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Angela Joy Health & Fitness

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strength

Feeling Stressed? Overwhelmed? Impatient? I Can Relate!

Stressed about life anyone? I saw this quote from “Godly.Waiting” on Instagram. “The reason you are so stressed in because you’ve been trying to figure it out on your own. Let go and let God make it happen. He’s already paved a way.”

I think we all have had a time or two in our lives where we try to figure things out on our own. We work in our own strength to make things happen in our life. We develop goals, plans, ambitions, dreams and hopes in an effort to attain happiness, success, recognition or what have you.

Goals and ambitions are really good things to have in our lives. But, what happens when life doesn’t turn out how we had hoped? What happens when you have worked tirelessly towards achieving specific goals and dreams all to find that they are not within reach. We don’t win, success, or follow the “plan.” Maybe, something went wrong, the money wasn’t available, a sickness occurred, maybe even a death – nevertheless, you are now being recalculated and the path towards your dream is closed off.

What do we do then? Do we give up? Keep trying? Start over? Or, do we stop?

Who is to say? Not me.

I have had numerous setbacks in my life. If you asked my five years ago if my life would be where it is now I would laugh at you. Nothing in my life has gone the way I had hoped, dreamed, planned.

Sometimes I get upset. Sometimes I want to do everything in my power to change my circumstances. Sometimes I want a do-over. Sometimes I obsess over what I can change.

However, what I really need to do is stop. Stop dead in my tracks and turn to the one who created me. Yes, He can instill desires and hopes in our hearts. Yes, we can have dreams that we think are pleasing to Him and part of His will. But, we can also be misguided. We can misunderstand, misconstrue, misinterpret what we are actually being told. On the other hand, this process of being “recalculated” can also be a learning experience or testing. The Lord works in mysterious ways. And it is not our job to understand all of the interworkings of His plan for our lives.

I have beat myself up time and time again asking questions such as these: Is this the will of God? Is He leading me here? Do I need to do this in order for His plan to enter into my life? What can I do to receive His blessing and direction?

I am sure that these questions are not too far off of your mind from time to time.

The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night after one of my long days of stressing out over my future and trying to “fix” my life in my own strength. He told me that there is nothing I can doNothing I can do in my own physical strength that will bring me any closer to His will and plan for my life.

There is one thing I can do, however!

What I CAN do is surrender. I can give my life to the Lord and trust that He will guide and direct my paths. Psalm 119:150 states, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path.” He is our light. Our faith and trust in Him directs our paths.

If we knew what God had planned for our lives then we wouldn’t have the opportunity to develop our faith in Him. He leads us exactly where we need to be at exactly the right time — when we put our trust in Him. (God is never late 🙂

Whenever I am feeling down, feeling the need to work in my own strength, or feeling disappointed — I use this time to look to the Lord for answers. (I look to Him for my strength and direction).

“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32 (Having the self-control to trust in God)

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:17 (Which is what He told his disciples)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

It is truly amazing what God can do with our lives, IF we will let him.

Sometimes we need to take a big step back. We need to step back from our minute problems and difficulties. Yes, this scenario may seem big to us, BUT it is nothing for God. We must remember that He is in control. We are in the palm of His hands. He can change our situation around in a heart beat …. However, He can also allow us to stay in our situation.

In my life, I truly feel that the Lord is leading me to use this integral time in my life to grow closer to Him — to learn more about His teachings, grace, love, promises. To develop my faith and trust in Him. You never know, you may need to go through these “waiting” periods in order to handle the blessing God has on your life.

Regardless of what God has in store, it is our job to place our faith in Him. To call onto Him and ask that He guide, direct and strengthen us. God will never fail you. Please trust Him today 🙂 I promise He will give you everything you need, and more!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)

Allow the Lord (the Holy Spirit) to work within you and develop the fruits of the spirit. Allow Him to come into your life. Allow Him to make a way where there is no way. He will provide, all you need to do is ask Him ❤

May God bless you in whatever season you may be in, whatever difficulty you may be facing, whatever struggle may be overpowering you.

 

Wishing you love, joy and blessings ❤

Angela Joy

Transform Your Dreams Into Reality – One Step At a Time

New Year’s Resolutions – they are so cliche, aren’t they?

Or, are they actually a great idea! There are so many things in our lives that we wan’t to achieve, but we are often faced with unexpected commitments, tasks and obligations.

Goals become dreams, and dreams become distant memories in our minds. Why is this? Because we are TOO busy? If we are TOO busy, what are we doing with our time?

Watching a movie, taking a nap, going shopping – sounds very busy! If something is your goal, you will make time for it.

Therefore, this 2017 New Year I am challenging you to make your New Year’s Resolutions something worth making time for.

Transform your thoughts into dreams, and from dreams to wishes, and from wishes – to goals.

Let us take this opportunity of a new beginning to make things happen in our life. To stop and say, “This is not how I want this story to end.” Take charge of your life. Dump that excuse, “too busy.” Recognize that you do have the power to make whatever it is that you truly want to achieve – possible.

My New Year’s Resolution? I didn’t create a resolution per se, I created a list of 2017 goals ranging from; personal, career, financial, fitness, spiritual, and more. My favorite goal is to finish the USAT National Age Group Triathlon in a specific time. ❤

This will involve a lot of work – hard work. Therefore, there will be no time for, “I am too busy.”

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

I would love to hear the wonderful resolutions you have in mind! Share below!
Have a happy, healthy and safe New Year ❤

new

❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings,

<Angela Joy

 

Why Do Pilates?

PIlates

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a low-impact and safe form of mind-body exercise. Pilates improves
overall body strength, posture, breathing, alignment and flexibility.

How is Pilates Beneficial?

Pilates is known to improve strength without the body taking a toll. The exercises
focus on movement quality opposed to the amount of repetitions or resistance.

Pilates can benefit everyone:

  •  Abdominal Strength
  •  Improves Posture
  •  Promotes Flexibility
  •  Improves Balance
  •  Confidence in Movements
  •  Creates Stability and Control
  •  Enjoyable and Relaxing
  •  Reduces Risk of Injury

Pilatess

Pilates Creates Increased Stability and Balance

Increased control and stability is important for older adults as it can help improve
functional movements including balance and posture. Pilates increases stability,
posture, strength and flexibility throughout the body, which can improve balance.

Pilates Creates a Strong Core and Straight Posture

Pilates exercises can develop a strong core (abs and back). Strong, lengthened abdominal and back muscles create fluid movements and a straight spine.

Long, Lean and Flexible Muscles are Formed

Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured. Pilates exercises train several muscle groups through smooth and continuous movements. Through the development of proper technique your muscles are trained to move in safe, efficient and functional motion.

*Information taken from http://www.Pilates.com

Run Faster & Stronger Through Strength Training

By: Angela Joy

Most runners participate in only one form of exercise which is, you guessed it – running.

Doing the same form of exercise each day is not effective in properly strengthening the body’s muscles, improving performance and preventing injuries.

As a result, it is suggested that runners participate in a consistent resistance training program to properly strengthen their muscles and evenly distribute their weight.

Strength training will not only assist in preventing injuries, it will also increase speed, endurance, runner efficiency, balance and flexibility.

STT RR

Why Strength Train?

As a runner it is easy to fall into the pattern of running the same route, for the same distance, for the same amount of time, day in and day out.

When we participate in the same consistent form of exercise our muscles are not being challenged.

Over time the body will acclimate to these activities and will not build strength or endurance.

Chief Science Officer at the American Council on Exercise Cedric Bryant reported that variety in an exercise routine allows the body to be physically challenged.

He concluded in an ACE article titled, “Why is it Important to Vary My Exercise Routine,” many of the body’s physiological systems, such as the muscular system, will adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks.

He further stated that continuing to participate in the same form of exercise activities will cause the body to “reach a plateau because your body has adapted to the repetitive training stimulus.”

In an effort to prevent reaching a plateau it is not only beneficial to alternate between different types of workouts, but to also incorporate different styles, durations, equipment and intensities.

ST R

The Benefits of Strength Training

The muscles used during running must be properly strengthened, stretched and cared for in order to sustain your running ventures, reach performance goals and increase your running abilities.

Strength training will create strong muscles, prevent injury, improve speed and confidence, improve running efficiency, while also allowing the body to more effectively utilize each breath.

A Runner’s World Magazine article titled, “Strength Training for Runners” stated that if you want to “perform at your full potential” you need to take a comprehensive approach to your training – which includes flexibility, mobility, balance and strength training.

ST

How to Strength Train

Strength training is defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as “a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance.”

Strength training activities can be accomplished through traditional free weights, body weight exercises, resistance machine exercises, elastic tubing, medicine balls, and even household items such as cans and jugs, the ACSM stated in a 2013 report on resistance training.

The ACSM recommends that a strength training program is performed a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week.

According to the ACSM, one standard strength training session should be made up of 8 to 10 different exercises that target all of the major muscle groups, and each exercise should be completed for a total of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Strength training workouts general target the chest, back, shoulders, bicep, triceps, abdomen, quadriceps and hamstring muscles.

Runners however tend to focus on specific areas of their body when participating in a strength training program.

According to Runner’s World Magazine runners should focus on strengthening three areas; the core, upper body and lower body.

Core muscles strengthen the abdominals and back. These muscles are the foundation of all movement. Therefore, a strong core create and support strong legs and arms.

Lower body muscles include the soleus, gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, quadriceps and hamstring muscles.

These muscles create leg strength to withstand fast, long and difficult running ventures.

Upper body muscles include the shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps. These muscles increase speed during running as the runner pumps their arms and proportionately balances their bodies.

STT

Strength Training Exercises

A few examples of resistance training exercises to improve running ability, strength and performance include;

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Plank
  • Clamshells
  • Bent-over row
  • Side plank
  • Lower body Russian twists
  • Scorpion
  • Back extension
  • Hip bridge
  • Jack knife
  • Alternating shoulder press
  • Deadlift

ST Pl

Accomplished American marathon runner Amby Burfoot has inspired millions of runner with his quote, “You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you. The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.”

ST Runners

Training Workouts to Increase Speed and Endurance

By: Angela Joy

As a runner, it is only natural to come to a point where you want to see improvement.

Some runners seek to run further distances while other runners seek to run at faster speeds.

Regardless of your goal, I have listed below several types of workouts to incorporate into your training routine to improve your overall speed and endurance.

Running

Image taken from talkfeed.co

TRAINING TIPS
One of the best ways to increase your speed and endurance is to create a change in your current exercise routine.

Several well-known workouts that improve speed include the fartlek run, the tempo run and interval training. Workouts that will improve endurance include long distance and hill workouts.

Each workout has its own challenges that will build strength, ultimately improving running ability.

Speed

Image taken from: realbuzz.com

SPEED WORKOUTS
The fartlek, tempo and interval workouts are each different forms of speed runs.

Personal trainer and running coach Jenny Hadfield, better known RunnersWorld.com’s Coach Jenny, explains the differences between the three.

The fartlek run is defined by its Swedish meaning, speed play.

Ms. Hadfield explains a fartlek run as an unstructured workout that varies between moderate to difficult running paces, for different amounts of time.

While completing a fartlek workout, the runner can alternate between faster and slower speeds for short periods of time – such as to that tree or to that sign – followed by slower recovery pace.

“The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace,” Ms. Hadfield stated in a RunnersWorld.com article.

The fartlek run is a stress-free enjoyable run that will improve speed, stamina and mental strength, Ms. Hadfield explains.

The length and speed of the workout and should depend on personal running ability and goals.

An interval workout is quite similar to a fartlek run, however it does include structure.

During an interval workout the athlete will transition between intervals of fast and moderate running for set amounts of time, Ms. Hadfield stated.

An example of interval running is to run for five minutes as a moderate pace, followed by an increase in speed for 30 seconds, consecutively for 20 to 30 minutes.

Interval training transitions between low and high intensity. The result of this form of exercise is increased endurance and strength, creating increased speed and running ability.

Interval training is also known for its ability to aid in weight loss due to the increase and decrease in intensity.

The third form of speed training is the tempo workout.

The tempo workout consists of a warm up, followed by a high intensity speed run without rest, and completed with a cool down.

Ms. Hadfield compares the workout to an Oreo cookie. The warm up and the cool down are the cookie, the increase in speed is the cream in the middle, she explained.

A tempo run is often completed by an athlete either once or twice a week, due to its difficulty level.

The average duration of a tempo run is to maintain a high intensity pace for 20 minutes. The length of time the athlete will run should be determined by on athletic ability.

In my training experience I have found that incorporating a tempo run every week, or every other week, makes a large impact on running speed and endurance ability.

If you are new to running, it is best to begin with fartlek runs followed by slowly easing into interval runs and once you are fully prepared, beginning to incorporate a tempo workouts.

Through each form of training, the athlete will see improved speed mental strength, endurance and improved performance.  

Long Distance

Image taken from: popsugar.com

ENDURANCE WORKOUTS
Aside from speed workouts, runners can also the incorporate long distance and hill workouts.

These runs are challenging which often causes most people to shy away.

One of the most common reasons runners will shy away is due to lack of confidence and fear.

If you are a short distance speed athlete a long distance run by seem ridiculous.

However, increasing distance will increase endurance, creating the ability to withstand a faster pace for a longer period of time.

A long distance run does not have to be 10 or 20 miles.

Long distance can mean a variety of distances to different people.

Beginners may see three miles as long distance, while an experienced runner may see 26 miles as a long run.

The key here is to increase distance to your current workout – wherever that may be.

The long distance run can be done at a slow or moderate speed – depending on athletic ability.

A hill workout is one that is common among more serious, dedicated runners.

Running up a hill allows the body to utilize different muscles than when running on a flat distance.

This effort can be much more difficult for runners, which is what builds strength and endurance.

One form of hill training is known as the Jack and Jill run. The run consists of going up a hill at a fast pace and coming down the hill at a slow, recovery pace.

Incorporating hill runs into your training routine will create confidence as a runner. It is will also build new leg muscle, ultimately improving running ability.

Both of these workouts are great to incorporate in an exercise routine. They break up the monotony and can be both rewarding and enjoyable.

WHERE TO BEGIN
A new workout, such as the ones explained in this article, should be incorporated into a training routine once or twice a week. Anything more may cause injury.

Choosing the type of run that you would like to incorporate into your running routine will depend on the type of workouts that you enjoy, your fitness level, and your fitness goal.

Be sure that when incorporating a new form of running you stretch properly and give your body adequate rest.

Important: To avoid injury, remember that any new exercise will create new stress on the body which must be fully recovered from with rest, proper nutrition, and stretching.

Tofu and kale

Stretch

Image taken from: espn.go.com

MOTIVATION
To motivate you to push harder and run faster during your next workout, refer to one of Oprah Winfrey’s greatest quotes: “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”

Your outcome will be determined by your efforts. The more you try, the better you will become – each step at a time.

Motivation

You can do this!! 

Run motivation

I thought this was cute 😉

Angela Joy: If you give these workouts a try, let me know how it works out! I am doing a tempo run today for 30 minutes — I am ready 🙂 

-Angela Joy

Originally published in Night & Day Magazine

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