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author: Lori Zikuska | 11.12.2018 at 13:50 | 0 Comments

Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Stay fit and save calories during the festive season

Not only is it cold and damp outside in the winter, there is also an abundance of unhealthy sweets and hearty meals. However, if you follow a few tips, it is still possible to stay in shape during advent and the holidays.

#1 Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Fitness and health starts in the mind

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: It is totally fine to take a few days off during Christmas. Whether you’re skipping the gym or helping yourself to some more roast, don’t be too hard on yourself.
If you still want to keep up the discipline during the holidays, be sure to stick to your usual routine for eating and working out and try to find the balance in everything.
Most fitness traps can be evaded with the right mindset: Treat yourself but don’t go overboard. Avoid falling for marketing tricks at the grocery store and don’t let “Limited Edition” sweets fool you. Besides, you should never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
Use the days between Christmas and New Year’s to make resolutions and plans and get a head start on your diet and fitness goals for the New Year.
Getting enough sleep and some down time is important. Because if you’re stressed out, your body produces cortisol which is a hormone that can lead to increased fat storage. Also, Christmas is supposed to be a time for peace and comfort, right?

#2 Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Healthy and low-calorie alternatives

It does definitely help to eat slowly during holiday feasts. Take your time and savor small portions of your favorite dishes and sweets and you won’t experience any bad surprises after Christmas.


Of course, you can always choose healthy alternatives.
Bake healthy cookies without sugar and go for roasted chestnuts instead of candied almonds at Christmas markets. Snacking on fruit or peanuts instead of candy will get you valuable vitamins or protein.
Eat lots of salad, cabbage and the like during festive meals and cut down on sides that are high in fatty carbs. Boiled potatoes are a low-calorie choice to go with the roast or turkey.
Alcohol is not only damaging your physique, it’s also not good for your health. Try sticking to wine or nonalcoholic options rather than sugary cocktails.

#3 Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Workout and fitness tips for the holidays

It can be hard to keep up an exercise regimen during the holidays. The gym is probably closed or too far away if you’re visiting family, or you simply don’t have the time.
Short workouts are perfect for these situations. Try doing bodyweight exercises at home. HIIT and Tabata circuits are great ways to burn off energy (and calories!), even if you can only squeeze in 15 minutes.
 
There are also many ways to stay active that include your family: Playing outside with the kids, sledding or ice-skating are fun for all generations. Or how about a nice walk after dinner?
That way, you’ll make it through the holidays without falling off the bandwagon and can get off to a flying start in the new year!

Since you read our article ” Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Stay fit and save calories during the festive season”, you might also be interested in the following posts on the amino4u Fitness Blog:
AVOIDING A COLD AND STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY IN WINTER: TOP HEALTH TIPS FOR WORKOUT AND DIET IN THE WINTERTIME
TOP TIPS FOR OUTDOOR WORKOUTS IN AUTUMN: STAY HEALTHY AND FIT DURING DREARY AUTUMN WEATHER
TOP 5 COOKING TIPS FOR HEALTHY LUNCHES: QUICK AND EASY MAKE-AHEAD RECIPES FOR YOUR LUNCH BREAK
TOP FITNESS TIPS - FIT AND HEALTHY AFTER 40: AMINO ACID LEVELS DWINDLE WHEN YOU’RE OVER 40
DOMESTIC SUPERFOODS: HEALTHY AND CHEAP FOODS ON YOUR DOORSTEP
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author: Lori Zikuska | 16.10.2018 at 09:24 | 0 Comments

Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: Stay healthy and fit during dreary autumn weather

No more excuses! Exercising outdoors has many benefits and is good for your body and soul, especially in autumn. Don’t let anything stand in the way of your outdoor workout regimen with the right equipment and a few tips.

#1 Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: Special benefits of exercising outdoors in autumn

Taking your workout outside can be extra stimulating. Fresh air is a blessing for irritated respiratory tracts from overheated rooms. Just make sure to breathe in through your nose at the beginning of your workout so that the air is already warm when it reaches your bronchia.
When days are getting shorter, it is all the better to catch a few rays of sunshine. This will get you some extra vitamin D during your exercise. Training outdoors on a regular basis optimizes your body’s thermoregulation and makes it easier to resist temperature fluctuations. Aside from that, exercise gives you endorphins which will lighten your mood on cold, dark autumn days and keep away the winter blues.

#2 Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: These outdoor sports are perfect for autumn

Autumn is the season for outdoor sports like rugby or American football – but there are also other ways to exercise outdoors, whether it be alone or with a workout buddy.
Running is probably the most classic outdoor exercise. However, if you want to switch things up, you should try trail running. Quick changes of direction, little jumps and sidesteps on unpaved grounds are not only cardio training, but train strength and coordination as well. Most sports brands make waterproof shoes with soles specially designed for trail running or for running in autumn and winter.
Mountain biking is another sport that is a lot more fun when dirt is involved. Tires with small, high lugs and bigger spaces in between are perfect for mud and sludge. Inline skating, speed walking or calisthenics are a great ways to stay active out of doors in autumn as well.
Best outdoor sports and the right sports gear for autumn
#3 Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: Pro tips for workout gear and training in autumn

They say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.” And there might be a lot of truth in that. Wear your training gear in layers for training outdoors. Three layers are best: Functional underwear absorbs sweat and carries moisture away from the skin, a second layer adds warmth, and water-resistant outerwear protects you from rain and wind. Also, covering your head makes sure that your body does not lose too much heat through your head. Last but not least, reflecting elements or even a headlamp make you visible for drivers which leads to fewer accidents.
Your warm up before exercising should last a little longer in colder weather because your muscles need longer to adapt to the temperatures. Aside from that, many people do not feel as thirsty when temperatures drop outside, even though the body’s requirement for liquids is just as high during the winter. So don’t forget to drink enough water!
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author: Lori Zikuska | 08.08.2018 at 08:58 | 0 Comments

Top 5 Cooking Tips for Healthy Lunches: Quick and Easy Make-Ahead Recipes for Your Lunch Break

Being short on time during the week doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthy, over-processed meals or call the delivery service to order pizza. These 5 super easy, super yummy recipes for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores are perfect to make ahead and bring to work!
 
#1 Top 5 Cooking Tips for Healthy Lunches: Hummus and vegetable wrap (vegan)
Per serving:
2 tortilla wraps
50 g hummus
1 bell pepper
¼ cucumber
1 carrot
handful lettuce leaves
Preparation:
Wash the lettuce, cut the bell pepper into small strips, thinly slice the cucumber and carrot. Heat tortillas in the oven (or use a frying pan) for a few minutes, then spread half of the hummus on each tortilla. Evenly layer veggies on top of the wraps and roll them up.

#2 Top 5 Cooking Tips for Healthy Lunches: Salad in a jar with eggs/salmon/chickpeas (optionally vegetarian/vegan)
Per serving:
2-3 handfuls of your favourite greens
5 cherry tomatoes
2 eggs (vegetarian) or 1 big salmon filet or ½ can chickpeas (vegan)
oil, seasoning to taste
Dressing:
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Greek yoghurt or soy yoghurt
1 Tbsp. water
½ Tsp. lemon juice
salt, pepper, herbs
Preparation:
Wash greens, cut tomatoes in half or smaller. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender or add to a clean jar, screw on the lid and shake well. Boil the eggs, let cool, peel and cut into quarters. Alternatively, roast salmon or chickpeas in a frying pan and season to taste. Layer lettuce, tomatoes and eggs/salmon/chickpeas in a big jar. Pour dressing into a small jar. This way, you can add the dressing only immediately before eating to prevent your salad from getting soggy.

#3 Top 5 Cooking Tips for Healthy Lunches: Grilled vegetable sandwich with chicken or tofu (optionally vegan)
Per serving:
1 ciabatta bread roll
¼ bell pepper
1 medium piece of zucchini
1 medium piece of eggplant
200 g chicken breast or ½ block of tofu (vegan)
few lettuce leaves
olive oil
salt, pepper, Italian herbs
Preparation:
Cut the bread roll, slice the bell pepper, zucchini and egg plant. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, roast veggies and season to taste. Cut chicken or tofu into even strips, roast and season. Veggies and chicken or tofu can be grilled on a barbecue as well. Spread all ingredients onto one half of the bread roll, top with the other half.

Extra Tip: Add some (soy) curd cheese with herbs


 
#4 Top 5 Cooking Tips for Healthy Lunches: Peanut butter banana power smoothie (vegetarian or vegan)
Per serving:
4 Tbsp. plain rolled oats
1 banana
100 ml milk (vegetarian) or plant-based alternative (vegan)
1 handful baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. flaxseed or chia seeds
1 Tbsp. organic peanut butter
Bonus: 10 g amino4u powder
Preparation:
Slice the banana, put all ingredients into a mixer and blend until smooth. Best to be stored and carried in a mason jar.



#5 Top 5 Cooking Tips for Healthy Lunches: Sweet potato chili (vegan)
Per serving:
¼ onion
1 clove garlic
1 medium sweet potato
½ can kidney beans
½ small can sweet corn
½ can tomatoes, diced
olive oil
salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cilantro
Preparation:
Finely chop the onion and garlic, sear in a pan. Dice the sweet potato and roast with the onion and garlic. Drain the kidney beans and sweet corn, rinse and add to the pan. Deglaze with tomatoes and let simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft. Season to taste.

Healthy Lunch Recipes Bonus Tip:
Add amino4u powder to these recipes for an extra boost of protein. Simply stir a few spoons into the hummus or salad dressing and enjoy amino4u on the go!
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author: Lori Zikuska | 27.06.2018 at 12:04 | 0 Comments

Top 5 Fitness Tips: Exercises for everyday life

It’s not easy to reconcile work, family, friends, hobbies and going to the gym. The following 5 easy exercises will help you to bring more motion and health into your everyday life – without a gym.

#1: Fitness Tips: Little routines in the morning

Even when you are in hurry in the morning, it’s possible to integrate little exercises into your morning routine. Before you get up stretch yourself extensively for kick-start your circulation. While brushing your teeth or combing your hair you can stand on one leg - this is a good training for your abdominal muscles as well as your balance. For strengthening your calves you can stand on your heels for three seconds, then on your tip-toes. Repeat the exercise ten times.

#2: Fitness Tips: Stairs instead of elevator

It’s a real classic: Don’t take the elevator, climb stairs – it strengthens the muscles and jump-starts the circulation. Also keep in mind: Better take the longer than the comfortable way. If it’s possible, take a bike or go on foot to work. Otherwise get off the bus one station earlier or park a ways away from your office so that that you get that extra physical activity in.



#3: Fitness Tips: Exercises at work

You can stay fit even if you have an office job. It’s irrelevant if you sit or stand: clench your butt several times in a row. Occasionally, you can stretch your arms out  – that’s good for your chest and arms. Little exercises like those are more fun together with colleagues: Put your hands on your seat and raise your arms and legs alternately. That’s an easy training for your back and balance. If possible, go for a walk on your lunch break because movement and fresh oxygen encourage your concentration.

#4: Fitness Tips: Muscle training while grocery shopping

Grocery shopping often steals a lot of time of everyday life. Why not combining some exercises with grocery shopping? At the supermarket, press your hands left and right against the grip of the shopping cart and hold for 20 seconds. Do squats when you want to reach a product in the lowest shelf – the other way around, you can train your calves by standing on your tip-toes when you want to reach a product on the top shelf. On your way home you can carry your bags close to your body, abdominal muscles strained and the shoulders away from your ears. The inner side of your elbows are turned forwards.



#5:Fitness Tips: Muscle training while watching TV

You don’t want to miss your evening downtime in front of the TV? Sit on the carpet while watching your favourite show! Do squats when you stand up or sit down. Through tightening your abs while sitting on the carpet you stabilise your back and keep a straight body posture. Change your position often to give your body the needed variety.
For example: You’re located on your back, one leg is stretched out and the other pulled up to your chest. While you’re on the carpet you can also train your abdominal muscles. Come to the quadruped stand and push your knees back, away from the body’s core. Keep the shoulders over your hands, your fingers forward. Now imagine you have to close a full suitcase. If you feel your abs, you’re doing right. Turn your elbows forward and lift your knees from the ground for making the exercise harder.
 
We finally resume: Regular exercises in low intensity suffice for feeling healthy and fit. Above all, you don’t have to make time compromises, because you can integrate the exercises into your everyday life.
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