The Top 9 Benefits of Outdoor Cycling

The Top 9 Benefits of Outdoor Cycling

If you’re feeling like getting fresh air, a great cardiovascular workout, and stress-free transportation, then outdoor cycling is for you!

Whether you’re using your bike for commuting, as a hobby, or as a form of exercise, there are a lot of really great benefits to hopping on a bike!

It's Cost Efficient 1. It’s Cost Efficient

Opting to cycle instead of driving not only saves money on gas, but it also saves on monthly maintenance repairs and insurance fees.

If you pay for parking at work or at your residence, you’ll bypass that cost as well!

2. It Keeps Your Heart Happy

We all know that cardiovascular health is the way to a happy heart! Recent studies have shown that cycling is one of the best workouts for promoting healthy cardiovascular function [1].*

3. It Helps Our Environment

It takes significantly fewer materials and energy to build a bike than it does a car. Cycling also emits zero pollution into the atmosphere.

4.It’s a Great Stress Reliever

Stress can have a negative effect on our minds and our bodies.* Outdoor cycling not only works for your body, but it can also have a meditative and calming effect on your mind. Find a beautiful route on a particularly trying day, and watch your stress melt away.

5. It’s Easy!

Most of us learned how to ride a bicycle when we were younger, so why not hop on one now? Cycling is a popular exercise because most of us already know how to do it.

It's a Great Way to Start Losing Weight 6. It’s a Great Way to Start Losing Excess Weight

If you haven’t moved around much lately and are hoping to lose a little weight, jogging may not be the best place to start. It can be jarring on your joints and hard on your tendons.  You’d want to start off in smaller increments, and it would take longer to burn the same amount of calories than if you hopped on a bike for an hour or so (on day 1). †

7. It Helps Boost Your Brain

It’s scientifically proven that 30 minutes of cycling can support memory, reasoning, and planning [2]*. Who doesn’t need a little brain boost in the morning after waking up?

8. It Helps with Functional Movements

According to Harvard Health Publications, cycling can improve your balance, standing, endurance, and stair climbing [3]. Functional exercises have greatly increased in popularity in the 20th century as we began to live longer. As we age, being able to perform everyday movements becomes crucial!

Above all, cycling is just plain fun! It gets you outside into the fresh air, and it’s enjoyable with a friend, partner, your children, or grandchildren.

†Always consult with a qualified health care professional if you are unsure before starting a new exercise program.

References:

[1] NHCPS. National Health Care, 17 Jan. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

[2] Yeager, Selene. “How Cycling Makes You Smarter and Happier.” Training. Bicycling, 13 Nov. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

[3] “The Top 5 Benefits of Cycling.” Harvard Health Letter. Harvard Health Publications, 1 Aug. 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

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How to Build a Healthy Breakfast Bowl

How to Build a Healthy Breakfast Bowl

If there’s one trend that’s firing everyone up this year, it’s the bowl phenomenon. Smoothie bowls, lunch bowls, dragon bowls – it seems that this year the plate is passé. Serving breakfast in a bowl isn’t all that new to us, of course, but we can still stay on trend by learning how to build a healthy breakfast bowl.

The Breakfast Bowl The Breakfast Bowl

Throwing some cereal into a bowl and dowsing it in milk might seem fairly straightforward, but a satisfying, healthy, breakfast bowl requires a little creativity. Like so many things in life, building a good bowl is all about layering. You’ll want to factor in the density of ingredients, their crunchiness, moisture, and size so as to build a bowl that doesn’t disintegrate into a soggy mess. This is especially true if you’re creating a breakfast bowl to take to the office.

Try the following excellent breakfast bowl ingredients (listed from bowl bottom to top) for a healthy and delicious start to your day:

1. Cereal Bowl

  • Heritage grain cereal flakes (kamut, for example)
  • Homemade or store-bought granola (opt for sugar free or low sugar)
  • Seeds, such as hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower
  • Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Dark chocolate chips or cocoa powder
  • Non-dairy unsweetened milk, such as soy, rice, hemp, oat, almond, coconut, or cashew

Mix a scoop of PGX Satisfast Whey Protein Drink Mix into your milk for extra protein and fiber to start your day off right!

2. Mango and Coconut Bowl

  • Almond yogurt
  • Bran flakes (unsweetened)
  • Chia seeds
  • Pistachios (raw, unsalted)
  • Fresh mango
  • Orange segments

3. Oatmeal Bowl

  • Oatmeal
  • Tofu puffs, smoked tofu, or split red lentils
  • Mushrooms (sliced portobellos, for example)
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Bok choi (lightly steamed or sauteed)
  • Nori (seaweed) strips
  • Hot sauce and/or soy sauce

4. Quinoa Bowl

  • Quinoa
  • Refried beans
  • Scallions
  • Fried tomatoes or salsa
  • Avocado slices
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds

Overnight Breakfast Bowls Overnight Breakfast Bowls

You could also opt for a healthy breakfast bowl that is partially made in the evening and then fully constructed in the morning. These are known as “overnight breakfast bowls!”

Wide-mouthed Mason jars are ideal for building a breakfast bowl to take with you, and for creating bowls for the whole family for the whole week. Have fun layering your dry ingredients, then store these in a cupboard until it is time to pop the lid. Pour over your favorite non-dairy milk and enjoy right from the jar, or sprinkle your breakfast fixings over some fresh coconut or almond yogurt once you get to the office!

Overnight Oats

  • Small oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Maple syrup
  • Mashed banana
  • Almond milk
  • Dash of salt
  • Granola clusters
  • Fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Pumpkin seeds

Chia Pudding Bowl

  • Chia pudding
  • Coconut milk
  • Chia seeds
  • Agave
  • Kiwi slices
  • Banana slices
  • Raspberries
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cashew or peanut pieces

 

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3 Reasons You’re Not Seeing Results from Working Out

3 Reasons You're Not Seeing Results From Workout Out

You’ve dedicated yourself to getting to the gym on a weekly basis. You set your workout affirmations, planned the days you would go and have never let yourself slip. So why are you still not seeing results at the gym?

This is such a common question. Feeling like you’re not achieving the change you’re working hard for can be frustrating, but often a few shifts in your lifestyle can make a huge difference. Here are three reasons you may not be seeing results at the gym:

Kick Processed Foods 1. You Haven’t Kicked Processed Foods

Most personal trainers would tell you that nutrition is over half the battle when it comes to clients not reaching their fitness goals. If you’re working out multiple times a week but still eating processed foods, it’s likely that your body is overloaded with sugars, unhelpful fats, and too many calories in order to make any real changes.

To make the most of your workouts, stick to whole foods whenever possible. Whole foods are items that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives and other artificial substances. This means lots of veggies, fruits, lean meats, and hydrating drinks such as water, coconut water, and unsweetened almond milk. Practice mindful eating by chewing slowly and focusing on your meal so that you can stop when you feel full.

Workout Plateau 2. You’ve Plateaued in Your Workout

Your body gets used to a workout if you continually do it. Once a week, add in a class like cycling, yoga, or pilates that is different from your regular workout. This will help ensure that your body and all its muscles are continually being exposed to new movements.

If you practice a lot of aerobic activity, introduce different speeds and inclines to your workouts. This is a great, easy way to change your routine up. Used to jogging? Add in some sprints! Prefer walking? Throw in a steep hill or two and pick up the pace!

If you’re weight lifting, try adding more weight and dropping the number of reps you do. You can also increase your speed by completing the exercises at a faster rate, so long as they can still be controlled.

Introducing your body to new things, such as different weights or varying speeds, can be immensely beneficial for getting over a plateau. When creating a workout plan for yourself,  incorporate switching up your exercises at least every 48 weeks.

Not Getting Enough Sleep 3. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

Beauty rest is so important for a healthy lifestyle. If you’re staying up too late, you may be tired during your workout, which can be detrimental to your overall health goals.

Work on training your body to sleep at a certain time every night. The amount of sleep that is needed differs per person, but here is an easy litmus test; if you’re currently sleeping 6 hours per night but relying on a cup of coffee in the morning, it’s likely you require more sleep than you’re getting. Try weaning yourself off coffee and adding in one or two more hours of sleep a night and see how you feel the next day.

 

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3 Adventurous Fitness Trends to Get in On

3 Adventurous Fitness Trends to Get in on

Looking for the next big fitness trend to get in on? Sometimes you just have to get outside of your regular exercise routine and try something new – and totally fun!

Here are three adventurous fitness activities that are trending right now:

Parkour 1. Parkour

If you loved climbing trees, jumping off things, and jungle gyms as a kid, then Parkour is for you!

Parkour, also known as free running, is a form of physical discipline where you move freely about, using only the abilities of your body. Basically, you learn to use controlled and fluid movements to navigate over and around every obstacle, such as walls, steps, and railings.

You can practice parkour outside but it is usually taught in a gym setting with a certified instructor.

What to Expect

  • A full body, challenging workout, unlike anything you’ve tried before!
  • Learning alongside people of all ages, shapes, and sizes
  • Jumping on, off, and over obstacles
  • Climbing on, off, and over obstacles
  • Swift, controlled movements

Barre 2. Barre

Ever wonder what exercises ballet dancers do to maintain their long, lean muscles?

Barre is a hybrid of ballet, yoga, and pilates that also makes use of a ballet bar. Mix in light weights, a mini-ball, and all the squat variations you’ve ever done – that’s your average barre class.

What to Expect?

  • A total body, challenging workout – all without moving more than a couple of feet per class!
  • Great, upbeat music to motivate you
  • Repetitive movements that employ the use of light weights and squats

Aerial Yoga 3. Aerial Yoga

Have you ever seen Cirque du Soleil and gawked at the acrobatics of the performers? And how they move through the air using only fabric to hold their bodies up? It seems like an impossible feat!

Aerial yoga incorporates the use of a soft, fabric hammock alongside traditional yoga, pilates, and dance moves. The fabric is supportive and can withhold your weight in the air as it is connected to carabineers.

What to Expect?

  • A full-body, zero-impact workout that targets your core
  • A relaxing, gentle atmosphere
  • Traditional yoga class with added perks of deeper stretches utilizing the hammock as well as fun, new variations of poses suspended in the air (about 3 feet or so)

Whether you choose to be suspended in the air, working out with a barre, or climbing and jumping off obstacles, these trending fitness workouts are sure to bring a little spice to your weekly routines. Remember, new movements can help bring you to the next level in your training.

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