Tag Archives: health tips

6 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Since we’re usually close to our smartphones at all times, having health and fitness apps installed can help make staying on track towards our health and fitness goals a little bit easier.  In this post, Sarah Parker from Fit Betty shares her favorite apps.

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Photo by Jitendra Agrawal

LoseIt!

Sarah says LoseIt! is her favorite app for tracking calories.  This app helps you to set and track calorie and macronutrient goals, and presents your progress in easy-to-read charts.  This app also lets you input activities and adjusts your calorie goal accordingly.

Nudge

Nudge allows you to connect apps like MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, and Fitbit, and gives you a single score on how healthfully you’re living.  Sarah’s favorite part of this app is tracking servings of fruit, veggies, and water.

MapMyFitness

MapMyFitness is Sarah’s favorite app for GPS tracking.  This app uses the GPS in your phone to keep track of things like distance, speed, elevation, and calories burned. You can also track your route and discover other people’s route if you’re looking for new places to run, walk, or cycle.

UltraTimer

Sarah says UltraTimer is one of her favorite workout timer apps.  With this app, you can set up your workout  with different timers running back to back, making it ideal for interval training.  Users can also upload and share timers to get new workout ideas.

RockMyRun

RockMyRun is a great app if you’re looking for new workout music.  The app has different seamless running mixes put together by DJ’s.  If you get the premium version, RockMyRun will adjust the tempo of the music to match your pace, or to push you to go a little faster.

FitSnap

FitSnap is Sarah’s favorite app for sharing workout photos on social media. Using this app, you can add text information to your photo about your workout such as the activity name and your duration.  You can then share this photo with your social media contacts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

How to Get Ready for a Big Event

Got an important event coming up?  While you can’t make drastic changes to your body in a week, you can take steps to get you looking and feeling your best.  Try some of Shay Kostabi’s tips to get you ready for the big day.

 

1. Eliminate Alcohol

Shay suggests eliminating alcohol a week before the big event.  Alcohol is dehydrating, which deprives your skin of moisture and can leave your skin looking dull.  Alcohol is also high in calories and slows down your metabolism, which can prevent you from looking your slimmest. Finally, alcohol has been shown to impair sleep, which can contribute to under-eye circles.

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Photo by go_nils

2.  Drink Plenty of Water

When you are hydrated, your skin appears plumper, which helps reduce the appearance of any fine lines and helps your skin have a subtle glow.  Shay suggests starting your day off with a glass of water with lemon; the vitamin C is great for your skin, and the combination of lemon water helps detoxify your system.  Throughout the day, aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water to stay hydrated and cut down on bloating, so your clothes will fit better.

Green Smootie

Photo by Robert Gourley

3. Substitute One Meal Per Day with Green Juice or a Smoothie

The benefits of this tip are twofold.  First of all, replacing a meal with green juice or a smoothie can help reduce the number of calories you consume, which slims you down a bit before the big day.   These nutritious drinks are also excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, which can help improve the look of your skin.

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4. Workout

Shay suggests fitting in 20 minutes of cardio for the five days before the event, as well as 3 full body workouts, such as her Total Body Toning video. The cardio will burn calories so you’ll slim down a bit, while the strength training will help to pump up your muscles so you’ll be defined on the big day.

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Photo by Zenspa1

5. Get a Facial

A facial will help even out your complexion, brighten your skin tone and ease any problem areas you might have.  Try to book your appointment for a week before your event to allow your skin time to calm down after any extractions.  If you have skin issues you are self-conscious about, be it wrinkles, discoloration or acne, consider booking a consultation prior to your appointment so your esthetician can recommend treatments.

6.  Get a Spray Tan

In addition to giving you a sun kissed look, a spray tan can help make you look leaner. A typical spray tan lasts 5 to 7 days, so try to book an appointment a few days prior to your event.  Be sure not to get a spray tan the same day, as the tan may rub off on your clothing.

7.  Mani and Pedi

A manicure and a pedicure can help finish off your look, and also gives you a chance to relax and be pampered prior to your event.  It’s best to book your appointment for the day before the event to help prevent chipping.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Rest Days

Rest days are important for allowing your muscles to repair themselves and to allow yourself to feel re-energized– so you  can give your next workout all you’ve got. But, this doesn’t mean you need to sit around on your days off.  Try one of Shay Kostabi’s favorite ways to spend rest days to help yourself rejuvenate.

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Photo by: Irish Welcome Tours

Turkish Bathhouse

If you’ve never visited a Turkish Bathhouse before, you’re missing out. A Turkish bath combines steam with hydrotherapy to offer great benefits for your body.  The heat helps to improve circulation, which helps with muscles aches and allows your body to detoxify.  Along with muscle soothing, a Turkish bath will help clarify your skin and encourage relaxation to reduce overall stress.

Yoga

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If you like to get your body moving a bit more on your rest days, yoga is a good option. In addition to relieving stress and improving focus, yoga has great benefits on your body.  Yoga helps improve strength and increases flexibility, which helps improve your workout performance.  A good yoga routine will take your joints through their full range of motion and encourage good posture, which helps prevent injuries and degenerative diseases like arthritis. Try Zander Gladish’s Fusion Yoga, which includes strengthening yoga poses and cardio to benefit your total body.

 

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Photo by Jim Bahn

Swimming

The great thing about water is that it helps support your body weight – when standing in waist-high water, your body only has to support half of its weight. The result of this is that less stress is put on your joints, reducing your risk of injury.  But, this doesn’t mean that swimming is an easy workout – as water is 12 times as dense as air, your arms and legs are experiencing resistance as you proper yourself through the water, which helps boost strength.

Stretching

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It’s probably no surprise that stretching helps improve flexibility and reduces the risk of injury, but did you know if can also improve your performance?  A review of 23 studies published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine in 2004 found that regular stretching improves athletic performance by helping to improve muscle force and velocity.  However, stretching was actually found to worsen performance when done right before an event, so sticking to stretching post-workout and on rest days is ideal.  Try Shay’s Recovery Flow, a quick routine that will help you take care of your body on your day off.