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Fitness



The 5-Second Trick to Lower Your Stress Levels

Ask your stressed out friends how they deal with feeling overwhelmed and they’ll likely list off the usual suspects: Sleep. Caffeine. Sugar. Alcohol. Exercise. Yoga. Some of these are clearly healthier options than others, but even the easy fixes take time—something that a lot of people who are stressed out tend to have in short supply. But there is a quick fix for the times when you have too much stress and too little energy: The simplest and most effective tool for instant energy, banishing stress, and ridding toxins from the body is breath!

breathe

That’s right. Breathing—the thing we do all day and night long without thinking about it—is responsible for a whole lot more than fuel our body with oxygen. The rate at which we breathe actually helps regulate our heart rate which in turn controls a bunch of other physical aspects. Breathe slow and fast and our body and brain will automatically shift to that fight or flight mode, the one that comes with stress and sends your blood pressure and shoulder tension soaring. Focus on slower, longer, and deeper breaths and you’ll help calm your body and mind, fighting stress in a matter of seconds while also filling your body with energizing oxygen, the lifeblood of a creativity, productivity, focus, and fire for whatever our life demands.

So how can you breathe better?
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6 Ways to Turn Spring Cleaning into a Full-Body Workout

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We’ve made it through the long winter and spring is finally here and in full swing! ‘Tis the season for baseball, sunny days, green things growing and everyone’s favorite activity: spring cleaning! Since free time is something that most of us don’t have an abundance of, it’s good to know that you can easily multitask while engaging in your spring cleaning chores. According to My Fitness Pal heavy cleaning can burn up to 250 calories per hour, making it a worthwhile fitness activity. And, by adding in just a few simple moves to your cleaning routine, you can burn even more!

Here’s six ways to fire up your heart rate, engage your muscles and get a calorie-blasting workout while you get your spring cleaning on:

 

tunes

1. Blast your favorite heart-pumping tunes
Before you start cleaning, make a playlist of music that gets you pumped. Think about songs that you listen to when going for a run or doing a cardio workout at the gym. Music with an upbeat rhythm is more likely to make you not only clean faster, but help you have fun while doing it. Go ahead and blast that music and dance around with that mop or duster (and burn a ton of calories while doing it!). You’ll discover a whole new appreciation for cleaning.


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Q&A: Which Should Come First, Cardio or Resistance?

cardio weights 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably always wondered if there is more of a benefit to lifting before you run, or if the exercises should be performed in the reverse. (Sweat then strength or strength then sweat?) It’s an age old question, but finally, we have an answer.

Well, kind of.

According to a recent study from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, it turns out that the order doesn’t matter all that much. Fitness experts long ago discovered that the combination of cardiovascular exercises along with resistance increases the effectiveness of both exercises, but the order that works best appears to be based on personal preference more than any physiological differences.
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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Zap a 169-Calorie Gelato Bar

Did you know that Italian gelato has fewer calories and less fat than American style ice cream? Me neither! But upon learning this fun fact my first thought was, obviously, I’ve got to get some! A few months ago I had seen Bar Gelato for sale in the Bay Area and the brightly colored bars of frozen gelato looked delish! This week I tracked them down and, after much internal debate, I finally settled on a flavor: Pistachio. (Other front-runners included Recchiuti Burnt Caramel and Guittard Dark Chocolate Sorbetto!)

site2It was, in a word, heavenly. Much denser than most other ice cream bars thanks to the reduced amount of air added to the formula. Much more flavorful than a lot of other ice pops and frozen treats I’ve had, thanks to the natural flavors. And, on an unseasonably sunny and warm day it really hit the spot.

Of course, there’s always a trade-off. This afternoon indulgence weighed in at a fairly reasonable 169 calories, but it was still more than I’d bargained to eat as a snack.

What are some fun ways to burn off 169 calories?
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Tom Granville Lost 70 Pounds For the Love of His Daughter and Hockey

After his first marriage ended in divorce, Tom Granville never thought he would experience the joy of parenthood. When his second wife gave birth to their baby girl, he found joy he never knew was missing in his life.

Then Tom’s doctor delivered some unsettling news. At 450 pounds with high blood pressure and pounding headaches, the doctor warned that obesity was taking a toll on Tom’s body, and his life was at risk.

tom granville collage

It was my, “come to Jesus moment,” Tom explained. The day he left his doctor’s office, he drove away and made a promise to himself to get healthy so he would be able to see his daughter grow up. “I left the doctor’s office and gave up fast food, junk food, pop, processed sugar, and most of my red meat,” he said. “I started eating healthy and joined a gym.”

Now, 70+ pounds lighter, Tom is making good on his promise and enjoying all the perks that come with his leaner frame, including squeezing back into that old beloved hockey uniform.


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