When it comes to daily workouts, we’re all about efficiency. We know that you lead a busy life with consistent, competing priorities, and the faster you can get an awesome, effective workout in, the better. While we love going on long runs or bike rides to relax, oftentimes during the week busy schedules make building up strength as quickly as possible the ultimate goal.
Luckily, burning calories and building muscle don’t need to take hours on end. By making your time at the gym more efficient, you may even get a better workout. Practice these uber-efficient tips and tricks at the gym this week to maximize the productivity in your exercise.
- Fuel up and hydrate. Don’t let hunger pangs get you down. Have a light snack prior to any workout – say, a banana or some nuts – to fuel you through and ensure you don’t need to end early to settle your stomach. Hydration is important too; the more you hydrate, the more efficient your workout will become.
- Go at the right time. Avoid rush hour (read: after work at 5pm) as often as possible so all equipment is available right when you need it. Waiting in lines for cardio equipment or weight machines can waste some serious time. Better yet, head to the gym in the morning or midday to take advantage of calorie-burning aftereffects that last the whole day through.
- Set concrete goals, and plan ahead. Plan out your cardio and write down the strength goals you want to max out at the gym today. Heading over with set goals in mind keeps you motivated and on track throughout the entire session. It’s easy to get distracted in a crowded gym; a slew of people, music, and so many machine options can make you feel dazed. By setting goals ahead of time, you go in with a plan in mind to accomplish key steps quickly and efficiently.
- Avoid phone distractions. Put your phone on “do not disturb” mode or, better yet, leave it in your locker. Texts, calls, and Facebook notifications can seriously interrupt your workout, wasting time and energy. Eliminate distractions by going phone-free for the hour you’re there.
- Choose moves that target multiple muscle groups. While sit-ups and push-ups are great for building strength, targeting multiple muscle groups simultaneously will seriously increase your impact (for instance, lunges with an overhead press) and decrease your time. For cardio, perform interval sprints or hills on the treadmill rather than going at one speed for the full 30 minutes. And always time your rest – what feels like a quick 60 seconds between moves could easily turn into 4 or 5 minutes if you aren’t cognizant.
How do you stay efficient at the gym? What keeps you on track to accomplishing your goals?
Seen above: Earth Shoes Jericho
You may have noticed the days are getting shorter. The sun sets just a tad bit earlier each day, and if you’re an early riser, you’ve probably noticed that it’s darker when you wake up now. As much as it may not feel like it with raging hot temps and high noontime sun, cooler weather is on its way.
The transition to fall is always a gradual and enjoyable one. You eventually begin trading shorts for white jeans once the sun goes down. Perhaps you start throwing a light sweater in your bag to avoid the early morning chill on the way to work, and Friday night bonfires in the backyard start to feel immensely enticing.
Come the end of September, depending on where you live, you may start to feel that little chill more often – and suddenly you’re rocking jeans more often than not, and your sandals are relegated to a box at the back of your closet for months on end.
Seen above: Earth Shoes Wanderlust
The change in seasons opens up a whole new realm of fashion that can’t be beat. Shorts, t-shirts, and flowery summer dresses switch out with denim pants, sweaters, scarves, cute socks, and best of all, beautiful boots and flats.
We can’t help but be excited for fall shoe season to arrive. Tall, knee-high leather beauties grace our presence; adorable, accented shorties make any outfit look ultra fresh and fashionable. And there’s no brand we look to more to provide us with comfortable, beautiful fall boots and flats we need than Earth Shoes.
Earth has started releasing their boots, flats, and other closed-toe shoes, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. In gorgeous reds, blacks, browns, and other hues, these boots match with every one of your favorite fall outfits, gracing them with an added oomph of style. With the classic, comfortable footbed infused into every pair of Earth Shoes, you know that the versatility and all-day-wear-ability can’t be beat.
Seen above: Earthies Essen
Slip into a pair of Earth boots this fall as you enjoy the changing of the leaves, crisp apple cider, and gorgeous orange pumpkins that grace this amazing season. Wear short boots with a pair of your favorite denim pants tucked in, a chunky sweater up top. Grab some ankle booties to wear with your favorite sweater dress, or pair with a flowy cotton swing dress. Add cute flats to a knee-length skirt and blouse combo. The opportunities are endless!
Shop the newest Earth Shoes today and get ahead of this autumn’s trends.
Have you ever heard the term “zero waste”? Perhaps you’ve heard about your city incorporating zero waste practices into their future sustainability plans. Maybe you’ve been involved with a non-profit trying to bring others into the zero waste journey. But did you know you can incorporate zero waste practices into your everyday life?
“Zero waste” is the concept of changing purchasing and disposal practices so that all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. It is a process of eliminating the volume of waste that makes its way into our environment. It’s all about reducing, reusing, and recycling – and in the meantime, not producing any trash.
Look at your trash bin today and you might think this sounds incredibly difficult – perhaps even impossible. Going completely zero waste is a huge endeavor, particularly because so many of the goods we buy are packaged (and not always in recyclable packaging). However, incorporating a few zero waste practices into your life can make a serious difference in lessening the impact you have on the earth.
First, take a week to list out all the trash you’ve produced each day (read: anything you didn’t recycle or compost, and instead threw in a garbage bin). After that week, take a look at the trends: what are you trashing most? Is there a way to replace those items with something more sustainable?
From there, think about your purchases: are you buying quality items that last? Reducing the amount that you purchase and use – and truly thinking through what you need most – is one of the first steps in reducing the waste you produce. Oftentimes, spending a little more on higher quality items is well worth the expenditure, as the products tend to last longer and therefore turn into less waste. For example, mason jars, reusable bags, bamboo utensils, and compostable straws are more expensive than their disposable (often free) counterparts. Buy a few of them and take them with you wherever you go to reduce waste.
Then, think recyclable or compostable. Items like cotton balls or dishwashing brushes aren’t necessarily things you want to reuse for long periods of time. In instances like those, look at stores or online for recyclable or compostable options.
Food can be particularly tricky. While you may have a compost bin at your disposal, typical grocery stores package the majority of their food – sometimes in packaging that isn’t recyclable. The ultimate trick here? Go to local farmer’s markets. Bring your own reusable bag and fill up on fresh, in-season produce that supports local community businesses. Farmer’s markets often sell eggs, cheese, and bread in sustainable or low impact packaging. For other items, shop the bulk section of your local health food store – beans, grains, and cereals can all be found in bulk in a variety of grocery locations.
Making your way towards a more sustainable lifestyle isn’t easy. Hopefully these small steps can help drive you down the right path towards an increasingly less wasteful life. All in all, remember that trashed items don’t disappear – they go into a landfill and eventually harm our land and water. Protect the earth, save money, and live better!
There’s nothing like the taste of fresh summer produce to make us jump for joy. When corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and summer squash are at their prime, they practically taste like candy, especially when prepared on the grill with some flavor-enhancing spices and homemade sauces.
In-season produce is so delicious that we try to incorporate it into nearly every meal all summer long. Strawberries? Why not throw them on a salad? Fresh herbs? Homemade pesto is calling our name. Watermelon? Let’s throw it on the grill. Tomatillos? Time for salsa!
That’s where this amazing, tasty recipe from One Ingredient Chef comes in. These tostadas – kind of like flat, toasted tacos – are complete with tons of in-season flavor from the produce that tastes so good right now. Corn, avocado, and tomatillos make their way into this umami-salty-sweet infused meal. If you haven’t used tomatillos before, we recommend it – their beautiful green color and juicy flavor are ripe for summer enjoyment. If your store doesn’t have tomatillos, however, feel free to substitute tomatoes from the garden.
This recipe takes a bit of prep, but believe us – it’s worth it. First, you cook up the mushrooms in a delicious soy sauce and maple syrup base to create impeccable flavor. Then, you toast the corn shells for a few minutes in the oven to get them nice and crispy. Combine corn, tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime to make a delectable salsa that you’ll truly just want to eat on its own. Pile the toasted shells high with mushrooms and salsa, some homemade guacamole or fresh avocado, and a little sour cream, and wow – have you got yourself a delectable meal.
Of course, these tostadas will still be delicious if you make them a few months from now in autumn. However, you won’t be getting that fresh, seasonal summer sweetness to truly bring out the complexity of the flavors. Eat them up now to maximize your taste bud potential!
Whip these up this weekend and let us know how much you love them.
About One Ingredient Chef
One Ingredient Chef is a healthy food blog run by Andrew Olson. His goal is simple: he wants you to become healthier than ever before while cooking the best food of your life. As he says, “The One Ingredient Diet is my simple answer to a world of processed foods. But this isn’t about munching on lettuce! My job is to show you (step-by-step) how to cook deliciously healthy food with only *real* ingredients.”
Many runners – and exercisers in general – tend to get stuck in a rut every once in a while, performing the same routine over and over again. While it’s great to find a routine or exercise that inspires you to work out often, working the same amount or similar muscles over and over again isn’t as effective as it could be. Doing something your body isn’t used to – like training different muscles or challenging yourself to do a new class – improves the effectiveness of your workouts and helps you reach your goals faster.
If you’re a runner, you may have experienced the distance rut. You have a route you like to take that’s exactly the same distance each time. You enjoy it because of its comfort. You know you can do it, and it feels good to do so. But sometimes, you start to feel like you need a little bit of a challenge.
That’s where training for longer distances comes in. Whether you dream of doing a half marathon or simply want to add a few miles to your typical running route, running the distance comes with some serious benefits, mentally and physically. Can you imagine heading out on a 2-hour run underneath the trees, simply to clear your head? It sounds wonderful.
If you’re hoping to increase your distance a bit, follow these tips to get started and stay injury free.
- Build up slowly. If you typically run 4 miles at a time,suddenly attempting 8 puts you at risk for injury and tends to disappoint. Adding mileage takes time. Slowly add half a mile or 1 mile to one of your runs each week and gradually increase as time goes on.
- Ease into it. If you’re adding a mile at a time to increase your mileage, feel free to walk or slowly jog! There’s nothing wrong with easing into your amplified distance to avoid injury and improve gradually. You may also choose to try a variety of cardio exercises – cycling, swimming, etc. – to get your heart rate up while taking a break from the running grind.
- Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re running longer distances, you shouldn’t expect to keep up with your regular pace. Your average mile time should slow down as you increase your distance. Start out at a much slower pace than normal to ensure you don’t tire out too quickly.
- Incorporate high and low intensity workouts. Running longer distances isn’t only about running for hours on end. It’s also about how you work your body in between those long runs. Go on shorter interval runs to test your speed and agility; jog hills to pump up your leg muscles. Alternating the muscles you’re using and the way your heart is pumping will help your distance in the long run.
- Know your body. When trying any new, difficult workout – particularly distance running – it’s vital to listen to your body’s signals. If you’re sore after a run, take a rest day. If you’re feeling dehydrated and sore, skip the long run this week. Stretching after each and every workout – and even fitting in some yoga or pilates – can work wonders in decreasing post-run soreness and increasing flexibility.
Overall, increasing distance is all about taking it slow and knowing your body. Try this step by step process to truly improve – and let us know how it goes!
Seen above: Ria 40060 Slingback Sandal
It’s a sweaty, hot day in August – sound familiar? You get ready in the morning: you shower, put on make-up, slip into a dress or slacks and a light blouse, and blow dry your hair. You feel ready for success.
And then you step outside – and it’s sweltering. Sweat glimmers on your face and arms, and that shower you just took feels like a distant dream.
This warmth is part of the beauty of summer: hot temperatures, sunny days, and a small breeze lend themselves to the outdoor activities we love. Kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, jogging, and strolling hand in hand with your loved ones are perfect activities for the summer months. The warmth and sunshine make you feel alive.
Seen above: Wonders Sandals C-3002
But when it’s time to go to work and you need to get dressed up, this summertime warmth doesn’t always feel like your best friend. When you’re wearing stiff dress pants or a blazer, the sweat that joins you doesn’t necessarily feel as good as it does when you’re running through the heat in workout clothes.
The heat may not make you feel your prettiest. We know you look gorgeous no matter the weather, but beauty is partly about how good you feel. That’s where ultra-pretty, strappy sandals come in.
Summertime sandals ensure your feet get to breathe, while the rest of your body may not be so fortunate. Our sandals are made of beautiful leathers, complete with gorgeous, intricate embellishment and details that take them a step above the rest. They’re so stylish and high-quality that you can totally wear them to work, no matter how dressed up you are.
On the weekends, these sandals transition simply and effortlessly into your relaxed wardrobe. Slip them on with shorts and a tank top for an instantly-classed up casual ensemble. Wear a sundress for a beautiful day walking through city streets or attending a delicious brunch with friends. The opportunities are truly endless when your shoes are as versatile as these strappy numbers!
Shop our prettiest sandals this August before they leave for the summer. Even better, all of our sandals are currently 30% off. Get to shopping, and enjoy the warmth!