Pilates exercises you can do in your office on your lunch break.

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Work can become a stressful endeavor as it takes its toll on your body. You might be aching all over in the middle of the day, and yet you don’t have the time or the opportunity to head to the spa or gym. Fortunately, there are ways to reach a compromise. You can perform simple Pilates exercises at the office using nothing more than your chair, office desk, and (if you’re willing to get on your hands and knees) the floor.

Designed for spinal alignment and to empower your core strength, Pilates can do wonders for your body, and you don’t have to worry about spending more hours after work to do so. Here are a couple of Pilates exercises you can do during your lunch break at the office.

Loosen The Knots In Your Back

With a pinkie ball, lean against the wall and set it between your scapula and spine. Gently move side to side, then up and down, in order to loosen knots caused by the fascia constricting due to pressure or stress. You can also perform this exercise for the fascia at the bottom of your feet with your desk as support.

Breathe Deeply

Inhale and feel your ribs expanding forward, backward, and sideways as oxygen fills your upper chest, back, and diaphragm. Visualize the air releasing in the opposite direction as you exhale, from the upper chest going downward. This conscious breathing exercise helps when you feel tired or anxious, allowing you to calm down before heading back to work.

Make The Most Of Your Swivel Chair

If you have a swivel office chair, sit on it while placing your palms down on the desk. Keep your knees together tightly and your feet lifted 1 inch off the floor. Begin twisting the chair side-to-side, which stretches and tones your oblique muscles. You can do 10 rotations for clockwise and counterclockwise.

Get Your Arms Moving

On your chair, sit on the front edge with your upper body slanted slightly forward. Feet must be planted on the floor and your knees tightly together. Rotate your arms from your shoulders, as if you are holding two heavy objects in your hands, and continue circling until they are above your shoulders. Repeat in the opposite direction while lowering them back to your side.

You can now use your coffee breaks to do some stretching, breathing, and exercise to ease you through the end of the workday. 

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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How to get your energy back naturally

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Many people complain of fatigue frequently. After long hours at the office, housework, caring for children and running errands, it would take a superhero to not feel tired. You may be tempted to chug an energy drink or a few cups of coffee when you’re running low on fuel, but doing so will only give you a boost for a few hours, followed by a hard crash – not to mention how damaging continued use of energy drinks and supplements are to your health. The fact remains that you’re exhausted though – so how do you get your energy back naturally?

Get Some Exercise

It may seem counter-intuitive to exercise and work your body harder when you’re already tired. But the truth is, exercise is vital to getting adequate rest. Even if you manage to get eight hours of sleep at night, if you are not getting quality sleep, it won’t matter how long you stay in bed. Aim to exercise at least a little each day, even if it means just taking the steps at work instead of the elevator.

Delegate

If you’re exhausted at the end of every day, it’s likely that you’re overworked. Now who can really prevent being overworked these days, with kids and jobs and houses to take care of? But some people – women especially – have a habit of taking on more work than they can handle and are tired and stressed because their load is simply too heavy for just one person to carry. Stop chastising yourself for not being able to get it all done, and delegate some tasks that can be done by others who are willing to help out. If you can’t get help, let it go. The dishes will wait until tomorrow.

Avoid Large Meals

Instead of eating three big meals a day, which will undoubtedly contribute to that mid-afternoon slump (surely there are actually two hours hidden in between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon). Instead, try to eat four to five smaller meals or snacks throughout the day to sustain your energy. Make sure you are eating foods that will contribute to your energy levels instead of suck them dry. Swap heavy carbs for almonds, fruits and other snacks.

Make an effort to gain more energy naturally instead of constantly resorting to quick fixes and you will notice that your energy levels begin to rise. You will also notice that you begin to have more energy overall, without experiencing significant drops in your energy levels every day!

 If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Weight Loss Supplements That Really Work

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Diet pills are expensive and useless at best, and at worst, they can cause damage to the body and its vital organs. While you may lose some weight at first with diet pills, this is usually water weight and comes back quickly. However, weight loss is difficult and many people need a bit of a boost. What are some safe, all natural weight loss supplements that really work?

Whey Protein

Most people typically use whey protein to build muscle, however, new studies are revealing that whey protein can aid in weight loss as well. Whey protein will fill you up faster and keep you feeling full for longer, helping you to eat less and feel satisfied. It will still help you build muscle, but without excessive bodybuilding, the muscle will be lean and help you burn even more fat.

Glucomannan

Glucomannan is a thickening agent extracted from the konjac plant and is typically used in Japanese cooking. It’s a sugar, so it does have a few calories in it, but when taken as a supplement, it will expand in your stomach by absorbing water. This will help you to feel full without consuming a large amount of calories. You will naturally feel full, all while eating less.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a folk remedy to boost weight loss, but does it really work? Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can help stabilize blood sugar and prevent highs and lows that contribute to hunger pangs. This will help suppress your appetite and keep you from snacking in between meals. It will not help you restrict your calorie intake by significant amounts, but blood sugar regulation will help you to eat well balanced meals and feel satisfied more easily.

Acai Berry

Acai berry supplements can be useful when used for weight loss, but you need to be careful about which formula you purchase. Many “diet pills” that contain caffeine or other harmful chemicals contain acai berry as an additive, but it is not the primary ingredient. If you want to use acai berry to lose weight, make sure you are purchasing a supplement that is just acai berry.

The powerful antioxidants and vitamins in acai berry will help increase your energy and boost your metabolism, helping you to stay up on your exercise and burn fat more effectively.

If you choose to use supplements for weight loss, stick with natural, plant based supplements and stay away from mixed formulas or anything with caffeine or chemicals. Do your research and consult your doctor before starting any diet or weight loss plan.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Why Diets Fail

If you are exclusively dieting to achieve a weight loss goal, I have some bad news for you.

You’re going to fail. It’s inevitable. Why?

 The answer begins and ends with your metabolism – the higher it is, the more calories your body requires even in a resting state. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is determined by many things such as body composition, genetics, activity level and more. And sustained dieting – especially very low calorie dieting – causes your metabolism to drop like a ton of bricks. When you severely restrict the amount of calories you take in, think about the message you are sending your body. You are quite literally starving yourself, and the body responds by becoming extremely efficient at conserving energy and storing the food it receives as fat.

Furthermore, when you diet, you may think the scale reflects lost body fat, but in reality, the body will use both fat and lean muscle for its energy needs (keep in mind that the more lean mass you have, the higher your RMR will be).  So, when you inevitably resume your old eating habits, your decimated RMR ensures that all the weight comes back, and then some. Crash dieting is a temporary fix to a permanent problem (an unhealthy lifestyle) and is an exercise in frustration.

To truly change your body and improve your health, you need to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. That means regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet over an extended period of time. Be realistic – if you are constantly hungry, you won’t stay on that diet for long. Starving yourself is not the answer. Instead, the answer is the largely the same as it’s always been: regular exercise combined with a diet rich in meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts and low in sugar and processed food. In short, eat real, healthy food until you’re full, not stuffed.

A smart diet will keep you feeling full and provide the energy you need for an active lifestyle.

Regular exercise – especially resistance training – will help you achieve a small calorie deficit as well as keep your metabolism elevated.

 It’s a simple plan, but certainly not an easy one to maintain on your own. If you’re serious about making a commitment to weight loss, talk to a personal trainer. They’re certified professionals who can put you on a unique exercise prescription, in addition to providing the motivation and accountability you need to stick to a long term plan.

 Let an expert get you on the track to achieving your weight loss goal! At NYC Adventure Boot Camp our professional staff will help you get started on your fitness goals, whatever they may be.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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What Are Trans Fats?

Everywhere you look these days labels and commercials shout the absence of trans fats in our favorite foods. You ask yourself what are trans fat? Trans fats are made by a chemical process called partial hydrogenation where liquid vegetable oil is packed with hydrogen atoms and converted into a solid fat. Unlike saturated fats which occurs naturally in many foods, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and trans fats are largely artificial and ideal fats for the food industry to work with because of its high melting point, its creamy, smooth texture and its re-usability in deep-fat frying.

The food industry capitalizes on the unique characteristics of trans fats to serve a variety of purposes in many different foods. Partially hydrogenated fats, or trans fats, extend the shelf life of food. They also add a certain pleasing mouth-feel to all manner of processed foods. Think of buttery crackers, popcorn, crispy fries, fish sticks, creamy frosting and pastries; all these foods owe those qualities to trans fats. In the past, hydrogenated fats were seen as a healthier alternative to saturated fats: using stick margarine was deemed better for you than using butter, yet numerous studies now conclude the opposite.

Several prominent studies indicate that trans fats and hydrogenated oils induce many negative side effects, and due to their prevalence in a variety of food items these effects are magnified for persons with unhealthy diets. People with large quantities of trans fat and hydrogenated oils in their diets have been consistently shown to be at greater risk for heart disease, clogged arteries, high triglyceride levels in the blood, and high LDL (bad) cholesterol. Also some studies suggest diabetes and some types of cancer may be triggered by trans fats as well.

Food manufacturers tried to reduce or remove trans fats in time for the January 2006 labeling deadline, when trans fats had to be listed on nutrition facts labels. America’s burger chain, Wendy’s, was among the first of the big fast-food chains to change. New York City’s Board of Health voted unanimously in December 2006 to ban trans fats in all its 24,000 restaurants, from high-end eateries to fast-food joints, becoming the first city in the United States to impose such a ban. Restaurants were banned from using most oils containing artificial trans fats by July 2007, and eliminate them from all its foods by July 2008. Currently, food manufacturers are required to state the number of grams of trans fats per serving. The new labeling requirement make identifying the amount of trans fat in foods easier for the consumer and eliminates the guess work that was once involved when adding trans fat in its various forms as partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated ingredients.

There are several steps you can take to avoid trans fats in your diet. Avoid fast food and commercial baked goods, as these often contain hidden trans fats, but most importantly, read food labels. The FDA requires packaged foods to disclose the amount of trans fats in food products. So how do you know how much is too much? The FDA recommends that a healthy adult consume no more than 10% of saturated fat and no more than 35% total fat intake of your total calorie intake. Look out for the words “shortening”, “hydrogenated” and “partially hydrogenated oil”, as these indicate hidden trans fats. Labels can say “0 grams of Trans Fat” even if partially hydrogenated fats are listed in the ingredients as long as a serving size contains less than 0.5g of trans fats. The catch is that all those fractions of a gram can add up if you eat more than a single serving. In an age where obesity related diseases are the greatest killers of the American public, it is vital that every person be knowledgeable of what they put into their body, to increase your knowledge about nutrition please visit

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Sources: American Dietetic Association. (2010). Retrieved on August 10, 2010 from http://www.eatright.org/public/
 U.S National Institutes of Health. (2010). Retrieved on August 10, 2010 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dietaryfats.html