A Simple AB Exercise You Can Do Anywhere And Anytime

Your abdominals are part of your body’s foundation so it’s important to maintain them properly. Strong abdominals help support your back,  can improve your posture, and even help you look leaner.

Time is precious and it can be a challenge to find time to formally exercise.  This is when lifestyle activity can help you meet your goals.  Last week I posted a short video on Facebook demonstrating a very simple abdominal exercise that you can do anytime and anywhere.  The video was SO popular that I decided to post it here on my blog because I did not want you to miss out.

Scroll down to watch the video and have a great week!

A simple ab exercise you can do anytime and anywhere from Jennifer Ledford on Vimeo.

Six Simple Ways To Sit Less And Move More

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Many people have been taught or led to believe that the only way to get exercise is through scheduled exercise sessions. This can be a little discouraging for people that struggle with finding enough time to dedicate to an exercise routine.  Fortunately, exercise doesn’t need to be formal for it to benefit you.

It’s no secret that formal exercise is a great way to get your body moving.  However, there are many ways to move more and sit less throughout your day without having to go to the gym. One of the best ways to keep your body moving throughout the day is to incorporate movement into your daily life and responsibilities. The technical term for this type of movement is non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or N.E.A.T.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis includes the physical activity you perform outside of exercise, eating and sleeping. There are many N.E.A.T. activities that we already do that can count as exercise.  Simple tasks such as raking leaves, physical labor, climbing stairs, and even fidgeting help us use our muscles and burn calories. These types of activity can help contribute to your overall health long term.

Research suggests that people who move throughout the day are more likely to reach and/or maintain their fitness goals versus those who sit throughout the day and then hit the gym for one exercise session.  This doesn’t mean that you should give up on your exercise sessions.  What it tells us is that the more we move throughout the day the better it is for us.

Most people spend the majority of their day at work. One way to move more and sit less is to incorporate non-exercise movement into your workday. Farming, construction and housekeeping trades are good examples of high N.E.A.T. jobs because they require quite a bit of movement. On the other hand, desk jobs usually require quite a bit of sitting.  So how can you increase your N.E.A.T. during the workday? Here are some simple ways to incorporate more movement into your day:

Consider using your car less. If it’s possible, walk or bike to work instead of driving.  The extra activity can boost your mood while allowing you to breathe the fresh air.

Schedule walking meetings. Take your business outdoors and boost your team’s creativity with a walking meeting. Walking is an effective way to expend energy, stimulate the brain, and connect with the rest of your team.

Stand up and take breaks. Give your eyes and body a break from the computer screen by doing things like filling up your water bottle, taking out your own trash and/or recycling, or checking in with your coworkers. This gives you a reason to get up and get some movement.

Take the stairs. This is an oldie but a goodie. Skip the elevator and take the stairs to keep your body moving throughout your day.

Stand instead of sit. Adjustable desks are becoming more popular in the workplace.  My husband uses his standing desk for most of his workday.  If these desks are not available to you, raise your work and/or devices to a podium or counter so you can stand periodically throughout your day.  Resting heart rate is higher while standing so a standing work station offers more physical activity.

If you’re finding it difficult to get up from your desk while you are working, there are plenty of other ways you can incorporate movement into your day.  Other examples of non exercise activity would be:

  • Playing with your kids
  • Doing yard work
  • Grocery shopping
  • Walking your dog
  • Cleaning the house
  • Running errands without your car

If you’d like to sit less and move more, think of one or two ideas that you can start with to weave movement into your day or week.

Accumulated physical activity throughout the week can add up and as a result contribute positively to your health and wellness.  Every little bit counts!

Make it a great and active week!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

Straight Talk About The Fitness Industry

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I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 26 years.  Coaching people on how to stay fit and healthy is my passion and extremely rewarding.  I really love seeing people thrive in every area of their lives.  Can you tell that I love my job?  I hope so, because I do!

However, there is a very superficial and at times even judgmental side to the fitness industry that can frustrate me as a professional and often times cause more harm than good to the public.  Lofty unrealistic goals, low-calorie restrictive diets, before and after pictures, and peer pressure can result in physical and emotional injury.

The fitness industry has a tendency to base a healthy lifestyle on how your body looks on the outside. Oftentimes, they show you images of air-brushed professionals that workout for a living.  I’m not knocking their hard work and dedication, but how you look on the outside is only one piece of the puzzle.

When I was a size one and ripped, my body was completely broken down from over training and I went into a depressed state.  Fortunately, God used this time in my life to help me figure out what a healthy lifestyle was really all about, and I figured out it is VERY personal.  I’m now a size six and much healthier than I was back when I was a size one.  I’ve got more curves and I’ve learned to embrace them and enjoy my life to the fullest.

A happy and healthy lifestyle is SO much more than how you look on the outside. It’s a total package that includes things like having healthy relationships, working with purpose, exercising or participating in physical activity you enjoy, having enough energy, eating well and dining with the ones you love, having fun, loving yourself and the people around you, eliminating unnecessary stress and in some cases people in your life that may be causing it, getting good rest, drinking lots of water, getting good check ups at the doctor’s office, growing spiritually and emotionally, and having self-confidence in who you were designed to be.

Please understand there is plenty of good in the fitness world.  My hope for you is that you will pick and choose what’s right for you during each season of your life.  Just because your neighbor is getting strong and lean at the local bootcamp class doesn’t mean you are a slacker if you choose walking in the park with your dog to stay fit.  You could be raising four small children and she is an empty-nester that has a completely different schedule.

Avoid copying someone else’s life.  It’s like borrowing shoes that are too tight.  Figure out what works for you and stick to it.  Don’t allow the marketing of the fitness industry to steal your identity, push you into something you may not be ready for, or make you miserable.

I’m not saying you will love every minute of your exercise routine.  It’s okay to suck it up and do your abdominal exercises when you know spending those few minutes working hard will keep your back healthy.  That’s called pushing through your comfort zone to keep your body strong enough to do the things you are most interested in.

However, for the most part, a fit and healthy lifestyle needs to be sustainable and enjoyable.  Suffering is not natural.  You were designed to enjoy your life.  And that should include your exercise and meal plan!  When your fitness and health goals are obtainable and match the type of life you want to live, success will follow.

With love,
Jennifer Ledford

P.S.  Have a question or story you’d like to share?  Please leave a comment below.  I love to hear from you!