Thursday, July 31, 2014

Video: Cardio Yoga Pilates Fusion Workout

This week's fun and energetic workout combines exercises from yoga and Pilates with cardio and kickboxing moves to strengthen your core, burn calories, and tone your entire body. This full-length intermediate-level workout is done in three circuits, so if you only have time for 15 minutes, you can just do one round, or two for 30 minutes - or do the full 45-minute workout for maximum calorie burn.

It does include a warmup and cool down, and you won't need any equipment although you may want to have a yoga mat.

Full 45 min workout video - Pilates, Cardio, Yoga, Boxing Fusion
A new and innovative high energy, explosive cardio-pilates workouts. This particular routine is led by Jennifer Menzer & Susan Reardon and is a breath taking...

Try More Fun Fusion Workouts!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3 Fun New Fitness Trends

If you are tired of your usual exercise routine, why not try something new to keep your workout fresh and interesting? Trying a new workout will allow you to keep challenging your body. Here are 3 fitness trends you may want to try:

Run Yoga Fusion Class at lululemon West 4th
Run Yoga Fusion Class. (Photo credit: Carolyn Coles)
1.) Fusion Classes- aerial yoga, piloxing, cardioga, poolates and kayoga are just some of the newest fusion classes we have today. These combo workouts are conceptualized to get the body working in ways it wouldn't otherwise. If you think your current workout routine is not doing enough for you then you absolutely need to try a fusion class.

Let's say you are an avid spinner and you are missing a strength component, you can take a class that uses resistance bands and free weights to train a wider muscle group. Pick a class that has one of your favorite or current workouts in the name. If you are already doing yoga then try a yoga fusion class such as aerial yoga, piloxing (boxing with Pilates) or yogalates.

2.) Dance Fusion Classes- Zumba and Masala Bhangra are great for those who are looking for a fun way to burn the calories. Luckily, they are not the only way to dance away the excess pounds. You can try hip-hop, jazz or striptease aerobics.

If you want a class that incorporates resistance training into different dance routines then you may want to consider house party fitness. There is also a new fitness trend called Pound which is a fusion of cardio, pilates, plyometrics and isometric movements.

The 45-miunute class will help you burn 600-900 calories per hour. With this dance fusion class, you use weighted drumsticks and rhythm to achieve a full body cardio jam workout.

Personal trainer assessing a client's goals an...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
3.) Wellness Coaches- fitness doesn't stop in regular exercise and a healthy diet. Staying fit is a lifestyle and if you are serious about it, you may want to consider seeking the help of a wellness coach. They offer guidance on long-term changes that you can make so you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle for good.

The one-on-one approach is similar to that of personal trainers. The only difference is that a wellness coach looks at your lifestyle and habits holistically. They will then determine what strategies will help you achieve your fitness goals. Ask your doctor or personal trainer if they can recommend a wellness coach. Before meeting with a coach, make sure you are ready to commit to making positive changes in your life. A coach can only help you get where you want to go - they can't make you do something you're not committed to.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Video: Slow Burn Muscle-Building Exercise - Side Shoulder Raises

One of the best ways to build muscle and strength is using the "Slow Burn" method, as demonstrated in this video. While it may sound like this is a long, arduous workout, in fact, the slow burn method only takes a few minutes a week, and can build muscle mass as well as functional strength quite quickly. (A few minutes per week??  That's here for a short introduction to this method.)

The trick is to use a heavy enough weight, and go very slowly, but only for a few reps. Slow burn exercise focuses not necessarily on the heaviness of the weight, but on the use and control of the weight. Working slowly means you are controlling the weight you are lifting, putting tension on the muscle at all times, instead of just using momentum to swing it (which is much less effective for building strength and muscle, and also more likely to cause injury).

See this video for an example, and for more on the Slow Burn method, see resources below.

Learn More About Slow Burn Fitness

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6 Keys to Building Muscle Mass

Other than improving overall health, people who are building muscle mass are usually doing it to make noticeable changes to their bodies.  Obviously, lifting weights is a key component to this, but it is only one piece of a larger set of things that can be performed to increase muscle size.

Below are six tips to building muscle mass that you can use to help you reach your goals.

1.  Proper Nutrition 

Doing all the weightlifting in the world will not help your muscles grow if your body does not have the proper fuel.  There are certain foods your body needs, especially when weight training.

These foods include:

English: The lasagna is made with spinach (as ...
Lasagna made with spinach and whole wheat pasta and veggies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Protein – Consume at least a half gram per pound of body weight per day to maintain muscle, and up to one gram per pound of body weight to build muscle.

2. Carbohydrates – Consume complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables for energy sources that last longer.

3. Good Fats – Fats high in omega 3's are found in coldwater fish, some nuts, and eggs.

4. Plenty of Water – Muscles retain a lot of water, so when building muscle mass, consume one cup of water for every twenty-five pounds of body weight.

2.  Rest

Muscles need intense training to grow.  The weight training breaks down muscular tissue, and as a result, muscles need recovery time.  It is during the recovery and repair that muscles get bigger and stronger.  Allow at least one day off, but ideally take two to three days off before training the same body part again.

3.  Consistency

Maintain a regular workout schedule.  This does not mean sticking to the same program day in and day out, but rather keeping the frequency of your visits to the gym consistent from week to week.

Your progress will be slow or non-existent if you work out for two weeks, and then decide to take two weeks off.

Standing Barbell Curl exercise for Biceps-->bi...
Standing Barbell Curl exercise for Biceps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
4.  The Right Routine

When working out, the key to building muscle mass is to lift safely the most weight that you can.  You should feel as though you are pushing yourself, and not just breezing through a set.

You should aim to do three to four sets per body part, with six to ten repetitions (reps) per set (if you can do 20-25 reps at a time, your weights are much too light).  It should be difficult enough that you may not be able to complete the last couple of reps on the last set or two.

5.  Variety

Once you feel comfortable with the exercises in your program, consider switching the order of your exercises.  This may help to prevent a plateau that sometimes occurs with your body becoming used to a particular routine.

Later on, you will always want to look at switching over your program altogether, as new exercises will target slightly different muscle groups.

6.  Whole Body Workout

Your body operates as a single unit with many muscle groups.  Neglecting or completely ignoring one body part will have limitations on how much your other body parts can develop.  For example, strengthening your abdominals without developing your back muscles could create problems down the road.

Make sure your workouts include exercising multiple muscle groups at once.

In summary, when it comes to building muscle mass, these six items are key.  By implementing all six of them, you will be able to reach your muscle-building goals.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Video: 5-Minute Mobility Workout for the Office

I discovered this set of exercises a few weeks ago, and have been doing them at work almost every day. They really seem to help with my stiffness and soreness that comes from sitting at the computer all the time, and - especially in my hamstrings, and upper back. My legs are actually more flexible than they have been in some time, even though I stretch them daily using other exercises. While this workout is not specifically targeted for office workers, it is useful for anyone who wants to increase flexibility, reduce soreness, or just keep your body young. And it only takes 5 minutes!

I suggest bookmarking the video on all of your computers where you spend a lot of time, and take a 5-minute break at least once a day to run through these exercises. Like me, I bet you will find you get a lot of benefit out of getting out of your chair and doing these simple exercises even just once during your work day.

Click the link below to go directly to the video, and once there, bookmark it for future reference:

5 Minute Anti-Aging Mobility Workout

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

4 Quick Ideas For Exercising At Work

In the modern world, our careers take up most of our time, and some people work from early in the morning 'til late at night. This often means we are sedentary all day, just sitting at our desks and hardly moving around at all. Sometimes, there isn’t even time to work out outside of work. Don’t worry though, as there are several things you can do to sneak in some exercise while you are at work. Here are four of them.

1. Take the Stairs

[38/365] climb up!
(Photo credit: Chocolate Geek)
It’s rare that people don’t have to move between floors during the course of the workday. You will most probably use an elevator or escalator during the course of the day, but why not use the stairs instead? Climbing stairs is one of the best workouts you can give yourself. You can gauge your progress by seeing how many flights you can climb without getting overly tired!

2. Park Your Car Further Away

Okay, it definitely is tempting to park your car as close as possible to your office’s entrance. But do your body a favor and park it further away so that you need to take a short walk to and from the office.

If you don’t drive, maybe you can take the bus or train earlier, and get off one stop away from your usual stop. The extra walk certainly could not hurt and it would force you to exercise (of course, be sure to do this only if you are going to be walking in a safe public area).

5. Take Breaks at Work

No, not coffee breaks, but exercise breaks. Every hour, spend 5 or 10 minutes walking around and stretching your body. If you work eight hours a day, that’s already 40 minutes at least of walking and stretching. It does add up, doesn’t it?

6. Use a Standing or Treadmill Desk
A standing desk is a desk that can only be used when you stand, while a treadmill desk has a treadmill attached to the desk that you walk on as you do your work. These nifty inventions force you to stand or walk as you carry on with your work day, thus forcing you to exercise throughout the day. This of course is the best way to exercise at work, without compromising productivity or wasting time.

Try these helpful tips and watch as you get fitter and more energized as days go by. As you can see, you won’t even need to break a sweat trying to exercise at work. Don’t give up if making these changes seems hard at first; it’ll all become routine and habit over time - and your body and your health will benefit.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Video: Fat Burning Cardio Workout

This full-length cardio workout is done in an interval format for maximum fat loss. It does include a warm up and cool down, and it is a body weight workout, so you won't need any equipment and it can be done pretty much anywhere. The video also includes a calorie meter, so you have a general idea of how many calories you are burning throughout the workout. It starts at a lower intensity, and then you will work your way up until you are getting a good burn going.

Each exercise is done for only 40 seconds at a time, so you'll have a lot of variety and work all of your muscles in turn, as well as varying your heart rate for maximum metabolism-boosting effect.

As usual with Fitness Blender workouts, it includes clear, detailed instructions, and a count-down along with the demonstration. After you've done it a few times and are familiar with the movements and form, feel free to turn down the sound and put on your own music in the background to work out to!

Get your calorie burn on, and get rid of those stubborn love handles with this fast, fun, interval cardio workout:

Click Here for Another Fun, Fast, Interval Cardio Workout Only 12 Minutes Long...


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

3 Weight-Loss Tips To Get The Body You Want

While not everyone has the time or the desire to go to the gym five times per week, there are many common weight-loss tips that anyone can follow to lead a healthier lifestyle - and build a healthier, leaner body.

When you combine the right eating habits with an active lifestyle, you will be on the path to getting the body you want.

Here are some of the easiest weight-loss tips that you can do on a daily basis:

1. Cut your calorie intake where you can

You can reduce your daily calorie intake by 10 – 15% simply by including more fruits and vegetables in your diet. The great thing about this is, you can eat as much as you want of these, and still cut calories! 

Some examples of healthy foods to include in your diet every day are: 
Various fruits and vegetables for sale at Pike...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Broccoli
* Carrots
* Any green leafy vegetables
* Green beans
* Tomatoes
* Cucumbers
* Watermelon
* Apples
* Peaches
* Any kind of berry
* Fresh squeezed vegetable juices

Cut out processed foods, and include real, whole foods like fresh fruits and veggies, and your body will respond with better health and healthy fat loss!

2. Change your eating habits

There are several things you can do, which will reduce how much you eat.  You may not even realize how making these changes can have a significant impact.  Here are some of these changes that you can implement:

* Drink water before a meal –
While drinking a generous amount of water is always a good thing for promoting a healthy lifestyle and weight loss, having a glass before a meal will make you feel fuller before your meal begins.  As a result, you will eat less at your main course.

* Enjoy your meal by eating it slowly –
If you eat quickly, you are likely to eat more as your stomach has not yet told your brain that it has had enough.  Taking your time will give your body time to tell you that it has had enough to eat. If you're a foodie, check out the Slow Food Movement for inspiration!

* Eat spicy foods –
Spicy foods do two things.  First, they increase your metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories.  Second, because they're spicy, you'll eat more slowly, and drink more water.

* Eat a hearty breakfast and lunch, while having a lighter dinner –
Eat a breakfast that is balanced with protein and complex carbohydrates, such as muesli.  This will keep you feeling full longer.  Repeating this at lunch, will mean that you will not need to eat as much at dinnertime.  You also want to try to consume the bulk of your daily calories by the early afternoon.

Bike riding in George Kendall Riverside Park, ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
3. Incorporate activity as part of your daily life

Aside from your eating habits, the activities you do can help to shape your body.

Avoid using the word, "exercise," as it sounds like a chore.  So if you're going for a bike ride, instead think of it as a "nature outing."

Treat everything you do as a way of burning calories.  Parking a little farther from the store will allow you to do more walking.  Skip the elevators, and opt for the stairs whenever possible.  Walk or bike to the store instead of driving there.

What are some other things that you can do to lose weight?

Although not directly related to weight loss, here are a couple of other things that can impact weight loss:

* Keep yourself busy –
People will often overeat when they are bored, simply because they have nothing else to do.  So be sure to do something that will keep your brain busy.

* Get adequate sleep and a nap -
Sometimes your body will feel hungry when, in fact, all it wants is a twenty-minute rest.  Try having a nap, and you will likely find that you are not hungry when you wake up.

In conclusion, you do not have to be a gym rat to make changes that will benefit your overall health.  Following these weight-loss tips will jumpstart you on the road to success.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Video: Yoga Booty Ballet Goddess Booty Workout

If you've never tried Yoga Booty Ballet, you're in for a treat today, as we're sharing a great workout from the hit series. This 25-minute workout focuses on - you guessed it - your booty! Like other workouts in the series, this is a full workout that starts with a short warmup, and ends with a cool-down and stretch period.

This is a good workout for all fitness levels, and no equipment is needed but an exercise mat. This energetic workout combines moves from yoga, Pilates, and more to hit all the different muscles of the backside from different angles and give you a strong, shapely butt and a strong core.

Enjoy, and have a great 4th of July weekend!


Try More Fun & Effective Yoga Booty Ballet Workouts:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review: Hoka One One Running Shoe

“Minimalist” or barefoot running has been one of the hottest trends in the running shoe industry over the past few years. Most major running shoe companies have already come out with lighter shoes that are closer to the ground, with a very small (or even no) angle downward from the heel to the toe and which have fewer motion control or stability features compared to the typical running shoe. Many of these new shoe designs have become quite popular within the running community. But this isn’t the only trend that happening within the industry.

In fact, some companies are moving in the opposite direction, and offering shoes that are bigger and have more features than traditional running shoes. One of the leading companies in this area is Hoka One One.

Hoka One One Running Shoe
Hoka One One Running Shoe
Hoka One One has come up with a shoe technology that provides a degree of cushioning that simply doesn’t exist in any other shoe. The midsoles of the various models of Hoka shoes are roughly two to three times larger than traditional running shoes. As far as appearance goes, this means that the shoes look different than just about anything else on the market. Hokas are tall; your foot will be about two full inches off the ground. Furthermore, the outsole and tread of the Hoka shoes are much wider than a normal running shoe.

But functionally, there’s a purpose behind the distinctive looking shoes. The cushioning in the Hoka One One shoes is comprised of a special type of foam that is more compressible and can dissipate much more foot strike impact and shock than traditional shoes. This can make the Hoka shoes a great option for runners who may have biomechanical issues that cause them to experience.

In addition, the Hoka One One shoe design does not come at the expense of a person’s running form or shoe weight. The bottoms of the Hoka shoes have a unique rocker design that makes it easy to transition through the running stride. In fact, by virtue of the sole shape many runners find that they can actually decrease the amount that their knees need to bend throughout their running gait, which lessens much of the damage that would otherwise occur in traditional shoes.

Surprisingly, this increased cushioning and comfort does make the shoe feel heavy or clunky. The trail running model of Hoka One One shoes actually weigh less than many traditional trail running shoes. This has made the Hoka One One a popular brand for runners who put in extremely high mileage, or who run log a significant percentage of their miles on rough trails.

There are currently several different models available. The Bondi is designed for running on pavement or hard-packed smooth trails. The Mafate and Mafate WP are designed for running on rougher trails. The Stinson and the Rapa Nui are the most heavy duty models, designed for hiking.

Because they are different from traditional running shoes, if you decide to check out Hoka One One shoes make sure to give yourself a little bit of extra time to adjust to how they work on your feet.