Saturday, April 30, 2011

Video - Ab Exercises with Resistance Bands

This video demonstrates some more ideas for using resistance bands to strengthen the abdominals, which we mentioned on Thursday. They seem to be pitching some specific type of exercise equipment, but you can do the exercises with regular exercise bands. (You may want to use the kind with loops/handles on the ends, for some of these, as these give you a better grip without straining the wrists.)  Or check out Yoga Booty Ballet - one of my new favorites -- there is a totally ab-blasting segment in there that is awesome, requires no equipment, and is easy on the back.

Fast easy exercise for your abs butt biceps : Fitness - Trim and Tone with resistance bands TOTAL-GYM-IN-A-BAG is a revolutionary easy fune workout. These are mostly beginers that want to get back in shape, get fit, burn calories and lose weight. We have no special routine or pace, just exercise and have...

Other Ab Workout Resources:
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stomach Exercises With Resistance Bands

Using resistance bands can be an effective component of any workout routine, and stomach exercises are no exception. There are a number of exercises targeting the midsection that incorporate resistance bands. Resistance bands come in a variety of difficulties, usually indicated by the color of the band itself (e.g., green can be Exercise Band ( Easily Broken )Image by chrstphre via Flickrlittle resistance, yellow may be medium, red for difficult, etc.). Choose a resistance level that is appropriate for you, then move up as necessary. Do not overdo it by immediately grabbing the most advanced band you can find, as this can lead to injury. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
Seated Crunch
This exercise provides the same benefits as the basic abdominal crunch, but with less neck strain and without the possible discomfort that comes with lying on the floor, since it uses a band rather than gravity to provide resistance. For this stomach exercise, you will need to be sitting in a straight back chair which you can somehow loop your band through. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and about as wide apart as your hips. Contract your abdominal muscles, and slowly bend forward to about a forty-five degree angle. Repeat for an entire set. Be sure to keep your feet on the floor and your back as straight as possible.
One-Arm Band Pull
Put the chair away and stand up, again with feet hip width apart. Put your hands above your head, holding the band about eighteen inches apart. Keeping your left hand overhead, bring your right hand out to the side, elbow bent at about a ninety degree angle. Hold your left arm still as you contract your abdominals and lower your right arm until your hand is in line with your chest. Hold this position, then slowly return. Repeat for an entire set, then switch hands. Keep your back straight and avoid bending or leaning at the waist. For an additional challenge, do this exercise standing on one foot. Perform the exercise with both hands while standing on your left foot, then do it all again on your right foot.
Twisting Roll-Back
For this stomach exercise, you will need to sit on a flat surface, preferably the floor. Use a mat or towel for cushioning to ease possible strain on your tail bone. Sit down with your legs bent and heels on the floor. Your toes should be pointing up-- do not put your feet flat on the floor. Loop the band around your feet, put one end in each hand and put your hands together. In a rolling motion, lower your torso toward the floor about forty-five degrees. As you do this, twist to the right and spread your hands to the sides. Hold for a second, then rotate back to the middle and raise your torso back to start. Your heels should remain on the floor throughout the exercise. Do a full set, then switch to the left side.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Product Review - Lose Fat, Not Faith

This post isn't just about exercise, but overall fitness, and as many of our readers struggle with weight issues, I thought this CD set would be relevant to share with you.

As someone interested in fitness, I am always on the look for new ideas and new ways to keep myself and my readers and visitors motivated.  I just finished listening to the "Lose Fat, Not Faith" CDs. I can safely say that these 5 CDs contain more information presented in a clear and friendly manner, than almost any other fitness/self improvement audio I've ever listened to.  This program helps to make sense out of the technical that is discussed. Actually, it's explained so well that the technical data doesn't seem to be technical data at all.

A lot of the information presented is common sense type stuff. Things that most overweight Americans have heard before. But, Jeremy presents all of this information in a manner that I understood and actually believed that most people could succeed with.

I thought that the CD on nutrition was outstanding. Jeremy brings a no-nonsense approach to the world of nutrition. He not only dispels some of the bad information that is floating around out there, but he doesn't just poke verbal jabs at them, he explains them, the basis of them and why these fads/ideas don't work. At least long term.

Just when I was about to declare the nutrition CD by far my favorite, I listened to CD 5 - "The Zen of Releasing Fat". Wow, Jeremy hits it out of the ballpark with this one. If everyone who needs to lose fat is honest with themselves, they will admit that releasing fat is not completely a physical challenge. There are many mental and emotional issues wrapped up with it. For many people, unless you are prepared to deal with the entire package, you are doomed for failure or at least relapse. Jeremy speaks on this topic by discussing the demons he had to overcome and the demons he has seen his clients fight and offers some logical help in identifying and overcoming your own demons.

This 5 CD set is a MUST for anyone who has struggled with weight, diet, or self image. It really gets you thinking about the WHY you want to lose weight, which is the most important step.

Click here to learn more about this awesome compilation...

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Friday, April 22, 2011

I Need to Work Out!

This is a quick and more personal post today.... I've been so busy the past two weeks, I've barely had time to fit in my stretches - let alone get a really good workout! I did manage to do my Core Pilates once this week, but otherwise I've been really slacking. I've noticed I can REALLY tell when I haven't been working out enough - now that I'm so used to regular exercise, my body really complains when I Curso de Instructor de PilatesImage via Wikipediaskip it for too long. Most people I know (and this also used to be me) don't seem to notice, but this is probably because their bodies have been neglected for so long that they just get used to feeling that way....

So I thought I'd post a few signs that you can look out for, to know when you really need to work out - once you get used to noticing the feeling, working out will become more rewarding, as you will realize how much better it makes your body feel.

You probably need to work out if....
  • You're feeling tired and low-energy, for several days in a row
  • Your body seems achy and stiff a lot of the time
  • You feel grouchy or short tempered
  • Your body feels sluggish 
  • Doing simple tasks causes pain and stiffness
  • You are frequently cold or it feels like your body temperature is often low, when other people seem comfortable
(Please note: Some of these symptoms may be signs that you're getting sick - particularly if the onset is sudden - time to load up on Vitamin's C & D, and be sure to get plenty of sleep! But remember that regular exercise also builds the immune system, so once you get into the groove with your workouts, you will likely get sick less often.)

My body right now is saying, get moving!!  So that's what I'm about to do....

What about you?
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A Few Fun Ways to Get Moving:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Video - PACE Bridge Exercise

Here is another video from the PACE workout. This video shows the basic as well as some advanced versions of this seemingly simple exercise. This one works everything from shoulders, core, and butt, to legs and ankles. The advanced versions are quite a challenge, but also pretty fun!

If a 12-minute full-body workout appeals to you, click the link below the video for more info.

PACE Workout - The Bridge
Certified PACE Instructor, Coach Yari demonstrates The Bridge. To learn more about PACE The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution, visit

To learn more about this amazing and fun 12-minute fitness system, just click here.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Importance of Warming Up Before Exercise

Since obviously we talk a lot about exercise here, we also need to emphasize the importance of warming up before any strenuous activity.

Warming upImage via WikipediaSo, why warm up? Several changes takes place in the body once physical activity is initiated. A person's respiratory rate, blood flow, and oxygen and nutrient levels delivered to the cells increases. The rate of increase should be regulated in a steady pace to prepare the body for the physical stress that exercise will demand. If one foregoes this priming procedure, the body will function less efficiently and the workout will produce less quality results. Warming up preps up the nervous system, heightens mental awareness and alertness, and loosens up joints and muscles to make them less prone to injuries. Warm ups jump starts the fluid located in the joints, minimizing the risk for wear and tear of the muscles. It gives the heart a suitable period to adjust and pump extra blood and nutrients into the muscles.

This is especially vital for older people, since their tissues tend to be less supple, and they have joints with less fluid, and often weaker hearts. Sudden exercise without proper warm-up can even trigger heart attacks in older people.

How does a person warm up properly? Initially, it can be done through any activity that forces the heart to beat a little faster. One can simply walk and jog, or if cardiovascular equipment is available, such as rowing machine or a bicycle, it can be utilized. Start at a gentle pace, and then slowly increase the pace until heart beat rate increases and the body temperature rises. It important to note that the pace should be in accordance to one's current fitness level, where the activity will leave the person energized and not exhausted.

After working up a light sweat (suggested time is 3-5 minutes, longer if the person is working out in a cold environment) one should do dynamic stretching. Stretching helps in developing overall flexibility, particularly in the spine, shoulder, and hip areas. The kind of stretching depends on the type of activity a person plans to engage to. For instance, if one is about to play sports, recommended stretches would be ones that mimic the movements that will be done in the court or field. If one is about to do martial arts, light sparring can be done at one quarter of the normal speed, or just simply do the movements in slow motion. Be certain that the major muscles groups are stretched for 8 seconds each, minimum. It is necessary to remember to keep the feet moving or do leg exercises whenever the upper body is stretched to keep prevent blood from pooling in the legs. Remember, one should only do stretching if the muscles are already warmed up. Do not bounce while stretching. It leads to a contraction that can result in muscle tear or pull.

A complete weight training workout can be perf...Image via WikipediaFor weight-lifters, this is what should be done after the initial warm up. Load the bar with about 50-60% of the heaviest weight to be done for the session and perform the number of repetitions that will be done for the heavy sets. For the second set, the weight will be increased to 80%, then eventually to 90%, decreasing to 2-3 repetitions. Afterwards, rest for about 30 seconds, then repeat the steps. After this warm up, one can now proceed to the heavy lifting for the day. The advantage of doing this procedure first is that the heavy sets will feel less daunting and can now be performed with considerably less stress.

After warming up and proceeding through the main workout, it is equally important to cool down. When a person suddenly stops exercising or lifting weights, blood gathers in the muscle and oxygen is blocked. When this happens, a person runs the risk of having a heart attack. So cooling down should have the same importance as warming up.

Exercise is good for the health. Everyone is encouraged to have fun and pump it up, just remember to remember all the necessary precautions not only to maximize the workout, but also to stay safe and healthy.  
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Video - Crazy Fun Fitness with Exercise Ball

Think exercise can't be fun? Check out this guy!  This guy has more fun in his morning workout than most people probably have in a week....

* Disclaimer: This video demonstrates many challenging and advanced moves which require both a great deal of strength and flexibility. They could be dangerous for the average person, and should not be attempted without prior approval from your healthcare practitioner and/or fitness coach. This video is intended for entertainment purposes, and to demonstrate how much fun fitness can be.


Good Morning with America's Fun Fitness Coach!
Jim Steffen, America's Fun Fitness Coach does his morning work-out on an exercise ball

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easy Fitness Tips

Obviously we all want to be fit and healthy (if you didn't, you wouldn't be reading this blog!) but sometimes that seems easier said than done. As you know if you've been reading this blog for a while, we are all about making exercise easy and fun (or at least fun). While there are a lot of good exercise programs, workout routines, classes, books, and videos that can be enjoyable and improve our overall fitness level, often finding fun ways to stay fit means getting creative - seeing everyday challenges as opportunities to get a little extra exercise and reap the healthy benefits.

Speaking of which, I am about to go turn some compost into my garden and get the beds ready for planting potatoes. Is this work? Sure. Is it exercise? You better believe it. Is it fun? For me - heck yeah! (If it sounds fun to you, too, feel free to check out our Sustainable Gardening blog:

Before I go, here are some easy fitness tips to get you thinking, but by all means, use these ideas as a springboard, and come up with some of your own! (And if you do, we'd love to hear about them - post a comment below.)

5 Easy Fitness Tips from Afrobella's Fitness Expert - Afrobella
In terms of health and fitness, the same philosophy applies: make small, simple, focused changes that will undoubtedly lead to big success. Most of us, at one time or another, have looked for ways to be more fit, lose weight, tone up, ...
Publish Date: 04/04/2011 8:08

Health and Fitness – Six Easy Changes with Big Impact | Health Finger
Health and Fitness – Six Easy Changes with Big Impact. Too often people think that to see results with an exercise program, drastic changes are required. The truth is that you don't have to radically alter your lifestyle to see a change ...
Publish Date: 04/10/2011 3:24

Fitball Group Fitness Class Category:Fitness C...Image via WikipediaEasy Fitness Tips to Keep You Moving | Ice Spike: Safe & Happy ...
FITNESS ON THE GO. It's easy to find out where you can work out on a business trip, if you know where to look online. Before you leave, go to a travel or city guide Web site for your destination and research the parks, community centers ...
Publish Date: 03/17/2011 13:29

Five Easy Fitness Ball Exercises
Five easy fitness ball exercises that can be used to improve core stability and overall physical strength and flexibility.
Publish Date: 10/04/2010 22:19
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to Achieve 'Anytime Fitness'

Modern life demands that all individuals should stay fit in order to keep up with the sometimes wild pace of daily life. Fitness refers to a person's capacity to adapt favorably and release stress brought about by changing conditions. If you're physically fit, then your mind or body will handle the pressure much more easily. As you can see, fitness is not only about physical strength but mental stability as well.

A senior citizen while practicing his fitness ...Image via WikipediaIn many ways, fitness is synonymous with health. We all want good health, and to achieve such state, a person must stay fit. Good health and fitness are interrelated. When a person is fit, then that person is considered healthy; and if a person is healthy, his or her fitness level is usually pretty good.

Often people disregard the importance of fitness. They overlook their responsibility to their bodies, themselves, and their loved ones to stay fit at all times. Life offers a lot of pleasure and joy to be experienced while we are here; but if you're always ill you can't enjoy these pleasures to their fullest. Remember - illness and dysfunction is not a natural state!

Is "anytime fitness" (or constant fitness) possible? It is, but you must focus on the positive in order to see opportunities to increase your fitness in your daily life. By doing so, you will not only be more fit and healthy, but will improve your life overall, look fresher, and be less stressed. For example, if your car breaks down, see if you are close enough to home that you can walk. (I used to do this all the time in college, when I had a very old and unreliable car.) The extra exercise will not only contribute to your overall fitness, but will most likely lift your spirits enough that, by the time you get home, you will have relieved any stress you were feeling about the car when you started out. Talk about making lemonade!

Think of every situation as an opportunity to stay fit - this is key to keeping fit without having to constantly "work" at it. You can make the most out of your independence, have peace of mind, and be more confident in your ability to handle any situation.

Training for fitness focuses primarily on the different groups of muscles, ultimately resulting in muscular fitness, aerobic fitness, and increased stability and flexibility. There are other factors to consider before deciding to do a physical activity, like your physical capability. Do check with your doctor before performing any activity that requires physical strength.

There are many types of aerobic exercise. You can try running, dancing, swimming, or even cycling. You will probably want to limit your aerobic exercise to about 30-40 minutes per day (more than this can get tiring and put too much of a strain on your body, especially if you aren't that fit to start with). (See previous posts on this blog for more ideas for fun aerobic exercise.)

Pilates at a Gym Category:Pilates Category:Fit...Image via WikipediaIn order for your muscles to build endurance and strength, you will also need to focus on your muscular fitness. You can better enhance your muscular fitness if you do some strength training, which will increase the mass of your lean muscles, and strengthen your bones, as well as improve your metabolism. Also related to your muscle strength are balance and stability. For this, do exercises that help strengthen your core and trunk area.

And you will also need to work on your flexibility. You should do some exercise every day that stretches your muscles and moves your joint through their full range of motion. Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga are some great forms of exercise for increasing your flexibility (as well as some of the other aspects of fitness listed above).

Keeping fit doesn't have to always be a chore - if you keep an eye out for opportunities to get some exercise on a daily basis, and supplement that with a few fun workout routines, you will find yourself becoming more fit in no time.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Video - PACE Dirt Digger Exercise

In Thursday's note, we mentioned some of the benefits of Dr. Sears' great PACE program. I like PACE because it gives a great, full-body workout in just 12 minutes. Some of the exercises (like the one in the video below) are pretty fun. A few others may seem a bit more difficult, but hey, if your whole workout only takes 12 minutes, that leaves a lot more time for fun in other areas of life, right?

Check out the variations on this very cool core body exercise, and for more on the full program, just click the link below the video.

Have fun!

PACE Workout - Dirt Digger
Certified PACE Instructor, Coach Yari demonstrates Dirt Diggers. To learn more about PACE The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution, visit

To learn more about this amazing and fun 12-minute fitness system, just click here.

(And if you're just not sure yet, be sure to come back and check out this blog again soon, as we will be posting a few other exercise videos from the PACE system here, so you can get an idea of some of the things you will be doing in the workout.)
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lose 45 Pounds by Walking 45 Seconds?

Want to get into the best shape of your life in just 12 minutes a day? 

If you’re serious about losing weight, building muscle, and creating a strong healthy body, our friend Dr. Al Sears has a solution for you that has already worked for thousands.

Throw away your jogging shoes, get a refund on that aerobics class, and say goodbye to hours of drudgery at the gym. You can reawaken the energy and vitality you had years ago.

Plus, you’ll burn more calories, increase your lung capacity, and improve your heart health. In a matter of weeks, Dr. Sears’ program will burn inches off your waistline, build your stamina, and boost your energy levels. 

You’ll take off the weight and KEEP it off in as little as 12 minutes a day. 

One of his patients actually lost 45 pounds by walking just 45 seconds at a time. (You can read her remarkable story at the link below.) 

His technique is so revolutionary, he was awarded an exclusive service mark for it by the U.S. Patent Office.

If you want to get into the best shape of your life – today, I recommend you take a look at Dr. Sears’ special message below. 

Check it out here…

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Health and Fitness-The Importance of Exercise

Being active keeps a person healthy and strong. Keep in mind that exercise is NOT just for people who have a weight problem but for everyone.  (This is a common misconception - I frequently hear people say things like,"Oh, she doesn't need to work out - she looks great!" This is a dangerous assumption, as lack of exercise causes many many health problems other than weight gain.)

There is a lot a person can do to stay fit, such as jog or walk every morning, play basketball or any other sport with friends, dance, swim, jump rope, and many other fun ideas.  If a person wants to have defined muscles and look lean, then one can also sign up and work out in a gym or with a personal trainer who can address your specific fitness goals.

The pushdown is used to exercise the triceps m...Image via WikipediaPeople generally work out for one (or more) of 3 reasons:

1. The first is that the person is overweight, and the best way to lose those extra pounds will be to reduce one's calorie intake and at the same time burn more calories through exercise.

2. The second is that the person is underweight and the best way to add extra pounds and muscle is to maintain a balanced diet, and build muscle through weight-bearing exercise.

3. The third is for fun and to keep in shape and healthy.

The best exercise plan should include both calisthenics and and weight training exercises. This helps burn calories and increase the muscle-to-fat ratio, which in turn raises your metabolism, helping your body to burn calories for a longer period of time.

(Remember that, just like with taking any new medication, one should first consult a doctor before starting any new form of exercise.)

Here are some important benefits of exercising;

1.    It is the easiest way to maintain and improve one's health from a variety of diseases and even premature death.

2.    Studies have shown that physical activity makes a person feel happier and increases ones self esteem, and also lowers incidence of depression or anxiety.

3.    An active lifestyle makes a person live longer than those who are sedentary.

If you have not been physically active for a while, you will need to build up your strength and stamina gradually. Endurance will not be built in a day, but keeping up a regular exercise routine will certainly bring lots of great benefits.

It is advisable to work out regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...Image via WikipediaA good diet should have food from all the food groups, and needs to include carbohydrates  (mostly of the complex kind, such as found in whole grains and vegetables), vitamins, minerals and fiber. Oats, rice, potatoes, and other whole grains can provide these. And remember to include plenty of vegetables and fruits since these have phytochemicals, enzymes and micronutrients that are essential for a healthy diet.  

You also need a good source of high-quality clean protein, such as organic meat from grass-fed animals, or fresh eggs from pasture-raised hens. And you also need FAT! Yes, fat is essential for a healthy diet. (Did you know that your brain is made up almost entirely of fat?) Many vitamins and minerals are not even absorbed well by the body without a little fat. However, since fat contains more than double the number of calories in most other foods, it should be consumed in small quantities, and from high-quality clean sources, such as extra-virgin oils, and organic butter. Stay away from artificially enhanced fats (such as hydrogenated oils) and fat substitutes - these are not natural substances, and the long-term effects on the body are not well known.
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Creative Aerobics Exercises

If you want to be in better shape, aerobics are important. Basically, aerobics get your heart and your breathing going at a fast and steady pace, and alternating this type of exercise with slower stretching and weight-bearing exercises is the best and fastest way to burn fat and stay strong and healthy.

Jogging coupleImage by Ed Yourdon via FlickrHowever, no matter what your level of current exercise is, aerobics can get very boring if you do them a lot. Even things that you do at home, like riding a bike or walking on a treadmill can get really old after awhile, and you might be tempted to stop doing them just because they are boring. Don’t let yourself quit though, because you are going to find that there are many different creative ways to get in shape, and you should know that these could greatly benefit you.

There are many things that you can do that are creative and that can work as aerobic exercise. Remember that aerobic exercise is simply movement that gets your heart beating faster and your breathing increased. This means that when it comes right down to it, there aren’t too many limits on what you can do for your aerobic exercise.

Try using skates and pushing your baby’s stroller. This is something that can be a lot of fun because it can be time that you spend with your child, and it can also be exercise time. You can take a dog, as well, because dogs love to run and if you are skating you’ll be able to go faster - just be careful and be sure to wear protective pads! Some martial arts can also work as aerobic exercise, as can wrestling, basketball, and other sports.

2006 Studio Y? - Feb -  Yup from the workout danceImage by Studio Y? via FlickrSomething else that you can do that is very creative would be to take a fast-paced dance class. This can be a great way to get your work out, because you’re able to get a full workout while you are dancing, and you can learn some great dance moves as well. In fact, if you take enough dance classes, not only can it be a creative way to get your exercise, but it can also turn into a new hobby for you! There are lots of fun dance classes out there - from hip-hop to Salsa and the ballet-type combo classes. You can even find such workouts on a DVD if you don't feel like going to the gym (for some great at-home workout resources, visit the New Holistic Living Fun Ways to Exercise page.)

Remember that no matter what you are doing, it can work as aerobic exercise, as long as there is a period of time during your workout where you are actually working hard and your body is needing to work hard in order to keep up with you. If you can manage to get to this level of exertion, then no matter what you choose to do, you can find a creative way to incorporate aerobics.

A Few Fun Aerobic Dance Videos:
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