Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Bare Basics Workout

Whether you’re on the road, under budget or just need a break from the weights and gym dates…this workout offers the variety and intensity you crave.  You don’t need any equipment or fancy gym memberships!  This full body routine will increase your heart rate and help you drop excess body fat when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, including a nutrient-dense diet and rest. 
Complete two rounds of each set then complete one final round of each cardio movement.  Rest as little as possible to keep the heart rate up.  Warm up 3-5 minutes beforehand.  Modify as needed.
  • High knee run - 30 seconds
  • Alternating reverse lunges with arms overhead - 30 seconds
  • Full arm plank - 30 seconds
  • Burpees - 30 seconds
  • Squats with forward arm press as the legs extend - 30 seconds
  • Wall sit - 30 seconds
  • Jumping jacks - 30 seconds
  • Pushups - 30 seconds
  • Forearm side plank - 15 seconds/side
  • Jump squat - 30 seconds
  • Full plank with shoulder taps - 30 seconds
  • Side to side squat - 30 seconds 
  • Mountain climbers - 30 seconds
  • Lunge with right knee raise and core rotation to right - 15 seconds, then switch sides
  • Plank walkout with 2 knee drives - 5x
This post was originally featured here:

The Work-Workout Balance

Work hard and the results will come, right?  Kind of.  If your goal is to get in shape, then yes, you will have to work hard in the gym (or wherever you fit in your fitness).  But you will also have to manage your diet and make sure your sleep schedule is on fleek.  Likewise, there is more to it when it comes to your making “gains” in your career. It takes long hours, evening social events, and sometimes lengthy travel in order to make progress and move upward.  So what happens when those requirements interfere with your gym time and your promise to replace beers with banana-spinach protein shakes?  The following solutions will ensure you overcome those pesky barriers to success. 
The Problem:  Happy Hour
The Solution
It’s been a long day filled with phone calls, emails and meetings. You’ve made some final decisions regarding a big project while texts from your indecisive friends pop up on your phone.  Pizza or burgers?  Outdoor beer garden or indoor with flat screens to watch the game?  The only decision you want to make is what time to leave the office.  One of the problems with happy hour, is it rarely lasts an hour.  It might turn into dinner following your after-work drink, which then turns into “one more” after finishing the entire burger and fries you ordered because your alcohol-influenced self read it on the menu as “protein.”
-Avoid showing up to happy hour on an empty stomach.  Drinking on an empty stomach will increase the impact of the alcohol, and decrease your ability to resist that plate of nachos.
-Have a snack beforehand.
-It’s also a good idea to be the last one to have the first drink.  The later you begin your happy hour, the less alcohol you will likely consume throughout the evening.
The Problem: Burning the Midnight Oil
The Solution
Maybe you're up with the birds to catch that rush of endorphins that you chase at the gym. Maybe you're up late every night, replying to every email and reviewing every power point slide of your presentation. If you can relate to either of these, or (worse) both, there's a chance you're not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you'd rather burn fat than "midnight oil," prioritizing your sleep is a must. The quantity and quality of rest you get has a direct impact on your mood, energy levels and the hormones that support muscle growth and control your appetite. Having trouble calling it quits?
-Unplug at the same time every night to develop consistent sleep habits.
-Retire from the phone, computer and TV so you can recharge your body along with those devices.
-Consider using an eye mask to reduce the impact of light in your room.  Even a subtle amount can affect your melatonin levels, a hormone which plays a role in weight control and immune health.
The Problem:  The Vending Machine and Food Delivery Services
The Solution
Remember when hunger struck and you instinctively ran to the vending machine to grab a snack? With countless food delivery services, you might find yourself grabbing your phone just as quickly as those Gardetto’s.  Overcome endless, convenient food options and a bottomless burrito bowl by filling up with these tips.
-Schedule healthy food. The convenience of many smartphone apps makes order food fast, easy and efficient.  Use this to your advantage! Know which restaurants or meal delivery services offer nutrient dense options.  Many of them offer customized options such as gluten-free, nut-free, Paleo and vegetarian.
-If you’re eating out, don’t be afraid to create your own “meal” of side dishes.  A few of these “micro-meals” can add up to create a well rounded lunch.  Aim to include a protein, carb and veggie.  An example might be a baked potato, loaded with steamed broccoli and cottage cheese.
-Go with the tried and true "old school" method of packing your own.  And keep snacks at your desk! 
The Problem:  When (and where?) to Workout
The Solution
There's an increasing number of hotels and workplaces that provide gyms and wellness programs. Whether you're on the road or at work, there are countless opportunities to workout regardless of what your HR department might offer. Many companies provide free access to onsite gyms, or discounted memberships to one in your community. Onsite fitness centers, or those at a hotel, may not be "all inclusive" but the most important part isn't the amount of equipment or how new it is, but what you do with it.  Regardless of where you are or what equipment you have access to, keep the following in mind.
-Implement activities throughout your workday.  Think planks, wall sits, and stair climbs!  Never underestimate the significance of staying active.  Before roll your eyes and think “I’ll pass on burning the 10 calories,” take into account the energy-impact, how it will contribute to a quick mood boost.  It might also be exactly what you need to prevent a trip to your co-worker’s candy jar.
-Keep a pair of gym shoes and workout clothes in your office. While you might not have access to a shower, you never know when you might be able to get outside for a quick walk or outdoor circuit.  Check out The Bare Basics Workout for an equipment free routine you can do anywhere.  
These tips, along with commitment and an open mind, will help you achieve progress and bring you closer to your fitness goals despite work-related obstacles. What are your favorite ways to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle when balancing responsibilities at work? 
This post was originally featured here:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Timed Track Workout Series

Are you an athlete? Or do you consider yourself to be anything BUT an athlete? If you answered yes to that second question, it's time to shift your perception!

I never considered myself an athlete. In fact, my mom signed me up for high school tennis as a way to be "social" and "break out of my shell." While it served its purpose, it also broke my ego--when the tennis coach ordered a double X t-shirt for me. 

Regardless, I've overcome my negative mentality and social awkwardness (though if you're an introvert like me, you'll understand you still crave that alone time to reflect and energize). In recent weeks, I've asked myself "what can I do to mix up my routine? I work so hard in the gym and have hit a plateau." Physically and mentally. Have you ever felt that way?

My solution...the Timed Track Workout Series! I'm going to be heading to the track at least once a week for an outdoor workout...and, yep, it's going to be TIMED. Truthfully, this concept brings back memories of tennis practice where we did bleacher runs, alternating with laps around the track, performed dreaded suicides across the court lines...and, my least favorite, Indian runs (are they still called that?). But, if you're not feeling "nervous" every now and then, are you really doing anything to make progress and initiate change?

I'll be adding routines along the way, but for now, start with what's listed. If you cannot access a track, run around the block. If you don't have NuBells, use dumbbells (though the NuBells ARE PRETTY COOL). If you don't have dumbbells, use body weight.  Whether it takes you 33 minutes or 57, whether you walk or run...just START. Be sure to record your time and watch yourself progress as you incorporate this into your routine. 

1 lap
Reverse lunges - 20 total
Side plank - knee to elbow 10/side (complete all then switch sides)

1 lap
Squat with shoulder press - 20
Full plank with side knee drive - 10/side (complete all then switch sides)

1 lap
Front lunges - 20 total
Plank walkout with pushup - 5

1 lap
Lunge with knee and biceps curl - 10/side (complete all then switch sides)
Side plank with hip lift - 10/side (complete all then switch sides)

Beginners: Complete 1 round
Intermediate/Advanced: Complete 2 rounds