Category: Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness Articles

Health and wellness articles to build muscle, burn body fat, and get stronger! Learn how to be healthy and fit enough to gain strength and lose weight properly!

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Health and Wellness Articles


2019 Core Strength Plank Challenge

2019 Core Strength Plank Challenge

It’s time for the 2019 Core Strength Plank Challenge for men and women! Test your core strength and see how many plate stacking planks you can do without stopping! 

You can even challenge your friends to see who has the stronger core! Build strong abs and earn a 6-pack!

Watch the video to see how it’s done!

Planks are great for building core strength and strong abs! However, adding weight AND movement together create a whole new challenge! And with new challenges comes new strength!

So, now it’s time to see how many you can do! Comment your score below! Make sure to take a video and tag @MathiasMethod on all your social media!

Remember to challenge your friends!

Also, if you liked this plank challenge, check out our Daily 30 Fitness Challenge! Learn how to perfect your bodyweight exercises with the Daily 30 and get our FREE Bodyweight Strength Training Guide!

For more, check out our exercise guide for all of our abs and core exercises to help you lose weight and get stronger!


Plank Challenge Rules

To properly test your core strength and join the plank challenge you must follow these rules:

  • Start in the proper plank position, with your forearms on the ground and feet shoulder-width apart. In this position, only the balls of your feet and both forearms should be touching the ground.
  • Have one stack of plates (10lbs, 5lbs, 2.5lbsx3, 5lbs, and 10lbs) just outside of either forearm and within reach.
  • Use your opposite arm to reach across, pick up one plate at a time, and bring it to the opposite side of your plank making a new stack.
  • Making one new stack on each side, or across and back to the start position, equals one rep.
  • DO NOT raise your hips too high and take your core out of the movement.
  • DO NOT twist your body and turn it into a side plank. Try to keep your hips square.
  • If you drop a plate or it hits the ground before making a new stack, you start the challenge over.
  • If the plate stack falls, you fail and start over.

How Strong Is Your Core Strength?

2019 Core Strength Plank Challenge

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Walking Is Not Exercise

Walking Is Not Exercise!

Did you know that walking is NOT considered exercise? This is not just my opinion but standards set by the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines (ACSM Guidelines). However, many people do not understand this. Which is why I made this video to help explain why…enjoy!


daily 30 2nd edition book The Daily 30: Bodyweight Fitness Workout

Learn how to move properly while you build strength, burn fat, decrease pain, improve your fitness, and prevent injury, at home or in the gym!

This is great for men, women, and children of all strength levels!

Learn More!


Walking Is Not Exercise Video Summary

Walking is not exercise as stated by ACSM (American College Of Sports Medicine) Guidelines!

The ACSM Guidelines state that the Exercise Minimums to not be labeled as “sedentary” (without exercise) are:


ACSM’s Guidelines – Weekly Exercise Minimums:

Moderate Intensity (40-60% VO2 Max)                    30 Min. /Day               ≥ 5 Days/Week

               Or

Vigorous Intensity (60-85% VO2 Max)                      20 Min. /Day               ≥ 3 Days/Week

               Or

A Combination of These Two

* Williams, L., Wilkins. (2014). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Ninth Edition. [Text]

Moderate Intensity Exercise: Running, rowing, swimming, hiking, cycling, playing sport at a pace that is it difficult to maintain a conversation. 

Vigorous Intensity Exercise: Sprinting, rowing, jumping, swimming, cycling, playing sport at a pace in which you cannot maintain a conversation.

Learn more!


So, walking is simply not intense enough to be exercise, or a “workout”, for most healthy individuals.

Walking can be exercise for those first learning to walk or the elderly who are losing their ability to walk. However, for most of the population, you need more intensity for it to be considered an exercise routine or workout.

Of course, walking does have some benefits, such as improved blood circulation, increased insulin resistance, and it obviously burns more calories than just sitting around.

However, for those of you trying to lose weight, build muscleget stronger, become more athletic, or reach your goals, your training needs to be done with greater intensity. Walking for exercise is just not enough!

If you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, you can start by getting my FREE Bodyweight Strength Training Guide that can give you a real workout with just a few minutes of exercise every day!

Now, go start a new challenge and take on the world!


Please leave your thoughts on “Walking For Exercise” below!


 

What Every Senior Hoping to Boost Their Overall Quality of Life Should Know

What Every Senior Hoping to Boost Their Overall Quality of Life Should Know

By Jason Lewis of StrongWell.org

Despite what you thought when you were 25 or what you hear from the younger crowd today, your golden years can actually be the most rewarding stage of your life.

It doesn’t just happen that way, however.

As a senior, in order to enjoy a higher quality of life, you need to work for it. Here’s what you should know to make it happen.

Staying Physically Active Is Where to Begin

Although exercise can be uncomfortable for seniors suffering from some ailments or mobility issues, know this: There is always a type of workout that you can do without too much pain and the benefits of exercise are well worth it.

Seniors who exercise spend less time injured or disabled than those who don’t — 25 percent in fact. The benefits of exercise extend far beyond that, however. Seniors can expect improvements to bone health, circulatory function, immune function, and more.

Even doing a few simple stretches can have a host of positive benefits, including reduced tension and calmness within the body and mind. If you need some stretching pointers, there’s a handy infographic that can provide some assistance, or check out the Mathias Method Mobility Guide.

You Can Easily Get Your Workout Indoors

When some seniors think about exercise, they think about scary things like running around the neighborhood, pumping iron at the gym, or barreling down a track on a bike.

You may be concerned about the weather as well. How can you exercise when it’s too hot, too cold, or storming outside? It doesn’t have to be this way.

Seniors can get more-than-adequate physical activity safely indoors. Try swimming, yoga, bodyweight exercises, group fitness classes, resistance band training, YouTube exercise videos, or even fitness-related video games.


daily 30 2nd edition bookTry the Daily 30: Bodyweight Exercise Routine!

Learn how to move properly to build strength, improve mobility, decrease pain, prevent injury, and get fit, at home or in the gym!

Great for men, women, children, and seniors of all strength levels!

Learn More!


You Can’t Isolate Your Way to Better Health

It doesn’t matter whether you want to spend time with friends at church, call up a workout buddy to accompany you on a walk, or host a weekly card game — as long as you’re socializing with other people with relative frequency, you’re actively improving your overall well-being.

It is thought that “older people who have close connections and relationships not only live longer, but also cope better with health conditions and experience less depression.” It appears that being an active member of a social group stimulates brain activity in a positive manner.

Your Dietary Needs Have Expanded

Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits and veggies and low in sugar and saturated fat is what keep all humans healthy. When you’re 30, that’s about all it takes. But when you’re 60 and older, that well-balanced diet is necessary, but it’s not enough.

Your dietary needs have expanded. Your body now requires specific vitamins and supplements and perhaps extra nutrients.

You should work to increase your calcium, vitamin D, B1, and fiber at the very least. Also, remember to stay hydrated. You may have to drink more water than you think you should.

In the end, consult your doctor and listen to what your body is telling you.

Getting Quality Sleep May Be the Key That Unlocks It All

If you don’t give your mind and body the shutdown time it needs to replenish and recharge, then everything else you do — from diet and exercise to socialization — may be all for naught.

Sleep is vital to help you maintain and improve pretty much every aspect of your physical and mental health. For better sleep, try sticking to a strict bedtime and wake-up schedule, avoid eating in the hours before bedtime, try to limit your exposure to “blue light” (smartphone screens, computers, TV), and consider melatonin supplements.

What is the thread tying all of this together? Control. You are ultimately in control of your overall health. Sure, there are some things that are out of your control. But taking a “woe is me” or an “I’m just too old to change things attitude” won’t get you anywhere.

Make some of these smart lifestyle changes or additions and you’ll improve your overall quality of life in no time.


Essential Health and Happiness Tips for Older Adults

Essential Health and Happiness Tips for Older Adults

By Brad Krause of SelfCaring.info/

The key to happiness and good health doesn’t change much with age. Supporting the body and mind through exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and other facets of self-care are vital to our well-being at every point in our lives.

However, it does take a little bit more work to maintain your health in your golden years. If you’re searching for some simple ways to keep yourself feeling young and spry, look no further!

Set Up Your Prevention Plan

The easiest way to treat an illness or injury is to prevent it in the first place. Fortunately for seniors, Medicare includes an Annual Wellness Visit, so doctors can assess changes in your health over the years. During each visit, a doctor will ask you questions about your diet, lifestyle, and general well-being. They will check your blood pressure, monitor your weight, and provide personalized health advice based on any particular risk factors you may have. If you’re at risk of developing anything from depression to diabetes, doctors will send you for the appropriate screenings so they can help you stay on top of potential problems.

Discover Safe and Beneficial Exercises

Maintaining your physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent mental and physical decline in your senior years. Seniors should focus on low-impact exercises, especially if they have joint or muscle pain.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are four main types of exercise, and each has unique benefits:

  • Aerobic activities improve heart health, cognition, and digestive functioning.
  • Strength exercises build muscle, reduce pain, and boost your independence.
  • Balance exercises reduce your risk of falls.
  • Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles to prevent injury.

Try to fit all these into your physical activity routine for the greatest health benefits. Some exercises, like yoga, tai chi, and The Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine, can hit all four of these exercise types in one.

Join a class in your community so you can learn from an instructor—they will teach you how to stay safe and prevent straining your muscles or damaging your joints as you get started.


daily 30 2nd edition book The Daily 30: Bodyweight Exercise Routine

Learn how to move properly to build strength, improve mobility, decrease pain, prevent injury, and get fit, at home or in the gym!

Great for men, women, children, and seniors of all strength levels!

Learn More!


Stimulate Your Mind Every Day

In addition to working out your body, it’s also essential to give your mind a workout on a regular basis. Puzzles, like crosswords and Sudoku, can be helpful. Just be skeptical of online brain-training games claiming to prevent cognitive decline—there is very little evidence that these work.

The greatest mental benefits come from learning new, complex things. Pick up a hobby that requires you to think, like learning a new language, quilting, or digital photography. Researchers have found that these activities can strengthen memory even better than games and puzzles. 

Support Your Social Health

Another way to keep your mind sharp and stave off cognitive decline is to stay socially engaged. This can get more difficult as you advance into your senior years, particularly if you live outside of the city or struggle with limited mobility.

Fortunately, seniors can take advantage of technology to stay connected with friends and family who live far away. Forbes recommends picking up a tablet designed for seniors, such as the GrandPad. These tablets are extremely intuitive and require very little setup.

Seniors can also use social media and video chat software to interact with family more frequently. If you’d prefer to get out in the real world, join a class in your town, volunteer, or get a part-time job doing something you like.

Make a Stress-Management Plan 

People of any age can experience stress. Whether caused by financial worry, loss of independence, relationships, or health conditions, it’s important to manage stress so you can avoid its various negative effects on the body and mind. Try out some relaxation activities so you know what to do the next time you start feeling stress creep up on you. Deep-breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are excellent ways to quickly relieve stress on the go. 

Age shouldn’t get in the way of you and the lifestyle you want. When you’re passionate about wellness and strive for good health every day, you’re bound to thrive in your senior years. Be open to change, get ready to face challenges, and take every opportunity to secure your health for the future.


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How To Fit Well-Being Into A Busy Lifestyle

How to Fit Well-Being into a Busy Lifestyle

By Brad Krause of SelfCaring.info/

Health is on your mind, no doubt. How could it not be with all the demands from the internet, magazines, and newspapers that you eat right, exercise and be blissfully happy?

But it seems like the purveyors of those news clips and articles live in a bubble. They haven’t seen what it’s like in the real world, with all the barriers it throws up against physical and mental well-being. The stores are so packed with junk food you can barely find the healthy options. Getting to the gym is a pipe dream with all that work piled on your desk. And then there’s the stress of all that … so much stress.

You can’t change the world, but you can learn to navigate it and make some lifestyle changes that incorporate health into your daily and weekly routine. Wondering how? Here are a few little tricks that make a huge difference for the better.

Purifying Your Home

If you’re feeling under the weather, the very air around you could be to blame if it’s filled with dust, contaminants, and toxins, which is common in many homes. That’s especially troublesome for those who suffer from asthma or allergies. There’s an easy fix, though: an air-purifier. Do some research and check out reviews before you buy, and look for one with a high MERV rating, as it will do a better job of protecting your home and family from noxious particles than a low-rated model.

Shopping the Perimeter of the Grocery Store

This is where you’ll find the good stuff, meaning fresh fruits and veggies as well as lean meats and low-fat dairy. You may have to make a few strategic forays into the aisles to pick up some herbs, spices, and oils, but stick to your shopping list, and resist temptation from all the sweet and salty snacks.

Cooking in Batches

It saves time when transforming those whole foods into wholesome meals. Pick a recipe, make enough for a week’s worth of lunches, and store it in the refrigerator. That way, all you have to do in the morning is scoop out a portion into a container and head to work.

Breaking a Quick Sweat

Don’t cancel your gym membership, but learn a few routines you can do at home in under half an hour on those days when you can’t make it to your free-weight session or Spin class. Fitness magazine has literally dozens for you to try.

If you’re looking or a simple, fast and effective workout you can do anywhere, anytime, check out the Daily 30: A Quick Everyday Bodyweight Workout!

Hitting the Pedals

If your fitness routine doesn’t burn enough calories, this would finish the job. However, the number 1 reason to bike to work or the grocery store is the sheer fun of it, according to Momentum Mag, adding that it serves as a form of therapy, as opposed to sitting in traffic, which only invokes frustration.

Getting Mindful

Meditation and yoga are two ways to do this, as these ancient practices encourage you to simply exist in the present and feel the sensations that run through your body as thoughts pass unimpeded through your mind. There are other ways to achieve mindfulness, but they all share one thing in common: They’re excellent for relieving stress and relaxing.

Writing It All Down

Keeping a journal is another way to find tranquility in your daily life. It’s a noted activity for relieving stress, much like meditation and yoga, while also helping you to organize your thoughts and “declutter your brain.” It could even serve as a useful tool in your self-improvement efforts.

Reading in Bed

You’ll fall asleep faster, and you need your 40 winks if you want to wake up the next morning with energy to make it through the day. What’s more, it’s an excellent workout for your brain, expanding your vocabulary and encouraging your ability to concentrate.

Check out Motivated Mindset for a great daily read!

Taking a Hike

Unless you live out in the woods, you may have to save this for the weekend. It’s worth it, though, as the health benefits far outweigh those of shopping or watching a sports game. Besides an excellent form of exercise, hiking is great for stress relief.

Now comes the hard part: making those changes. Pick one item off the list, put it to work, and then choose another, and then another. You’ll feel better soon and wonder why you didn’t start a long time ago.

Join the Mathias Method Army for updates and more great content like this!

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