Saturday, March 30, 2013

Video - Menopause Core Exercises

One of the main things you may notice when going through menopause is that you tend to accumulate more fat in the belly region. This is due in part to decreased metabolism (see last week's posts for help with this), and in part to hormone fluctuations. Regular cardio exercise (especially of the interval kind), together with exercises for a strong core can help you keep that flat belly even after menopause. This short video demonstrates three great core exercises that will help build and maintain core strength. They won't take long to do, and can be incorporated into your regular workout routine, or alternated on different days. (See instructions below video for set/rep information.)

Menopause Weight Loss | My Menopause Fix Blog
Menopause Weight Loss For more Videos and menopause weight loss information visit If you would like my FREE 7 Day Menopause Die...

3 Simple Exercises for Toning the Core:

1) Hip Bridge - 20 Reps 2 Sets
2) 1 Leg Static Hip Bridge with Knee Taps - 10 each Leg 2 Sets
3) Reverse Tabletop Crunch ( Slow ) - 20 Reps 2 Sets

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Adding Exercise to Your Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is an ailment which affects millions of people.  While some people may experience mild discomfort, others are in horrible and debilitating pain every single day.  No matter how mild or severe your pain is, you can probably benefit from some exercise.  Not only will it improve your overall health, it may also help combat some of your symptoms, leaving you pain free and help you with your symptoms.

Hip dysplasia with arthritis
Hip dysplasia with arthritis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We all know the importance of exercise, but arthritis patients will probably benefit more from strength straining exercises targeting their affected joints.  The best way to get this kind of workout is through a physical therapist.  They can provide you with exercises designed specifically to improve endurance, and muscle strength.  If you perform these exercises as prescribed, you will probably find yourself feeling better, or at least not deteriorating as quickly.  You may be able to do more, or your condition may simply worsen more slowly.  You can’t reverse the damage arthritis as caused, but you may be able to improve your quality of life.

Another type of exercise your physical therapist will probably recommend is flexibility training.  Many arthritis patients lose flexibility and range-of-motion in affected joints because pain is causing them to use the joint less.  Flexibility exercises can help keep the joints limber, enabling a better range or motion and increasing how much you can do with that joint.

A good cardio workout is just as important for people with arthritis as it is for everyone else.  However, unlike everyone else, people with arthritis don’t skip aerobic exercise because they’re busy, or tired - it’s because they’re in pain.  If performing everyday activities is painful, then you probably don’t want to consider doing anything more than that; however, there are exercises you can do to work your heart without severe pain or a worsening of your condition.  You should work with your doctor to find exercises that don’t stress, or even involve, the affected joints.  For instance, patients with severe knee arthritis can get aerobic exercise with table top bike-like devices which you pedal with your hands.  While this doesn’t help your affected joints directly, it improves your overall health, endurance, stamina, and circulation, which can improve your ability to handle your arthritis. Exercise can also temporarily relieve pain through chemicals in the blood. 

While exercise isn’t going to cure your arthritis, it may help to improve your condition.  To work properly, exercise should be combined with proper diet, getting enough rest, supplementation, and other treatments your doctor may recommend.  A combination of these therapies goes a long way for reliving arthritis pain. 

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why Exercise Is Important During Menopause

We all know that getting enough exercise is a vital part of staying healthy.  What you may not know is that the older you get, the more important it is for you to work out regularly.  As your body starts to change, you not only may experience hot flashes and mood swings, you’re also at a higher risk for dangerous diseases.  The good news is that many menopausal symptoms can be helped or even stopped through regular physical activity.

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises
Aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the biggest concerns for women approaching menopause is the loss of bone mass.  This can lead to osteoporosis and other serious consequences.  Many doctors suggest getting plenty of calcium to help prevent bone deterioration, but this is just the first step.  Getting regular, weight-bearing exercise is also essential for maintaining good bone health.  If you’re not in very good shape, walking other light exercise can be enough to get started.  You should eventually work yourself up to resistance training.  This is the best way to slow or even stop loss of bone mass.  You should also consider adding flexibility training; being limber will keep you from getting injured sometime down the road.  (Yoga is often a great choice, as it combines weight-bearing exercise with flexibility training - and in some types of yoga, even cardiovascular benefits.)

Along with osteoporosis, women who have reached menopause are also at an increased risk of developing heart disease.  Many women assume that only men are at risk, but heart disease is a top killer of women as well as men.  Plus, women are less likely to know they’re having a heart attack, so they don’t get treatment as quickly.  Regular aerobic exercise can do wonders for keeping your heart in good shape.  Even if you aren’t going through menopause yet, getting regular exercise is a great way to keep your heart healthy for a long time.   

gymnasium braille ada sign
gymnasium braille ada sign (Photo credits:
Another common symptom of menopause is mood swings.  As estrogen levels fluctuate, so do your emotions.  And unlike mood changes due to your menstrual cycle, menopausal mood fluctuations are much less predictable.  Exercise can work to ease symptoms of depression, decrease mood fluctuations, and decrease irritability.  Exercise helps you to be more emotionally stable so you can worry about more important things.

With the onset of menopause, many women gain weight.  While it’s usually not a substantial amount, it can increase the risk of certain weight related diseases.  Regular exercise can help you keep your weight in check, reducing the risk of serious health problems in the future. 

If your biggest concern about menopause is the immediate physical symptoms, exercise can be a great cure for you too.  Many women notice a decrease in hot flashes and other physical symptoms when they go on a regular exercise program. 

Sure, regular exercise takes some planning and work, but your health is worth it, so get out and get moving - no matter what age you are!
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Video: 10-Minute Metabolism Boosting Workout

This great 10-minute workout will build and strengthen your muscles throughout your entire body and raise your metabolism so you burn more fat for longer. The exercises are fairly simple and pretty much any fitness level should be able to do them - you will just go with the weight that is appropriate for you. This one works, arms, legs, back, and everything in between - all in just 10 minutes. You will want to have hand weights available for this workout. And for more fun metabolism-boosting workouts, see below.

Metabolism Boosting Workout, Full Body Fitness, Class FitSugar
We know you're pressed for time, so we asked celeb trainer Ashley Borden to create a quick workout that will help build metabolism-boosting muscle. This work...

More Fun Metabolism-Boosting Workouts:
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

12 Quick Tips to Boost Your Metabolism

There are a lot of people who would give a lot to increase their metabolism. Having a high metabolism enables one to maintain burn fat and lose weight fast with the least amount of activity. Metabolism is the rate by which the body produces and consumes energy and calories to support life.

There are several factors that affect the metabolism, such as the amount of muscle tissue, the frequency of the meals one consumes, genetics, stress levels, personal diet and activity levels.

Metabolism slows down due to the following factors: loss of muscle because of not enough physical activity, the tendency of the body to cannibalize its own tissue because there is not enough food energy to sustain it, and the decrease of physical activity that often occurs with old age.

Here are several ways to fire up your metabolism:

Strength Training Circuit-2
Strength Training Circuit-2 (Photo credit: Phil Manker)
1. Build lean, mean body mass. There is a slight decline in metabolism with age, but it is possible to counter the effects. The amount of muscle a person has is a very strong determinant in the ability to burn calories and shed fat. So it goes without saying that exercise is essential. Build strength and resistance by working out at least twice a week, preferably with weights. Do easy exercises in between workouts. Simple tasks such as walking the dog and using the stairs in place of the elevator can already take off calories. The key is to match the amount of eating to the amount of activity one has. Here are some guidelines in getting the right exercise:

For strength training

-Increase the amount of repetitions of a particular exercise.
-Up the level of resistance
-Utilize advanced exercise techniques if possible

For cardiovascular training

-Insert intervals between exercises
-Perform cross-training and combine the exercises
-Increase resistance and/or speed

2. Eat breakfast. A lot of people ignore the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It may seem counter-intuitive, but those who eat breakfast are usually thinner than the ones who do not. Metabolism can slow down considerably if breakfast is taken during late morning or if one waits until the afternoon to eat, as your body starts to go into starvation mode and conserve calories.

3. Avoid sugar. Avoid sugar. Avoid sugar. (This one is so important I had to repeat it three times!) Sugar enables the body to store fat. For best results you should consume only food that helps sustain an even level of blood-sugar. Additionally, regular exercise at least 2-3 times a week helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

4. Eat spicy foods. Hot cuisine with peppers can increase metabolism.

5. Sleep more. According to research, people who do not get enough sleep are much more likely to gain weight. Also, muscles are regenerated during the last couple of hours of slumber, so if you're short on sleep your muscle mass may start to decline.

6. Increase water intake. Water flushes out toxins that are produced whenever the body burns fat. The majority of bodily functions involve water, and lack of water causes the body systems to slow down, and produces unneeded stress as a result.

7. Eat smaller meals. It is advisable to consume 4 to 6 small meals per day that are timed 2 to 3 hours apart. This keeps your body from going into "starvation mode," as it sees there is plenty of food available, so there is no need to store fat.

8. Never skip meals. People tend to skip meals in order to lose weight, which is a big mistake since it slows down metabolism. (See # 7 above.)

9. Plan meals in detail. Always prepare the right amount of food to be consumed at the designated intervals. Do not commit the mistake of eating meals in sporadic patterns. (See #7 above.)

10. Ditch the stress! Stress, be it physical or emotional, triggers the release of a steroid called cortisol, which decreases metabolism and increases fat storage. Also, people tend to eat excessively when stressed.

green tea
green tea (Photo credit: vordichtung)
11. Guzzle that green tea. It can be used as a substitute for coffee. Tea has the ability to stimulate metabolism, and unlike coffee, it has no undesirable side effects when too much is consumed. It is absorbed more evenly into the body, so you won't get the jitters like with coffee.

12. Include more energy foods in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains. Whole foods contain complete complexes of nutrients that the body needs to function optimally and shed excess fat.

Achieving your desired body weight is never impossible if one has the determination and patience needed to stabilize your metabolism, which plays such an important role in weight loss. However, you do need to realize that eating right and working out is not just a passing fancy, but a way of life - at least if you intend to make lasting positive change to your health and fitness.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cross Training for Fitness & Fat Loss

Although it may fly in the face of conventional "wisdom," the numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man’s fatty tissue is more than 14% to 15% of his body mass, or if a woman’s is more than 20% to 22%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, overfat.

A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Fat also makes up most of our brain tissue, and cell walls, so some fat is important for good health. However, excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems.

The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they focus on the numbers on the scale, and not on achieving the proper fat-to-muscle ratio for good health.

English: Yokosuka, Japan (Jan. 18, 2006) - Hos...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It would be more accurate to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. Caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure. Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get older, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into “work metabolism,” the energy expenditure required for any physical activity.

Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.

Winning the War Against Fat

When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will usually not get any farther. This is because if you always focus on losing more by exerting more effort you'll tend to get bored and "burn out" before you ever reach your goal.

Then you give up, stop doing your routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips! Sound familiar?

Okay, so what is the answer?

While different methods may work for different people, my favorite is cross training.

After some intensive studies and experimentation, health experts came up with the concept of cross training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program.

Cross training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person’s conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing the same exercises (which can damage your muscles), and to put a stop to imminent boredom.

swimming (Photo credit: Jim Bahn)
Three of the most commonly used activities in a cross training program are swimming, running, and cycling.

In cross training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance.

If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit.

Cross training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fat loss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns a lot of calories in a fairly short period of time, due to the varying intensity and activities, which challenge your body in different ways.

Cross training has three basic components:

1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a carefully planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level.

2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include a variety of activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine.

3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most people who wish to try to lose some fat.

Indeed, cross training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure hours of one monotonous activity. In fact, the idea behind a successful exercise program is to like what you are doing. With cross training, you may find yourself enjoying your workouts so much, you'll lose weight without even realizing it!

When you boil it down, cross training is a great way to have fun while exercising and reaching your fitness and fat loss goals.

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Video - Motivation to Run

This inspiring video is quite beautiful, and if you're a runner, I'm sure you will relate, and if you're not, it may make you want to start! I absolutely love the quote at the very end. Check it out, and get your motivation back!

Running Motivation.wmv
Runners: If you lost your motivation to run, I hope this helps.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Get (& Stay) Motivated To Run: 6 Helpful Tips

Sometimes, even if you absolutely love to run, you just don’t feel like it. Yet skipping one run can lead to skipping two runs, then three and before you know it you’ve taken a month off. The key is to keep running, even when you don’t want to. There are a few helpful tricks to get motivated. Learn them and you’ll never skip a run. (These actually can work for other forms of exercise as well, so even if running's not your thing, keep these helpful tips in mind for your other workouts!)

#1. Just Five Minutes

So you have a three mile run on your schedule for today and you just don’t want to run. Instead of thinking about the full three miles promise yourself that you’ll run for five minutes. Once you’re dressed and out the door those five minutes usually turn into ten, then fifteen and before you know it you’re enjoying your workout and you’re done.

#2. Accountability

Find someone to run with you. When you run with other people you’re less likely to skip runs. You hold each other accountable. And when you run with a group of people they’re sure to chastise you if you beg out.

#3. Rewards

Reward yourself for achieving your running goals. For example, if your goal is to run three times a week at the end of each week, or month, reward yourself if you’ve reached your goal. You might buy new running gear or take time off just to enjoy yourself. Plan your rewards in advance so you have something to look forward to.

#4. Social Accountability

Post your running stats on your social networking site of choice. There are many membership sites and forums dedicated to runners. It’s a great place to meet other runners, join groups and hold each other accountable. They’re good place to learn too.

#5. Give Yourself an Alternative

If running just isn’t looking or sounding good to you today then have a plan B. Do something else. For example, if you don’t want to run outside, then head to the gym or pop in a fitness DVD. You don’t always have to run but don’t skip your whole workout.

#6. Make a List 

Finally, consider making a list of all of the things you like about running. It can be a physical list with pen and paper or a mental list. As you’re making that list, think about how running has changed your life. Have you lost weight? Do you feel energetic and powerful when you finish a run? Focus on the good things, instead of the negative, and create a positive attitude about running. Chances are within minutes you’ll be motivated to tie your shoes and go for a run.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to Design a Running Program That Meets Your Goals

Firstly I would like to apologize for the lack of posts last week. As it turned out, I came down with the flu, and was unable to work at all for several days - I guess it served me right for not getting the rest I needed.... I do tend to be quite the workaholic sometimes!  But we're back in action, and this week we're going to talk a bit more about running.

Okay, so you like to run, or you just want a fun new exercise program and you’re ready to get started running but you’re not sure how? One of the best ways to get started running is to sit down and plan it out. What do you want to accomplish and how will you get the job done? There are many running programs available online. However, you have your own goals and needs; why not create your own running program? Here’s how:

Run Warsaw, 2007
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Step One: What are Your Running Goals?
Why are you running and what do you hope to achieve? Are you running to lose weight? Are you planning to run a 5-K or other race? This is the first thing to write down before you start creating your running program. Everything else you do from this point on will support your goals and motivation.

Step Two: How Much Do You Have to Put In?

In this step you’re looking at the tangibles. How much time do you have each day? How far can you run in that time? When will you run? Start writing down the details. In the next step you’ll begin to pull them all together.

Step Three: Do the Math

Grab your calculator for this step. At this point you probably have a lot of information but no real plan. Now you’re going to start pulling it all together to accomplish your goals. This step is best explained with an example.

Sue is running to lose weight. She wants to lose 1 pound a week. She can run three times a week and she has 45-60 minutes to get the job done. Now it’s time for the math. Sue knows that a pound is 3500 calories. She also knows that by walking fast and running for an hour she’ll burn about 500 calories. If she runs three times a week she’ll burn 1500 calories. In order to lose a pound a week, she’d need to run seven times a week for an hour. This doesn't seem doable, so Sue knows she needs to cut her calories a bit more. This information gives her power. She can now plan her week and her weight loss.

Here’s another example, Joe wants to run a 5K. That’s 3.1 miles. He has signed up for the race and it is two months away. Joe can run every day for thirty minutes. At ten minutes a mile that’s enough time to get three miles in each day. However, Joe is new to running so he will be walking and running for the first few weeks until he can run the full distance. Joe gives himself a month to reach that goal.

(Photo credits:
He starts by walking for five minutes and running for one and gradually adds running time. Running three times a week he has twelve runs to reach his goal of running for three miles straight. The second month Joe knows he has to start working on running faster. Each week he strives to decrease his overall time by a minute. He does this by running intervals two days a week. He increases his speed and lowers his overall time. In two months Joe will be ready for race day.

Start with your goal. Add what you know and need to work with then do the math to see what is possible. It is important to your health and safety that you take it slow. If you’re new to running give yourself time. Pushing too hard and doing too much right away is a sure way to get injured and sick, which could derail your progress and defeat the purpose.

So what about staying motivated to reach your goals? Check back Thursday, as we'll talk about this next....

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Interview with Fitness Trainer - Mike Geary

This video (actually an audio) contains a short interview one of our favorite fitness trainers, certified nutrition specialist and personal trainer, Mike Geary. Mike's ebook is obstensibly about getting great abs, but in truth his program and philosophy is one of a holistic approach to health and fitness, which utilizes healthy diet and nutrition, as well as fat-burning exercises that balance the entire body while building a strong core. In this interview, Mike explains why there is no "magic pill" when it comes to getting flat, strong abs, and why so many of the gadgets and programs out there are just a waste of time and money, and what really matters when it comes to getting results.

Listen to this interview to learn more, and if you would like more info on Mike's program, see the link below.

Mike Geary, Truth About Six Pack Abs - Interview pt 01
Part 1 of extensive 90 minute fat burning and lean body Interview with Mike Geary, author of "The Truth About Six Pack Abs"

Click Here to Learn More About The Truth About Abs...

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