Staying Healthy On the Go is Easier than You Might Think

Photo credit: Velislav Panchev CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0

In this day and age, hectic personal and professional schedules often make staying healthy seem like a distant possibility. Going to the gym or indulging in a long exercise routine at home can be difficult to fit into a day, along with preparing the food you need to eat well.

Staying healthy on the go is much easier than you might think! Healthy living can easily be incorporated into your busy schedule, thus enabling you to be healthy and productive at the same time. Take a look at the following health tips for busy people and customize a plan that works for you.

The Importance of Routine

Staying healthy on the go involves advanced planning and a fixed routine in context with eating, sleeping, and exercise. A strict no-excuses plan of action will enable you to turn fitness and health into a habit rather than something which you indulge in occasionally.

Understanding your own health and fitness goals will be the first step to being healthy; this will be followed with a weekly meal plan. Pre-planning and preparing your meals will enable you to eat healthier while on the go, and will prevent you from giving in to unhealthy food cravings. Carrying a bottle of water is also a good idea, as you will need to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Exercise is Vital

There are little things you can do throughout your day that will enable you to get the exercise you need without having to resort to an expensive gym membership. From choosing to walk or bike to work to climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, there are a number of small changes you can make that will keep you fit and healthy even on the busiest days.

For those who travel frequently, you could consider packing a portable gym with you, such as a yoga mat, resistance bands, running shoes, or your favorite bodyweight workout DVD, all of which will facilitate an effective cardio and strength training routine on the go. Also, fitness trackers and pedometers like Fitbit are ideal for tracking your physical activity and providing a motivational tool for increasing the steps you take each day on the road or at home.

Staying healthy on the go involves just a few small lifestyle changes, which will enable you to eat healthy and stay physically active. These changes are important for your health and will also serve as a stress buster for the busiest people. Exercise gives you endorphins, which contribute towards making you feel happy and relaxed. You can also invest in a few portable exercise items such as a skipping rope or resistance bands, which are easy to carry around with you and will enable you to follow a no-excuses policy when it comes to staying healthy at all times.

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Waiting for the Sandman: Tips on How to Fall Asleep Faster

Photo credit: Emoji One [CC BY-SA 4.0]

To ensure optimum cerebral and physiological performance, the average human should get at least eight hours of sleep a day. A neglect of sleeping pattern or insufficient hours of productive sleep can be detrimental to the body in more than one way. A loss of sleep or insomnia can lead to weight gain, problems of high blood pressure, and a lowered immune system. Sometimes the solution to insufficient sleep can he attained by simply understanding how to fall asleep faster.

There are several advantages of getting a good night’s sleep. A proper sleep cycle ensures maximum productivity of the brain and keeps our emotional health in good order. The brain is one of the most overworked organs of the body. Although it is not at complete rest while we sleep, it gets enough time to reboot itself and get ready for the next day. Sleep deficiency does not only hinder learning, it also has adverse effects on our decision making faculty. Lack of sleep can result in making a person emotionally imbalanced and can lead to concomitant behavioral changes. More often than not, people with anger issues and irritability suffer from sleep deprivation.

Advantages of Sleep

There are several benefits of sleep. For instance, sleep controls the body’s regular flow of ghrelin and leptin – hormones to make us feel hungry and full respectively. A study has shown that the flow of ghrelin rises exponentially to the total reduction of the flow of leptin in case of sleep deprivation. That is why people with sleeping problems tend to feel hungrier than people who get well-rounded sleep.

If you need to know how to fall asleep faster, there are several ways of ensuring a restful night sleep that you follow. Taking a bath before going to bed is a good idea, because it helps to relax our body and calms our mind. Some people find drinking milk before going to sleep very beneficial. Then there are others who always sleep with mild incense burning on their bedside table.

How to Fall Asleep Faster

In case you feel you lack proper sleep, you could try to improve the ambience of your bedroom to maximize comfort. Design your bedroom to give it a calming effect. Keep the temperature of your room between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and do remember to turn out the lights. If you are one of those people who cannot sleep in total darkness, keep a light on in the other room or maybe keep a window open to let a crack of light enter from the streets. You could wear a night mask to block out light and listen to soothing music before going off to sleep.  The benefits of sleep are endless. Still wondering how to fall asleep faster? Simply lay on your bed with your eyes closed, relax, and count those sheep!

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Why You Need Back Exercises

Most of us these days have a desk job, where we sit and work at the computer for long periods of time, and the demanding schedule makes it very difficult to squeeze in regular exercise. Also, most of us are not in the habit of eating healthy, well-balanced meals. All these factors combined can result in a lot of physical problems, the most common of them being backaches. They start as an uncomfortable knot somewhere along the spine, which is mostly taken care of in the weekend massage appointments. However, ignoring back pains can be risky. Therefore, regular back exercises are advisable.

How to Exercise the Back

There are quite a few effective back strengthening exercises, but the exercises listed below will give you a great start.

Hip Bridge:  This exercise involves lying down on your back with your arms long at your side, your feet directly under your knees, and slightly closer than hip width apart. Next, try to lift your back while making a straight line from shoulder to knees and holding the position for a couple of seconds, and then repeat 8 – 10 times.

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Bird Dog: In this exercise, you have to get on your hands and knees on the floor; part your knees hip width and hands shoulder width. Maintaining the position, stretch the left leg and right hand out and hold the posture for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat with alternating pattern.

bird-dog-

Side Plank:  While lying on your side, use the support of your elbow to lift up your body weight. The upper leg should be directly on top of the lower leg and straighten knees and hips. Hold the position for roughly 30 seconds or longer, if you can. Repeat a few times on alternating sides.

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Lunge:  Keeping your upper body straight, shoulders back and relaxed with core engaged, step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at roughly a 90-degree angle. Your front knee should be directly above your ankle, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. When you push back to the start position, keep your weight in your heels.  Repeat a few times on alternate legs.

 

 

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Benefits of Back Exercises

Back exercises not only help to strengthen your back, but also helps to release the excessive pressure the spine handles due to long hours of sitting on a chair. The stabilizing abdominal muscles and lower back muscles are strengthened, which also helps to improve the balance of muscles, their coordination and stability. A stronger abdomen helps to extend greater support to the spine.

While regular back exercises are definitely beneficial, try to avoid sitting too long by taking mini breaks throughout the day to stretch and take short walks to relieve stress and tension.

 

Photo credit:

Hip bridge exercise from workoutlabs.com

Bird-dog exercise image from  workoutlabs.com

Side plank exercise image from workoutlabs.com

Lunge exercise image from workoutlabs.com

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Tips to Promote a Safe and Healthy Pregnancy

Photo credit: David Roseborough from Los Angeles, United States [CC BY 2.0]

Pregnancy is a life-changing experience on multiple levels; not only is your body experiencing many changes, but the world around you seems suddenly in need of quick and urgent restructuring in order to ensure that you and your newborn are in an environment which is conducive to health, growth, and happiness. Taking care of your body is essential for ensuring a smooth and healthy pregnancy. Read on for some tips and suggestions which will enable you to be at your healthiest through your pregnancy and beyond.

Lower Your Body’s Toxicity Levels

One of the first things you should consider is to remove all the harmful elements from your body, including some unhealthy habits that could harm the young life which is growing inside you. Smoking and alcohol consumption must be the first to go in a long line of unhealthy habits. This should be followed up with a visit to a qualified dietitian who will advise you on how to develop a healthy eating pattern; a healthy pregnancy is dependent on proper nutrition.

Your regular medical prescription will also need to be reviewed in the event that some of the medication you are taking is detrimental to your pregnancy. Consult with your doctor regarding reducing or completely stopping the intake of certain harmful medications. Even natural medicines can potentially harm your growing baby, so go over everything that you’re taking with your doctor.

Manage Stress and Eat Healthy Food

Expectant mothers should also pay close attention to their needs while they are expecting, and to ensure that they are getting adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Staying healthy during pregnancy is also dependent on your mental well-being, so take care to manage your stress and take breaks more often throughout the day. A happy and healthy pregnancy process will ensure that you give birth to a healthy baby. Your diet should include a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need, such as plenty of vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables), fruits (e.g. mixed berries, apples, cantaloupe, apricots), protein (e.g. nuts, beans, legumes, fish, poultry, lean meats), dairy (e.g. milk, cottage cheese, yogurt), and iron-rich foods like enriched grain products and leafy green vegetables.

Exercise is Very Important

Pregnant women should strive to remain physically active throughout their pregnancy, if there are no medical contraindications. Regular exercise keeps your blood flowing properly, which is beneficial for baby’s development and for your body. Up to 30 minutes of light exercise is recommended and could include anything from walking and swimming to yoga and Pilates.

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Live Longer and Age Gracefully

Photo credit: National Cancer Institute [Public domain]

As you grow older, it is very important to understand the changes your body is going through and how to care for it well. The process of aging often involves a number of concerns about how to live longer and age gracefully. Learning useful health tips for 50+ will help you make informed choices as you grow older, so read on to live a healthy life!

Make Healthy Eating a Priority

Aging brings with it a number of potential health problems such as blood sugar irregularities and heart conditions. While some of these problems are genetic and are therefore not possible to avoid completely, it is possible to prevent them from worsening by eating conscientiously. It is important to prioritize healthy eating as you grow older, and maintaining a balanced diet is imperative if one wishes to live longer.

Eat foods that are rich in minerals (especially calcium & magnesium), vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Focus on vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and lean meats to ensure that your body is well-balanced nutritionally.

Some of the vegetables that you should include in your daily diet are kale, collard greens, squash, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli. Fruits that you should consume include mixed berries, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, cherries, watermelon and grapes.

You should also try to consume more whole grain foods, such as whole wheat, oatmeal and brown rice. Whole grains are known to have very low fat content, and they contain good amounts of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins that can benefit your health in numerous ways. Other healthy food choices include eggs, cheeses, and yogurts, as these foods can help control hypertension and improve bone health.

When you are over 50, you should eat lean meats, such as turkey and chicken, and fresh fish because they contain less cholesterol and fat. Also, choose heart-friendly oils, such as olive oil, to do your cooking, and be sure to drink plenty of water every day to keep your body well-hydrated.

Exercise will Keep Aging Bones and Joints Healthy

A number of people tend to avoid exercise as they age, as the desire to look fit diminishes. However, the need to incorporate exercise is among the most important health tips for 50+, regardless of whether one wishes to look healthy or not. What is important to keep in mind if one wishes to live longer, is the fact that bones and joints will lose their strength as age catches up, which is why it is important to exercise them on a daily basis.

Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout; water aerobics, low-impact strength and cardio workouts, such as Pilates or Yoga, or maybe try a simple 30-minute power walk, which is also a fun and refreshing way to stay fit as you age.

Supplements Keep Signs of Aging at Bay

Increasing one’s intake of certain supplements, especially those abundant in antioxidants, will ensure that wrinkles, crow’s feet, and sagging skin will be limited in appearance. Eating healthy and incorporating supplements into one’s diet will ensure that your daily nutritional needs are being adequately met.

Before you choose supplements for yourself, consult your doctor or a nutritionist to find out which kinds of supplements you need and the proper dosage for your body.

Enjoy Rejuvenating Body Therapies

The various little aches and pains that an aging body experiences can be kept at bay thanks to a vast range of therapies, which are available at spas and special centers. A number of treatments are available which increase the skin’s elasticity and restore its natural balance, while others focus on tackling issues pertaining to back, shoulder, and joint problems. One has the option to choose from yoga or aromatherapy based treatments based on personal need. It is a good idea to indulge in these treatments at least once a week in order to reap the full benefit of the processes.

Aging with grace can be an enjoyable experience thanks to the incorporation of a disciplined lifestyle, a balanced diet, the incorporation of healthy supplements, and relaxing therapeutic processes.

Strengthen the Bond between You and Your Partner by Working out Together

Image: Robin Reichert

When love is in the air and you have the most beautiful person in the world as your partner, you definitely want to spend as much time together as possible. Eating together, sleeping together, and watching movies together are all activities that many couples enjoy, but one of the best activities of all to enjoy as a couple is working out.

Couple exercises are not just intimate, but also a whole lot more entertaining and inspiring than working out by yourself. A workout with your partner will motivate you and keep you going. Your partner will make it worth your while to exercise. And at the end of it all, you both emerge as a gorgeous couple who are the envy of everyone.

Benefits of Exercising as a Couple

A workout with your partner is very beneficial in a variety of ways. First and foremost, you will both act as great motivators for each other. Push each other when one of you feels like giving up.

You can also learn a host of other things from one another. Maybe one of you is good with high intensity workouts, while the other one prefers low intensity workouts. Synchronize with each other to form your own unique fitness routines. This will also help you bond and become more intimate over time.

Workout Ideas for Couples

There are so many things that a couple can do to keep fit. Here are some ideas for fun couple exercises that will make you want to workout with your partner right away:

  • Hiking: Weekend hiking tours will not only push you to burn calories, but it will also be a wonderful time spent with your beloved in the lap of nature.
  • Indulge in sports: Playing sports like basketball, tennis, and badminton will not only improve your hand-eye coordination but also help you shed extra fat. The competitive edge is even more exciting when your partner is involved.
  • Learn martial arts: While you both learn something new and useful, you also help each other to improve your skills through constant practice.
  • Dance: There are so many forms of dance to choose from that will not only help you to sizzle your personal chemistry but also help in a complete body toning. Salsa, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Quick Feet, and Beachbody’s CIZE dance workout; the couple in love will have a plethora of dance choices available.
  • Traditional workout routines: Run, jog, walk, do push ups, sit ups or pull ups. Compete with each other to see who has more strength and endurance. Competing as a couple will definitely help in achieving your ultimate fitness goals.

The good health of your partner is partly your responsibility. Motivating your loved one to workout and remain fit is your way of accomplishing that responsibility so you can live a longer and happier life together.

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Get in Shape Fast with 3-Day Refresh

Photo credit: Alex Proimos [CC BY 2.0]

Getting in shape fast is the goal of most people, regardless of size, shape, and fitness level. Whether it’s the desire to fit into a favorite pair of jeans or to wear a little black dress without looking too bulky, or perhaps to rid one’s body of various toxins ingested due to an unhealthy lifestyle. There are a variety of reasons as to why most people would be glad to lose those few pounds of body fat. While there is no magic pill that will aid the burning of fat, there are a few methods, plans, and tips which will certainly help you get in shape fast without compromising on your food and water intake. Here are some plans and helpful suggestions that will enable you to get into the best shape of your life.

Understanding the 80-20 Principle

As every qualified personal trainer or athlete will tell you, those rock-hard, 6-pack abdominal muscles are made more in the kitchen than in the gym. In order to remove that layer of fat which covers your abdominal muscles, you will need to organize your diet according to the 80-20 principle, which involves dedicating 80 percent of your efforts towards eating clean and healthy food, and the remaining 20 percent in exercising with a focus on cardiovascular and weight-training activities.

What you put into your body will show on it, and as the saying goes, “you are what you eat”. You can get in shape fast and kick start your metabolism with the help of professionally developed food and drink plans, which will enable you to eat and drink healthy food whose nutritional calorific content has been optimized to give you maximum benefit.

Effective Dieting

There is a marked difference between fad diets and effective diets. A number of enthusiasts make mistakes while attempting to get in shape fast by following fad or all-liquid diets. These diets only enable the loss of water weight, and also send the body into starvation mode, thus slowing down metabolism.

A balanced and nutritionally-sound approach to getting fit fast can be achieved through the 3 Day Refresh program, which incorporates the consumption of healthy shakes and clean, non-processed food, allowing the body to receive its daily requirement of vitamins, protein and minerals and cleanses it from within.

With the 3 Day Refresh program, you will get in shape fast thanks to a boost in metabolism, a cleansed system, and renewed energy thanks to the goodness of nutrient-dense shakes, which will go a long way in facilitating a pleasant journey towards a healthier body.


3 DAY REFRESH LOSE WEIGHT AND FEEL GREAT!

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