Workout Thoughts of the Day: Fitness Friday

Happy Friday! Change is always hard, but my kids and I are finally getting settled after my recent move. I am trying to get back to my normal self, including making time to work out. Here are 3 workout thoughts of the Day!  The top photo is via Move Nourish Believe.

 

7 Best Things To Do on Your Lunch Break

I have had own company, Ingredients, Inc. for 11 years, and it has taken me this long to figure out the things I should be doing on my lunch break. I used to spend my lunch break eating and working at my desk or else just skip it all together and keep working. Then, I started a trend of spending my lunch breaks on the computer looking at blogs, Facebook, twitter, etc.  Finally I realized that taking time in the middle of the day for “me”  is essential to reenergize for the rest of the day.

Here are 7 best things to do on your lunch break. Whether you work at home or not, I think all of these should apply. Leave me a comment telling me what is your favorite thing to do on your lunch break.

1. Detach and unplug-Try not to check email and stay off social media. Give yourself an hour off and away from the internet.

2. Exercise-Go workout, head the the gym, or go lift weights. You’ll have more energy and refresh your mind at the same time.

3. Get outside-Go for a run, walk, place tennis with a friend or even eat outdoors. It will give you a great a fresh break, and you’ll be even more creative or productive later.

4. Have lunch with a friend-When I go to lunch with friends it gives me adult time and a mental break from my work.

5. Eat with your kids-It’s always fun to surprise your kids at school. They love when I bring them lunch (although it is not often enough), and it’s always fun to sit with them and their friends.

6. Read a book or magazine-A friend of mine always says she reads a fiction book during lunch. This sounds so relaxing. Lunch time is also a great time to catch up on your favorite magazines.

7. Have a picnic-Pick up your favorite lunch item (salad or sushi) or make your own sandwiches and head to the nearest park. It turns an ordinary day into something fabulous!

8. Take a yoga Class-One of my favorite things to do during lunch is yoga. Find a class near you. You will fall in love with it, I promise.

Summer Activities and Burning Calories: Fitness Friday

Looking for new ways to burn more calories? Summer is almost gone, but Bob Greene, Oprah’s trainer and founder of “The Best Life”, says, ” If you seize the summer, you can end the season in better shape than you started.” Check out this list of summer activities that Bob suggests to try which will attribute to burning calories. Here are 8 great ideas to help you stay fit just by being outdoors and enjoying what’s left of summertime.

Frisbee—109 Calories: Embrace your inner hippie and get back into the Frisbee-throwing game with some friends (including the four-legged kind).

Bicycling—145 Calories: Go for a spin at a slow to moderate pace on the open road (just be sure to wear your helmet!) Speed up to a fast pace to double your calorie burn.

Paddle boating—145 Calories: This leisure-time activity is more vigorous than you realize.

Badminton—163 Calories: Keep your eye on the birdie and burn calories with this Olympic sport.

Building a sandcastle—181 Calories: Playing in the sand—digging and carrying buckets filled with sand and water offers a pretty good workout.

•Swimming—218 Calories: Jump in for an unstructured swim to burn calories and stay cool. If you swim laps at a leisurely place, you can burn more than 250 calories.

Tennis (singles) – 290: Get that racket out of the back of the closet, and hit the courts for an activity you’ll just love.

Beach volleyball – 290:  You’ll have a lot more fun—and burn a lot more calories—than simply lying under an umbrella.

For more information on Bob Greene and best life see  www.thebestlife.com

5 Best Things about Bikram Yoga: Fitness Friday

Summer is in full swing, and while you have undoubtedly already made a few trips to the beach or the pool, it’s not too late to get into gear and get the body and tone you want.  Fitness expert, Bikram yoga instructor and owner of Bikram Yoga Andersonville in Chicago., Jessica Rask, says that Bikram yoga can put you on the fast-track to bikini body bliss. “Because Bikram is done in a 105-degree room with approximately 40% humidity, you sweat a great deal more than you would with other exercises, allowing the body to detoxify on a cellular level, ensuring all of your organs are working in optimal condition” she says. “Over time Bikram yoga can really help take inches off your waist, hips and thighs, while building muscle tone all over. Photo (above) via Pure Bikram Hot Yoga
Here are the 5 best things about Bikram Yoga via Jessica:
  1. All you need for yoga is a spine!  Bikram Yoga is an all levels class. Everyone can practice and feel comfortable doing so.  No matter what is happening with your body, you can come to class.  Bikram says you are never too old, too sick, or too injured to start from scratch again.  And it’s true!  The saddest moment for me, as a teacher, is hearing someone say they cannot come to class because of a broken toe, wrist, leg, etc.  Yoga is therapy!  It is so wonderful to watch our students practice ESPECIALLY when they are working through a physical ailment.  I have taught class to a young woman in a half leg cast, a first time student who had torn her ACL two weeks prior, broken wrists, herniated discs, MS, RA, you name it!  This specific style of yoga can be pivotal in the healing process for bodily injuries.
  2. In Bikram Yoga, it is not the teacher’s decision what to teach.  We perform the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises every class.  There is beauty in repetition.  Due to this stipulation in the Bikram Yoga class, you are assured your entire body is worked from top to bottom (i.e., the teacher cannot focus on forward bends or arm balancing, just because it is what they like)!  Over time, this repetition becomes your constant in an ever changing life.  You always know you can come to class and meditate in this beautiful dance that is the 26 and 2.
  3. Although we practice the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, the body is always different so no class is ever the same!  Many times, I will hear students walk in and say they expect to have a hard time in class, only to have the best class ever on the mat!
  4. Over time, as one becomes more in tune with his or her body, it is easier to identify if something is off.  Because we do not provide hands on adjustments or demonstrate the postures, the student becomes very in tune with what is happening inside.  This is so important to a person’s well-being!  I have had students come to me and say they credit this yoga to knowing something was wrong inside and gone on to identify cancer in its very early stages….life saving!
  5. SWEATING…no need to extrapolate.

picture (above) is Jessica and thank you Jessica for contribution on this post.

5 Best Drinks for Hydration: Fitness Friday

It’s so warm this summer, so if you are exercising or just in the heat, keep hydrated and drink up. Here are some of the best drinks for hydration that seem to work for me. Also, see my recipe for Blueberry Spritzer for something a little different.

1. Coconut Water: Coconut and coconut water is so popular these days. I love the idea of coconut water as a natural electrolyte source. This category has grown from one product to many and from plain to fruit-flavored. Drink them as they are, mix them into your favorite smoothies or even add them to popsicle recipes.

2. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: You probably haven’t thought about the water content of fresh produce, but there is a hydration benefit that comes from consuming fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Consider cucumber, watermelon and even iceberg lettuce for their high water content. While these foods shouldn’t replace your other fluids, making them part of your meals and snacks is a good idea.

3. 100% Fruit Juice: 100% fruit juice is a good alternative to artificially sweetened drinks. However, too much juice throughout the day can add up to too many calories in your diet. Combine one or two ounces of juice mixed with seltzer or sparkling water for a refreshing way to hydrate.

4. Iced Coffee or Tea: Good news for those who drink caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is not dehydrating like it was once believed to be, as long as you don’t overdo it.  Of course, what you put into iced coffee or tea greatly affects the nutritional quality of the drink. Aim for non-fat milk and hold off on the sugar.

5. Water: Water is still the best drink choice. I try to drink a liter of water after my workouts before consuming my morning coffee. Remember to drink water throughout the day, and you are sure to stay well hydrated.

 

 

Thanks to www.guidingstars.com for sharing some of this information. All other advice is from me.

Fitness Friday: 10 Reasons to Play Tennis

Since Wimbledon is in full swing, it has made me think a good bit about tennis. A few years ago, I used to play tennis almost every day, and I was involved in several different leagues and even playing various tennis tournaments. It taught me a lot of things about myself, and I thought I would share why it’s such a great sport to try. Here are 10 reasons why you should take up tennis. I have taken a few years hiatus, but hope to one day soon I can play just for fun.

1. It increases your hand eye coordination-This is something we don’t practice as adults unless you take up a racquet sort, golf or something similar.

2. It improves your memory skills-Keeping up with the score, who is serving, and where to stand, can be a challenge to remember. It’s a great brain workout.

3. It’s great exercise-It is a very cardiovascular sport but has a touch of interval training too with a lot of start and stop motion.

4. It’s a great social sport-Playing tennis is a wonderful way to meet new people and make friends. One of my first opponents ever is now one of my good friends.

5. It improves your reflexes-You have to think and act fast. It is one of the few sports that I can say that about.

6. The clothes are so cute-Enough said..

7. It’s a lifetime sport-From child age to seniors, anyone can play throughout their entire lifetime.

8. It’s a great stress reliever-There’s something about hitting that ball that truly lessons stress.

9. It improves your focus-You have to fully concentrate if you want to perform well. It takes your mind off everything else in the world.

10. It’s a blast and so addictive-Once you start playing, you’ll see exactly what I mean

Fitness Friday: At Home Workout & No Equipment Needed

Last week I found this At Home Workout Circuit posted on Pinterest by Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers,and I had to share it. I love this because no equipment or weights are required. Just take yourself outside, and give it a try!

Quote above via Piccsy

Fitness Friday: Juicing & Exercise and Beet-Carrot Juice Recipe

Whether you’re training for your first first 5K race or your first marathon, add juicing to your diet. Juicing has shown to provide significant health benefits and nutrition from antioxidants, enzymes and photo nutrients. All of these are terrific for athletes of all levels and ages. Try this Beet-Carrot Juice for a start. It’s so easy, fresh and tasty.

  • Antioxidants-These protect the body from cellular damage. Juiced fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that can improve strength and stamina.
  • Enzymes-Thes are present in a variety of raw fruits and vegetables. Juicing retains enzymes that help climate toxins from the body for a cleaner fueled body.
  • Phyontutrients-These can be obtained from fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes. These help boost your immune system.

If you’re looking for a juicer, check out Omega Juicers. They have developed the most efficient and reliable juicers available, and they are frequently being used by pro athletes during training and competitions.

Travel Tuesday: 10 Tips for a Healthier Vacation

Since summer is here, many of us will be taking a vacation. I have some exciting trips planned this summer, and I always do my best to stay healthy on trips. I thought I would share 10 helpful tips on how to have a healthier vacation:

 

1. Watch What You Eat:

  • Share-Many restaurants serve very large portions, so do not hesitate to split orders.

  • Space meals throughout the day. It can be easy to “graze” while on vacation. Try to set meal times and stick to them.

 2. Drink Plenty of Water:

  • Airline flights are very dehydrating. Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol.

  • Children become dehydrated more easily than adults, so pay extra attention to them.

  • Drink bottled water, especially if you are in a foreign country where tap water may not be safe to drink.

3. Get adequate sleep:

  • When you sleep well, you wake up feeling refreshed, alert and ready to enjoy the day. It will also keep your immune system healthy

  • Do your best to stay on a regular sleep schedule while away from home.

4.  Pack a first-aid kit: 

  • Bandages, sterile gauze pads, instant cold packs, a thermometer, scissors, tweezers, a needle, moistened towelettes and bandaids.

  • Antiseptics, over–the–counter pain relievers, anti–diarrhea medication, antacid, a tube of hydrocortisone cream for itchy skin reactions, allergy relief, cold and cough medicine, motion sickness medication.

5. Exercise:

  • You will feel so much better if you exercise or maintain regular exercise. It will help you unwind and relieve stress.

  • Vacations are a great time to start, or try a new workout routine.

6.  Be careful in the sun:  

  • The sun’s peak hours are between 10 AM and 4 PM.

  • Liberally apply a broad–spectrum, water–resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 15 thirty minutes before going outdoors. Sunscreen should then be re–applied every two hours or after physical activity.

  • Sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays offer the best eye protection. 

7 . Read:

  • Bring a relaxing book or some of your favorite magazines. Give yourself a break from your normal work routine. I love a good beach-read type of book.

8. Pack Smart:

  • Try to not to overpack. This will help your back when carrying luggage. It will also be less to keep up with and unpack when you get back home.

9. Detach:

  • You will be able to relax better if you detach and unplug on vacation. Try to limit yourself from checking email, work calls and social media. Give yourself the time you greatly deserve.

10. When traveling internationally:

  • See your doctor or specialist six weeks prior to your trip. Most vaccines take time to become effective and require more than one dose in a series.

  • Carry a written copy of your medical history and check with your health insurance provider to see if you are covered for medical care and medical evacuation while on vacation.

Some of these tips were contributed by EHE International, America’s oldest and largest preventive health company.

Picture above via Athletica

Fitness Friday: Burn More Calories Trail Running

Need some new ways to blast calories? Since it’s warmer outside, head to the trails. Try some of these three fun, fast-paced trail routines designed by Vindum and Nikki Kimball, three-time winner of the prestigious Western States 100-mile endurance race. I love all of three trail running suggestions.

1. Circuit Play
Why: Mixing walking, running, sprinting, and strength work transforms a hike into a full-body workout.

How: As you move along the trail, vary your pace: Go easy for two minutes, pick it up a bit for five, then sprint or speed-walk hard for 15 to 60 seconds. Recover at a slow pace until your breathing returns to normal. Then launch into a strength move (pushups and triceps dips on a log, calf raises on a rock, squats with one foot propped up on a rock) for 60 to 90 seconds. That’s one cycle. Do four to six cycles, switching up the strength moves and your speeds throughout your workout.

2. Cardio Hill Blast
Why: Running and hiking uphill increases your leg strength and improves your cardiovascular fitness while also torching fat—win, win, win! For each degree of incline, count on at least a 10 percent increase in calories burned, according to New York City nutrition and metabolism expert Jana Klauer, M.D., author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan: The No-Fail Prescription for Energy, Vitality & Weight Loss. So running up a 5 percent grade (a gentle hill) will burn 50 percent more calories than running on a totally flat surface for the same amount of time.

How: Run up gradual hills at a strong but comfortable pace (you’re breathing hard, but you can still say a few words). Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed and down. On steep grades, switch to a quick walk, using medium to long strides. If the route you take has only one or two hills, do repeats: Run or walk the hill, jog back down, then take the climb again. Aim for four to eight total hill climbs.

3. Power Up, Race Down
Why: When you do squats, lunges, and other strength moves uphill, and then run downhill, you’ll get a balanced lower-body workout. The uphill exercises target the glutes, calves, and inner and outer thighs, while downhill running works your quads. Bonus: Doing strength moves on an incline requires more energy, so you’ll burn more calories, and managing uneven ground as you descend improves balance and coordination.

How: When you get to a hill, work in a few strength moves. Then run down the other side (or the same side). If the climb is long enough, perform 20 reps of each exercise on the way up.

Read more of this story at Women’s Health