Feel the Burn With This Lower Body and Ab Workout by Emily Skye

When it feels like there isn’t even enough time in the day to catch your breath, you need a no-hassle workout that won’t get you completely sidetracked. Thankfully, this lower body and ab routine by fitness influencer Emily Skye can be done right in your living room, and only requires two hand weights. Skye recommends going through this circuit six times. The most important thing to remember: keep your core and glutes tight for every move.

RELATED: 4 Products Emily Skye Uses for Full, Natural Brows

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointed out. Engage your abdomen, and rest the dumbbells on your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes as you lower your body down into a squat, and raise yourself back up. Do this for 30 seconds.

Lay down on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your glutes, and draw your belly button in, eliminating the gap between the floor and your back. Put your hands on the ground at your sides, and lift your hips up and down. Repeat for 30 seconds.

RELATED: 3 Moves You May Be Getting Wrong at the Gym—Plus, How to Fix Them

Stand with your feet hip width apart. Rest the dumbbells on your shoulders again, and step your left leg behind you. Squeeze your glutes, and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side, and do this for 30 seconds.

Start in a plank position, keeping your neck neutral. Lift your left leg off the ground, then put it down and lift your right leg. Make sure your core and glutes are tight. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Staying in the same position, bring your left leg up to your chest, then stretch it back behind you and do the same with the other leg. Do this for 30 seconds.

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15 Ways Exercise Makes You Look and Feel Younger

A sweat session improves blood flow all over your body, including below the belt, and the extra blood surge makes you feel more responsive and increasing arousal, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine. Exercise also powers your sex drive in a psychological way. “Working out brings on more confidence about your appearance and body, and that puts you in a sexier mindset,” says Dr. Minkin. And don’t forget the all-over energy surge exercise offers, which gives you extra fuel so you can rock the sheets.

RELATED: 15 Everyday Habits to Boost Your Libido

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Is Tofurky Actually Worse Than the Real Thing?

One of the biggest meat-eating holidays is upon us: Thanksgiving. A time when even the most steadfast vegetarians crave a centerpiece to carve; when steely will and tasty side dishes alone won’t cut it.

Many imitation turkey products, including “Tofurky,” are available this time of year to cater to the seven percent of Americans that consider themselves vegetarians — especially those who still miss their meat. Dr. Brian Wansink, a food psychologist at Cornell University and author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, says, “People who are attracted to meat-shaped veggie foods are vegetarian for health reasons, not animal-rights reasons, and they’re the biggest growing part of that market.”

A Mintel report shows that indeed 36 percent of consumers (including non-vegetarians) are buying meat alternatives to be healthier. But are these products really any better for us? Sure, cutting back on meat (especially red meat) can help prevent heart disease and cancer in some cases, but replacing it with processed meat substitutes comes with a price of its own.

RELATED: 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

Most meat substitutes are highly processed and full of artificial fillers — not unlike the hot dogs we might have already sworn off. Many are made from soy protein isolate, wheat gluten and other textured vegetable proteins, but also questionable ingredients that help gel and mold them into meat-like shapes.

Rachel Berman, R.D., author of Boosting Your Metabolism for Dummies and health editor at About.com, says to read the box before buying. “Be wary of a long ingredient list,” she says. “The more it has, the more likely there are additives and preservatives in there to stabilize the food, add flavor, or change its consistency.”

Some of these additives put into processed foods include unhealthy amounts of extra salt, fat and sugar — and those are the ingredients we can pronounce! Other artificial additives have been shown to have side effects that include nausea, dizziness, weight gain, decreased absorption of minerals and vitamins, and even cancer. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a list of additives to avoid and their potential side effects.

Most ingredients in imitation turkeys still do look better than processed meats, and better than many other meat substitutes in the frozen food section, too. But not all are created equal.

For those vegetarians buying a fake turkey this year, Berman recommends opting for an all-natural choice like Gardein’s Savory Stuffed Turk’y. “They’re making an effort to use all-natural ingredients, nothing genetically engineered and mostly things that you’re able to pronounce,” she says. “Plus, they contain no chemicals or genetically modified soy, which most others use.”

Products like Quorn’s Turk’y Roast, which uses mycoprotein, a processed mold, gets a big thumbs down for Berman. “There have been many reports of this stuff causing gastrointestinal distress and no research saying this is something that is healthy,” she says. “It’s totally artificial and basically a fungus made in a test tube.”

RELATED: Are Artificial Sweeteners Wrecking Your Diet?

Like many processed foods, fake meat is also high in sodium, but it doesn’t have as much saturated fat as the real stuff. Most of them, however, match real turkey gram for gram when it comes to protein, plus they include fiber, which is a bonus. So, treating yourself to a faux turkey one day out of the year isn’t going to kill you, but it’s not exactly health food, either. “I don’t really like to label any one food good or bad because it’s really about the sum of what you’re eating in a day,” says Berman. “If you’re going to eat an imitation food, just make sure the rest of your meal is coming from the earth.”

So why not just opt for Thanksgiving tofu and green beans instead? Many vegetarians find it’s hard to shake tradition on this holiday. “It’s not just about food, but it’s also rituals and visuals,” says Wansink. “There’s a lot of variation with other holiday dinners, but not with Thanksgiving. There’s the traditional five dishes, and if you stray too far, people will think you’re robbing them of an experience.”

“It’s not the goal of Thanksgiving to be the healthiest meal of the year anyway,” adds Wansink. “Its goal is to be gleeful and thankful.”

RELATED: How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner

Here are some of the most common imitations roasts available during the holiday season, ranked in order from best to worst by Rachel Berman.

1. Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk’y
Serving Size: 1 piece (150 g)
Calories: 280, 110 calories from fat
Fat: 12 g (1g sat. fat)
Sodium: 590 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Protein: 23 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g

water, soy protein isolate*, vital wheat gluten*, expeller pressed/canola oil, organic ancient grain flour (kamut ®, amaranth, millet, quinoa), natural flavors (from plant sources), modified vegetable gum, yeast extract, sea salt, potato starch, organic cane sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, pea protein, carrot fiber, beetroot fiber, extractives of paprika and turmeric. stuffing: water, stuffing crumbs (wheat flour*, natural cane sugar, yeast, sea salt, canola oil), onions, celery, cranberries, canola oil, natural flavors (from plant sources), yeast extract. breading:  wheat flour*, water, sugar, wheat gluten*, spices, salt, paprika, leavening (baking soda, cream of tartar), yeast, onion powder, extractives of paprika. *non-genetically engineered soy and wheat

RELATED: Pop Quiz: How Bad Is Your Food on a Scale of 1 to 10

2. Tofurky Roast
Serving Size: 1/6 roast (147 g)
Calories: 300, Calories from Fat 60
Fat: 7 g, (0 g sat. fat)
Sodium: 620 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Protein: 42 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g

ROAST: Water, vital wheat gluten, organic tofu (filtered water, organic whole soybeans, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride), expeller pressed non-genetically engineered canola oil, natural vegetarian flavors, shoyu soy sauce (water, non-genetically engineered soybeans, wheat, salt, culture), non-genetically engineered corn starch, white bean flour, garbanzo bean flour, lemon juice from concentrate, onion, carrots, celery, salt, calcium lactate from beets.

STUFFING: Organic brown rice, whole wheat bread cubes (whole wheat, filtered water, unbleached wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic palm oil, sea salt, yeast, natural enzymes, ascorbic acid), onion, celery, expeller pressed non-genetically engineered canola oil, organic wild rice, natural vegetarian seasoning, granulated garlic, herbs and spices.

3. Field Roast Celebration Roast
Serving Size: 4 ounces (114 g)
Calories: 280, 90 calories from fat
Fat: 10 g (.5g sat. fat)
Sodium: 710 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Protein: 31 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g

Filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, naturally flavored yeast extract, barley malt, whole wheat flour, granulated garlic, butternut squash, organic wheat flakes, onion powder, apples, garlic, mushrooms, yellow pea flour, lentils, lemon juice, irish moss (sea vegetable) extract, sea salt, red wine, tomato paste, black pepper, rubbed sage, rosemary, paprika, spices, natural liquid smoke and carrots.

4. Five Star Foodies Vegetarian Harvest Roast
Serving Size: 1 roll (170 g)
Calories: 290, 110 calories from fat
Fat: 12 g
Sodium: 830 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Protein: 30 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g

Seitan (water, wheat gluten, whole wheat flour), unbleached white, oat, rye, soy flour, millet, poppy & sesame seeds, soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), vegetable seasoning, yuba (soybeans, water), organic sugar, salt, olive oil, spices, yeast

5. VegeUSA Vegan Whole Turkey
Serving Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories: 160
Fat: 9 g
Sodium: 450 mg
Sugar: 3 g
Protein: 13 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g

Soybean fiber, soybean protein, vegetable protein, raw cane sugar, starch, soybean oil, natural vegan flavor, sea salt, cinnamon powder, tofu skin

6. Quorn Turk’y Roast
Serving Size: 90 g
Calories: 100, 40 calories from fat
Fat: 4.5 g (1g sat. fat)
Sodium: 540 mg
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Protein: 13 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g

Mycoprotein (59%), Water, Onion, Natural Flavors From Non-Meat Sources, Refined Rapeseed Oil, Rehydrated Egg White, Milk Proteins. Contains 2% or less of Potato Maltodextrin, Salt, Tapioca Dextrin, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Sage Extract, Garlic Powder, Gum Arabic; Sunflower, Coconut and Palm Kernel Oil.

For comparison: Roasted Turkey Meat with Skin
Serving Size: 3 ounces
Calories: 165
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 54 milligrams
Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Dietary Fiber: 0 grams

More from Daily Burn:

5 Low-Calorie Snacks That Will Actually Fill You Up

The Pre-Thanksgiving T.U.R.K.E.Y. Workout

6 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

This article originally appeared on Life by Daily Burn.

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The 10 Best Sports Bras for Large Breasts

Unfortunately, the bounce factor for bustier women can be an exercise deterrent. Who wants to go for a run or knock out burpees when every hop, skip, and jump leads to pure pain? In fact, we’re pretty sure we all have that friend who’s had to double up on support. What’s more, a larger-breasted woman in the wrong bra can have serious health implications.

“If a sports bra has not been specifically designed and built to carry the weight of larger, heavier breasts, the bra straps may be too narrow and exert extra pressure on your shoulders,” explains LaJean Lawson, PhD, a sports bra researcher at Oregon State University and consultant to the sports bra industry. “If the amount and location of the pressure crosses over an area in the shoulders where nerves and blood vessels exit into the upper arms, a medical condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome can result.” Symptoms of TOS include numbness or tingling in the arms or hands, pain in the neck, shoulder, or hands, and even a weaker grip.)

So what do the well-endowed need to look for when shopping for a sports bra? Lawson says, there are three key things:

1. Look for minimal (controlled) stretch throughout the bra in areas like the cups, straps, and band.
2. Forgo the traditional sports bra, which has a single flat panel across the front, and opt for one with two separate cups that will control each breast instead.
3. Choose athletic supporters with more coverage such as a higher neckline, wider straps, and a substantial bottom band.

Armed with Lawson’s tips, we did the leg work for you and found these 10 amazing sports bras perfect for big breasts. They’re easy to get on, offer stellar support and, most importantly, are still cute!

This wireless, high support bra is ideal for cups up to DD. Convertible straps and the front zipper closure allow for a more customized fit.

Sizes: XS-XL

To buy: $72; athleta.gap.com

With the click of a hook, this bra takes you from regular to racerback. It also has flexible underwire and three-part-foam-lined cups.

Sizes: 30-42, C-DDD

To buy: Starting at $40; amazon.com

This supporter’s molded cups play up your curves (and provides each breast with individualized support!) instead of smashing your girls into one unflattering lump.

Sizes: 28-40, B-G

To buy: $62; amazon.com

A high neckline not only ensures that your breasts won’t play peekaboo, but also reins the girls in from unwanted surge.

Sizes: 00-8

To buy: Starting at $59; amazon.com

Sick of the chafing caused by stitched straps? The bonded seams on this bra help put an end to skin irritation.

Sizes: 30-38, B-E

To buy: $70; amazon.com

This high support bra is great for all types of exercise including running and cross training. With a strappy design for a custom fit, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your girls.

Sizes: XS-XL

To buy: $55; nike.com

This running-specific bra combines compression and encapsulation technology that cuts down breast movement in all directions. Also good: The mesh lining puts the kibosh on in-between-breast sweat (yay!).

Sizes: 32-38, A-F

To buy: $65; sweatybetty.com

If you’re looking for high-impact support without wires, this is your sports bra. Molded double-layer cups keep you covered with a three-column, three-row hook and back closure to keep the girls supported.

Sizes: 30-46, C-H

To buy: $69; barenecessities.com

The Velcro straps are surprisingly secure and make it super easy to adjust this supporter on the fly.

Sizes 34-44, B-E

To buy: $55; amazon.com

There are few things more embarrassing than showing off your nipples when you sweat—built-in modesty cups ensure your “headlights” stay hidden.

Sizes: 32-42, C-DD

To buy: $25-48; amazon.com

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I Didn’t Think Indoor Climbing Was For Me—Now It Might Be My New Favorite Workout

In order to access the great outdoors while living in a city like New York, you typically need to hop on a bus or subway, transfer to a train, and finally have a taxi drop you at the start of the hiking trail. Not exactly easy. So, when I was invited to join Mammut and professional rock climber Sierra Blair-Coyle at indoor climbing gym MetroRock Brooklyn, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get “outdoors,” even if I’d be inside the whole time.

Let it be known that I love hiking, kayaking, and camping. Indoor climbing seemed like a natural fit. However, stepping into the climbing gym lined with daunting Easter-egg speckled walls made me feel completely out of my element. I wasn’t sure if I belonged, or if I could hack it. After being greeted by the staff and meeting my mentor for the afternoon, Sierra Blair-Coyle, my nerves began to wane and I became more excited to attempt something I had never done before. 

A U.S. national champion, world cup contender, and Mammut pro-climber, Blair-Coyle is mastering a sport that’s often thought to be male-dominated. The first time she climbed was at age 8, when a local mall in Scottsdale, Arizona put up a wall. “I instantly fell in love with climbing,” Blair-Coyle tells me. Who better to be my teacher?

The first thing Blair-Coyle showed me was the proper “falling” method in bouldering (climbing freely without a rope). It seems silly, but falling the right (read: safe) way can prevent injury. She explained that when you lose your grip or balance on the climbing hold (the colorful misshaped pieces on the wall), it’s best to just accept that you’re falling and go with the flow—literally. When you land, she said, allow your body to tuck in and roll down onto your back, side, or shoulder (kind of like an upside-down turtle in its shell). The wrong approach would be to brace your fall with your hands or arms, as this could lead to a sprain or break, or sticking the landing with your two feet. The “tuck and roll” is your happy place.

I warmed up by tackling my first “boulder problem,” or route. Routes are color-coordinated, so you either want to follow the same color up the wall (more challenging) or you can “rainbow,” which means grabbing hold of whatever color you want. I decided to follow the white pattern: I grabbed my first boulder hold, lifted myself from the ground, and moved my feet as I climbed upward.

When I came to the middle section of the problem, though, I got stuck. I was too far from the next hold. Pinching the wall, I swung my left foot up, catching a tiny white mound I wasn’t even sure I could reach, and pushed off of it with my toes to hoist myself up to the next hold. Using my knee, I pushed off another hold to claw my way to the top. I amazed myself with what I could do with my body. 

Confidence boosted, I decided to gain a little perspective and take my climbing to new heights. Enter: top roping. I strapped myself into a harness attached to a rope that passes up through an anchor system at the top of the wall, and then down to a belayer (your partner) at the base. My belay buddy was a total stranger, so I had to trust that he would have my back.

Next, I began my ascent, finding the orange holds with my feet and hands and working my way up the wall. For the first time all day, I wasn’t thinking about anything—deadlines, family, what I was going to eat for dinner. My mind was quiet. Stress from the day dissipated, and I experienced a kind of peace you don’t often find in New York City. I felt strong, alive, and capable. Like I could do anything I put my mind to.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t perfect: I lost my grip at one point and came off the wall, and was briefly swinging around in the air. (It wasn’t as scary as you’d think.) But as I was being lowered down, I realized that indoor climbing wasn’t just a mental escape, it also worked muscles in my body that I didn’t know existed. It challenged me more than any other workout I’ve tried, and I was immediately hooked. I unknotted the rope from my harness and noticed one tiny blister on my left palm: initiation.

“My biggest piece of advice is to just try it out,” Blair-Coyle says. Sometimes the hardest part isn’t the physical act of doing a new workout, but rather walking through the doors, she told me. The good news? Climbing gyms tend to be welcoming environments, Blair-Coyle tells me, which is something I experienced firsthand. My first visit to MetroRock Brooklyn wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as I imagined it would be, and I found a strong sense of community within the sport. Unlike my yoga and barre classes, climbers actually socialize and cheer each other on.

In regards to technique, trust that you’ll learn as you go. I was under the impression, like many beginners, that your upper body does all the work. Fortunately, I had Blair-Coyle coaching me to use my entire body, not just my arms. When I got stuck on a boulder problem because I couldn’t reach the next hold with my hands, she reminded me to keep moving my feet up the wall. (Yes, I had totally forgotten to move my feet.) My hands were soon able to reach the place that I couldn’t grasp before.

Positioning can also greatly determine your range of movement. “A lot of the time, if you’re having a difficult time with a move, it’s probably because you’re in the wrong position with your body,” Blair-Coyle points out. In other words, don’t be afraid to get experimental in the ways you move and bend.

When I hit a cardio or barre class, I know it’s not a team activity. We’re all in it for ourselves. I don’t need anyone to help me. I had always thought I needed a partner to climb, which was one reason that deterred me from giving it a shot. Another reason? Fear of the unfamiliar, of course. “If you’re not comfortable just going in and winging it, inquire with the gym about introduction classes or one-hour private lessons,” says Blair-Coyle. Most climbing gyms offer intro and beginner classes that teach you about equipment, tying knots, belaying, and proper commands. 

You don’t need a partner for bouldering, and many climbing gyms use auto-belays, which allow climbers with no rope handling experience to get onto the taller walls without the help of a buddy. Climb as high as you’re comfortable, and the auto-belay will then gently lower you to the ground using its automatic braking system. Feel free to ask a staff member for a quick tutorial of the equipment to get you started.

My thought going into any new workout class is usually, What the heck do I wear?  Blair-Coyle keeps her climbing outfits surprisingly simple: tight-fitting shorts or leggings wirh a sports bra or tank. Other climbers prefer looser pants and tees, but it’s entirely up to you. “Whatever you’re comfortable working out in is perfect for climbing,” Blair-Coyle says. Just keep in mind that if you’re wearing shorts and climbing on a rope, the harness could rub and irritate your legs. I wore these high waist Sweaty Betty leggings with this loose-fitted tank, and felt completely at ease.

As for equipment, the climbing gym should have everything you need available to rent, including shoes, harnesses, clips, and chalk bags. Even as a beginner, though, Blair-Coyle recommends buying your own chalk bag, because it won’t break the bank and you’ll use it often (below, our favorite ones). Don’t invest in climbing shoes just yet, though: Shoes can be pricey, and climbers typically don’t purchase them until they are more committed to the sport. Indoor climbing is safe and the floor is padded and soft, so some gyms don’t require helmets. However, if outdoor sport climbing piques your interest, it’s not a bad idea to get a helmet, says Blair-Coyle.

Still not sure where to start? (What’s a chalk bag?) We’ve taken the stress out of the decision-making, and rounded up a few of the best gear for beginner climbers. 

To buy (from left to right): Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag ($20; amazon.com); Mammut Stitch Chalk Bag ($30; amazon.com); Prana Women’s Large Chalk Bag With Belt ($24; prana.com)

From sporty to feminine and chic, we’ve got your chalk bag needs covered. You can also conveniently scoop up this refillable chalk ball to pop in your bag for only $9. Amazon deems it as a number-one bestseller, so you know you’ll be in good company.

To buy: Mammut Neon Smart Climbing Backpack ($130; rei.com)

The full zipper on this handy backpack allows you to completely open the bag to perfectly organize your climbing shoes, chalk bags, and rope. Bonus: the rope is also protected by an integrated rope bag. Great for beginners or climbing enthusiasts, it will be your new favorite gym bag or travel companion. 

To buy: Mammut Wall Rider MIPS ($179; us.mammut.com)

If you’re considering sport climbing, this brand-new helmet from Mammut is the first of its kind to feature MIPS technology, which offers maximum safety and protection from impacts caused by tumbling rocks or falls. When the helmet gets hit at an angled impact, the low friction layer on the inside allows it to slide relative to the head. The energy and force from the impact is redirected and absorbed, rather than being transferred to the brain, reducing the risk of brain injury.

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How to Do a Side Plank—and 2 Other Balancing Yoga Poses You Might Be Getting Wrong

Nothing throws off your flow like teetering or even falling as you’re trying to hold your balance during yoga class. But there could be a reason you can’t seem to get your body weight to stay centered. Yoga instructor Kirby Koo says it’s not uncommon for students to need some guidance when they’re trying a new balance-focused pose, which is exactly what she’s going to give you in this video. Here’s how to fix three balances you get could be doing wrong:

RELATED: This Yoga Flow Will Instantly Boost Your Mood

As you stand on one leg and extend the other high behind you, reach your arm over your shoulder and hold your foot in your hand. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle behind you, and make sure your hips are square to the floor. Lift the arm that isn’t holding your foot so that it’s above your head and angled forward.

While extending your legs in the air, make sure your elbows are angled in toward your body and not poking out to the sides. Let your weight fall into your hands while they’re placed on your lower back, and keep your legs straight.

RELATED: The Best Online Yoga Workout Videos for Calming Your Mind and Toning Your Body

With one hand and foot on the floor supporting your body weight, draw your shoulders back, preventing your chest from falling forward. Then lift your hips to the sky, and keep your eyes looking at the ceiling.

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The One Healthy Thing Fitness Experts Always Do on Thanksgiving Day

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving—one of the few days of the year when you can put aside your usual healthy habits and pig out with no shame or judgment?

While we’re totally on board with holiday indulgence, it’s not a bad idea to try to do at least one food- or fitness-related move to keep your energy high, your mood bright, and successfully resist the urge to veg out on the couch after dinner nursing a monster food baby. To give you some inspiration, we asked fitness influencers, nutritionists, and Health staffers to tell us one thing they always do for mind-body health on Turkey Day.

RELATED: 11 Celeb-Approved Workouts for a Toned, Sculpted Butt

“I get out on the road early for a run before the festivities begin. I know later I most likely won’t have the time or energy. Running is also my ‘me’ time; on a day of giving thanks, it’s important to thank yourself for all you do! Having the ability to move, breathe, and share life with others makes me feel even more grateful. The crisp fall air and smell of fallen leaves doesn’t hurt in setting the mood either.”

—Rebecca Kennedy, New York based–fitness trainer

“I love taking recipes from Pinterest that look super yummy and find ways to make them healthier with organic and natural ingredients. It’s fun because it’s something the whole family can be part of. We’re all cooking and being creative, and healthy!”

—Cassey Ho, fitness influencer and founder of Blogilates

“I always try to maintain a physical yoga practice during the holidays, even if it mean unrolling my mat in the one sliver of space that’s not occupied by a family member. It always helps me stay centered during what can be a very emotionally difficult time of the year and it helps validate my requisite gluttonous holiday meal choices. Plus, yogic twists make digestion of rich holiday food much easier.”

Jessamyn Stanley, yogi and author of Every Body Yoga

“On Thanksgiving I pay close attention to my mind-body connection. It doesn’t feel good to deprive myself, and it doesn’t feel good to be stuffed and sluggish, so I make choices that allow me to feel both satisfied and energized simultaneously. This balance feels just right, both mentally and physically, and it’s freeing to make choices motivated by feeling well, rather than numbers, rules, shoulds, or guilt!”

—Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor

RELATED: How to Handle the Holidays When You Have Food Intolerances

“I just make sure to get a run in, walk before and after eating, and then also pace myself between the main course and dessert. I’m never one to wildly indulge and I think if you give yourself a bit of a break between the main course and dessert it allows you some time to spend with your family, in addition to being actually able to savor the deliciousness of the sweets.”

Joe Holder, Nike master trainer

“Our Thanksgiving Day tradition (besides enjoying the meal) always includes exercise: We all go for a hike in the morning, followed by a stretching session, usually led by my daughter [fitness blogger and author] Katie, and then after the meal we put on loud music and dance around the house, inside and out! It’s a great way to keep your energy up and connect with the family!”

—Denise Austin, fitness expert and creator of LifeFit

“This Thanksgiving, I’ll be sneaking in an infrared sauna session. It’s a 30-minute sweat, so if I’m cooking all day and don’t have time to get my ass to the gym, it’s easy. And a good sweat definitely helps me mentally prepare for family dynamics!”

Hannah Bronfman, DJ and founder of HBFIT

“Every year on Thanksgiving morning, my dad, brothers, husband and I run in our town’s local road race together. My dad always insists on leaving unnecessarily early to get a parking spot and it’s always freezing (so, I’m always kind of dreading it), but then I feel extra virtuous when it’s time to head home and start digging into the appetizers.”

—Kathleen Felton, senior digital editor

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“I always try to go for a run before the meal, but no matter my exercise plans, my family and I try to do something active together during the day. Some years, with a big crowd, that’s been a casual touch football game. Other times, it’s just a walk around the block. Anything to get moving and help avoid a total food coma!”

—Sarah Klein, senior editor at Health

“Every year, I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from a friend’s house that overlooks the parade route. Her apartment is about a two-mile walk from my house, and I always walk there and back to fit some activity in before I feast later on. A brisk walk is the best way to wake up on one of my favorite days of the year!”

—Anthea Levi, Health freelance writer

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Is Workout Bloat a Thing? An Expert Explains

You’re just about to slip on that new dress you’ve been dying to wear, but you notice your stomach has suddenly inflated thanks to pesky bloating. We’ve all been there, and one influencer is shedding light on the fact that bloat can happen any time, any place.

“Bloating can be caused by SOOO many things,” Courtnee Leeper wrote in a September 9 Instagram post. She’s right. Eating too fast, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw can all cause your abdomen to puff out on you. Yet there are other causes as well, and the one Leeper focuses on might surprise you: working out.

Uh, we thought exercise was supposed to make our stomachs slimmer, no? Well, Cynthia Sass, RD, MPH, Health contributing nutrition editor, says that though you might feel bloated after working out, it probably isn’t directly caused by physical activity. 

Rather, Sass says you’re probably huffing and puffing and accidentally gulping down air while trying to catch your breath as you exercise. That can trap air in the gastrointestinal tract and cause a puffy tummy. It’s similar to what happens when you eat too fast and swallow gas-producing air.

RELATED: Bloated All the Time? 11 Reasons Why

Another thing that can cause bloat after working out is eating too close to your gym session, especially if your meal contains fiber, protein, and fat, which take longer to digest, says Sass. “When you start your barre class or run, blood flows away from the digestive system toward your muscles, which slows digestion further and may lead to bloating,” she explains. So hold off on downing that protein bar or shake until after your workout.

Artificial sweeteners can also cause bloating because they’re difficult for your system to digest, and they hang around in your stomach for awhile. Before reaching for a sports drink, check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain bloat-inducing artificial sweeteners. It might be refreshing during your workout, but it could leave you with some serious distension afterward.

RELATED: This Influencer Posed in Her Bra and Leggings to Prove That Social Media Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

Bloating might not be comfortable, but unfortunately, you can’t always prevent it from happening. Instead of being angry with your stomach for ballooning on you, accept that it happens to everyone…and it’s temporary.

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Kelly Ripa’s Workout Routine Is Shockingly Difficult

If you’re as deeply invested in ABC’s Live! talk-show franchise as I am, you know a few things to be fact: 9 a.m. EST is the best time of morning, Josh Groban would have made an excellent co-host, the coolest way to win a vacation is by answering random trivia questions on the phone, and Kelly Ripa? She might love working out more than anyone else on the planet.

People are downright obsessed with her appreciation and dedication to fitness — considering the fact that she reportedly trains five hours a week, has three kids, and runs a hugely successful national daytime talk show, I get it. As an exercise and endorphins enthusiast, I’ve long admired her stamina and commitment. So when I got the scoop on her go-to workout, AKT in Motion, and found one studio, conveniently located in my neighborhood…

I had to give it a shot.

Founded by Ripa’s personal trainer Anna Kaiser, the method, which is available in New York City, East Hampton, and Connecticut, combines choreographed dance and functional training like circuit work, body strength exercises, and band work. It was created to bridge the gap between boutique studios that commonly only offer one type of workout (think yoga, cycling, or barre) and the gym, where you can focus on weight training, core work, etc.

RELATED: 7 Moves to Tighten Your Core From Celebrity Trainer Anna Kaiser

“She [Ripa] is extremely busy and AKT is super efficient as well as effective and crazy fun,” Kaiser tells me. “We have such a blast together and she can get everything she needs, strength, cardio, power, stretching, in one place, instead of running to different boutique studios trying to fit it all in. Plus, the music is everything. We are both obsessed with finding the best music. It really drives the workout.”

The class, which is either 45 minutes or one full hour, is offered in four different formats to hit all the tiers of fitness. The first time Ripa tried it, Kaiser told me she was so exhausted that she went home and slept for two straight hours.

Clearly, things have gotten easier, as Ripa works out with Kaiser four to five times a week. To get the full Ripped with Ripa experience, I put all four class formats to the test, plus a mixer class that incorporates small portions of every format.

Before I get into the breakdown of the classes, you should know that Kaiser choreographs every single class offering herself, so anyone that pops into a studio (AKA, me!) is getting the same exact workout her celebrity clients. While Kelly Ripa will do all of these classes in one week, life responsibilities got in my way, so I carried them over to a week-and-a-half.

RELATED: 7 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

The first class I tested out was AKT Dance, which is a 60-minute choreographed cardio dance class. The class content, regardless of the format, stays the same for three weeks, so clients are able to physically feel and even see their progress. Unfortunately for me, I rolled into this class on the very last day it was being offered, which means everyone else in my class knew the dance and I was just running around a studio looking like a chicken with her head cut off. Regardless, I was drenched in sweat, I could barely move the next day, and the instructor was incredibly encouraging despite my lack of coordination.

Next, I moved onto AKT Bands, which utilized high-powered cardio moves and resistance bands hung from overhead bars. This was by far my favorite. Thanks to repetitive small movements with medium resistance, the class left my tiniest, hard-to-target muscles (like my triceps and my inner thighs) incredibly sore.

RELATED: Here’s Why Working Out While Wearing a Full Face of Makeup Is a Really Bad Idea

The next day, I stopped by AKT Tone, which was more of a barre-based class, with non-impact, toning exercises. I got in a damn good workout, but I wasn’t that sweaty, so I skipped the shower and went straight to brunch.

Kaiser says that Ripa finds the most challenging class to be AKT Circuit, which uses cardio moves and weighted props. It’s Kaiser’s take on traditional circuit training. Personally, I thought that AKT Dance was much harder, but I definitely don’t have as much rhythm as Ripa. I actually like lifting weights, so I love that this class taught me some easy moves to do with dumbbells at the gym.

Finally, I got to the AKT Mixer, which I loved because it incorporated a little bit of everything — AKA I only had to dance for about 15 minutes. I targeted tiny muscles, got in a solid cardio workout, and even lifted some weights. It was truly a full-body workout. Getting up at 6 a.m. was tough, but the high-energy playlist helped me through even the hardest of sets.

After completing all of Kaiser’s badass classes, I can admit that I was perhaps a bit too cocky talking into the studio. I exercised muscles that I never pay attention to. For two to three days, I couldn’t even sit down on my office swivel chair without wincing and letting out an “ouch” under my breath. I got the fulfillment of working out with other people, a caring instructor that corrected me in my motions, and hardcore weight training in just one studio.

I know that practice makes any type of workout easier, and Ripa has been conquering Kaiser’s method for 10 straight years. Maybe if I give it another 530 weeks, I’ll be on her level. Maybe.

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I Did 100 Push-Ups Every Day for Over a Year

It all started as a CrossFit challenge at the box I used to frequent near my home in Burlington, VT. For the month of November, our coaches asked members to see how many push-ups they could do each day. Maybe it was 25, or 50, or more. Hmm, I thought, an ersatz CrossFitter who really just wanted to run and have fun instead of obsessing about performing a perfect deadlift. I wasn’s so great at snatches and bungled my burpees, but a push-up? Well, that I could do.

So I signed up to do 100 a day—right before a spa getaway with my mother in Arizona. In between massages and meditation with my mom, I somehow managed to sneak in a set of 10 here, a set of 10 there, and went to sleep even more soundly in the Tuscon desert knowing I’d hit the 100 mark. (Related: The 30-Day Push-Up Challenge for Seriously Sculpted Arms)

And so it began, these sets of 10 that became the metronome of my life, not only as I returned to my own motherly duties in the Green Mountains for the remainder of the month, but also beyond that, into December, and then January. Some pretty amazing things were happening to my body, and to my mind. My arms were more toned than ever, I had a tight core, and I felt that I stood taller than before. What’s more, I was increasingly confident about my own capabilities as an athlete. With the 100-mark under my belt for the day, I could move on to tapping away at my keyboard, texting friends, or enjoying dinner with my husband and two kids knowing that I’d put in an honest day’s work. On the floor.

So that was the funny part. The floor. The stuff that I saw, and that I did, while a few inches off the ground. In the pre-dawn hours of a cold February day, I’d find myself in the living room, picking up long-lost Legos from the tufts of our orange shag carpet in between sets. In the kitchen on a warm summer morning, I’d be eye-to-eye with a slug, or a millipede, or a moldy Cheerio. I’d have eureka moments, where I’d suddenly think of the ideal Christmas gift for my nephew or the punniest headline for a story. I’d empty one level of the dishwasher, hit the ground for 10, and then have the coffee going while banging out the next 10 or 20.

Did it suck? Oh boy, yes. There were many mornings when, tired from tossing and turning about daily stresses, I swore I’d never do another damn push-up. But after eking out five, I’d feel my mood improve—and the physical changes in my body were serious motivation. (Just beware of these 7 Push-Up Mistakes You’re Probably Making.)

After more than a year of my 100 daily push-ups, I quit CrossFit—but kept up with the challenge in my local gym, learning to be impervious to the rolled eyes or the questioning looks as I added my own reps during a BodyPump class. When I entered a GoRuck adventure race that spring, I was able to move on to the next stage of the event thanks to my push-up proficiency, and the same skill also got me through a 36-hour venture into the wilderness in California that fall.

I was hooked, and I was having fun—and making friends. Strangers at the gym had a reason to start up a conversation with me, getting a laugh or two when I revealed my mission. I saw the world in a different way. When I went on work trips or on vacation, I found new, inventive places to practice my push-ups. London, New York, California wine country, Denver, Montreal—they all saw a certain blond ponytail bobbing up and down in the push-up position. 

One day last spring, I stopped, as I decided to unplug from most everything (screens, work, working out) for a month to give my mind and body a break from the hamster wheel of life. I felt free, and then I felt a bit flabby as my arms lost some of their muscle tone and my core grew curvier. What would I do now, commit to the 100-a-day again, or give it up entirely?

The answer came somewhere in the middle. I still do push-ups. Most days. Not every day, and not always 100. But every time I find myself face to face with a floor, I smile, and start counting.

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This article originally appeared on Shape.com.

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