According to Glassdoor's Q1 2014 Employment Confidence Survey, the average U.S. employee only takes half of his or her eligible vacation time. While taking a vacation and actually using up all your days off might seem like an unnecessary luxury that falls to the bottom of your priority list, a getaway is actually more necessary for your health and wellness routine than you think!
If you're worried that no one else will be able to handle your daily tasks at work, or the thought of the pile of work that will be left on your desk when you come back is giving you major anxiety, this is just further proof you need a break from the daily demands of your life.
Ernest & Young, an accounting firm, did an internal study of its employees in 2006 that found for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings from supervisors improved by 8%. Why? A well rested and rejuvenated mind is often more effective and has improved intellectual functioning.
As demonstrated by several studies, vacations are certainly known for reducing stress. What we tend to forget is that by reducing stress, we also reduce the risk for several health conditions like headaches, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and immune system distress. Blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine – a stress hormone – tend to decline after only one or two days away.
Plus, a vacation also gives you the opportunity to catch up on both sleep and exercise!
Vacations can strengthen relationships in two ways: 1) by giving your family the opportunity to spend time together outside of your normal, most likely stressful, daily routine, or 2) giving you a much needed break to rejuvenate and refresh from your responsibilities within your family dynamic - let's face it, we all need time away from our loved ones sometimes. In a previous study, 53% of Americans said they come back feeling reconnected with their family after vacation.
It doesn't need to be 3 plane rides south in the Caribbean or a 2 week road trip across the country. Just planning a few nights away where you can leave your worries behind will do the trick! AND it's not just the time away that's beneficial. Having something to look forward to is incredibly rewarding and you can feel the planning effects up to 8 weeks before your trip!
Part of living #TheLucyLife is exploration, travel adventures, and embracing your inner wanderluster alongside of being the happiest, healthiest version of you! But, it's hard enough to get to the gym and eat healthy when at home, let alone on the road - regardless of if you're traveling for work or pleasure. Either way, traveling is not a sufficient excuse for slacking on your health and fitness goals! Here's a few super simple tips on staying fit no matter where life takes you!
No hotel gym? No problem! Workout right in your room before you go anywhere (because it's a lot easier to blow it off later when you don't know what the rest of your day may bring). There are plenty of apps, websites, and YouTube channels out there for you to explore. If you don't know where to start, head back to the basics. There's nothing wrong with conventional burpees, jumping jacks, crunches, planks, and push-ups! Or pick a few from this list of 50 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere.
Pack a water bottle and take it with you literally everywhere. Airplanes, road trips, and going off road of your typical schedule all play a larger role in dehydration than you may think. Not only does being dehydrated leave you feeling sluggish, but it also affects your body's ability to burn fat.
One of the best parts of traveling is trying all the local food. There's no need to stop that, just be mindful about it. Control your portions and track what you're eating along with the physical activity you're doing (we love myfitnesspal for this). It's a lot easier to stop overindulging in it's tracks when you can see the numbers. Over your goal by the end of the day? Try taking a walk after dinner or going for a late night swim - anything to get you moving! Even things like taking the stairs can add up extra calories burned throughout the day!
When traveling, you often don't know when your next meal will be. And if you're traveling with others, we all know it can take a few hours to decide on where to go. Make it easier on yourself and be always prepared to combat hunger. Granola bars, nuts, and dry fruit are great options that won't get smushed hanging out in your bag throughout the day.
Trends come and go, but denim is forever. These fashion bloggers prove just that in these incredible, non-so-traditional denim looks!
She even recently confessed that she's not the biggest fan of jeans (probably because she hasn't tried Lucy Maire yet.. just sayin'), but we say she's a great source for some overall denim inspiration.
Ripped denim has never looked so classy. We're obsessed with Caitlin's polished style and amazing photos that any wanderluster is sure to envy.
She knows what's up, "you just can't go wrong picking up a great pair of jeans for the fall season".
If you're wondering where the heck August came from, we are right there with you. Summer is sadly winding down, so to help you make the most of every last moment, we've put together an awesome bucket list for you to tackle this month! Don't forget to hashtag your summer memories with #TheLucyLife!
Here at Lucy Marie, we believe in the power of a nice derriere. We’re always on the lookout for our next booty-boosting workout. If doing hundreds of squats is starting to get old, switch things up and purchase a kettlebell to use at home. Not only will it help you build a nicer booty, but it will also give you a full-body workout. Below are a few moves we highly recommend:
1.) Glute Bridges with Kettlebell
Take this basic booty building move to the next level by incorporating a kettlebell! Hold the kettlebell in the center of your body as pictured. Lift up by thrusting your hips and hold for five seconds. Lower back down to the ground. Do 12 reps. [Source: Women’s Health & Fitness Australia]
2) Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are a basic move that will not only help your glutes, but will also work your core, arms, legs-- well, everything. There is certain science to perfecting the form of a kettlebell swing. For proper instructions, click here. [Source: Mind Body Green]
3) Single-Leg Deadlift with Kettlebell
Your glutes and abs will feel the burn with this single-leg deadlift. To perform this move, hold the kettlebell in your right hand and lift your left leg slightly off the ground. Keeping your back glat, slowly lower your arm to the ground while simultaneously lifting your leg and extending it to the back of your body. Return upright to your starting position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps for each leg. [Source: Pop Sugar]Once you’re ready to bring squats back into your life, try holding your kettlebell while doing so to kick your workout up a notch. Enjoy!
There are certain pieces that every fashionista needs to have in her closet come summertime. Denim shorts are one of those key pieces. The beauty of denim shorts is their ability to be worn an infinite number of ways. In the chance you could use some style inspiration, here are five of our favorite looks featuring this summer staple:
1.) Casual Bohemian
Outfit Details: Shorts: Stevie Short, DASH; top: Fine Collection Linen Baggy Tee, Otteny; shoes: Trina Tall Gladiator Sandal, Alloy Apparel; handbag: Sophie Hulme Matte-leather Bucket Bag, Net-A-Porter; necklace: Vince Camuto Multi-Chain Disc Necklace, Shop the Shoebox.
2) Girls-Night-Out Glam
3) Western Chic
Outfit details: Shorts: Stevie Short, DASH; grey tank: Vero Moda Chillo Top, The Hut; plaid shirt: Rails Hunter, Intermix Online; shoes: Tommy Hilfiger Chelsea Boot, clutch: Mango Fringed Suede Clutch, John Lewis
4) Edgy Rocker
Outfit details: Shorts: Stevie Short, DASH; top: Black Eagle Printed Crop Top, LUCLUC; jacket: Diana Faux Leather Biker, Amazon; shoes: Valentino Rockstud Colourblock Patent Leather Caged Pumps, Lane Crawford; handbag: Chloé 'Drew' shoulder bag, Far Fetch
5) Elegant Prep
Outfit details: shorts: Stevie Short, DASH; top: Ruffle Hem Cami, J. Crew; shoes: Jack Rogers Luccia Stardust Leather Wedges, Lord and Taylor; handbag:MICHAEL Michael Kors CYNTHIA Tote bag blush, bracelet: Faux Pearl Bracelet Set, Forever 21
For most of us, the return of summer signals a sense of urgency when it comes to eating well and exercising more. It’s easy to fall into a boring rut when it comes to healthy food choices, but the good news is that there are plenty of healthy and delicious recipes to choose from—particularly during the summer months when fresh produce is abundant and the grill is back out for use. These recipes will make your taste buds happy and keep your body looking and feeling great. You can basically have your cake and eat it, too (Mmm…cake).
1.) Cauliflower Pizza with Greek Yogurt Pesto & Grilled Veggies
Yes, you can still have pizza and keep your figure. After trying this crunchy cauliflower crust, you likely won’t even miss the refined carbs! This is a great option for #MeatlessMonday. Learn how to make it here.
[Photo via Food Faith Fitness.]
2.) Zucchini Boats with Ground Turkey
A scrumptious dish that will fuel your body with lean protein and fiber! To make the zucchini “boats,” you simply cut the zucchinis in half and scoop out the insides. The pulp will be incorporated into the delicious filling of sautéed veggies and ground turkey. You can find other variations of zucchini boats (like a taco version for when you’re craving Mexican) on Pinterest. To create this particular recipe, click here.
[photo via Perry’s Plate.]
3.) Marinated Greek Chicken Skewers
Is it just us or does food on the grill taste so much better than any other cooking method? The secret to these chicken and veggie skewers is the amazing marinade! Check out the full recipe here.
[Photo via A Hint of Honey]
4.) Sriracha Lime Chicken Chopped Salad
Prepare yourself. We may have just found the perfect summer salad. Refreshing crisp vegetables, bold, spicy chicken, grilled pineapple and fresh avocado make up this delightful combination. Sign us up! View the full recipe here.
[Photo via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen]
5.) Summer Corn Soup (Vegan)
This light and creamy soup is made up of 9 ingredients you likely already have on hand. You will also be able to prepare and cook this soup in under 30 minutes. It’s a wonderful weeknight dinner option. Vegan and gluten-free, you can enjoy this tasty dish without an ounce of guilt! Find the recipe here.
[Photo via Minimalist Baker]
6.) Caprese Quinoa Bake
If you’ve yet to join the quinoa band wagon, now is the perfect opportunity! The gluten-free grain is packed full of nutrients and is considered a complete protein. This recipe combines a flavorful quinoa mixture (garlic, shallots, olive oil, etc.) with fresh, juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese melted to perfection. We know you want to try it.
[Photo via Domesticate Me]
7.) Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles
This recipe is for all of the pasta-lovers out there who are trying to watch their figure. Ditch the refined carbs and try a delicious alternative: squash-based noodles. Spaghetti squash and zucchini are surprisingly tasty and filling substitutes for your favorites pasta dishes. This recipe for shrimp scampi calls for a spiralizer, a life changing tool used to make zucchini noodles, aka “zoodles.” Give it a try and thank us later ;). Find the full recipe here.
[Photo via Joyful Healthy Eats]