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New Outdoor Workout Ideas for Fall

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
New Outdoor Workout Ideas for Fall

At long last, that oppressive summer heat is starting to wear off. It’s time to get outdoors again! Need some inspiration for outdoor workout ideas? Here are several ideas, including a few you can get the entire family involved in.

Boot camps.

If you like the camaraderie of group exercise, but you’re sick of the gym, consider an outdoor boot camp for an outdoor workout. Many groups hold early-morning sessions in the parking lots of retail centers or at local parks. Boot camps are a fun way to get motivated, push yourself further and take your cardio, strength and endurance to the next level.

boot camp

Running/walking clubs.

There’s a club out there for everyone. Whether you prefer a few miles at a slow pace, you’re training for a distance-running event, or walking is more your speed, you’ll often find a community of people who share your interest. Some clubs meet weekly and follow their runs/walks with breakfast, happy hour or some other social gathering. A simple Google or social media search can clue you in to what’s happening in your area.

running club

Hiking.

What better way to appreciate the beauty of nature than with a fall hike? The average 160-pound person can burn around 430 calories per hour of hiking (source here). Best of all, hiking delivers serious benefits, from stress and anxiety reduction to lowered blood pressure and risk of heart disease (source here).

hiking

Yard work.

Here’s an original outdoor workout idea that will improve the beauty of your surroundings at the same time.  Working outside gets the blood flowing. Make it a fun competition. Who can collect the biggest pile of leaves? Or create a single pile, then let the kids dive in before you clean up.

outdoor-workout-idea-yard-work

Outdoor yoga.

Fitness enthusiasts in many communities are holding outdoor yoga sessions. Depending on the type of yoga involved, some sessions may be slower-paced to facilitate relaxation. Others get your heart rate up while you enjoy being outside in the crisp air. These are fun bring-a-buddy events and are made better with THRIVE Plus Balance to achieve your weight loss goals and  to conquer belly bloat.

outdoor yoga

Pick apples.

If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of an orchard, picking apples is an outdoor workout idea that can recruit all of the muscles in the body. You’re walking, reaching, stretching and carrying an increasingly heavier bushel of apples.

pick apples

Biking.

Whether you hit the road, a dedicated bike path or a mountain trail, biking is an extremely effective low-impact exercise. Find a group to exercise with, bring a buddy or go solo. Just don’t forget the helmet.

outdoor-workout-idea-biking

Fun 5Ks.

Fall 5Ks are everywhere. You don’t have to be a super-fit runner to finish. Bring the kids, some friends and the dog, and just have fun.

5K

With this long-awaited dip in temperatures, it’s the perfect time to venture outside and mix up your routine. Best of all, when you bring your family along, you’re teaching them that fitness is about both variety and fun.

Sneaky Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Sneaky Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

You think you’re doing everything right… and yet, the scale isn’t budging. What are the reasons why you are not losing weight?

There are many aspects of our daily life that we don’t ever stop to think about. A lot of us are on auto pilot and don’t realize that some of our behaviors are actually working against us. Here are a few underlying factors that are to blame for your inability to lose weight.

You’re stressed.

Everyone has it, and too much of it can cause levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in the body, to increase, which in turn promotes the feeling of hunger – and not just any hunger. Increased cortisol drives up insulin levels and drives down blood sugar which make you crave fat and sugar. As a response to stress, cortisol helps the body get into survival mode, increasing and hanging to fat stores and actually enlarging the size of fat cells. The most common area for cortisol-related fat accumulation: the stomach, a notoriously stubborn area.

you are stressed

You don’t exercise.

Some people take an “either/or” approach to weight loss. They either diet or exercise, but not both. To truly get healthy and change your life, you have to have to have both of these crucial elements.

you do not exercise

You’re in an exercise rut.

Ever see people at the gym who do the same thing every day? Boring, right? Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up! Be sure to add strength training in with your cardio. If you’re truly in a plateau, this might be the key to shaking things up.

you are in an exercise rut

You exercise too much.

Intense exercise every day puts stress on the body. And what does the body do when it’s stressed? It hangs on to fat. So turn down your intensity a bit – not necessarily every day, but during some of your workouts each week – and see what happens. You might even throw in an extra rest day.

you exercise too much

You’re hungry.

You’ve got to be hungry to lose weight, right? Wrong. Skip the cleanses and the fasts, and go for a varied, balanced diet of vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and the nutrients your body needs to run its engine.

you are hungry

You’re dehydrated.

You think you’re hungry, but you might just be thirsty. Water promotes better digestion and contributes to a feeling of fullness. Chug that water throughout the day, and you will eat less. Dehydration also leaves you feeling fatigued, while adequate hydration helps you feel more energized. How much water should you drink? There are different schools of thought on this. The old guideline that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day isn’t a hard and fast rule. A good rule of thumb is to start your day with water, make water your beverage of choice throughout the day, and end your day with water. When it’s hot outside or when you’re exercising, drink more water. Just hydrate!

you are dehydrated

You eat and scroll.

Show of hands: Who eats while reading social media, the news of the day or your favorite gossip? That’s sort of in the category of watching TV while you eat. When you’re distracted, it’s incredibly easy to lose track of how much you’re consuming and to mindlessly eat. Try music, silence or conversation instead.

you eat and scroll

You’re tired.

Here comes cortisol again. Being sleep-deprived increases your levels of the stress hormone, which leads to stronger, more frequent cravings for junk food.

you are tired

Guilty of one or more of these sneaky weight-loss saboteurs? Own the reasons why you are not losing weight, address them, and commit to achieving your fitness goals with the support of the Thrive Experience and the Thrive Plus Line

5 Superfoods for Your Grocery List

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
5 Superfoods for Your Grocery List

Food fads come and go. But some foods stand the test of time for their proven nutritional benefits. Here are five superfoods you should consider adding to your diet:

Blueberries

1. Blueberries.

Blueberries are high in antioxidants, including Vitamin C, and are a great source of Vitamin A and fiber. Best of all, this superfood is available year-round! The North American blueberry season runs April through September. Then South America imports berries from October through March, when the region experiences its own warm summer months.

Salmon

2. Salmon.

This flavorful fish superfood provides omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce cholesterol and slow the growth of arterial plaque. It’s also rich in Vitamin D, B Vitamins, potassium, and protein. Aim for wild salmon if possible. Farmed salmon is linked to higher percentages of contaminants, but the amounts are not considered a cause for concern. Any kind of salmon, when consumed about twice a week, is rich in nutrients, contributes to a feeling of fullness and helps you lose weight when it’s part of a healthy diet.

Cacao powder

3. Cacao powder.

Is cacao powder the same thing as chocolate? Nope! Cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted beans. Cocoa, on the other hand, is made by roasting cacao beans at a high temperature, which in turn decreases the nutritional benefits of cacao. Cacao powder helps suppress the appetite and reduces cravings, increases metabolism, relieves stress, enhances your mood and stimulates digestion. It’s also a fantastic source of iron and calcium.

Nuts

4. Nuts.

From protein to Vitamin E to heart-healthy oils they deliver, what’s not to love about nuts? Walnuts, in particular, are known for their source of omega-3s. Plus, they’re high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, Vitamin E, zinc, and selenium.

Goji berry powder

5. Goji berries.

Native to Asia, the goji berry is credited with anti-aging benefits (thanks to their beta-carotene), immune support (thanks to antioxidants) and glucose regulation. The berries also help against age-related eye diseases thanks to their high levels of antioxidants – those antioxidants, including Vitamin C, also help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. Goji berries may relieve depression, reduce anxiety and aid in sleep. If we’re going to label any food a “superfood,” goji berries easily defend their title the best.

It’s easy to incorporate any of these nutritional heavy-lifting superfoods into your diet. Cacao powder and goji berries are available at most natural foods stores and even some mainstream supermarkets. As with any food, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Moderation is always a smart strategy. If you can’t incorporate all of these superfoods into your diet, no problem! Just aim to get some combination of vegetables and fruits, fish, poultry, beans, and whole grains onto your plate each day. One to two servings of milk or dairy products per day, along with a bit of healthy oils, round things out and are complimented by the Thrive Experience.

For a helpful visual, check out the Healthy Eating Plate provided by Harvard Medical School.

Don’t Ditch Your Workout Buddy! Here’s 4 Reasons

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Don’t Ditch Your Workout Buddy! Here’s 4 Reasons

Peer support may be one of the most influential determiners of whether you reach and maintain your health-related goals. You can go it alone, sure, but let’s face it: The pressure to fall off the wagon is everywhere, and it’s intense. Having a support system like a workout buddy (or a squad of buddies!) can significantly influence your ability not just to lose weight, but keep it off, and stick to your exercise plan. Here are four reasons why:

Healthy support squad

1. You remember you’re not alone. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one committed to a healthy lifestyle when you turn down the pie at an office potluck, bring a platter of veggies to a family gathering or rise early for a sunrise run while you’re on vacation, but you don’t have to feel that way! You can strategize with your workout buddy about what you’ll say when a relative elbows you at Thanksgiving about your “rabbit food,” or when your friends try to talk you out of your after-work run in favor of happy hour. Your friends might mean well, but these interactions can leave you feeling stressed and isolated. If your support squad is close by, then by all means plan your own get-togethers.

Platter of veggies

2. You can be honest. So many of us work overtime trying to present the image of a perfect life. If you’ve had a rough day, your work out buddy can be your lifeline. Showing that you’re a real person with flaws is a great way to strengthen your relationship. Your workout buddy can bring you back up when you’re down, and you can do the same for them. It’s OK to stumble; we all do. But we’re far less likely to throw in the towel if we’re surrounded by friends who can help us focus beyond today. Joined together by the Thrive Experience, Thrivers are a supportive community of people committed to helping other live happy, healthy lives. Good health is a lifelong commitment, so one bad day or bad week doesn’t equal failure by any means.  It is the journey that counts.

workout buddy

3. You feel accountable. If you’re starting a fitness regimen with a support squad, you should team up with a workout buddy who will ask where you were if you skipped a workout yesterday. If you haven’t tried group exercise, working out with others can be incredibly motivating. In a group setting, you’re more likely to push just a bit further and increase your calorie burn. Whether it’s a spin class, running, aerobic or strength-training session, or boot camp-style class, exercising in a group offers you the opportunity to surround yourself with healthy peers. Many such groups socialize before and after class and can provide a great source of support.

Spin class work out buddy

4. You feel empowered. As you lean on your workout buddy and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, you begin to feel like you’re in control of your journey. You have hope, optimism and perspective. Now that’s healthy.