Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tip #5: Sign A Contract

It's great to have someone to be accountable to, or an exercise partner, but if you really want to ensure you will stick to your exercise routine, go as far as signing a contract with someone!

Make an agreement that you will exercise a certain number of times per week for a certain amount of time and sign on the dotted line. Make sure to incorporate some small repercussion, such as not going out to eat as a reward after you have reached your first milestone in order to make it worth your while to stick to your written word.

This may seem a bit extreme, but it's worth it. Exercise is a powerful weapon in the fight against cardiovascular disease. A 2004 study found that physical activity of at least 1,000 kilocalories per week was associated with a 20% reduction in mortality in males, and another survey demonstrated similar results in middle-aged women. (http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/benefits-of-exercise). And physical activity has been definitively linked with a lower risk of certain cancers. Men and women who are active have a 30 to 40% lower risk of colon cancer, and physically active women have a 20 to 40% lower risk of breast cancer. Studies have also suggested that physical activity may reduce the risk of lung and prostate cancer. (http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/benefits-of-exercise)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Video: 15-Minute Cardio Interval Workout

Nothing burns fat and increases your cardiovascular capacity like interval training. High-intensity cardio moves with short breaks in between strengthen your heart and lungs, and rev your metabolism into high gear, helping you shed pounds even between workouts. This video demonstrates a high-intensity interval workout, similar to my favorite - the Pace Express workouts.

However, for the proper results, you will want to let your heart rate come back to resting rate, so you'll actually need about a minute to minute and a half in between sets - she's not resting long enough in the video to allow for the recovery time, which is very important. If you want to follow this video, just pause at every rest break and wait approximately 90 seconds before resuming the video. And for the real deal, to push your exercise routine into high gear, check out PACE Express below.

Be sure to warm up first, and consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise routine, particularly one this intense.

 Cardio: 15 Minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Melissa Bender Fitness
*Injury disclaimer: N...

PACE Express: 12-Minute Fitness Revolution: 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tip #4: Add It To Your To-Do List

We all know the power of the never-ending to-do list. If you add exercise to that to-do list, you are more likely than not to adhere to accomplishing that task. Even if you have to put it in red pen, and add it to your calendar, make sure that you put it in writing. There is more of a commitment there when you put it down on paper.

Interestingly enough, educated people - who are more likely to make a to-do list - are more likely to exercise as well. The higher a person’s education level, the more likely he is to participate in physical activity. 23% of those who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher engage in sports or exercise activities on an average day, compared to 14% of those with some college or an associate’s degree, 11% of high school graduates and 10% of those who did not graduate high school. http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/sports/data.ht

And remember that even small amounts of exercise are beneficial. A 2011 study found that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can reduce mortality risk by 10%, and each additional 15 minutes reduces the risk by an additional 4 percent. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2960749-6/fulltext

So add a bit of exercise to your to-do list today, and get moving!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Video: Fun Carmen Electra Dance Workout

Okay okay, so this is pretty cheesy, but it's super fun to do with friends!  I never had so much fun doing a cheesy workout routine than I did with this one when I had roomates. One of them had this set, and several of us girls did the workouts together several times. We may have gotten more exercise laughing than we did doing the actual workout, but hey, that counts too! :-)

It's a beginner-level workout so should be pretty easy for just about anyone to follow along. I was totally new to workout videos at the time, and didn't really have a problem following the moves. This is the full workout, so it's a bit longer, but you can just do segments of it if you wish, or go for the whole thing - grab a couple of friends, get moving, and have some fun! 

Carmen Electra Disc 1 Advanced Aerobic Striptease - Full Movie
Carmen Electra Disc 1 Advanced Aerobic Striptease - Full Movie.

More Like This:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tip # 3: Exercise With A Friend

Studies have shown that it is easier to have positive results in any new endeavor when you do it with a partner. According to www.sharecare.com, in an interesting study from Indiana University’s Department of Kinesiology, researchers found that spouses who worked out with their partners had a dropout rate of only 6.3 percent compared with spouses who worked out without their partners. The “single” exercising group had an astounding 43 percent dropout rate. Therefore, exercising with a partner benefits the mind, body, and spirit, and can lead to more satisfaction and success in your exercise and weight loss efforts.

This is especially important for us Midwesterners and residents of the Southern US, as studies have found that those who live in the Pacific states are most likely to exercise on an average day (20%). 18% of people in New England and the Mountain states exercise on an average day, followed by 16% of residents of the Mid-Atlantic and North Central states, 15% of those who live in the South Atlantic region and 13% of those who live in the South Central United States. http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/sports/data.htm

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Video: Fast, Fun Cardio Dance Workout

It's hard not to have fun when you're dancing - so what better way to get a good workout than a fast, fun dance routine? This "cardio house party" dance workout gives you a great cardio workout in under 20 minutes. They go pretty fast but most of the moves are pretty basic. Once you get the hang of it, it's a lot of fun - moving your body feels great, and you get to throw your own personality into it.  Mambo and other dance moves are combined with some aerobic dance steps to form a fast-moving fun workout that you can do whenever you have a few minutes and want to get that blood pumping!

Check it out, and have fun!

Burn Fat Fast: Cardio Workout
Mambo your metabolism into high gear and burn fat with this 20-minute dance workout. It is sure to burn calories as you twist and shake your body slim.

More Of Our Favorite Fun Dance Workout Videos:
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tip #2: Be Accountable!

According to a 2010 survey, 32.4% of adults who had seen a doctor in the past year had been advised to exercise (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db86.htm), but most Americans still don't get enough regular exercise. Having someone to exercise with helps motivate you both and keep you on track with your exercise goals.

Whether or not you will be joining a gym with a friend or going it alone, it is imperative to have an exercise accountability partner. Perhaps you could incorporate the help of a friend asking them to be your biggest cheerleader when you feel like you want to quit. Even better, ask another friend to be your coach and ask you some hard questions and give you some hard-line advice when you want to stop.

Think about who you would like as an exercise partner, and take a few minutes this week to give them a call, drop them an email, or talk to them about setting up a regular exercise "date" that will benefit you both. Even if you can only get together once or twice a week, it will help you stay on track. Or, if you can't find a friend to exercise with, or you prefer more structure, find a personal trainer to be accountable to. You'll get the added benefit of his or her expertise in designing an exercise plan tailored to your needs that you will enjoy and want to stick to.

In the meantime, consider us your exercise partners! Every Thursday we'll share a fun workout so you can be sure to get in your exercise for the day. Just play the video a couple of times a week, and along with your workouts with your accountability partner, you've already got 4 days covered!
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Video - 10 Minute Beginner Workout

This is a very easy modified beginner yoga video that will give you a feel for the lengthening and stretching properties of yoga, modified for those who may just be starting yoga and want an easy and gentle introduction to the practice. If you've ever wanted to try yoga but thought it would be too difficult for you, this one is for you!  It's also a great place to start for those who haven't worked out much for a while, and are getting back into exercising. These gentle movements will help get the blood flowing, and start to limber up your joints and muscles. It can also be used as a warmup for a more advanced yoga routine or other type of workout.

This short and easy routine gives you no excuse for not doing at least some form of exercise today! Ease into exercising with this video, and get ready for more next week!


More Fast, Fun & Easy Yoga Workouts:
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Series: 10 Ways to Get More Exercise!

In today's busy, busy world, one of the most challenging and yet most important things we can do for our health is find the time to exercise. It's certainly not easy, even for the most dedicated of us! Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Yet most of us do not get the exercise we need, and many do not exercise at all. A 2010 study found that only 20.7% of adults fully met the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, and 49.1% met the guidelines for neither. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf)

And yet there is strong evidence that regular physical activity in adults lowers the risk of early death, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and an adverse blood lipid profile; there is also strong evidence that it helps prevent weight gain and reduces depression. (http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/benefits-of-exercise)

This month we are starting a new series on how to get more exercise in your life. Most of these are short and simple tips, or easy steps you can take to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.

Each week we will share a tip, and also an exercise video so you can work out right along with us! We'll try to relate the videos to the tips each week, but sometimes they'll just be a workout we thought you'd find fun, or a quickie workout you can fit in pretty much anytime you have a few minutes.

This week we're starting off easy. :-)

Tip #1: Start Slowly
As with any endeavor, it is imperative that you start slowly but steadily. If you begin your new exercise regimen too hastily and with too much zeal, chances are that you are likely to burn out and run out of gas very soon. Plan your exercise routine by slowly getting used to exercising as part of your daily or weekly routine. Start out with a few minutes each day just to get your mind and your body accustomed to what is taking place. All new change is usually met with resistance, no matter how good the intentions.

Be sure to check back Thursday for a quick, fun workout video that will get you moving and having fun!
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