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How You Can Balance Work and Exercise

How You Can Balance Work and Exercise

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.

Fitness = Overall Wellness

Fitness = Overall Wellness

A lot of people start a fitness routine because they want to look better. (You look great, by the way.) But fitness is more than just how your body looks. Sure, it’s awesome to love the way you look, but fitness not only helps you achieve that, it also helps you love the way you feel.

That photo of Simone Biles or Michael Phelps may be the thing which gets you into the gym, but your overall wellness will be the thing which keeps you going. When you think about it, an hour a day for three days a week isn’t taking up much time at all. And for all these benefits you get, a regular fitness routine is more than worth it.

Changing the water cooler is no longer a hassle

Let’s start with the most obvious. As you train your body and muscles, you become stronger. That’s just a simple fact. So don’t let soreness deter you from pushing forward. As you sculpt and tone and your body gets responds to the work its doing, the constant or intense soreness will fade, which is a testament to the amount of strength you’ve gained.

Your mind will thank you

We all know about endorphins, the “feel-good chemicals” in our brain. Exercise produces endorphins, which can give you a mood boost, increase brain function, reduce stress, and relax your mind and body. So if your job is giving you extra stress, a morning or lunch-hour workout might curb those stressful feelings.

Tired by 3 p.m.? Not anymore! 

The more your heart adapts to working hard during exercise, the less it needs to work while it’s resting. This helps your body to conserve energy and leaves you less tired throughout the day. Just like the muscles you see in the mirror, the heart needs to be worked and strengthened, too. Like your heart, your lungs are conditioned to be more energy efficient. Think about walking up a flight of stairs when you haven’t exercised in a long time. Out of breath, right? Now think how much easier it is when you’ve been exercising consistently.

Your confidence goes through the roof

Confidence doesn’t just come from your superficial body transformation. It comes from your full-body transformation. By feeling better and even looking better, your confidence levels increase dramatically. You walk with a little more swagger, you’re more likely to speak up, you feel good about the work you do at your job, etc., etc. You find confidence in aspects of your life you never expected.

If you’re not already in a regular fitness routine, starting up and getting momentum can be a challenge. Just take things slow and remember that progress big or small is good progress. Over the course of a few months, you’ll be able to reflect on your achievements and affirm how fitness has shaped you for the better.

Superfoods: What Are They and What Do They Do?

Superfoods: What Are They and What Do They Do?

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.

Summer’s End: Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Summer’s End: Getting Back into the Swing of Things

The positive part of summer ending is that you fall (pun not intended) back into a routine that is easy to predict and a little better to sustain. Whether you’re going back to school, you have kids going back to school or your schedule is lightening up from all the summer fun, the season change also comes with a schedule change.

As you get your work and life schedules set for the fall, now is the best time to get your workout schedule set. If you don’t plan it now, time is just going to go by and you’re going to put it off. Here are some of our tips on how to get back into the swing of things once the summer sun starts to fade.

Decide the time of day you enjoy working out

This can be a time that works best for your schedule or your personal preference. There is no bad time to work out – the only bad thing you can do is not make time to work out. When it comes to the time of day to work out, everyone has their own sweet spot. Some people like waking up early and getting their workout out of the way. Other people, however, shoot daggers out of their eyes at the mere mention of getting up earlier. Neither opinion is wrong and not everyone operates the same way. Try a few different workout times during the week and decide which one is the best for you.

Keep backup workout clothes with you

You know the feeling. You get to the gym and you’ve only brought one show. Or you’re halfway through changing and realize you have no shorts. Prepare for the worst by always having backup clothes. They could be in your car, office, purse or backpack – just have them! Maybe just one thing, though. Don’t have them hanging around for too long. Remember to swap out those clothes every once in a while to avoid mildew, mold and overall death-stank.

Find a buddy

For most people, work starts to pick up and get busier in the fall. Busier days means more energy spent and sometimes longer work days. All this combined makes it really easy for you to trick your mind into skipping your workout. Make it harder for your mind to trick you by finding a workout buddy. The best buddy is someone who enjoys the same activities as you and whose schedule matches yours. If you’re close with someone at work, they might be a good lunch-hour buddy. If you’re an early bird, find a fellow early bird. You may have to ask a few people, but the hunt will be worth it in the end.

Set a goal

Don’t view your workout as a chore or something you have to slog through. Set a reasonable goal you’d like to accomplish by winter. This could be coming to CKO three times a week instead of two or being able to add an extra 10-20 push-ups onto what you can currently do. Push yourself to make it happen, but don’t let it overwhelm you.

These tips will help motivate your, but the real motivation has to come from yourself. Realize that getting dressed and traveling to your workout is really half the battle. Once you do that, you’ll get into your workout, get in the zone and question why you were debating on skipping in the first place.

Upper Body Resistance: Get Those Killer Arms and Core

Upper Body Resistance: Get Those Killer Arms and Core

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.

Jab

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.

Elbow Strike

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.

Backfist

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.

Uppercut

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.

Hook

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.

Hammer

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.