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At the heart of a healthy lifestyle is good nutrition. Making smart food choices can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. The good news is, eating right doesn’t have to be hard or require a special diet. Let’s take dietary fats for example. Different fats can have different effects on the cholesterol levels in your body. But which ones should you be eating? Find out with our fats infographic.

dietary-fats-infographic

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Understanding that fit, healthy employees lead to fit, healthy companies, employers are desperately searching for effective ways to “make fitness work.” Energy in Motion LLC provides convenient and affordable workplace exercise classes and wellness seminars for employees.

Charles Benayon

161-photo-f520ccf7858c9d71169d64a0c57b40c5Wellness programs are linked to increased productivity, a reduction of long-term health care costs and less absenteeism.  In fact, it has been shown that a 28% reduction in sick leave, 26% lower heath costs and 30% lower compensation and disability costs are directly linked to wellness programs in Canada.

The facts are undeniable, and the good news is that even if you feel your organization does not have the financial or staffing resources to implement a wellness program, there are many small steps you can take to promote wellness at work that do not include elaborate or costly investments. I have outlined below five ways to help you bring your company closer to wellness.

  1. Encourage Exercise.
    Implement and promote a lunch hour walking club and offer incentives for employees who participate. Encourage the entire office to use the stairs or suggest a “bike to work” week. You also might offer…

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You spend most of your waking hours at work, so it’s no surprise that your workplace nutrition habits have a major impact on your health. But did you know that proper workplace nutrition can help you get ahead? Studies show that people who binge eat are less productive at work and that overweight and obese workers earn 15 percent less on average than their healthy-weight counterparts. Use the tips below to stay energized, productive, and fueled at the office. Tiffiny

Em-powered Wellness

While the Freshman 15 is largely a myth, I am convinced that the post-grad 20 is a real and all too common occurrence.

Okay, maybe not really, but switching out an active student lifestyle for a nine-to-five desk job–that includes unlimited access to unhealthy break room snacks (and plenty of coworkers who bring in treats to share on the reg)–does not make for a healthy and fit lifestyle.

I tackled ways to get moving more at work in an earlier post. But nailing down your nutrition is king when it comes to waistline management. So, here are 5 tips to help you stay on track and eat healthy at work.

 1. Be prepared: pack your own lunches and snacks. 

I meal prep about twice a week so that I have a few days’ worth of healthy lunches and snacks that I can quickly grab in the morning before heading…

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Stress Less at Work

It’s no surprise that our jobs can be stressful, but ignoring that stress and what it does to you is a one-way ticket to both physical and mental health problems. Thankfully, not all is lost, and there are plenty of ways to handle workplace stress that can take the edge off. Here’s what we mean.

workplace stress infographic

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pilatesThere’s so much confusion and “mythology” surrounding how and when to train your abdominal muscles. I hear the same questions from clients all the time: Should I train my abs daily? Are there specific exercises to include in my program? How many repetitions or time should I complete? How can I target my lower abs? And the list goes on. 
 
The main abdominal muscles consist of the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis. These muscles are just like any other muscles of the body – after exercise, they need time to recover. During exercise, especially strength training, you’re breaking down muscle tissue. For about two days following your workout, the muscles repair and rebuild. This rebuilding process is when muscles become stronger and more efficient. Recovery time is just as important as (if not more important) than the time you spend working out. Training the abdominal muscles 2-3 times per week, on alternating days, is all you need. 
 
So now that you know to rest in-between workouts, what abdominal exercises should you include? There are two basic types: 1) exercises that require movement of the core through a range of motion – called mobility, and 2) exercises that require your trunk to remain stationary – called stability. Oblique crunches and reverse curls are mobility exercises while plank and supine leg raises are stability exercises. Both types are important for daily functional movements such as carrying a box, sitting in a chair, standing (each requiring core stability) and tasks such as picking up a bag, shoveling snow, gardening, or anything requiring movement of the core (mobility). 
 
Keep in mind that exercising the abdominal muscles, including reverse crunches, will not help you lose body fat in the abdominal area. You’re working the muscle, not the fat. Genetics determine where you will trim off the inches, so as I always say – thank your parents. There is also no such thing as “lower abs.” When performing exercises such as reverse curls or leg raises you are working the entire rectus abdominis. The difference between exercises such as the crunch and reverse curl is that you are working the same muscle just at different angles. 
 
Exercises that target the lower abdominal area often involve raising the legs, putting a large amount of stress on the lower back. The further your feet are from your body during these moves, the greater the torque (stress) on your lower back. Here are three things you can do to build core strength and prevent this pain.
  1. Include lower back exercises such as supermans and back extensions that strengthen the spinal erector muscles.
  2. When performing a move like a reverse crunch, do not fully extend your legs – stop just before you feel your lower back engage.
  3. Some abdominal exercises can be performed in a dip station or captains chair. Going vertical instead of horizontal will reduce forces on the lower back.
Working out the entire core, especially the back muscles is just as important as working out the abdominals. Strengthening opposing muscle groups is important to prevent any musculature imbalances, so make sure to include this in your workout.

Related Articles:

  1. The Science of Muscle Symmetry
  2. Reducing the Appearance of Cellulite: Do Body Wraps or Expensive Creams Really Work?
  3. Burning Fat: Myths and Facts
 © 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Seeing the Light

Gazing up at the night sky devoid of all light pollution, Mother Nature makes me feel so insignificant. A background blackened by infinity yet brought to life by trillions of brightly shining stars speckled across the sky is a sight that can make anyone feel trivial. The chill of the fall night wind keeps my arms wrapped tightly around my waist. My body is screaming for the warmth of my car heater but I just can’t take my eyes away from the immensity of the universe. Every few seconds a star bursts across the sky, leaving only a long trail of light before it disappears into the cosmos. I can’t see this where I live. This can only be seen in a darkness that requires no signs of human civilization.

Ironic. In the morning, Mother Nature made me feel paramount! The morning sun had a yellow-pink hue that lit up tens of thousands of trees sheltering an entire mountainside. The colors of the fall leaves, contrasting against the purple-blue sky, were bright, intense and saturated. The sun’s warm rays offered comfort as I sat on the summit of an adjoining mountain and absorbed the many colors of life. Mother Nature created a vibrancy that made me feel humbled, relaxed and alive, as if the sight was created exclusively for my self-indulgence. I can’t experience this where I live. This can only be experienced where there is ample land with dense, flourishing trees.

Where I live, the trees have long been replaced by stores, houses, condominiums, apartments, townhouses, sidewalks, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, golf courses, schools, churches, high-rises, roads, high-tension wires, automobiles and people. Gone is the darkness of the universe, the luminousness of the stars, and vibrant colors of the earth. Gone is the feeling of being humbled, welcomed and empowered. Gone is the breadth, beauty, and quietness of nature here for humanity to behold. Most call that progress.

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Necessities of Life

When asked what the basic necessities of life include, good health often tops the list along with food, clothing, and shelter. We all want to be “disease free” so that we can live life to the fullest with as little physical limitations as possible. That might mean climbing a mountain, skiing down a hill, running a marathon, or it might mean carrying the groceries up the front stairs, tying your shoe, or picking up and holding your child.

So, how do we get this necessity? We all know how to get food, clothing and shelter. However, health is not something you can purchase. It’s a lifelong journey that you strive for, work at, and maintain with persistence and determination. It means following a healthy lifestyle (exercising, eating healthy, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, etc.) to prevent disease or slow down its process. Yet although health is important to us, only 3% of adults in the United States follow a healthy lifestyle. Only 22% are physical active (at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five times a week). We need food, shelter, and clothing to live. We need health to live life. We know how to obtain them. The choice is yours.

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