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!
By Lizzie Meyers
About half the country has experienced record low temperatures in the past week. Chances are that these areas of the country are experiencing record low gym visits as well for this time of year. Unless you’re a penguin or some sort of snowshoe enthusiast, braving wind chills and icy roads to get to the gym is far from pleasant. Rather than calling it quits until the temperatures rise, keep up your fitness routine without even leaving the house. If you happen to live in a warm part of the country (lucky you!), and simply can’t stand the epic post New Years crowds, these tips will do you well, too.
Try these easy ways to stay active and toned without any equipment at all.
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Literally! Where better to jam out as wildly as you so desire than in the privacy of your home? Throw on your favorite tunes and dance for 30 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be drenched in sweat and full of energy. Just make sure you really get into it for more cardio benefits, and of course, for more fun. Sometimes, the best workout is that which you’d never call “exercise”.
Lunge It for Lustier Legs
Find some open space in your house and do a few sets of lunges. Start with one set of 10 if you’re a beginner, as lunges can be quite a strenuous workout at first. Then, as it gets easier, work your way up with each additional workout.
For this exercise, you essentially will step one foot in front of the other as far as you can and bend the front leg without letting your front knee bend further than your front foot. I.e., when bending, strive to keep your front leg towards a 90-degree angle. The other leg stays straight behind you. Alternate legs as you lunge across the room. For muscle toning, hold weights in both arms. For more of a cardio fix, pick up the pace and lunge in place.
Weight Train with Household Items
Who needs weights or fancy machines? Likely you’re surrounded by tons of everyday items that vary in weight, so you take your pick as you see accordingly. Grab a bottle of laundry detergent, the orange juice carton in the fridge, or any other item that feels like the weight you are used to lifting and tone those arms the way you usually would at the gym.
Do Some Good Old-fashioned Crunches
I strongly believe that simple crunches are more effective than any abs machine at the gym. Crunches, sit ups, planks, the whole sha-ab-ang can really be done anywhere – all you need is a floor! So park your booty, and get to it.
Don’t let nasty weather conditions hold you back from staying in shape. At LifeVest, we’re not ones to love excuses, weather-oriented ones included. Try these simple, at-home exercises and by the time you get back to the gym, you’ll be able to easily pick back up from where you started. There’s no having to re-work back up your endurance when you don’t let yourself fall out of shape.
By Lizzie Meyers
Ah, Thanksgiving: A time to be with family, reflect on what you’re thankful for, and of course, chow down on some delicious home cookin’. Because the holiday only comes once a year, the feast of special dishes on the Thanksgiving table feels nearly impossible to resist. Unfortunately, this table tends to hold a ton of calories and fat.
“I love that bloated, uncomfortable feeling after a second helping,” says no one, ever. This Thanksgiving, avoid the post meal food coma by being aware of your eating habits. While you can still give in to your favorite indulgences, there are plenty of simple tricks to keep you happy and healthy long after the meal is over. Remember, overindulging for even just one day can lead to that dreaded holiday weight gain, so be smart as you gobble up.
1. Don’t Fast Beforehand
The myth: If you starve yourself all day until the Thanksgiving feast, you’ll balance out the calories consumed at dinner and walk away with a clean slate. Wrong! Render this technique, and you’ll be ravenous by the time dinner is ready, upping your inclination to overeat. This also puts your body in starvation mode, which causes your metabolism to slow down and your body to store more food as fat than it typically would.
The takeaway: Make sure to fuel up on a protein-packed breakfast. This way, come dinnertime, you won’t feel the desire to devour everything at once, and you can instead walk happily and healthily away with leftovers. Two (moderately-portioned) Thanksgiving dinners are better than one, don’t you think?
2. Create a Healthy Plate
The Harvard School of Public Health has devised a guide for what a healthy meal should look like known as the The Healthy Eating Plate. Roughly use these guidelines for your Thanksgiving meal, and you’re guaranteed a better experience. Sure, stuffing may not usually be considered a whole grain, but the idea is to balance your meal. Make sure the lean proteins and green beans take up the majority of your plate. Then, stay satisfied by plating a small portion of other dishes, like stuffing and marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole.
3. Pace Yourself
Did you know that it takes an undivided 20 minutes for your brain to register that you feel full? Because of this, eating too quickly can cause you to keep plowing through, even after your body is ready to quit. Try to savor your Thanksgiving feast by chewing slowly. Savor each bite to the fullest, and consider laying your fork down every three bites. Another trick to pace yourself is to take a sip of water between each bite. Let yourself register whether you’re still hungry or not before downing that fateful second serving
Keep these tips in mind this year as you survey your savory Thanksgiving spread, and give thanks to the day for bringing a healthier, happier you.
There aren’t many things we admit to taking away from the 80’s, but Olivia Newton John took the words out of our mouth with Let’s Get Physical… Physical!
We took her advice to get physical-ly fit and left the leg warmers in the past. Well, some of us did.
We are sorry for sharing that picture, and that you’ll have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
No matter where you are and what you are doing, we want to bring ‘active’ into your lifestyle. For some, the gym or sports may not be appealing so here are some ways to squeeze workouts into your every day life without having to go gung-ho at the gym.
The Workout at Work, Workout:
1. Stand up and stretch, this couldn’t be easier, but it helps get your blood flowing! And we know your brain could use any help when you are starting to slip at work.
2. Squat in the bathroom. Seriously! After you use the loo and wash your hands, do some squats before you get back to your desk. This way no one will see you doing this, and if someone happens to walk in, you can just pretend you were fixing your shoe.
3. Inverted push ups for the introverts. Once again in the bathroom where no one can see you, step back about 4 feet from the counter where your hands are firmly placed, and bend those elbows for push ups! Make sure the floor and sink area are dry because we certainly aren’t liable for you slipping in the bathroom. We are just trying to help you get fit.
4. Calf raises for the herd of employees. Stand up, feet shoulder width apart and lift yourself up on your toes! And then bring your heals back down to the ground. Make sure your legs stay straight. There you go, one calf raise down, 9 more to go! Pretty easy, hu? Do 10 of these while waiting at the water fountain.
The Workout Not at Work, Workout:
1. Kitchen Cardio. While standing around stirring sauce for hours, why not do some squats or calf raises? Step side to side just like the old aerobics videos!
2. The commercial break crunches. Since all of our favorite shows are interrupted by commercials, why not lay on the floor and do some crunches? Place a blanket on the floor if your back hurts.
3. On the computer at home? Sit on your medicine ball for a chair. It requires your abs to work hard to sit up straight. Put the ball in front of the TV in stead of sinking into the couch!
4. Have a dog at home? Take him out to play ball. Every time you bend down for the ball, bend at the knees not the back. Not only will it help strengthen your legs but bending down like that will save your back.