Take it from AcaciaTV motivation coach Alison Heilig, you don’t have to join a gym to get in shape and lose weight. Heck, you don’t really even need any equipment.
“Every time, we change it up and make a game of it to keep it exciting,” Heilig said of her weekly workouts with her neighborhood running club.
Want to join in on the fun? Lace up your shoes and try this outdoor fitness circuit. After a 5-minute warm up, alternate between 2 to 5 minutes of walking or running and these four fitness moves. Do a 5-minute cool down at the end. Start with one circuit and build up to three!
Find a set of stairs with at least 20 steps and sprint up to the top. Jog down and repeat for a total of 3 sets. If you can’t find a staircase long enough, just do more reps on a shorter set or use a curb, bench, or box to do step-ups for 1-2 minutes. Challenge yourself by taking the steps two at a time. (more…)
This summer has broken all sorts of records for being the hottest summer in almost 100 years. With the scorching temperatures, running outside is probably the last thing you want to do. However, if you follow these simple tips, you will be able to run outside safely and efficiently.
Adapting to the heat gradually is the best way to prepare your body. It typically takes around two weeks to adapt to the environment. The best way to see if you are adapting is to weigh yourself before and after your workout. If you have lost weight, you need to make sure to consume more fluid while you are exercising.
Drink 2.5 ounces of fluid for every pound lost. Two hours before your workout it is recommended by experts to drink at least 16 ounces of water to ensure you are properly hydrated. During your workout, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends drinking 5-10 ounces for every 15 minutes of your workout.
If your workout is 45 minutes or less, water is sufficient and drinking a sports drink will only bring in extra calories. However, if it’s longer, a sports drink is needed to replenish your electrolytes.
The best times to run during the summer is in the morning or evening. The mornings are usually cooler and ozone levels are typically lower but tend to be more humid. The ozone levels tend to peak right during midday and again in the early evening. Avoid running outdoors between noon and 3 pm. (more…)
Public health officials have been encouraging Americans of all ages to walk and bike more to decrease obesity and improve overall health. Now that the weather is warmer, we just might be inclined to follow their advice.
On beautiful days, it’s tempting to just throw on your jogging shoes and go for a quick run, or dust off the bike for a nice ride and not think twice about safety.
Not only do you need to be aware of safety but also what do if you possibly encounter a dangerous situation. Here are some things to consider before you head outside:
First, decide where you are going to go and if possible have someone go with you. Going on bike rides or a quick jog is a great reason to invite a friend or loved one. If you do go by yourself, let someone else know where you are going and provide them with details on where you plan to go. While planning your route, avoid deserted or dangerous areas. Try to stay near paths that are more populated and well lit. Vary your route and the time of day so you are not as predictable. Avoid unfamiliar areas, but if you are trying a new path or route make mental notes of emergency phones, and safe businesses. Also, carry some I.D. and change just in case you need to make a phone call. (more…)
Spring is finally here, which means warmer weather, pretty flowers and ugh, more sneezing. Do you feel like where you live must have the worst allergies ever? No more wondering, the Allergy Capitals Research Project from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has identified the top 100 cities they consider challenging places to live with allergies for this spring. No matter where you are in America, there will be allergies, but there are definitely certain places that are more problematic than the rest. AAFA comes up with a list twice a year, one for the fall and one for the spring. They use scientific analysis of three factors to measure the data.
- Pollen scores (airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores)
- Number of allergy medications used per patient
- Number of allergy specialists per patients.
Growing up in the middle of nowhere, I consider myself a lover of the outdoors. I enjoyed canoeing, fishing, hiking, and exploring Mother Nature. With the economy on a downturn, people are going from pricey gym memberships to exercising at parks, hiking and maybe planking on the nearest boulder. Because of this, the most common summer question asked by my patients is how they can stop the itching that is driving them crazy.
Let’s take a step back. How can you prevent the itching in the first place? Here’s the trifecta; the most common things you may run into if you are exercising outside and how to avoid the irritants.
The best way to avoid poison ivy is to be able to recognize it. It can grow on vines, bushes or be a plant on the ground, and usually has a 3-leaf structure. The oil that causes that itchy, allergic reaction is called urushiol and if you come into contact with it, first thing’s first: wash everything. Rinse your body, clothes, and anything else the urushiol may have touched.
Calamine lotion is a pink liquid that is usually that gold standard for relieving the symptoms of poison ivy. It has a skin protectant and pain reliever that helps to dry up any oozing blisters from the poison ivy. Hydrocortisone cream and antihistamines like Benadryl are other options to help with itching.
There’s probably not one person alive who hasn’t been camping. Sleeping under the trees, cooking over a fire, enjoying the fresh air of the great outdoors – what’s not to love? Camping is a great family and budget friendly activity; it’s an inexpensive way to spend quality time together. Pack up the car, grab your sleeping bag and you are on your way. But what will you eat? If you are out for more than a few hours, you’ll soon discover that being outdoors works up a tremendous appetite. Many of the traditional camping foods are not so healthy, especially perennial favorites like grilled hot dogs, canned meat spreads and gooey s’mores. Is there a way to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors without resorting to those admittedly easy to pack but maybe not so good for your diet foods?
Just as in your daily life, one of the main secrets to planning healthy camping meals is the need to take the time to plan and prepare your meals. It’s much easier to grab a pack of hot dogs and some buns and leave town, but a little bit of advance planning will help you avoid resorting to bags of chips and cold fried chicken.
With the warm summer season quickly approaching us, yoga is an amazing way to get in shape and reduce any stress you may have about all of the barbeques you’ve been invited to attend.
Even though yoga can be practiced any time throughout the year, the fluctuations in seasons make some postures more relevant than others. For instance, certain yoga asanas can help you cool down after an outdoor hike or run, like shoulder stand or padmasana, and other postures, like a few rounds of sun salutations, can substitute for a quick workout when you’re pressed for time. (more…)
Usually everyone is excited for the rain to dry up and the sun to start poking through so they can take their workout outside and soak up some vitamin D, but if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may be dreading the changing of the seasons. Itchy, watery eyes, a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat can make it hard to get out of bed, let alone pound the pavement for an exhilarating run.
Even if pollen does knock you on your butt, you don’t have to banish yourself to the gym year round. There are a few things you can do to lessen your allergy symptoms, or at the very least, prevent them from getting worse if you do decide to take your workout outdoors.
Many runners will say that their favorite time of year to hit the pavement is fall, and I’m no different. There’s just something about that cool (yet, not cold) crisp air that makes you just want to get out there and, well, run!
However, just like any time of year, there are a few quirks to running in the fall that you may not have thought of. Read on for six tips to make your next autumn run great whether you’re a seasoned jogger or new to the running game!
1. Dress in layers. I like to think of dressing for an autumn run like packing for a trip to San Fransisco — you can never have too many layers! This time of year the temperature can really vary from hour to hour and from in the shade to in the sun, so when in doubt, dress for colder weather with layers that you can shed as you warm up. One great tool for reference is Runner’s World’s What to Wear feature. (more…)