Every great journey begins with a single solitary step. In the fitness world, we begin our journey toward health and wellness in earnest when we begin putting in the work. As many newcomers to the world of exercise have come to realize, simply working hard will not always lead to direct and effective results. Do you feel like you are hitting your limits, spinning your tires, or otherwise stalling out with your fitness progress?
To enjoy a more successful journey toward your fitness resolutions, consider incorporating 25 of these secret fitness tips that every gym enthusiast needs to know!
1. Work Your Way Up the Weights
Getting into shape through exercise and fitness requires an understanding of the journey along the way. You don’t start your weight lifting journey by going straight for the heaviest deadlift you can handle. Instead, slowly work your way up in weight until you are failing at roughly 30 to 40 seconds into your set.
The process described above is known as time under tension and is ideal for stimulating muscle growth.
2. Figure Out What Works For Your Body Type
You have probably read a thousand of those success stories that talk about trying every fad diet & every fad workout and having no results UNTIL that one thing. It’s true, all our bodies are built different and what works for your best friend, might not work for you. Korescale is a scale that uses biometric sensors to break-down your BMI, body fat, muscle mass, and body water, so you can see where you are hitting plateaus and how to get past them. Plus it’s just a really great scale for checking your weight in general. Currently 50% off through the end of the week – click here.
3. You CAN’T Outwork a Bad Diet
Spend more than five minutes with any personal trainer in the world and you will quickly learn the importance of dieting. Food isn’t just what fuels our body, it is what our body needs for us to reach all of our goals. A balanced meal consisting of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats can contribute toward success in the weight room and in life.
4. Purchase A Heart Rate Monitor
Whether you are trying to gain muscle or burn fat, a heart rate monitor can be a tool of expediency. Heart rate monitors can be used with mobile fitness trackers to track and analyze the intensity of your workout routine. Keeping your heart rate in the right range can lead to more productive fitness sessions.
Use a fitness tracker and heart rate monitor combined to maximize the impact of your effort at the gym! Our favorite is KoreTrak because it’s affordable, but also has all the functions of something fancier – like an Apple Watch. Koretrak monitors heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, tracks steps, tracks calories, text message alerts, missed calls, find your phone, and time / weather / location. Click here for a KoreTrak Discount Code.
5. Target A Wide Range of Motion in the Gym
Did you know the best way to get the most out of your workout is by targeting exercises with a full range of motion? It’s true! When you target exercises with a wider range of motion, your muscles are forced to do more work per rep. This effort leads to more muscle tissue breaking down by the end of the workout, thus leading to more gains!
6. Relax And Let Your Muscles Recover
As your workout, your muscles strain and pull apart. Your body recovers from this by “refusing” the fibers and making them bigger and strong – hence the term – building your muscles. It’s important to allow your body recovery time. Hydration, stretching, a warm bath, and massage are all great ways to speed up recovery. Two products we like that can help with any pain + speed up recovery are NeckRelax and Kaydia Patch
Neck Relax makes a great product that helps you loosen and relax your body hands-free. You strain your neck more then you think when lifting and moving – clenching your jaw, etc. They are running a special for 50% off here.
Kaydia Patch we actually wear while doing cardio and when recovering. It’s a patch with nano technology that targets pain. It’s reusable and helps you keep a clean regiment (no pain pills), but without suffering through recovery days. They are also running a discount this time of year – click here for the discount code.
7. Get Comfortable With Exhaustion During Workouts
Endurance training focuses on total effort during a concentrated period of time. The goal here is to completely exhaust our muscles, so we have to prepare for exhaustion from the get-go. Pullups, pushups, squats, and rows are all great lifts to really push ourselves while defining our endurance capabilities.
8. Get In The Groove
Seriously, pump those jams. Research has shown that listening to music while working out can put you in a better mood, make you workout longer, AND increase you stamina. Since most newer phones don’t have a headphone jacks, it’s time you went wireless. DangoBuds are our pick for quality, affordability and style. Discount available here.
9. Strength Comes From Your Lower Body
If we really want to find results in the gym then we are going to have to attack our lower body with compound lifts. Compound lifts like squats, hip sleds, and deadlifts all do a great job of targeting stubborn fat. Additionally, your lower body is where the majority of your strength comes from and these exercises will prove it!
10. So Nice, We Listed It Twice – RECOVERY
Recovery really can’t be overstated. It is SO important to give your body time to heal and build. We recommend cardio or resistance training on your recovery days so you stay in the routine of working out, but also make sure you apply a muscle pain relief product and get some massages in.
We asked our resident fitness guru, Steve, what his two recovery secrets are and he said Muscle Care and LaidBack.
MuscleCare is a roll-on pain reliever for muscles. “It’s my secret weapon, most people buy a drugstore brand of pain reliever, but Muscle Care is the real deal. It works fast and actually smells good” said Steve.
“LaidBack,” Steve said with a smile and a glance at his feet, “Is a foot massager that provides all over body relief.” Steve is actually using LaidBack as we speak, I didn’t even notice. He says its great for in the office and his body is so tense after a hard workout that LaidBack really helps loosen him up. Currently on sale here.
11. Meal Preparation Is the KEY to Success
The easiest way to ruin a great workout is by eating a bad meal. Limit your exposure to impulse purchases and junk food by preparing your meals ahead of time. Pick a day of the week to prepare and freeze all of your meals and you’ll never go without!
12. Low Impact, High Resistance Training Yields BIG results
Resistance bands are great for low impact, high resistance training. They help you maintain muscle mass and improve flexibility and endurance, while putting low-strain on your body. KoreTense makes some nice resistance bands and they usually have a deal on the package of 5 bands, straps, bag, etc. We like to use the resistance bands on the days we don’t make it to the gym.
13. Map Out Your Fitness Journey
Before you pick up your first weight or book your first personal training session, take some time to clarify your goals. What are you looking to accomplish? Do you want to trim fat? Build muscle? Improve your cardiovascular endurance? Specific goals will require specific workouts, diets, and supplements. Don’t waste your effort by working in the wrong direction!
14. Take Care Of Your Knees
As Baz Luhrmann says in his advice filled song, “Be kind to your knees, you‘ll miss them when they’re gone.” Exercise can be killer on the knees. They take a lot of the impact, especially when running, fortunately knee braces can both protect them and alleviate any knee pain. Circa Knee was invented by a chronic knee pain sufferer – it’s comfortable and let’s us take workouts to the next level knowing that our knees are protected.
15. Learn Which Supplements Work Best For You
Depending on who you talk to, fitness supplements are either the best things or the worst things to ever happen to the fitness world. While there are countless fitness supplements on the market, there are a few that we would prioritize. Creatine is an ideal muscle-building supplement when used properly. BCAAs also help stimulate quicker muscle recovery.
Talk to your personal trainer to clarify your goals while discussing the supplements that might work best for you.
16. Master the Art of Proper Hydration
Did you know that a majority of the country walks around dehydrated during the average day? It’s true, far too few of us actually drink enough water to meet our hydration needs and this problem is amplified in the fitness world. Drink enough water to ensure the health of your GI tract so that nutrients are properly absorbed. Active fitness enthusiasts should aim for roughly one gall of water a day.
17. Find Your Motivation and Make It Count
When we work on any hard task, it can help to have a motivation to call upon when we begin to struggle. Motivation can take many different forms in the fitness world. Some of us are motivated by a desire to live healthier while others want to sculpt an aesthetically pleasing body. No matter your goals, find what motivates you, and stick to it when times are tough!
18. Lock Down Your Portion Control
Learn to eat with purpose by paying attention to how your portions look on your plate. Chicken, meat, and fish should stick to portions the size of your palm. Pasta should be portioned out roughly to the size of your fist. In order to promote healthier portion control, consider utilizing smaller bowls or plates to help.
19. Adjust Your Rest Periods For Different Lifts
Taking a break during a hard routine is normal. Taking an extended break during your lift can end up causing you harm. Stick to around 45 seconds at most between sets because this will best help you to improve your endurance. As you begin lifting heavier weights, you can start extending your rest periods.
20. Master Your Form Before Lifting Heavier Weights
While it is always fun to lift heavy weights, we really need to make sure that our form is in place before doing so. Workout with a trainer or a friend so that you can get feedback on your form. Proper form while lifting can help prevent injuries while also more accurately targeting muscle groups during your lift.
21. Carefully Incorporate Cardio Depending On Goals
If your goal is to lose weight and cut down on fat, ramp up your cardio and make sure that you are staying hydrated. If your goal is to gain muscle, then you really need to limit your exposure to cardiovascular training. For strength training, make sure to incorporate a light jog or some time on the treadmill a few times during the week.
22. Change Your Workout Routine to Inspire Results
When you walk into a fitness center, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the many machines and weights available to you. There is a reason why gyms have so many pieces of equipment and it is because change is IMPORTANT! Change up your fitness routine to prevent boredom while maximizing your results. Your body can get used to a certain routine and that can lead to diminishing results. Changing up your routine often can keep things fresh and fruitful!
23. Find a Workout Partner to Hold You Accountable
Everything is more fun when it is done with a friend and exercise is no exception. While we understand how fun it is to lift alone, working out with a partner can be a powerful motivator. Not only will you have a friend to encourage your growth, but you will have someone to monitor your form, hold you accountable, and inspire your journey. Of course, you will offer the same thing to them!
24. Workout When It Works Best For Your Schedule
Going through college, I knew that the only time I could get a lift in was after class at night. Instead of trying to jam in an early morning lift when I knew I’d be tired, I scheduled post-class workouts. Make sure that you are always scheduling your workout routines around YOU. There is nothing wrong with waking up early or going to bed late, just fit it into your schedule and the results will come!
25. Track Your Journey Via Photographs
Whether you are trying to gain weight or trim stubborn belly fat, make sure to monitor your entire journey through photographs. Now, people might mock the fitness mirror selfie but we personally love it. These photos will work as both a reminder and a source of motivation as you push forward in your journey.
Small changes are hard to notice, but photographic evidence is impossible to deny. Enjoy your journey, track your progress, and become the fitness enthusiast you’ve always yearned after!
Fitness Related Products We Recommend
- KoreTrak Fitness Monitor to track your vitals and reach your fitness goals
- KoreTense Resistance Bands for low impact resistance training that can be done at home
- Neck Relax for neck pain recovery and all over body relief and relaxation
- Kaydia Patch for nano technology pain relief on targeted muscles
- Circa Knee for knee joint protection
- DangoBuds for powering up yourself workout by
- listening to your favorite tunes (wirelessly!)
- KoreScale for tracking not just your weight, but the break-down of BMI, water weight, and muscle mass.
- LaidBack to massage your feet and relieve all over body tension during recovery
- Muscle Care to rub on your sore muscles
500,000-Year-Old Wooden Structure Rewrites History
In an archaeological discovery, a wooden structure dating back an astonishing 500,000 years has been unearthed on the banks of a river in Zambia, challenging long-held beliefs about the capabilities of ancient humans. Researchers stumbled upon these ancient wooden logs, a revelation that has the potential to reshape our understanding of the lives of early humans.
The find, located on the riverbanks near Zambia’s Kalambo Falls, provides compelling evidence that stone-age people may have constructed primitive shelters, forever altering our perception of their intelligence and resourcefulness. Archaeologist Prof Larry Barham, who led the research, was profoundly impacted by the discovery, stating, “This find has changed how I think about our early ancestors.”
What makes this find truly remarkable is that it suggests ancient humans did more than merely survive; they thrived by creating something entirely new. These early humans exhibited intelligence, imagination, and craftsmanship by fashioning structures from wood, a material that had never before been transformed into such large and sophisticated objects.
The researchers also uncovered ancient tools, including digging sticks, but the most exciting find was two pieces of wood positioned at right angles to each other. “One is lying over the other, and both pieces of wood have notches cut into them,” explained Geoff Duller, a professor of geography at the University of Aberystwyth and a member of the research team. “You can clearly see those notches have been cut by stone tools, making the two logs fit together to become structural objects.”
Radiocarbon dating confirmed the wood’s age, placing it at a staggering 476,000 years old. This revelation has ignited curiosity about the woodworking traditions of ancient societies, challenging the prevailing notion that early humans led simplistic, nomadic lives.
Perrice Nkombwe, a team member from the Livingstone Museum in Zambia, expressed her astonishment, saying, “I was amazed to know that woodworking was such a deep-rooted tradition. It dawned on me that we had uncovered something extraordinary.”
The preservation of the wooden structure itself is a miracle. Typically, wood decays over time unless preserved under specific conditions. However, in the waterlogged environment along the Kalambo Falls, the wood remained intact, essentially pickled by the elements for millennia.
While the exact purpose of this ancient wooden structure remains a mystery, it has sparked numerous speculations. Prof. Duller suggests it might have been used as a place to sit beside the river and fish, although a complete understanding of its function remains elusive.
Moreover, the identity of the individuals who constructed this structure raises intriguing questions. “We don’t know – it could have been Homo sapiens, and we just haven’t discovered fossils from that age yet,” Prof. Duller added. “But it could be a different species – [perhaps] Homo erectus or Homo naledi – there were a number of hominid species around at that time in southern Africa.”
This discovery has the potential to enrich our understanding of ancient woodworking techniques, craftsmanship, and human interaction with the environment. As researchers continue their work at the Kalambo Falls site, the pages of history are being rewritten, and our appreciation for the ingenuity of our ancient ancestors grows ever deeper.
Smallville: A Social Village Simulator That’s Advancing AI Research
Researchers created a world where an entire village thrives with inhabitants who are not human but AI-driven characters exhibiting intricate human social behavior. This fascinating experiment is called Smallville, and it’s turning heads in the world of AI research. A collaborative effort between Stanford University and Google, Smallville is pushing the boundaries of what artificial intelligence can achieve.
Last August, Stanford and Google published a groundbreaking paper titled “Generative Agents: Interactive Simulacra of Human Behavior,” which shed light on their ambitious project, Smallville. At its core, Smallville is designed to simulate a small city environment, complete with local shops, a college featuring dormitories, a library, a café, and a handful of houses. Notably, there’s also a co-living space housing 25 generative agents – the AI characters that make this simulation so unique.
What sets Smallville apart is the remarkable depth of its AI characters. Each generative agent is imbued with its own identity, goals, and roles, essentially becoming “characters” within this simulated world. The objective? To explore what a world entirely populated by AI would look like and how these AI beings would interact with one another.
The results have been nothing short of astounding. Smallville has provided valuable insights into AI’s ability to mimic complex human social interactions. The agents within this simulated world engage in intricate relationships, reminiscent of real-life social dynamics. They rely on their memory to remember past interactions and nurture connections, demonstrating a level of sophistication that was once considered science fiction.
However, this advancement in AI research comes with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The potential of AI agents participating in complex social interactions has numerous applications, from improving customer service to enhancing virtual worlds and even aiding in mental health support. On the flip side, it raises questions about ethics, privacy, and the boundaries of AI’s capabilities.
Smallville is a testament to the ever-evolving landscape of AI research, where the line between the artificial and the human becomes increasingly blurred. As the development of AI agents like those in Smallville progresses, it challenges us to navigate the exciting and, at times, unsettling frontier of AI’s potential impact on our society.
A Small Act of Kindness That Saved a Life
In 2014, Trieste Belmont found herself in the depths of depression, grappling with the recent loss of her grandmother and the pain of a breakup with her partner. She was facing a challenging period in her life, relying on friends to give her rides to and from work as she didn’t have a driver’s license. Little did she know that a small act of kindness from a stranger would ultimately save her life.
One fateful day, as she waited for her ride to work, Belmont experienced a heartbreaking disappointment. Her ride failed to show up, leaving her stranded and feeling isolated. With no other option in sight, she made the decision to walk home, embarking on a path that would take her across a high bridge.
As she walked along that bridge, Belmont’s thoughts grew increasingly bleak. She was overwhelmed by the weight of her despair, feeling like a burden on the people in her life. In that moment, she believed that ending her life was the only solution to her pain.
“I was just having one of the worst days of my life. And I was looking down at all the cars, just feeling so useless and like such a burden to everyone in my life that I decided that this was the time, and I needed to end my life,” Belmont recalled, tears in her eyes.
With a heavy heart, she stood at the edge of the bridge, ready to take that fateful step. But in that moment of darkness, a voice from a passing car behind her pierced through her despair. A stranger shouted, “Don’t jump.” Those two simple words had an enormous impact on Belmont.
“Those words just changed everything for me,” she said. “Having a stranger care about me in my darkest time made it so that I didn’t jump, and it saved my life.”
Trieste Belmont’s story is a powerful reminder of the profound impact that small acts of kindness can have on someone’s life, especially when they are facing their darkest moments. Her journey towards healing didn’t end on that bridge. With the support of a therapist, family, and friends, she found her way to a brighter place.
Today, Trieste Belmont is in a much better place mentally and emotionally, and she has an important message to share with the world. She emphasizes the importance of recognizing that even seemingly small gestures of kindness can make a significant difference in someone’s life.
“Even if you see someone that has a cute outfit on, telling them might make their day,” Belmont wisely advises. “They might be super depressed and worried about the way they look. But if you come in and you give them a small little compliment, it could change everything for them.”
Hope on the Horizon: Wild Atlantic Salmon Making a Comeback in US Rivers
The United States has witnessed a resurgence in the population of wild Atlantic salmon in its rivers. After years of decline, recent counts have revealed a remarkable increase.
One of the most significant milestones in this revival occurred in the Penobscot River, which hosts the largest run of Atlantic salmon in the country. In a recent count, approximately 1,500 salmon were recorded, marking the highest number since 2011. This encouraging resurgence suggests that efforts to protect and conserve these magnificent fish may be paying off.
For years, Atlantic salmon have faced numerous challenges that have led to their decline. Factors such as overfishing, loss of habitat, and pollution have taken a toll on their populations. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Atlantic salmon were granted protection under the Endangered Species Act, a crucial step in their conservation journey.
Sean Ledwin, the director of the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ sea-run fish programs, believes that the increased survival of salmon may indeed be a result of these conservation measures. He stated, “The greater survival of the salmon could be evidence that conservation measures to protect them are paying off.”
But the story of salmon’s recovery isn’t just about one species. The count of river herring, another essential part of the river ecosystem, has also seen an upswing. This increase in river herring populations plays a critical role in the salmon’s precarious journey from the sea to the river. According to Ledwin, “The increasing runs of river herring help distract hungry predators such as seals and striped bass from the relatively rarer Atlantic salmon, which may help increase salmon survival of the predator gauntlet.”
However, while the recent progress is undoubtedly cause for celebration, experts like Greg McCaw, a scientist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources, urge caution. “So it is a tick up compared to previous years, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still abysmal,” he cautioned. Conservationists recognize that much work remains to be done to ensure the long-term survival of this cherished species.
In New England, conservation groups have been tirelessly working to remove dams and restore salmon habitats. The recent gains in salmon populations have emboldened these organizations, such as the Atlantic Salmon Federation, to continue their vital efforts.
Yet, the challenges facing Atlantic salmon extend beyond the local level. Climate change poses a growing threat to their survival. Neville Crabbe, a spokesperson for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, emphasized that global action is needed to address the root causes of climate change and its impacts on salmon populations. “It’s going to take a commitment from everybody in the world to reduce emissions, and try to negate the most severe implications of climate change,” he noted.
Honest Thrift Shop Manager Returns Lost $5,000 Regular Donor
In the charming town of Burlingame, California, where community values and integrity shine brightly, a heartwarming story of honesty and goodwill has unfolded. At the heart of this tale is Oliver Jolis, the dedicated manager of Pick of the Litter, a beloved thrift shop in Burlingame. Oliver’s remarkable act of integrity touched the hearts of many, reinforcing the values of honesty and kindness.
Oliver Jolis was going about his usual business at the thrift shop, sorting through bags of donated clothes with care and dedication. Little did he know that an unexpected surprise was about to unfold. As he organized the donated clothing, something unusual began to happen—money started to fall out of the garments.
“Money just started falling out,” recalled Jolis. “Money flew out of the shirt! We went ‘uh oh’,” added his co-worker, Amy Walsh. The cash kept pouring out, and soon they realized they were dealing with a substantial sum—$5,000, to be exact. Alongside the money, they found a piece of paper with car insurance information, which provided a valuable clue to the owner’s identity.
Rather than succumbing to temptation, Oliver Jolis and his co-workers decided to take the high road. They embarked on a mission to locate the rightful owner of the money. What they discovered was truly heartwarming: the generous donor who had unknowingly parted with $5,000 was a regular contributor to the thrift shop.
“I said come on down, I’ve got something for you,” Jolis recounted. The woman who regularly donated clothes to the shop returned, likely unaware of the treasure that had been concealed within her donations. Oliver handed her a paper bag containing the $5,000 and expressed his gratitude for her continued support.
“He could have just put the money in his pocket. Nobody would have known. But he didn’t,” acknowledged the woman whose generosity had unintentionally included the significant sum. Her appreciation for Oliver’s honesty and kindness was evident, and she expressed her trust in his character.
Residents of San Mateo, Burlingame, and beyond were quick to applaud Oliver Jolis for his integrity. Trina Pierce, a San Mateo resident, voiced her admiration, saying, “I wasn’t surprised he found it and gave it back. We just love Oliver. The whole staff is great, but Oliver is special.”
Oliver himself believes in the profound principle that the universe rewards acts of goodness and kindness. “Whatever you do in this world comes back to you ten times, be it negativity or positivity, it comes back,” the anonymous woman remarked, reflecting on the beauty of Oliver’s selfless actions.
In the end, Oliver Jolis humbly summarized the experience: “We’re grateful for all the donations we get, so it was a win-win.” His actions remind us that honesty and goodwill are timeless virtues that can bring communities closer together and inspire us all to do the right thing when faced with unexpected challenges.
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