Fitness Friday: Work Out at Work

Hey everyone! Happy Friday. I took a few days off last week for some much needed R&R, but I’m back to give you another great option for fitting a workout into your work day as part of the Workouts You Can Do Anywhere series.

Let’s talk about the work day…

Some of you have a desk job that leaves you kind of folded in half & hunched over for the majority of the day, (been there!) while others may do work requiring standing on your feet for most of the day. Whatever your current situation, I’ve got some ideas for how you can squeeze in a workout while you’re at work!

I’m sure one concern is getting sweaty and not the having time or facility to shower in the middle of day. Lucky for us, there are several AWESOME No-Rinse Bathing Wipes on the market that you can throw in to your handbag that will nip that problem in the bud!

The Desk Job Workout

I love this infographic from NanoWorkout.com that gives you several ideas you can do while still parked at your desk. You can try these while you are on a conference call or during a break.

Work Out at Your Desk | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Time to get out of your chair too? Even better! Walk around the block to warm up & cool down before & after doing one set of these exercises.

Now, for those of you who are standing most of the day at work …

The good news is, you are already burning an average of 50 calories more per hour that people who sit during the day. And if you are doing a job with extra activity while standing (cooking, styling hair, giving facials) then you are burning that many more calories!!!!

While you’ve got the advantage here, you still need to crank up the intensity a bit to get that cardiovascular workout you need.

Take advantage of adding a little pep to your step on the way to work. Park farther away than you do now & try and get a 5-10 minute walk from your car both before & after work. Got lots of stuff to haul with you?  Great! That’s extra resistance — but make sure you are balanced! You don’t want to injure yourself by carrying 25 pounds on one shoulder!

Park in a parking garage? Take the stairs instead of the elevator when going to and from your car. Three flights of stairs three times per day burns off about 45 calories. Doesn’t sound like much, but over time it can make a huge difference!

Take the Stairs | thewellnessscientist.com

 

On your break, try walking to pick up lunch vs. ordering in. Go for a quick walk around the block to push through that afternoon slump instead of grabbing a coffee that might lead to poor quality sleep later that night.

Hope these tips for How To Squeeze a Workout Into your Work Day were helpful!

SO TELL ME …

Is there a special part of your commute or daily routine that you thought of that can be changed to help you burn a few extra calories? Share it with me below!

 

Fitness Friday: Are You a First Generation Fitness Enthusiast?

Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to try something a little different for today’s #FitnessFriday post.

Until recently, I was one of the only people in my extended family that was really in to health & fitness. A little while back, my cousin Jill started kicking butt & taking names by ramping up her fitness & dropping a significant amount of weight (good job, girl!!) My “cousin-in-law” Beth also joined the party and despite having four young kids and a full-time job, she is up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the gym before the kids are up getting ready for school.

Then LOTS of other cousins and my sister started the 21-day Advocare challenge. My sister lost a whopping 40 pounds in 40 days!!! My cousins have all posted great results of their own on Facebook & continue to drop pounds each week.

We are all what I call First Generation Fitness Enthusiasts. By that, I mean we didn’t grow up with moms and dads who did Jane Fonda or mall-walking (at least as far as I know!!!)

At some point, we each came to the conclusion that we wanted it enough to BRING IT, despite the time, energy, effort it took or the fear of making a change.

Because change can be scary, right? Change brings up feelings from the past, maybe when we tried something that didn’t go so well. The image below says it all:  If You Change Nothing, Nothing Will Change!

nothing-will-change

Question: Are You a First Generation Fitness Enthusiast? What prompted you to embrace change and opt for a healthier lifestyle? Also, what motivates you to KEEP GOING when something comes up?

If you have a blog or Facebook page where you talk about your own fitness challenge & journey, I invite you to share your link below! It helps us all stay motivated when we realize how much we have in common with one another!

Have a great weekend!!

Fitness Friday: Lower Body Blast

Happy Friday! So many people LOVED my previous post, The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do at Home … especially the Kill Those Calves workout. That workout alone received more than 1400 repins on Pinterest!

If its lower body you want, then that’s what you’ll get!! 🙂

I’m working on more lower body toning myself, and I have reviewed TONS of lower body workout pins on Pinterest, YouTube videos, as well as my print magazine archives.

Today I’m going to share one of the BEST lower body workouts that I found.

This was a segment from one of Jillian Michael’s videos that I discovered on YouTube. I’m having you repeat each move three times to get that lower body burn that will equal GREAT RESULTS.

I’m calling this workout the Lower Body Blast. I did this 2 days ago, and I can still feel the burn (in a good way!)

Lower Body Blast workout

Tack on this 20-minute session after 30 minutes of cardio or do on its own to create shapely glutes & thighs. To watch each of these moves performed, check out Jillian’s demo here.

WORK HARDER THAN YOU THINK YOU DID YESTERDAY!

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Yoga for Runners

Some of the best post-run stretch routines I’ve ever done include some basic yoga poses for hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings.

Today’s #FitnessFriday post is an awesome Yoga For Runners Infographic developed by Michigan-based sports & fitness apparel store, Gazelle Sports. I think you’ll agree this picture is worth a thousand words!

Infographic courtesy of Gazelle Sports

Infographic courtesy of Gazelle Sports

Runners: What are your favorite pre & post-run stretches?

 

Fitness Friday: How To Recover After a Half-Marathon

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know this past Sunday was the day of my second half-marathon! We ran a beautiful course in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina. We were really lucky with the weather being warm and sunny when just days before it had been cold and raining.

At The Finish Line

Now that the race is over, good race recovery is super important. Here are some tips on How To Recover After A Half Marathon.

Recovery Phase One: After You Finish

Walk it Off

After you cross the finish line, don’t collapse into a heap! I know you are tired, but do a little walking  to give your legs a proper cool-down & keep cramps at bay.

Hydrate

Continue hydrating after the race. Water is good, but if you have access to Gatorade, coconut water, or something with electrolytes that’s even better. There will likely be beer at the Finish Line. By all means, imbibe if you wish but keep chugging water as well so you don’t get dehydrated.

Stretch It Out

This one is a must.  After cooling down for a bit, stretch your legs! If you were great about stretching while you were training, keep it up! Be thorough … stretch your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and IT bands. You’ll be SO glad you did the next day and several days after!

 

Recovery Phase Two: An Hour to Several Hours After You Finish The Race

Eat!

After you’ve done your stretching and had some H2O, find something to eat. Most races will have foods such as bananas, sports bars, etc. Not all races are created equal, so if it isn’t specified on the Race Day info that food will be available, bring some with you.

Rest

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep to facilitate the healing process. Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body after an effort like this, so rest up!

 

Recovery Phase Three: A Day Or Two After the Finish

Keep Hydrating!

When you wake up the day after race, you are probably  going to experience a little muscle soreness in your legs (perhaps elsewhere too). Keep drinking water and eat healthy vitamin-packed foods to speed up your recovery.

Schedule a Massage

After 13.1, you’ve earned yourself a massage appointment to work out the kinks and aches & pains due to the DOMS effect (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Ask the therapist to spend extra time on your calves, hamstrings, or whatever is the most sore.

Do a Little Recovery Jog

Take a walk around the block or jog if you are up to it. This will help loosen up tight muscles and speed up recovery too. Two miles should do the trick!

Celebrate!

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! You just ran 13.1 miles — that is AMAZING! I see so many people beating themselves up because they didn’t meet their goal time. Stop the negative self-talk! You just did something incredible, so celebrate your awesomeness.  And as they say, you still lapped everyone on the couch!! 🙂

To make things easier, I created this Half Marathon Recovery Checklist that you can Pin, Printout, Save, or whatever!

If you like it, give it a Pin!!

Half Marathon Race Recovery Checklist | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

Fitness Friday: My Running Favorites

Happy Friday! I started off the day with a nice & easy 3-mile run to get some of that natural energy flowing. My attempt to energize via multiple cups of coffee to rally for Pilates every Friday afternoon has not worked out so well.  But a little run to get the blood flowing seems to do the trick!

If you have been following me here or on Instagram, then you know I am gearing up for a half-marathon on March 9th!!!

For today’s Fitness Friday post, I wanted to share some of my running essentials with you. I swear by this stuff and other products that I’ll feature at a later date. You might want to sign up just there on the right hand side so you don’t miss any upcoming posts!!

Here’s the Gear and Where to Grab It!!

Running Essentials

 

1. Nike Women’s Free Run 2 — This is an older generation of the Nike Free Run’s, but they are still my favorite and I have tried many. If you find them in your size, you should be able to grab them at a terrific price. Comes in a multitude of cool colors. Great for running, super light!

2. Natori Sports Bra — This is my favorite sports bra for running. Has supportive underwire. Also available in Black, White, and Gray.

3. Bioderma Photoderm MAX SPF 50+ — First tried this sunscreen last summer while exploring Paris in 90 degree weather. I was certain that my face was going to burn & peel off because I had forgotten my hat. Ducked into a pharmacie, and the super-nice pharmacist recommended this as one of the best. My face and shoulders didn’t show the slightest hint of pink after 5+ hours spent walking around in the direct sun. I’ll call that effective.

4. Nike “Poise” Sunglasses (color pictured: Matte Night Stadium/Neo Turquoise) — The are great sunglasses for running. Doesn’t move up and down while you’re moving or fall down your nose when you start sweating. Nice pair!

5. Under Armour Running Socks — These are thick enough not to give you blisters, but not so thick that they are too hot or make your shoes feel too tight if your feet swell after you’ve been running awhile. One of my favorite running socks, and again … I have tried MANY!

6. Lululemon Run Inspire Crop — I run in shorts when its warm weather, but I love this running crop for cooler months. Keeps your legs warm on cooler days, but the material keeps you cool after your body gets warmed up. Nice lightweight with convenient pockets for stashing energy chews, keys, and more.

There is so much more GREAT running gear and accessories out there.  What are some of your favorites?

Fitness Friday: “Love Your Body” Stretches

Love-Your-Body-Stretches

Happy Valentine’s Day! Show your body a little love today by doing some of the stretches in this awesome roundup of “Love Your Body” Stretches

Stretching can help you: Avoid injury, Increase Range of Motion in Your Joints, Improve Circulation, and Increase Energy

For tight hamstrings, try the Modified Hurdler Stretch

Photo courtesy of fitsugar.com

Photo courtesy of fitsugar.com

  • Sit on the floor with your left leg straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee, placing the sole of your right foot against the inside of your left thigh. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.

 

On Your Side Quad Stretch

Photo courtesy of bodybuilding.com

Photo courtesy of bodybuilding.com

Photo courtesy of bodybuilding.com

Photo courtesy of bodybuilding.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Lie on your right side, with your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle resting on the floor in front of you (see photo on left).

2) As shown in right photo, bend your left knee behind you holding your left foot with your left hand.

3) Switch sides

Tight shoulders? Try the Eagle Arms Stretch

Photo courtesy of yourspineguide.com

Photo courtesy of yourspineguide.com

 

And lastly, for your back …

Seated Trunk Twist

 

Photo courtesy of self.com

Photo courtesy of self.com

This one will get your back, as well as your obliques!

1) Sit up tall on floor with your legs extended out in front of you.

2) Rotate just your ribcage to right (keep your butt on the mat & hips as still as you can). Keep your abs engaged!  Twist as far to the right as possible without allowing your butt to come off the mat.

3) Return to center & repeat on the other side for one rep. Do a total of 10 reps!

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Fearless Workout from Nike Training Club

Happy #FitnessFriday! Today we’ll be toning and strengthening our core. Today, I’m sharing the 15-minute Fearless Workout from Sofia Boutella courtesy of Nike Training Club. This workout has a total of 5 moves that you will repeat three times.  Are you ready?  Let’s do this!

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download the Nike Training Club app FREE of charge. This is one of the many at-home workouts & stretch routines available to you.

Grab a mat, and let’s get started!

The first move in the Fearless Workout is the Crunch Circuit.

1)  Lie on your back with hands behind your head and legs slightly apart in a V-shape.
2)  Squeeze your abs in tight to lift your upper body and shoulder blades off the ground.
3)  Return to starting position.
4)  Crunch forward again and extend one arm straight in front of you, with your palm-side facing up.
5)  Lower back down.
6)  Crunch forward again and extend the same arm straight out in front of you with the palm side facing down.
7)  Return to start position and repeat with the opposite arm.
8)  Repeat for one minute alternating arms, as above.

Check out this YouTube clip to see dancer Sofia Boutella demonstrate this move.

The second move in this workout is V-Ups.
1)  Sit upright with your knees tucked into your chest, feet elevated off the floor, and hands in a supportive position behind you.

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

2)  Extend legs out in front of you as you lower your upper body back towards the floor.
3)  Crunch back in to start position and repeat for a total of 60 seconds.

Watch a YouTube clip of modified V-Ups below:

The third move in this workout is Side V-Ups with Leg Kicks.
1)  Sit upright with knees tucked in and feet off the ground. Swivel to one side and keep your hands in a supportive position behind you.
2)  Kick your legs out as you lower your upper body towards the floor.
3)  Crunch your knees back in.
4)  Kick the top leg out in front of you.
5)  Bring it back down to start position.
6)  Kick the top leg behind you.
7)  Return to start position and repeat on the other side.
8)  Do this move for one minute.

Watch a YouTube clip of modified Side V-Ups with Leg Kicks below:

The fourth move is V-Hold with Leg Kicks.

1)  Sit upright with knees tucked in to your chest, feet off the floor and hands in a supportive position behind you. This is the same starting position that you did above in move #2.
2)  Tighten your abs as you kick one leg towards the sky.
3)  Return to start position.
4)  Tighten your abs as you extend the same leg out in front of you.
5)  Return to start position and repeat, alternating sides for one minute.

Watch a YouTube clip of modified V-Hold with Leg Kicks:

The fifth move is Side High Kicks.

1)  Start on your side with legs stretched out, using your arms for support.

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

2)  Bring your legs in towards you bending both knees.
3)  Kick out with both legs to make a 90-degree angle, making sure you keep both legs as straight as possible.
4)  Bring both legs back in towards you chest.
5)  Return to start position and repeat for one minute, switching legs halfway through.

Repeat each move 2 more times for a total of three sets.

Congrats! You are DONE!

Fitness Friday: Perfect Alignment Workout from Nike Training Club

Happy #FitnessFriday! Today we’ll be focusing on our core, hips, and glutes … those common problem areas. Nike Fitness Club has added some great new workouts! Today, I’m sharing the 15-minute Perfect Alignment Workout from Gabby Douglas. This workout has a total of 5 moves that you will repeat three times.  Are you ready?  Let’s do this!

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download the Nike Training Club #NTC app FREE of charge. This is one of the many at-home workouts & stretch routines available to you.

You do not need equipment to do this workout.

The first move in the Perfect Alignment Workout is the Side Plank with Leg Lift.
1)  Start on your side, with your arm directly under your shoulder, hips lifted and bottom leg bent.
2)  Keeping your abs in tight, lift and flex your top leg. Keep your hips lifted off the ground as you return to start position.
3)  Repeat this move for 30 seconds on each side.

Check out this YouTube clip to see this move performed.

The second move in this workout is Side Leg Circles.
1)  Start on your side, with your legs out straight and head resting on your arm.
2)  Lift your top leg, pointing your toes to contract the muscles in your leg.
3)  Keeping your form, make small circles with your leg.
4)  Repeat for thirty seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Side Leg Circles - Nike Training Club with Gabby Douglas

The third move in this workout is Straight Leg Flutters.
1)  Starting on your back, lift your legs, point your toes, and touch your heels together.
2)  Pressing your abs into the mat, lift your arms and bring your shoulder blades off the floor.
3)  Flutter your hands up and down as fast as you can without losing form for one minute.

Straight Leg Flutters - Nike Training Club with Gabby Douglas

The fourth move is Side Leg Lifts.
1)  Start on your side, with your legs out straight and head resting on your arm.
2)  Lift your top leg, turning your toes in towards the ground.
3)  Flexing your foot, lift your leg up and down until time to switch sides.
4)  Repeat for thirty seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

The fifth move is the Roll Up.
1)  Start on your back, with your hands above your head, legs straight and toes pointed.
2)  Pressing your lower back into the mat, roll from your shoulders into a crunch and reach for your toes. Roll back to start.
3)  Continue for one minute.

Roll Up - Nike Training Club with Gabby Douglas

Repeat each move 2 more times for a total of three sets.

Congrats! You are DONE!

If you did this workout, come back tomorrow and let me know how you feel. Do you feel it more in your abs or legs?  Let me know!

Fitness Friday: Wanna Run? What’s Stopping You?

 

Hi there! I’ve been delinquent on my Fitness Friday posts for a few weeks now.  Just too much activity, not that I’m complaining 🙂

I’m not posting a workout today, just some honest talk about running. I’ve had several people say things like “Oh, you’re a runner? I wish I could run.”

My question is: WHAT’S STOPPING YOU????

I’ve never considered myself an athlete, but after I started running my outlook changed. Let me tell you, if I can run, ANY ONE can do it. I ran my first half marathon this year at age 39. It was a huge goal, and I was a bit nervous about training but I did it. Not only did I finish, but I finished in the top 50% of runners. Far from winning, but my goal was to finish NOT to win.  And it felt GREAT!

It doesn’t matter if you have never run before, don’t think you are an athlete (I sure didn’t), lack coordination (hello… I am constantly bruised from running into tables & walls!). Just set a goal, make a plan, and do it!  I used the Nike Training Club Half Marathon Training Plan, with a few exceptions (I did Pilates instead of yoga, since it is already something I was practicing regularly). I can’t emphasize how important the stretching is!!  The Kara Goucher Pro-Running Stretches Workout on the Nike Training Club app is AWESOME!

If running is something you want to do, go for it. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You don’t have to join a gym or buy much of anything except for a decent pair of running shoes. It feels so free being out there, and I love the acknowledgement you get when you pass other runners — so motivating!

So if you are one of those people who says, “I want to run…” I say GO FOR IT!!  What’s stopping you? 🙂

OC-half-tee-sm

At the OC Half Marathon Finish - 2013

At the OC Half Marathon Finish – 2013

 

 Question: Do you have a running goal?