When is the best time to work out?

Work-out

What’s the best time of day to exercise?

The answer can be different for everybody. There have been studies analyzing when exercise benefits your body most but ultimately it is what time works best for you as an individual. Choose a time of day where exercise can become a consistent part of your life, integrating it into your daily routine.

Find your rhythm.

You may notice that some people tend to have an easier time adjusting to the mornings than others. Some folks are just naturally morning people. This has a bit to do with your body’s circadian rhythms- the internal clock. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes throughout a 24 hour cycle, it is part of our sleep and wake cycle. Body temperature, blood pressure, and metabolism are some of the physiological processes that can be affected by your body’s internal clock. These rhythms respond to changes in the environment and can be set and reset. The changes in the environment that can have an effect on circadian rhythms include lightness and darkness, temperatures within the environment, artificial light, the use of an alarm clock to wake, timing of meals, and time of day you exercise. Your personal clock can affect what time of day you prefer to exercise. So, are you a morning person or a night owl?

If you’re a morning person…

If you rock at the mornings, best advice would be to workout in the morning (AM). Research suggests that those who work out in the morning tend to be more consistent and have an easier time getting into an exercise routine. Working out in the morning sets you up for success because you exercise before all other events and distractions happen. Exercising in the morning often leaves people feeling energized throughout the day and those individuals generally find that they time manage better. If you work out in the morning, give yourself plenty of time to do so. Try eating something small before your workout to prevent dizziness, fatigue or lightheadedness.

If you’re a night owl…

Afternoon or evening (PM) work outs are the perfect remedy to a stressful day and can really help you unwind after work. PM workouts may be appealing to those who aren’t as fond of the morning because by this point in the day, your body may seem more alert, your body temperature is naturally elevated, and your muscles are warm and loose. For others, exercise in the morning doesn’t feel good because when you wake up, your muscles may feel tight and your blood sugars may be low. Later in the day, you have had the opportunity to put plenty of food into your system that your body can use for fuel during your workout. Whatever reason you exercise for- weight loss, stress relief, etc., it is important to be consistent and have a routine. Schedule time for exercise based on what works best for you and your body’s preference whether that be morning, afternoon, or evening. Your body’s internal clock will adjust to it. Your sleep habits, meal times, etc. will all fall into place based on when you get those endorphins a kickin’. So remember to do what works best for your body, be consistent, and feel the natural benefits that a consistent work out schedule has to offer.

Scheduled work outs are great, but also keep in mind that walking, even in small amounts throughout the day can always account towards your daily exercise. If you are at a desk for the majority of your day, try your best to get up and take some steps around the office at least every hour. As part of Walkingspree, we encourage movement and walking as often as possible. It is healthy to take short walking breaks as frequently as you can. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and use your activity tracker through Walkingspree to stay active and see how many steps you can take throughout your day.

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The Brilliant Benefits of Coffee

Coffee

Coffee may have different roles in each of our unique and hectic lives. For some, it is the warm beverage you enjoy sipping on to give you comfort and ease. For others, it may be a social bridge to interact with friends or family. Many of us rise in the early hours of the morning only to find coffee intake as our primary method to put a little pep in our step. Regardless of the reason you (hopefully) drink coffee, we all can benefit from coffee in a multitude of different ways.

Antioxidants

Coffee is a great source of antioxidants. It is currently the primary source of antioxidants for Americans. If you’re not a regular coffee drinker, find a way to get those antioxidants in that rocking body of yours. Antioxidants have been linked to help protect against heart disease and cancer, they also help boost your immune system. Say it with me, “coffee is delicious and nutritious!”

Increase Metabolic Rate/Calorie Burning

Mmm, who doesn’t appreciate a little caffeine in their life at the appropriate time of day? For me, this appropriate time comes every single morning without fail via coffee. Coffee might as well be defined as “morning muse”. Caffeine can increase the metabolic rate of a person by 3-11%. The higher the metabolic rate of a person, typically the easier it is to burn calories. Once you start burning more calories than you intake, the lbs. begin to drop off. Cheers to that, raise your mugs and tumblers high in the air for the wonders of caffeine. The robust black drip coffee that you love also loves you back.

Nutrients

Coffee contains a number of micronutrients. The most prominent nutrients that reveal themselves in a daily cup are of coffee are Potassium, Magnesium, and Niacin (Vitamin B3). Although one cup contains small amounts of these nutrients, the accumulation of coffee throughout the day/week will add up and your body will receive some of the benefits these nutrients have to offer.

Dehydration? -Naaaa

False to popular belief, coffee does not have contributions to dehydration. Not when consumed at a normal amount. As black coffee is 95% water, it will account for your daily fluid balance without any trace of dehydration. Studies show that there is no affect of coffee causing dehydration to the body, even when consumed up to six cups a day. Obviously drinking water is still essential for the body, but coffee definitely won’t cause any harm to the hydration process.

Memory/Mental Health

Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are definitely ways to help prevent it! According to the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, around 1400 individuals from ages 65 to 79 were examined over the span of 21 years. Those who consistently consumed coffee during midlife had a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Individuals who drank 3-5 cups per day had the lowest risk (decrease by 65%) of devolving these diseases. Studies show that steady caffeine consumption from a young age to elderly has protection against memory impairment as well as enhances long term memory.

Other Disease Prevention

There is much positive research behind the benefits of coffee. This makes me so very happy because I believe coffee is one of our greatest gifts in life. A few other diseases research has shown coffee can help prevent are: liver disease, liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, as well as help contribute to a healthy heart.

Drinking coffee can be one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to increase your health. However, the added sugars and creams that often get put into coffee obviously are not the healthiest so try your best to limit those. Well-prepared black coffee is full of flavor. When we don’t add all of the extra cream and sugar, we can sometimes taste the flavor nodes that which the coffee was roasted with. Adapt your pallet to black coffee and be healthier with sophistication while enjoying the benefits coffee has to offer you. With all of the positive effects and delicious flavors of coffee, there’s no wonder why it’s one of America’s favorite beverages.

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7 Tips for Exercising in Summer Heat

Drinking-Water

And commence summer. June 21st is the official start of summer for the 2015 year! Whether you’re swimming, hiking, walking, etc. summer is the perfect time to stay active. Here are some things to be mindful of while exercise during the summer days.

Wear loose, light colors

Stick with lighter colors that will help reflect the heat as well a lightweight fabric such as cotton. This will help the evaporation of sweat, which provides cooling to the body. The “hi-tech” running shirts and shorts are made with material design to keep you cool, so if you want to invest in some of those it might not be a bad idea.

Sunscreen is a must

Protecting your skin is not a joke. Throw on some SPF 45 just to be safe. It’s important to protect your skin. A cloudy day can still cause burns and skin damage if you’re not careful, so lather that sunscreen up!

Stay hydrated

Try to drink at least half of your weight in ounces. If you weight 160lbs, shoot for 80oz of water per day. Before you go out, drink a glass or two of water. Do your best to carry a bottle or glass of water with you at all times. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty. When finished with your workout, replenish your body with a few more glasses of water.

Replenish your electrolyte and salt intake

The main electrolytes in your body are sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. After you exercise your body needs to replenish its electrolytes and salt (which leaves your body when you sweat). There are some great ways to get some healthy salts and electrolytes replenished back in your body. Drink a sports drink that contains potassium and sodium or try eating yogurt and chicken noodle soup after a long exercise. You can get creative with your electrolyte intake.

Use shade

As best as you can, try exercising in the shade. Make efforts to stick to the shaded trails and pathways. Avoid a possible cause for heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is real; stop immediately if you are feeling dizzy, faint, or nauseous.

The time of day is important

Unless you are training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, avoid exercising outdoors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the hottest part of day. Generally, the early morning is the best time to workout, especially if it’s going to be scorcher that day.

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8 Healthy Summer Foods

Beach-ready

Summer is just around the corner. This Sunday, June 21st marks the first official day of summer. Can I get a “yahooooo!?” Many of summer’s pristine fruits and vegetables have a multitude of health benefits. Here are some particularly great eats to kick off this summer season right.

1. Corn

Nothing says summer like fresh, sweet corn. Those sweet summer cook outs are hard to beat when you toss some ripe, yellow corn on the grill. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants in corn that act like natural sunglasses, helping to form macular pigment to filter out some of the sun’s damaging rays. The same antioxidants may also help lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration which happens to be the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60.

2. Iced Coffee

An iced cup of joe is the perfect pick-me-up on a warm summer morning. A daily cup of coffee can reduce your risk developing melanoma skin cancer by 10 percent. As it turns out, that iced caffeinated beverage can do more than stimulate your mind and body out of drowsiness.

3. Tart Cherries

They provide a multitude of health benefits. You may have heard that drinking tart cherry juice can help you sleep sounder and suppress post-workout pain. Compounds in tart cherries may also help you slim down and get leaner. There are anthocyanin’s in tart cherries that activate a molecule that helps trigger fat burning and decrease fat storage.

4. Tomatoes

Obviously applying sunscreen comes first while in the sun but eating tomatoes could give you a little extra protection. Lycopene- the compound in a tomato that makes it red, may protect your skin from sunburn. Studies have shown that consumption of tomatoes was positively correlated with less skin reddening after exposed to UV light.

5. Watermelon

Staying hydrated comes with an endless amount of benefits to the body and mind. It also helps cool off your body (by sweating) during hot summer months. Drinking is not the only way to consume water- you can eat it too. Watermelon is 92 percent water and also contains skin-protecting lycopene. Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories.

6. Raspberries

Raspberries are a great source of fiber- some of it is soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. And they are also delicious. So so delicious. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber. More fiber may help prevent weight gain and even aid in weight loss.

7. Iced Tea

Most of us can agree that a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summers day is quite refreshing. Studies show if you drink tea regularly, you may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. Tea contains many antioxidants called flavonoids. Regardless of the type of tea, optimize the power of flavonoids by drinking it freshly brewed. If you want to keep a batch of cold tea in your refrigerator add lemon or lime juice. The vitamin C can help preserve the flavonoids and maintain its antioxidants.

8. Blueberries

Not many things can provoke a smile the way seeing a fresh patch of blueberries does. Fresh blueberries straight from the berry patch are scrumptious! Turns out the antioxidants in them may help prevent muscle fatigue by mopping up the additional free radicals that muscles produce during activity.

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4 Ways to Strengthen Your Feet

Feet

There is a very significant core in our body that needs to be strong- a core that goes beyond the traditional abdominal and low back core. You guessed it- the foot core! Feet strength can affect multiple different parts of our body such as the ankles, hips, lower back, abs, posture, walking, and even the space in your chest where your lungs live.

Here are 4 quick, everyday things you can do to strengthen your foot core.

Walk on Uneven Surfaces

When venturing into the outdoors you see rocks, hills, dirt, inclines and declines, and a variety of other fluctuations in the terrain. While walking on such surfaces, the joint angles of your ankles, knees, hips, and the tiny bones, ligaments, and muscles in your feet are being challenged. Begin to make it a point to venture off concrete and pavement and onto these natural surfaces. Rather than walking on that set path, walk around gravel, grass, dirt, and the other terrain on either side of the pavement.

Stretch Your Toes

With your feet always compressed in your shoes, it needs some stretching and relief. Stretch the spaces between your toes by interlacing your toes and fingers together. An alternative is to buy toe spreaders or a toe spreader socks that does this job for you while you’re standing or sleeping.

Balancing

This method to get your feet stronger is quite simple. Stand on one leg every opportunity that you can. This could include when you’re standing at your desk, brushing your teeth, cooking a meal, etc. With practice, you’ll be able to progress to one leg standing on uneven surfaces. Once an advanced balancer, try standing on a foam roller or a scrunched up towel or pillow.

Roll Your Feet

Try keeping a golf ball under your desk. Roll it around in circles under each foot at random times throughout the day. When you’re sitting for a long period of time, kick off those shoes and give those feet a little massage. Wiggle those toes around, and knead out those feet. Try pressing the balls of your feet against the wall to get a nice foot and calf stretch. Why go to a masseuse when you can be your very own.

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