As fitness experts, there are plenty of opportunities to educate people on how to live their best life. Health and wellness doesn’t just include exercise, but your overall well being. Recently, we were able to lend some life-balance tips to Corp! Magazine. Read on.
Think about fitness this way: a one-hour workout is only 4 percent of your day. A 30-minute workout is just 2 percent. No matter how busy a person’s life is, there is always a way to sneak in exercise during a busy day. The great thing about exercise is that it can be modified to fit each individual’s lifestyle and schedule. Here are some ways you can get more exercise into your schedule.
Switch up your lunch routine
For typical nine-to-five jobs, squeezing in a lunchtime workout is the most efficient way to go. Eat lunch before or after your workout, and then spend your hour on a walk, pumping iron in the gym or doing whatever activity you prefer. You’ll come back to the office refreshed, motivated and ready to finish the day strong.
Incorporate “deskercise” into your day
There are only so many responsibilities one person can handle. If your schedule is packed, find little ways to get in some exercises throughout the day. Find one minute to do push-ups, whether they’re at home or in your office (with the door closed). Take another minute during the workday to do triceps dips on the edge of a chair, push-ups against your desk, lunges or squats – whatever combination is best for you.
Connect with a fitness-minded coworker
Skipping a workout is difficult if you have a fit friend pushing you. Find the most fitness-minded person at your workplace and partner up with him or her to help reach your goals. It’s easy to make excuses for yourself. It’s not as easy to make excuses to another person. Plus, if they are at a different fitness level than you, it will be an extra push for you to not slack on your workout.
Schedule in a workout before work
For as hard as it can be to get out of bed early, morning workouts can be a real blessing. Once you get going, you’re jazzed up and feeling like you can take on the world. Thanks, endorphins! By the end, you start to think why you even thought about going back to bed. By raising your heart rate, you’re ready to take on the day with extra oomph. That’s one of the benefits of morning exercise – they give you energy to tackle the workday and have you going into your day feeling great.
Bring gym clothes to the office for an after-work sweat session
Not everyone is a morning person and sometimes after-work exercise can help ease the stress and anxiety the workday brings. Pack a gym bag with a few changes of clothes and throw it in your car or bring it to the office. You won’t have the I-forgot-my-gym-clothes excuse if you have a week’s worth of clothes in your bag.
Join a 24-hour gym
Not everyone has a nine-to-five job. If that’s your case, find a gym that’s open 24 hours so you have access to it whether you work out at lunch, before work or after work. There are benefits to having these types of hours, too. Depending on when you go, the gym could be all yours. No more fighting over free weights.
When it comes to working out, finding time to balance work and exercise is really about efficiency, problem solving and knowing what’s best for you and your schedule. If you’re committed to a fit lifestyle, however, you will find a way and make it happen, no matter what kind of obstacles you face.
Within the past 10 years, one word which has scored some buzz is “superfood.” You see it listed on menus, on packaging and in advertisements. So, what is it and what makes this food so “super?” These foods got their name from the high number of nutrients packed into a small serving. For people who struggle with reaching their daily nutrient needs, superfoods are helpful and versatile. The can be used as snacks, sides or complete meals.
Here are more tips and information about these awesome foods.
200 calories in a superfood are different than 200 calories elsewhere
Superfoods are proof that not all calories are created equal. For example, you could have 200 calories of peanut butter cups and 200 calories of avocado and have your body react very differently to each. The peanut butter cups are packed with sugar, which eventually turns to fat, and provide only short bursts of energy followed by a crash. The avocado, on the other hand, is filled with healthy fats. Diet trends of the ‘80s and ‘90s made “fat” a negative word. The fats in superfoods, however, are nutrients your body needs. The fats in an avocado are essential in the key nutrient absorption it needs to sustain health and to assist the body in reaching its maximum potential.
Eating more doesn’t always mean better
With all your daily food intake, you have to be aware of how much you put in your body per day. To maintain weight, your calorie intake must equal your calorie output. The amount of food you eat during the day – no matter how “super” it is – matters. Your aim is to replace less-healthy foods in your diet with superfoods in order to optimize your daily nutrition.
They are easy to incorporate throughout your day
There are a number of different superfoods out there from which you can choose. If you’re just barely reaching your nutrient needs and want that extra push, a perfect solution is raw almonds, blueberries, edamame, strawberries, or a banana for a snack. If you’re really struggling with getting daily levels, start small by adding a superfood to every meal. It can be as easy as switching to a whole-grain cereal with fruit on top or adding a superfood as a side dish to your lunches and dinners.
There are a TON
With superfoods, you’re not doomed to eat nuts and avocados for the rest of your life in the quest to be healthy. There are myriad options you can add into your diet. Not everyone likes the same kinds of food, so if you don’t like one superfood, just move to the next. The different kinds of superfoods also mean diversity in your meals. You don’t have to eat the same thing over and over. You can choose a different superfood every day and even mix up how you prepare each superfood to come up with recipes which will keep your palette diverse.
Luckily for those looking to venture into the superfood realm, the food’s high-profile status has made it more accessible. A simple internet search will bring up all the foods, recipes and uses you need to make your diet a little more super.
Every strike and exercise we do at CKO is important to the full-body workout experience we promise our members. Each move has its own set of muscles that it works and all of them combined helps to strengthen and tone every muscle in your body. Our upper-body resistance training is the perfect kind of training for people looking to get sculpted arms and a strong core, with each strike targeting a different set of muscles from the next.
The jab is a long, straight punch which extends from your chin to your target. It’s quick and simple technique makes proper execution attainable, but it fires a number of muscles in the upper body. It’s not just a bicep/tricep strike, but the jab actually works your entire arm and part of your back and core. Your deltoids and trapezius muscles are challenged and that power extends all the way to your obliques and hip flexors. That’s a lot of muscle engagement in a single punch.
The trunk of your body is the power source in this strike. Using the meaty part of your elbow, you’ll need to angle the elbow up to complete a well-executed strike. With this strike, you’ll be able to feel the power coming from your obliques. Pull your belly button in and make your core tight to get the most out of an elbow strike, and allow your hip to roll in while pivoting your foot (same side as the arm executing the strike). A few powerful, well executed moves on each side will leave you feeling it tomorrow.
This is the kind of strike that is all power and all body. Through the movement, you’re pivoting with your feet, turning with your trunk and powering through with the back of your fist. You feel your muscles working in your shoulders, core, back and all through your arms. The backfist in particular is great for your deltoids, latissimus dorsi (“lats”) and rotator cuff.
The uppercut gets you nice and close to your target. Use your body weight to your advantage to help shovel your fist in. When completing an uppercut, you can immediately feel your biceps and triceps working as you hit the bag. Other muscles you may not feel are those sneaky obliques again, as well as your lats and deltoids.
The hook is another strike where core is key. You’re using your arm to “hook” and fist to strike, but the power behind the motion is your core. Twist your core to bring your body into the bag and the core is what helps absorb the shock of the strike. In addition to the core, your entire arm and shoulder are worked to help provide accuracy and additional power.
Like the backfist, the hammer strike is a great shoulder workout. Unlike the backfist, the hammer is a softer strike, as you are using the side of your fist, which is much more delicate than the back side of your fist—there are a lot of small bones to consider on the impact. Do a few fast hammers back and forth between bags and you will know exactly which muscles you are using.
Each of these strikes are great on their own, but when combined, they give your body the conditioning it needs to strengthen and tone your entire arms, back, chest and core. The best way to see results and get definition is to work the whole body instead of focusing on one part. Together, these strikes will do that for your body.
Xristina is one of CKO’s beloved trainers. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)-certified personal trainer with a vast pool of knowledge. Her group exercise chronicles over 12 years teaching a variety of formats – boot camp, ride, core, strength and balance, yoga, pilates, cardio kickboxing and Zumba. She has specializations in senior fitness, functional movement training, and TRX.
When not motivating others to find a passion in activity which provides both mental acuity and physically health benefits, Xristina enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, be it traveling, good food or fine red wine. Learn more about Xristina and her journey to CKO:
How did you first hear about CKO?
I heard about CKO from my dear friend Shelby Reno. Shelby and I taught group exercise together for several years. Today she is one of my closet friends, and now I have the privilege of training at her first facility.
What was the one thing about CKO that stood out to you the most?
What stood out most about CKO is, regardless of one’s fitness level, anyone can participate in class, seeing and feeling results of resistance training using heavy bags. It’s just you and the bag!
How did you get involved in fitness?
Nothing sexy here. Simply said it was timing and being prepared when the opportunity presented itself. No one gets rich teaching group X. It’s a passion which includes having a love of fitness, inspiring and motivating people, empowering individuals, and then educating and guiding them to take charge so that they want to continue a healthy lifestyle.
What is your regular fitness routine?
I look at workouts cumulatively, which would be my total output within a week’s time. In that timeframe I seek to accomplish two to three hours of weight training, two hours of yoga, three to four hours of cardio, and two to three hours of active recovery (stretching, balance, resistance tubes, and body weight stuff). And, of course, kickboxing at CKO. For me, looking at things in a block of one week gives me permission to be flexible as well as cut myself some slack!
You have 12 years teaching group exercise. How is CKO different from other classes you’ve taught?
Teaching on heavy bags is definitely a new experience for me. I love that the workout is simply a good old fashioned butt kicking! In some ways it reminds me of boot camp, yet you can truly go at your own pace. When a participant works on a bag, the work is focused quite simply on their bag. It’s great to hear people say after class, “Wow, I needed that!” It’s a stress reducer on top of being an effective body sculptor and fat melter.
How do you motivate others to reach their fitness goals?
The best way I know how to motivate others is by meeting them at their current fitness level and building from there. I approach fitness in myself and others as an ongoing journey. It’s becomes a lifestyle. In life we have good days and bad, awesome trips and mediocre ones, ups and downs, and so on. Again, it’s looking at our actions and behaviors cumulatively.
What is one fitness goal of which you are proud?
I’ve accomplished many disciplines, including bike races, 25Ks, half marathons – with and without pushing a stroller – and two half triathlons. In one of those tris I was training a client in her first competition. I HATE swimming so I cheated and pretended to jump in but never did, LOL! She did great! I believe my biggest fitness goal and challenge still awaits me.
You have three kids. How do you pass down health and wellness to them?
I do have two wonderful sons and an amazing daughter. I feel pretty good about the fact that they enjoy participating and watching sports. All three of them are physically active and make pretty decent food choices. The old saying that “children learn what they live” holds a lot of truth. My husband and I are not perfect, but we focus on staying balanced in everything we do. He and I have always been physically active; it’s nice to see that trickle down into our kids’ lifestyles. Shaping and molding our young people begins within our own four walls.
What do you like to do for fun?
A lot! Not in any particular order: training, instructing and coaching – yep, all GREAT sources of fun. My job is truly fun, and I love what I do! My most important fun job is my family. I really enjoy being with them, especially when all three kids are home at the same time, doing nothing in particular, simply being together! Additionally it is awesome when my kids have their friends over and just chill. Dating my husband again as the nest empties has been incredibly fun, too. Other avenues include concerts, sipping wine with friends, chilling on the river while my husband fishes…and sipping wine 🙂 I’m a pretty simple person, all of the above brings me joy.
What’s one great piece of fitness advice you’ve received?
The best advice I’ve received was simply this: Every day cannot be race day. Do NOT go balls-to-the-wall every workout. This advice is actually something I had to tell myself several years ago after an injury. So it is this advice that I serve up to others and myself regularly. We must give our selves permission to actively recover and, yes, even rest!
Our trainer Nicole has been able to lead a fit, healthy and fulfilled life by finding balance. She currently teaches at CKO, plus has her full-time job as a graphic designer, plus she is working on her new home, plus she ensures she fits in her own workouts. How does she do it all? She prioritizes what’s important to her. Get to know more about Nicole and how she maintains balance in her life.