5 Exercises you can do at HOME Exercise #5

Exercise #5 Push Up

Benefits

Targeting the chest, back of your arms, and the front of the shoulders, this is considered one of the staple upper body exercises in a work out program.

Progressions

The great thing about a push up is that there are many variations to progress the movement. Make this exercise more challenging by manipulating the speed of the exercise, lifting a leg up, changing the width of your arms (wide & narrow), or even pushing yourself off of the floor (clap push up).

Written by Jay Agustin, edited by lifefitwork

YOU’RE DONE!

Congratulations for completing the lifefitwork 5-Day Challenge! Now some of you might be saying “this wasn’t hard” or “I’ve seen all these exercises before, nothing new”, well I further challenge you to try all 5 every day. The tough part will be committing yourself to taking the time to complete them. This is the hardest part of any fitness regime, but once you’re over that hump you’ll see just how easy it can be. If you didn’t get a chance to complete all of the challenges this week, no sweat. Here’s a quick recap and where you can find them;

1. Plank

2. Side Plank

3. Squat

4. Hip Extension

5. Push Up (see above!)

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5 Exercises you can do at HOME Exercise #4

Exercise #4 Hip Extensions

Benefits

Also a great calorie burner, this exercise targets the butt and hamstrings. Not only will they lift and tone your butt, they’ll also help you perform the first 3 exercises much better. The problem is, the average desk-chained individual sits so frequently that the muscles in their butt literally shut off. Over time, injuries occur in the low back, knees and even the ankles to name a few.

Progressions

Instead of using two legs, perform the exercise with one or even add weight to your waist.

Another effective progression is to hold the squeeze for a set amount of time (ideally 30 secs+).

Counter Stretch: Pigeon Pose

Pair this exercise up with a pigeon pose to loosen up the backside of your hip and promote more blood flow to the area worked. Got back pain? Inactive/tight glutes usually contribute to the stiff back that you’ve been experiencing.

Written by Jay Agustin, edited by lifefitwork

5 Exercises you can do at HOME Exercise #3

Exercise #3 Squat

Benefits

The squat targets one of the biggest muscle groups allowing for optimal calorie burn. Believe it or not, they will also contribute to your fat loss not only in the legs, but also everywhere else in the body (yes, even that spare tire around the waist!)

Progressions

To make the squat more challenging, add weight, speed up your reps, or even add a jump.

Counter Stretch: Runner’s Lunge

Pair this exercise up with a runner’s lunge (link includes other helpful stretches as well) and save yourself from the tight hips you’re most likely suffering from. As an added bonus, they’ll help you squat even deeper over time.

Written by Jay Agustin, edited by lifefitwork

5 Exercises you can do at HOME Exercise #2

Exercise #2 Side Plank

Benefits

The core is considered to be made up of the many muscles that wrap around the waist (even the legs) not just the ‘6-pack’. This exercise is definitely one of the underrated moves and also contributes to improved posture and the slim looking waist perfect for completing the summer look.

Progressions

To make things more challenging add movement/weight to the side plank.

– movement with arms/legs (countless variations)

– added dumbbell in free hand or even ankle weights

Need More? Couple your side planks with yesterday’s Plank, and feel the burn! #lifefitwork

written by Jay Agustin, edited by lifefitwork

5 Exercises you can do at HOME Exercise #1

Exercise #1 Plank

Benefits

Targets the core, which is essential for a desk-chained individual. A strong core is associated with good posture and it’s what’s usually lacking when you’re caught sitting for most of the day. As an added bonus they’ll also contribute to the 6-pack you’re dying to see.

Progressions

To make things more challenging add movement/weight to the plank.

– movement with arms/legs (countless variations)

– added weight plate on back

written by Jay Agustin, edited by lifefitwork

Wake up & Smell the Coconuts!

Remember our talk about Coconut Oil? Well, after a few failed attempts I’ve finally found my all-time favourite recipe to use it in! Try it out and let me know what you think!

*Note: If you’re allergic to peanuts I am so sorry, because you are REALLY missing out. But, try substituting with another nut butter or nut substitute.

PB&C Smoothie

Step 1: Combine

Step 1: Combine

Step 2: Blend

Step 2: Blend

Ingredients

2 tbsp. Organic Peanut Butter

½ Cup Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)

1 Ripe Banana (for a thicker smoothie use frozen)

2 tbsp. Greek Yogurt

4-5 Ice cubes

1 tsp. Coconut Oil (Solid at room temperature)

Combine all ingredients in a blender & blend until smooth.

                                                                                                   Simple, delicious & hearty! I’ll have this smoothie in the morning and it will keep me going straight through until lunchtime. The coconut oil acts a natural sweetener to counteract the strong nutty taste from the organic peanut butter, while elegantly complementing the banana flavour. Still too cold for a smoothie in the morning? Save this for a replenishing post-workout snack! #lifefitwork

Look Good = Feel Good

If you think this isn’t true you are WRONG. I know that’s a strong statement, but seriously, I challenge you to disagree with me on this one (I actually encourage this).

If you don’t like what you’re wearing, or feel comfortable in what you’re wearing on the outside, you will not ‘feel good’ on the inside. Example. Say you work in a very corporate environment and you have the daunting task of making a presentation to Senior Executives (yes, I faced this last week). Will I be wearing slacks and the sweater that I may or may not have slept in the night before? No! I’ll be wearing the most appropriately-corporate outfit I own (which also doubles as my “interview” go-to). Going into that arena feeling confident with my knowledge & in my appearance made for one heck of a successful presentation!

This isn’t ground breaking news in a day-to-day sense, but what most people don’t realize is the same goes for your workout gear. If you don’t feel good with what you’re wearing, chances are you won’t feel like you’ve accomplished very much in your workout. You need to find your “workout” go to. So starting from the bottom, here’s a lifefitwork Style Guide (live links included!) to help you find what that is;

Gents: Apologies in advance as this a female-centered post, but please by all means, comment and share your thoughts from the men’s perspective as well! Please also note that all of the products listed below are samples of what I already own and no, this is not an endorsed review, all have been purchased & tested by me!

SHOES

Nike Free

            Nike Free 5.0

Did someone say Nike? Contrary to popular belief and almost all social media, Nike shoes are not the only ones on offer.

Don’t base your fitness shoe on style, performance comes first and I guarantee you’ll find a pair you like anyways. Not sure which ones to get? The Running Room and some Nike stores offer a free assessment of your stride, gait etc. to find the best shoe for you!

BOTTOMS

THE Fold-Over Tights, Addidas - Stella McCartney

THE Fold-Over Tights Addidas – Stella     McCartney

You’ve got 3 basic options. Pants, capris or shorts (I beg of you, unless you’re playing Tennis a skort is NOT an option). Whether you’re sporting pants or capris make sure your focus is on the quality of the fabric, and make sure you perform the standard squat and/or jog test before you purchase.

in the flow crop

in the flow crop  Lululemon              

This is so important.

[Squat Test: With your back to a mirror, bend down as if you are sitting on a chair & take a peak over your shoulder. If you can see your under things or the slight shade of your skin colour, do not purchase.]

Brave enough for the short game? Make sure to check the length and elasticity while in motion, or else face the wrath of shorts-turned-underwear in a matter of seconds. [Jog Test: Run on the spot to make sure shorts stay in place and do not ride up.]

                                       TOPS

run: swiftly tech long sleeve crew (my personal fave!) Lululemon

run: swiftly tech long sleeve crew (my personal fave!) Lululemon

Here the options are endless, but there can be a right or wrong choice depending on the activity you’re doing and body type. Let me start by lending some truth to this myth; “Baggy t-shirts make you look skinnier” – No they do not! They make anyone look sloppy and frumpy regardless of what’s hidden underneath them.

Note: Cotton is a fabric to avoid when working out as they will retain a lot of that sweat you’re getting rid of and weigh you down.

Instead, find a light-weight breathable fabric. As daunting as this may sound, opt for a shirt with a tighter fit, or a constructed top with a flattering flair. Don’t shy away from a tight fit, these can actually suck you in and make you look thinner (#winning).

                                                     BOLDER HOLDERS

Or, sports bras if you prefer. This one is a little more personal and you definitely need to pay attention to fabric, elasticity, coverage and the Bounce Effect (you know what I’m talking about).

If you’re going to spend money on any of the above items, invest the most in a good quality sports bra – your back will thank you (again, sorry gentlemen but it’s a girl thang).

All things considered, size matters when you’re looking for the right support for your body.

Now, I know I’ve just mentioned a lot of stuff and a lot of brands that let’s face it, are not cheap! Don’t fret, there are affordable options out there. I’ve listed some of the most common brands to give you an idea of what kind of thing you should be looking for. But here’s a great list to find affordable yoga gear, and no, I wouldn’t classify them as being “yoga only” items. FYI, my favourite sports bras of all-time were purchased at Target for $20, and as soon as the news came out that they were closing I bought 3 more #guilty.

So remember…

1. Always try things on.

2. Always test out how they move.

3. Go lightweight & tight (ish).

Love how you feel in an outfit and I promise you’ll feel better & push yourself harder. #lifefitwork

Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat.

Sounds familiar right? If only it were that simple…

Embed from Getty Images

In 2015, it should read more like this: Sleep, check Twitter, Weather app, Facebook, eat, work, check Twitter, LinkedIn, send some emails, check Instragram, buy lunch for the 4th time this week, work, grocery shop, check Twitter, do that thing you’ve been putting off for weeks but procrastinate and say it can wait because all you really want to do is go home and watch Netflix, check Twitter, Instagram, ask your friend why she commented on your IG picture but didn’t like it, maybe go to the gym but probably not, definitely do that assignment due tomorrow but get lost for an hour on Pinterest, eat, check Twitter & Instagram one last time, run through everything you didn’t do today in your head and decide tomorrow will be the day when you get ‘er done, and finally, sleep. 

Stay. Calm. 

So how do we manage all of that AND keep ourselves healthy? We’re told time and time again, to eat this, take that, have a pill, do this exercise and you will live a long healthy, happy skinny life filled with rainbows and sparkles and… a couple of weeks later you’re ordering take out from the guy at the Thai restaurant that knows you by name. But, what I’ve come to learn over my years of working multiple jobs, going to school, volunteering, staying fit, still having a social life (somehow), all at the same time – is that a little organization goes a long way (yes, this is the OCD talking).

Let’s look at this from a business perspective, (because I’m a banker, you know) what makes any business, government or event a success? The ability to plan, organize and execute. Over the next few weeks I have set out to explore and share simple, but effective ways you can reach that balance of LIFEFITWORK. Note: This doesn’t mean wake up at 5am to go to the gym before work, start a juice cleanse and buy that $16 dairy/gluten free breakfast, lunch & dinner. It means changing a little, and getting a LOT in return.

I take your Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat. and raise you to #lifefitwork !