Thursday, June 30, 2011

Video - 10 Minute Office Yoga Workout

If you have a desk job, you know how stiff and achy your body can be after sitting all day. Here is a quick and easy yoga workout that can be done right in your office on your lunch break, in under 10 minutes. (Caution: Some of these moves may be hard on your lower back. Be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner before beginning any new exercise routine, and use common sense - if a stretch or exercise hurts, don't do it!)

Use this quick and easy workout to strengthen, stretch and lengthen your muscles, prevent neck and back strain, and energize yourself during your work day.

Energizing Office Yoga - Inside Yoga Today Ep. 10
Oxygenate your blood, clear your mind, and stretch & tone your muscles with this energizing office workout with Neesha Zollinger. Its quick and can be done at your desk, in business attire.

More Office Yoga Workouts:
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten Minute "Office Yoga" Tip

Whether you might be staying home with a new baby or working too many hours at the office, anytime is a good time for yoga. You can do yoga stretches and postures in bed, or even while driving to work!

Hundreds of fitness seekers use their lunch hour to squeeze in exercise and take off extra pounds.

Original title and description: "Suryatho...Image via Wikipedia"I occasionally use my lunch hour for Yoga," said Jonie Ray White, 35, who works at the Arkansas attorney general's office. Downward facing dog and sun salutation are two of the postures she practices every day. Practicing yoga in the middle of day is the break that she needs to face the afternoon, said Ray.

Lunch-hour fitness routines become more popular in warm weather. Here are a couple you can try:

Kick Back Log-on Pose
 While seated, interlace your fingers behind your head. Relax your elbows and shoulders. Smile, breathe and stretch your elbows back. Let the tightness release slowly.

E-mail Meditation
While reading your e-mail, remember to breathe slowly and focus your attention on your breath. Make the out-breath two times longer than the in-breath. This will immediately calm you.

Photocopier Stretch
Place your hands on the edge of the copier. Stand back with feet apart. Drop your head and chest. Breathe and relax your shoulders.

Close-the-Deal Warrior Pose
Raise your arms to the sides with fingers pointed. Take a big step to the side, with your right foot out and knee bent, your left foot planted, left leg straight. Keep the upper body straight and strong, shoulders relaxed. Relax into the stretch -- don't hold your breath. Return to a standing position, switch sides and repeat.

For more fun yoga workouts, visit, or check out some of the resources below.

Good Office Yoga Resources:
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Video - Rotational Box Jump

Here is a fun and challenging exercise from the PACE workout. This one is a bit more difficult than some of the others, so of course use caution and start with a large step or lower box if you need to. Be sure to repeat on both sides, to work both sides of your midsection.

PACE Fitness Exercise - Rotational Box Jump
Certified PACE Instructor, Coach Yari demonstrates Rotational Box Jumps. To learn more about PACE The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution, click

Click here for more fun PACE exercises.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Exercise for Health and Appearance

There are a lot of different fun types of exercise, depending on your preferences - such as jogging or walking  in the morning, playing basketball or any other sport with friends, taking classes, working out in a gym, or dancing at home to fitness videos.

My beautiful sisters :)Image via WikipediaPhysical exercise is beneficial because it helps maintain and improve ones health from a variety of diseases and premature death.  It can also make a person feel happier and increase ones self esteem, preventing and alleviating depression or anxiety. It has also been shown in many studies that people who live an active lifestyle live longer than those who don’t. And regular exercise contributes to increased blood flow, improving skin tone and elasticity - so it can even make you look younger!

The best exercise plan should incorporate both cardiovascular and weight training exercises. Alternating between these helps burn calories and increase the muscle to fat ratio that will increase ones metabolism and help with weight loss as well as general overall health.

A person who has never worked out before should begin gradually. (And be sure to consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before starting any new exercise program.) Doing it too much at once can lead to injury. Endurance - like Rome - will never be built in a day!

But beauty is not only about having muscles which is what people can see. It is also about enhancing the beauty within. We talk a lot here about different aspects of exercise, but one that we don't mention that much is how beneficial exercise can be for your state of mind.

Here are some things one can do everyday to stay beautiful and healthy:
  • Reading books and other interesting and challenging reading material more often keeps the mind sharp just like working out keeps the body in shape.

  • Work no matter what kind it is produces stress. One can reduce this by taking the time out to do something special for yourself like lying in a hot tub, shopping or watching a movie. Studies have shown it is a great stress reliever and helps one looking young.

  • Any piece of real estate can be the subject of...Image via Wikipedia
  • Exposure to pollution is something you often cannot control. However, you can control what you put on your skin. Choose all-natural and non-toxic beauty products, and get yourself a shower filter to reduce your exposure to pollutants and chemicals in the water. There are many great natural beauty products available today, and you can find some more information and suggestions here:

  • Another way to stay healthy is to give up some vices. Many people smoke and/or drink. Smoking has been proven to cause lung cancer and other diseases as well complications for women giving birth. Excessive drinking has also shown to do the same.

  • For people who don’t smoke, it is best to stay away from people who do since studies have shown that nonsmokers are also at risk of developing cancer due to secondary smoke inhalation.

  • Lastly, it is best to always start the day with a positive outlook. Just as studies have shown that exercise makes a person feel happier, smiling produces the same effect! A smile can do a lot and it is contagious in a positive sense. It brightens the day of not only one but others as well.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Water & Exercise

Drinking enough water while exercising is always important, but in the summer even more so. With the additional heat, many people don't realize how much more water they are actually losing, even during less strenuous exercise.

Mineral water being poured from a bottle into ...Image via WikipediaThe human body is made up of over 75% of water, and as we all know, we cannot live without water.  The fact is, we can only survive for a total of 3 days without water - much much less time than we can survive without food.  Water has however, been replaced to a large degree in the American diet by soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened refreshments.  Keep in mind that plain water is a healthier choice overall, and a necessary one for leading yourself towards better health and longevity.

Your own personal need for water can vary greatly due to exercise, weight, and temperature.  Research has proven that over 2/3 of adults don't get the water they need on a daily basis.  By drinking water on a regular basis you can replenish your body and keep it well hydrated and functioning as it should be.

A majority of us wait until we are thirsty before we drink water.  Keep in mind, this way isn't a reliable gauge of the water needs for the body.  By the time you are thirsty you may have already lost two of more cups of the body's water supply.  Therefore, getting into the habit of drinking water regularly is much better than simply waiting until you are thirsty. (I keep a bottle or glass of water on my desk at all times throughout the day while working. This reminds me to drink regularly.)

It is very important that you don't substitute beverages with alcohol and caffeine for water.  The reason behind this is that those types of beverages act as a diuretic and can cause you to lose more water through increased urination.  You may think and feel as if you are getting more water through these beverages, but the fact is that you are letting it go almost as fast as you consume it.

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...Image via WikipediaAnytime you exercise, you need more water. Due to perspiration, your body will lose quite a bit of water.  For each pound lost due to exercise, you need to drink 2 cups of water.  Even when you lay down to sleep, your body loses water.  By drinking a glass or more of water before you go to sleep, you can wake up with your body functioning as it should be.

It should also be obvious that when you are sick you'll need more water than any other time.  When  you get a cold or the flu, your body can become dehydrated quite quickly.  (This is why your doctor will always say to "rest and drink plenty of fluids.") You can help to prevent this by reminding yourself to drink more water when you are sick.

Always make it a habit to drink water on a daily basis.  You should keep a bottle of water with you at all times and drink it throughout the day - and remember to drink extra when exercising. You should also teach yourself to drink water instead of other beverages that don't replenish the nutrients your body needs. If you have been drinking sugary beverages for a while, it may take a bit of time to get used to substituting plain water, but once you do, your body will thank you.
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Getting the Most out of A Fitness Video

Home exercise can be more fun when done with fitness videos. In fact, I am pretty much a fitness video addict by now!  They are so fun, convenient, affordable, and there is such a huge variety out there, I never get bored. When I get tired of one, I just switch to something different for a while, and keep mixing it up.

Here are some of the great benefits of working out with fitness videos:
    Zumba Fitness
  • Fitness videos are created for home use. Doing workouts at home can be a great alternative to visiting the gym.  For one thing, you have the flexibility of scheduling your workouts when they are best for you. You can do your workouts anytime that is convenient for you, without worrying about how to deal with the crowd of exercisers in a gym. You don't need to wait for the equipment, meet every scheduled class, or worry about what to wear and how you look. Each fitness video can be used as many times as you want without any additional fees. You can also save money on gas since you won't have to drive to the gym.

  • Fitness videos are available in an incredibly wide range of different types of workouts including strength workouts, aerobic workouts, a combination of these first two types (circuit workouts), stretching, yoga, and even mental exercises like meditation. These workouts are also available in different styles which include step aerobics, dance aerobics, Pilates, jump rope, and kickboxing, among many others.

  • Fitness videos are flexible. There are fitness videos for beginners, intermediate, or advanced fitness levels. Many videos even have multiple levels on one video - you pay for it once, and start at the beginner level, and then move up to the next level when you are ready, as it is already included on the DVD. People can also choose videos for particular purposes including workouts for children, for pregnant women, for seniors, and for individuals affected by back pain.

  • Fitness videos often don't require any fitness equipment. Some suggest optional equipment, and you can also find fitness videos which require basic equipment such as rubber tubing, stability balls, mini-trampolines, aerobic steps, body bars, free weights, or even multi-stationed home gyms, if this is something that eappeals to you.

  • Purchasing fitness videos is easy. These items can be found on the internet, department stores, and catalogs on fitness equipments. Shopping is very convenient and effortless. However, keep in mind these three tips:
Dance Off The Inches: Hip Hop Party-    Get fitness videos according to the type of workouts you really enjoy. If you don't like the type of workout, or you find it too difficult, you won't find it fun, and it will be very difficult to stay motivated to continue.

-    Select fitness videos that will meet your fitness goals. For example, if your objective is to overcome stress then tai chi or yoga videos may be good for you; if your goal is weight loss, then aerobic or dance videos will be what you need; if you have previously done aerobics classes, then more advanced dance choreography videos will be fun and challenging.

-    Consider the space needed for doing the exercise. Choose fitness videos that will fit your available area. Aerobic videos need a bigger space compared to yoga videos. Doing aerobic exercises requires forward, diagonal, or backward movements, while most Yoga and Pilates workouts just require enough space to stretch out on the floor.

Fitness videos are good tools for helping people get the right amount of exercise even at home. Structured routines are often given, and they provide various types of exercise in various intensity levels.

Fitness videos can be very effective you use them. But remember it's just a waste of money to buy one and put it on the shelf. Pop one in, turn it on, and get up and moving! You may just find fitness videos as addictive as I do....

Need something to get you started? Here are are some fitness videos I have found to be a lot of fun:

Or check out this FREE Pilates DVD!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Video - 5 Worst Ab Exercises

This video demonstrates some exercises NOT to do for your abs. These exercises can be very harmful for your back, and unfortunately, some of them are quite common exercises. Even watching him demonstrate some of these made me cringe!

The Worst 5 Ab Exercises Avoiding these 5 ab exercises will spare your back a lot of problems down the road. These ab exercises are the worst because they put unnecessary strain on the lower back while not working the abdominals effectively. The popularit...

Steer clear of the 5 exercises above, and for an effective AND safe ab workout, check out these exercises instead: Free Abs DVD.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Exercise Back Pain Away

According to past research and studies, nearly 80% of all Americans will experience some type of back pain in their lives.  The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes this as well, as they say 80% of us will encounter some type of problem with our back before we die.

Labelled by Vsion, using another Public Domain...Image via WikipediaTraditionally, the treatment for lower back pain is increasing core strength to increase flexibility on muscles that are tight, which will provide better stabilization of the spine and exercises to correct the imbalances of the muscles.  The muscles that surround the spine will provide stability and support of the spinal column.

Every muscle between the hips and shoulders are included as well, as these muscles are referred to as the core muscles.  Back pain can be a result of muscle imbalances caused by any of these core muscles.  If the back of your thighs are weaker than the front of your thighs, there will be an uneven pull on the front of your spinal column. 

There are some effective ways that you can integrate core strength training exercises into all of the exercises you perform, rather than doing just the traditional crunches and sit-ups (which are very hard on your back).  One such way is by breathing effectively.  Deep breathing will utilize your diaphragm muscles which will help support the spinal column and lengthen the spine, which is great for your lower back and supporting you when you walk or run.

The tummy tuck and bridge lift can also help you to reduce back pain and strengthen the core muscles as well.  The tummy tuck exercise is a simple pelvic tilt that draws the abdominal muscles away from the floor.  Do perform a tummy tuck, simply lie face down on the floor and squeeze your glutes to strengthen your spine.

Instead of pressing into your thighs, you should instead think of reaching your tailbone down towards your heels.  Perform 15 reps of each exercise and alternate them until you have completed a couple of sets. 

For the bridge, place your feet on a bench or on the floor and scoop your pelvis upward, as your rib cage should stay low to reduce any irritation to your spinal muscles.  The bridge will help to relieve stress on your back and focus the muscle contractions into the glutes and the hamstrings.

Other exercises for lower back pain are the lumbar side stretch, hip flexor stretch, and calf stretches, as all three can help to alleviate pull on your spinal column.

Hip flexor stretch (one of my favorite stretches ever!)
When doing a hip flexor stretch, bring one foot forward in a bent knee, 90 degree angle, while your other leg is on the floor behind you with the sole toward the ceiling.  The hip flexor stretch will help to open up the muscles of your back on the side of the spine near your hips.  You can also squeeze your glutes and press your hips forward (while keeping your back straight, hands on your front thigh) as well to deepen the stretch with each breath you exhale.  You should begin to feel a stretch in your back leg, in the thigh front and the hamstrings on your front leg. Hold for 1 minute on each side.

Lumbar side stretch
For this stretch keep your legs wide with your knees bent while you sit or stand.  Simply bring one hand down towards your foot on the inside of the thighs and your other hand behind your head.

Calf stretch
The last stretch will open up your Achilles tendon, which is the most distant pull on the spine.  For this, place an object under your foot and lean the weight of your body forwards.  Maintain a fluid breath while you hold stretches for 30 seconds or so.  After a while, you should begin to feel a stretch behind your knee and shin.

Click here for more info and a free video on relieving back pain.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fun Backyard Activities for Adults

When most of us think of backyard activities, children come to mind.  While children may enjoy being outside, they are not the only individuals who enjoy participating in backyard activities. Many adults use their backyards to relax, but you can also have fun in your backyard with - you guessed it - exercise!

Ball badminton (522672869)Image via WikipediaIf you are looking for fun backyard activities, your options are usually only limited by your imagination. Fun and active backyard activities for adults can include everything from sports games to swimming, and more.

If you are interested in playing sports games in your backyard, you will have to think about the games that you would be interested in playing. You may also want to examine whether or not you would be playing alone or with someone else. If you are interested in playing a game by yourself, basketball or a singles game of horseshoes may be ideal. In addition to being ideal for singles games, horseshoes and basketball are also great games for multiple players.  Additional multiplayer games may include soccer, football, softball, tennis, badminton, or volleyball.

A Private Swimming PoolImage via WikipediaThe above mentioned games are ideal because just about everyone one can participate in them - and they are all great exercise.  Most backyards are able to accompany a number of different backyard sports games.  However, to go swimming, you will have to have a pool.  Even though pools are popular, not everyone has one. If you are unable to have an in-ground or an above-ground pool installed in your backyard, a kiddie pool may be a nice alternative.  While kiddie pools are designed with small children in mind, they are great for wading in hot weather, even for adults (although you won't get the exercise of swimming of course!). 

In addition to enjoying the above mentioned popular backyard activities for adults, you may also want to make up your own.  Whether you create your own unique game or stick to traditional backyard games, it is likely that you will be pleased with your decision to entertain yourself outside.  There are many adults that just enjoy being outside, even if they are not participating in anything particular.
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Exercise Equipment for Backyard Fun:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Fun - Games with the Kids

Well, the kids are out of school, and looking for fun things to do. Rather than trying to think of ways to send them off somewhere to keep busy, why not embrace their energy as an opportunity to get more exercise, yourself? A great example of a fun type of exercise you can enjoy with your children is running games - these often have the simplest of rules (like tag) that require nothing more than space, imagination, and energy.  These games don’t need any preparation and can be played almost anywhere.

Red Rover, Red Rover, send Johnny right overImage by tyfn via FlickrHere are a couple of ideas for the little kids:

Red light, green light is a game where one person is “it” and the rest of the children have to try and sneak up on them.  The child that is “it” stands at least 20 feet away from the other children.  When they are ready to start they turn their back towards the kids and yell green light.  All the kids run towards “it” until he or she turns around and says red light.  Everyone must freeze, if anyone moves they have to go back to the beginning.  The purpose is to reach the person who is it while they have their back turned during green light.  Whoever reaches “it” first gets to play the traffic light in the next round.

Mr. Wolf is a game that is set-up similar to Red light, green light. The child who is “it” is Mr. Wolf.  The rest of the children ask, “What time is it Mr. Wolf?” and then take the appropriate number of steps depending on what time it is.  For instance if Mr. Wolf said it was three o’clock than all the children would take three steps towards him.  This continues until Mr. Wolf decides that it is lunch time.  When the children ask what time it is and Mr. Wolf replies, “It’s lunch time!”  Everyone runs away, and the person Mr. Wolf catches is the new Mr. Wolf.

For older kids, you can also form teams and have fun at a local park where there may be more space than in your backyard.

Two runners prepare to pass a baton during a r...Image via WikipediaSoccer is always popular and everyone knows the basic rules.  If there are no nets, make some with either rocks, natural posts such as trees or use outdoor toys.  The same idea can apply to football, don’t worry if you don’t have the right kind of ball anyone will do – kids have great imaginations.

Or run just for the sake of running by having a relay race.  You can use sticks as the batons or get more creative.  Have the kids say silly word or a joke as the pass-off instead of physically passing something back and forth.  Or it can be a getting to know you came, each kid has to tell their partner something about themselves for the pass-off.

Remember that while these are kids games, there's no rule that you can't play too! They are GREAT exercise, and also give you an excuse to spend more time outside with your kids this summer - just call it working out - for fun!

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