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.
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.
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.
This Thanksgiving, we encourage you to give thanks to your health, your greatest asset in life.
Below, find six ways you can be mindful of that, and create a healthier, happier Thanksgiving for you and your waistline.
Make the Most of Your Morning: Yoga & Yogurt
Start off strong by fitting in an a.m. stretch session when you wake up. This will leave you feeling relaxed, yet energized for the day ahead. Then follow it up with a healthy breakfast. Skipping this meal to save calories for later in the day can end up leading to an even higher intake overall, since hunger often results in overcompensation at the main meal. Try adding sliced bananas, cinnamon, walnuts, and a slight drizzle of honey to a bowl of plain, low fat Greek yogurt. Six ounces of Greek yogurt contains around 15 grams of protein, which will not only fill you up but also help keep you feeling satisfied until later in the day.
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?
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.
Tailgating – let’s not make it a gateway for sitting on your sofa and growing your tail.
Instead, let’s make it a social celebration that can actually give benefit to your body. The NFL’s 2014-2015 season got underway last Thursday, also kicking off the season for one of our favorite activities – fall tailgating. However, fill it with too many six-packs (unless referring to the abdominal variety), and too much pizza (unless referring to these 8 versions), and it can quickly become one of our tail’s – er, booty’s – worst nightmares.
Instead, follow our LifeVest guide to tailgating this season so you can fill up on fun without letting your weight rival that of your favorite NFL linebacker. Below, find a game-plan that’ll coach you off the couch from time to time, while also letting chow down on some of your favorite celebratory food. We want you to wake up feeling like a champ all season rather than crap. Let’s get to it.
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.
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!
Sleep is a control freak.
Don’t give it enough attention, and it will show you who’s boss. From mood, to memory, to longevity, sleep dictates nearly all aspects of our health. So whether we like it or not, it begs us to befriend it, especially when taking efforts to lose weight.
Luckily, sleep can help make you feel your absolute best, so let it be one control freak you make an effort to keep happy. In doing this, you’ll need to remove its enemies from your life. Below, find 5 sneaky things that may be trying to sabotage your relationship with sleep, and get ready to bid them adieu. Then, say a happy goodbye to that flock of sheep you’ve been counting, or the twisted sheets you’ve been tossing and turning, and rest easy tonight.
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
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.
It’s summertime and the living is easy – if you stay in good health! You may be taking a break from your job and hitting the road for some fun, but you don’t need to trip over your health while you’re at it. Maintaining a smart diet and ensuring you get plenty of exercise and rest will guarantee a better experience on your road trip this summer.