5 Benefits of Outdoor Workouts for Mind and Body

As the warmer, sunny weather rolls around, our motivation to move more tends to rise. We might feel more inclined to take a quick walk outside during our lunch break or hike with friends on the weekend. The weather can certainly impact our will to exercise, but did you know outdoor activity can benefit the mind and body? Let’s explore five reasons to get outside and get moving. Stress and Mental Health Management Research has shown that outdoor activity can help decrease feelings of anger and depression while improving mood (ACE Fitness1). Sunlight increases our body’s production of the hormone serotonin. Serotonin is known for being a mood booster and promotes feelings of calmness (Healthline2). Studies have also shown that the Vitamin D we get from time spent in the sunshine also helps to stabilize mood and lower depression risk [...]

5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Health During Women’s Health Month

May is women’s health month. This month brings more awareness to the importance of health for women and girls and encourages actionable ways to make it a top priority. Our plates are constantly full as women. We care for other people and things daily, while our own needs often slip to the bottom of the to-do list. Let this time be your reminder to take stock of your health and learn to prioritize your care. Prevention Regular preventive physicals and screenings are a necessary part of healthcare. They help establish baselines, acknowledge family history, and monitor any changes in health that could become more serious. While preventive health is equally important for men and women, there are a handful of conditions that are more prevalent in women, including Breast Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Osteoporosis, and Stroke (Advent Health1). For many [...]

Reshaping Your Workout Routine Post-Pandemic: What’s Changed?

If there was one thing that the pandemic highlighted, it was health and the importance of taking care of our bodies to the best of our ability. Many schedules and routines have completely shifted in the post-pandemic era. As we step back into a workout routine or start one for the first time, we might wonder what has changed over the last few years and how to make those changes advantageous. More Reasons to Exercise According to U.S. News, the top three reported reasons to exercise before the pandemic were to control weight, feel good, and live a long and healthy life. Post-pandemic, the top three stated reasons changed to reduce stress, feel better mentally, and look better physically (U.S. News1). The Mindbody organization conducted a post-pandemic survey and found that 78% of Americans say “wellness is more important than [...]

Prioritizing Wellness in a Busy World

Keeping up healthy habits can be a tall task when juggling all the responsibilities of daily life. Wellness often slips down our priority list the busier we get. Knowing the importance of health is easy, but it is often harder to make time for it. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you add quality to your years while navigating a busy schedule. Set Realistic Goals Set yourself up for success by making goals that are realistic and attainable. Begin with smaller, more manageable plans that you can build upon as you go. This gradual approach will help build resilience and confidence along the way. As you set your ambitions, let them align with your current schedule and season of life. Then, revisit your approach often, as we all know how constantly changing our schedules can be. This reflection [...]

Functional Fitness: How It Can Improve Daily Life

Functional Fitness: How It Can Improve Daily Life Regular exercise comes with a wide range of physical and mental benefits. It lowers the risk of health conditions, enhances sports performance, increases endurance, and improves mental health, but did you know it can also help improve your daily life? Exercise should also benefit your everyday activities. According to Mayo Clinic1, “Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports.” These functional exercises benefit any age and promote quality of life now and in the future. The Benefits of Functional Fitness We use muscles each day for tasks like picking things up off the floor, standing up from a chair, carrying groceries, pushing a door open, walking up and down stairs, and [...]

Balancing Hormones with Exercise: The Link Between Fitness and Hormonal Health

Exercise can impact each system of the body, including the endocrine system. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine1, “The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs. It uses hormones to control and coordinate your body's metabolism, energy level, reproduction, growth and development, and response to injury, stress, and mood.” Exercise influences hormone production, making the two directly related. Let’s explore a few areas where fitness and hormonal health are related. Blood Sugar and Exercise Insulin is a hormone that helps our bodies properly use or store glucose. During exercise, insulin production slows down so our bodies can focus on using the glucose for energy rather than storing it for future use. The body will also increase the production of the hormone glucagon during exercise to prevent blood sugar from going too low. Glucagon helps convert glycogen (stored glucose) [...]

Unleashing the Health Benefits of Canines

We all need companionship, and everyone benefits from healthy relationships. We usually think of people-based relationships in this context, but the strong association between humans and dogs has been documented since the Stone Age. Many pet owners understand the benefits of owning a dog. Now a growing body of research is supporting the long-time observation that owning a dog can provide significant emotional and physical benefits. The Canine Connection: A Source of Health and Happiness In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, dogs emerge as natural stressbusters. The unconditional love and companionship they provide have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels in several scientific studies. The rhythmic act of petting a dog triggers the release of oxytocin, promoting feelings of calmness and well-being in humans. The social aspect of dog ownership can't be overlooked. Whether it's meeting [...]

6 Ways to Stress Less This Winter

The winter months can seem exceptionally long, especially when cold and dreary, bringing their fair share of stress this season as well! Between the holidays, busy schedules, and changes in daylight and weather, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To help give you a respite, we’ve compiled six ways to stress less this winter. Incorporate Physical Activity Exercise is often less consistent this time of year, but staying active is a great way to manage stress, among many other health benefits. Add some physical activity to each day. Consider indoor options like the gym, a class, or home workouts whenever the weather isn’t conducive to exercising outside. If you’re heading outdoors for a workout, dress appropriately for the weather and wear reflective gear during the hours of limited daylight. Eat Mindfully Stress less about your food intake by being more intentional [...]

Top Fitness Gifts for Every Exerciser

Trendy Essentials Workout Games. Make exercise routines fun by incorporating workout games. Games like Fitness Dice, Exercise Cards, or The HIIT Game can add spark to any workout session. These activities are also a great way to get the whole family involved in fitness. Jewelry Travel Case. Keep your rings and other jewelry safe and protected while you’re exercising. Whether at the gym or on the run, a jewelry travel case can help. Choose one like the Ring Thing keychain, which holds multiple rings and easily clips to your keys or gym bag. Moisture Wicking Socks. We all joke about gifting socks, but these will surely be a hit. From preventing frostbite to blisters, moisture-wicking socks are necessary and inexpensive must-haves. Gift a pack like these women’s or men’s options and have your exerciser set for the season. The Home [...]

Celebrate with Healthy Nutrition

The holiday season is a time of celebration, family gatherings, and, of course, holiday parties. While it's often easy to over-indulge in festive treats and decadent dishes, it's also possible to maintain a commitment to health. With a little planning and some mindful choices, you can enjoy the festivities while keeping your nutrition on track. We want you to maximize holiday fun and feel good about the decisions you make throughout the season. Here are a few strategies from our dietitians and health coaches to help you balance celebration and wellbeing at upcoming holiday parties. Plan Ahead Holiday budgets are a great idea. Whether we are budgeting finances or calories, it is helpful to understand reasonable limits. Know what a healthy amount of food and drink should be for a person of your size and stature and keep that in [...]