Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
Spark: Carbs Are Bad! No, Wait! It's Eggs That Are the Enemy!
Here in my head, we have a saying: Another day, another diet fad. My inbox is regularly flooded with pitches about the latest and greatest in healthy eating, many claiming that this ingredient or that nutrient is to blame for years of obesity and health issues. Others swear by a regulated list of diet rules based on some vague research study or decades-old philosophy that—Hallelujah!—has been resurrected to save us from our worst snacking sins.
I know I'm not alone, either. Flip through the health section of any newspaper or pick up a health-focused magazine and you're bound to find at least an article or two praising the potential of a new diet on the market. Scroll through your social media feed and you'll discover musings on detoxes or paragraphs on how eliminating one nutrient or the other changed the way someone you went to high school with thinks about food.
But here's the thing: This is nothing new. For years, decades even, we've been fed this diet or that diet fad by popular books, celebrity endorsements, that annoying co-worker who sits two cubes down and can't seem to walk a step without praising how much [Insert Preferred Diet] has really, truly changed their entire life, and even scientific studies. Sit down to read them all and the conflicting reports are enough to make anyone's head spin.
Which is why I laughed for approximately 30 minutes during and after watching this video from the geniuses at Funny or Die. A time-traveling scientist is on a mission to save people from bad nutrition decisions, but realizes the error of his ways…over and over and over again. It's so accurate it hurts! Am I laughing or crying?
The takeaway here is, of course, that moderation in all things is the way to be. Whether it's 1952 or 2252, there will always be someone claiming to have found the answer to being thin with perfect skin and a revved-up metabolism that will ensure you live longer and happier. Remember that while some diets or healthy eating plans work for some people, they simply won't for others and that's okay. Science is a constantly evolving practice, too, so do your best impression of Sherlock Holmes and take breaking news reports with a grain of salt before diving head first into the latest research. As long as you eat healthy most of the time, work to incorporate nutritious ingredients into your meals and exercise on occasion, we promise you'll be fine and no time-traveling scientist will give you any grief.
Sweat: Let's Slam Some Stuff
Like a woman strolling Fifth Avenue on payday searching for the perfect heel, I am always aggressively on the hunt for my next favorite exercise move. To ensure that I don't lose motivation, variation is key to the consistency and ultimate success of my workout routine. After a few weeks doing the same few workouts, I start to make excuses—"I'm too tired," "I worked out yesterday," "It's Burger Week!"—and start questioning why I even care about those fitness goals I set who even remembers when.
Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of an Instagram post from a trainer I admire; other times I pick up moves from frantically searching "bodyweight arm workouts NOT PUSHUPS." I love asking coworkers and friends what kinds of workouts they've been getting into, in hopes that I can steal their go-to move. When I came across a dumbbell wood chop in a random boot camp class a few months back, I threw them into my abs day routine for weeks after. You could say I get friend crushes on workout moves, I suppose.
This month, I stumbled upon the medicine ball slam in an article on effective arm exercises and I'm quite literally obsessed. The concept is simple: Take medicine ball, raise it overhead, slam to ground, pick up, repeat.
As you can see, this move forces your whole body to work together through a wide range of motion. As you use the muscles in your arms and abs to pull the medicine ball up overhead, raising up on your toes at the top of the motion also forces your calves to flex and work. Then, the fun part. Contracting the abdominals and calling upon any frustration or anger in your day/week/month, use your full body to explosively slam the ball to the ground. You want to throw that ball down with as much force as you can muster for the full benefit. Push your hips back and into a half or full squat to retrieve the ball, then repeat.
According to an article in Shape magazine, "The medicine ball slam is a great full-body, compound, multi-joint exercise that generates explosive power from your core in a downward direction (most other movement focus on the upward drive), and it builds strength in your legs as you drive the ball back up overhead." In short, it's the full package.
I've been throwing these slams into my workouts in 30-second intervals and by the time the timer mercifully goes off, I'm breathless. While the movement may look simple, throwing your whole body into slamming a weighted ball into the ground is no easy feat. It requires focus to seamlessly glide through the high-low movement and if you up your pace, the cardio burn is legit.
Not only that, but the move is an amazing stress reliever. Remember that lady who cut you off in traffic on the way to work this morning? Slam! Get called out by a coworker in the annual company meeting? Slam! Endure a frustrating two-hour call with customer service as they continue to refuse to give you that refund for the vacuum cleaner that never showed up? Slam! It's cathartic and glorious and I highly recommend you try it yourself.
What's your favorite stress-relieving workout move?