The Key to a Longer Life is… Spicy Food?

Apparently the Spice Girls are visionaries because they were certainly on to something when they said we need to spice up our life.

Literally, though.

A recent study published in The BMJ suggests that people who indulge in fiery foods are more likely to live longer, and have lower risk of death from cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

The study collected dietary data from about 490,000 people, from ages 30 to 79, in China. The study subjects were enrolled in this project between 2004 and 2008, and had their health monitored for an average of seven years per person.

Over the course of the study, more than 20,000 people died. Scientists were able to pull data that suggests people who ate spicy food more than twice per week have a 14% lower risk of death.

To read the entire study, visit The BMJ here.

4 Ways to Make Progress This Winter

Over the past couple weeks I haven’t been the most motivated person, in regards to my personal fitness.  Call it distraction, stress, lack of sleep or maybe just sheer laziness.  Maybe a combination of all 4.

I am determined to change that, and take control of my fitness and health, because I deserve to feel good, sleep better and be happier!  When I’m not motivated, I turn more negative, less optimistic, less caring and probably not as much fun to be around.  WOMP!

I needed to change my perspective.  Perspective is everything to changing the things that you want changed with your health. With the right outlook, anything can be accomplished.

These next few months can be really tough on folks.  It’s cold outside, you do less outdoor activity, and we get minimal sunlight (soak up all the Vitamin D while you can!) . Seasonal depression is a real thing, but can be minimized by healthy practices during these chilly months.

Happy Place

First, getting your mind in a happy place is goal #1. without it, nothing will fall into place like it could/should.  Find the silver lining in all situations. Be that person that can make even the ugliest situation into something promising.

Fuel Up

Secondary to your happy place is your diet. Maintaining a healthy diet that is free of processed food and added sugars is key to a happier lifestyle. Feel good, perform better and look your best.

Sweat It Out

Number 3 is my personal favorite: Fitness. Working on your fitness is vital during the next few months.  Making it a priority to get to the gym at least 2-3 times per week will lay the groundwork for that Summer body that you’re going to want when the snow melts. You can either be ahead of the curve or way behind. It starts NOW.

Don’t Sweat It Out

Sweat it out in the gym, not in the office or at home! Don’t sweat the small stuff.  This is where perspective is your golden ticket. Be positive and look for ways to brighten your day, as well as other people’s days.

Embrace these 4 things during the holiday season and I promise you will feel better, look better, think better and love better.  If this sounds enticing to you, I challenge you to try it and reap the benefits for yourself and those around you!

Cheers!

Mike Lewkowicz

What A Newborn Baby Can Teach You About Fitness

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Meet my newborn son, Julian. He’s 6 days old and he can already teach you three very important things about improving your fitness.

I must say, I’m impressed! He really knows his stuff. Unfortunately he can’t speak, but he wanted me to relay these tips to you guys so you can maximize your gym progress starting today!

Recovery Is Key

Recovery, more specifically sleep, is one of the most unappreciated and underutilized methods of improving your fitness. Sleep is essential for recovery and optimizing your body for making progress towards your goals.

Poor sleep can negatively affect your fat cells, causing “metabolic grogginess,” according to the University of Chicago. Their research shows that after just four days of sleep deprivation, metabolic grogginess can drop your insulin sensitivity by over 30 percent. Eventually that will cause your body to hang on to extra insulin and store it as fat, which will be backtracking in the worst way.

Poor sleep can also cause you to crave foods, miss gym time and actually decrease your mobility in day-to-day activities.

Maybe you can’t sleep 20 hours a day like Julian does, but you can definitely prioritize sleep and aim for 8+ hours a night. Turn off the lights and TV, set your phone off to the side, get comfy and sleep your way to new fitness success.

Eat Frequent Meals

Julian currently eats every 2-3 hours. Sound familiar? At 1 & Only Fitness, we encourage our clients to adapt this style of nutritional intake. Instead of eating 2-3 large meals a day, break your meals up into 5-6 smaller portioned meals, evenly spread out through the day.

Everyone has a different opinion on this subject – some people dislike frequent meal dieting, others swear by it. I’m just telling you guys what Julian tells me. He says to eat every few hours so you can increase muscle mass, increase metabolism and keep a good mood all day.

Personally, I adhere to this style of eating. My typical day looks like this:

  • 4am: Breakfast
    • 3 whole Eggs, 5 Egg Whites, 2 cups Spinach, Salsa
  • 7am: Snack #1
    • Apple and/or 1 oz. Almonds
  • 9am: Post-Workout Meal/Shake
    •  Plant-Based Protein Shake from 1 & Only Fitness
  • 12pm: Lunch #1
    •   5 oz. Chicken Breast, 7 oz. Sweet Potato, 10 oz. Asparagus
  • 3pm: Lunch #2
    •     5 oz. Salmon, 2 cups Broccoli, 2 cups Cauliflower
  • 5pm: Snack #2
    •   1 oz Almonds (sometimes I skip this)
  • 7pm: Dinner
    • 5 oz. Chicken Breast, 2 cups Spinach, Salsa

Ask for Help

This is huge advice for you guys to take. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. When Julian needs something, he cries. He doesn’t care what Catherine and I are doing at the moment, all he knows is he needs help. So he cries…

Violently cries.

At 2am.

I do not want you guys to cry, but I do want you to know that you don’t have to hold back any questions about fitness. Whether it’s help with exercise form, how to lose weight, how to gain weight, how to eat, etc. we have a staff full of pros who can help you out!

Reach out to our staff, or even other gym members, who helpful tips on how you achieve your fitness goals!

The Importance of Stretching: Don’t Learn the Hard Way

Do I have to stretch? Isn’t it enough that I’ve made it to the gym to workout. I’m ready to get this workout overwith and get out of here

…. sound familiar?

This was totally me a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t into stretching – at all! I was the get in, get out type of gym-goer. We all know that stretching is important, but why is it that so many of us pass it up?

Do you really know all the benefits of stretching and what good it can do for your body? I didn’t until about a year ago. I’ve always been an athlete and aware that I needed a good warm up before a game but once competitive sports were over for me, I didn’t think much about warming up before a workout in the gym.

My first trip to Cameroon changed all of that. I was all excited for my first international trip and even more excited that I was going to have an opportunity to work out with some real athletes. So, of course, I go into the situation a little cocky thinking, “I’m in decent shape, I’m gonna give these guys a run for their money.” Boy, I was wrong. Let’s take a look at day one;  4:30 AM alarm goes off and my thoughts are as follows:

  • You’ve got to be kidding me, the sun isn’t even up, why did I do this to myself?
  • I’ll just ignore the alarm and say I overslept!
  • I hate mornings.
  • Alright Leah, get up – you can’t chicken out on the first day!

My body was not awake, I was jet-lagged and stiff from the long plane ride. So here we are, a group of 4, ready to take on this workout.  Everyone gets in a circle to start stretching and I’m thinking to myself, “Lets just go and get this over with already!

Our team leader, Poker, takes us through a stretching/warm up routine from our ankles to our necks! It felt like it took forever. They warned me to do them right and tried to tell me how important it was for my body but I wasn’t listening – I’m not even really sure if I was actually awake!

The stretching is finally over and we take off running. 20 minutes later we are still running, up a hill, and up, and up. I’m dying inside because my leg is cramping and my side is aching.  I wanted to quit so bad but I kept going. I was basically in tears on the inside, thinking to myself, “I guess I should have stretched!”

This workout goes on for about 2 hours before we call it quits and gather around in another circle for the cool down stretching. Trying to keep my cool, I half-assed (excuse my french) my stretching again because I felt tired and just wanted to eat and sleep.

Fast forward to the next morning… The alarm went off at the same time, I wake up and literally cannot move.

That is the very moment I started to deeply believe in stretching before and after workouts!

Moral of the story?  Flexibility is one of the five components of fitness and should be an essential part of every one of our workout programs! It is just as important as strength training and cardio! As we get older, our bodies naturally become less flexible and more prone to injury.  By adding in some flexibility training we can help keep our bodies more limber and youthful.

Still don’t believe me? Below I’ve listed the top 10 reasons we should all take a little more time to stretch (American Council on Exercise).

1.Decreases muscle stiffness & increases range of motion

2.Reduces risk of injury

3.Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains 

4.Improves posture

5.Helps reduce/manage stress

6.Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation

7.Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance

8.Prepares the body for exercise

9.Promotes circulation 

10.Decreases risk of low-back pain.

If my story and this list doesn’t inspire you start stretching, you’re going to have to learn the hard way.  Trust me, you don’t want to learn the hard way!

It only takes 21 days to create a habit.  I think we all have an extra 5-10 mintues to do our body a favor and stretch! And let me be the first to say I have fallen off my stretching game! The past few weeks I’ve been skipping my routine.  So now that this blog is live, I am going to lead by example! No more excuses for not stretching.

I’d be more than happy to run through my stretch routine, adapted from my trip, with you!

Happy Stretching!

BONUS: Check out this Swingers warm-up routine from BodyBuilding.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens To Fat You Lose?

Ever wonder what happens when you burn & lose body fat? Here’s your answer!

No-Equipment-Needed Workout!

No equipment or gym access? Not a lot of time? No worries, knock this workout out in 30 minutes or less wherever you are!

Tri-Set #1

Rocking Planks: 30 seconds

Mountain Climbers: 30 seconds

Hop Squats: 30 seconds

Tri-Set #2

Push-Ups: 30 seconds

Reverse Lunge w/ Front Kick: 60 seconds per leg

Flutter Kicks: 30 seconds

Tri-Set #3

Max Vertical Jumps: 30 seconds

Jackkife Sit-Ups: 30 seconds

Bear Crawls: 30 seconds

Tri-Set #4

Opposing Hand Resistance Curls: 30 seconds per arm

Heisman Move: 60 seconds

Plank Jacks: 30 seconds

Tri-Set #5

Single Leg RDL: 30 seconds per leg

Burpees: 30 seconds

Bird Dogs: 30 seconds

Start At The Top & Repeat As Time Allows!

The Whole30 Challenge: Justin’s Journey

Note from author: This is a little bit more personal than most of my other articles. Stick with me on this one, it’ll make sense in the end.

You’ve probably heard that when it comes to weight loss, health and wellness, nutrition is the most vital component of the process. I agree wholeheartedly. You can’t out-train a poor diet. That’s a 100% fact.

Nutrition has always been the most intriguing piece of this fitness puzzle to me. Ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in 2012, my entire lifestyle has changed – for the better. I place an extremely high priority on my nutrition, and my knowledge on the subject.

Of course, the exercise and anatomy portions of the fitness world are very important to me as well, but something about nutrition just really gets me going. Clients at the gym have noticed this about me and I’ve kind of become the go-to guy for nutrition questions. I love that. Keep it coming.

I got into this profession to help people and I enjoy doing that every single day. I do want to come clean about something and extend a challenge to everyone reading this!

Before I get to that, let me give you some background…

I recently lead a lecture and discussion about Celiac Disease at the Community Healthplex Sports Club, which is part of the Community Health Network. It was an unbelievable experience. I was able to spread great information to a receptive audience and it went better than I could have ever expected. It did open my eyes to some things I was not aware of.

I realized that sometimes my nutritional beliefs, when compared to the common view of nutrition, can be:

  • Intimidating
  • Challenging
  • Peculiar

But I also know that my nutritional beliefs produce:

  • Results
  • Healthier Lives
  • Happier Lives

I’ve lived it and seen my clients live it. When I discuss my nutritional lifestyle, a lot of people’s initial reaction makes it seem like they think I eat a perfect diet – and at times I think this can be discouraging for clients, rather than the uplifting effect I was aiming for. I never want to give that impression, and sorry if I have given that impression to you!

This is what I want to come clean about. I have slip-ups just like everyone else. Let me tell you something, no one eats a perfect diet. I can guarantee that. Like I said, I have slip-ups, overeat occasionally, give in to temptations, etc. It’s natural for us to do so, we just have to minimize it.

Sounds easier than it is, right? Because life happens. My wife, Catherine, is 23 weeks pregnant and her cravings are my top priority. If you’ve never experienced pregnant woman cravings, it’s exactly what you think it is.

She craves something unusual, unhealthy and/or delicious. You go and get it for her immediately.

I have pretty strong willpower, but as you know from my previous article, environment trumps willpower. Sometimes her cravings become my snack. Or my dinner. Or my dessert. Or all of the above.

Related Article: Stop Using Willpower!

As I said before, you can’t out-train a bad diet. As my dietary slip-ups are increasing, I would love to increase my training intensity to at least try to level it out – but I can’t. A herniated L4-L5 disc will do that to you.

I’ve been battling this for 4-5 months now and I’m finally receiving injection treatments for it after trying several other methods. With that, comes a lowered level of intensity of my workouts. Sorry about all the personal info, but it all has a point! Just wait… it’s coming!

Nutrition is going to be exponentially more important to me over the next 12 weeks during my recovery process. Not exercising as hard will leave less room for dietary errors and I’m ready for the challenge!

Whole30-official-header

I’ve decided that during the month of June I’m going to do the Whole 30 challenge. Whole30 is not one of those fad diets that may or may not work. It has only one rule: Eat real food. It’s like hitting the ‘reset’ button on your nutrition, or it could be an intro into a healthy lifestyle for those who may not be happy with their diet.

For 30 days, you avoid added sugars (even natural ones like Stevia), alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, MSG and pseudo-treats. During the 30 days you step away from the scale and any other body measurements and just let whole, natural food have its effect. You will feel great and this will undoubtedly get you closer to your goals.

View The Official Whole30 Rules Here

This is going to be tough. I already avoid grains, alcohol, dairy, most legumes and the food additives, but as I mentioned before, I have slip-ups more often than I’d like to. The added sugars can be tough to avoid, even if they’re natural. I can buckle down and do this for 30 days. If not, then that’s just weak!

I’m going to document the entire month on this blog. You’ll see what I eat, how I’m feeling and stay updated on my progress.

Then… YOU CAN JOIN ME!

After I complete this during the month of June, I’ll repeat it in July and invite friends, family, clients, etc. to join the fun so we can all feel great together!   So stay tuned and do some research on Whole 30! It’s going to be an awesome month for me in June and I hope you all join me in July!

Sign Up For Free Below

This is a 100% FREE challenge. Just fill out the contact form below and we will get in touch with tons of useful tools/info to help you out when the challenge starts on July 1. Myself, and other 1 & Only Fitness staff members, will be there right by your side every step of the way! We are participating too and can’t wait to share the results.

Join me in the Whole30 challenge, starting July 1! Sign up below for FREE!

3 + 1 = ?

 

Indianapolis: One of the least fit cities in America

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As reported by USA Today, Indianapolis has recently been named one of the least fit cities in America. An annual American Fitness Index by the American College of Sports Medicine ranks the top 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States based on several criteria such as access to walk ways, bike routes, gyms in business, obesity rates, etc. Below is an excerpt from today’s USA Today report:

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis area dropped from 46th in 2014 to become the least fit major metro area this year, according to the eighth annual American Fitness Index from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

The rankings, based on outdoor exercise options and rates of smoking, obesity and diabetes, are designed to be a “call to action” for areas to improve their infrastructures so they promote healthy lifestyles, says Walter Thompson, chair of the AFI advisory board and a professor of kinesiology at Georgia State University.

Instead of accepting this fact, let’s do something about it! We have a great community of staff, gym members and clients at 1 & Only Fitness who are working relentlessly to debunk the myth about the Indianapolis fitness levels being so low! Let’s continue to do our part to help change the fitness culture in our city/state.

If you have a friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker, etc. who is on the fence about embarking on a fitness journey, we urge you to show them this report! Spread the word. We do not want our hometown to continually be recognized as “un-fit.” Hoosiers deserve better!

Let’s come together to make a change and spread the wealth of health!

Guess That Workout: Which activity did I do to burn these calories? *UPDATED*

This contest ended April 29, please find the answers below. Winners have been contacted! Good luck on the next “Guess that Workout!”

Find the Answers Here!

WORKOUT A

1

Is Workout A:

A) Leg Day

B) 5 mile walk with puppy

C) Mowing the lawn

This was just some good ol’ fashion yardwork! Cut the front and back in under an hour. My lawn is about 7,000 sq ft, in case you’re curious of what YOU might be burning when you mow and wanted to put it into perspective.


WORKOUT B

2

Is Workout B:

A) Leg Day

B) 5 mile walk with puppy

C) Mowing the lawn

Ahh, gotta love leg day! It’s a good thing I cut the yard before working out my legs, because the day after this workout was pretttttty rough.

Guess that Workout

Let’s play a little game called Guess That Workout! Here’s how you play:

  1. Look at the two photos presented below. The data is taken from my Microsoft Band, which measures heart rate, calories burned, length of workout and a ton of other useful statistics (that I left out of the pics).
  2. Try to match the workout options to the data in the pictures.
  3. Submit your answers and if you get them both correct, you’ll receive $1 off your next post-workout smoothie!


WORKOUT A

1

Is Workout A:

A) Leg Day

B) 5 mile walk with puppy

C) Mowing the lawn


WORKOUT B

2

Is Workout B:

A) Leg Day

B) 5 mile walk with puppy

C) Mowing the lawn

Guess That Workout Below: