Just One Final Week... to Live...

#FreedomFebruary is coming to a close, and for the last week of February I want you to live it like you only have this one last week to live.

One day, everyday and someday soon, I hope that you wake up and live as if you only had one week left to live. You'd pay more attention to people you came into contact with throughout the day as if it was the last communication you would have with that person, or maybe even any person. You'd be caring & kind to others...and at the same time you'd hold nothing back. You'd be free of any fear, inhibition, embarrassment, & procrastination. You wouldn't even waste the time to contemplate if others were supposedly judging you, or that you weren't thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough...you would have had enough of wasting your time trying to be enough for everyone else so instead you'd start spending your time being present, in the now.

You wouldn't care what the weather forecast was and you wouldn't let it rule your mood for the day, because it was one of seven days you had left remaining. If it was raining, you'd take a long walk in the rain, without an umbrella, without a rain jacket. You'd delight in the sense of rain drops rolling down your face and the dewy refreshing smell & steamy humidity that a rainy day brings. You'd wake up early just to see the sunrise with all its glory and you'd make sure you were there to capture the last rays of the sunset before it dropped below the horizon. You'd hold all your friends and family close to your heart and cherish the time spent with each and every one. Take these words and apply them to your week.

Apply this mentality to every decision you need to make, in this upcoming week and going forward, and a whole new life will be presented to you that you never knew was there.

You can apply it to any question, like, "What workout will I do today?" Well, ask yourself, what kind of activities would I plan during my final week of life?

Here are a few of mine:

  • Hike to the top of the closest mountain or trail to watch the sunset over the hills
  • Very early in the morning, I'd Stand-Up Paddleboard out past the waves to the calmer waters and watch the sun as it creeps up from below the ocean's vista
  • I'd Fat Tire Bike the most beautiful, untouched beach until there was no one around except for nature, my dog, and my husband and I (and have an unforgettable picnic!)
  • I'd take my yoga practice to the sand dunes around the corner from my house, and start my yoga session so that it ends with the sunset

You see, once you apply this mentality, you will begin to build a life that is more connected to nature, connected to your loved ones, connected to any and all strangers, connected to the universe, connected to Divinity. A life in which you revel in everything that you have at your fingertips, everything standing right in front of you. Instead of facing life as if you don't have enough of this or that, you begin to realize that you had everything all along, you just weren't looking in the right place...

#DAILYMOTIVATION:

Some of us choose our path out of fear & disguise as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it....

Lesson learned, you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love....

When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that you should live your life inside the world and try not to get into too much trouble, try to get an education, a job, a family... But life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us, that which we call life, was made up by people that are NO smarter than you....
Find out what it is that you want and go after it as if your life depends on it...WHY? BECAUSE IT DOES.... There is no guarantee in life, well...there’s only one guarantee... if you don’t take action there will be no outcome at all, the only outcome will be that you didn’t achieve anything, you didn’t achieve what you want... a lot of people think that failure is a step backward. It’s not a step backward! Failure is a step forward in the right direction. EVERY time you fail, you learn something from it, you gain something from it, that’s PROGRESS in every sense of the word....
— - The Greatness Within, Les Brown

#BEACHBUM BUNS WORKOUT

beachbodyworkout

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12 Genius Bike Accessories & Bonus Barbell Workout

For #FreedomFebruary, as you ponder how you'll incorporate exercising daily, I want you to think outside of the box, get out of your comfort zone and for God's sake...free yourself from the monotonous and mindless workout routines that just aren't healthy mentally or physically.

You are worthy and capable of an enjoyable "workout". Think back to your childhood. When you were a wee little one, you didn't need to "workout" because you were already running around, playing outside, climbing trees, biking down the street to a friend's house, playing tag or basketball...all activities you enjoyed doing. Why trade in fun activity for mindless exercise? For your next "workout", why not play outside? Maybe you won't be climbing trees exactly, but why not climb a mountain trail? Maybe you won't be biking down the street to a friend's house, but why not bike to a park to people watch or read a good book?

Speaking of biking, if you don't have a bike, get one! Bicycling is very meditative and liberating. It's low-impact and a highly effective form of exercise as it activates many of your body's large muscle groups (hams, quads, glutes, core) while providing a wicked cardio burn too.

The average cyclist riding at a moderate pace will burn approximately 400-600 calories per hour
— www.ilovebicycling.com

AND...if you absolutely can't bicycle outdoors due to inclement weather, there is always the local spin class to attend (in which you can burn an average of 500-800 calories per hour class!).

The 12 Genius Must-Have Biking Accessories:

  1. This Mini Pocket Portable Bike Pump
  2. Night Gear: Running Shoe Lights w/LED Safety Lights
  3. Handlebar Bike Mount Phone Holder
  4. This Kryptonite Bike Lock
  5. Cycling Bike Lane Tail Light Projector
  6. Rydesafe Reflective Decal Stickers
  7. Multi Tool, Bike Repair Kit & Tire Levers
  8. This Bicycle Beverage Holder
  9. Mountable Water-Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
  10. This Gel Top Bike Seat Cushion Cover
  11. Bicycle Carryall Seat Strap-on Saddlebag
  12. And don't forget your helmet, bike gloves, water bottle & sunglasses!

#DailyMotivation & Driveway Barbell Workout

I'm going to sign off this post with two favorite daily customs of mine. They just so happen to be the same habitual undertakings of some of the world's most highly effective people.

#DailyMotivation & #DailyExercise

Everyday, I listen to at least one motivational speech that I find on Youtube or a podcast. And everyday I do some form of planned activity or exercise.

These wise words were inspired by some of the best motivational spiels out there:

You can either live your dreams...or live your fears...your time here is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life, don't be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking, don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out the noise of your inner voice, and most important...have the courage to follow your heart & intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary...
You gotta stay focused on where you're going. Some people would rather get even than get ahead. Stay focused on where you're going when times get tough...remember this one question, "What are you going to do with your time here on earth, what drives you?" 
Greatness is a lot of little things done well, day after day... you will never be successful until you turn your pain into greatness, until you allow your pain to push you from where you are to where you want to be. Stop running from your pain, your pain is going to be a part of your prize, a part of your product, a part of your drive and your dreams.
You see...you have this opportunity of a lifetime, yet it means absolutely nothing if you don't take advantage of it in this lifetime of opportunity. You've got to start saying YES to your life, YES to your dreams, YES to your unfolding future, YES to your potential, as opposed to saying no. Leave no dream and no opportunity left behind.
Align yourself with people that encourage you, people you can grow from, people that empower you... You see, we as humans have something that no other animal has, we have imagination, and what imagination means is that we can see it before it actually happens. Look into the future and imagine yourself as you want to be. You need to go into your future and see what you are going to be. You've got to take yourself beyond the pain, beyond the fear, your imagination needs to take you to where you want to be... and that will keep you from giving up. You need to keep seeing what you are going to be, don't keep seeing what you are now, envision what you are going to be one day and embrace it with faith. Fail forward and get to a place in your life where there is no obstacle you can't overcome.
Until you attempt to do something beyond that which you’ve already mastered, you will never grow...
— Les Brown

Driveway Barbell Workout

T-Grip Lite Bar

Invigorated by a radiant sun & warm weather and driven by a fierce desire to feel that PUMP that accompanies a barbell workout, the "Driveway Barbell Workout" was born. I wanted to workout outdoors...but I also had a strong craving for strength training. Luckily, I had my nifty portable T-Grip Lite Barbell Set on hand. So, I headed down to my driveway and knocked out the following workout:

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March 21 Day Fitness Challenge

Starting March 16th, I'm participating in a fitness challenge group and I wanted to share this opportunity to join our fitness challenge group with my readers!

The fitness challenge will be 21 days. One ~30 minute workout per day. We're also going to follow a results-driven nutrition plan, because diet is 80% of the equation to achieving your weight loss goals!

You can do any 30 minute workout, or you can follow the 21 Day Fix Extreme workout program that I will be doing with my fitness challenge group (there is also a less "extreme" workout program that you can do with us, called 21 Day Fix). Since I live a Paleo & Bulletproof diet & lifestyle, I have tweaked the 21 Day Fix Nutrition plan for my specific diet preferences. I have put together a 7 Day Meal Planner for Week #1 just to give you an idea of what the Paleo or Bulletproof version would be like. Download the free PDF example >HERE<. And the free excel version (so that you can input your own calories and change the meals and macronutrient percentages) >HERE<.

If you aren't eating a Paleo or Bulletproof diet, then you can just follow the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan as it is!

Here's the game plan:

21 Workouts: Do either the 21 Day Fix Extreme or 21 Day Fix workout program {or choose any ~30 minute workout that really pushes your limits and gets you sweatin'}! You can find a plethora of at-home and/or gym workouts on my site.

Nutrition: EAT CLEAN. Abs are made in the kitchen, so this is a vital part of the 21 day challenge. No alcohol, it slows down your metabolism, adds calories to your daily caloric intake, and spikes your blood sugar levels which isn't going to help you achieve your weight loss goals! Follow my meal planner or follow the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan that comes with the workout program. I would suggest the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, especially if you're just starting out with a wholefoods, clean eating approach to nutrition. It will get you on the right path!

That's it, keepin' it simple because I know you're busy! This fitness challenge is the perfect jump start to what I like to call "Spring Training". What's "Spring Training"? Winter is coming to an end, it's been REALLY cold and dismal and has put a lot of people into "hermit crab - couch potato" mode...so when the sun and warmth come back into the picture this Spring, we're going to kick into high gear with getting fit this year...THIS is "Spring Training". Not only will Spring Training get you in bikini body shape, but it will also boost your serotonin and endorphin levels to improve that mood and get you out of the winter blues. Let's just say, Spring Traning is SUPER ENERGIZING!

So this 21 Day Fitness Challenge is the perfect prelude to what's to come, Spring Training! It will kick your butt into gear and smack a smile back on that winter blues face of yours! Not to mention tighten and tone up that bod for bikini season woot woot!

Okay, enough chitta chatta, comment below if you want to join the 21 Day Fitness Challenge group!

If you need some Workout Gear, don't forget to pop on over to Brave Angel Shop for some Athleisure: Women's Motivational Workout Apparel for Everyday Use!

Any recommendations made by Natalie Krul, Brave Angel, guest bloggers, or on our website www.BraveAngel.com about weight training, nutrition, supplements or lifestyle should be discussed between you and your doctor because working out involves risks. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website or from our products or services.  Never rely on information on our website, from our products or services, in place of seeking professional medical advice.

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How Over Training is Holding You Back

We've got six more days left of the 20 day challenge, and if you missed out on the first fourteen days...you can still start NOW! Click below to download the workout program, and #gohardorgohome ;)

20 Day Workout Challenge

I want to briefly talk about Overtraining with you. For some of you, just getting in your 3-4 workouts per week is an accomplishment in and of itself, and every time you accomplish that goal...pat yourself on the back!

However, it's easy to become a gym addict...working out 6-7 days per week and each workout session is 60-90 minutes or even more. THIS is Overtraining. This is the technical definition of "Overtraining": a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual's exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness. Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes.

It won't get you lean, strong and healthy...and this is why:

  • Microtrauma to the muscles are created faster than the body can heal them.
  • Amino acids are used up faster than they are supplied in the diet. This is sometimes called "protein deficiency".
  • The body becomes calorie-deficient and the rate of break down of muscle tissue increases.
  • Levels of cortisol (the "stress" hormone) are elevated for long periods of time.
  • The body spends more time in a catabolic state than an anabolic state (perhaps as a result of elevated cortisol levels).
  • Excessive strain to the nervous system during training
  • Persistent muscle soreness
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Reduced heart rate variability
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Mental breakdown

So please make sure to have rest and recovery days. Working out any longer than 60 minutes increases your cortisol levels above proper levels and can create an environment suitable for the overtraining syndrome described above. If you really like working out, you can workout 5-6 days per week but make sure your workout sessions are kept to a minimum of 20-40 minutes maximum. You can throw in a couple longer sessions but you need to make up for it by decreasing the length of some of your other workout sessions that week.

Now....Happy Monday and #HIIT it!

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