ft-fitness

Easy and Effective At-Home Workouts

It is crucial to make regular exercise a part of your routine, but some days you’re just feeling too lazy, or you have too much work to do to leave the house. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home that don’t take up too much space or time, but will still help you stay toned and flexible. Here are some of our favorite at-home workouts.

 

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For core strength:

Core strength is vital because your abdominal muscles support your spine and help you coordinate movement throughout your entire body. To develop your core strength, traditional crunches are the way to go. Make sure you keep your shoulders down and your stomach held in for the most efficient movement. For something a little more challenging, you can also try a roll-up. Lie down with your arms above your head and your legs out straight. Engage your core and roll up one vertebra at a time until you are touching your toes, then roll back down. This exercise is great because it engages your entire core.

For upper body strength: To keep your arms and shoulders feeling strong and toned, try push-ups and planks. The great thing about both of these exercises is that they can be done in a variety of different positions depending on your skill level. You can put your knees on the ground in a ‘V’ shape to take some stress off of your back, or you can try side push-ups and planks for an added challenge.

 

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For back flexibility and strength: Many people underestimate the importance of keeping your back strong and flexible, but as one of the biggest parts of your body, it is crucial to make sure your back is strong. To develop strength in your back, try ‘supermans’ – lay face down with your arms overhead, then arch your back up as far as you can and hold. Increase the amount of time you hold the pose as you develop strength in your back. To improve flexibility in your back, try the traditional yoga poses of downward dog and cobra. Downward dog lengthens the muscles in the back (as well as the muscles in the back of your legs), and Cobra helps develop your ability to arch backward.

For thigh strength: To strengthen the upper part of your legs, try lunges and squats. You can do these in many different positions, and you can repeat as many times as you need, depending on your level of fitness. These are also great because they stretch out your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles.

For calf strength: Try some calf raises to add some definition to your lower leg muscles. Just five or ten of these each day can make a huge difference, and they are an easy exercise to do while cooking or doing other chores around the house. Just be sure to stretch out the calf muscles after doing this exercise to avoid developing unnecessary muscle tension.

ft-food

Food For Long-Lasting Energy

To stay energized for your busy day, you will need to eat a diet that keeps you feeling great from morning to night. From your workout to a long day at the office to a night out with friends, even a typical day in your life can be completely exhausting. Many people aren’t sure exactly what to eat when they need to boost their energy and find themselves drained and sleepy when they don’t eat the right nutrients. Here are some of the best foods for energy that will last you all day long.

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Whole-wheat bread
Carbohydrates are the key to staying energized, but you need to ensure that you are feeding your body the best kinds of carbs. Whole-wheat bread is a great option because it is a complex, whole-grain carb that will give you energy without all of the negatives of more processed bread and pastas. Add some peanut butter to your bread for a quick protein boost.

Brown rice
Brown rice is another great option for the same reason – it is a complex carbohydrate without the processed sugars of heavier pasta. It also tastes excellent with some salt and is easy and cheap to make.

 

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Eggs
The protein and dairy in eggs will keep you going all morning long, so start your day off right with a breakfast of scrambled eggs or an omelet. You can also take a hard-boiled egg with you for lunch for a quick and easy protein boost that tastes delicious.

Fruits
As the world’s natural sugars, fruits are a great alternative when you are craving candy or other sweets. Bananas are full of potassium to keep you from cramping up during a workout, oranges and other citrus fruits provide essential vitamins, and watermelons, honeydew, and cantaloupe all keep you feeling fresh and hydrated. Pack a fruit salad for lunch for a sugar rush that will last.

Dark chocolate
If you really can’t live without candy, dark chocolate is a great option for a variety of reasons. It contains caffeine, which will wake you up if you are feeling sleepy in the middle of the day. It also contains antioxidants, which are great for long-term health. Keep a bar in your gym bag or desk at work for emergency craving satisfaction without the guilt.

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Salmon
Most seafood is great for your health, but salmon is particularly full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for maintaining your body’s metabolism. Salmon is also chock-full of protein, which is crucial for maintaining slow-burning energy throughout the entire day. Have a grilled filet for dinner a few times per week, and you’ll notice that you feel satisfied and energetic the next morning.

Walnuts
These are a great on-the-go snack that contains omega-3s, antioxidants, and vitamin E. They also contain melatonin, so they’ll help you sleep better at night and feel more awake in the morning. Throw a bag of these in your car to help you when you’re craving something salty.

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