Fun Fitness Gift Guide

The greatest gift in life is good health. Since unfortunately you can’t just go to the store and buy superpowers to become healthy and energized forever, we’ve pulled together a few of the next best things you actually can place in your shopping cart. Each is designed to not only help you work towards better health, but to have fun while doing so. Pick out a few items for the ones you love and / or better yet, put some on your own wish list!

Custom Workout Mat

1. Custom Workout Mat

Want the idea of hitting the mat to feel more exciting? Create a design that’ll make you want to unroll that cushion everyday! Whether it’s a favorite photo of yours, a quote that inspires, or an image that makes you smile, Cafe Press let’s you custom design your own workout mat. Upload an image, and they’ll do the rest for you, with mats priced at $58.

Workout Cards

2. Exercise Cards by WorkoutLabs

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5 Ways to Burn 500 Calories

The best way to not just slim down, but keep that weight off, is to stick to a steady and achievable weight loss goal. Experts say aiming your efforts to lose within the one to two pound range per week is ideal.

So, what exactly will that take? The solution to lose one pound is as straightforward as cutting and/or subtracting 3,500 calories per week. With simple math, we can break that down into a burn of 500 calories per day, and we’ve got you covered with some activities to do just that below. Choose your favorite, and see your way to a slimmer, long-term you.

zumba

1. Zumba: One hour, moderate intensity; 536 calories

Love to dance? For many, Zumba helps burn calories without ever feeling like a chore. The fitness activity combines choreographed dance and aerobics to get your heart rate going and your dancing feet moving. You might even learn a new move or two that you can use on your next night out on the town. Find a class near you, here. To ensure you’re reaching a moderate intensity and burning those 500 cals/hour, you should be able to talk, but not sing throughout your workout. For even more of a burn, power it up further to high intensity, which will mean you’ll feel slightly out of breath and unable to engage in conversation during the routine.

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7-Day Sit Up Challenge

7-Day Sit Up Challenge

 

Join us in our 7-Day Sit Up Challenge!

At LifeVest, we place a lot of value on a strong core. We value the passionate team that keeps us afloat. We value others who hold a healthy set of core values – like facilitaing enouragement and compassion for one another. We value that sturdy apple core that won’t collapse on us as we bite towards its center. Today, we’re acknowledging the high value we put on our own inner abdominal core, an area that literally affects all aspects of our day-to-day movement.

From maintaining good posture to reducing lower back pain to simply enabling us to easily bend over and tie our shoes, we know how important our abs are to us. This week, we’re going to give them the attention they deserve.

All you need is 7 minutes per day to join us (which we know you can spare)! Print out our routine that’ll help you hit all areas of your abdominal region. Then set a calendar or phone alert so you don’t miss a day! We recommend choosing a time you can keep consistent, such as in the morning before work, on your midday lunch hour, or before bedtime. Then, get ready to see your way to your own abs of steel!


5 Tips for Exercising Outdoors in the Dark

5 Tips for Exercising Outdoors in the Dark

We’re already competing with the sun as to who gets home from work faster. It’s doubtful we’ll ever win that race once the clocks roll back this Sunday. (If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 2nd.) However, darkness doesn’t mean you need to take your evening workout indoors. In fact, preserving that fresh air facilitation could be the key to warding off any early winter blues. Research published in the Environmental Science & Technology shows outdoor exercise can significantly increase your energy while decreasing tension and depression. Plus, with temps beginning to cool down, there’s no better time to smile in the name of a mostly sweat-free workout.

From glowing apparel to safety tips and ticks, we’ve got your guide below for keeping your workout al fresco, so no need to head indoors just yet!

Run against traffic

1.  Move In the Right Direction

When you’re pumping those legs alongside moving cars, the general road rule is to bike with traffic and walk against traffic. This applies to all times of day, but is particularly important for non-daylight hours when drivers will have even more difficulty seeing you. Running against traffic allows cars to see you from afar, and for you to also see when they’re coming so you can move out of the way. To be on the safe side, you should wear reflectors on both sides of your body, but attach an extra one if possible to the front side of your shirt.  With biking, you’re generally moving a lot faster than you are when walking/running, so the reaction time for the driver to see you is shortened. This makes it better to move in their same direction, which means, be sure to have a reflector on your bike’s back side.

Running shoe reflectors

2.  Glow from Head to Toe
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Life-Changing with LV: How One LifeVester Fell in Love with Fitness

Angela Delgado

Angela Delgado, 28, Compliance Analyst at JetBlue Airways

Her goals: Drop weight and tone up overall

At the start of LifeVest, Angela Delgado was the heaviest she’d ever been. She was unhappy with how she felt and looked, and decided enough was enough. Using LifeVest as the trigger, she set out on a mission to lose 30 pounds and hasn’t looked back since.

Now, six months into the program and ten pounds slimmer, Angela says her health journey has become so much more than a desire to lose weight.

“The goal now of hitting my target weight is just an added benefit,” she explains. “The whole experience has become about more than seeing the numbers drop and the weight come off. This is now a long-term lifestyle for me. It’s about feeling healthy, and making that a part of my life, for life.”

Angela used her commitment to LifeVest as motivation to start trying out a bunch of fitness classes. She was determined to find one she actually enjoyed, knowing that this would be a crucial part of making sure she’d stick with it. After trying a few different activities, eventually she came across boot camp classes. It was a discovery that has made her fall in love with fitness. Angela enjoys the variety that the sessions offer, and partnered with her participation in LifeVest, says she feel like “a whole new woman”. Below, she shares her story and some tips to inspire others to turn their life around, too.

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Enhance Your Exercise Endurance with These (Legal) Edible Aids

Whether you’re training for an Ironman or are simply hoping to make it past a 5-min. run without huffing and puffing, your endurance level is your ticket to a smoother, sustained workout. Build it up, and working out becomes less of an unbearable chore and instead more of a habit that’ll help you gain back some of that energy from your youth (without all the angst, awkward growth spurts, and bad haircuts that were originally paired with it).

The primary key to boosting your fitness endurance and exercise ease is simply to lace up your sneaks and make workouts part of your weekly routine. That means exercising preferably at least 3 times/week – no skipping weeks, no ifs, buts, or excuses.

VO2 Max

With repetition, you’ll begin to increase your VO2 max, i.e, the maximum rate at which your body can consume oxygen during exercise. (Research shows adding High Intensity Interval Training to your routine will help you do this even faster.) Increased VO2 max = increased endurance = a better feeling you.

Straight-up training, along with a healthy diet and sleep schedule, will be essential to your endurance efforts, but there are other added tricks too, all of which can fit into your grocery basket. Below, find our research-backed roundup of legal* – and tasty! – fitness performance enhancers.

*By legal, we mean no Lance Armstrong style funny business!

Beets

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Power Up Your Lunch Break – The Midday Workout

Lunch Hour Workout

Have you ever considered working out on your lunch hour? Between inhaling a quick sandwich, wrapping up emails, and finalizing deadlines, for many, that question seems almost comical. The thought of fitting in a workout and returning to your desk without being a sweaty mess can seem challenging.

Experts say, however, powering up your lunch hour may be one of the best ways to incorporate exercise into a busy lifestyle and boost your afternoon productivity “Depending on how quickly you refuel after you’re done, the boost can last for two to three hours,” says Dr. Darin Padua, director of the Sport Medicine Research Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lunch break workout

For me, client meetings and afternoon engagements have always steered me away from midday workouts. However as a mother of two toddlers, recently I’ve realized that this might actually be the best time of day to sneak in a quick and efficient workout. My other options are to sacrifice the two hours of me-time in the morning I allow by getting up at 5 a.m. – not happening – or working out after my two little ones go to bed. In the latter case, more often than not my workout gets skipped, and when I do manage to fit it in, the energy it gives me makes it difficult to fall asleep.

As a result, I’ve found my lunch hour has actually become the most appealing time to workout, especially with these tricks I’ve gained to avoid returning to the office in a disarrayed mess. Whether you’re a working mom like me, or a busy professional with an equally busy social life, use these tips to make the most of your lunchtime and ensure your fitness routine gets the regular attention it deserves.

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10 summer lawn games that burn 150+ calories

Between hot dogs on the grill, beer in the cooler, and chips on the picnic table, we all know how easy it can be to take in excess calories at those summer BBQs. But how about shedding a few extra calories instead? That can be easy too, and just as social as clinking glasses with your neighbor next door. With the 10 lawn games below, we guarantee you’ll fit in a few laughs while sizzling away some calories. Do an energetic victory dance once you win, and you’ll burn even more. And probably add another laugh to your day, too.

So as August kicks off this weekend, forget spending summer sitting around stagnate in lawn chairs. Invite a few friends over or meet at the park. And whether you want to become a croquet champ or you’re more of a frisbee fan, let the games begin.

Oh, and if you’re ready to play with the big boys, we also recommend considering this.

10 summer lawn games that burn an easy 150+ calories

summer lawn games that burn calories


5 tips for exercising in the heat

Exercising in the heat

The warm, sunny days of summer are here inviting us to step outside. However, venture out in a 90-degree heat stretch, and it often doesn’t take more than a few steps for our workout-motivation to hit a roadblock. Sweat-drenched and out of breath, the great outdoors can begin to feel not entirely too great when those hot waves start rolling in.

Why does it feel harder to workout in the heat? In summertime temps, your heart must do double duty to keep you up and running (biking, hiking, or even walking). It not only must pump blood to your working muscles but also sends blood to your skin so your body can release internal heat into the environment to help cool itself down. The latter process signals your body to sweat, and as those drops begin to evaporate into the air, will help you feel cooler. However, all of that sweating speeds up your heart rate. It rises three to five beats per minute for every 1% of water loss you experience, making you feel like you’re working out harder than you really are. Profuse sweating also increases your risk for dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

However, if you’re mindful, you needn’t let sizzling temps fizzle out your outdoor workout routines. There are tons of science-backed benefits of exercising outdoors, including everything from increasing energy levels to improving mood to reducing stress, which means you may not want to run inside just yet.

Use the tips below to keep those heat waves from crashing your summer exercise routine.

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Deskercise: Operation Arms

Last week we introduced you to deskercising as a way to fit more activity into your workweek. Being a desk potato is proven to be hard on your health, that’s why today we’re going in for round 2. We know you’ve been making us proud by diligently toning up your legs all week with our previous post’s deskercises, so today we’re hitting the other half. Pull out those bicep guns and get ready for Operation Arms.For triceps – The Desk Dip: Using a sturdy desk/table, sit at the edge and place hands on either side of the body with your fingers pointing forward. Plant the feet on the floor a step away from the desk, and straighten up the arms to lift the body. Begin to bend the arms to a 90-degree angle so that your body dips down in front of the table. Hold, and then re-straighten the arms.

For deltoids – The Post-email Pushup: Rather than checking Facebook or G-chat after knocking out a few emails, reward your body with pushups instead. For a modified version, stand at the side of your desk and get into pushup position, using the ledge as the starting point. Move your torso toward the desk until it reaches mid chest, then push back up to starting position.

For biceps – The Watercurler: Reading through an article or manuscript? Keep one hand on the page and multitask with your other arm. Fill up your water bottle (or keep a light dumbbell at your desk), and grip it with your unoccupied hand. Curl that arm into your body. Repeat as you read.Bonus – Snooze-preventing stretches: Keep those eyes from drooping by keeping your arms moving throughout the day. As you work, fit in a few shoulder shrugs and arm raises, connecting the movements to your breath. This keeps the blood circulating to keep your energy levels up.

Your game plan: Schedule a twice-per-day arm challenge. Actually put it in your Google calendar or calendar system so you get an alert that motivates you to action. See if you can do 15-25 reps of each of the above deskercises, and then add some snooze-preventing stretch time throughout the remainder of your day.
Muscle-strengthening exercises are important for bone health and preventing osteoporosis. In fact, 50% of fractures occur in those who have low bone mass, which can be partially attributed to inadequate intensity, duration and/or frequency of exercise. The CDC recommends engaging in muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 times per week to keep your bones strong. While the moves above aren’t likely to turn you into the incredible Hulk, every bit of movement counts!