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3 Abdominal Exercises That Are Gentle On Your Back

Exercise Ball Crunch

Crunch up leading with your chest, rather than pulling the head up with your arms. This move engages all abdominal muscles as well as glutes and hip adductors 

 

Russian Twist

Work the obliques, abs and back with this twisting motion, use a medicine ball or dumbbell for weight and stability. Avoid tensing up, keep your upper body relaxed

 

Lying Leg Raises

This move targets the hips, abs and obliques. Be sure to keep the lower back flush with the floor to avoid injury, you could balance yourself by placing your hands under your glutes 

Sneaking More Veggies Into Your Day

Breakfast

Green Smoothies- add spinach, kale, chard, frozen cauliflower, or zucchini to fruit smoothies or protein shakes 

Zoats-shred and lightly sautee some zucchini then stir it into your oats while they cook. Add cinnamon and vanilla and you've got zucchini bread oatmeal! Do the same with shredded carrots for carrot cake oatmeal

Managing Stress The Healthy Way

After a mentally taxing day at work or a big study session do you find yourself reaching for an extra snack? Researchers have found that when we strain ourselves mentally, our hunger levels go up....

"Mental work utilizes the brain's energy resources, and the brain then signals that it needs additional energy," said researcher William Neumeier, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). "If food is available, the brain will use it to replenish energy. This could lead to overeating."

 

He and his colleagues thought that exercising afterwards might counteract the urge to eat. They tested their hypothesis on a group of college students, and those who exercised after a tough study session ate less than those who just sat around.

Surprising Sources Of Protein

If you're looking to up your protein intake, or even curious about how much you are eating in a day, below I have a list of some protein sources you may not have even thought of!

No need to chow down on boring skinless chicken to meet your daily needs, its time to get creative!

Peas: 8g per cup

Oatmeal: 6g per cup

Cottage Cheese: 26g per cup

Lentils: 8g per cup

Avocado: 4g per cup

Gruyere Cheese: 8g per ounce

Chickpeas: 14g per cup

Pumpkin Seeds: 9g per ounce

 

Staying Motivated In The Gym- 5 Tips

1. Get yourself a workout buddy-they will help keep you accountable, help push you and keep you company! 

2. Have an end goal in mind-sign up for a 5 or 10k! If you have something to train for you are more likely to get to the gym on a regular basis

3. Try a LOT of new workouts, maybe you'll fall in love with something you never even knew about! Come try out our Group Fitness Classes, hop on a machine you normally wouldnt (ask staff how it works if you're unsure) or pick up some weights if you're normally a cardio bunny 

4. STRETCH- I think a lot of people will give up working out for a few days if they're too sore. And too many days away from the gym just makes it that much harder to come back in consistently. So be sure to stretch so you never have to miss a workout! 

Never Skip A Warm-up!

Warming up your muscles before a workout is so important! A warm-up should consist of light cardiovascular work with a little stretching to prepare your body for exercise. About 20 minutes on average is a good time to aim for. Keep reading for more reasons to show up a little early for that workout: 

1. Prevent injury-keeping the muscles warm will prevent tears and strains 

2. Prepares your heart, decreasing the chances of blood pressure rising too quickly 

3. Increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles, preventing you from getting out of breath too quickly 

4. Mental prep- you will workout harder and longer because you eased into the workout 

What Is The Glycemic Index

Ever wonder why certain foods seem to make you feel sluggish? Or sleepy, energized, normal, or totally crash? It has a lot to do with carbohydrates and where they fall on the Glycemic Index

This is basically a scale measuring what carbs are fast or slow burning and how they will effect your blood sugar. It takes into account a food's starch count, as well as proteins, fats and carbs.

The lower the number, the slower that food will breakdown, causing a slower burning energy and no real crash. A higher GI number may effect your blood sugar negatively, causing a rush of energy followed by a sharp decline

Getting Yourself To Really Love Exercise

 

Find a workout you enjoy-sounds like a no-brainer right? I unfortunately hear too many people discussing hitting the treadmill and dreading it because running hurts them, or they just don't enjoy it. Well...then STOP running and try the row machine for your cardio, or the stairs, or jump rope...

Make it your "me time" put on a killer playlist, or even a podcast and really focus on yourself for that hour. Everything else can wait

Or make it your time to socialize! Grab a few friends and take a class together! Zumba is the new Happy Hour! 

Do at least 3 different forms of exercise a week, if you are constantly changing things up, you will never get bored. Go extreme between yoga one day, weights the next, then a run, then try a HIIT class....

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