3 Workout Apps To Try Today

With the overwhelming number of fitness and nutrition resources out there, it can be daunting to try and find the one that works for you. Well, we took care of some of the work for you!

Whether you love the gym, hate the gym, or have no time for the gym – there is an app out there for you!

LOVE THE GYM: If you love the gym, but are looking for a little gymspiration, look no further than the Nike + Training Club – Workouts & Fitness Plans. This app has it all, serving a variety of fitness levels, intensity levels, and providing workouts with light and full equipment.

HATE THE GYM: If you can’t stand the gym, check out “Couch to 5K” – an app that that gets you from your couch to running a 5K in just 9 weeks. Running has a TON of health benefits, and with spring in full bloom there isn’t a better time to be outside! The app asks that you have 20-30 minutes to spare three times a week.

NO TIME FOR THE GYM: If you’re just too busy, you might want to look into “7 Minute Workout Challenge.” That’s right – a killer workout for the busiest of the busy. According to the app’s description “Researchers have selected 12 exercises that are performed for 30 seconds with 10 second rest intervals. This high intensity training with little rest results in higher daily metabolism and is the equivalent of working out for over an hour.” Talk about maximizing your time!

The fastest way to a healthier, fitter body in a time crunch is to follow our 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

What are your favorite workout apps? Let us know on social media:

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How to stick to your dietary plan throughout the summer

As the weather gets warmer, spring and summer parties pop up like flowers in full bloom. Invitations to BBQ’s, picnics, spring galas, block parties, even brunch outdoors seem to spring up.

If you’re like me, you want to go socialize, enjoy the gorgeous weather and see friends! But if you’re like me, you also see the dietary pitfalls at every turn. Food and drink can be extremely social, and the pressures and temptation to eat something that is less healthy can outweigh, momentarily, the long term desire to be healthy. So what’s the solution? Give in to the dessert? Stay home?

BALANCE is the solution. The world will not come to a screeching halt if you eat that brownie at the picnic. Nor will the pounds pile back on if you partake in those delicious BBQ’d ribs that your neighbor made. However, saying yes to every indulgence can lead to those bad habits that you fought so hard to make disappear. Make healthy choices 80% of the time, and the other 20%, just live your life! Here are some ideas  to help you make more positive choices, more often!

  1. Fill up before you go. Before you leave the house, eat a meal that you know is good and good for you! If you show up to a social occasion hungry, you’ll be more inclined to make choices that aren’t as good for you!
  2. Supplement every alcoholic beverage with one large glass of water. Not only will you help your body long term by staying hydrated, you’ll feel more full and be less inclined to consume less healthy food and drink.
  3. Bring a small notebook with you, and write down everything you eat (and drink!). If you don’t feel comfortable taking a notebook out at a party, try taking a quick snapshot of each item and journaling it when you are in private. Studies show that when we track our habits, we subconsciously make better choices (see our blog on food journaling here.
  4. At a buffet line, grab a small plate. At buffet lines, we tend to overfill our plates anyway. Those large plates, when piled high, can be a caloric bomb. Fill your plate, but keep it small! If you’re still hungry, go back for seconds.

Match your healthy eating with more fitness snuck into your day! Short on time? Follow our  7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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5 Hacks for a Better Night’s Sleep

Humans spend, on average, one third of their lives sleeping. If we spend so much time asleep, why do we often feel so tired?

If you’re interested in learning some ways to fight fatigue, check out our Fatigue Fixes for Your 5 Worst Energy-Zapping Habits. In this blog post, we want to give you 5 hacks that can ensure a better night’s sleep.

    1. Put away the technology: Studies have shown that the blue light from screens can decrease your body’s production of melatonin, which your body makes to help you fall asleep. Switch to a book or activity (knitting, crocheting, journaling) an hour or more before bed. If you MUST check a device, make sure it is in Night Mode (more orange light vs blue light). However no technology will still be the most conducive to falling asleep.
    2. Journal it out: If you’re tossing and turning with something on your mind, write it down! Once it’s on paper, you can let it go with comfort and security that it will be there waiting for you when you wake up tomorrow morning.
    3. Make your bedroom a sacred place: bedrooms are for sleeping and for sex. If you need to work at home, work in a separate space. Otherwise, your bedroom can become associated with your work related stress, and not the most conducive environment for a good night’s sleep.
    4. Put down the caffeine, and avoid the alcohol: Drink your last cup of coffee of the day before 2:00 pm, and avoid alcohol if you can. Alcoholic beverages can decrease the quality of your sleep. Even if you get a full 8 hours, you might still feel exhausted!
    5. Take a series of deep breaths: Long, controlled breathing can decrease your heart rate, and bring you back to a somewhat meditative, sleep-like state. Concentrate on your breathing. Next, depending on your lung capacity, try inhaling for 4 – 8 counts, and exhaling on the same number of counts. This should hopefully calm your mind and aid you in sleep.

It’s been shown that regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, but you may be thinking, “What if I don’t have time for both and have to choose between working out and sleeping?” We have you covered. If you can find just 10 minutes a day, you can still get your heart rate up and get a better night’s sleep. Check out our 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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How Important IS Stretching, Anyway?

How important is stretching? According to a recent  Harvard Health study, stretching is essential, especially as you age.

Although it’s common to lose flexibility as you age, stiff and inflexible muscles can lead to shorter muscles in general. When you cause a shortened muscle to become active, you can increase your risk for injury, as well as joint and muscle pain. In order to keep muscles flexible and long, Harvard Health Publications recommends that  you stretch them at least three to four times a week (if not daily).

In addition to injury prevention, having more flexible muscles can lead to several other benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, flexible muscles can:

  • Help your joints use their full range of motion
  • Encourage stronger athletic performance
  • Reduce back and joint pain
  • Improve your balance

However, not ALL stretching is beneficial. Harvard Health Publications recommends stretching only when your muscles are WARM.  So don’t start your warm up with static stretches (i.e. holding a particular stretch for a long time). If you would like to incorporate stretching into your warm up, try doing dynamic stretches instead. Dynamic stretches incorporate movement. For example,  rotate your arms in circles or pull your knees into your chest while you walk.

After your muscles are warm, you can stretch, holding each static stretch for anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. Trust your body here – you should be able to breathe fluidly while you stretch. If your breath catches, that’s your body telling you to ease up. As a rule – discomfort is ok, pain is not. Lean into discomfort, back away from pain.

Finally, like any change you make to your lifestyle and fitness routine, please check in with a doctor or physical therapist first, and expect change to be gradual.

Looking for some simple, fast, sustainable workouts to add to your new daily practice of stretching? Check out our  7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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5 Ways to Boost Your Activity, Every Day!

If you can’t get to the gym, you can still get in a good workout. Try one, or all five of these tips!

  1. Take the stairs: If you work or live in an elevatored building, take the stairs to your desired destination! According to a Harvard Health study, walking up stairs is “twice as taxing as brisk walking on the level and 50% harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights.” Take them at your own pace – even if you walk at a slower pace you will “burn calories two to three times faster climbing stairs than walking briskly on the level.”
  2. TV Show Game: Use those commercial breaks to your advantage! Pick an exercise, or a set of exercises, to fit into the 2 – 3 minutes that it takes to get through a commercial break! Can you fit 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and 10 squats into 2 minutes? By the end of your show, you’ll have fit in an awesome workout!
  3. Park far away: We all love getting that perfect parking spot, but if you park farther away from the entrance, you’ll have a longer way to walk! If you are going grocery shopping, that’s also a great opportunity to farmers’ walk with heavy bags back to your car!
  4. Drink more water: All those trips to the office water cooler add up. In addition, if you’re staying more hydrated, you’ll also have the urge to… well… relieve yourself more often! That means more time walking around. Want an extra challenge? When you need to use the restroom, take the stairs to use the restroom on a different floor. Add to that the fact that proper hydration helps curb appetite and keep your system functioning properly, and it’s an allover win!
  5. Perform your own housework: Instead of hiring someone to do all the walking for you, get physical! Squat down low to scrub those baseboards. Bring your laundry up and down the stairs. Vacuum every surface you can!

Want even more ways to get fit with a busy schedule? Check out these 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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The Power of Breath

Breathing is an involuntary, autonomic bodily function. The diaphragm lowers and the lungs expand, drawing air in. The diaphragm raises and the lungs return to their starting position, expelling old air.

Although breath is automatic, it can be consciously manipulated to create astounding effects. Some people, like singers, athletes and wind instrumentalists, may already be aware that they can control the breath to achieve their desired effect – be it a longer sustained note, a gorgeous coloratura passage or the final follow through on a weighted back squat. Others use their breath to change not just the physical, but the psychological, and that is what we are going to get into today.

Let’s first talk about BAD breathing habits. As stress and tension creep into our bodies, we can develop breathing habits that aren’t the most conducive to our sustained well being. Do you recognize any of these?

  • Holding your breath – common sign of stress, tension, or anxiety.
  • “Breathing” by raising and lowering the shoulders, not expanding through the midsection – a learned habit that doesn’t actually make breathing any easier or more effective.
  • Slouching/hunching over a workspace – this can take away from the full expansion of the breath.

These are all learned habits that we develop as adults. If you or someone you know has an infant or baby, watch the baby breathe for a while. You’ll notice a full, belly-breath (no shoulder tension whatsoever) and no slouching. The goal is to get back to that quality of breath.

Secondly, let’s talk about the restorative power of breath. This is the conscious manipulation part. According to this study out of the University of New Mexico, conscious deep breathing has been known to reduce stress, stabilize blood pressure and heart beat, and improve immune function. Deep breathing can also ground you, making you feel more present and in the moment. Eliminating distracting thoughts and negative feelings can help you be more productive throughout your entire day.

If you are still unsure about the power of deep breathing, try it! Take 5 minutes for yourself each morning to simply sit and breathe. Be sure to consciously fill your lungs, expand through the belly and back, and to slowly expel the air (and along with it, negative thoughts and feelings). As an alternative, you can take a yoga class that focuses on Pranayama Breath, and/or ujjayi pranayama (which you’ll find typically in a vinyasa class).

What are you waiting for? Start creating your #sustainablehealth today, with the power of your own breath!

Once you’ve started your practice of deep breathing, incorporate strong breath work into your daily workout. Don’t workout daily because you’re pressed for time? Try our 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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3 things you can do RIGHT NOW to feel more motivated

You’ve probably heard term “burnout” before. Maybe you’ve even experienced it. The Association for Psychological Science (APS) defines “burnout syndrome” as “fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress.”

The APS categorizes burnout as coming from three different sources:

  • Overload: the result of putting too much on your plate.
  • Boredom: the result of not having enough on your plate, and therefore distancing yourself from your job and responsibilities.
  • Being worn out: the result of giving up in the face of stress/lacking the motivation to cope with the stress and responsibilities.

Before examining how to stay motivated when feeling worn out, we must examine the different types of motivation.

There are two types of motivation – internal (or intrinsic) and external (or instrumental/extrinsic). For example, if you took music class as a child and chose to play violin, it was because you had the internal motivation to play this instrument. You most likely practiced violin because your parents gave you the external motivation to do so. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences conducted a 14 year study in which they tested the internal and external motivations of West Point Cadets. They determined that holding multiple forms of motivation can actually damage your internal motivation long term. Contrary to intuition (that the more forms of motivation you have the more motivated you will be), too many external motivations can make you feel less passionate and less internally motivated. Feeling less motivated will make you less equipped to handle your stresses at work, leading you to feel burnt out.

Sounds awful, right? We think so too. Here are some things you can do to help you avoid burnout, when you’re starting to feel that dip in motivation..

    1. Celebrate your victories. At the end of your day, write a list of 5 – 10 “victories” that you had today. Even if you’ve had an “off” day, write down your victories. Even if your victories were as simple as making your bed that morning or bringing a healthy lunch to work, write them down. Celebrating your victories can raise your self-esteem, and the positive reinforcement can help motivate you to do even more the next day!
    2. Visualize, and make a plan. What do you want? What makes you feel passionate? If money and time were no object, what would you do? Maybe you want to travel around the world on an extended vacation, or finally own that lake house. Maybe you want to start a family, or finally learn how to cook like a pro. Visualize what it would be like if you had what you really want. From here, you have two options – if your want is truly extreme (like wanting to fly in space), find a way to still accomplish your goals in a more realistic way (get a pilot’s license). If your want is manageable, figure out the steps to make it happen!. Having an action plan to accomplish something you feel passionate about can make you feel more motivated, which can carry over into more motivation at work.
    3. Make a to do list, and get something done on it right now. Make a checklist of all your to-dos. Organize the list by priority. Start from the top, and make your way down. The only exception – if your top priority item involves a lengthy time commitment, pick something that you can do slightly faster. The feeling of physically checking off something on your list can make you feel motivated to tackle the rest of it. If you’re a paper free kind of person, there are many free task manager apps/platforms that can help you organize your to-do lists for different areas of your life: work, home, fun.

Feeling overwhelmed sometimes is very probable. However avoiding burnout is in your control! Utilize the above tips to encourage your strong efforts and habits, achieve your large goals, and manage your daily tasks.


Another component that can really help you manage stress levels is to make sure you get your heart rate up each day. Already stressed for time and wondering when on earth you’ll fit in the gym? Not to fear – check out our 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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Discipline vs Being Too Hard On Yourself: Where to Draw the Line

From an early age, we’re taught that discipline is a worthwhile skill. Those who are more disciplined study harder, perform better on tests, advance further in sports, music and all extracurriculars, strive for higher education, get better jobs, and the list goes on and on. Discipline is healthy. It inspires practice, analysis, self awareness and self respect.

However, it becomes easy, especially as an adult, to blur the line between discipline and obsession. As we grow more aware of ourselves, we grow more aware of the people and the world around us. Self awareness turns into comparison. Practice turns into obsession, and burning out. Self respect turns into being too hard on ourselves. Ultimately, when you’re too hard on yourself, it can lead to low self esteem and even long term psychological effects.

This is not to say you should abandon your sense of discipline entirely. Your discipline is what got you to where you are in the first place. But when it comes to crafting your ideal nutrition, fitness routine and lifestyle, you need balance in order to sustain things long term. Too much or too little discipline can tip the scales in an unhealthy way. There is no need to beat yourself up if you weren’t able to get a workout in today – simply plan for it and ensure you make time for it tomorrow. On the other hand, shrugging off your workout plan and diving into those cookies your coworker brought into the office isn’t a great plan, either.

Try thinking of it this way – how would you treat a friend? If a friend had a serious goal, how would you advise them? When would you tell them to ease up on themselves, or to start treating their goal more seriously?

We are often much harder on ourselves then we are on our friends. If we spoke to our friends the way we do to ourselves (“You look horrible today.” “None of your clothes fit you well right now.” “You’re eating terribly.” “What is wrong with you?”), we would run out of friends quickly! Treat yourself with the same compassion with which  you would treat a friend. You’ll find that you still strive to reach your goals, but don’t sweat it as much when you slip or hit a stumbling block.

Discipline is admirable when combined with balance and realistic expectations. It’s often hard to fit in a “real” workout with 30+ cardio, stretching, and strength conditioning, on top of all of your daily commitments. Sneak in the workout you can with our  7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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3 Healthy Trail Mix Ideas For When You’re On The Go

Trail mix isn’t just for hikers anymore. The combination of healthy fats, natural sugars and filling fibers can keep you feeling sustained between meals, or give you an energy boost if you’re feeling sluggish. We have some creative ideas that go beyond GORP (good old raisins and peanuts). You can assemble these recipes at home a week or two in advance (portion size is up to you!), and they are yummy enough to satisfy everyone in the family.

Tropical Mix:

  • Shredded coconut
  • Dried banana chips (try and find banana chips that aren’t baked with any extra sugar)
  • Unsalted raw cashews
  • Dried Pineapple (look for a brand whose only ingredient is the pineapple!)

Mountain Mix:

  • Almonds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Chocolate/Carob chips (in moderation)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Puffed rice

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mix:

  • Dried strawberries
  • Chocolate/Carob Chips
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Sunflower Seeds

The possibilities are endless! Mix and match, get creative!

Now that you have a little extra energy between meals, why not take 10 minutes to get your blood moving! Check out our 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

Let us know what trail mix you’re making this week with the hashtag #fusionwellnessmixitup, and we’ll repost our favorites!

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Finding An Accountabili-Buddy

It can be easier to achieve your nutrition and fitness goals when you have an external resource to hold you accountable. When going at it alone, it can be tempting to put off that morning run, or take a pit stop at a fast food place because you’re SO hungry and after all, it’s only one meal…

Enter: The Accountabili-Buddy. An Accountabili-Buddy is a person who will check in with you and make sure you are still on track with your goals and tasks. It’s not one-sided; when you get an accountabili-buddy, you become one as well. Being someone else’s buddy will also help you stay on track – it might inspire you to reach for that apple after dinner, instead of a glass of wine, or give you ideas about what you need to do if you’re feeling stuck.

Here’s what we suggest – set a weekly phone call with your Accountabili-Buddy. Limit that call to 30 minutes, so you won’t be tempted to chat or stray off topic. Use those 30 minutes to celebrate your accomplishments from the previous week, as well as work through your setbacks. Your Accountabili-buddy will do the same thing, and you will both create a list of new tasks and goals for the upcoming week.

It’s ideal to have an Accountabili-Buddy who is also pursuing nutrition and fitness goals, but they do not need to be the same as yours! Remember, it’s important to focus on your whole health. Your Accountabili-buddy’s goals may be to eat more healthfully, but they may also be to take more personal time to decompress, to make sure he or she is getting enough sleep, etc. You can both encourage and support each other to pursue your own individual paths!

Just one request: Please make sure you aren’t coaching each other on health, nutrition, or fitness goals. Please consult a professional for that type of guidance so that you don’t end up backtracking!

Ultimately, it can never be a bad thing to have someone else’s support. So what are you waiting for? Go find your Accountabili-Buddy!!

If incorporating more fitness into your life is one of your goals, you can start small and still make a big difference!  Check out these 7 proven hacks for finally getting your body back in under 10 minutes a day (without a gym!)

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