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Staying Stress Free During the Height of Your Career

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Landing a dream job is an exciting time in anyone’s life, but with any job comes stress. Stress can come from an overbearing co-worker or boss, working too many hours, not being able to reach deadlines, or because you’re not used to the demanding schedule yet. No matter what it may be, it’s important to learn how to manage your stress before it manages you. In any case a dream job is worth it, but if you start to sacrifice your health and are unhappy you may want to consider if it’s going to work out long term. Remember to set boundaries so that you stay happy and healthy. Here are some ways to stay stress free when you’re mixed up in the chaos of it all.

 

Be Direct yet Polite with Co-Workers

Communication is key when you’re working with a new boss and co-workers. Whether your job is remote or if it’s at an office, unless you communicate your concerns and frustrations constructively with the co-worker as they come up, it’s likely that these miscommunications will only get worse. To save you a lot of stress and anger, address issues that come up right away. By communicating both you and your boss or co-worker will learn how to work better together and hopefully will also learn one another’s personalities and working style.

 

Lean How to Manage Tension Headaches and Muscle Aches

When you’re stressed out it’s natural that your stress will get stored somewhere, such as your muscles or head. Stress can lead to headaches which can make work more challenging when you’re working on an assignment. Receive stress relief by investing in excellent products from Melt Method such as a soft body roller, hand and foot treatment, and a Melt Method kit that can help reduce your daily aches and pains. Who wants to experience pain when you have a ton of tasks to complete for your job?! Learning how to manage your stress naturally with pain treatments can help.

 

Get Enough Rest

When you’re at the height of your career getting enough rest may seem like the last thing on your mind, but the truth of the matter is if you don’t get rest everything else will be affected. Sleeping controls your concentration, how much you remember every day, and can affect serious things such as your driving skills and overall health. In addition a lack of sleep can cause you to gain weight and can also lead to depression. Make sure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and if that’s too much take some time off during your weekends to catch up on sleep. Your health depends on it!

MeltMethod

Tips for Staying on Track with your Health and Fitness

Disclosure ~ Compensation was provided by Stayfree via Mode Media.
All opinions expressed are 100% that of the author (Sheila) and are not indicative of the opinions of Stayfree.

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Whenever people ask me how to stay on track with health goals my first answer is to tell them to stop trying so hard. Sounds counterproductive at first, but hear me out. When we set out to make changes we often jump in with both feet without a clear plan. This usually ends in disappointment because of lack of instant results. In this day and age, we’re so used to instant gratification that we get discouraged when things take longer than we want. Instead, make clearly defined goals and break them down into attainable milestones. Then determine reasonable habits you want to establish rather than forcing changes you know you’ll never stick with. Living a healthy lifestyle gets easier with each good choice you make and becomes natural, making it unnecessary to try so hard.

Attack your closet! I know the closet can sometimes be a scary place, but a little organization can aid in staying on a healthy track. Keep comfortable workout clothes easily accessible in clear view. You’ll feel much more enthusiastic to work out if you don’t have to hunt for clothes or shoes first. Do a little shopping if your workout wardrobe needs to be updated. Working out is a whole lot easier when you feel good and a new snazzy pair of yoga pants and a nice top is a great start. Remember to keep Stayfree® Ultra Thin Liners on hand too. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how awkward it can be to do yoga or any exercise when you’re using bulky lady products. The Stayfree Ultra Thin Liners are discreet and bendable so no matter what position you put your body in, you don’t have to feel self-conscious.

Raid your fridge! Oh how easy it is to reach for something unhealthy when staring down your fridge. Eventually it’s the hope that it’s only stocked with good for you options, but realistically that might not be the case in the beginning. Make it easy on yourself by doing the prep work right away. When buying groceries, wash and cut fruits and vegetables that day. Separate items into portions for easy snacking. It’s much easier to grab a healthy bunch of grapes to nibble on after a long day if they’ve been cleaned, de-stemmed, and are just waiting for you in a container or baggie. When you feel the need to indulge – and it’s ok that you do, but remember moderation – dish yourself a single serving and savor each bite.

Recruit the troops! A great way to stay on track is to be accountable. It’s easy to fib to yourself, a bit harder to somebody else. Recruit your spouse, kids, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, neighbors…you get the point. There is strength in numbers! Share your goals and encourage them to help you achieve them. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Have an after dinner dance party! Let them know when you’re struggling and lean on them for extra support. Try to think outside the box. Practice your yoga moves while waiting to get dinner out of the oven or the dishwasher to finish its cycle. Grab each opportunity to move your body.

Reward yourself! This is so important. Whether a huge reward when you complete your overall goal or little rewards a long the way – or both! – positive reinforcement is an essential part of life changing habits. Maybe a haircut or a new yoga outfit? The sky’s the limit. Your healthy self deserves it.

stayfree_authorlogo[2][1][3] New year, new you! Yoga is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and who better to lead the yoga-lution than you. Inspired by athletic wear, Stayfree® pads feature flexible layers that move with your body from child’s pose to side crow. Visit http://www.stayfree.com/ to find which product best fits you or visit our Facebook to learn more about our mission. Also, don’t forget to use your Stayfree® purchase to get a 30-Day membership to My Yoga on Gaiam TV and access FREE yoga classes online now through March 12!

Jump on the 2015 Vionic Walkabout

Walkabout Logo (green) Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl received product as compensation for sharing about the 2015 Vionic Walkabout.
 

Walking is one of those things we all must do.  We have to walk to the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom.  Walk to get the mail, walk in the grocery store, walk the floor with a crying baby, and just plain walk to do just about anything in life.   Well, since you are going to be walking anyhow, why not join the 2015 Vionic Walkabout on a quest for good health.

By participating in Vionic Walkabout, you’ll have the chance to walk away with some seriously great prizes. Through photo and caption contests on Facebook and Instagram, they give away weekly prizes such as new Vionic Shoes, Dr. Weil Cookbooks and Visa gift cards. Plus, they will select a Grand Prize winner to receive an all-expense paid trip to Napa, CA.  Now, why would you not want that trip?  Get on your walking shoes and join now.

Expert Insight:
 
“Walking is what your body is designed to do. It strengthens almost every major organ in the body, promotes bone density, and boosts the immune system,” says Dr. Weil. “There’s no special skill, training or equipment needed, just the right footwear.”
 
Research shows that walking as little as 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease (America’s Number 1 killer) by as much as 40 percent. By even taking two or three 10-15 minute walks per day, people can improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes and improve mental wellbeing.
 
Celebrity trainer and fitness expert Juliet Kaska strongly recommends walking as a way to get and stay fit for even beginning exercisers: “Walking is an easy, stress-free exercise, clearing your mind, ?strengthening your heart and toning muscles.”
 
According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 72 percent of Americans say they do not exercise because foot pain prevents them from doing so. This astounding figure emphasizes the importance of getting started with a pair walking-friendly shoes or sandals that are breathable, offer good arch support, are relatively lightweight and have flexible soles to allow the front of the foot to flex comfortably.
 
Vionic Footwear with Orthaheel Technology offers footwear that helps prevent and alleviate foot pain and fits a variety of lifestyles. Vionic shoes feature a removable orthotic footbed that supports feet and helps realign the lower-legs, improving posture and balance – an ideal option for daily fitness walking.

So, what are you waiting for.  Go get your walk on!

Vionic venture walking shoe

 

Choose the Right Toning Workout for You

FitnessWarehouse

Losing weight is the main objective of a lot of people who join a gym or start a fitness regime, but when you’ve achieved that goal where do you go next? The best answer is to move on to a toning routine.

Plenty of weight loss exercises overlap with ones to get your body nice and toned but there is a difference between the two aims. Therefore there are things you should be doing differently to ensure your muscles become tight and defined. Create a workout tailored to you by taking note of the following advice.

Cardio

Endurance workouts such as long runs or bike rides are good for losing weight but for toning interval exercises are the best. These are shorter but higher intensity exercises that actually save you time when working out.

On an exercise bike or treadmill alternate between short ten to twenty second bursts going all out and around 80 seconds at a comfortable pace for about 20 minutes in total. You can even do this outside, mixing sprinting in with a longer run or bike ride.

Weights

All weights use different muscles and work towards strengthening and therefore toning them. To be most efficient pick weight exercises that use more than one muscle at a time, such as squats and deadlifts. Mix your session up with two lower body weight exercises and three or four upper body ones, aiming for heavier weights with fewer repetitions as this leads to quicker fat burning and faster toning.

You don’t even need weights or to go to a gym for some effective toning exercises. Lunges and press-ups are excellent for working various arm muscles and your abs without using weights. Planks are good too and require little time or space to complete.

Lifestyle

Your workout routine should be based on your current level of fitness. At least three times a week you need to be working out to see the difference in your tone, with two rest days. If you lead a busy life with little time to visit the gym then Fitness Warehouse has plenty of equipment you can use at home, from dumbbells to benches.

What you eat and drink has a big impact too as you need to be burning more calories than you take in to get toned at first. Eat enough for energy but cut out any extra fatty foods or do extra exercise to burn it off.

 

How to Mix up Your Cycling Workouts

FatbirdsdontFly

Cycling is an excellent form of exercise as it involves strength, power and endurance and can be done inside or outdoors with the right equipment. However, constantly going for the same five or ten mile bike rides does not only get dull but you can soon lose some of the fitness benefits by sticking to the same routine.

For this reason it’s important to mix up your cycling workouts to keep things fresh, interesting and maximise your training routine. If you are a regular cycler then it’s good to do each of the following at least once a week with a rest day or two as well.

Endurance Rides

Depending on your fitness levels an endurance ride could be anywhere from 30 minutes upwards. The important thing is that you cycle continuously for the full time (not counting necessary stops due to traffic etc.). Stick to a pace that you are comfortable with so not to run out of steam straight away.

Longer rides are far more enjoyable done on a real bike outside, so plan your route so as not to overdo it. During winter using a gym exercise bike will work well to see your pace, and you can catch up on some TV or an audio book at the same time.

Tempo Sessions

As their name suggests, tempo sessions are done at a higher intensity. Again cycling continuously, aim for a faster pace but during a shorter time period. If you can manage an hour for an endurance ride spend around 25 minutes cycling at a constant fast speed that you can maintain for that time.

This will help increase your overall speed for longer rides and help you not tire as quickly when tackling steep hills or stepping it up during an endurance cycle.

Speed Sprints

The shortest but possibly most painful cycle workout is the sprint. You can do these on a bike outside, just ensure the way is clear, but it is best on an exercise bike indoors.

Cycle your fastest for 30 seconds then rest for 60 to 90 seconds and go again. Repeat this six times and as you improve start bumping up the time to 45 and 60 seconds sprints and repeat more often. This will increase your pace and power by getting your body used to lactic acid flowing through it. It may be tough at first but it will be rewarding in the end.

 

Strike a Pose, a Yoga Pose!


 

Disclosure ~ Compensation was provided by Stayfree via Mode Media.
All opinions expressed are 100% that of the author (Sheila) and are not indicative of the opinions of Stayfree.
 
 

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I can’t remember when I first fell in love with yoga, but I know it was probably in my early 20’s.  I think I saw a tv commercial for some video program that was for yoga and I was sold.  Over the years (20 years or so), I have gone through many phases where I do yoga daily, and then times when I do it maybe once a week or so.   Even if I don’t find time to do it daily, I do use many of the moves daily to stretch out my body.   But, my favorite yoga is hot yoga.  I love love love sweating all the stress and toxins out of my body.    But, as most women know, we all have challenges we face when doing certain moves.  Not challenges doing the moves, but challenges with the clothing we wear and how things shift when we are in some of those moves.  And for me, I sometimes tend to twist certain ways where my bladder might not agree with me and if you know how thin yoga pants are, you know that nobody wants that.   Wearing a sanitary product isn’t always appealing when you have skin tight, thin, show everything, yoga pants on.  My solution, Stayfree® Ultra Thin liners.  Not only do they stay put, but they have Thermo Control® Technology that wicks moisture away.   So, when I am sweating and possibly leaking doing what I love, I have no worries.   I actually turned a friend of mine onto using Stayfree® at one of our hot yoga sessions.   She used to put toilet paper in her undies.  YIKES!  I can’t imagine.

Did you know yoga is great for depression?   I know this first hand, as I suffer with depression bad in the winter.  Being a Minnesota girl, the winters are long and dark and cold and I am not an outside person when it’s cold.  So, I like to get up early when it is still dark out and load a great workout on my laptop from Gaiam TV, and start my day off by striking a pose.   It stretches my body, helps me get my mind in the current day, and puts a smile on my face.

Strike a pose and let your stresses float away and start your day fresh.    Poses like Body Awareness, Child’s Pose, Cobra Pose, Bridge Pose, Mountain Pose, Warrior Pose, and Forward Fold. No matter the pose, just let your body slip into the movement and enjoy every breath you take while feeling your body give into the move.

Have you tried yoga?  Wanna give it a try?  If you purchase Stayfree® in stores or online between Jan 8th and March 12th, you can get a 30-day membership to My Yoga on Gaiam TV.    Easy, just purchase and upload an image of your receipt to redeem your free 30 day membership.  I have been using Gaiam TV for a while now and love it.  There are so many choices that a person can do a different yoga routine every day.

So now you have no excuse to not try yoga, right?  No worries about being comfortable as you can choose the Stayfree® product that is right for you, the yoga routine that fits your needs and let yourself just enjoy doing your body good.  Make sure to keep your Stayfree® of choice in your gym bag like I do. I never know when I might be in town and a friend might invite me to a hot yoga class.   I am always prepared.

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Tell me your favorite yoga pose.

New year, new you! Yoga is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and who better to lead the yoga-lution than you. Inspired by athletic wear, Stayfree® pads feature flexible layers that move with your body from child’s pose to side crow. Visit http://www.stayfree.com/ to find which product best fits you or visit our Facebook to learn more about our mission. Also, don’t forget to use your Stayfree® purchase to get a 30-Day membership to My Yoga on Gaiam TV and access FREE yoga classes online now through March 12!

Snowboarding or Skiing: Which Is Best for Fitness?

HighOctane

Snowboarding and skiing are two of the most popular winter sports with many overlapping similarities between them both. Up every snowy mountain you’ll find people arguing over which is better, cooler or more fun. If you’re thinking about trying one out you’re probably wondering which, if either, is best for improving your fitness.

It’s a close run thing and there isn’t much between them, but if you’re looking for a specific fitness benefit such as burning more calories or improving strength there is a slight difference. Either way a lot of the gear and equipment required is the same and available from High Octane Sports.

Muscles Worked

As your stance and movement is different for both sports there is a difference in the muscles used. Both involve core muscles for balance and skiing uses quadriceps and hamstrings when bending at the knee while snowboarding relies on them to get the board moving.

Snowboarding also maximizes use of your calves for turning and guiding the board and muscles in your feet and ankles more than skiing. A big difference is that skiing uses gluteal muscles a lot, for stabilizing other muscles and allowing flexion which is essential for steering your skis. Arms muscles are obviously used a lot more to control the poles in skiing too.

Calories Burned

The amount of calories you burn depends on various factors such as your height, weight and age along with the steepness of the slope, quality of snow and how fast you go. This makes it hard to determine which burns through more calories.

One study found that Alpine skiing burns about 500 calories an hour while snowboarding is fewer at 450 per hour. As it’s such a slim margin if you are already capable of snowboarding but just learning to ski it’s likely you’d get a better workout from snowboarding and vice-versa.

Injury Risk

Skiing has a higher risk of leg injuries, in particular ACL ruptures due to the stance and movement involved. Ankles sometimes suffer with snowboarding but that’s about it for the lower body.

Both have a risk of upper body injuries mainly due to busier slopes and the increased chance of knocking into other skiers, especially as better equipment makes everyone go faster. However, snowboarding has an extra risk as you’re more likely to fall on your front which can lead to broken wrists and collarbones, or your coccyx if you go down backwards.

Keep your Fitness on Track with Sears FitStudio

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Sears.
I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

fitstudio

The most popular New Year’s resolutions are health related, including eating better, getting more exercise, and losing weight. People are often derailed from achieving their goals for numerous reasons. My issue is generally lack of focus. When it comes to resolutions that are long term, it’s best to determine the overall goal and then break it down into attainable steps. Sure I say I want to be more active, but without clearly defining specific goals, it’s much easier for my efforts to get sidetracked. My specific goals are to maintain 10,000 steps per day with an additional workout as often as I can but shooting for at least three times per week. With this defined, I can then rely on amazing resources like Sears FitStudio to keep me on track.

FitStudio is everything I need to tackle my resolution of being more active. After a quick sign up, FitStudio allows you to connect your apps and devices such as Fitbit and Jawbone – so you’re easily able to access all your fitness data in a single place. Visit the Goal Center to input your goals and how you’d like to track them. Track by number of workouts, calories burned, time, distance, and more. For mine I selected three workouts per week for four weeks, naming it “Complete 12 Workouts”. The goal then shows me how many workouts I have to finish, how many days are remaining in my goal, and other factors. I then have the option to create a new goal, extend it, or delete it. When I use an app or device that I’ve added to FitStudio, it automatically tracks the workout. Alternatively, I can add them in manually. At a glance, I can see all workouts from the week, month, or year.

A feature on FitStudio that is extremely helpful is the Workout Center. I know I want to work out, but I don’t always know which exercises I should do and sometimes I might need assistance on how to do those I choose. This section of FitStudio shows individual exercises and how to do each which detailed instructions. Or there are pre-set workouts and programs like The Busy Mom Workout or bunch of targeted workouts that focus on specific areas. All of which have me working up a sweat. There are also challenges where you can compete against yourself or head to head against other people. Check out the FitStudio.com video challenges to learn more. FitStudio also offers reviews on equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise cycles. Read the good, the bad, the ugly. Each is given a FitStudio score based on performance, features, value and other criteria.

By far my favorite feature of FitStudio are the rewards. Yes, I’m rewarding myself by being more active and in turn being healthy. But how about something a little more tangible? FitStudio gives you points that are then redeemed for savings at Sears and Kmart. Earning for exercising? Yes, please! You get 2,000 points for signing up, 2,000 for completing your profile, and 1,000 for connecting a device. #Achieve15 is an easy way to earn 1,500 points by walking/running 15 miles or burning 1,500 calories! That’s an easy way to start earning. You’re then rewarded with points for each fitness activity and social activity! Burn calories? Earn points! Share your progress? Earn points! I’m all for positive reinforcement, especially when it comes in the form of shopping.

You do need to be a Sears Shop Your Way member in order to earn points, but that’s an easy sign up and totally worth it. Shop Your Way members who are registered users of FitStudio earn Shop Your Way points when they complete a qualifying activity as described in the activity description. The amount of points available for completing a qualifying activity vary. There may be limits to the amount of times a qualifying activity can be completed to earn points. There are many other perks to being a Shop Your Way member too.

Make sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter also.

How can FitStudio keep you on track?

5 Ways Walking Will Improve Your Health

Regatta

Improving your health and fitness doesn’t have to involve splashing out on a year’s gym membership and working your body to the bone every day. Walking is something everyone should be doing daily and bouts of brisk walking can have some serious health benefits you may not have expected. It’s free, requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. So what are you waiting for?

Tones Your Body

It’s important to have a good posture and wear high quality footwear when you walk to fully reap the benefits. Walking strengthens your calves, quads, hamstrings and gluteal muscles as well as your abs and arms which are where most of your speed comes from. Going up and down hills further tones these muscles as they are worked harder.

Strengthens Your Heart

Regular walking will strengthen anyone’s heart as it gets it working more which reduces levels of bad cholesterol and keeps blood pressure in line. This works to reduce the risk of heart disease in people with a high risk of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes. Walking briskly for 30 minutes a day and attempting to do around 10,000 steps daily is the recommended amount to help combat such illnesses and stay healthy.

Reduces Body Fat

Not as effective as going for a run or doing more intense exercise in the same time period, walking will still reduce the amount of body fat when done regularly and coupled with a healthy diet. Walking will help build muscle too, and those with more muscle have a faster metabolism so you should start burning more calories when not exercising too.

Improves Your Mood

Walking helps wake you up and gives you plenty of time to think (or socialise if you go walking with others). It releases positive endorphins which help to reduce stress and anxiety without having to push yourself if you were doing more physically demanding exercise. Walking has been shown to help improve memory and other cognitive functions as well.

Lengthens Your Life

By strengthening your heart, muscles and mind these all add up to improving and increasing your life. The faster you walk has been shown to result in a longer life too, as well as burning more calories. So if you’re plodding behind it may be time to crank it up a notch. Wherever and however you walk it will all be beneficial in the end though.

 

Get in Shape with the ActivMotion Bar

Disclosure ~ Living Smart Girl received product/compensation for sharing our views of the ActivMotion Bar.  All opinions expressed are 100% that of Living Smart Girl.  @ActivMotionBar @FitApproach  @ActivMotion_Bar @FitApproach  #SweatPink #ActivMotionBar

activmotionbar

It’s a new year and that means many are on the search for a new them.  If you are one of these people, like I am, then you will love exploring fun ways to get your sweat on.   My latest obsession for fitness is the ActivMotion Bar.   Never heard of it? Well that’s ok because neither had I.  At first look I thought, now how can a bar filled with weighted balls really be effective.   Boy, I will tell you after my first workout my body was telling me how wrong my brain was!

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The ActiveMotion Bar was created by a guy named Derek Mikulski.  Derek was a very unhealthy and overweight young man tipping the scales at 260 pounds.  Derek took control of his life, lost over 80 pounds and is now helping others do the same.  So, out of his passion for fitness came the ActivMotion Bar.   The unique internal rolling steel weights inside the bar help to engage both body and mind to enhance strength, balance and mind – muscle awareness.   Like I said, I was really not sure about this until I tried it.  Wow…  you really have to concentrate on what you are doing.   The balls roll, and you are working your whole body to keep things flowing smoothly thru your workouts.

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The ActivMotion Bar offers a variety of packages for anyone looking to add this to their fitness routine.   I received the 6 pound bar and 5 DVD’s.   The ActivMotion Bar has huge versatility because the workout programs can be used to improve balance, core strength, flexibility, muscle tone, cardiovascular fitness and sports performance.    I like that the exercises one does with this are fun and refreshing, and also effective.    And I know for many who can’t get to a gym, or can’t fit a ton of exercise gear in their home this would be perfect!  It is a pole, so fits anywhere in your home.

I made a video to show you some of the moves I like the most.   Check it out ~

 

There are so many great workouts to do with the ActivMotion Bar and that makes this a perfect workout tool for pretty much anyone.    This is even approved by the ACE, MASM and AFAA programs for continuing credits.   If you are a fitness professional this would be a great class to offer in your area.

I am enjoying my ActivMotion bar and adding it to my weekly fitness training.   I would love to know if you have tried this, or plan to try this.

Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and G+.