Much like grandma’s secret sauce recipe, many personal trainers protect their top fitness methods and protocols. However, there are some things that we as fitness professionals can all agree on, and that’s helping our clients achieve fitness success. Below, I have gathered 10 lifestyle hacks that we as trainers don’t mind sharing.
- Water is the best supplement. Ask any personal trainer and they will happily tell you that water is the most important supplement one can take to achieve ultimate fitness success. Water not only keeps your body running at optimal level, but it also helps to increase immunity, kick-start weight loss and reduce fatigue. How much water does one need? Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily.
- You need sleep. Skipping out on proper sleep can cause your levels of leptin to drop, which sends a message to the brain that there is a shortage of food, which increases your appetite. This surge in appetite makes comfort food more appealing, causing you to over indulge in refined sugar, carbohydrates and other unhealthy food. Do your body and waist a favor, and make sleep an important part of your arsenal against high caloric comfort food.
- Avoid soda. Not only is soda unhealthy and full of empty calories, but it’s also full of sugar, which can easily lead to obesity. Drink just one can a day for a year and you’ll be ingesting 31 pounds of the white stuff. Choose water, tea or another low calorie drink in its place.
- Cinnamon is what you need to stir into your coffee. Cinnamon is a diabetes fighter that helps to regulate blood sugar, which can make it ideal to help stabilize energy levels and moods. Plus it tastes great. So skip the sugar and stir cinnamon into your next cup of joe.
- Prolonged static sitting is harmful to your health. Studies show that prolonged ‘static’ sitting can increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Trainers agree the best way to mitigate these issues if you work an office job is to make sure you incorporate movement into your day. A great way to do this is to purchase a motion chair like swopper, which keeps you bouncing, swaying and moving all day. This ergonomically designed chair keeps you active while sitting without even having to think about it.
- Your body is your gym. Forget expensive fitness equipment or health club memberships; your body is all you need for exercise. Your body is designed to move, and the more you move it, the healthier you’ll be. From pushups to walking, your body is all you need to increase strength & cardiovascular fitness, while slowing the aging process.
- We need to eat more fruits & vegetables. In my opinion, fruits and vegetables are the least expensive, yet most efficient, form of health insurance you’ll ever purchase. However, most of us fall short of the seven to nine servings that we need for optimal health. Aim to incorporate a serving at every meal.
- Keep your sneakers healthy. With many people hitting the streets or trails for a run, I recommend digging deep into your closet and doing a little cleaning with your running sneakers. This may mean parting ways with your favorite kicks. However, this separation may help you avoid injury. A simple and effective way to know if your running sneakers have performed their last repetition is to perform the “twist test.” Simply hold the sneaker at each end and twist. If the shoe easily rotates, the midsole is worn and indicates a replacement is needed.
- Not all labels tell the truth. Words like ‘natural’ or ‘baked’ can be very misleading to a consumer. Take for instance the word baked found on potato chips. This word has consumers believing that they are doing something good for their bodies when munching on potato chips. Sure, one ounce of baked potato chips may have 14% less calories and contain half of the fat. However, baked chips are more highly processed than their counter part and contain high levels of the cancer causing chemicals like acrylamide, which form when the potatoes are heated to high temperatures.
- Don’t lean forward when you squat. It’s important to ensure proper form and weight placement on your heels during your next bodyweight “squat” exercise. This is one of the best workouts for your overall fitness, but only if you are in proper position. Make sure that you can wiggle your toes when your hips are at their lowest point. This small reminder can keep your form in check, while helping you avoid leaning forward too much.
Incorporate these 10 fitness and lifestyle hacks into your routine, and you’ll be on your way to maximizing your wellness potential. If you have any hacks of your own, we’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment!
~ Jay Cardiello
Last month, Jenn offered some ideas to personalize your office space, to make you feel more at home and help your co-workers get to know you better. A couple weeks ago, Sandra suggested some great talking points for convincing your boss to get you that motion chair you’ve had your eye on. Now you’re ready to order, and you’ve come to the hardest part: choosing the color!
Now, we know that some offices have specific designs and color schemes, but for fun let’s assume that your boss is letting you completely customize your space to best suit you, right down to your seat! How do you decide what to go with? Well, let’s take a look at what some of your options might say about you!
Black: The Ninja
You are inconspicuous and efficient! You want people to take you seriously. You speak for yourself and don’t necessarily need your surroundings to express any differently. You are practical and maybe a tad serious, but people know they can count on you to get in, get out, and get the job done!
Brown: The Confidant
You are honest and trustworthy. Your co-workers and friends know they can depend on you. You are strong and powerful, and you’re the person most people would count on to wrangle up any tough situation before it gets out of control!
Blue: The Comforter
You are welcoming and caring, which gives you the ability to make anybody comfortable in almost any situation. Your co-workers see you as a beacon of peace when things get too stressful. You manage to stay calm while re-gaining control and order. You are dependable and generally cheerful because you don’t sweat the small stuff.
Yellow: The Ray of Sunshine
You are the cheery, bright light of the office. You could probably make the dullest office come to life with your smile alone. You love team building and probably won the three-legged race at the last office picnic!
Green: The Peacemaker
You are calm and collected. You may be a bit of a dreamer, but you stay within realistic expectations. You can encourage others without making them feel overwhelmed.
Orange: The Social Butterfly
You are a true people person! You can get along with anybody and make friends easily. You are great at networking and bringing diverse groups of people together.
Pink/Purple: The Diva
You are fun and exciting! You refuse to be put in a box or anywhere your creativity isn’t free to flow. You have a strong attention to detail and take pride in a job well done.
Red: The Star
You are bold and powerful. You are the life of any party, and you know how to make people smile and laugh. You are fierce and driven, you know what you want and how to get it! Others look to you for encouragement, enthusiasm, and inspiration.
As you can see, people can tell a lot about you by the colors and styles you choose. But wait… your favorite color isn’t a current swopper option?! Let us know! We have access to a variety of fabrics and patterns and would be happy to help you find the one that’s just right for you!
What’s your ideal swopper color… and can you guess mine?
Aleta Simmons, Swopper.com Customer Service Super Star!
We’ve all been there, gossiping over the perfectly chiseled bodies of the celebrities strutting their stuff across secluded beaches of the world. Plastered like iconic gods and goddesses across the covers of many magazines, these chiseled bodies expel symmetry, tone and of course not a visible ounce of fat. How do these celebrities stay in shape and achieve that well-defined beach body? Well, before you head to the newsstand hoping to get a small insight on their secrets I am here to reveal the truth…
Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate enough to have worked with many of the biggest celebrity names in Hollywood, from Jennifer Lopez to Val Kilmer and even living for 4 years touring the world with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Now I want to share with you what really goes into perfecting that celebrity beach body.
Before I disclose the behind the ‘red-carpet’ ultra celeb workout, I would like you to start thinking that your fitness is a 24-hour a day job. From how long you sleep to what you place in your body – everything counts.
Jay Cardiello’s Three-Prong Celebrity Fitness Plan
- Get adequate Sleep
The first item that you should address is making certain that you get enough sleep. Many think the secret to a beach body is a secret juice smoothie or hours in the gym. However, sleep is what can make or break a celebrity’s physique.
For one thing, lack of sleep can cause the body’s levels of leptin to drop. The dropping of this hormone sends a message to the brain that there is a shortage of food, causing your appetite to increase. This surge in appetite makes comfort food more appealing, causing you to over-indulge in these types of foods. For all you night owl men, in as little as one week, sleep deprivation can significantly reduce testosterone levels. Aim for 6 to 8 hours a night to help you stay lean and on track.
- Follow Simple Nutrition Tips
With regard to food, I am a big believer in the statement “what’s in your fridge is a direct representation of what’s under your shirt,” and in this case the way you’ll look on the beach. Let’s face it… 80% of your fitness goals happen with nutrition, but people are confused about labels and what to eat, so I will make this simple and effective. Drink water, avoid added sugars and processed foods, and stay focused on fruits and vegetables.
– Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. This will help keep your muscles looking full and help you avoid overeating.
– Ingest 7 to 9 servings of whole fruits and vegetables daily. Skip the expensive juicing and don’t worry about the sugar in fruits either. It’s natural, and produce strengthens, repairs and helps decrease inflammation in the body. These are staple foods of every one of my celebrities… and 50 Cent has some great abs!
– Make your plate colorful with a host of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. From avocados to fish, what’s on your plate should include a host of different colors.
– Eat fish at least 2 to 3 times a week, and remember that seafood cannot be organic so don’t pay more for something that is mislabeled.
- Exercise How You Move
The last part of the celebrity beach body equation is exercise. Yes, the last part, because if the previous two are not in check, what you do in the gym will not matter.
So, what does a celebrity do in the gym? Everything. They tend to perform exercises that mimic what you do in real life. From squats, to jumping, running and standing on one leg, I ask celebrities to train relative to how they move. Getting on a treadmill is good, but your body moves in various directions. Train your body in one linear manner and that’s what it will look like.
One of my favorite celebrity beach body moves is standing on a pillow cushion with one leg and asking them to perform as many single legged squats as they can, or simply just have them hold for up to 30 seconds. This move builds symmetry, tones the hips and works the entire body.
I also coach them to incorporate movement into everything they do. My musician clients often have long days sitting in the studio. This is an ideal opportunity to use a motion chair, like a swopper, which bounces, sways and tilts, to maximize that time for their fitness.
As a celebrity strength coach, I focus on quality not quantity. I ask for just 20 minutes of solid exercise and want clients to perform each movement for 30 seconds. This way I am able to create both physical and mental gains from my client.
You now know the secrets of the how to achieve that celebrity body… Now, go hit the grocery store, get some rest and aim to perform quality work in the gym.
~ Jay Cardiello, Swopper Ambassador and Celebrity Trainer
Sitting is the new smoking, they say, and studies have linked too many hours on your butt to an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and early death. Not even regular exercise can counteract the health dangers of sitting all day long. The sitting disease, as I’ve heard it been coined, is the new way to slowly bury yourself.
We’ve seen this story play out again and again recently in the media. Scientists, medical professionals and journalists are waking up to the real impact sitting can have on the health of our nation’s workers. We here at Swopper are ecstatic to see this issue that we are so passionate about gaining momentum.
Here are some of our favorite quotes from recent media coverage about the sitting epidemic:
- “The amount of time spent sitting was found to drive up health risks independently of other factors that would often contribute to poor health and which might also be linked to sedentary behavior, such as smoking, age and obesity. That suggests, for example, that although long hours spent sitting might indeed contribute to weight gain, it is probably harmful even if it doesn’t make you obese.” La Times
- Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization.
- “Just since January, researchers have reported that sitting for long hours is linked to: Worse mental health, A higher risk of death from heart disease and a higher risk of being disabled.” Web MD
- ”Don’t demonize sitting,” LaCroix says. The message, she says, is to reduce sitting time by breaking it up. Although experts aren’t sure how often you need to get up, they suggest getting up about every 30 minutes if possible.” Web MD
The story is clear … sitting all day is killing us. So what can you do? We firmly believe that incorporating some motion into your sitting routine can reverse the negative health affects from sitting sedentatry.
Swopper, muvman and 3Dee allow you to have the comfort of a chair, with the motion your body needs. Bouncing, tilting, swaying and perching are just some of the ways our chairs keep you moving, your core engaged and your blood flowing.
It’s time to pay attention to the growing buzz around the sitting health epidemic and make changes to our lifestyles to combat the affects of too much sitting.
~ Jenn Lytle
If you’ve been reading this blog for long, then you are probably aware of the health benefits that come with sitting on a swopper, muvman or other motion chair. The science behind the dangers of being sedentary is undeniable.
So how can you approach your boss with these facts to convince him or her that you need a better office chair? Well, before you approach the person who signs your paycheck, you better come up with some good reasons and information to back it up.
Here are a few facts to help in your quest to be more comfortable, healthy and productive:
1. Hey boss!! My back hurts!!
Fact: Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. This can impact the employer’s bottom line financially. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Face it, if your job requires you to sit for hours on end in an uncomfortable position or chair, odds are your back is going to eventually have issues. Our bodies weren’t meant to be so sedentary. We were meant to move and a swopper will definitely help do that throughout your workday.
Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
2. Hey boss! I’ll be more productive!
Fact: A new study shows that the right office chair boosts brain activity.
The way we sit every day at the office has a significant impact on our brain’s activity and on our ability to concentrate and perform. This has been revealed by a new study carried out by the Institute of Sports Sciences at Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. In the test an electroencephalogram (EEG) was used to measure brain wave activities that indicate the level of alertness and concentration. The behavior of the test persons was also monitored during the test. The test: office chair vs rigid stool vs swopper active chair.
The result: sitting on the swopper there was a significant increase in alpha, beta and theta brain waves, these being particularly related to the state of alertness. The participants were also able to solve many more tasks, with significantly shorter reaction times than in the tests using the rigid stool or conventional office chair.
3. Hey boss!! I’ll be healthier!!
Fact: When using swopper many health and wellness benefits occur:
- You maintain the natural “S” curve of the spine
- The open hip/spine angle allows for better circulation throughout the body
- It opens up the diaphragm allowing better breathing and increasing oxygen into the system
- You’re getting a core stabilization workout that also includes the legs, back and shoulder muscle groups
- It improves nourishment to the inter-vertebral discs
- Active sitting assists lymphatic flow
- You can combat static postures with gentle intuitive motion
- Swopper provides a fun and energizing sitting experience!
All these combined can help prevent absenteeism!! And make for a happier employee!
4. Hey boss!! Some insurance companies even recommend swopper to their customers!!
Fact: It’s true! Insurance companies are seeing how swopper is a proactive way to encourage a healthier way to work. Being proactive can help reduce workers comp claims, and swopper can also be used to help get an employee back to work faster if they need to re-design their workstation and /or work style to do this.
Hey boss!! I’d say this employee has a pretty good case for getting a swopper, wouldn’t you agree??
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
Whether you are staying active at your desk, while sitting on a Swopper or logging that extra mile on the treadmill to keep a healthier lifestyle, the magic of fitness and wellness happens with the food the you consume. Let’s face it, food is really meant to ‘fight’ or ‘feed’ a disease. So, to help keep your body in ‘fighting’ mode I have created list of “Five Simple Nutritional Swops” that you can make for a healthier lifestyle.
1. Don’t Stir in the Pounds! With your next cup of coffee try swopping-out the sugar and non-calorie additives and swopping in cinnamon. Reason: This diabetes fighter helps to regulate blood sugar, which can make it ideal to help stabilize energy levels and moods. So, skip the sugar and stir in the cinnamon!
2. Avoid the Bowl of Office Candy! Every office has that bowl of sugary sweets, which you mindlessly reach into several times throughout the day. This action may not seem like a bad thing. However, it can play havoc on your mood and energy levels. To help satisfy your sweet tooth place handful of grapes in a ziplock bag and let it sit in your home freezer overnight. The next day, bring them into work and store them in the freezer of the office fridge to use as a sweet and healthy snack. It’s that ‘simple’ to satisfy your sweet cravings, and it is a lot healthier than any office bowl candy.
3. Not All Bread is Created Equal. So, you may want to swop-out a slice of white or even whole wheat bread and swop-in a slice of Ezekiel 4:9 bread or 100% whole wheat bread when ordering your favorite sandwich. Most slices of white breads include bleached flour in the ingredient list. Bleaching adds chemicals to the bread, which destroy pigments in the flour. And, with regard to whole wheat or brown sliced bread, don’t get caught up in phrases like, ‘made with whole grains.’ This catchy phrase may appear as a healthy choice. however this means that the bread is made up of a mixture of whole wheat flour with some other less nutritious flour making it a big ‘red flag’.
4. Select a Healthier Wine at a Dinner meeting or for Happy Hour with Colleagues. Try ordering up a glass of the Chilean cabernet sauvignon. As it carries a much higher level of flavonols, than French wine. Why is this important? Flavonols are antioxidants that have been shown to fight inflammation and help to neutralize free radicals. So, cheers to you and your colleagues and sip to good health with a Chilean red.
5. Try Swopping Out the Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatory Pills and Swopping In Cherry Juice for Pain and Stiffness. A cherry a day will keep the doctor away? Cherries may soon be replacing the apple in this food folklore. Reason: recently, researchers found that tart cherries contained the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. This is great news for individuals who suffer from pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis, as well as gym-goers and people with muscle pain who use anti-inflammatory pain meds. Try adding in some into your daily meal plan. A recommendation of 1.5 cups of tart cherries daily will be sufficient.
Follow these healthy food “swops” and you’ll maximize your wellness along with the other lifestyle changes you’ve made like sitting on a Swopper or being physically active. If you have any healthy food swops to share, please leave them in the comments.
~ Jay Cardiello, wellness & fitness expert to the stars
No gym membership? No problem. Not everyone has the time or the money to maintain a gym membership. You can still stay fit all year round without the use of a traditional gym.
Below, I have created 10 simple, yet effective ways that you can stay fit without the gym. Best thing about these exercises is that they can be performed right at home with items that you’ll find around your house or at the office.
1. Stand on One Leg, while Brushing Your Teeth! Don’t laugh; this is harder than it sounds. Performing this move will help to increase hip symmetry, core strength and balance although you have to brush your teeth in order for this move to be effective.
2. Seated Stability Holds. Sit tall in your Swopper with your heels firmly placed on the floor. Extend your arms in front of body and raise your right knee until it is even with your navel. Forcefully drive your left heel into the floor, resting the major weight on your left leg. Keep your hips on top of the Swopper. Hold this position for up to 10 seconds. Repeat with opposite leg. Complete 3 to 5 sets on each side. This exercise is designed to increase stability, core strength and balance.
3. Plank It Out in Bed! That’s right, you can increase your strength without having to leave the comfort of your bed. Just place your body in a traditional push-up position with your hands (resting firmly on the mattress) and inline with your shoulders, while your feet are positioned hip-width apart. Contract your core and hold for as long as possible. This full-body move will give your metabolism a boost, while strengthening your entire body. Want to advance this move? Challenge yourself a little more by rowing your elbows past your back in an alternating fashion.
4. Let a Pillow Pump You Up! Place two pillows on the ground about hip-width apart. Place one foot on each pillow with a slight bend in your knees and hands resting firmly on hips. Descend hips to floor until your knees form a 90-degree angle. Pause at bottom, then extend knees and hips back to starting position. Repeat this exercise as many time as you can in 60 seconds.
5. Stand on a Sofa Cushion to Improve Balance! Place a soft cushion on the floor. Stand on the cushion with your left leg, raise your flexed right leg so your knee is in line with your navel. Your arms will be extended straight out to your sides. Brace your core and swing your right leg behind you while you lean your torso toward the ground. Touch your left toe with your right hand. Slowly return to starting position. Perform as times as possible in a controlled manner for 30 seconds, then switch onto the right leg.
6. Squeeze and Hold! The next time that you find yourself sitting at your desk, or standing while on your phone, try squeezing your abdominal muscles for 10 seconds. Then, relax and contract your glute muscles for an additional 10-seconds. Alternating between these two muscle groups will help to build core strength, posture and hip stability. You can perform this exercise sequence for as long as you like to enjoy all of its benefits.
7. Tennis Anyone? Now, you will not need to know how to play tennis in order to enjoy the next two exercises. All you will need in a tennis ball. Simply stand tall with feet hip width apart, keep a slight bend in knees and grab the ball in one hand with arm fully extended. Begin squeezing the ball in a pulsing action, while performing arm circles in various directions. The pulsing action will increase hand and forearm strength, which decreases your chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and the shoulder rotation action will help to increase joint mobility. Perform with each arm for up to 5 minutes.
8. Dribbling for Strength and Coordination. Using the tennis ball again, descend into a traditional squat position with feet shoulder width apart and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Begin dribbling the tennis ball with your dominate hand for 30 seconds before switching hands. The dribbling action will increase focus and coordination, as well as wrist and shoulder mobility, while the squatting position will help develop leg and core strength.
9. Squat Up at Your Desk. From increased poor circulation to poor posture, prolonged ‘sedentary’ sitting can wreck havoc on your body. So the next time that you are catching up on bills or balancing your finances, implement a break every 20 minutes and perform 20-30 squats. Just take your body from a seated to standing position and reverse direction. This action will give your body a much-needed boost of energy, while increasing strength and performance.
10. Cats Back Pain. One reason many people suffer from back pain is lack of mobility from prolonged static sitting. To help ease away lower back stress, place your body in an all-four position on the floor with hands inline with shoulders and knees hip width apart. You will form a straight line from your head to hip. Taking a deep breath in, lower your navel to the floor. Hold, then exhale and push the middle of your back toward the ceiling. Repeat, in a slow and controlled manner for up to 3 minutes.
Follow these 10 exercises you can do to stay fit without the gym, and you’ll be on your way to fitness without the monthly fees. Do you have any exercises you like to do at home or at the office? Leave them in the comments for the rest of us to try out.
~ Jay Cardiello, Fitness expert and celebrity trainer
If you’re the typical office worker, you have a black monitor with a black tower or a black laptop, maybe a black phone and probably a black mouse and stapler. If you’re lucky, maybe you have acquired some fancy pins to stick your cheat sheets up with.
American’s spend an average of 47 hours a week at work. That’s a long time to be in a bland, boring, blank space. By taking strides to personalize and liven up your cube or office, you’ll feel re-energized and enthusiastic about spending time in your space.
Here are five ways you can personalize your office space:
1. Hang fabric up on your corkboard or even your cubicle wall! The pop of color will boost your creativity and help your colleagues get to know your personality.
2. Put up a sign! (Everybody LOVES my sign.) This is an easy way to remind yourself daily of your work goals, ethics or outlook.
3. Post pictures of the people and things you love. This is my Penny puppy; she’s a true kid at heart and is currently featured as my screensaver on my computer. Having photos of family, friends or travel in your space will also help remind your colleagues that you have a life outside of the office.
4. Make a splash with a bright red Swopper Chair! (Okay, mine is grey/blue…but now I want RED!) Show your style and dedication to health by swapping out your boring, static office chair for a Swopper. It’s sure to cause an increase in visits from your co-workers who want to check your new chair out.
5. Stock up on your favorite edible things. Having a comforting cup of your favorite tea or a piece of dark chocolate at your desk is a great way to bring some of your comforts from home to the office.
Whatever makes you FEEL good will also help you work better! Even at work, it’s good to let your personality shine through the personalization of your workspace.
What do you do to make your workspace your own?
~ Jenn Lytle
Whether you are physically active or not, prolonged sitting is detrimental to your health. Dubbed as the ‘new smoking,’ prolonged sitting silently causes havoc on body from the moment you descend onto a chair. Researchers have shown such health risks include an increase in cardiovascular disease and up to a 20% drop in good cholesterol after just a few hours of sitting. With both work-loads and hours increasing, it is easy to understand how sitting is ruining your health.
As a society, we understand that sitting at a desk carries negative effects with it. Simply put, our bodies are not meant to remain inactive. Many of us have implemented exercise programs to avoid the negative effects on the body. Unfortunately, daily walks on a treadmill do not protect one from the health risks associated with prolonged sitting.
To better understand this point and illustrate just how detrimental sitting can be to one’s health, I will interject myself into the seated equation. Relatively speaking, I exercise daily, follow a healthy meal plan with relatively no alcohol and am not overweight or obese.
Imagine that I am working a typical 8-hour day with a couple breaks away from my desk. From the moment I sit behind my computer, my body starts to burn calories at a slower pace. I begin to adjust myself back and forth in the chair, as my neck and back muscles tighten due to my body’s decrease in circulation and my now forward lean showing early signs of fatigue. As I grow more lethargic, unbeknown to me my insulin levels are beginning to drop. I even start to find myself growing hungry, though I have not moved much since sitting down. Why is this? Well, my appetite regulating hormones are thrown off, and I am losing concentration while growing increasingly stressed.
Compounding this over time, my health risks start to manifest themselves: weight gain, muscle atrophy, poor posture, higher cholesterol, a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer and early death.
In the gym, I cannot compete with negative effects of the chair, and it is more than just posture. Because of the rounding of my back, I now run the risk of shoulder issues when performing anterior strengthening protocols. My days of running without struggling for air are long winded. Due to the fact that my lungs have to work so much harder with my newly positioned forward tilt in my upper back, each run feels like a marathon instead of a mind clearing experience.
In the end, I retire from years behind a computer and now have the pleasure of spending my ‘Golden Years’ with a heightened risk of orthopedic concerns, illness and an early death.
This story sounds so familiar for many. Fortunately, I want you to know that you can counteract the health risks associated with prolonged sitting just by remaining active at your desk and implementing a good system of getting up and taking a few-minute break every hour. Remember, it’s your life and you are worth it!
~ Jay Cardiello
Jay Cardiello is a Wellness and Fitness Expert who has worked with such people as 50 Cent, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest, Kevin Love and Sofia Vargara. Cardiello has also spent time in the professional coaching ranks with such teams as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Reds Baseball Organization. Aside from his coaching attributes, Cardiello acts as the SHAPE Fitness Editor at Large and is a Contributing Editor at Muscle & Fitness and Men’s Fitness. As well as the Residential Celebrity Trainer for OK and STAR Magazines. Cardiello is the Co-Founder of Off the Scale (a Prescription Based Health Care Initiative Program to help combat Obesity). He has also authored the book, Cardio Core 4×4 and Founded the 20-Minute Body Weight workout of the JCORE.
The brainstorming session. We’ve all been there, stuck in the conference room willing our brains to come up with the next big idea, only to be left struggling with the same three ideas over and over. Turning your creativity on when necessary can be a difficult task for many.
The good news is, there are ways to train your creative side to flourish. Below are five ways to help you unlock your creativity and wow your coworkers.
1. Get Moving! When you move by sitting on a Swopper, you increase circulation and blood flow to your brain, help your muscles relax into proper position and breathe deeper by opening your diaphram. All this helps get your brain working more effectively, which should help increase your creative juices.
2. No Bad Ideas. Resist the temptation to think or verbalize why an idea would not work. Instead, stop those negative thoughts before they start by creating a “no bad ideas” rule in brainstorms. This means no one is allowed to talk about why an idea wouldn’t work in that meeting, only build upon ideas no matter how silly they may seem. Use later meetings to hone in on ideas and discuss their viability.
3. Set Expectations in Advance. Often in creative meetings, one or two people can dominate the conversation. By setting expectations before the meeting that each person must present at least three ideas, you can get people thinking ahead of time and make the conversation more diverse.
4. Bring Creative Toys. Sometimes the best way to get creativity to come out is to engage all your senses in creative activities. It’s a good idea to create a “brainstorming bag” that contains creative toys like silly putty, markers and paper, small musical toys and tasty foods.
5. Write it Large. When ideas are being fired off rapidly, it’s easy to forget what was previously said. Enlist the help of a note taker to write every idea down on large poster board sized paper stuck all around the room. This way, everyone can see the ideas and build off them as the session progresses.
To be perfectly clear, being creative takes time and opportunity, but with proper practice and the right environment, you and your work team can excel at the task of coming up with killer ideas. For more ideas on how to inspire creativity, check out this infographic from Entrepreneur Magazine.
So get motivated, get back on track, and start thinking MAYBE, just maybe, you’ve got this creative bug…now go use it!
~ Jenn Lytle