Things you Must do Pre and Post Workout


Your workout is only one part of a successful fitness routine. Aspects such as good nutrition and rest are also key to reaching your goals. To ensure the time you spend working out is getting maximum results, make sure your incorporating each aspect below into your pre and post workout routine.

Catch Your zzzz’s

When you workout, it’s tearing down your muscles. This makes a good night of sleep very important because this is when your muscles recover. Also, being well-rested gives you the energy needed to go for a run and push through a tough session at the gym. Sleep also keeps our hunger hormones in check, which prevents us from overeating.

Stay Hydrated

When you work out, you should be consuming more water than usual. After those great sweat sessions, your body needs you to replace the water it’s losing. Also, being hydrated gives you more energy, which benefits your workouts.

The amount of water you should be consuming varies from person to person. It’s widely been suggested, to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, try to drink 80 ounces a day.

Healthy Snacks

You shouldn’t force food down, but if you’re nearing a workout and your body feels like it’s going to need fuel, make sure to listen. If you’re running on empty, you’re going to lack energy and thus hurt your results. Go for something small such as a single piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter. You don’t want to be starving, but you also don’t want to be feeling too full either.


After you’ve completed a workout, make sure to cool-down. Don’t go straight into a seated position in your car or desk chair. Spending some time doing isometric stretches is a great way to cool-down. Ideally, you want to hold each stretch for 15 seconds. This will help increase your range of motion, decrease soreness and help you recover quicker. Also, muscles are best stretched when they are warm.


While a pre-workout snack is optional, you should fuel your body after working out. Right after working out, there something called the anabolic window, which lasts 30-45 minutes. During this period of time, our bodies want carbohydrates and protein, which helps rebuild muscles. What you fuel your body with after a workout should be a snack such as a smoothie. This will also help curb unhealthy cravings later in the day and not leave you too full.

Shape and Sculpt: Lower Body Workout


Tone your legs and glutes with this great lower body workout! Warm up with 15-20 minutes of cardio, followed by repeating this circuit three times. 



10 reps 


Donkey Kicks

10 reps



Jump Squats

10 reps


Dumbbell Lunges

15 reps



Plank Jacks

15 reps


Sumo Squats

15 reps



Wall Sit

Hold for 1 minute 


Portion Control Tips


Consuming large portions leads to overeating, which can be dangerous to your diet and your health. The average person overeats in 100 to 200-calorie increments, and adds up overtime to equal weight gain. Portion control can be a breeze if you follow these simple rules. 

Don’t skip meals- Eat a minimum of three meals a day, avoiding going longer than five hours without eating.

Measure and weigh food- Measuring food is great if you are a fan of meal prepping. Often, we overestimate how big a cup is and end up eating more than we should. To be spot on, measure or weigh your food!

Know the difference between serving size and portion size- Serving sizes are listed on the nutrition label, and let you know how many servings a package contains. A bag of popcorn may contain two serving sizes, so if you eat the whole bag you need to double that information on the label, calories included.

Use the “Half Plate Rule”- Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables, or a mix of fruits and vegetables. Fill the rest of your plate with equal parts whole grains and lean protein.

Drink more water- Although you should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, make sure to also drink a glass before each meal. This will fill you up and curb your appetite, allowing you to feel fuller.

Get enough protein- Protein keeps you feeling fuller longer, allowing you to consume less calories throughout the day. Try to have protein in each meal, whether it be lean meats, nuts, or plain Greek yogurt.

Incorporate these rules into your diet to have a better control of the portions you consume. 

White Chicken Chili


Serves 6-8


2 cans cannellini beans

2 cups chopped onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

14 ounces canned diced tomatoes

7 ounces canned diced green chilies

4 cups chicken broth

6 frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs


1) Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour all ingredients on top of chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for about 6 hours.

2) Remove chicken from slow cooker and use a fork to shred. Add shredded chicken to slow cooker and stir until combined. Top with shredded cheese and avocado slices if desired. Serve warm with tortilla chips.


Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at


How to Make a Morning Workout Happen


Do you want to start working out in the morning, but have trouble avoiding the snoozing button and popping out of bed ready to start your day? Try these tips to make working out part of your morning routine. Need a little more motivation? Research has shown morning exercise can leave a longer impact on your body than working in the afternoon or evening, meaning you’ll burn more calories.

Get Ready the Night Before

Having your workout clothes and gear laid out the night before has several benefits. You can even wear some of it to sleep so you can get up and go! You won’t waste time searching for shorts or a certain shirt and this begins the process of getting mentally prepared to workout.

Also, if you listen to music while working out, make sure whatever device you use is fully charged. If you’re going to a yoga class, put your mat next to the door. Do you need to bring weights to a workout? Leave those by the door as well.

Fuel Up and Eat Right

Working out in an empty stomach will lead to having less energy and your metabolism will slow down because it doesn’t have enough fuel to burn. Instead of running around the kitchen when you should be walking out the door, prepare healthy snacks that you can grab and go. You can do this before the start of the work week or night before. Some healthy options include a half a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and ingredients for a small smoothie.

Get a good night of sleep

Sleep is critical to helping us reach our fitness goals because it’s when our body recovers. Also, for morning workouts, we want to be well rested and feeling energized. To avoid hitting the snooze button, wake up to your favorite workout song or try other tricks like moving your alarm clock across the room.

These three simple tips will help you get that morning workout in. There’s one more key to success- Find workouts you enjoy. This might entail trying a few classes. Maybe your club has a Zumba class that looks fun, you want to give yoga try or maybe you want to join a running group. Whatever it is, figure out what motivates you.

2017 Workout Playlist


Music can either make or break your workout. When choosing your playlist, make sure to choose music with both a powerful beat and high beats per minute, between 120 and 140. This will motivate you and keep your moves consistent! Jam out during your next workout to this awesome playlist, or mix in a couple of your own favorite workout songs!