5 Ways to Exercise as A Family

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If you are among the many who find family to be one of the biggest sources of stress this time of year, let’s take a different approach to the next family gathering. Let’s make moves, together.

Families that move together, bond together. Studies show that when individuals engage in exercise together, afterwards they naturally feel happier with their relationship. Endorphins > stress = happiness. Let’s not forget, exercise is also a good way for us all to ward off that Santa stomach.

So, your approach for this holiday season: less fighting, more moving. If you feel the urge to snap at Uncle Bill, at your mom or dad, or to snap within your own self from stress, make moves instead. We’ve got 5 ideas below for doing it together.

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5 Ways to Power Up Your Walk and Lose Weight Faster

Walking women

At LifeVest, we don’t take walking for granted. Requiring little else but our own two feet, walking helps us stay fit (burning about 100 cals/mile), smiling, thinking clearer, and feeling all around healthier. It has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise and can be an enjoyable and powerful tool for losing, or maintaining weight — especially with the tricks below.

We’ve got 5 ways for powering up your walk so you can get slimmer even faster, without needing to break into a full out run. So, ready to walk this way?

Walking

1.  Small strides make big differences:

While it might seem counterintuitive, the best way to boost your speed is to shorten your stride. Taking smaller steps enables you to take more of them, which results in an increased momentum and calorie burn.

MoveTip: The next time you’re out on a walk, time yourself for 50 steps. Then, see if you can fit 100 steps into that same amount of time by shortening your stride.

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How to Fight Sugar Cravings This Holiday Season

Holiday Sugar Guide

First it’s Halloween. Bowls of candy begin to cloak your office’s kitchen counters like a captivating costume. As you’re working through a tough project or a mundane weekly task, your mind is thinking candy, and perhaps your hands start to follow.

Then comes November. Aunt Jane, Cousin Joey, coworker Christy – they’re all making pie. There’s apple and pumpkin, soon to be followed by December’s 12+ days of cookies. Pretty soon, you feel your pants are fitting a bit snugger, and you’re energy is flying up and down like a reindeer sleigh running out of steam.

As sugar season (aka, the holidays) nears full swing, temptations are bound to show up frequently, which is why we’re bringing you a game plan to keep your health on track. Remember, a healthier you = a better feeling you = a happier you. Avoid reaching for the candy bowl, and you’ll keep your energy levels from crashing and all those empty calories from packing on the pounds.

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We’ve got 5 sweet, sugar-free escapes in the printout* above, so whenever the sugar fairy tries to cast its spell, you can turn away towards an even better alternative. Print it out and hang it by your desk or kitchen.

When temptation arises, turn to this guide and choose the option that feels most appealing to you. Go in with the mindset of each being a pleasant experience (or “sweet escape”, as we at LifeVest like to call it). This will set yourself up to enjoy each choice, and also make it so you won’t feel deprived.

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Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

In honor of Halloween and the season of pumpkin everything, we’re replacing bad monsters (300 calorie, 38 grams of sugar pumpkin lattes) with good monsters by inviting this recipe into our kitchen.

The creamy shake is packed full of nutrition and fill-you-up fiber, making it a great choice to add to your weekly, or even daily, breakfast rotation.

Feel free to play around with any toppings, as well as the thickness by adjusting the amount of soy milk you add to the blender. Sometimes we let this green monster spread its mighty power to a bowl, and dive in with our spoon instead of a straw. Regardless, get this good guy on your (table)side.

Click here for recipe…


5 “Healthy” Foods with Hidden Sugar

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There’s no way to sugarcoat it – sugar is bad & we’re eating too much of it.

On average, Americans consume 156 pounds – or 31 five-pound bags – of sugar per year. Yikes! When considering its linked to everything from diabetes to high blood pressure to heart disease, that’s some Sour Patch Kid news right there. In fact, many experts believe our collective sweet tooth may not just be making us fat, but bringing us to our death. Poison alert, poison alert!

Some of you might be thinking, “I’m no Cookie Monster. I don’t eat candy or drink soda, so I’m fine.” It’s a thought that some of us here at the LifeVest have held, too. Yet, according to the latest guidelines from the World Health Organization, no more than 100 daily calories (25 grams) should come from sugar, and with it often lurking in unexpected places, that’s a number that can add up quickly.

From bread to breakfast to salad dressing, here are five hidden sources of sugar that could be taking a toll on your health without you even knowing it, along with the best options to keep these “healthy” foods actually beneficial to your health.

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8 recipes for a healthy pizza

Since 40+ million Americans eat pizza on any given day, we decided it’s time to turn one of the nation’s favorite junk foods into a meal with more merit. Your average slice packs in more fat, sodium and refined “bad” carbs than can ever be claimed healthy. Enter the deep dish arena and you run the risk of piling 770 calories onto your plate in just one slice. Yikes!

Luckily, pizza has the potential to be an award-winning meal if you power it up with the right ingredients and give its crust some care. In fact, it presents the perfect platform to load up on summer veggies, which you’ll see in many of the recipes included below. Let your mood and your meal help you choose which to try first!

8 recipes to power up your pizza:

Carrot and Kale Farm Pizza

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Music apps to help you pump up your running routine

Music meets movement.

We’re all about making fitness feel like fun, not torture. (Frisbee, anyone?) However, a new study reveals that there is some validity to the idea of “no pain push, no gain”, showing that intense exercise changes the body and strengthens muscles in ways that milder physical activity simply can’t match. The New York Times explains the details here, but in short, if you want to improve your fitness, you’re going to need to push yourself. That means, not just up and off the couch, but slightly beyond your comfort zone.

It’s suggested that during moderate exercise, you should be able to talk, but not sing, while during vigorous activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. So while you might not be able to sing the songs these apps bring you, they are all designed to help you pump it up for greater workout benefits.

4 Music Apps for Pumping Up Your Running Routine

Click here for music apps to make you move…