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balance

5 Tips to Balance Food and Happiness This December

5 Tips to Balance Food and Happiness This December

Happy holidays to you and your family this joyful season! Tis' the season to be fit and jolly. December is a beautiful time of food, food and more food! Of course, whenever excess food and treats are are involved, temptations are our worst enemies. From irresistible mashed potatoes to the sweet aroma of freshly baked Christmas gingerbread cookies, it is easy to get carried away.

Why not end the year on Santa’s ‘nice list’? Leave some coconut & peanut butter protein balls with a nice tall glass of almond milk for Santa this year! Here are 5 helpful tips to balance food and happiness this December:

3 Steps to a Headstand

3 Steps to a Headstand

There is no shortcut when it comes to more advanced inversions. But, there is one simple rule: practice. You've probably heard that same advice many times and got tired of it. It's simpler said than done. The truth is that dedicated practice does come with results, both big and small. Practice these 3 steps to a headstand daily or at least few times a week to see results. Assistance from a certified yoga teacher is recommended if you have neck injuries or if you don’t want to try it alone.

A killer 3 move, no-equipment leg and butt workout

A killer 3 move, no-equipment leg and butt workout

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The gym can wait. If you're short on time and equipment, try this awesome no-equipment leg and butt workout from PumpUp member @fitmissrach. Get it right and tight with just 3 moves. This workout will challenge your balance, improve your agility, and get your blood pumping.

Leg and butt workout

Instructions: Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise

High knee runs

High Knee Runs | No equipment leg and butt workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Keep your elbows close to the sides of your body, forearms extended straight out in front of you. Your palms should be facing downwards. Maintain a straight posture as you drive your knees up to the palms of your hand, alternating each leg as you do so. Attempt to make as little noise as possible throughout the movement. Your legs should be moving quickly and landing softly.

Plie Squat Reach and Jumps

Squat reach jumps | No equipment leg and butt workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Begin with your feet turned slightly outward and your legs a bit further apart than the width of your hips. Squat down and lightly touch both arms to the ground, in between your feet. Bring your body out of the squat, making a jump as you ascend. Your arms should reach and extend past your head as you jump.

Alternating one legged reach and jump

Alternating one legged reach jumps | No equipment leg and butt workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Maintain a slight bend in the knee of your standing leg. Reach your hands up and overhead. Keep your back flat as you reach your arms down towards your toes. Your standing thigh should almost be parallel with the ground, and the raise leg should extend straight and back behind you. Bring the raised leg back to standing position, and hop upwards while extending both of your arms. Land lightly on your feet and keep the movement controlled, attempting to minimize any wobbling or imbalances that occur.

3 move no-equipment leg and butt workout from the PumpUp Blog: High knee runs, squat reach and jumps, and one-legged reach and jumps. Do 10 reps of each exercise for 3 sets.

Loved this 3 move, no-equipment leg and butt workout? Try our other workouts here. Follow @rachaelgervais on Instagram for more of her workout videos. Have an awesome leg and butt workout to share on #WorkoutWednesday? Tag them on Instagram with #TeamPumpUp so that we can see them! 

2 ways to improve your balance and distance in other exercises

2 ways to improve your balance and distance in other exercises

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Pistol squats

Known in other realms as the one-legged squat, the pistol squat is an exercise that requires quite a bit of patience and practice to perfect. There are more functional benefits for practicing pistol squats beyond the obvious realization that they look a lot cooler than most classical bodyweight exercises.  You'll improve your overall strength, stability, and balance as you learn how to support your bodyweight on one leg while controlling your squat's full range of motion. If you can't quite perform pistol squats just yet, start with various progressions:

  • Learn how to do several consecutive repetitions of full two-legged body weight squats
  • Move on to performing assisted pistol squats: either with the help of a bench or a stable standing object

Reach your arms out parallel to the floor in front of your body. Raise one leg, flex your foot, and slowly lower down into a one legged squat. Maintain the position for about a second, then return to start position.

Pistol squats and distance jumps: two moves to improve your balance and distance

Distance jumps

Take your pistol squats and your distance training to the next level with some plyometrics. Distance jumps are incredibly effective exercises for improving your leg's explosion power in other workouts. Not only will these jumps help you to improve your sprint speed, it'll also train your legs to keep from tiring out during a long-distance race.

Begin with your legs hip-distance apart. Bend your knees lightly and explode your body forward as far as you can, being sure to land on both feet softly. When you land, drop your body into a full squat to soften the impact. Follow each repetition with a pistol squat.

The best thing about this workout by PumpUp member @emjoy88 is that it doesn't require any additional equipment or even a gym membership. You can practice this fuss-free balance and distance training workout in the comfort of your backyard.

​​My Secret to Balancing Fitness & Happiness

​​My Secret to Balancing Fitness & Happiness

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Like many of us warriors out there, we are all fighting our own personal battle. Whether it may be with finance, love, or family....we're all balancing fitness with something and all struggle to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. The moment that I decided to change my life for the better, I was more lost than I had ever been. Instead of slowly changing my bad habits, I tried to attain everything I wanted, cold turkey.

I was so discouraged when I wasn't seeing progress... for months and months I oscillated between bad habits and healthier lifestyle changes. I finally had to give myself a reality check and realized that in order to attain my long-term goals, I had to switch them into short-term goals. (This made it easier to maintain better habits and gave me the ideal motivation).

secret balancing fitness happiness

Every month I have a new goal. Whether I'm eating junk food, getting to bed at a reasonable hour, or achieving five pull-ups; I work my butt off to reach that goal. Believe me when I say that reaching short-term goals, weekly or monthly,  is even a greater feeling than reaching your long-term goal.

secret balancing fitness happiness

With all this being said, I would like to share my #MarchToYourDream goal: Since the weather is getting warmer, I am so fortunate to have Red Rocks to workout at whenever I want. My goal for March is to make sure I get it least one workout during the week that is outside of my gym! This is how am balancing fitness and happiness.

This is a post by PumpUp member jennipherfitness

It's world nutella day, but that doesn't mean your life is over

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It’s World Nutella Day 2015. That doesn’t mean the world (or your healthy lifestyle) has to be over.

While Nutella lovers around the world rejoice in the glory of this velvety, chocolate-hazelnut spread, you’re sitting idly by your computer, wondering whether you can incorporate the beloved condiment into your day. Just this once. 

The answer is yes. Live in moderation. Make healthy eating part of a lifestyle, not a diet. Did you eat a lot of wholesome food this week? Eat some Nutella and savour it.

Pro tips for indulging in that Nutella

  • Dip it wisely. The glycemic index of different types of food can influence your blood sugar. Fruits generally have low GI values and won’t make your blood sugar fluctuate as much (read: make the hunger real and trigger intense cravings). White breads, crackers, and other dippers that you generally associate with nutella have GI values on the higher end of the spectrum. If you’re gonna eat nutella with something, spread it on a piece of food that’s better for you!
  • Savour it, don’t obsess over it. Have a tablespoon. Maybe a tablespoon and a half. But don’t eat the whole jar. Remember that nutella also has a lot more sugar than peanut butter does, and it contains tons of modified palm oil as opposed to natural fat. 

  • Balance it out. Ramp up your workout just a notch: run an extra kilometre, do a HIIT class, try a pilates video. Get up and move by doing something you genuinely love. Never hate yourself or punish yourself for indulging in anything. 
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  • One tablespoon of nutella goes a long way. Diffuse the tablespoon into a recipe with other, better-for-you ingredients that’ll make you feel fuller for longer, and pumped for your next workout. We love this protein pancake recipe, it’s genius!

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Happy #FlexFriday! Here’s a #funfact: Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still. Thank you @olyafitness for the amazing photo! #TeamPumpUp