Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required!

As if standing on your feet for hours a day and saving lives wasn’t enough exercise! However, according to a study conducted by the University of Maryland, an overwhelming 55% of nurses are overweight or obese. How can this statistic be explained given that nursing is an active job and that nurses are conscientious of health issues? Maybe it’s the compulsive, quick-fix eating that the night shift causes? Perhaps it’s the unhealthy options in the hospital cafeteria or lack of time in the mornings to prepare a meal to bring into work. Or what about the fact that nurses are dead tired after their 12 hour shift and the gym is the LAST thing on their mind? Well, for whatever reason, this phenomenon exists, and we want to help you avoid becoming a statistic.

These exercises are perfect for building a strong core, which improves overall body strength and promotes more controlled movements. Nurses will love these simple at home minute exercises that requires no equipment other than your body (and maybe a nearby towel)!

  • First: loosen up. Stand up with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. From there, lean forward, grabbing opposite elbows. As you let your head hang, visualize moving your ribs closer to your thighs with each exhale. After stretching in the center for one minute, move your upper-body to the right for 15 seconds, come back to the center for 15 seconds, and then move your upper-body to the left for 15 seconds. Once you have returned to the center, slowly scoop your belly inward and peel up from your spine while visualizing yourself coming up one vertebrae at a time.
  • Plie squat with different torso exercises: To start, spread your legs about 2.5-3 feet apart and do a plie squat. This is important: do NOT let your legs move, wobble, or come out of this position. Staying stationary in your lower body is imperative while you move your upper-body to build core.Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required! Found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
    1. Extend your arms all the way out to the side and bring them forward until they are fully extended in front of you. Avoid muscle strain by remembering to keep your shoulders out of your ear, as well melting your shoulder blades back and down. Do this motion for one minute. Add cardio by increasing the frequency of your movements.
    2. Continue to hold the stance in your lower body wile interlacing your fingers at chest level. Move from side to side using your obliques for 1 minute.
    3. Now, remove your hands from that grip and punch directly in front of you using your obliques (as if you were hitting a punching bag).
  • Drop from the plie squat to a full arm plank. You can either:Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required! Found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
    1. Hold the plank for a minute.
    2. Sprint using your legs by bending your knee to your chest. Keep your hips down and engage your thighs and butt to stabilize your body.
    3. Push up into downward dog for 30 seconds, or just stand up and take a breather.
  • Sit down into what is called a “C” frame.Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required! Found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
    1. Grab underneath your knees after sitting upright. Your legs should be partially extended and have a 90 degree bend in them. Once your hands are underneath your knees, lean back until your arms are fully extended. Now, release your arms while keeping your legs in place by squeezing your inner thighs. At this point, you should feel a slight burn in your lower abdomen. Grab a 5 pound weight and do Russian twists with your torso while your lower body continues to stay still. This will help tone your obliques.
    2. To really work your core, maintain this seated position in the C-frame. Now, put your arms out in front of you, facing forward, with your palms on the ground. Lift one leg up at a time approximately an inch or two off the ground. Keep the leg straight and extended with your foot flexed. Raise your leg and then lower it. Now, with the same leg, you will bend your knee (which engages your hip flexor) and bring your knee towards your chest. After, put your leg back on the floor so you are in the neutral C-frame, and repeat this exercise 10 times, alternating legs.

Try this work out and see what you think! Once it becomes less of a challenge, repeat each set! We hope you’ll notice the benefits of a strengthened core and looser hamstrings! It will make a world of a difference in your health.

10 Ways to Relieve Stress

It’s no surprise that being a medical professional can be an incredibly stressful job. However, practicing stress-relieving relaxation techniques can help alleviate that whole “I go to work and hold others’ very livelihood in the palm of my hands” stress thing. Medical professionals can certainly appreciate stress relieving techniques since they know all the negative effects that over-stressing has on the body. Those who regularly practice relaxation and stress relief experience many positive health benefits, such as a slowed heart rate, lowered blood pressure, reduced activity of stress hormones. 10 Ways to Relieve Stress found on blog.uniformadvantage.comHere are 10 helpful ways to reduce negative stress in your life:

  1. Meditate: This classic relaxation technique promotes feelings of well-being and self-awareness. Simply take 10 minutes for yourself upon arriving home from work to lie on your floor, splay your legs and arms out, clear your mind, and simply enjoy the silence and solitude.
  2. Keep a journal: Remember your diary that you used to keep as a child? Time to start up another one! Journaling is a great emotional release. By writing down your feelings and events of the day, you become more in tune with your emotions and more aware of how you respond to life’s challenges. It’s also a great way to track your progress in building relationships, advancing in your job, or developing a new hobby!
  3. Attend Yoga Classes: A relaxing yet challenging exercise, yoga and its focus on breathing, body awareness, and mental acuity result in better overall health for mind and body. Those who participate regularly in yoga experience lower blood pressure, a reduced heart rate, lower cholesterol, and improved memory. Plus, yoga will help you with your other physical activities! By stretching your muscles and developing greater core strength, you will enjoy an improved range of motion in your exercise.Attend Yoga classes found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
  4. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): This relaxation technique, which can be done lying down or sitting up, is characterized by a conscious, controlled process of tensing and then relaxing muscle groups of the body. Most people typically start at the hands or feet and work their way up or down the body, concentrating on areas such as abdomen, back muscles, eyes, jaw, chest, shoulders, and thighs.
  5. Laugh more often: Other than giving you a wicked set of abs, laughter is great for improving your mood and giving you a more positive outlook. Researchers have found that the very act of smiling (even if it is fake or forced) releases dopamine and serotonin in the brain, resulting in feelings of happiness! Watch your favorite comedy tonight!
  6. Take a Walk: Daily 30 minute walks are a great form of light exercise that boost immunity and cardiovascular health. Switch up your local route for a change in scenery! Regular exercise is shown to improve brain function and muscle strength in the long-run. Whether you prefer to walk alone and enjoy the quiet, or walk with friends and enjoy the laughter, you will surely notice the many health benefits of walking.
  7. Drink Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage, green tea is certainly the healthiest drink (other than water) that you can put into your body. Since it is neither processed nor artificial, green tea has been shown to improve cholesterol, blood flow, and memory. So take a tea break and sip slowly to enjoy the benefits of this amazing drink!Drink green tea found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
  8. Prioritize Sleep: Here’s a no brainer – make sure you set aside some time to sleep! Going through the REM cycles allows your body, mind, and immune system to rejuvenate. Those who consistently get less than 7 hours of sleep suffer from poor memory, concentration, and health problems.
  9. Stay hydrated: Remembering to consistently drink water throughout your day will keep you hydrated, which is essential for job performance, focus, and stamina. Drinking water regularly can also result in muscle mass increase, loss of fat, and shinier skin! The intake of this vital fluid allows your body to recuperate from the many stresses you experience on the job and helps you bounce back with an extra boost!
  10. Practice Good Posture: Those who are mindful of their posture, whether standing or sitting, experience many health benefits in comparison to those who slouch around! For example, good posture facilitates breathing, which in turn increases the oxygen flow that our brain needs (20%) to function properly. By rolling the shoulders back and down, keeping your chin level with the ground, and standing tall, you will be seen as a confident individual, which will make you feel better about yourself in turn.Practice good posture found on blog.uniformadvantage.com

What techniques do you find helpful to reduce your stress?