Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fun Aerobic Dance Video

If you want a quick pick-me-up or just need to get your body moving for a few minutes, here is an 8-minute aerobic dance video to have some fun with. This dance is quick, easy, fun, and gets your whole body moving without being too stressful on your joints. From your back to your shoulders, hips, and knees, you'll move it all with this one. Some of the moves are kind of silly, but hey, there's no one watching! Cut loose and have some fun with it! (Remember to consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting any new workout, especially if your fitness level is currently low.)

Dance Dance Dance Fitness
Here you go 8 minutes dance fitness fun from the paul eugene fitness show. As produced and hosted by me on Access Cable TV. Enjoy! Have fun! Laugh!

For more fun dance videos and other resources on fun ways to exercise, visit
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Splash Around and Lose Pounds with Water Aerobics

If you've tried regular aerobics and found it wasn't very fun for you, or you didn't like the sweaty and sore aftermath, water aerobics might prove a fun surprise to throw into your exercise routine.

An aqua aerobics class.Image via Wikipedia 
When it comes to using the water to work out, there are many ways that water aerobics can work for you. You can either do some of these exercises on your own, or you can join a club or a group that will teach you how to do them. No matter what you decide to do, you may find that water aerobics fit right in to your regular work out routine.

Basically, doing water aerobics means that you are going to be providing your body with great exercise, in a way that is easier on the joints. You are going to be doing aerobic work outs in much the same manner that you would if you weren’t in the water – for instance you are going to be able to run, walk, and do other movements during your work out. The difference is that you’ll be doing them in the water, which adds to the work out, while cushioning your joints from the shock of doing these activities on a hard floor.

Water AerobicsImage by Bekah267 via Flickr
By doing your workout in the water, you are getting more resistance than if you were doing it in the air. Everyone knows that when you try to move through water you have to exert more force in order to make the movements that you want to make. This means that as you do your water aerobics, you are forced to use more of your muscle groups and you are forced to get stronger.

You may want to start with a water aerobics class, which will help you figure out how best to do your water aerobics. This is a great way to make sure that you know what you are doing, and to make sure that you are actually getting as much out of your exercise as you can. The instructor will guide the class through a series of movements, where you’ll be able to do the same repetitive motions over and over again. Hopefully, you’ll find that this will increase your heart rate and allow you to be able to start to work your body in a great and aerobic way. By doing water aerobics, you can get exercise and strengthen every part of your body – plus, water aerobics can be the most fun you’ve had in a pool since you were a little kid!
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Video - Pregnancy Exercises - Back & Butt

Here is a great video with some easy exercises for strengthening and toning your back and butt - a couple of areas that will be very important to keep strong during your pregnancy - especially later on as you get bigger and your growing belly starts to put extra pressure on your back.  Keeping these muscles strong and in shape can help prevent back pain and also help with your balance. This is a safe but no-nonsense workout that only takes a few minutes.  Be sure to consult your physician before doing these or any other exercises while pregnant, and you should always warm up first. For a good warm up by the same instructor, visit this link:

Pregnancy Exercises - Back and Butt
Exercises for back, legs and glutes that can safely be performed throughout your entire pregnancy. Effective, safe moves for anyone interested in strengthening and toning their body.

Feel free to share comments below!
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fun Ways to Exercise During Pregnancy

Being pregnant isn't always fun. You may have low energy, temperature fluctuations, headaches, and nausea (kind of sounds like the flu that's been going around, doesn't it?), among other things. But while it may feel like the last thing you want to do, exercise can actually help with some of these issues. It can improve your energy and relieve stress, and also has the added benefits of possibly helping with an easier delivery and recovery time after the fact (see previous post for more benefits of exercising while pregnant). So what are some good exercises you can do that are easy, even when you are dog-tired?  Here are a few ideas for fun ways to exercise during pregnancy. And for some more good resources, see below. (And remember to be safe, and consult your doctor before trying any of these!)

Four Fun Exercises During Pregnancy | MedicMagic.Net
During pregnancy, expectant mothers should still stay in shape. Being pregnant does not mean that they are not allowed to exercise. For pregnant woman, an.
Publish Date: 03/18/2011 22:35

Pregnancy Exercise Dvds Reviews – PILATES
Wondering about Pregnancy Exercise Dvds? These exercise videos are specialized for women who are either pregnant or just gave birth to their baby. Below Ill be discussing some core principles you need to look for to choose the best ...
Publish Date: 03/19/2011 3:53

Pregnancy and Strength Training - A Guide to Safe and Effective ...
No matter what exercise you are doing, you need to monitor your breathing carefully during your pregnancy. This is something that's always helpful to keep in mind, but when you're pregnant it's especially significant.
Publish Date: 03/18/2011 16:06

A Few Good Pregnancy Exercise Resources:
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Exercising While Pregnant - What Are the Benefits?

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health.  But during pregnancy, exercise can have some additional benefits.  First of all, a few cautions. When pregnant, exercise should be light, especially during your first few weeks of pregnancy while your body adjusts to the changes. Any type of heavy exercise can divert the blood flow from crucial areas, and most women that exercise on a regular basis should tone down their workout regimen during pregnancy.

This image is public domain, and comes from: :...Image via WikipediaSwimming, walking, and yoga are a few very popular exercise activities that are suitable for pregnant women.  There are other forms of exercise such as weight lifting that may be acceptable as long as it isn't too strenuous.  Most specialists recommend exercise 3 - 4 times a week, unless you have a medical condition that prevents it.  If you are ever in doubt, you should consult a physician first.

Below, you'll find some of the best reasons to exercise during pregnancy.

1.  Exercise can help to reduce the length of labor and recovery time.  The right exercise routines may also increase stamina that is needed for delivery.

2.  Improved mental health.  Exercise can lower stress and improve your emotional health, making it easier for you to get through the new experience of becoming a mother.

3.  Exercise can also help with weight management after the child has been born.  A common concern with most mothers is the weight they lose after pregnancy.  Exercising during pregnancy can make postpartum weight loss easier.

4.  Exercise is good for your unborn baby.  By keeping your body healthy, you are also looking out for your baby as well, as your baby will reap all the benefits of your enhanced immune system, reduced stress, etc., that come from exercising.

5.  Exercise can help reduce the side effects of pregnancy.  Symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, swelling, and constipation are all common with pregnant women.  Studies have shown exercise to reduce the occurrence of these symptoms.

Fetus at 38 weeks after fertilization 3D Pregn...Image via Wikipedia6.  Exercise can also decrease the risk of premature birth.  Exercise has been proven to decrease the risk of premature birth by at least 50%.

You should always make sure that you drink plenty of fluids before you exercise, follow a nutritious diet, and avoid over exertion.  You should also listen to your body, and if you start feeling sick you should immediately stop and rest.

If you exercise during your pregnancy, you may find it a lot easier to deliver when the time comes. Exercise will help keep your body strong, which will make it easier on you when you go into the delivery room.  Women who don't exercise often have a harder time of it when the time comes to give birth.

Exercising during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your unborn baby.  Your baby will reap some of the benefits, which is reason enough to exercise.  Always be safe when you exercise, and don't hesitate to ask a doctor for advice if you have any questions at all.  As long as you exercise safely and use good common sense, you'll do a world of good for your pregnancy.

All material herein is provided for information only and may not be construed as personal medical advice. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yoga With the Kids

Yoga happens to be a type of exercise that many people find to easily fit into their schedule. There are lots of benefits to doing yoga. You will be less stressed, have better posture, sleep better, and you could even lose some weight. You’ll also become stronger and more flexible. This is a great way for you to bond with your children as well. You will find that yoga is just as fun and beneficial for children too. Your child may not be able to do all of the poses; however, it is a great way to get the children away from the TV and into a fun activity that you can share.

Brother Doing Yoga Poses -7731Image by Edson Hong via Flickr
Your child may not have what it takes to pay attention through a whole session, but you should allow the child to join you at their own level and bond and have fun. Children love learning different physical skills, such as balancing, and being upside down is always fun. You may also want to think about allowing the child to put their own spin on yoga. They are young and it is just important that you get them interested in trying new things.

A local yoga class may offer some tips on how to get your children involved and may also allow you to bring your child with you. In these classes, they will learn much of the same things you learn in a beginner’s class. You may even want to consider bringing them to an adult class of yoga if they are of age. However, remember that it may not be appropriate if the class has members of both sexes. It’s a judgment call here, but if your child is yearning to start learning yoga, try your best to include him or her in a class.

Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_ClubsImage via Wikipedia
Your child will be able to benefit from yoga at home as well. There are books and videos specially made for children and young adults to learn yoga as well as meditation. Always monitor your child to be sure he or she is being safe, and talk to your child’s doctor to be sure the yoga routine is appropriate for your child’s physical well-being. Speak with some of the parents that are in your class and ask them if their child is interested so that you can get a group of children together and show them how to properly get into yoga.

When you do yoga together, you will be able to get to know one another and bond while doing something healthy for the both of you. Yoga is a way for you to add healthy activity to your child’s life. Even if it turns out yoga is not for one of you, you can at least come together and find other ways to include health awareness in your child’s daily life.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Video - Yoga Meltdown Preview

Here is a quick video that gives you a fast preview of just a few of the exercises on the Yoga Meltdown DVD in case you've been curious. Note that this video below isn't an actual workout - it just shows a couple of clips from the real DVD, in case you want to get a sense of what the workouts are like. You can get an idea of how dynamic and powerful the movements are, but also you will be holding each pose for more muscle toning. The video below includes clips from both Level 1 and Level 2, so don't let them scare you - there are beginner versions of everything.

Check it out, and then don't wait any longer - grab a copy today - it will cost you less than a decent lunch, and will inspire hundreds of great workout sessions!

Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown
Segments from the "Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown" workout video: A unique fusion of traditional power yoga and hardcore body sculpting. Yoga purists beware — the poses may be familiar, but the goals, sequencing and bad ass attitude are pure Jillian...

Get Your Own Yoga Meltdown & More: 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jillian Michaels is Kicking My Butt!

Wow, well it's been a while since I have visited my Yoga Meltdown video on here.... I would like to report some great progress, but the truth is I've been a bit lazy lately (see, it even happens to me sometimes), and haven't been doing my yoga workout as often as I should. I'm still doing it - it's just only about once a week lately (although, to be fair, I have been throwing some other workouts into the mix, so it's not like I've just been sitting around most of the time).

Anyway, I've been doing Level 1 of Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown workout since last July - fairly regularly, except for during my back pain episode last fall. I am someone who is gung-ho about a workout for a while - love it, can't get enough of it, etc., until I get bored. So lately I've been feeling less motivated about the Yoga Meltdown workout, and I figured what the heck, I'll try Level 2 - it can't be THAT much harder, right??

Ummmm...WRONG. This workout is some serious stuff! I'm in pretty good shape (and have been doing yoga for 8 months now), and there were exercises in there that I couldn't even do - not even the beginner version! I was seriously sore (my entire body) for 3 full days. Not that it wasn't fun...or it will be, someday, when I'm ready for it. But for now, it gave me a new-found appreciation for Level 1, and I will be enjoying this one for some time to come. :-)

As a funny, slightly related note, I was on an exercise forum the other day, and someone was asking for a good, challenging workout video "without an annoyingly perky instructor". Someone else had suggested a Jillian Michaels video, with the comment that "Not only is she not annoyingly perky, she seems like she would come to your house and punch you if you don't work hard enough."  Ha ha! So true....

More Jillian Michaels Workouts:
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Exercise: Home Or Gym?

Making the decision of where you will go to exercise is a very important step in reaching your fitness goals.  A lot of factors will go into this decision, and each one should be evaluated well before you start exercising.  Once you have made a decision on where you will go to exercise, you can move on to deciding how you plan to work out.

Jogging with our iPhones...Image by Ed Yourdon via FlickrAs you probably know, exercising at home has many advantages.  The finance department is one of the best ones.  With the gas prices being what they are today, it is quite obvious that you'll save money on fuel as well as wear and tear on your vehicle by choosing to exercise at home.

Memberships to a gym can often be quite expensive and may include other things that you don't need such as child care or swimming pools.  You also won't need to be concerned about the latest trends of exercise gear as you most likely will be exercising by yourself at home.

But keep in mind that working out at home does require a bit of financial obligation.  Even though you may plan just to go running, for example, it is very important that you have high quality running shoes.  This statement applies to any type of equipment that you may purchase to use at home.  If you go out and buy cheap equipment, you'll probably end up getting hurt or getting frustrated because you aren't making any progress.

Along with the financial advantages, exercising at home may also help those who don't like to work out in public.  If you are worried about how you look in gym clothes, it is very comforting to know that the only person who has to be with you when you exercise at home is you.  Also, when you exercise at home, you don't need to worry about the time involved in getting to or from the gym, or being away from home (you can even do certain chores - such as laundry - while you are working out).

But for those of you who are motivated by being with people you know or come to know while working out away from home, a gym may be a better idea than working out at home.  At the gym, you'll  also have more of a selection of equipment as well, far more than you'll have at home.

Using the diagonal sled-type leg press machine.Image via WikipediaIf you need other services than just a few weights and equipment, the gym may be the best place to go. Rather than buying a ton of equipment, you can just use all the equipment that is already there, for a small fraction of the cost of buying it all yourself. If you plan to swim a triathlon, you'll find the swimming pool at the gym to be just what you need to prepare yourself.  Swimming is also a great exercise for your body and cardio, as it will work muscles in your body that you probably didn't even know you had.

Gyms will also offer classes that you may find very fun and motivating.  If you attend class on a regular basis, you may be motivated enough to continue, as you see the progress you are making. You can also meet new people in class, and even help others along if you choose.

All in all, making the choice of exercising at home or at the gym is a choice you should make based on your goals, personality, and personal preference.  The most important decision you'll need to make is to determine what type of environment you want to be in and how you want to accomplish the fitness goals that you have.

Once you have given it some thought and weighed out the pros and cons, you'll have no problem making the choice.  And of course always keep in mind that once you've made your choice, it's not set in stone. You can always switch if you aren't happy with the choice you made, or combine the two and just work out occasionally at home and the rest of the time at the gym, or vice versa.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Video - Gym Workout

Here is a 10-minute video of an example of a good gym workout. If you enjoy going to the gym, this video gives you an idea of a well rounded workout using gym equipment. (I know we focus a lot on working out at home, but some people do prefer the gym, so this week I wanted to share a few resources for those of you who do enjoy this form of working out.) I liked this lady because I agree with her philosophy of health and fitness, and eating. (For more ideas on cooking and eating healthy - and happy - visit our Cooking From Scratch blog.)

Betty's Workout at the Gym--NO RECIPE--
In this video, Betty demonstrates her workout at the gym (due to several requests). I also emphasize the importance of diet in achieving fitness and a healthy lifetstyle. If you are looking for a diet that will definitely take the pounds off and neve...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boredom Busters: Get A Fitness Trainer

One of the biggest obstacles to staying on track for fitness is losing motivation. People are just starting an exercise program can find themselves quickly tired of the same routine. Keeping exercise appealing and maintaining a good fitness perspective is key to long-term success.

If you had to watch the exact same episode of your favorite television show every day for the rest of your life, you would probably be banging your head against the wall by the end of the week. You would change the channel, pick up a book, or do anything you could to avoid something you once enjoyed.

Personal trainer monitoring a client's movemen...Image via WikipediaYet many people starting on a fitness program feel compelled to follow the same routine, day after day after day, and consequently fall off the exercise wagon due to sheer boredom. That is why the services of a fitness trainer can prove to be a great help in keeping your fitness program lively and engaging.

Fitness trainers are those who are expert in analyzing and creating a fitness program that is right for you. They are the ones who will calculate your appropriateness to a certain program with regards to your “fitness level,” create the program according to your specific needs, and keep you stimulated and inspired by giving you activities that will not bore you.

But then again, as with other entities included in the fitness world, not all fitness trainers are created equal. They may vary depending on the different types of training that they have, the health education they have acquired, and the skills that they have learned.

Hence, it is important to consider some factors that will determine if a certain fitness trainer is right for you.

Here are some things to look for:

1. Certification

Like any item or product, the quality is sometimes measured and determined through the certification that goes with it. Hence, before you choose your fitness trainer, it is important to verify if the trainer is duly certified by a highly regarded fitness association.

It is also best to choose a trainer that has a CPR certification or first aid qualifications.

2. Education/Training

Be sure to choose a fitness trainer with adequate training and education as far as health and physical fitness is concerned.

Even though it is not necessary, trainers who have acquired education connected with health or any other related field will definitely have an edge over the others.

Fitness trainer Billy Blanks shows a female wo...Image via Wikipedia3. Knows How to Give the Right Attention

A good fitness trainer should know how to provide his or her client their undivided attention whenever their session is going on. In this way, the trainer will be able to focus more on the details that need attention and immediate consideration or correction.

4. Knows How to Track Development

It is best to choose a fitness trainer that knows how to track his or her client’s progress as far as fitness is concerned.

In this way, the trainer will be able to generate new activities and training designed specifically for a particular result desired by the client, and being able to see and track the progress towards your goals will help keep you motivated and having fun!

5. Good Personality

Since you will be dealing most with your fitness trainer, it is a good idea to look for somebody with a pleasing personality -- somebody you can be comfortable with. It is best to hire the services of somebody whom you can easily get along with, and who you will enjoy spending time with during your sessions.

When it comes down to it, some of the best help that you can get in your workout program can come from a professional person who knows what he is doing. Hence, it is best to choose the best person who can give you the services and attention that you need so that you will never get bored during your workouts again.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Video - How to Ice Skate

If Thursday's article piqued your interest in ice skating, check out this quick video for some tips from an expert skater. These tips and basic steps will get you moving around the ice. You will learn forward movements, backwards, and curves/turns, as well as stopping, and a simple spin for a little challenge.

It's not as good as an in-person class, but it will at least give you an idea of some of the techniques that can be helpful when you are learning to skate, and it is all explained in very simple step-by-step terms.


How to Ice Skate
Festive ice rinks are open all over the country this time of year, so we've asked our expert Lara to give us an ice-skating masterclass. . Follow us on twitter at

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Excitement of Figure Skating

Jenni Vähämaa performs a spiral during her sho...Image via WikipediaIf you've ever admired figure skating in the Winter Olympics, why not try it for yourself? If you've mastered the basics of ice skating, figure skating can provide a fun and exciting challenge.

Figure skating is a type of ice skating that involves learning difficult routines and movements on the ice. Many people love to watch amateur and professional figure skating because the competitors are able to gracefully twist, leap, and twirl around as they glide along the ice.

The most difficult element of figure skating for most people to master is spinning. The faster you skate the faster you can spin, but keeping your balance and going from a spin back to skating without being disoriented is not a simple feat. The secret is to center the ice skates as you go into the spin. This will give it a uniform look and keep the body from looking like it is moving from side to side during the spins.

There are plenty of different types of spins that an ice skater can perform once you have the basic concept. Some require both feet to be on the ice with the leg straight and others require the knees to be bent and the skater in a squatting position. Others require one leg to be lifted off the ground at hip length or even placed behind the head! It takes plenty of skill to be able to do this with ice skates on so be ready to practice long and hard!

User:Dr.frog's figure skates. This is a Riedel...Image via WikipediaFor most of us, figure skating is something we will continue to watch from the stands or on TV. While it is an exciting winter sport, figure skating often requires too much time and effort for most people to put into learning. However, if it is something you've always wanted to try, don't hold back! Look for a rink that offers classes, and try a few to see if it is really up your alley. You may find it is not for you, or you may discover a new passion that offers great exercise and fun combined!

(Remember to consult with a qualified instructor as well as your personal trainer, to make sure you are in good enough shape to try figure skating, and that you are performing the moves correctly to avoid injury.)
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

News on Fun Ways to Exercise in Winter

For those of you getting the winter blah's just about now, here are a few recent articles with some tips for keeping your exercise routine going, and keeping motivated to stay in shape during these last few long months before spring. (And be sure to check back through the archives on this blog as we've posted LOTS of great ideas over the past few months.)

Esquiador Venezolano Cesar Baena compite y ent...Image via Wikipedia6 Ways to Stay Motivated to Exercise this Winter
Find a Winter Sport You Love: There are so many great winter sports that will provide you with a fun way to get in your exercise. There is down-hill skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, just to name a ...
Publish Date: 11/23/2008 10:17

Get in shape for spring break
But a quick glance at the calendar will tell you, we're already almost a quarter of the way through the year! You know what that means, right? Despite the bitterly cold and snowy weather many of you have had this winter, things will be warming up ... Walking and running are great exercises for several reasons. They work nearly every muscle in the body all at once, unlike weight training which targets specific areas. It's also great cardio exercise to strengthen the heart. ...
Publish Date: 02/28/2011 14:18

Fun Family Fitness Ideas for the Holidays | Health | Epoch Times
During the winter months, don't just stay indoors and sip hot chocolate, get outside and get fit with the whole family. ( Finding fun ways to exercise and bond with the kids during the holidays is an easy an inexpensive way ...
Publish Date: 12/21/2009 19:56

The 5 Best Winter Activities for Burning Calories
Recreational ice skating can be a fun way to exercise with a group of friends or family. Add a stick and a puck and you have a friendly game of ice hockey! 3. Downhill Skiing = 0.060 kcal/lb/min. Downhill, or alpine, skiing is a fun ...
Publish Date: 02/19/2011 0:35

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