Twitter (http://twitter.com/rodtrent) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rodtrent/).

I think I had mentioned in a past newsletter that I was beyond sick in January of this year due to something I had caught during a 2-week work stint in Chicago. Even during that story I was even barely aware of what would transpire and lead us to where we are today. The stories and numbers keep changing, but it’s clear that COVID-19 has been around a lot longer than we originally thought, and there’s a good chance that many have already had and recovered from this virus. Without a proper test, I have no idea if what I caught earlier this year was the virus, but if I had to place a bet on it, I’d say my odds are spectacular.

That said, I look back now and wonder — if I had known, would I have approached my running differently? Would I have taken a rest? During my worst day, I was still able to eke out 1 mile. It was laborious and torturous, but I did it anyway. I can still claim my running streak. It stands today at 1725 days straight. And, despite what others might say or think of me, I feel that’s a testament to both my dedication and my derangement.

Still, I’m not a doctor. If I was, I probably would’ve told myself to take a rest day. I was at least able to listen to my body enough to cut it off at 1 mile. I had planned to do more.

Fast forward to today. Most are sitting at home, figuring out for the first time how to work remotely. Some are wearing masks when they take grocery visits. Me? I’m still on track. I’ve worked from home for over 20 years, so I have a good rhythm set up. I work for a while, take a break and walk around. Work some more, head outside for a run if it’s nice or hit the treadmill if it’s not. Except for the pause in my standard mileage accumulation in January, I’m still in the zone. Still in rhythm.

The runs help me clear my head, focus, and shed the enormity of our global situation. I feel sorry for those that are just now getting into remote work and finding that their sweatpants are feeling smaller, sleep doesn’t come often, and their brains are soaked with silent worry.

As a fellow runner, how are you handling this pandemic? This may be the best time to evangelize your pastime and sport to your friends and family. I’ve seen those that have started running now that have always blasted it as a fool’s errand — because all you need is a pair of shoes and determination to keep yourself from falling forward.

 

Recovery in the time of Covid-19 (Mark Nichols)

Mark Nichols is an IT professional that got started with VMS in 1984 and is now a Sales Engineer for a Global IT Software company and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer with his local box.

Congratulations! You have come to the right place! I have found the secret formula/magic pills to give you the world’s highest level of athletic performance and keep you safe from COVID-19! And I am only sharing it with 2 million of my closest friends ;)!

Of course, it is not a REAL secret, but it might as well be. It begins with the simple understanding that our bodies are designed to experience stress, adapt, and recover. Moreover, that formula applies to almost every aspect of how our lives work.

Stress is all too familiar, but let’s be more specific. Stress can mean lifting a heavy weight, running a mile, or overcoming an injury or illness such as COVID-19. In the case of lifting weights, we engage our muscles to overcome the resistance, and as we fatigue or reach the limit of our capacity, a signal goes to the brain that says, “You need more capacity here!” In response, the body begins the process of building more muscle fiber or increasing the capacity of blood vessels in that area to deliver oxygen and glucose while removing waste. In the case of running, our heart rate increases, and our lungs may gasp for air. Eventually, the body increases the capacity to deliver oxygen to muscles in a more efficient manner. Then there are infections and viruses. The body works hard to decode the genetic structure of the invasion and to create new capabilities to fight the invader and destroy it. These are examples of adaptation. Adaptation is the body’s way of figuring out how to respond to stress.

Once our bodies have figured out how to respond to the stress, it begins the rebuild process. And this is where the secret of recovery comes in. Recovery is not the same as rest, although rest is a VITAL component of recovery. Recovery is the complex process of collecting the right materials (nutrients) and building something new. It turns out that top performers in the world of sports also happen to be the best at recovery in the world. In terms of illness, we refer to them as having robust immune systems.

So what does it take to recover like a superstar? I have mentioned rest and nutrients, but let’s look at some details. Everyone, of course, wants more sleep. We are probably the most sleep-deprived society in history. Nevertheless, there are specific steps we can take to improve our sleep. Those include going to bed at the same time every night in a dark, cool room, not eating 2 hours before bed, limiting exposure to blue light (computer screens and television) at least one hour before bed, and having regular physical activity during the day. The role of gut health in sound sleep is frequently overlooked. Our gut produces 70% of the hormones used by our bodies, including melatonin, the sleep hormone. If you take care of your gut with enough fiber and probiotic foods, your sleep will naturally improve. As far as probiotics are concerned, most over-the-counter probiotics contain between 9 and 30 different strains of healthy bacteria. Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut provide between 150 to 250 different strains and come with the fiber necessary to improve gut health. If you are not getting enough quality sleep, recovery and rebuild is an uphill battle.

For centuries, humans got most of the nutrients they needed from food sources. While our food supply chain is not as nutrient-rich as it used to be, it should still be the primary source. For me, I eat lots of kale, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, and just about any other vegetable. I also try to include garlic, turmeric, nuts and seeds, and now moringa daily.

Despite a very nutrient-rich diet, I do recommend additional supplementation. Supplements that have had the most positive impact on my recovery include D3, B12, a good protein supplement, and magnesium. My favorite brands to get these supplements are Complement (https://lovecomplement.com/), MRM Veggie Protein with Superfoods (https://mrmnutrition.com/product/veggie-protein/), Methyl B12 by Jarrow https://www.jarrow.com/product/621/Methyl_B-12_Tropical), Calm (https://www.naturalvitality.com/natural-calm), and my new favorite, O2 Recovery Drinks (https://drinko2.com/). I do not get any benefit from recommending these, and you can get most of them from your favorite retailer. If you want more details on why they are important, send an email, and I can explain further.

The last significant factor for strong recovery is regular exercise. If you are reading this, you are probably already doing that. Even when recovering from an illness, it is essential to move as much as possible to allow proper blood flow to purge the waste products of the rebuild process (like removing the trash from a construction site). That doesn’t mean a strenuous workout during the recovery phase, but it does mean moving at a comfortable pace.

So there you have it. You now know what it takes to become a world-class athlete or recover from horrible diseases. Now, to do it…

 

The natives are beyond restless! (Kris Lall)

Kris Lall works as a product manager in the tech industry for an enterprise software manufacturer. As a youngster, Kris was consumed with soccer before technology came along. Now he’s consumed with both. You can find him on Twitter at the not-too-surprising handle @krisoccer.

We get so used to our daily routines that when something like COVID-19 comes along, we have to scramble to find alternative ways of completing our daily tasks, like shopping, working, and of course, getting exercise. Unfortunately, like a lot of shared spaces (grocery stores, libraries, workspaces), fitness clubs are germ factories and, hence, temporarily closed down. So now that you’ve figured out how to safely procure food and productively work from home, how do you ensure you’re getting in your daily exercise regimen?

We all know what to do for a cardio workout — run, Joey, run. With the local fitness facility shut down and a lack of similar workout equipment at home, we have to use our creativity to find ways to get similar workouts at home.

Ben and Sam, college students, have been stuck inside taking college classes remotely and feeling a bit of teen angst while being cooped up in a space much smaller than a college campus. Both young men are fitness enthusiasts, adhering to their own regular workout schedules at many of the on-campus gyms. Presently being quarantined at home, they’ve used their creativity to convert household items into ad-hoc exercise equipment.

A deck with a strong railing can be used for various types of pull-ups:

Sam demonstrates the classic pull-up method.

Ben shows how to do the more chin-up style pull-up method.

Push-ups are a favorite fitness standby, but can be enhanced with a partner supporting a little bit extra weight on the back:

Sam balances a 15-20 pound box on Ben’s back for more challenging push-ups.

Find a couple of chairs strong enough to support your weight for “chair dips”.

Ben performs chair dips to build his triceps.

Other exercises include sit-ups, calf-raises, and “goblet” squats, where you hold something heavy in front of you and do squats.

The natives are still a bit restless, but finding creative ways to expend youthful energy and continue regular workouts to stay fit at home has made quarantine more bearable.

 

Progressive overload (Kris Kane)

Kris Kane is a North Yorkshire based personal trainer, martial arts instructor and general fitness enthusiast. You can find him on Instagram at @koachedbykris and also view him professionally on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/kris-kane.

Hi, Hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe! With the gyms currently closed and people spending most of their time at home, it’s easy to think about putting your training on hold or feel that working out at home won’t be beneficial enough for you to continue reaching your body goals.

There has been a big surge of trainers posting home workouts which once you start doing, even with just body weight, will make you realize you can still progress using this style of workout. Pinterest, Instagram and fitness related websites have lots of ideas for daily routines but if you don’t feel your current home workout is challenging enough, here are some ways you can make it harder:

Introducing: Progressive overload.

Plain and simple, progressive overload is the KEY to improving your body composition & changing the way you look…and this applies to both your workouts in the gym and at home.

So what is it exactly?

Progressive overload means that for a muscle to grow or get stronger, the body must be forced to adapt to a level that is above what it has previously experienced.

Remember, your body is made for survival, not getting toned or looking good in a swimsuit.

It just wants to keep you alive.

In order to create the changes we want to see, you must give your body a reason to do so. You have to introduce the stimulus of overload (progressively; over time), where your body has no choice but to adapt to that stimulus.

You may be wondering… “But how can I do this at home without weights & machines?”

Luckily, there are many ways to accomplish this, you can also:

  • Add reps
  • Add supersets
  • Add resistance
  • Increase time under tension
  • Improve form
  • Decrease rest times

These are all different ways to add progressive overload to your at home workouts & push yourself a little bit harder.

If you are consistently improving upon the variables above, your body will have no choice but to adapt, build muscle, and get stronger!

Aside from the physical aspects of training, the mental health and stress release benefits shouldn’t be overlooked either, especially in an isolating environment. I always feel better in myself having done a workout and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

If you haven’t come across any home workouts yet, here is one to get you started. It is body weight only, but if have any dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands at home you can add these into the mix and the options are endless. Run through the exercises in order and if you get to the end and still feel you can do more then try another round or incorporate one of the other progressions mentioned above.

If any of your current training goals involve becoming fitter, leaner, stronger and you want some further support, head over to my new Facebook page where I will be posting useful daily tips on all things training, nutrition and mindset 

http://www.facebook.com/kbkfitness

As always, good luck with your training and let me know if you have any questions.

[email protected]

Stay safe!

 

COVID-19, CAKES, COOKIES, and CANDY (Lana Khazari)

Lana Khazari is a Technical Support Analyst for the Corporation of City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She is also a Precision Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor and a Yoga 200-RYT Instructor. You can find her online at lanakharazi.com.

If social isolation has you giving into cravings and binging your a** off at some point, don’t sweat it. Because there is nothing wrong with you.

We are all psychologically taxed. The whole world is feeling crazy out of control. And to be honest, it might be OK to “suspend” some, if not all, of your healthy habits for a bit. Because it doesn’t matter if your coffee creamer has too much sugar. Now is not the time to be ‘good’ or to follow a bunch of arbitrary rules. There is never time for that. Now is the time to focus on efforts that make us feel better.

But before we skip ahead to solutions, let’s better understand the problem. This always makes it easier to move forward.

The underlying element here is of course stress. But how is it that with fewer interruptions and fewer demands we are still blowing up our diet and fitness? The difference here is a truly unique situation. This cultural global pandemic is relentless. We don’t know when this is going to end and what is going to happen. Unrelenting stress will lead you right where you don’t want to go. On top of that, your imprints and your comfort and relaxation at home make it hard to stick to an exercise regimen

A study shows how stress can induce overeating and consumption of foods that are high in calories, fat, or sugar, decrease physical activity, and even shorten sleep (1). It goes on to explain how stress interrupts self-regulation. It shows that it is normal to alleviate stress with self-sabotaging and medicating with food.

Another review of 168 studies on stress and physical activity shows that stress impairs efforts to be physically active (2). Stress crushes motivation. It is normal to not be motivated to exercise while your gym is closed. Try not to be so hard on yourself for not doing one of the thousands of HITT routines posted by your gym or trainer.

Life is hard right now and we don’t want to put pressure on ourselves. But sometimes the best way to love yourself is to follow some rules. Should we be abandoning our healthy habits and routines when we need them the most? We need a good mood right now, more than ever.

What makes you feel good?

Physically.

Mentally.

Emotionally.

Guess what helps with all of that? CONSISTENT EXERCISE and good nutrition and lifestyle habits.

Think about the health habits that can serve you right now. Those habits that help you mentally, build your immunity, happiness, and good mood. How can you make this easier? How can you make this more fun for you? How can you remove some obstacles? You don’t have to do everything suggested here. But, take action.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Your next action should be small. Nobody is expecting perfect and expecting perfect usually leads to nowhere. Maybe you do better with working out first thing in the morning. Maybe a 10-minute commitment at lunch is all you can manage right now. Be realistic. Can’t do your 30-minute mindful meditation? How about a few deep breathes instead? Be proactive and plan more constructively. Plan your comfort food instead of just reaching for it. Anticipation can be a motivating practice that also gives a sense of “being in control”. Start building a new routine and structure.

Clean up your environment

And not just your closets. Think of it as spring cleaning for your gut. Remember, what lives in your gut has a huge effect on mood. If temptations are in your fridge or cupboard, clear them out. They are not serving you. It’s a simple solution, especially with minimized trips out of the house. And do the kids need it? Reaching for comfort foods to cope with stress is what you may be modeling to your kids. This will be a hard habit for them to break after the crisis is over because of a built-up neurological drive to compulsively overeat. Try to schedule treats if you keep some at home.

Movement is medicine

Exercise makes you feel good. Walks are about the best thing you can do right now. Walking boosts stress-busting endorphins. If you are looking for some great free online Zoom workouts, you can join me here https://mailchi.mp/74bd2b022a1f/fitit. Any physical movement helps to calm the stress machinery in your brain.

Sleep

The earlier you go to bed, the less you will be searching for late-night snacks. More sleep also means a better mood. If stress is keeping you up, it’s even more important to look at your bedtime routine. Set a bedtime for your electronics and leave them out of the room. Make sure your room is blacked out. Keep your room relatively cool (65-70 degrees).

The Reframe Game

Have you been overfocusing on all the bad news? Change the channel. Literally and psychologically. Turn the distraction into a good thing. Watch less news and more comedies. Pull up a funny YouTube clip. Treat all your human behavior as data. Pretend that this is all an experiment and do some information reporting. My data shows me that when I’m not consistent with my exercise I’m super grumpy. My data shows that when I drink every day I get snappy with the kids. Maybe you need to experiment with this being a rebellious period of your life where you eat more cake and find out what happens. Great, now what are you going to do with that data? Now I’m not saying any of this is you, but reframing this into information helps to drop all the self-judgment

Whether it is exercise, sleep, or nutrition, think of something small you can start to implement. No “all-or-nothing” or “I failed” allowed. Nobody can be perfect all the time. Mindfulness, no judgment. Self-love also means giving yourself some structure and celebrating the small wins.

ACTION kills anxiety. Just pick one small thing and do it. Stay safe!

(1) Tomiyma AJ, “Stress and Obesity”, Annu rev Psychol. 2019 Jan 4; 70:703-718.doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-010418-102936. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29927688

(2) Stults-Kolehmainen M, Sinha R. “The Effects of Stress on Physical Activity and Exercise”, Sports Med. 2014 Jan; 44(1): 81–121.doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0090-5

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894304/

 

Bands, bands, bands (Jimmy Vo)

Jimmy Vo is a cyber security professional in the financial sector. He’s a Jiu Jitsu hobbyist and a purple belt under Lucas Lepri in Charlotte, NC. You can find Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyVo

A nice addition to my home gym were several EliteFTS resistance bands. The primary purpose of resistance bands is for speed lifts, where the bands are attached on both sides of the barbell. This adds a new dynamic of resistance. Sadly, I have not done any banded speed work in my home gym. I still get to use the bands for accessory work.

Since I’ve started to work from home because of the social distancing, I’ve kept a resistance band by my desk. This allows me to stand up and do a quick movement. Here are some of my favorite band exercises that can be done at your desk.

Band Pull Aparts

“Stand up straight and hold an exercise band out in front of you at around chest height. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Then pull the band apart, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then return to the starting position.” [Coachmag]

This is a great movement for overall shoulder health and stability.

Banded Good Mornings

“Start with your feet a little closer together than shoulder width apart and your toes pointing slightly inward. Bend at the hips and lower yourself until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Contract your abs, glutes and leg muscles as you pull yourself back up to a standing position.” [Rubberbanditz]

This is a great banded workout to do on a deadlift or squat day but can easily be done at your desk.

Band Bicep Curls

Start by standing on top of your band, and curl the band. There are different grip positions you can use to change the dynamic of the movement.

Team Challenge

A few of my teammates have gotten together to do a fitness challenge. The fitness challenge is simple, pick one exercise and perform as many of the movements as possible and track them in a team chat. Try finding a few teammates with resistance bands and perform one of these movements for the week. If you really want to step it up, try all three in a circuit every hour on the hour.

There are a ton of workouts you can do with resistance bands. They can be used with dumbbells and barbells or by themselves. They travel well and serve many different purposes. If you haven’t added resistance bands to your equipment, definitely pick some up. I bought all mine from EliteFTS.

Jimmy Vo | skype: jimmytvo | www.linkedin.com/in/jimmytvo

 

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email us at [email protected] today!

 

The Toolbox

If native Office 365 reports are not sufficient for you and if you need more details on your email traffic such as the sender, recipient and email subject, try PROMODAG Reports for free now!

http://www.wservernews.com/go/iarv7342/

SBGuard Anti-Ransomware is a free tool which can protect your Windows PC against Ransomware like CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, TeslaCrypt, CryptoXXX, CTB-Locker, Zepto and others:

http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/34497-sbguard_anti-ransomware

Active Directory Utils is a collection of utilities and sample code for administering Active Directory:

https://activedirectoryutils.codeplex.com/

StreamArmor is a portable application which scans NTFS drives to highlight alternate data streams where malware can often hide files and data from Explorer and other file management tools:

http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/34491-streamarmor

Scroll to Top