Wellness Wednesday: Fall Fitness Tips

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Seriously, what’s not to love about fall? Pumpkin lattes are back, you can dig out your favorite sweaters, and sweet potatoes are finally in season. Best of all, the crisp temps make fall the perfect time to exercise outdoors: “The cool weather allows you to enjoy yourself without having to worry about being overheated or too cold,” says Terri Walsh, celebrity trainer and creator of the Active Resistance Training Method (A.R.T.). And that means you’re more likely to feel awesome during your workout, and maybe even log an extra mile or climb another trail.

But before you lace up and head outside, prepare for your outdoor adventure with Walsh’s fall weather workout tips:

Wear Layers
It may feel slightly nippy at first, but the weather has a rep for changing on a moment’s notice. Dress in layers that you can easily remove if your body starts to heat up—or put back on if you get cold, says Walsh.

Stay Hydrated
Many people forget to drink enough fluids during fall workouts because it’s not super hot, says Walsh. Not good. Keep drinking as normal to avoid dehydration. While it’s good to carry water, you can add some flavor with a bit of fruit juice to get even more nutrients.

Pack Snacks
Don’t disrupt your outing for a food pit stop. If you’ll be out most of the day hiking or biking, Walsh recommends bringing a small backpack with nuts or fruit stashed inside. No matter where you are, at least you have a constant source of fuel.

And if you think running is the only outdoor exercise to try, it’s time to get creative! If you’re near some branches and a log, you’ll definitely want to try this off-the-beaten-trail circuit workout. But if a park is your only outdoor fitness center, find a jungle gym and do these fun exercises on the playground. The kids in line for the monkey bars can wait their turn.



Fitness Friday

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Fitness Friday

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Five Fun Tips for Fall Fitness 

(ARA) – With their kids in school, many parents pledge to take advantage of their family’s new fall schedule by adding a daily workout to their routine. Here are five tips for making fall the most fit season of all:

1. Seize the moment: Time, or the lack of it, is often cited as the biggest challenge to sustaining an exercise regimen. When the kids return to school, what better way to use some of that precious time than getting in shape? 

Your workout doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Even a half hour walking your neighborhood pays off in increased energy and stamina. Most health-club aerobics classes are just an hour long, yet offer big fitness dividends. Taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do for your family.  

2. Enjoy the year’s most beautiful season: In many parts of the United States, autumn is a near-sacred season, with its warm, sunny days, cool evenings and postcard perfect colors. Get outside and enjoy the season by bicycling, walking, hiking, jogging, and playing golf and tennis. 

Explore parks in your area; find a new bike path through the woods, take a walk around a lake. The time spent out in nature will do as much good for your mind as for your body. 

3. Return to your club or gym: It takes 30 days to make fitness a habit, and supplementing outdoor exercise with increasingly frequent visits to your health club will help diversify your exercise regimen and set the stage for regular workouts once autumn’s leaves have fallen. 

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A well-rounded fitness regimen is important. While aerobic activity such as running or bicycling is good for your heart, resistance training is also a critical component of a balanced program, so be sure to take advantage of your club’s weight lifting equipment. 

4. An apple a day: In many parts of the country, autumn is synonymous with the apple harvest. Rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, both of which reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, inhibiting the growth of dangerous plaques along blood vessel walls, and dietary fiber, apples are a delicious and nutritious snack that can be enjoyed any time of day. 

Remember that each of us should be getting at least four to five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. However, nine out of 10 Americans do not meet these recommendations. As a result, many people should consider some form of supplementation, according to Jeff Zwiefel, president of Life Time Fitness’ Health Enhancement Division. 

“While the goal for everyone should be four to five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day, many people simply do not have the time or opportunity to get there,” said Zwiefel. “That’s why Life Time Fitness has introduced a full line of supplements that have been specially designed to meet the unique needs and requirements of both men and women.” 

5. Make it social: One of the great things about exercise is that it doesn’t need to be done alone. Find a friend with a similar fitness level and goals; having a partner helps you both stay motivated. You can use your exercise time to catch up on each other’s lives. 

Boredom is the number one killer of good health and fitness regimens. Exercising with a friend puts the fun back into your workout. 

The Author:
For more information about Life Time Fitness, visit www.lifetimefitness.com, or call (800) 430-5433.

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To get me to work out is like getting a two-year old to sit through an entire movie, nearly impossible. I like the idea of working out, I just can not find the motivation. Well friends, good news, the work out bug has bitten me. I do not know if  it’s because I want to impress my wonderful boyfriend, or because I want to live a healthier lifestyle; either way I am motivated so I am not going to press the issue. Now that I am currently in my work out frenzy ( I start today), I have come to the realization that my iPod is not suitable for an intense workout. My iPod is chalk full of goodies, but none of them really get me pumped up to work out. I have been scouring the internet for the perfect playlist and have finally found one on fitnessmagazine.com. I am ecstatic, and quite frankly want to leave work to jam out and pump some iron. I have decided to share my new-found treasure with you all…..I hope y’all get as much use out of it as I hope too!

Workout Jams for Summer 2010

Keep your workouts fresh with the songs we’ll be listening to all summer long, including tracks from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, and more. Just add sunshine!

By Kristen Diederich

“Break Your Heart” – Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris
We think it’s best for: Any cardio
Taio Cruz - Break Your Heart (feat. Ludacris) - Single - Break Your Heart (feat. Ludacris)

“Carry Out” – Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake
We think it’s best for: Strength training
Timbaland - Shock Value II - Carry Out (feat. Justin Timberlake)

“California Gurls” – Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg
We think it’s best for: Elliptical
Katy Perry - California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) - Single - California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)

“Better Than Her” – Matisse
We think it’s best for: Spinning
Matisse - Better Than Her - Single - Better Than Her

“Rude Boy” – Rihanna
We think it’s best for: Strength training
Rihanna - Rated R - Rude Boy

“Nothin’ on You” – B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
We think it’s best for: Walking
B.o.B - Nothin' On You (feat. Bruno Mars) - Single - Nothin' On You (feat. Bruno Mars)

“Summerboy” – Lady Gaga
We think it’s best for: Walking
Lady GaGa - The Fame - Summerboy

“Rockin’ That Thang” – The-Dream
We think it’s best for: Strength training
The-Dream - Love vs. Money - Rockin' That Thang

“Imma Be” – Black Eyed Peas
We think it’s best for: Strength training
Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) - Imma Be

“Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
We think it’s best for: Walking
Lady Antebellum - Need You Now - Need You Now

What will you be rocking out to this summer? Tell us in the comments!

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, May 2010

It’s Fitness Friday, Folks!!

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Fun Fitness: Exercises That Don’t Feel Like Work

Who says fitness has to be deadly dull? There are many activities that will make you break a sweat without longing for the finish line.

Many people believe there’s no such thing as fun fitness. In their minds, a good workout means trudging on a treadmill or lugging weights around a joyless gym, and that there’s no gain without the pain.

Exercises That Don't Feel Like Work

“They think of it as more of a chore, something they have to do because they’ve been told to do it by their doctor or physical therapist,” says Julie Ann McCarthy, a physical therapist in San Francisco and a spokeswoman for the American Physical Therapy Association.

This, of course, is nonsense. There are many ways to combine fun and fitness.

Fun Fitness: Let’s Count the Ways

// Activities that fall under the fun fitness umbrella include:

  • Competitive sports. “A lot of guys come in and say, ‘I don’t like exercising, but I like playing basketball,'” McCarthy says. “The camaraderie and the group setting help you have fun and forget you’re working your heart and lungs.” Soccer, tennis, and racquetball are other competitive sports that can help improve your fitness. Some gyms are even offering competitive dodge ball as a fun game to get your heart pumping.
  • Outdoor activities. Walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming can get you out in fresh air and sunshine, making your fitness workout feel less like work and more like play. “I usually tell people to start with a run-walk program with a friend,” McCarthy says. “You can slowly build yourself up so you’re running more and walking less.” Other options include kayaking, hiking, inline skating, and skateboarding.
  • Martial arts. Classes that teach karate, jujitsu, judo, tae kwon do, or kickboxing provide a workout aimed at improving your fitness, coordination, and mental discipline.
  • Dance classes. Energetic ballroom dancing is considered a vigorous workout by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Dance styles like the salsa, meringue, and mambo can keep you whirling and twirling so much you forget you’re actually getting into shape.
  • Acrobatics. Activities like tumbling, headstands, and somersaults can condition your body and help you feel like a kid again. You can use a balance beam, rings, or just a padded floor. Bouncing on a trampoline is another type of acrobatic fitness fun. Just be careful — these activities can lead to injury if your form is off or you lose your balance.
  • Kid stuff. Don’t discount the fitness to be had in kids’ activities like jumping rope or riding a pogo stick. For example, jumping rope improves your balance, stamina, and coordination, while working muscle groups in your arms, legs, chest, back, shoulders, and abdomen.
  • Nintendo Wii. The venerable video game maker upped the fun factor for fitness when it released its Wii Fit game. Other game makers have followed suit with more video workouts involving the Wii. “It’s a good place to start,” McCarthy says. “If it gets people up and moving, that’s great, and hopefully it will escalate into more intense exercise.”


You can make any fitness activity more fun by recruiting a workout buddy or joining a group. Nearly every town has a jogging or bicycle club in which you can take part. “People are more motivated when they’re held accountable by someone else,” McCarthy says. “It’s also more fun when you have company.”

Another way to curtail fitness boredom is to mix up your activities. “With any exercise, your body adapts,” McCarthy says. “It’s important to change your routine so you don’t plateau.”

This article is brought to you by :  http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/diet-and-fitness/exercises.aspx

Fitness Friday: Hit Every Muscle in 5 Minutes

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Beyond busy? Try this fast, total-body routine from Keli Roberts, a master trainer in Pasadena and star of the TimeSavers video workout series.

1. Clean and Press
Minute: 0:00-1:00
Targets shoulders, back, butt, legs
a. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and place a 5-pound dumbbell on the floor near each foot. Squat, bringing the dumbbells to the outside of your knees, palms down.
b. Stand, bringing the dumbbells to your hips, then raise the weights through your shoulders and overhead. Lower and repeat for 60 seconds.

2. Side Lunge and Row
Minute: 1:00-2:00
Targets back, butt, legs
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of 5-pound dumbbells at your sides. Take a big step out to the right with your right foot, bending right knee 90 degrees while keeping left leg straight. Draw your left elbow straight up, keeping arm close to side and butt tight. Return to start and repeat for 30 seconds; switch sides.

3. Pli� Squat and Biceps Curl
Minute: 2:00-3:00
Targets biceps, butt, inner thighs
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed out, holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand with arms extended, palms up. Bend knees 90 degrees, squatting as you curl weights toward your shoulders. Return to start and repeat for 60 seconds.

Minute: 3:00-4:00
Targets shoulders, chest, triceps, abs, back
Begin in full push-up position, palms on floor under shoulders and legs extended. Do one push-up, then carefully lift your left hand off the floor, extending your arm out to side. Holding here, lift your right foot off the floor. Lower hand and foot to floor. Do another push-up and repeat with opposite hand and foot. Continue, alternating sides.

5. Single-Leg Deadlift with Kick-Back
Minute: 4:00-5:00
Targets triceps, back, legs
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding 5-pound dumbbells with elbows bent 90 degrees, hands close to your rib cage. Lift your left foot behind you and bend forward slowly from the hips as you straighten your arms, bringing them next to your hips. Return to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2006.

Fitness Friday: Take-It-Off Tricks: Burn More Calories at Every Workout

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Skipped a few workouts? You may need to boost the calorie burn on your next workout. FITNESS’s advisory board has tips and tricks to help you burn more calories the next time you lace up your sneakers.
By the editors of FITNESS magazine

Your Workout: Power Walking
If you normally power walk: 3.5 mph pace = 243 calories/hour
Then add… A Weighted Vest
Carrying the extra load requires more calories per step but won’t alter your form, like carrying dumbbells can, trainer Jari Love says.
Bonus Burn: 45 more calories/hour

Your Workout: Running on the Treadmill
If you normally run on the treadmill: 6 mph pace = 640 calories/hour
Then add… An Incline
Alternate 5 minutes running flat and 10 minutes running on a 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent incline, maintaining the same speed throughout, trainer Keli Roberts says.
Bonus Burn: 74 more calories/hour

Your Workout: Weight-Training
If you normally weight-train: 384 calories/hour
Then add… Plyometrics (jumping exercises)
Make your second set of each move supercharged: After a set of squats, do squat jumps; after lunges, do jumping lunges, trainer Annette Lang says.
Bonus Burn: 128 more calories/hour

Fitness Friday: 5 Minutes to a Better Body

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The secret to burning more calories and sculpting more muscle? Think before you sweat.
By Nicole Gray
Rehearsing your routine with a friend primes your brain for exercise.
Your best workout starts in the locker room. Spending a few minutes calming your mind and reviewing your routine boosts your motivation and endurance and primes your body to burn calories and build muscle. Get the most out of your exercise plan by following these steps.
Breathe deeply while you change.
If you’re rushing to the gym to make a class or squeeze in a workout, you’re usually taking quick, shallow breaths by the time you get there, which increases muscle tension and anxiety. “As you undress, start breathing in through the nose and exhaling fully through your mouth,” says Mark T. Cuatt, assistant general manager at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley, New York. Taking deeper breaths speeds up oxygen delivery to — and carbon dioxide elimination from — your muscles, increasing energy levels and helping you think more clearly.
Drink some water.
Research has shown that exercisers who are sufficiently hydrated can work out for up to a third longer than those who don’t drink enough fluids (that could mean burning an extra hundred or so calories, depending on your workout). “Dehydration is a major factor in fatigue,” says Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, director of sports nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. She recommends drinking about 16 ounces of fluid 30 to 60 minutes before exercising. Keep sipping in the locker room.
Review your entire routine.
Write down the day’s exercise plan beforehand, then review it while you’re getting ready, suggests Tishin Donkersley, a Phoenix-based sports psychology consultant. This reaffirms your commitment and helps you use your time more efficiently, she says. An example of a 50-minute workout plan: “Today I will do 30 minutes of cardio intervals on the treadmill, 15 minutes of resistance training focusing on my arms and glutes, and five minutes of stretching.”
“Practice” your workout in your head.
Take a minute to visualize yourself doing lunges and squats, for example, or climbing hills in cycling class. “Your unconscious mind doesn’t differentiate between what’s imagined and what’s real,” says Nikki Goldman, PhD, a motivational therapist and author of Success for the Diet Dropout: Proven Strategies for Women Who Want to Stop Hating Their Bodies (Behavioral Consultants Press, 2003). When you picture yourself going through a workout, your heart rate increases slightly, your muscles start to contract, and your breathing becomes a little heavier. It’s like a mini rehearsal, and it can improve performance, says Goldman. By the time you pick up your weights or climb onto your bike, your heart and muscles will be ready for action.

Provided by: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com

Fitness Friday: Yoga’s Surprising Health Benefits

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Stretch yourself to a healthier heart, a better night’s sleep, and a happier outlook.

Lower-Back Pain
For centuries, yoga gurus have said this ancient mind-body practice can do more than just keep you fit and flexible. In fact, they believe that regularly twisting your body like a pretzel on a sticky mat will yield incredible health benefits — staving off insomnia, extra pounds, even heart disease. Skeptical? We were too, at first, so we did some digging to see if we could track down legitimate research to back up these bold claims. Here’s what we found:
Lower-Back Pain
Yoga increases the range of motion in your hips, which can reduce lower-back pain, says Loren M. Fishman, MD, coauthor of Relief is in the Stretch: End Low Back Pain Through Yoga (W.W. Norton & Company, 2005). In fact, a small study of older women (ages 44 to 62), presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting last year, suggests that yoga increases lower-back flexibility and diminishes pain. A word of caution: People suffering from persistent lower-back pain need a professional diagnosis before embracing yoga, because both backbends and forward bends can exacerbate some back conditions.
Pose Rx: Pigeon
Begin in downward-facing dog, extend right leg behind you, then bend the knee and draw it toward your forehead. Place right knee on floor behind right wrist and right foot behind left wrist; extend the left leg behind you on the floor. Inhale and sit up tall. Exhale and bend forward, extend arms, and rest forehead on the floor. Hold for two minutes; switch sides.

provided by:http://www.fitnessmagazine.com

Fitness Friday: Easy Workouts at Home!

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While some people religiously hit the gymnasium for a workout, it is not really possible for a lot many others to do the same due to varied reasons. This could happen due to financial reason, commuting problem and so on. But this does not mean that one stops taking care of one’s health and fitness and not workout. Unlike some, it is again not possible for all to set up a mini gym in their home. So to pull you out of this fix, we have here some easy workouts / exercises that can be performed any time at home.

Some Easy At-Home Exercises for You

Walking, jogging or running happens to be the simplest and cheapest kind of cardiovascular workout. This can be done in the neighborhood parks, along neighborhood lanes or within the compound of one’s own house if it is spacious.
Walking briskly for 15 to 20 minutes is the best way one can initiate exercising.
It is tremendously convenient compared to other home workouts.
Trick is to begin slowly and then steadily increase the stride and fasten pace.
If you have a walking partner, he /she will keep you motivated.

Those who have a pool at home can take up swimming, which is a fabulous exercise / workout to keep the body fit and healthy. Benefits of swimming are –
It involves all important body muscles.
It is a no-impact and is very effective for the recovery of injury

Wall Push-Ups for the Chest
This is an effective home workout for the chest.
Stand facing a wall with your feet one to two feet away from it. How far you have to stand from the wall will depend on your height. But make sure it is a comfortable distance.
Now place both your hands about shoulder width apart on the wall infront. The arms should be at the level of your shoulder.
Incline / bend towards the wall by bending only your elbows. When you have lowered yourself forward towards the wall, then push yourself back to the standing position by straightening your hand.
Throughout the process, keep your body stiff and straight.
Standing Rows Home Exercise for the Back
This back workout is to be done from a standing position.
Loop a towel around a straight pole (or any other fixed object). The ends of the towel encircling the pole should be pointing towards you.
Now place your feet very near the pole and incline your body backwards by holding firmly the towel ends.
Keep body stiff and straight.
Now pull yourself back straight to the original position. This will create pressure on the back during movement.
Keep the back arched and row with your back.

Squats for the Legs
Squat happens to be a great at home exercise.
Position feet about shoulder-width apart.
Keep your torso straight. There should be a slight arch in your lower back.
Now begin movement by bending the knees.
Lower your body / go down only till you feel comfortable. If you are able to lower yourself till both your thighs stand horizontally parallel, do so.
Now using the power in your legs, push yourself steadily back up to the starting / original position.
Initially one can opt to use a bar to grip while doing this exercise for balance.
Stop using the bar when you get stronger with squats.

Crunches for the Abs
Lie down flat on your back. Your knees should be bent and your feet placed comfortably on the floor.
You can choose to hold clasp your hands either on your chest or behind your head. Just make sure that you do not pull on your head.
In the simple crunch, you are instructed to just roll the upper torso upward.
To boost effectiveness of crunch exercise, you can instead push your chest and head up towards the ceiling keeping your lower back flat onto the floor.
Hold for few seconds at the top of the movement and squeeze hard.

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