4 Podcasts & Books for Better Mental and Physical Health

What was the first podcast you ever listened to? Now think about your mental and physical health over the past few months. We undoubtedly could all benefit from a little motivational boost as we near the end of this long, arduous year? Give yourself a wonderful present before the Holiday season arrives. Download these uplifting podcasts and audiobooks. Listen to them as you exercise. If you’re someone who likes to listen to music when you exercise – like me – then try plugging into a podcast or audiobook during the first half of your walk or run. Use the second half of the workout to listen to music, when you may need it to get through it.

Get Motivated Through Audio Episodes

We know that taking care of our body pays back strong dividends. Taking care of ourselves physically ends up improving our mental health as well. Listening to a good, informative podcast or audio book will do wonders for clearing your head from of the stress of the day. The following audio sessions will do that and more.

10% Happier Podcast

This is a wonderful podcast with great content that will elevate mood and mental health as you listen. I have recommended it to many family and friends. We have talked about this particular podcast previously, found here. An informative podcast from former ABC News Anchor Dan Harris. After leaving his news job he started the Boston-based company 10% Happier. I read his meditation book (that was also great) and you’ll end up loving his podcast too. This is one podcast that will help set your mind right, improving your mental and physical health along the way. Podcast #286 in particular, with Dr. Mark Hyman titled “Feeding the Mind” was a great episode that I really enjoyed and you probably will too.

All in the Mind

This podcast explores the limits of the human mind. We have so much untapped potential upstairs in our brains where it has been said we utilize only 10 percent of our brain capacity. That is a myth by the way. One study reported 65 percent of Americans believe it’s true though. Activities like meditation and exercise will help in this area, no matter what the real number is. Here is a testimonial from a listener “Love this podcast. This podcast is the best thing I have ever listened to.” This recent episode explores how to Stay Mentally Healthy.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

This audiobook explores the mental and physical health connection. It’s a groundbreaking and fascinating look at the life changing effects that exercise has on the brain. From the bestselling author and psychiatrist John J. Ratey, MD. Spark is one of the first books to explore the deep connection between exercise and the brain. “It will change forever the way you think about your morning run – or, for that matter, simply the way you think.”

Peak Performance

The first audiobook of its kind. “Peak Performance combines inspiring stories of top performers across a range of capabilities – from athletic, to intellectual, to artistic – with the latest scientific insights into the cognitive and neurochemical factors that drive performance in all domains.” I read the book but wished I got the audio book. Very insightful, and highly researched information on how to get more out of your performance on all fronts. Brad Stulberg, is a former consultant for McKinsey and Company and a journalist who covers health and human performance. Steve Magness, is a performance scientist and has coached many Olympic athletes. This won a 2018 Audie Award for Best Business & Personal Development Audiobook.

These four audio options, via two podcasts and two audiobooks, will change the way you think about how the brain & body interact. You’ll find out the true benefits of mental and physical health and why they are so important. If you’re looking to take your knowledge and training to the next level, these podcasts and audio books will equip you with the right tools to do that. Stay Strong with Jefit.

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Creative Home Workout Ideas

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After months of dealing with Covid-19, gyms are starting to open slowly around the country. More people then ever before started working out from home during this time period. Forbes reported two items purchased most often during the pandemic have been bread machines and gym equipment. From a consumer standpoint, it’s often difficult to know what exercise products are best options for a home gym. Hopefully, this article will shed some light on that question and more.

What Home Workout Equipment People are Buying Most Often

ResearchAndMarkets.com recently published an article on the state of the health and wellness industry. During the coronavirus lockdown, fitness equipment sales jumped by 170%. The equipment mentioned in their report were more big ticket items though like treadmills, rowing machines and bikes. To put this in better perspective, online sales of fitness equipment from last year rose 70% from February to March. As a year to year comparison, sales increased 535% during the same period this year, according to Adobe Analytics.

The numbers below represent how much of an increase home exercise equipment has risen from 2019 through 2020 according to ZDNet. This is a good starting point in terms of possible products to purchase depending on someones needs and space requirements.

Equipment                                                   Sales Increase 2019 vs. 2020
Dumbbells                                                                    1980%
Weight Plates                                                               1355%
Kettlebells                                                                     1000%
Pull Up Bar                                                                    640%
Benches                                                                        530%
Barbells & Attachments                                              355%
Power Racks & Smith Machines 315%
Equipment Mats & Flooring 300%
Weight Storage                                                              285%
Push Up Stands                                                             200%

Source: eBay 

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Digital Fitness

According to L.E.K Insights, “consumer investment in digital fitness has increased by 30%-35% relative to pre-COVID-19 levels, positioning the sector for faster growth in the future.” Options for home exercise include subscription-based online classes and exercise apps. The number of online classes have exploded with offerings for everything from yoga to boot camp.

Home Workout Program Options

The following series of programs are currently featured on the free version of the Jefit strength training app. All of these workouts can be done with minimal equipment right from home or eventually back at the gym. Jefit features thousands of workouts and exercises for its user base. Jefit is one of the best workout planner & tracker apps and that could be the added motivation that you’ve been looking for.

Home Exercise Program for Beginners with Minimal Equipment

1 – Body Transformation – (Week 1 & 2)

2 – Body Transformation – (Week 3 & 4)

3 – Body Transformation – (Week 5 & 6)

Bodyweight Home Exercise Routine for Beginner

The idea behind this bodyweight circuit workout that you can do at home is to pair each two exercises together. Exercise A1 & A2 are performed back-to-back before resting, then do cardio and repeat the exercise sequence for a second set. Then transition to the next series of exercise, B1 & B2, and so forth.

A1. Exercise Band Squat, 10×2

A2. Exercise Band One-Arm Row, 12×2

Jump Rope 2:00

B1. Push-Ups, 12×2

B2. Prone Back Extension, 10×2

Jumping Jacks 1:00

C1. Forearm Plank, 30 sec. to 1:00 hold x2

C2. Glute Bridge, 12×2

Mountain Climbers, 30 sec.

D1. Bodyweight Dips, 15×2

D2. Arm Circles, 20 reps forward/20 reps backward

Perform one set of each exercise and then go back through the circuit and repeat for a second set (or round) following a 2:00 rest period. Good Luck and Stay Strong!

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