How to Workout while Traveling! by Hayden Riley, M.S.

Whether you travel for work or for pleasure, your exercise routine can often be hindered by too much time spent in the airport, on the plane, and in a hotel. To ensure that your exercise routine doesn’t end up on the back burner, here are some helpful hints on how to stay active while traveling.

Airport: Will you be attending San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway, Dallas-Fort Worth, Burlington, Sioux Falls, Helsinki, London Heathrow, or Frankfurt Airport any time soon? If so, you’re in luck! These 9 airports are the first (of hopefully many) to add yoga rooms to one or more terminals. Yoga rooms are designed to allow travelers a time and place to relax and exercise while embarking on a typically sedentary and stressful journey. Visiting an airport that isn’t so exercise-friendly? No problem. Here are a few ways in which you can get in some physical activity while waiting for your flight!

  • Do laps around your terminal! Better yet, do a suitcase walk. Carry your suitcase in one hand and focus on contracting your core so that you remain upright despite the added weight on one side. Switch arms and perform the same distance. If possible, do this 3-5 times per side.
  • Find a staircase and climb away!
  • Find a stable object for safety and do some calf raises, leg lifts, and squats.
  • Pick that suitcase up and do some shoulder shrugs. With your suitcase in hand and down by your side, shrug your shoulders up toward your arms. Switch sides and again, do this several times per side (~15).
  • With your suitcase in hand and by your side, do some side bends to work your obliques.
  • Last but not least – stretch! Long flights and long layovers can often leave us feeling cramped and tight so why not avoid that by taking a few minutes to stretch.

Airplane: On the airplane, feel free to take some time to relax. After all, relaxing and remaining stress-free is just as important. If you are antsy or anxious on planes, like I am, then try to work out your anxiety a bit! When acceptable, get up and walk down the aisle a couple times. Can’t get up? Do some light stretches in your seat. Stretch your neck, arms and even your back with some seated twists. If you’re on a long flight it is essential to get those legs moving – do some ankle pumps, ankle circles, and seated calf raises to increase blood flow!

Hotel: Are you staying at a Westin, Omni, Even, Fairmont, Sheraton, Kimpton, or Hyatt Place hotel?  These hotels are known for being fitness friendly so you don’t have to miss your workout. Forgot your gear? No problem! Check in with the front desk because some of these great hotels will help you keep moving by allowing you to rent workout gear! Not up for the hotel gym? Again, not a problem! Here are some quick and easy workouts you can do in your hotel room with no equipment:

  • Push ups, modified push ups (on knees or against the wall)
  • Tricep dips off of a chair or bench
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Cal raises
  • Standing leg lifts (front, back, lateral)
  • Laying leg lifts (great for core!)
  • Planks
  • Hip Bridges
  • Reverse Kicks
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Squat and Lunge jumps…and so on!
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Is A Meal Delivery Service Right For You? – Staci O’Connor MS, RD, CDN

 

Are you short on time but want to have a healthy meal for yourself and your family?  Or do you have a limited culinary background but like to eat delicious meals?  Then a meal delivery service might be right for you.  As you may have seen on television or flipping through a magazine, meal delivery services are popping up all over offering fresh ingredients and unique recipes that can be ordered with all necessary ingredients, with perfectly portioned ingredients (which decreases food waste) and is sent right to your doorstep.  These companies make it easy to get back into the kitchen and fix a balanced meal.

Blue Apron:  Blue Apron aims to reach a range of customers from beginners to experienced cooks.  Their chefs and farmers work together to use farm-fresh and seasonal produce, meat that has no added hormones, and sustainably-sourced seafood.  They provide recipe cards as well as how-to-videos starting at $8.74 per serving. Blue Apron can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences and can also personalize your menu each week based on your food preferences with meals that fall between 500-800 kcal per serving.  Blue Apron aim to provide balanced recipes that include a healthful portion of vegetables, grains, and proteins and they deliver nationwide to most addresses (and you can skip any delivery before the weekly cutoff if you have to travel). (www.blueapron.com)

Plated:  Plated focuses on fresh ingredients and globally inspired recipes.  They provide a new seasonal menu every week which is good for every cooking level.  Plated focuses on seasonality, quality, sustainability, and having specialty items that you may not find in stores.  The estimated calorie count for specific recipes can be found on the menu page but typically an entrée is around 600-800 calories.  Plated delivers to 95% of the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) and there are a few cities in Texas (San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland) that Plated do not ship to and if you have to travel you can change plans or skip weeks.   (www.plated.com)

Hello Fresh: Hello Fresh uses fresh ingredients that are nutritionally balanced, meals are ready in 30 minutes or less with easy-to-follow instructions, and all of this is sent right to your doorstep.  The meal kits don’t cater to specific dietary needs, but in keeping with FDA regulations, they do disclose all allergens on nutrition labels.  They have a team of Registered Dietitians on staff that focus on nutrient content.  Meals generally contain anywhere from 500-800 calories each. They deliver across the continental USA and there is no commitment, you can skip or cancel at any time.   (www.hellofresh.com)

Chef’d:  Chef’d offers both a la carte meals and dessert offerings.  If you have any particular dietary restriction, preference, preferred skill level or cook time you are able to filter through 300+ available meals.  Chef’d also offers subscription-based meal plans for people that follow Weight Watchers or the Atkins lifestyle and there is also a plan that was developed in accordance with the American Diabetes Association and evaluated by dietitians. Chef’d delivers to all zip codes located in the Contiguous United States.   (www.chefd.com)

Green Chef:  Green Chef’s offer fresh, organic ingredients that can be tracked from supplier to the dinner table.  They have chef-crafted recipes that require 45 minutes or less to prep and cook and cater to a range of dietary preferences.  They carefully select the freshest seasonal ingredients ensuring that each dinner that you have is good for you as well as the environment. Green Chef delivers throughout the US (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and limited areas in Wisconsin and Minnesota).  (www.greenchef.com)

Remember that it is important to do research on any type of meal delivery service before starting one so for more information about a specific meal delivery service visit the web address as listed above to see if one is a good option for you and your family. Then hopefully once you have gained the confidence to make a few meals, you might even try to use the ingredients and techniques that you have learned and experiment on your very own.

Resources:  www.todaysdietitian.com, www.blueapron.com, www.plated.com, www.hellofresh.com, www.chefd.com, www.greenchef.com

 

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Seaweed-Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 oz. dried wakame seaweed

½ cup distilled white vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

½ tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 kirby cucumbers, sliced ¼” thick

1/2 medium daikon (Japanese white radish), peeled, thinly sliced

Preparation

Soak wakame in a small bowl of cold water 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze wakame gently to remove excess water. Then, cut into 1–2” pieces.

Meanwhile, bring vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking to dissolve sugar and salt. Let cool.

Combine wakame, cucumber, daikon, and the liquid in a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 24 hours. Drain excess liquid just before serving.

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3 Nutrition Trends to Follow in 2017

Just like in the fashion industry, each year in the nutrition field, trends that were once all the rage fade away and new trends emerge. Here at Princeton Longevity Center, we try to look into new trends and products to see if they are worth including in one’s diet. A few 2017 trends have caught our eyes so far. Here are 3 plant-based trends to sink your teeth into!

Fermented Foods:

You are probably familiar with probiotics, otherwise known as “good bacteria”. There has always been a focus on yogurt being a great source of these probiotics. But, fermented foods are also a good of probiotics and, if you vary your sources of probiotics, you’ll get a wider variety of beneficial bacteria to support digestion, natural detoxification and your immune system. Some familiar fermented foods include: sauerkraut and pickles. Other fermented foods to try include: Natto (made with soybeans), kefir (similar to yogurt in taste), kombucha (made from tea & bacteria), kimchi (similar to sauerkraut), and tempeh (soybean based).

 Seaweed:

We still love kale and spinach, but another green to try to include in your weekly vegetable rotation is seaweed! Like other greens, seaweed is low in calories and provides vitamins A & C as well as iron, magnesium and fiber. Seaweed also has iodine, which supports thyroid function. There is some preliminary research suggesting that compounds in seaweed may help with hunger control. Look for wakame or kelp salads on menus and experiment with making your own seaweed salad at home! Also, look for roasted/dried seaweed snacks next to those kale chips!

Ancient Grains:

Quinoa has been a focus these past few years. But, other “ancient grains” like amaranth, millet, kamut, sorghum and spelt deserve to get some attention too! Each of these grains varies in their nutritional content, but like quinoa, all are good sources of protein, fiber, B vitamins and iron. Most are gluten free, but spelt and kamut are varieties of gluten-containing wheat. We know that plant rich diet that include whole grains reduce the risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. So, expand your whole grain options this year by looking into these other “ancient grains”. Oldways Whole Grain Council is a good resource for learning more about these and other whole grains.

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Less is Sometimes More

Most of us have probably heard at least one of the following statements when it comes to working out:

  • You need to suffer to see results.
  • If you’re not “killing yourself” it won’t work.
  • Go hard or go home.
  • Do more.
  • Work harder.
  • Work out longer.
  • No days off.

These statements have probably been the reason for why most of us sometimes find it hard to motivate ourselves to get to a workout when all we think and are told about how to get results is to spend hours in a gym and kill ourselves.  Honestly, most of us have been there, done that, and burned out.

The good news is that for the goals of many, you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym for hours on end to achieve results.  That being said, it does depend on what your goals are.  If you’re goals sound something like, “Look better, feel better, and be the healthiest version of myself,” then you can probably use what I’m about to tell you.  If you have more specific goals, especially if they relate directly to a particular sport or activity, then you may need to devote more time to achieving those results.  In either case, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be a welcome addition to almost every training program.

In the past few years HIIT has been flooding news cycles, magazines, and websites in a big way.  That’s not without good reason.  We have been able to prove, through research, that when HIIT workouts are performed properly we only need 10-20 minutes to workout.

What is HIIT?  HIIT involves intense work periods at 80-95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate, matched with recovery periods that are typically around 40-50% of a person’s estimated max heart rate. Work and rest periods are usually performed in ratios starting at 3:1 and adjusted as a person gets stronger.

The Benefits. HIIT training not only improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness but it also improves blood pressure, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol profiles, and abdominal fat and/or body weight, all while maintaining muscle mass. These workouts also tend to increase caloric expenditure by 6-15%.

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Power Up Your Stride

Power and strength are two components of fitness that inevitably decline with age. Power is said to reduce 6-11% per decade from adulthood to older age and is the first fitness component to decline, followed by strength. The definition of power (when it comes to biomechanics and physics) is the amount of work done in a certain period of time. You will notice the loss of muscular power in an aging individual whose walking stride is shorter, lower to the ground, and ultimately slower. Great news though! Add a little power training to your workout and this unavoidable descend can be slowed down dramatically.

These workouts are typically a bit more exciting and require more explosive movements such as medicine ball throws. While the whole body is engaged, majority of the effort comes from the lower extremities. Workouts should consist of exercises that focus on hip and knee extension and flexion such as ball slams and overhead, underhand and side throws. Start with few sets (3-5) of small amount of repetitions. Slowly increase the repetitions as you feel stronger. Of course, these aren’t the only moves to consider. So make sure your program is well rounded and filled with exercises that strengthen the body as whole from head to toe. *Explosive/Plyometric exercises should not be done until a strong muscular foundation has been established.*

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Grow Your Glutes

Many of Americans spend at least 8 hours a day sitting on one of the top 5 strongest muscles in the human body. Your Gluteus Maximus has a large responsibility when is comes to stability of your lower back and hip region because it connects the pelvis to the femur. Spending majority of our day sitting, probably with the legs crossed, causes this muscle (along with some others) to weaken while the oppsite groups get tighter. Dysfunction in the gluteals, hip abductors, and hip flexors, can lead to some of the most costly injuries such as non-specific low back pain. Other injuries associated with weak Gluteus Maximus are plantar fasciitis, patellar tendonitis and hamstring strains.

Not only is it aesthetically appealing but growing your gluteal muscles is important to optimize daily functions such as walking and climbing stairs. Sitting for hours at a desk, in a car, on a plane, keeps the hips in a flexed and internally rotated position so when it comes to relieving stress on the body and increasing strength it is important to work in the opposite direction (extension and external roation).

Add several variations of the following exercises for growth in size and strength of your glutes, and don’t be afraid to load the resistance!

  • Supine Bridges (as seen above)
  • Weighted Hip Thruster
  • Fire Hydrants and Hip Extensions
  • Side Squat Walks
  • Seated  Hip Abduction
  • Split Squats
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