Quick Changes For A Healthier You!

Our bodies weren’t made for sitting still, but more and more the demands of modern life are requiring humans to be sedentary. Current health guidelines suggest that most people get 150 minutes of cardio per week, but very few hit that goal, and much less do it consistently. However, studies have shown that just a small change in levels of physical activities can have a drastic effect on health.

With this in mind, what are some small ways that you can adjust your life to get incrementally more exercise? First of all, walk as much as you can. Instead of taking a lunch meeting, make it a walk-and-talk and get some fresh air. Take the stairs whenever possible, and park your car as far away from the store entrance as possible. Walk to neighborhood stores instead of driving, and make sure your kids go too. The more they pick up on the fact that walking places isn’t a big deal, that it is in fact enjoyable, the more they’ll form healthier habits for later life.

You can also build small routines into your mornings and evenings that can be helpful even if you can’t make it to the gym. Take five minutes in the morning to lay out a mat or towel and do all those high school gym stretches that you haven’t used for 20 years – they’ll really help loosen you up for the day. And in the evening, do some further stretches with short, 10 minute Pilates core workouts mixed in. You’ll immediately notice a change in the way you feel, and your doctor will notice too!

Get Gorgeous Legs Now!

Men and women carry their strength in different places in their bodies. For men (usually) their upper bodies are their strongest strongest parts, and for women, it’s usually their legs. We have our biggest muscles in our legs, and so working out those muscles nets a higher calories burn than say, working out your arms (unless you’re shaped like the Hulk).

Cardio is all well and good, but muscle training and fat burning are super important as well, and since your legs are where most of that takes place, check out the following ways to build muscle and reduce fat in those glorious gams:

  1. Start in a downward dog position. Lift your left arm up to the sky, and then stretch it over the opposite side, opening your chest upwards. Do the same with your left leg until you’re in reverse tabletop. Repeat with your right arm/leg.
  2. Begin in the classic tabletop pose. Moving your arms as little as possible, drop your hips to your right side so your knees are stacked. Come back to tabletop and kick back and high with your left leg. Repeat on the opposite side.
  3. Start in reverse tabletop. Extend your left leg straight and forward; hold for three seconds. Bring your knee towards your face until at a right angle; hold for three seconds. Drop that right angled leg as far as it will go to the left, hold for three seconds. Repeat with the right leg.

Try these a few times a week for 10-15 repetitions to start (and then do more as you get stronger). You’ll have toned legs in no time!

Simple Office Workouts To Keep You Sane

Getting a desk job after having a fairly active one can be be a huge shock to your body. Believe it or not, sitting still all day takes a lot of effort and can leave you sore, with aches in your back and shoulders. For most people, however, simply leaving their desk for a quick ten minute walk every hour isn’t an option, so here’s some quick ideas for workplace activities that will get you moving but won’t make you leave the cubicle.

First things first, take the stairs. Just do your body a favor and do it, every time. It’s a small change in your daily routine but it can make a huge difference for your muscles. Bonus points for jogging them to beat the elevator! In fact, turning small exercises into games can be really helpful for getting you up and out of your chair.

For example, every time you’re on hold on the phone, try doing squats until someone comes back on the line. Your thighs will love you for it once you get used to it! Or what about doing lunges around your office each time you get up to go to the bathroom or grab a cup of coffee? You probably already stretch instinctively when you stand up, so add some extra bends and really work out those stiff muscles.

Finally, exercise loves company, and if you’re feeling the strain of sitting for eight hours, chances are your coworkers are feeling it too. Try organizing a fitness club at your work; it can be as loose or as structured as you’d like. Or, if that doesn’t sound like a fit, move some of your lunch meetings to “walk and talks”. Most people will appreciate leaving the office and getting a little midday sunshine.

How To Build Up Your Core

Developing a stable core is more than just strong ab workouts. As it turns out, there’s way more to it than that. When you’re training your core, it’s important to implement natural mobility into your workout, such as bending and extending.

To accomplish this, a stability ball can be pretty useful. It’ll allow for an increased range of motion in your spain, better lumbar support, increased balance, and enhanced motor learning.

Remember, your core is the foundation for all of your bodies movement. To strengthen it, it’s best to incorporate a full body workout plan centered around developing the core. Here are some exercises you can implement.

Oblique Curl

Take a staggered stance and rotate your hips to one side. Put one arm to the and wedge your lower hip into your stability ball. Roll the ball side to side.

Lateral Trunk Flexion

This exercise is great for working on your quads and obliques. Lie down sideways with your hips pressed into the ball and try to remain balanced while widening your legs.

Trunk Extension with Rotation

This is an ideal exercise for upping your muscular endurance and strength. Start by kneeling on the floor with your lower torso over the ball, and your forehead against the back of your hand. Thrust downward with your midsection into the ball and extend your spine slowly, while rotating side to side.

Exercises For Walking Faster And Longer

Weakness and improved balance can be trained with exercises to help you walk faster and for longer distances.

Bridging – This exercise strengthens your Gluteus Maximus, which is important for keeping your body up straight and is one of your major propulsion muscles.

*Lie on your back, both knees bent.

*Lift your bottom,  hold for 3 sec, then lower.

*Repeat for 8-10 times.

 

Calf strength – Calf muscles are important for propulsion and stabilizing muscles of the foot. Weakness of these muscles means slower reaction to uneven ground.

*Stand up next to the wall, hands up against it to balance.

*Lift your heels up to come up onto your toes, hold for 5 seconds, then lower

*Repeat for 10-15 times

 

Squats – Quadriceps are important for walking, getting up and down off the ground and being able to walk up and down hills.

*Stand with your back to the wall, feet out away from the wall about 30 cm.

*Lower your body down, until your knee are bent to about 45 deg, keeping back against the wall.

*Hold for 5 seconds and then return up.

*Repeat 10 times

 

Heel-toe walking – As balance worsens, you will notice that your walking stance becomes wider and steps become smaller. This slows your ability to react to uneven ground.

*Find a line on the ground

*Practice walking with one foot in front of the other

*Perform this exercise for two minutes

 

Standing on one leg – When you walk you spend 80% of your time standing on one leg, so it is a very important skill to have.

*Stand in a door frame and support with your hands.

*Lift one leg off the ground, and then let go of one hand, then the other hand

*Maintain this one legged stance for 5 sec, then 10 seconds when confident.

*You can also slowly take your hands further away from the door frame as you become more confident.