Tag Archives: stretching

5 Ways to Lose Weight While You Work

By Team Best Life

Is your office job making you fat? If you’re like most Americans, you spend the majority of your waking hours at work–and that means a healthy workplace mindset is crucial to your best life. Use some of these tips to get started:

desk job

Get a head start.

Ensure a good night’s sleep by visiting the gym, preparing a healthy meal and relaxing before you hit the sack. Try to leave work where it belongs—at work. If you absolutely must get in some screen time, keep it as far away from bedtime as possible. The display light on your computer or smartphone can interfere with your body’s internal clock, and elevating your heart rate even a little can increase cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. (Learn more about the connection between sleep and weight loss.)

Dress for success.

Opt for flats over heels, and shoot for comfortable rather than couture. Studies show that folks who work in comfort move more, burning more calories in the process. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Gentle Springtime Yoga for Flexibility

The weather is finally warming up, which means we’re all gearing up to get outside and exercise more. For many, this means strapping on the tennishoes and getting out for for a run. I’m hoping to do so myself as running is one of my absolute favorite activities to do outside, especially in the springtime.

With increased exercise often comes soreness and tight muscles, which requires a proper stretch and adequate rest for our bodies. Our solution? A gentle yoga routine that will help you slow down, breathe, get re-centered and give your muscles a good stretch. Stretching is not only important for preventing injury, but it also keeps our bodies limber and flexible to complete all of the activities we love to do – indoor and out.

This 8-move yoga routine was designed by our own Jill Lawson, a certified yoga instructor in Colorado. We recommend getting into some yoga-appropriate attire, finding a good place to practice, and then reading through all of the instructions before jumping in. Doing so will allow you to practice the movements fluidly, and ensure you do them properly to avoid injury.

View Saturday Morning Drills: Yoga for Flexibility Slideshow

Saturday Morning Drill: Stretches for Runners

Stretching: Possibly the secret weapon for any successful athlete, especially runners. The trick is knowing when to stretch and how to stretch. It’s also important to know some stretches are better for runners than others, and even if you have just a little bit of time you can make a big difference in your performance with a few specific moves. 

Hanna Rosov, ACSM, HFS, and owner of Zeal Fitness in Wichita, Kansas, works with many runners and lent some insight on proper stretching routines for those who run often. “There are a couple different kinds of stretching that are appropriate at different times,” said Rosov. “Dynamic stretching works best as a warm up prior to running. It tells the muscles ‘get ready we’re going to do something.'”

Dynamic stretching looks different than traditional floor moves, as they’re typically active movements that can be safely done before a workout or run without expending too much energy. “Dynamic stretching doesn’t use a lot of energy; you are putting your muscles through a range of motion while gradually increasing heart rate,” said Rosov. (more…)

The 5 Minute Bathroom Break Workout

The bathroom is not at the top of the list when you think of places to exercise. In fact, it’s probably not on the
 list at all. But maybe it’s time for that to change.

We all visit the bathroom, and a fast workout while
 you’re in “the loo” can be the perfect way to break up your day. We’ve come up with a list of five simple moves you can do in the bathroom to fit in a quick workout and boost your energy. Pick one or all and get moving during your next bathroom break, even if for just 5 minutes. This, of course, will work best if you’re in a private bathroom, that is, unless you want to lead a class of bathroom exercisers with your coworkers! (more…)

Commuter Yoga: 3 Poses That Make the Drive to Work More Bearable

Getting stuck in traffic is enough to turn your hair grey. Blood pressure rises, muscles tense, and a positive attitude plummets when your car is at a standstill. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasurable, and gain some health benefits while in the process.

The following are three easy yoga inspired exercises you can do the next time you find yourself wedged bumper to bumper.

Axial Extensions

Scoot your hips back so that your spine is upright against the seat of your car. Lift the crown of your head toward the sky as you inhale deeply, and press your hips down into the seat as you exhale fully. By doing this, you are creating space and decompression between each vertebra. As a result, you will gain energy, not to mention have to readjust your rear view mirror to take on your new height. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: 15-Minute Energy Booster

New Year’s Day is almost here and we have the perfect workout for you. This 15-minute routine will boost your energy and your spirits this weekend in preparation for any big celebrations you might have in the coming week. Not only that, it’s a great workout to have in your back pocket for the New Year when you’re in need of a quick energy boost to get you through the day.

This Saturday Morning Drill is comprised of eight exercises: Six that will elevate your heart rate and tone your whole body, and two that will stretch your body and relax your mind. Let’s get started!

View Saturday Morning Drill: Energy Booster Slideshow

Saturday Morning Drill: Post-Workout Stretching

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re stressing the importance of stretching. While it’s important to warm up before a workout, many people don’t realize you should actually save the stretching for after the workout.

Stretching is not recommended before a workout because your muscles are prone to injury when they’re cold, which temporarily slows muscle activation. In order to warm up the muscles sufficiently perform at least three to five minutes of cardiovascular activity such as running in place or jumping jacks. Then, stretch after your workout is complete.

Even for those who take the time to stretch after a workout, it’s not uncommon to rush through the movements and thus forgo reaping the full benefits of the stretch. But proper stretching should be completed after a workout because muscles tighten and shorten during exercise. By stretching them afterwards you help the muscle both length and restore. Other stretching benefits include increased flexibility, improved circulation, improved balance and coordination, decreased lower back pain and increased energy levels.

A proper stretch should be completed one to three times, holding each stretch for 10-60 seconds. Remember, you should be in control of the stretch by focusing on performing it slowly. Listen to your body – each movement should be held at a mild tension but not to the point of pain.

To get your heart rate up, try our fall Pumpkin Workout. Start by warming up with some cardio, performing the strength training exercises, and end with these beneficial stretches. 

Also Read:

7 Tips for Eliminating Muscle Soreness

Sneaky Ways to Squeeze in Stretching

Stretching is Essential for Runners

Top Marathon Runner Questions Answered by Experts in Fitness, Nutrition, and Stretching

We asked fans of the Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon Facebook page to post their biggest running questions. We received several great questions as these runners prepare for their half and full marathons on October 14. We have collected the best questions and better yet, gathered the best answers from our team of experts, which include Mary Hartley, RD for nutrition, Holly Perkins for fitness, Dr. Josh Umbehr for fitness and nutrition, and Jill Lawson for stretching.

These runner questions were so great and so common that any runner could benefit from hearing these expert answers.

Digestion issues, sore muscles, stretching inquiries, and diet conundrums were just a few of the topics we were able to cover. If you’ve ever had a running question, chances are it’s answered by clicking below.

View Marathon Runner Top Questions Slideshow

Beginner’s Guide to Foam Rolling

The first time I heard the term ‘foam rolling,’ I thought it was some kind of tantric act practiced in far-off Eastern cultures. Come to find out, it’s a deep stretching method used by frequent runners. Hmm, guess I was way off. 

To channel my inner running addict and discover everything I need to know about this foam rolling practice, I’ve summoned the help of one of the fitness industry’s foremost running experts: ExerciseTV celebrity trainer and New Balance Fitness Ambassador, Holly Perkins. (more…)

How to Stretch Your Glutes and Hamstrings for Fitter Summer Traveling

Are you traveling during summer vacation? Probably so.

Do you stretch on these trips? You can guess the answer to this is usually NO!!

Personally, I travel at least twice a month and I use these two following stretches all of the time to open my tight hips and lengthen my hamstrings after hours of sitting.

It’s important to remember excessive amounts of sitting may cause lower back pain from shortened hip flexors that can pull the pelvis forward resulting in discomfort. Also, sitting will place increased amount of pressure on the spine compared to standing or lying down.

Here’s a simple solution that will keep you feeling good as you take on all of the adventures and activity in your vacation itinerary.

Hamstring Stretch

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