As we move into spring it’s the perfect time to become more mindful of our sleep patterns. Adequate rest is important for so many reasons. Health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour of Step it Up with Steph points out that adequate rest can help reset and cleanse our bodies to get back on track. “Some people even look at spring as a rebirth or revival and a chance to start over,” she said, suggesting more rest can be a “spring resolution” of sorts.
Mary Hartley, RD, agrees, noting good rest is necessary all year long. “Health wise, sleep is just as important as diet and exercise,” she said. “Getting enough sleep may also be a critical factor in a person’s weight.”
While 7-8 hours is recommended and a new study even suggests Americans are getting more shut eye than usual, it’s also important to ensure it’s quality rest. Otherwise, the benefits of those precious ZZZs can slip right through our fingers.
To help, we’ve gathered eight simple tips to help you start sleeping better and longer, tonight. (more…)
It happens this time every year. Just as sure as spring rain comes, so does the ambition to look good in a bikini. Is it just us or is the pressure a bit overwhelming?
Looking good in a swimsuit isn’t a bad goal. In fact, it can help us shed unwanted pounds and even shape up quicker than we would otherwise. But being healthy and fit should always trump what size your clothes are, or in this case, your swimsuit.
For most, the goal isn’t looking like Heidi Klum when we hit the pool. The goal is to feel good about ourselves in a swimsuit if we happen upon the beach or a pool this summer. The key to getting there? Setting realistic goals and mapping out a plan to get there.
We asked health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour of Step It Up With Steph to share five diet tips on how to get bikini ready quickly and effectively while keeping a healthy perspective on body image. Here’s what she had to say. (more…)
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Pepsi tries to sell us on Mountain Dew for breakfast.
PepsiCo announced Monday it will be releasing a new “breakfast” drink. Mountain Dew Kickstart is a Mountain Dew-flavored fruit juice drink that will be available in two flavors: Energizing Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch, according to USA Today.
- Mountain Dew’s vice president of marketing, Greg Lyons, explained Kickstart was born out of consumer demand. “Our consumers told us they are looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages – one that tastes great, includes real fruit juice and has just the right amount of kick to help them start their days.” (more…)
I was on Pinterest the other day and I saw an e-card that read, “None of my yoga pants have ever been to yoga.” I giggled to myself because I am guilty of wearing workout clothes when I am not at the gym or a yoga studio. Workout clothes for me consist of yoga pants, Nike shorts, and driFit T-shirts. My workout clothes are the most comfortable attire that I own, so it’s hard to resist not wearing them outside of the gym.
But, there are times when I go overboard when it comes to wearing my workout clothes. It’s just become a social norm to wear workout clothes when you’re out running errands. Although, I can look like a hot mess in my workout clothes sometimes, it possible to look a little nicer while doing so. Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, offered DIR readers some tips on how to dress up workout clothes.
Ladies, learn how to accessorize and coordinate your workout clothes to make sure you don’t look like a hot mess!
Add Color. DIR mentioned before that many clothing brands have workout clothes in neon colors. Most workout clothes come in black or gray. So, if you are wearing black pants and a black jacket, wear a bright neon shirt to bring a pop of color into your wardrobe.
Dress Up with Jewelry. Wearing jewelry can help you accessorize just about any piece of clothing, and it’s acceptable with workout clothes as well. Steph mentions that wearing earrings, a watch, ring, or even a necklace is acceptable when it comes to dressing up your workout clothes. (more…)
Finding healthy snacks can be difficult, especially amidst a sea of more unhealthy than healthy options. Couple the issue of availability with the season’s change, which leaves people out of their bikinis and into layered clothes, and we’re all of the sudden far less aware of what we’re putting into our bodies.
But if healthy snacking is important to you like we think it is, take heart and fight developing that unwanted “winter layer.” Try these six healthy do-it-yourself fall snacks from fitness expert and CEO of Step It Up With Steph, Stephanie Mansour.
Pumpkin seeds – You can buy store bought pumpkin seeds or you can roast pumpkin seeds yourself! After carving pumpkins collect all of the seeds, give them a rinse, and spread them out onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. Then, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes. Making your own pumpkin seeds is a cheap and simple way to create your own nutritious fall snack. (more…)
When it comes to stress and frustration, sometimes it’s just good to let it out. We yell, run, punch – whatever it takes to blow off some steam. However, letting out aggression forcefully isn’t the best habit to fall into especially if you find yourself needing to do so often.
When I think of the best workouts for stress, my mind naturally goes to punching, kicking or tearing things in half. However, fitness expert and health coach Stephanie Mansour would suggest otherwise.
In college, Stephanie had a professor in an aggression and media class who told her the worst thing you can do when you’re upset is to start punching things. As a result, she’s concluded that when we’re angry or upset and need to take it out on something, we’re not teaching ourselves how to actually deal with our issues or become a mature, centered person.
As a fitness coach, Stephanie sees her fair share of clients who come to her for a stress-relieving workouts. But instead of letting them rip into a punching bag, she guides them toward these more relaxing exercise instead.
Breathing techniques – To practice intentional breathing, place your hands on your stomach and draw in air like you’re trying to inflate a balloon, and then slowly let your breath out through your nose like you’re deflating the balloon. In the process, feel your stomach getting bigger and smaller as you breathe, and think about breathing in perspective and breathing out stress. (more…)
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for mother nature to bring some cooler temperatures our way because I’m tired of sweating from simply walking around campus. When I’m in class sweating from every pore in my body, I can’t focus in school. But don’t get me wrong! I love sweating…when I’m exercising.
Sweat is vital, according to health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour. “Sweating is really good for you and it’s bad if you aren’t sweating,” she said. “Not sweating indicates that you are not hydrated or you aren’t working out as hard as you should be.”
Sweating helps control the temperature inside of the body. A form of bad sweating is excessive sweating, which is when a person sweats more than they should. Excessive sweating is also known as hyperhidrosis, which is uncontrollable sweating caused by high concentration of sweat glands.
Physical activity and sweating go hand-in-hand. Stephanie loves spin class as her favorite sweaty workout. “In cycling classes, everyone gets sweaty. Even though it is cardio, you are doing interval training as well, which is more intense.” (more…)
Guest Blog by Stephanie Mansour
Many people are more active during summer months, but just because you’re hitting the sand for beach volleyball or riding bikes doesn’t mean you should forgo your normal workout. Instead, view these extra outdoor activities as bonus workouts and stick to your regular plan.
Oftentimes, this is a mental decision you need to make in order to prioritize your workouts. Being extra lazy just because it’s a long weekend and promising to play a rigorous game of sand volleyball in place of going to the gym is not going to help you reach your fitness goals.
The following are my top 5 tips on how to avoid dropping the ball on fitness this summer: (more…)
By Stephanie Mansour
With the temperature rising and beach season in full swing, we bet you’re wondering if there are any secrets out there to blast fat effectively to reveal a toned beach body. Well you’re in luck because today we’re uncovering four simple secrets to burning fat without much effort. Whether you’re at home, at the gym or sitting in your desk chair at work, here are some of our favorite ‘Quick Fast Blasting Tips’ to banish fat the smart way.
Change up your cardio
Look at your cardio workout in intervals: sprint as fast as you can for a minute, then back off but increase your incline. If you’re on the elliptical, increase resistance, then pick up the pace for a few minutes. If you are in love with the treadmill, instead of walking for a few minutes to warm up, try out the bike or another cardio machine for your warm up and to move your muscles differently. Muscles have memory and can quickly become conditioned to your favorite form of cardio. Avoid this by making your muscles guess what’s coming next! (more…)
By Stephanie Mansour
Whether you’re hitting the beach or trying to stay cool inside this summer, there are many healthy, easy foods and snacks to prepare in advance or even on the fly. In the warm summer months, ice cream sounds more appealing than usual. But instead of indulging, try this five-ingredient smoothie that tastes just like strawberry shortcake. This delicious smoothie is quick to make, travels well, and is far more healthy and nutritious than ice cream.
- Place a whole banana and a cup of frozen strawberries into a blender.
- Then add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed.
- Add a serving of protein powder for extra energy.
- Next, add a cup of coconut milk. Blend for 60 seconds, and you’ll have a strawberry shortcake treat!
- If you’d like to make it taste like chocolate, add some chocolate flavored protein powder. (more…)