Holiday Stress-Busting Workout

Holiday Heat-Up – Workout The Stress: Week #3

Snow-covered trees, holiday tunes, decorations everywhere you look — the holiday season is a wonderful time of year. With all the excitement, though, comes some unwanted stress. The family gatherings, holiday parties, and last minute shopping can be the perfect recipe for stress. During this busy month it’s easy to let health and fitness goals slide, too. The combination of these things can take a toll on your mental wellbeing.

However possible, it’s important to minimize stress by relaxing mentally and releasing energy physically. Otherwise, we find ourselves eating our stress away instead of working it away.

Here are some tips to minimize stress and to help you maintain your holiday cheer this season.

6 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress Overload

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How To Exercise While Traveling

How To Exercise While Traveling

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The holidays can put a monkey wrench in your exercise routine. Traveling to visit family and friends is a big obstacle when your home gym and familiar equipment are not available. Missing one or two days is not a deal breaker and can be treated as rest days if you amp-up your workouts before you leave and when you return. However, the body starts to decondition after about a week off of exercising.

Deconditioning is the act of losing your fitness abilities when you stop working out, including loss of strength and aerobic fitness ability. With this, our bodies lose their ability to hit aerobic and fitness levels that can keep weight off and our hearts strong. The speed that deconditioning occurs is a direct correlation to our fitness levels. For instance, athletes take a longer time to decondition that an average person. One study looked at well-conditioned athletes who had been training regularly for a year. They then stopped exercise entirely. After three months, researchers found that the athletes lost about half of their aerobic conditioning.

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Healthier Homemade Hot Chocolate

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Hot Chocolate and Why Homemade is Better

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Many people have fond memories of a mug filled with hot chocolate on a chilly winter night, and may even remember their favorite hot chocolate recipe that mom or grandma made for them after going sledding. Delicious and tasty hot chocolate just seems to warm you up from the inside out. Now you’re probably wondering if such a yummy beverage fits into your healthy diet? Well, for the most part yes, of course you can enjoy this yummy warming beverage once in awhile.

How many calories are in a traditional hot chocolate?

According to the USDA, an average homemade hot chocolate contains 192 calories per 8 oz. serving, depending on the fat percentage of the milk used. Although not a low calorie drink, this is an amount that can easily fit into a healthy diet on occasion, especially after winter workout such as skiing or sledding. One caveat however is that hot chocolate does contain added sugar, in addition to the sugar naturally found in milk, something diabetics need to be aware of. Adding marshmallows can increase the carbohydrate count even more. However, there are other important nutrients in hot chocolate, too.

What healthy nutrients does hot chocolate provide?

Hot chocolate made from milk can be a good source of protein, calcium and other vitamins and minerals. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate can provide flavonoids and antioxidants, which provide additional health benefits. Put them together in this delicious warming beverage and you can get some good nutrition along with the tasty treat.

What are the benefits of homemade hot chocolate?

The benefits of making hot chocolate at home rather than purchasing at your local coffee shop are many. Consider the cost savings, with a typical hot chocolate costing upwards of $2.50 depending on the size. Saving money isn’t the only benefit. At home you can easily make your hot chocolate to fit your taste and dietary needs. You could make it lactose or dairy free, low fat or fat-free, choose sugar, honey or an alternative non-caloric sweetener, or choose to use organic ingredients. You can also be creative and add mint, orange or even cinnamon to your favorite hot chocolate recipe.

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The Best Way To Work Your Chest

The Best Way To Work Your Chest

Get Fit Over 40 founder Mike Kaye joins Total Gym Pulse again to show us the best way to work your chest using The Total Gym Home Exercise Machine. The chest muscles make up some of the largest muscles in the upper body. Since these muscles are larger they can handle more weight which leads to burning more calories. Working your chest will also work and warm up other areas of the body such as your arms and shoulders.

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Mike begins the workout with a standard bench press. Make sure your arms are out and set back deep away from your body. From here push forward and extend them all the way. You don’t want to be leaning too far back or forward but rather straight up during this exercise. Toward the end, you can even work one arm at a time. What’s nice about this exercise is you will also be hitting your core and abdominal region in addition to the chest.
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De-stress With This Total Gym Workout

Holiday Heat-Up – Workout The Stress: Week #2

‘Tis the season to be jolly… and BUSY, overwhelmed, and rushed! Never fear, I am here to help you beat the holiday stresses and make you feel good doing it!

The holidays can be stressful

The reasons we get extra stressed during this time of year vary: the thought of driving in traffic, standing in long lines, not knowing what to buy someone, consuming high calorie holiday treats, and very little time to yourself… just to name a few! How do you cope with the season’s hustle and bustle while remaining calm and at peace to enjoy it?
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The Ultimate Leg Workout

The Ultimate Leg Workout

Personal trainer John Peel is back at Total Gym Pulse to show us “The Ultimate Leg Workout” using The Total Gym home exercise machine. “Leg Day” is often dreaded because it is the most difficult exercise day of the week. However, this day is important for many reasons. First, working out your legs help you build more muscle. Leg exercises such as squats release growth hormones and testosterone more than any other exercise. Next, working your lower body also aids in working your upper body too. If injury is preventing you from working your upper body, you can prevent muscle loss by working the lower. Finally, having a well proportioned lower body makes for better symmetry. You don’t want to have a massive upper body then have small skinny legs!
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Holiday Heat-Up – Workout The Stress: Week #1

Holiday Heat-Up – Workout The Stress: Week #1

The holiday season is known as “the most wonderful time of the year”, yet it’s also notoriously known to bring on stress. To-do lists pile up, shopping lines at a standstill, and every festive tune you hear is a reminder that days are numbered to get everything done! Now lets add in the family events and holiday parties with yummy foods, desserts, and cocktails you can’t resist! All these festivities keep you busy, but where do you find time for yourself?

What is stress?
Stress, is also known as… strain, pressure, tension, worry, anxiety, trouble, difficulty, and hassle that affects the mind and physical body. It’s a silent killer that affects our moods, our thoughts, and seems to happen unexpectedly.
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Low-Calorie Versions of Traditional Holiday Drinks

How to Lighten Up Your Favorite High-Calorie Holiday Drinks

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We all know how hard it is to stick to a healthy eating plan when it comes to the holidays… those sneaky, delicious tree shaped cookies that show up at the office or the delicious meals that could feed an army. However, did you know that oftentimes it’s not the food that puts us over the top, but rather high calorie drinks? Here is an eye-opening guide to some popular holiday drinks and tips to lighten them up:

Eggnog

Eggnog is traditionally made with milk or cream, sugar, eggs and bourbon, rum or brandy. An 8 oz. serving has 340 calories and 20g of sugar.
Lighten Up – choose lower fat dairy, egg whites and add only the minimum amount of sugar you need.

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum is a combination of rum, butter, sugar, and spices. An 8 oz. serving is 300 calories and 12g of fat.
Lighten Up – The biggest challenge of hot buttered rum is that it relies only on the butter and sugar for flavor. Cut down on the butter and sugar and substitute lemon juice, pumpkin spices and vanilla extract. You will still appreciate the creaminess of the butter but the other spices will enhance the flavor.
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How To Strengthen Your Shoulders In 4 Simple Steps


How To Strengthen Your Shoulders In 4 Simple Steps

Get Fit Over 40 founder Mike Kaye joins us once again on Total Gym Pulse to show us how to strengthen our shoulders in four simple steps using The Total Gym Home Exercise Machine. The shoulders are very important and often a neglected part of the body. It is also the most moveable and unstable joint in the body. The “ball” in the upper arm is larger than it’s socket giving the shoulder a wide range of motion, however this makes it very vulnerable to injury. Shoulders are used for everyday tasks, help us reach for objects and play a huge role in the exercises we do. With all that said, strengthening the shoulders are extremely important to any fitness routine.

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Mike starts the workout with a standard shoulder press or “Military Press” as it is often called. Start by sitting on the glide board facing out away from the head of The Total Gym with both cables in hand. Make sure your arms are out a little bit and not too narrow. From here, simply extend the cables up and out. For this particular exercise, Mike likes to focus on one arm at a time so he can isolate the muscle groups in each shoulder more effectively. Do this for about 10-15 reps.
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Meal Planning Ideas for December

Top Recipes for December Monthly Meal Plan

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As the holiday shopping season gets underway, many of us find ourselves short on time and long on “to do lists.” Now is a great time to make sure that you have a monthly meal plan ready to go for December. A monthly meal plan can make your healthy eating efforts easier by giving you a plan to follow for the month. This simple task can help keep you out of the fast-food drive-through on busy days, which can quickly spoil your healthy nutrition plan. Planning meals in advance and using a grocery planner can help you cut down on food waste and save money at the grocery store, too.

Your December meal plan should include some healthy recipes along with your favorite holiday recipes. It’s important to find balance between your favorite holiday treats and your healthy diet plans in order keep yourself fit and healthy year-round. It’s important not to strictly diet through the holidays, as deprivation can lead to binge eating later. Disordered eating patterns are more problematic than just learning to eat healthy and enjoy what you are hungry for in moderate portions. Believe it or not, the average weight gain during the holidays is just a pound or two, not the 8 pounds I had always believed! So I do not promote dieting during the holidays.
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