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Tips for Planning an Active Vacation Tips for Planning an Active Vacation

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Tips for Planning an Active Vacation

Visit an inspiring place.

A vacation spot that supports an active lifestyle keeps you motivated during travel. Fitness-focused cities offer bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly paths and crosswalks, and places with beautiful scenery provide an enjoyable environment that encourages you to get moving. In these locales, sitting in a lounge chair might be less inviting.

Choose your hotel wisely.

It’s tempting to choose out-of-the-way hotels to get a better price. Unfortunately, these hotels often force you to jump in the car to sight-see. Instead, choose lodging that is accessible to local attractions. Park the car and walk to restaurants, museums, and other sites.

Do your restaurant research.

If you don’t eat healthy meals during your vacation, you won’t feel like being active. Eating heavy, high-fat fried foods and overloading on carbohydrates and alcohol can make you lethargic and unmotivated. Find the best healthy restaurants, and make sure they are accessible from your hotel. Enjoy some treats, but stick with your usual healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein to stay energized and active.

Plan an activity each day.

You don’t have to work out on vacation to stay fit. Incorporating activity into your travel to-do list is a healthy way to spend time away from the gym. Take a walking tour of local sights, hike to the end of a trail for great views, sign up for a bike tour, or learn a new watersport. If you turn your exercise into fun, you’ll stay active on vacation without sacrificing time with friends and family.

Exercises for GlutesExercises for Glutes

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Gym Exercises for Glutes

The gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, or glutes, are the muscles of the buttocks. Strengthening these muscles gives you more than a toned backside. Glutes surround the pelvis and keep it aligned with your legs and torso during movement. Weak gluteal muscles have been linked to a variety of injuries such as shin splints and Achilles tendinitis. Additionally, many activities, like running, strengthen the leg muscles but have little effect on glute strength, and can cause a muscular imbalance .

Research shows that the squat is the most effective exercise for targeting the glutes, but you can add variety to your workouts with a few other exercises that are nearly as effective. Incorporate 1 to 3 sets of these exercises to target your glute muscles and reduce risk for injuries.

Single-Leg Squats

Select a step or box that is 12 to 15 inches high. Push it up against the wall to help keep it steady. Stand on the box and shift your weight to your right foot. Slightly bend your left knee to lift your left foot off the box. Slow squat down by bending your right knee and raise back up to the starting position. Single-leg squats are more challenging than traditional squats so you may only be able to lower 3 to 6 inches. As your strength increases, try to bend the knee more and sit back further to lower into a deeper squat. Repeat all repetitions before switching to your left foot.

Step Ups

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand facing your box. Step onto the box with your right foot. Allow your left leg to stay straight and relaxed, but do not allow it to rest on the box. Lower back down to the floor leading with your left foot. Repeat all repetitions on one side before switching legs.

Single-Leg Deadlift

Stand holding weights in both hands with your palms facing your thighs. Keep your back straight as you bend at the hips and lower the weights towards the floor. Allow your left knee to bend slightly as you extend your right leg behind you. Lower the weights to about shin height and use your glutes to lift your right leg until it is parallel to the floor. Your body should be in a straight line from your shoulder to your heel. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat all repetitions on one leg before switching to the other side.

Walking Lunges

Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step with your right foot forward. Bend your right knee and lower your thigh parallel to the floor as you also bend your left knee. Keep your front knee in line with the center of your foot. Stand back up and step your left foot to meet your right. Next, step forward with your left foot. Do 4 to 6 alternating walking lunges in one direction. Turn around and perform the walking lunges back in the other direction.

Tips for Race Recovery Tips for Race Recovery

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Tips for race recovery

Whether you run a 5K or a half marathon, it’s important that you recover both physically and mentally from your hard work.

Refuelling and Rehydration

During a race, your body can deplete the glycogen (carbohydrates) stored in your muscles. The first hour after a race is a critical time for refueling, because muscles are in a more efficient state to replenish glycogen stores.

Consuming foods and drinks that supply healthy carbohydrates is important, but don’t lose sight of calories. Running a 5K is a big accomplishment, but a 150 pound female burns 359 calories running at a 10 minute per mile pace for 30 minutes. If you grab a chocolate milk, a nutrition bar and a bag of pretzels after your race, you can easily exceed the amount of calories you just burned. For shorter races, try a piece of fruit or a small smoothie, and follow up with a healthy and balanced meal for lunch.

Rehydration should also be a part of your recovery plan. The amount of fluid you need will vary depending on the length of your race and how hydrated you stay throughout your activity. Plan to drink at least 8 ounces of water at the end of your race. Once you assess your weight, continue to drink 20 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound you lost during the race.

Rest

Most experts agree that you should take at least 1 to 3 days off from exercise after a race. Once you are ready to start exercising again, move into a phase of active recovery. Return to short running distances and incorporate low-intensity activities. Age, fitness level and race experience all play a role in your recovery time. Some experts recommend 1 day of rest for every mile ran in the race. This doesn’t have to mean complete rest. For example, if you run a half marathon, you don’t have to stop exercising for 13 days. It just may be wise to avoid jumping back into an intensive training program until your body has had sufficient time to recover.

Refocus

Many people anticipate the physical recovery necessary after a race, but fewer are prepared for the mental recovery. Training takes focus and commitment. After you have spent several weeks preparing, it’s common to feel let down and unmotivated once your runner’s high has worn off. As you take time to rest, begin to refocus your goals. Choose your next race and plan your training program, or pick a new activity to try. Setting new goals immediately following a race will keep you on the path to maintaining an active lifestyle.

Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight With Exercise Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight With Exercise

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Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight With Exercise

You may have increased your activity level with the expectation of blasting calories and dropping pounds, but the scale hasn’t budged. Exercise is important for health, but many factors play a role in permanent weight loss. There are a few reasons you may not be losing weight with exercise.

You’re not tracking all of your food intake

Exercise can reduce appetite, especially right after an intense session, but exercise often increases appetite. This stems from a need to replenish the extra calories you burned. The extra calories consumed are easily overlooked. Your portions increase, you might talk yourself into a second helping, or add a snack in the late afternoon. Even minor changes in your eating patterns can increase calories enough to offset the calories you burned during exercise, which prevents weight loss. To control your calorie intake, track your food carefully as your exercise increases, and make notes about how exercise is influencing your hunger and cravings.

You’re getting less sleep

Beyond simply helping you feel rested and energized, sleep plays an important role in weight loss. A lack of sleep can upset the balance of hormones that control feelings of hunger and fullness. These changes can quickly lead to increased calorie intake and weight gain. If you are skimping on sleep to squeeze in more exercise, explore options for finding a better balance between the two. This might mean giving up habits like watching late-night television or increasing exercise intensity so you get the results you want with shorter sessions.

You’re stressed

While exercise helps reduce stress, sometimes activity can’t fully control your level of stress. During times of excess stress, your cortisol levels can remain elevated. This hormone has been found to increase hunger and elevate calorie intake. These extra calories can undo your hard work and cancel out the calories burned during exercise. If you continue to feel stressed despite staying active, explore additional ways to control the source of the stress and your response to it. A balanced eating plan, meditation, time off from work, limiting screen time and adequate sleep can all help control stress.

Quick Exercises For When You Lack MotivationQuick Exercises For When You Lack Motivation

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Quick Exercises For When You Lack Motivation

When you don’t feel like exercising, remember that even as little as 10 minutes of activity is better than skipping your workout altogether. Try a combination of these quick, effective exercises that require no equipment.

Rotating Jump Squats

Jump squats work the large muscles of the lower body to increase the calories burned. The jumping movement increases your heart rate to improve cardiovascular health, and the rotation encourages balanced muscle development.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and sit into a squat as if you were sitting back into a chair.
  • As you return to the starting position, jump into the air. Do 2 jump squats in this direction.
  • On the second, as you jump turn 90 degrees to your right and land facing the right side of the room. Do 2 jump squats, jump back to the center and then repeat on the left.
  • Continue rotating your direction every two squats.

Modified Burpees

Many people shy away from burpees because some versions are too challenging. There are easy ways to modify this exercise and still work your upper body, core, and improve cardiovascular fitness.

  • Bend down and place both hands on the floor, just above your toes. Move into a plank position by stepping one foot back at a time.
  • Hold here, or drop to your knees and do one modified-pushup. Raise back into plank position.
  • Jump both feet forward to meet your hands, or step one foot forward at a time.
  • Return to standing and repeat.

Plank Combo

Planks are an easy way to add core work to a quick exercise routine.

  • Get into plank position on your hands and toes so that your body is in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Shift the weight to your right hand. Turn to face the left as you roll onto the outside of your right foot. Extend the left arm into the air. Hold the side plank for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the forward plank, and then perform the side plank on the other side.

Plank Jacks

Plank jacks work your core and upper body while the rapid movement of the lower body increases your heart rate for a cardio workout.

  • Hold the plank position on your hands and toes. Jump both feet out to the sides as if you were doing a jumping jack.
  • Jump both feet back to the center. Continue the jacks, jumping out and in quickly.
  • To decrease the intensity, step one foot out and back in at a time.
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