Ways of Wellness - Your online support for all things health and wellness!

Welcome to the Ways of Wellness blog! My name is Jon Steuart and I am a physical fitness and nutrition enthusiast. While all of the contents/opinions herein are based on my personal experiences and research over many years, and not any formal education, I am absolutely confident that there will be something for everybody who is interested in improving their physical and mental well-being. Please feel free to leave your comments and questions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Motivational Quotes - Health and Wellness: 01/10/12

"Good things come to those who work their tails off in pursuit of said things."

In the world of health, wellness and nutrition, good things do in fact come to those who work hard (and smart) toward achieving their goals. On the contrary - Those who wait receive nothing but a few more pounds and a few more days of dissatisfaction with themselves.

Work hard - Don't wait.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year's Resolutions - Eating Healthy and Getting in Shape

Happy New Year!!! So another year is in the books and here we are, as we do each year about this time, wondering how it is possible that yet another 365 days has already gone by. The fact remains that yes, another 365 days have come and gone and here you are left to decide what it is about this year, 2012, that will make it better than the last...Perhaps even the best ever??

You can't really even say "New Year" without concurrently thinking about "resolutions". With the New Year comes new beginnings and often times those beginnings are initiated by the well known, and oft anxiously awaited, New Year's resolutions. Year after year the masses proclaim those things that they will start doing or stop doing that will, in turn, make their lives improved. Interesting then that, according to WikiAnswers, "only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year's resolutions". Pretty sad isn't it? All the fuss about our impending resolutions, yet only 8% of us (if you are American...I don't readily have statistics for other places throughout the world) successfully achieve them.

I have a number of suggestions for achieving your resolutions and some of my previous posts can hopefully lend themselves to make doing so more reasonable:
  • Create a healthy grocery list and put it to use! Surround yourself with good, nutritious food options.
  • Create SMART goals. It is pointless setting goals that are unrealistic - Use this guide to help!
  • Begin following a weightlifting routine. While diet / nutrition are key aspects to getting and staying in shape, a solid workout regimen is hugely important for facilitating a successful "flab to fab" transition.
  • Be consistent! To create a new habit, it is said that one needs to repeatedly perform whatever it is they are looking to start or stop for 21 days straight. That is not to say one should be in the gym 21 days in a row, but that does mean one should strive to be consistent in their diet and mindset for as long (and longer).
  • Follow my Top Five Nutrition Tips.

As we enter yet another new year, many of us will turn to the gym in an attempt to achieve are New Year's resolutions. I wish you all the best in making this the best year of your lives!

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Are You Ready For Some Football?

    Football is Back - Time to Train!

    If you are anything like me, you are thrilled that the NFL is starting back up again! After lockout concerns and fears of no football for the year, even the disorganized and generally sloppy play known as the NFL Preseason is a welcome sight!

    Just because it is time to cozy up on your favorite lounge chair (with snacks and beverages within arm's reach) and cheer on your favorite team, does not mean you can not continue to progress your goals in the weight room as well. As I have said a number of times, balance is crucial to a health and wellness program that one is going to stick with. Enjoy yourself on Sundays (or Monday...or Thursday), but make up for it with unrelenting, hard work in the gym during the week.

    The following is a beginner training program from Muscle and Strength that they call "Off-Season Football Training". Don't let the name fool you though. While the NFL is back in season, this "off-season" training setup looks to be one that would be very nice for the individual that is relatively new to training and is looking for a structured approach to getting or staying in shape during the NFL football season!

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Motivational Quotes - Health and Wellness: 05/18/11

    "There is no substitute for hard work."
    -Thomas Edison

    Be it at your place of employment or in the gym, this quote by Thomas Edison is simply the cold, hard truth. Success and achievement are influenced by many external factors such as luck, timing, circumstance, relationships, knowledge and wisdom to name a few. However, hard work is something that can, if for no other reason than it being employed, bring one success and allow one to achieve their goals. Hard work is not easy, hence the word "work" being preceded by "hard" (you say so?). It is only human nature for one to want to achieve while putting out the least amount of effort. And why not? Efficiency is a good thing. That being said, health, wellness and getting in shape are simply facets of life that really do not allow for many short cuts. So if living healthier and having the body you have always wanted are important to you, put in some hard work...You might be surprised by what the hard work gives back to you.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Beginner Weightlifting Routine - Upper Body / Lower Body Split

    Beginner Weightlifting Routine - Upper Body/Lower Body Split

    It is widely recognized that a well thought out and consistently executed weightlifting routine is extremely beneficial to any exercise regimen. Easy to say, but perhaps a little more challenging when it comes to the beginner. Where does one begin? What lifts should one perform? And on what days? And for how many reps? As you can see, there really is a bit more to it than simply picking up the weights and going for it.

    With so many different weightlifting routines available to choose from, where do you start? I can tell you that I have experimented with MANY different programs including Upper/Lower, Push/Pull, Max OT and Blueprint to name a few. I too feel that one's workout program is something that should be switched up from time to time (perhaps every 8 weeks or so) to keep things interesting and to keep the body guessing. One program that I find to be very nice for beginners is the Upper/Lower Split.

    The premise is as follows: On "Upper" days,you work upper body muscles (such as back, chest, shoulders and arms) and on "Lower" days you work lower body muscles (such as legs, glutes and calves). For what it's worth, I like to throw in abdominal exercises with my lower body days and will do so in this layout below. I would suggest a four day workout week that alternates between Upper and Lower days. An ideal split might be something like:
    • Sunday - Rest
    • Monday - Upper
    • Tuesday - Lower
    • Wednesday - Rest
    • Thursday - Upper
    • Friday - Lower
    • Saturday - Rest
    As previously mentioned, on these days you will focus on working your back, chest, shoulders and arms. Since you will have two upper days per week, you can have two different upper body workouts to alternate in between. To keep it simple, I will list out a suggestion for Upper Day #1 and one for Upper Day #2, as well as suggestions for Lower Day #1 and Lower Day #2. In the example split above, this would mean that you would perform Upper Day #1 on Monday and Day #2 on Thursday with Lower Day #1 and #2 falling on Tuesday and Friday respectively.

    Upper Day #1
    • Bench press - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Chest)
    • Incline dumbbell flyes - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Chest)
    • Lat pulldowns - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Back)
    • Cable rows - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Back)
    • Military press - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Shoulders)
    • Preacher curls - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Biceps)
    • V-Bar triceps extensions - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Triceps)
    Upper Day #2
    • Flat dumbbell bench press - 3 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Chest)
    • Decline bench press - 3 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Chest)
    • Wide-grip pull-ups - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Back)
    • Bent-over barbell rows - 3 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Back)
    • Dumbbell shoulder press - 2 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Shoulders)
    • Upright rows - 2 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Shoulders)
    • Dumbbell curls - 3 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Biceps)
    • Overhead triceps extensions - 3 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Triceps)
    Lower Day #1
    • Barbell squats - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Legs - Quads/Glutes)
    • Barbell lunges - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Legs - Quads/Hamstrings)
    • Hamstring curls - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Legs - Hamstrings)
    • Standing calf raises - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Legs - Calves)
    • Roman chair leg raises - 3 sets for 12-15 reps per set (Abs)
    Lower Day #2
    • Leg press - 3 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Legs - Quads/Glutes)
    • Straight-legged deadlifts - 3 sets for 6-8 reps per set (Legs - Hamstrings)
    • Quad extensions - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Legs - Quads)
    • Seated calf raises - 3 sets for 8-10 reps per set (Legs - Hamstrings)
    • Rope crunch pulldowns - 3 sets for 12-15 reps per set (Abs)
    So there you have it. A well-planned and well-rounded workout to set you on the path for success. If this is something that you stick to and support with proper nutrition, I have no doubt that you will be astounded by the progress you will make over a few short weeks (here are some healthy grocery list ideas to help you prepare). Please be sure to listen to your body and don't overdo it! This will be a massive change for your body and you need to allow time for it to adapt. Don't be alarmed if you experience DOMS in the beginning and just remember, they too shall pass. Have fun, journal your workouts, stay consistent and get ready for a new, more fit you!