Exercise is amazing from the inside out. I feel so alive and have more energy.Vanessa Hudgens
You don’t have to be a celebrity to feel the joy and energy from a great workout! The most popular resolutions relate to healthier lifestyles. And “New Year, New You!” was my mantra waking up on January 4 (after the last weekend of eats and drinks for New Year’s and bowl games). For me, my health goals for 2021 include plant-based meals at least 4-5 days a week, minimal cocktails 1-2 days a week, more water and movement. Movement. Movement. Movement. I keep telling myself day after day after day.
With most gyms closed and social distancing mandates not going anywhere soon, our activity is entirely dependent upon us and is largely limited to our homes. How does one plan a proper and effective home workout program? What do you do if you don’t have the space for large pieces of exercise equipment or the budget?
Most of us work from home every day, which gives us ample opportunity to create new habits. The more I thought about this from my cozy couch in December—eating the ultimate pumpkin cheesecake and sipping Christmas cocktails—being home so much is also a perfect opportunity to find new exercise routines, consume a few more salads and a few less adult beverages.
Variety is key. Changing things up every day keeps fitness interesting and helps to motivate me toward positive choices. One of my personal goals this year is to reduce my back pain and sciatica through gentle activity, healthy hydration, and good nutritious food.
While I’m still new at this, I have found some success. The following five ways to shake up your workout and intake are leading me down the road to a healthier and happier life, and I hope you might try one or two right along with me.
If the four walls are closing in on you, give them a little push back! You can use your body weight to do so many simple moves involving only a wall, and maybe a little floor space in front of it. The wall provides plenty of gentle but firm resistance. Try push-ups, wall sits or search online for simple therapeutic ways to release back tension with a wall and a small ball.
After your wall workout, try this Ethiopian-inspired Tomato Lentil Bowl chock full of healthy goodness. The flavors and colors of this dish are delightful to the eyes and the waistline, which make for a perfect #WFH lunch.
Complete the perfect trifecta with all-day-long healthy hydration. A great source to amp up your water intake is Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier. It replenishes electrolytes and tastes great! With so many flavors, including apple pie, strawberry, and watermelon, you are sure to find one that makes your mouth sing. Since hydration is essential to proper organ function, and it can improve your sleep, get your juices flowing. Those who know me well know that I need better sleep and hydration, so this is a win/win product in my playbook.
Pair these three to energize the body and still the mind. Pilates has a ton of health benefits that include increased circulation and better posture, both of which boost improved function of your major body systems. BONUS: Better posture and circulation also help to avoid injuries when performing other exercises. Here are some great online pilates classes to get your heart beating, your back aligned and your core muscles strengthened.
On Pilates days, I like to try Hummus Avocado Toast, a millennial favorite for a reason! There’s no reason avocado toast should be served plain. Brighten up the flavor with this combination of hummus and avocado, or add tomatoes or other fresh ingredients. It is a rewarding filling delight— especially on Dave’s Killer Bread.
After your Pilates and toast, give Bala a try. Bala is a general health and hydration product that is shown to improve joint function and aid in muscle recovery. This combo of Pilates, toast, and Bala is a great way to wind down after a #WFH and school-from-home sort of day. And it’s a fantastic replacement for an at-home-happy-hour.
Ready for a unique variation from the standard workout? This partnership of movement, nutrition, and liquid love will get your body and mind active in a FUN way! Go on an outdoor or indoor treasure hunt! Studies show that collecting things can be a boon to mental health not to mention the physical benefits of gentle walking and bending. Collecting outdoor things like fall leaves, smooth stones, or objects of a certain color is a fun way to explore, and that’s shown to be extremely good for heart health. If the weather won’t permit, then consider collecting indoor things for a craft project, or even for re-selling on eBay. Clearly this is one the whole family can enjoy— and BONUS: You may just declutter a room or a closet.
Once you’ve assembled your collectable finds, try a lunch like these extra yummy Fajita Bowls. They lend nutrition from a rainbow of colorful veggies, and you can make them according to your own spice level! It’s a fantastic way to add a little kick to your afternoon!
Another fun hydration treat is SIS Go Hydro tablets, a water additive that gives your body necessary electrolytes to help it optimally allocate. These fun tablets can be dropped right into your favorite water bottle for some fun and fizzy hydration!
Stability balls are beneficial for several reasons, including their challenging yet low impact exercises. You can use them throughout the day to improve your posture, and when you’re ready to workout, bounce into one of many stability ball routines on YouTube like this.
For lunch, feast on this easy-peasy Greek Orzo Salad. It’s pleasing mixture of textures and fresh and light taste is sure to power you through an afternoon of Zoom calls and 5th grade math.
Hear me out on this one . . . Pedialyte is another great hydration drink. No, I’m not kidding! CNN ranked it as the top hydration drink. The same blend of electrolytes that kids need to stay hydrated works just as well for us adults!
Resistance bands provide strengthening, low impact exercise that contributes to healthy muscle and bone density. They’re great for #WFH exercises because they take up minimal space and you have a lot of control over the tension and movement of the bands. This means you’re less likely to get injured, and more likely to have proper form.
When you’re finished, stash them away in a drawer and go for a Vegan Burrito Bowl—a yummy Mexican treat packed with meatless protein and healthy fats. Besites being delicioso, the protein is perfect to rebuild those muscles you just worked. And the healthy fats will add to your heart health, connective tissue flexibility, mental focus, as well as healthy skin, nails and hair. Pass the avocados please!
As for hydration, check out Drip Drop, especially if you’ve had a more intense workout or you simply feel dehydrated. Their product boasts fast-acting hydration.
Keeping it interesting is vital to long-term success. Try one—or all five—of these combos to shake things up a bit! Make your #WFH lunch more excitable than standing over the sink with last night’s leftovers. Fresh, light lunches and new twists on the old hydration havit will inspire you toward health and fitness. And move, move, move!
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