Thursday, December 31, 2015

[Video] New Year's Resolution Booty Challenge Workout - Day 1

Happy New Year! I hope you're ready for some great workouts in the month ahead! We're going to kick the new year into high gear with some hard-hitting, fast, fun workouts to get you back in shape after the holidays (although hopefully our holiday workout series helped keep some of the pounds off this year!).

In today's video, get ready to work that butt and get your glutes and legs toned up with this 10-minute workout. All you need for this workout is a mat and some ankle resistance bands, and 10 short minutes of time.

Do this one every other day this week, and stay tuned next week for your next New Year's Resolution workout!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Make Fitness Your New Year's Resolution

We all know about certain benefits of exercising - above all, that it's good for us. But this isn't always enough to get us motivated into actually doing it. If you're looking for a little inspiration to get started on your New Year's resolution then here are 10 reasons why exercise can improve your life.

1) More Energy: Although exercise in itself may be tiring, one of the major benefits of exercising is the fact that it'll ultimately leave you feeling more energized. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps to reduce fatigue.

English: The bike paths in Santa Monica and Ve...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2) Increase Your Mood: Every time you exercise your body will release endorphins that help to make you feel good. Exercise really will give you a natural high! Plus, you'll have the great feeling of accomplishment and confidence that comes from taking care of your body.

3) Improve Your Health: There are so many health benefits of losing weight that it's impossible to list them all here! By getting fit you'll reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and much more.

4) Improve Your Appearance: If being overweight or not being toned leaves you feeling unhappy about yourself then losing weight can help you to look and feel better.

5) Play With Your Kids: As you know if you have kids, keeping up with them takes a lot of energy! By losing weight and getting fit, you'll be able to run around with them without constantly getting out of breath. This can be one of the most rewarding benefits of exercising: it helps you to enjoy life more!

6) Sleep Better: When you exercise more you'll start to find it easier to get a good night's rest. This adds to the energy boost that you'll get from exercise in the long term.

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7) Increase Your Strength and Stamina: Do you find it hard to go on long walks, even though you want to? Or maybe even carrying shopping bags up the stairs is a struggle? Exercise more and you'll eventually be able to handle these activities with ease.

8) Reduce Stress: Exercise can hugely reduce stress levels. If you regularly suffer from stress - or even mental heath issues such as depression and anxiety - regular exercise can help to reduce your symptoms.

9) Gain A Sense Of Achievement: When you start to exercise and see the improvements you're making week on week, you'll really get the feeling that you've achieved something worthwhile!

10) Keep Your Independence Later In Life: The more you can exercise now, while you're still able, the more you can reduce the impact of certain health problems later in life. In short, keeping fit and healthy will help you to keep your independence as late into life as possible.

So how much will you need to work out to feel these benefits of exercising? That all depends on your current fitness levels. The good news is that just 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to improve your health drastically. Make a decision to improve your health and well being by exercising regularly in 2016!

Remember to keep an eye on this blog, as we will be bringing you more fun workouts throughout the months ahead to keep you motivated and help you fit more exercise into your life!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

4 Reasons Why You May Need A Break From Exercise

If you've been working hard along with us to keep fit this holiday season, maybe it's time for a break! You've worked hard, but it is possible to overdo it, and it's okay to take a rest from your exercise routine once in a while.

Other than just needing a short rest, there are actually lot of reasons why you may need to take a break from exercise. If any of the following scenarios sound familiar to you, you might want to take a chill pill and slow down your physical fitness efforts.

You Are Overdoing It

You started to see some results, so you began exercising more frequently. More results appear, so now you are working out intensely every single day. Hey, it's great you are getting some results. But if you overwork your body, it will fail you.

That means that while you are recuperating, many of the results you achieved are lost. Scale back if you think you might be overdoing it with your exercise efforts. You only need 3 to 5 sessions of moderate to intense physical activity each week to enjoy the healthy benefits exercise offers.

You Are Becoming a Perfectionist

English: KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea— Airmen ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you spend a lot of time obsessing in front of a mirror about your physically fit body, you may need to dial back the exercise-ometer. Some people become way too laser focused on building the "perfect" body. Exercising and working out should be about physical and mental health, and not pushing each and every muscle on your body to a level of perfection that continues to seem just out of reach.

You Always Feel Sore

Anytime you exert physical force on your body, you tear your muscles. This is a natural reaction, and when you supply your body with proper nutrition, your muscles actually heal and grow back stronger than before. This is how you notice muscles building on your body after several sessions of exercise.

It is also natural to feel a little sore after you have played some intense sports or lifted some weights. However, it is unnatural to feel sore all over your body, day and night. If you constantly suffer aches and pains long after your physical fitness routine is over, you may be exercising too much.

You Develop an Unnaturally Short Fuse and Temper

Are your friends and family members constantly complaining about your temper? Do you lash out verbally at the people you love, sometimes for no reason at all? It could be because your natural cortisol levels are spiking.

Exercise produces cortisol. That "stress hormone" can cause you to become anxious and anything but relaxed. Excessive exercise can naturally lead to heightened anxiety, where you strike out at others in a sense of frustration because your body and mind are stressed out from not enough down time.

Keep in mind though, that this can also be a symptom of not exercising enough! Exercise can be a great stress-reliever that can actually make you happier and less short-tempered. You probably know whether exercising too much, or not enough, applies to you, but if you're an exercise-a-holic, this is a symptom to keep an eye out for.

Now, it's time for the holidays, so let's take a break this week, relax, and enjoy your Christmas!

We'll be back next week with some tips on setting healthy exercise resolutions for 2016, plus a great, fun, workout to kick off the New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

[Video] 10-Minute Belly Blaster Medicine Ball Ab Workout

The tummy is a "trouble area" for many people, especially after all the snacking of the holiday months! This short workout will help you keep your abs tight and your tummy trim, using just a mat and a medicine ball. It takes less than 10 minutes, so you can tone your abs between holiday shopping trips and still make it to the mall on time!

Use a medicine ball that is appropriate for your fitness level; 10 lbs is usually a good weight for beginners. Keep your abs tight throughout to maximize the benefits of the exercises and minimize risk of injury.

Please note that there is no voiceover on this video, so you will want to watch the instructions for each exercise on screen the first time through.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

5 Ways To Use A Medicine Ball To Improve Your Fitness

If you're looking for a fun way to exercise, a medicine ball may be a nice addition to your workout equipment. You can get fast results in many different areas with the use of this versatile tool.

The saying “work smarter, not harder” applies to many facets of life, including exercise. Some people spin their wheels on a boring treadmill or exercises bike for month, and often until this mundane routine does little to accelerate their fitness level.

The truth is there is a wide variety of exercise equipment available on the market that targets specific exercise and body conditioning goals. It is important to become educated in the various types of workouts and equipment available and to use those as applicable in order to make the best use of your workout time and effort.

Using different equipment and varying your workouts helps to deter boredom, makes exercise more fun, and helps to keep the body guessing and challenged, which helps to improve overall fitness a great deal. One great fitness tool is the medicine ball, a versatile and extremely useful apparatus that meets a variety of fitness goals.

What Is A Medicine Ball

English: Outer rubber shell and inner core of ...
Outer rubber shell and inner core of an air filled 10 pound medicine ball (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A medicine ball is a specially designed fitness ball approximately 13.7 inches in diameter. The weight of a medicine ball can range from 2 to 50 pounds. Some medicine balls are covered in leather and others in rubberized material. Medicine balls may have a sport specific shape such as that of a football while others bounce. Depending on the purpose of the medicine ball, it may also have built in grips or handles to increase the variety of exercises available for its use.

People engaged in rehabilitation therapy and integrated fitness practices often include the use of a medicine ball in their regimen. In athletics, exercises incorporating a medicine ball build speed, agility, increased muscular power and endurance as well muscle resilience. The goal of incorporating a medicine ball in rehabilitation for non-athletes is often simple functional fitness, to be able to perform daily activities efficiently and proficiently.

Training Benefits Of A Medicine Ball

1. Strength Training

The versatility of the medicine ball makes it an ideal fitness tool when training for whole body muscular fitness. Medicine balls may be lifted, pressed, swung, bounced and caught on the rebound as well as pulled or thrown. For example, the ball may be tossed back and forth between partners to build upper body strength. 
Sample Strength Training Exercise: The Medicine Ball Slam is an exercise where the ball is slammed to the ground and caught on the bounce back.

Another example is the Medicine Ball Side Throws where the ball is held by the hands in front of the body and moved from the center to the left and right.

2. Speed Training

Medicine ball exercises, which emphasize plyometric movement through the legs, extending and contracting the leg muscles forcefully while carrying or moving (lifting or throwing) the weight of the ball build speed.

Sample Speed Training Exercise: A simple exercise for this purpose is the squat throw. During the exercise, the athlete holds the medicine ball in front of them at chest level with elbows moderately bent squats then throws the ball forcefully away as they jump out of their squat. Exercises that build core strength also assist with speed gains.

3. Core Training

Medicine balls effectively build core strength, because the exercises associated with their use require core stabilization to be completed safely. The core may also be isolated during a medicine ball training session. For example, the side pass to a partner calls for two people stand back to back and twist to pass the ball behind their backs to one another alternating sides.

Sample Core Training Exercise: Another core exercise is Medicine Ball Leg Raises, where the medicine ball is held by the hands over the head, then the hands, legs are lifted to meet, and the ball is passed to between the ankles, after which the legs are slowly lowered to the ground. 

Another popular core exercise is the Russian Twist. When performing a Russian Twist, the athlete sits on the floor with knees bent, and feet grounded and leans the torso back about 45 degrees while holding the medicine ball in their hands. Once in this position, the athlete twists left and right with the medicine ball in hand for several repetitions. The feet may be lifted off the ground for additional resistance and to make the Russian twist much more challenging.

4. Rehabilitation for Functional Fitness

The variety of medicine balls available makes it an ideal rehabilitation tool. Clients are able to perform a variety of exercises suited to functional fitness, including, lifting, pushing, pulling, etc. Medicine balls also allow them to do so with weights suitable to their current fitness level and the desired fitness outcomes.

5. Power Training

Medicine balls are especially effective when athletes use them with the intention of building power. As mentioned earlier, the addition of medicine ball weights to plyometric exercises significantly increases strength and power.

Sample Power Training Exercise: A person may include squat jump tosses in their exercise regimen; starting with the ball overhead, the athlete squats while swinging the medicine ball between their legs. To finish the exercise, the athlete rises and jumps into the air while tossing the ball up and letting it fall behind them.

Precautions And Considerations For Medicine Ball Training
  • If you want to include medicine balls in your fitness regimen, consult with your doctor to get clearance for weight training
  • Consult a skilled fitness trainer that can help to develop an appropriate routine for your fitness level and goals. 
  • Training with free weights requires a bit more skill and attention. Medicine balls are a type of free weight; without the safeguards of a weight machine, keeping control of the weight falls on the athlete. 
  • You'll need assistance selecting a medicine ball of the appropriate weight, size, and style (bouncing, with handles or grips, etc.) for your exercise goals and fitness level.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

[Video] 4-Minute Holiday HIIT Workout

Too busy to keep up your regular workout routine this month? No problem! Remember, it doesn't have to take 2 hours of exercise a day to stay fit during the Christmas season, but it does take consistency. You can still get a great workout in under 5 minutes with the right intensity and dedication. Here is a good example.

This workout only takes about 4 minutes - it's super quick and intense. You can do this one as before breakfast cardio (super fat burner), as finishers to your regular workouts (to get ripped), or just to get some exercise and keep up your fat-burning efforts on days when you don't have time for a full workout.

Please Note: This is a high-intensity workout! You should consult with your doctor or personal trainer before attempting this workout, especially if you are at a low fitness level. Always listen to your body, and pay attention to proper form when performing each exercise to avoid injury.
This powerful little workout will help you burn fat not just while you're doing it, but all day long afterwards. With workouts like this, you can keep fit and keep off those holiday pounds, even during the busy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

5 Awesome Health Benefits of Ditching Your Car & Walking

It has been scientifically proven that walking more and sitting less provides multiple health benefits. Your heart gets stronger, and healthy oxygen is pumped throughout your body where it is put to work powering all of your inner and exterior physiological systems and functions. When it comes right down to it, you know you should be physically active more often.

While you may be extra busy this time of year, you also have lots of great opportunities to walk more, as you hit the malls for all that holiday shopping! Parking is a nightmare anyway, so why not walk (if you can), or at least park far away from the store entrance instead of fighting for that last parking spot near the door? As an incentive to "ditching" your car when it is not really needed, take a look at the following 5 health benefits you can enjoy by walking instead of driving.

#1. You May Live Longer

The Archives of Internal Medicine have released some scary statistics about sitting: Sit between 8 and 11 hours a day and you are 15% more likely to die from any cause than those who sit for 4 hours or less daily. You probably do not spend several hours driving in your car every day. But the evidence that extended sitting shortens your life span should provide enough motivation for you to walk instead of driving your car whenever you can.

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#2. You Will Lose Weight

A UK study showed that parking your car and walking can lead to more weight loss than regimented diet and exercise! The research measured the BMI of 7,534 men and women. Men who walked or rode their bikes to work were on average 7.0 pounds lighter than their driving counterparts (allowances were made for demographics such as age, fitness level and other factors). Walking women were approximately 5.5 pounds lighter. What a great incentive to walk more this month - it can help you keep off those extra holiday pounds!

#3. You Will Feel Happier

There is plenty of research which equates being outdoors with a sense of happiness. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day exposed to sunshine actually gives you a sense of happiness and peace of mind. (The reason you feel happier walking and driving might have a lot to do with benefit number 5 below.)

#4. It Will Make Your Friends and Family Healthier Too

Fitness is contagious. When you start walking instead of driving, losing weight and looking great, people will notice. Your family members, friends and coworkers will ask you what you did to lose the weight. When you tell them it was simply by walking instead of driving, you can have a positive health impact on others.

#5. It Helps Relieve Anxiety and Stress

There is a reason why the daily commute can lead to road rage. Driving to and from work or anywhere else, especially in a crowded metropolitan area, can lead to anxiety, panic and a whole lot of stress. The next time you are going for a short drive and it is beautiful outside, walk instead, and see just how stress-free the experience can be.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

[Video] Holiday Hustle Workout

This time of year it seems the activity never ends. From work and holiday parties, planning events with family and friends, and of course trying to get all that holiday shopping done, who has time to work out?

Unfortunately, what with all of our busyness, plus our tendency to eat lots of holiday goodies, the holiday months are those that we tend to pack on those unwanted pounds. Even those of us who are usually very dedicated about working out may find our resolve slipping.

That's why, this month, we're dedicated to bringing you a short, intense, and effective weekly workout! We promise every workout will take 15 minutes or less. All you need to do is commit to doing each workout 3 times that week, and you will definitely put a dent in those holiday pounds before they even take hold of your hips!

This week's workout takes just 8 minutes, but it will definitely get you moving, get your heart rate up, and tone your entire body. It requires no equipment, so you can do it in your living room or even on a break at work - just about anywhere!

Let's get your workout in, and then you can get back to your regular holiday hustle and bustle.  :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Does Fitness Depend Mostly on Will-Power?

You have probably achieved some of the fitness goals you have set during your life. But you have probably failed to reach certain levels of physical fitness as well, haven't you? You are the same person, so why did you succeed in one physical endeavor and fail in another? Was it because you were not "mentally tough" when you needed to be? Was your mindset to blame? And if it was, how can you change that?

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Dr. Jim Loehr is a globally recognized performance psychologist. He wrote a wonderful book titled Mental Toughness Training for Sports: Achieving Athletic Excellence. In it he discusses and defines mental toughness, revealing that it is made up of the following 7 components:
  • self-confidence
  • attention control
  • minimizing negative energy
  • increasing positive energy
  • maintaining motivation levels
  • attitude control
  • visual and imagery control
He uses the word energy twice and the word control 3 times in defining the 7 dimensions of mental toughness in physical endeavors. And while the actual meaning of mental toughness may vary from one expert to the next, controlling your energy has a lot to do with your ability to accomplish any physical fitness goals.

By controlling and directing your mental and physical energies, you are able to set a habitual course that improves your ability to achieve the physical goals you set. But let's get back to our original question.

Does fitness, and your state of physical health, rely mostly on mental toughness?

Research in the past few years has shown that 60% to 80% of your physical appearance and fitness will be determined by your diet. So nutrition is obviously very important.

But let's take two identical individuals. They are the same age, same height and weight. They both enjoy a healthy diet. But after work, Subject A heads straight for the couch and the remote control. They watch television until bedtime, go to sleep late, wake up tired and start the process all over.

Subject B exercises in the evening. She makes sure that she drinks plenty of water throughout the day, goes to bed at a decent hour, and gets plenty of rest. In the morning before heading off to work, she exercises. On her lunch break she goes for a walk outside her workplace rather than spending that time stuck to her office chair.

Which one of these two individuals is going to be in better physical shape? It is obvious that subject B will enjoy a healthier and more physically fit body. And it's because she programmed her mind to consciously adopt a healthy lifestyle, which over time becomes an unconscious habit.

However you define it, mental toughness has to be present to some degree for you to reach your physical goals.

But you cannot simply sit on your couch and think about the level of physical fitness you want to achieve. You have to take action. You have to exercise. You have to adopt a healthy diet, drink lots of liquids and get plenty of rest.

Take all of the actionable steps you need to create the body and lifestyle you desire, and combine them with a persistent and confident mental focus. You may just find that the physical barriers of your past become the physical achievements of your future.

Friday, November 27, 2015

[Video] Crazy Intense 10-Minute Fat Blasting Workout

We let you off the hook yesterday, since we figured you'd be busy cooking and enjoying time with family and friends, but we're not letting you off the hook when it comes to staying fit through the holidays! You probably ingested at least a few extra calories yesterday, so today we're back with a super intense fat burning workout that WILL make you sweat and burn off some of those rolls and pie you ate!

This home fat burning workout is perfect for those who have always wondered how to burn fat fast but were stuck in the mindset of thinking that traditional steady state cardio was the answer. In fact, because of the involvement of multiple muscle groups that this workout provides over plain treadmill walking or running, you can expect to burn more calories per minute than you would otherwise. In fact, if you do this one a few times over the next few weeks, you'll have a great head start on keeping off the holiday pounds! Give it your best for these 10 minutes and you’ll see that your energy expenditure and caloric burn can be significant.

This high intensity home fat burning workout can be performed with absolutely no equipment and in very little space, so even if you're staying with family this holiday, you can still squeeze in a workout - no excuses!

Now, let's kick some fat butt!  :-)

Please Note: This is a high-intensity workout! You should consult with your doctor or personal trainer before attempting this workout, especially if you are at a low fitness level. Always listen to your body, and pay attention to proper form when performing each exercise to avoid injury.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

5 Foods to Improve Your Running Performance

With the great weather we've been having this fall, there is plenty of opportunity to keep your fitness routine going all the way up through the holidays. If you're a runner, living in a cold climate can often derail your exercise goals if you are not able to get outside and run as much for several months in the winter. You can still run indoors though, and when you do, make sure you're eating the right foods to stay on track!

There are a few things you may already know about food and your running performance. You may have realized, perhaps by learning the hard way, that it’s not good to eat right before you run. You may have also realized that some foods give you more energy than others. But what you might not realize is that food also has numerous health benefits, and when you choose the right foods it can enhance your running performance. Here are 5 to incorporate into your diet year-round.

#1. Nuts

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Nuts like almonds and pecans have three benefits for runners. They contain healthy omega fatty acids which reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation means less irritation and pain in your muscles and joints. They also contain a healthy amount of protein which is needed for muscle repair. And during runs nuts are rich in fiber which digests slowly in your body and helps your blood sugar levels remain even.

#2. Quinoa

Perhaps you’ve heard about this wonder grain. Quinoa is a whole grain that is packed with protein. As a whole grain that means it is an excellent source of carbohydrates which runners need for energy. And the protein in quinoa helps your muscles repair after your run. When your body has a food source to turn to for muscle and cellular repair it results in fewer aches and pains.

#3. Coffee

Caffeine is a common ingredient in many sports nutrition drinks, gels, and bars. It provides a nice energy boost during your workout. Studies have also shown that people who consume caffeine before a race or a run have a lower perceived effort level. Meaning they don’t feel like they have to work as hard to achieve the same result. Take care though; some runners suffer from stomach distress if they consume coffee before a run - and moderation is always key. One cup of coffee is plenty.

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#4. Salmon

We’re back to those amazing omega three fatty acids. Salmon is one of the best sources for these fats. They reduce inflammation throughout your body including your lungs and heart too. Studies have shown that eating salmon reduces asthma symptoms. You can also take an omega three fatty acid supplement or try another cold water fish like cod.

#5. Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats are the unprocessed form of oatmeal. They take a bit longer to cook than your standard quick oats but they taste better too. Try them with nuts and berries for a breakfast that will keep you full and energized for your entire run. The carbohydrates from the oats are an excellent source of energy. The berries provide antioxidants and the nuts are rich with omega fatty acids and protein.

Experiment with different foods to find the pre and post workout meals that work best for you. As a runner you know the importance of providing your body with energy, so give it the best fuel possible with these five foods.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

[Video] 10-Minute Full-Body Metabolism Boosting Workout

Build strength, increase flexibility, and burn fat in just 10 minutes with this high-intensity interval training workout. This full body workout tones your entire body from head to toe, while increasing your cardiovascular capacity and boosting your metabolism to burn more calories even while at rest. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds, with a 10 second rest in between.

Keeping your metabolism running high during the holidays can help you avoid packing on those holiday pounds! Even though you may be extra busy this time of year, by getting in quick but intense workouts like this one, you can achieve good results, and keep the holiday weight at bay.

This workout is a great example. It only takes 10 minutes, and requires no equipment - just your own bodyweight, and a towel or exercise mat. Do this one a few times every week throughout the holiday season to stay in shape.

Please Note: This is a high-intensity workout. You should consult with your doctor or personal trainer before attempting this workout, especially if you are at a low fitness level. If you are a beginner, follow the modified versions of the exercises, and be sure to watch for the cautionary tips to help avoid injury.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

4 Healthy Protein Smoothie Recipes To Improve Your Workout Results

As we discussed last week, a protein shake or smoothie can be a great way to get the protein you need to support your fitness and workout goals. This week, we've got 4 tasty recipes to share with you, but first, when should you drink your protein smoothie?

Some people like to consume their smoothie in the morning. This can be a great idea if you generally don’t feel hungry in the mornings. A protein smoothie can provide a boost of energy to get you started for the day if you also feel tired.

Generally, a smoothie that is consumed pre-workout (before the workout) can generate the best results due to the high amount of natural sugar carbs and fast release energy that can increase performance during workouts.

And, of course, a protein shake can be great after workouts to aid in muscle recovery. Here are some tasty options to try.

4 Protein Powder Smoothie Recipes

1. Banana-Oat Protein Smoothie

Svenska: Tropical Smoothie
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bananas are essential sources of potassium that aids calcium absorption and protects the heart. This is the ideal drink before a strenuous workout - it will sustain your blood sugar and prevent muscle cramps.

1-2 scoops / 25-50 grams (depending on your protein goals) of organic whey protein powder
2 scoops / 50 grams of oats / Instant Oats
1 & ½ half bananas
1 & 1/2 half cups of low or non-fat milk

2. Tropical Breeze

With a range of healthy fruits the tropical breeze is a healthy nutrient and protein filled smoothie that will provide excellent results when consumed.


1 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1 cup pineapple
1 teaspoon fresh shredded coconut (no sugar added) or coconut milk
1/2 cup blueberries (get frozen when out of season)
1 scoop of organic whey protein powder (unflavored or vanilla flavored)

3. Blueberry Blast

With the various micro nutrients packed into blueberries it means that not only are you benefiting from all the pro’s already outlined but you are also becoming healthier all at the same time.

1 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1 scoop organic whey protein powder (unflavored or vanilla flavor, but, watch the sugar content on the package)

4. Banana Bread Shake

Another excellent source of energy and potassium from the bananas along with the slow release energy from the oatmeal and bran flakes to keep you going throughout your workout and your entire day!

1- 2 Scoops / 25-50 grams (depending on your protein goals) of organic whey protein powder
1 banana
½ cup of Oatmeal
3/4 cup bran flakes
1 bottle of water
Sweetener to add taste (be sure to use honey or stevia - not an artificial sweetener)

Try These High-Quality Organic Protein Powders:

Friday, November 13, 2015

[Video] High Intensity Cardio & Strengthening Workout

Boost your metabolism, burn fat, and build muscle with this full-body high-intensity interval training workout. It only takes 30 minutes, but you can burn up to 450 calories, as well as increasing your metabolism to keep burning fat even after you're done!

The full 30-minute workout includes a warmup and cool-down, with 10 1-minute strength-building and cardio exercises in between.

All you need for this workout is a set of 3-10 lb dumbbells and a mat, so you can do it just about anywhere.

Caution: Please note that this is a high intensity workout, so you should consult with your doctor or physical trainer before attempting it, especially if you are at a low fitness level, or have any pre-existing injuries.

Grab a mat and some water, and let's work out!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Can Protein Powder Smoothies Improve Your Workouts?

One of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is diet. Sound nutrition can truly make such a difference in your daily energy levels, disease prevention, health, and improving the results of your hard work in exercise.

Protein, along with carbohydrates and fat is what is known as a "macronutrient," this simply means the body needs large amounts of it as compared to micronutrients, which include, vitamins and minerals and are needed in lesser quantities.

In contrast to micronutrients, the body doesn’t store protein to draw on when it needs it, so it should be an important part of your daily diet.

The Power of Protein

•    Protein is an essential component of every cell in the body.
•    The nails and hair are made mostly from it.
•    The body uses protein for vital internal functions, such as, to repair and build tissue.
•    It is the building block of bones, cartilage, skin, blood and muscles.
•    Protein also makes hormones, enzymes and other vital chemicals in the body.

Benefits Of Protein For Workouts

Along with the vital benefits of protein mentioned before, ingesting protein after a workout, especially after doing strength and muscle work is one of the most important times to get protein into the body.

This is because it will go to the muscles where it can begin the healing and recovery of the "micro tears," which are small tears in muscle tissue caused by intense contractions of lifting weights. When these tears heal, this is when your muscles get stronger.

The key to supplying and nourishing the body with protein is to choose the right forms.

When it comes to eating animal protein for example, it is best to choose lean varieties most of the time, such as, chicken and turkey. 

And, then there is the highly efficient, convenient and fun protein powder and all that it can do to improve the efficiency of your workouts and nutritional stability.

Protein Powder Smoothies & Shakes

English: A chocolate-flavored multi-protein nu...
Chocolate protein shake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is a fact that the best way to get the needed benefits of protein is through solid food, but, this is not always possible or convenient, as people are busy, and have hectic lives. Hitting your protein macronutrient goals day by day can be a really difficult task. This is how protein shakes can be of great use.

By enjoying delicious protein powder smoothies you can enjoy what you’re consuming while reaching your goals.

Because solid food takes more time to digest and to break down the protein and send it to the muscles, it can be best to take a protein shake immediately following a workout, since it will reach the muscle within 30 minutes of ingestion. Definitely, we can see the advantage to taking a protein shake in this instance.

Protein, alike any other macro nutrient is essential to make sure that you get everything out of your workout. Being dehydrated before a workout can be detrimental to your performance and cause a significant lack in strength and focus.

Protein smoothies, as well as, water, are an excellent way to keep hydrated before a workout!

Unlike standard protein powder shakes (typically mixed with water or milk) protein powder smoothies not only provide essential protein to reach daily goals, but, they are also an excellent source of energy from the natural sugar within the fruits that you include.

This means that with a single protein powder shake you can stay hydrated, reach your protein goals, enjoy a nice tasting drink, as well as, benefit from an increase in energy levels!

What could be better?

Does The Brand Of Protein Powder Matter?

Some people think of protein powders as a “magic solution” to building muscle. This is not the case. Protein powder is simply a convenient way of consuming grams of protein. A gram of protein from a chicken breast is identical to a gram of protein from powders.

Make sure you read the label when purchasing your protein powders. Typically, a solid protein powder will contain 20 grams of protein for every 25 grams powder. Some cheap protein powders are full of sugary carbs and little protein content. Always choose all natural products without unnecessary added artificial ingredients. Organic whey protein is one of the best sources of protein you can find, so if you can, try to find protein powders that contain organic whey.

Check back next Tuesday for 4 healthy and delicious protein shake recipes that are super easy to make, and super healthy too! 

Here are some good, natural, and healthy protein powders to try:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

[Video] 4 Simple & Effective Desk Exercises

Did you know that sitting at your desk for more than 6 hours a day not only limits your energy, but also shaves years off your life?

If you're trapped at a desk all day at work, there are still things you can do to get more exercise into your day. These 4 simple exercises can all be done right at your desk, and they will keep you energized throughout the day, alleviate pain and stiffness, and build strength - even while you're still at work!

The important thing to consider when you have a desk job that limits your activity is that doing even just a little bit (more often) helps to keep your muscles on alert and prevents them from wasting away over time. In this quick desk workout video, we give you a simple plan for getting in more exercise at work - even if you're pretty much chained to your desk from the moment you walk in the door.

These 4 exercises address posture, flexibility, and strength, from your back and neck, to your legs, arms, and core.

Do them once every hour, or at the very least a couple of times per day, and see how much better you feel!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

5 Tasty Snack Ideas For Staying Healthy And Productive At Work

If you want to stay fit and healthy, it's hard to avoid talking about food once in a while when it comes to exercise. After all, they are both essential parts to the puzzle, and one can definitely affect the other. This month, we'll be sharing some healthy eating-related tips that can really improve your fitness results. We'll start off where we've been for the past few weeks: at the office.

Work days can seem long and tiring, and everyone needs a little pick-me-up during the working hours. Sure, you may eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner according to schedule, but sometimes in between energy levels can crash and leave you wanting to go to dreamland. This is where snacks can come in very handy.

However, a majority of people tend to make the mistake of opting for sugary and carb-heavy snacks like doughnuts, bread, pastries, and sugar-laden coffee to increase their energy levels. These types of snacks may pick you up for a while, but eventually your energy levels will crash even lower than before - and you'll end up gaining an extra 10 lbs before you know it!

Instead of reaching for the quick-fix carbs, stock your desk and office fridge with these healthy alternatives. Not only will they replenish your energy for a longer period of time, but they'll also help you keep the weight off instead of derailing your fitness goals.

1. Apple slices and peanut butter: Low in carbs and all-natural, this snack will please your sweet tooth while giving you some good nutrition as well. Just be sure to use natural peanut butter with no added sugars or unhealthy added hydrogenated oils.

Cashew nut snack, roasted and salted
Roasted cashews make a great snack. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2. Mixed nuts: Nuts contain healthy fats, some carbs, good amounts of proteins, and several vitamins that will keep your energy levels up without resulting in a crash later on. These make a super simple snack, and you can keep a jar containing different types of nuts mixed together (cashew nuts, almonds, pecans, and so on) on your desk. Don’t eat too much at one go though; nuts still contain a high amount of calories. Limit yourself to a handful or so.

3. Vegetables: Of course, you probably know about this healthy snack idea already, but are you eating enough of them? To make it simple, you can bring carrot sticks, radish sticks, or cherry tomatoes to work to snack on when you feel a little famished. These snacks are low in calories and high in fiber. Sprinkle on a little salt or dried herbs for extra flavor if you like.

4. Fresh fruits: The next best snack to vegetables is naturally fruits, since fruits are high in fiber, taste good, and have a high water and vitamin content as well. You can bring apples, oranges, grapes, or other such small fruits to work to eat when you need a boost.

5. Yogurt: Yogurt is a refreshing and healthy snack to have, as long as you stick with the sugar-free varieties. If you want more oomph, add in some oats, fresh or dried fruits, or flax seeds into your yogurt for a more balanced snack with more staying power.

These are just a few of the many different healthy snacks you can indulge in to give you some extra energy when you are feeling low at work. There are many others you can try; just experiment and see which natural, unprocessed foods taste good to you and make you feel energized at the same time.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

[Video] 10-Minute Full Body Office Workout

This short workout will work your entire body in just 10 minutes, providing both strengthening and stretching for your entire body, even during a busy workday. It includes 3 circuits of exercises, and each exercise is done for 30 seconds.

These 13 simple exercises will work your core, glutes, arms, back, shoulders, core, and more, but it won't make you sweat in your work clothes, and you can do the exercises in just about any clothing. Even doing this 3 times a week can make a great difference in your health and fitness.

All you'll need is a desk, a chair, and a wall, so you can do them in any office, or at home as well!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar

Home fitness equipment is more popular now than ever. People are growing more aware of the importance of personal health and wellbeing, and more and more people are enjoying the convenience of working out at home, along with the cost savings of not having to join a gym.

Many people find themselves stuck at a desk all day long. If you work from home and have a desk-bound job then you might struggle to get much daily exercise. And if you’re very busy, working out at the end of the day might also not be possible. Machines like the FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike allow you to combine exercise with your work.

Of course, there are other products like this on the market, so the FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike has competition. The question is therefore whether it’s a decent product in a market full of alternatives. Let’s take a more in depth look and find out.

Key Features Of The FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike

RRP: $298.99
Product Dimensions: 28 x 16 x 45 inches
Maximum User Weight: 250 lbs
Desk Surface Dimensions: 16 X 19 inches
Warranty: 1 year

FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike: The Pros

1. Be Fit And Stay Productive: The reason products like this are designed is to combine exercise with work. This allows you to keep a reasonable fitness level without having to do extra hours of exercise outside of your working day. It’s also great for those who don’t get much daily exercise because their job revolves around a desk.

This machine combines a work surface with an exercise bike. You can sit at the work surface and pedal while you work. This allows you to improve your cardiovascular health as well as the strength and endurance of your legs without having to leave your work. Combining the two is an efficient solution to many of the problems and challenges that desk-workers face.

2. The Price: At around $300 this is a pretty reasonably priced product. Alternatives in the same market go up to the multiple thousands of dollars which is far too expensive for most people. Those who are on a tight budget will find that this is a product they can more easily stretch to.

3. It's Compact: A great feature of this product is its compact design. If you live in a small home and don’t have much room for exercise equipment you’ll find that this is a good option. It’s got a small footprint meaning that it takes up hardly any floor space. As a result it can easily be squeezed into even very compact living or working environments.

4. It Folds For Storage: Not only is this a very compact machine but it also folds down for storage. That means it can be stashed away out of sight and where it doesn’t get in the way. Again this is great news for a small home, but is also an advantage for anyone who would rather keep clutter to a minimum.

5. Padded Massage Rollers: The adjustable armrest with padded and contoured massage rollers functions both as a rest for your arms when working and also as a support during your exercise. This helps you stay comfortable even for long periods of use, and the adjustable feature accommodates people of any height.

6. It's Quiet: An essential feature for any machine that’s to be used in a home environment is that it be quiet. But this is even more important for a machine intended to be used in a work environment. Noise can be very distracting, interfering with your work. The FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike has a quiet mechanism. This means you can easily use it during work without feeling overly distracted.

7. Easy Assembly: Many find the idea of home assembly daunting. This can be a source of great frustration, especially for those who aren’t particularly mechanically minded. Fortunately this machine has a good set of instructions and a pretty simple assembly process. Even those with the worst self-assembly skills shouldn’t find this too taxing to put together.

8. Comfortable Seat Design: Any product designed to be sat on for long periods of time should be comfy, and even more so if it’s meant for a bicycle riding-type motion. The seat on this machine has been improved over the last model, and is now even wider and more well cushioned. It provides plenty of support for your bum so you can work and pedal in comfort even for extended periods of time.

FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike: The Cons

1. Desk Not Adjustable: One design let down is that the desk on this machine is fixed and can't be adjusted forward or backward. That means for those who are short, or have short legs, the desk may be further away from the body than you would like for typing.

Small Surface: The work surface is also quite small. It’s about big enough to place a 17” laptop on, but more than that and you’ll struggle. So if you hope to use this as a multi-purpose work space you’ll be frustrated.

Is The FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar Worth Buying?

On the whole this is a good product. Its desk isn’t ideal however, so consider how you plan to use the work surface before committing to this product. However, with that in mind the price is right so this is a machine that can definitely be recommended.

You can currently find it on with free shipping.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

[Video] Quick Upper-Body Desk Workout

Stuck at your desk all day, and need a quick workout you can do at the office in just a few minutes? This upper body workout works your arms, shoulders, back, and core, without even getting out of your chair. (These are also good exercises for people with mobility problems, or those in a wheelchair.)

These 5 simple exercises require no equipment at all, and can be done by anyone of any fitness level. Scale the exercises to your needs - if you are already quite fit, try the advanced sequence (hold each exercise for 10-20 seconds instead of 5). The key is to do each exercise with full intensity, no matter how many reps or seconds you do.

The video is 10 minutes long, but he talks quite a bit, so once you learn the exercises, you can probably do them in half the time.

Check it out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Drawbacks of Using A Treadmill Desk

The treadmill desk is one of the health trends in recent years that are slowly gathering a following. It’s no surprise, since the benefits of using one in your workspace are many, and you’ve probably heard them all. However, does that mean that using a treadmill desk has no drawbacks? The answer to that might be no. Before you invest in a treadmill desk, be sure that you are okay with the drawbacks that it may present.


Let’s face it; ready-made treadmill desks are not cheap. In fact, the prices of some treadmill desks go into the thousands. Compared to the prices of regular sit-down desks, this can seem ridiculous, especially if you have a small budget. Of course, you can build your own treadmill desk for a lower cost, but you will still have to spend quite an amount of money.


While you can reap the benefits of using a treadmill desk if you use one, what happens if you can’t use it? Not everyone is capable of working and walking at the same time, as this requires some coordination. If your coordination is downright bad, you may find using a treadmill desk difficult, or even impossible.


A treadmill desk is a convenient way to get a “gym” into your office, but that doesn’t mean that it does not take up space. The average treadmill desk is quite big, which may not make it suitable if your workspace is just a small cubicle at work. However, this does make it a good reason to work hard, get a promotion, and get a bigger office.


Naturally, maintaining a treadmill desk is going to take a little extra effort compared to a regular desk. If you can’t even keep your regular desk at work clean, you may want to think twice before getting a treadmill desk. It’s not that a treadmill desk takes a whole lot of maintenance; it’s just that if you’re lazy, any extra maintenance is going to be a burden.

All in all, there are some drawbacks to using a treadmill desk, but for most people, these drawbacks are trivial compared to all the benefits it can offer. If you feel you are well-coordinated enough to work while moving, and you really want to make the best use of your time at the office, then go ahead and consider buying a treadmill desk. You will probably wind up loving it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

[Video] 10-Minute Office Cardio Workout

Here's a good "mini-workout" to get the blood flowing after you've been sitting for a while. While this one might not be suitable if you work in a cubicle, if you have your own office it's a great and healthy mid-day pick-me-up! No equipment is required, and you can it in just about any type of clothing.

This is a gentle workout, so you won't get all sweaty at work, but it will elevate your heart rate and get your blood moving and your muscles warmed up to relieve that stiffness that often occurs when sitting at a desk all day.

Take a 10-minute break from your desk today and try this one!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

6 Benefits of Using a Treadmill Desk At Work

If you could work out while at work, would you? If your answer is yes, then you should definitely consider getting a treadmill desk. A treadmill desk is a workstation where you can walk on a treadmill as you work. Naturally, you won’t be working out heavily, but the benefits of using a treadmill desk are well worth the investment.

Here Are 6 Benefits of Using a Treadmill Desk:

Benefit #1: You no longer need to rush home after work to get in some exercise for the day. You can exercise while typing up documents, answering emails, and looking at invoices, which means you can exercise at a slow pace for several hours in a workday, if not all day!

Benefit #2: Research has shown that exercising throughout the day is better for your health than sitting all day and exercising just for an hour at the end of the day. You can exercise the right way using a treadmill desk.

Benefit #3: As opposed to just sitting down, having a treadmill desk will do wonders to your fitness and general strength. Your muscles will get stronger, your endurance will improve, and over time you may find that you no longer pant when you go up stairs or walk for prolonged periods of time.

Benefit #4: Better fitness also means that you will be less likely to develop certain diseases later on, such as heart disease, strokes, embolisms, diabetes, and so on. You will also strengthen your immune system in general, which could mean fewer sick days in the year.

Benefit #5: If you are on a diet, using a treadmill desk will allow you to be a bit more flexible with how much you are allowed to eat. You’d be burning more calories throughout the day, which means you can eat more calories without gaining weight than if you were just sitting at your desk at work.

Benefit #6: Being on the move all day will also help you stay alert at work, preventing those afternoon crashes and accidental naps on your keyboard! :-) This will increase your productivity at work.

As you can see, the advantages you can reap from switching to a treadmill desk at work are not just one or two; there are many!

If your company has a person who is in charge of ergonomics, you can talk to them for suggestions on how to make the switch. If there isn’t such a person, you can always go to a dealer who sells such treadmill desks, and ask them for recommendations.

A note though: be sure to check first that you have the space for a treadmill desk in your workspace, and also find out whether the administration of your company allows you to use one.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

[Video] 10-Minute Fun P90-X Workout

Got 10 minutes? Get fit and squash sitting disease with this fast, fun, intense 10-minute workout that will get your heart rate up, your blood flowing, and your muscles burning!

This short workout will work all of your major muscle groups for great toning for your abs, back, legs, arms, and more, plus a good cardio burn as well to increase your metabolism and burn more fat. All you need is a mat and a set of hand weights - or do it without weights if you prefer.

For a 10-minute workout, this can't be beat!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Is Sitting Disease Killing You?

Let’s face it: we no longer live in the cavemen era that our bodies were built for, where our ancestors had to kill or grow their own food, and were constantly on the move. Nowadays most people spend their day sitting at their desk, sitting in the car, sitting on the couch, and then going to bed. If this is what your day looks like as well, then your sedentary lifestyle may be slowly killing you.

What is a Sedentary Lifestyle?

A sedentary person, or "typical couch pot...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Simply put, a sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle where you get little to no physical activity that involves being on your feet. This type of lifestyle is one of the worse kinds of lifestyles you can have, even if you don’t engage in other health-damaging activities such as smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol. This is because there are a lot of health risks that come with a sedentary lifestyle, as more and more evidence shows.

Health Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Included among the many health risks that you could face if you maintain your sedentary lifestyle are:

  • Sleep apnea, where obstruction to the airways causes you to stop breathing periodically when you are sleeping. The obstruction can be caused by many reasons, but obesity and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to it significantly. These breathing pauses can be very detrimental in the long run, and have been linked to heart attack, stroke, and the development of diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular diseases, or in simple terms, diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Leading an overly sedentary lifestyle is usually coupled with eating too much and weight gain, which in turn increases your risk for heart disease.
  • Mental slowdowns as you get older. There is some evidence that a sedentary lifestyle can push along the process of memory deterioration as we age.
  • Pulmonary embolisms, which are more common among sedentary people, and there is an even higher risk if a sedentary woman is also on birth control pills.
What Can You Do to Minimize the Risk?

It’s simple: just start moving around more. Nobody is asking you to start running marathons every day (though, if you could, that would be great!). Just take small steps to ensure that you get some exercise into your day. For example, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park your car a little bit further so you can take a short walk before and after work. Get a treadmill desk, or at least a standing desk if possible if you sit at long periods at work. Stand while you are on the phone. Every little bit adds up, but if you can add in about 30 minutes of proper exercise each day, that would be even better. Check out our Fun Ways to Exercise page for some fast and fun ways to work out that only take a few minutes per day.

So, start taking those baby steps towards a healthier lifestyle today. When you have a healthy heart at 70 and beyond, you’ll be happy you did!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

[Video] 20-Minute Low Impact Cardio Workout (Part 1)

This short video provides a basic, low-impact cardio workout great for seniors or those who need a gentle workout due to fitness impairment or injury. Get your core temperature up and your blood flowing with this easy workout.

This video is part one of the full 20-minute workout, and is about 11 minutes long. No equipment is required, so let's get moving!

Check out the video at this link if it does not appear below:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

4 Great Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

Exercise helps keep senior citizens fit physically ... and socially, emotionally and psychologically as well. You receive so many benefits when you exercise. Your heart becomes strong and it works effortlessly. It easily pumps oxygen throughout your body, which allows all of your different internal and external systems to work properly.

Since all of those systems are interconnected and controlled by your brain, you enjoy more than just physical benefits when you stay active as you age. If you need motivation to exercise and you are over 50 years of age, take a look at these wonderful nonphysical benefits of staying active that just may change how you think about physical fitness.

1. You Feel Better About Yourself

When you exercise, "feel good" chemicals and hormones are released by your brain. That's right, there is a physiological reason you feel great after you exert yourself physically. You truly do feel good about yourself as a person when you exercise on a regular basis.

2. Your Social Life Benefits

Humans are social animals. Most of us feel better in social settings where our friends, family members and other like-minded individuals spend time with us. When you exercise after you turn 50 years of age, you promote independence and positive self-worth. This leads to a richer social life. Many exercises and other forms of physical fitness are also social in their very nature, like hiking clubs and cycling or dance and yoga classes.

3. Your Brain Is Sharper and Your Memory Recall Improves

Studies have shown that frequent exercise actually improves your recall. A physically fit body leads to a sharp mind and excellent memory. Your elevated heart rate pumps blood and the aforementioned oxygen to your brain as well as every other part of your body. This keeps your brain healthy. In studies of men and women over 50, those who exercised regularly were able to recall and remember people, objects and events better than their non-exercising counterparts.

4. Exercise Defeats Depression and Anxiety

Once again, exercise shows an enormous nonphysical benefit. A depressed individual can make very bad life choices, even going as far as suicide. Isn't it amazing then that simple exercise on a consistent basis has proven an effective treatment for depression and anxiety? In studies of older individuals (men and women over 50) regular physical activity has been directly linked to reduced episodes of anxiety, stress and depression when compared to sedentary people the same age.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Video] Yoga for Women: Gentle Menstrual Relief Session

This 15-minute yoga session is designed to help relieve cramps, stress, and PMS during your menstrual cycle. This is a relaxing, calming set of exercises, so you can still keep up with your yoga practice even during this low energy time of month.

Do this morning or evening - or twice a day if desired. It's very gentle, so it won't hurt to repeat it more than once.

This workout helps to loosen and stretch tight and achy areas of your body. Go at your own pace and listen to your body. Tune into your body's needs, and enjoy this calming yoga set just for you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Yoga for Women: A Non-Violent Approach to Exercise

Many women pile up an array of small violences against themselves from the moment they wake up - caffeine, cigarettes, abrasive exercises or no exercise at all. Lots of faddish fitness programs today have this violent approach - do 50 leg raises or pound your body jogging on the pavement or jump around to a rhythm not of your own making. Is it any wonder we don't like to exercise?

For a happier, healthier life, your approach to fitness and well-being and to life in general should be nonviolent one - working smoothly with concentration and determination at your own pace without competing with anyone else. Don't be ruthless with yourself and you won't be ruthless with other people.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yoga is a great way to start off your day on a peaceful note.
First things first, when you roll out of your bed, sit onto a mat on the floor and hug your knees to your chest. Then raise your legs in the air and stay bottoms up until your head clears. Next stand up and drop your forehead to your shins until you feel ready to tackle the toothbrush and get on with your day.

Your morning yoga routine should center on postures drawn from the 5,000-year-old technique whose name comes from the Sanskrit for sun, moon and join together. The exercises can range from deep breathing to pretzel-like stretches.

Yoga can be strenuous, but it should not be painful. It can be gentle and easy, or challenging. It helps you relax, but it can also give every inch of your body a terrific workout.

Yoga helps you maintain flexibility, build strength and muscle definition. Ideally, you could try spending 60 to 90 minutes on your yoga routine, before breakfast, five to six days a week, but as little as 10 minutes a day can really help start your day off on the right foot.

Don't space out during workouts. Use that time to tune in to your body and have a private conversation with yourself: 'How do I feel physically, mentally?' 'How is my balance and coordination today?' 'Is there something I should pay special attention to?'

Practice yoga in the early morning or early evening at least one hour after a light meal or three to four hours after a main meal. If you are hungry before practice, try tea, milk or fruit juice.

Following these basic yoga tips on a regular basis can help women obtain a more healthy and balanced life

Thursday, September 17, 2015

[Video] Cardio & Abs Belly Fat Loss Workout

This high-intensity workout is designed to focus on your core to help build strong core muscles, and tone and flatten your belly. The core exercises alternate with 30 seconds of cardio to help burn fat and increase your metabolism.

This type of workout, including both cardio and toning exercises, provides the ultimate fat-burning effect, so you can show off those newly toned abs in no time!

No equipment is required for this body-weight workout, other an an exercise mat if desired. This workout does not include a warmup or cool-down, so you will want to make sure to do these on your own.

Now grab a mat, and let's burn some belly fat!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

5 Healthy Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

The hardest type of fat to lose is belly fat. But it's also the most important fat to lose. Belly fat can be a sign of poor cardiovascular health and can signify (years before it happens) potential onset of diabetes, heart attack and even colon cancer. Getting belly fat under control is of utmost importance. Thankfully, due to science we know more than ever about belly fat and why we have it.

The Cortisol Connection

English: Illustration of obesity and waist cir...
Illustration of obesity and waist circumference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In women and men there is thought to be a connection between cortisol levels and waist circumference. The stress many people have in their modern lives tends to make them produce more cortisol which tends to force them to store extra fat around their bellies. This is the “muffin top” that you often see in otherwise thin women.

1. Reduce Stress
It is critical that women with excess belly fat (compared to body fat) find ways to reduce their stress levels. One way to do that is to find ways to get some “me” time through exercise or other stress reducers. Some people have gotten some results by adding a resveratrol supplement, which is an ingredient found in red wine, grapes, cherries and cranberries. It helps reduce stress, increases motivation and sometimes gives a boost of energy not unlike caffeine.

2. Avoid Processed Foods

Whether it’s “diet food” or out and out “bad” food, it’s best to avoid processed food of all kinds. Sticking as close to nature as possible to get the nutrient-dense foods that your body needs will do a lot to help you because your body will be getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to repair itself. Think low calorie, high nutrition. You can eat a larger volume of food when you seek to limit processed foods and stick to whole foods.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

The truth is the only beverage that anyone should be drinking is water, and some green tea (assuming you can have the caffeine). Don’t drink fruit juice or soda (diet or not) and limit alcoholic beverages. Instead, drink fresh filtered water, about eight glasses per day. If you feel the need for something sweet, eat fruit - don’t drink it.

4. Do Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise will not only help you lose weight, combat stress, and burn calories, but it is also very good for your cardiovascular system. Since belly fat plays havoc on the cardiovascular system, it’s important to find a way to improve your heart health. The only way to truly burn fat is also through aerobic exercise.

5. Eat Regularly

Eat your largest meal in the morning and eat less as the day progresses. Your last meal of the day be your lightest. There are some theories about eating only during daylight but this is usually very hard to do in today’s busy life that women live with work, kids, family, volunteering and more.

6. Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods

Belly fat is often increased due to eating foods that cause can inflammation. These are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat instead:

* Beets
* Berries
* Dark leafy greens
* Garlic
* Ginger
* Nuts
* Onions
* Peppers
* Salmon
* Tart cherries
* Tomatoes
* Turmeric
* Whole grains

7. Get Enough Sleep

There is a big connection between lack of sleep and being overweight, including having excess body fat around the belly. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. The best way to find out how much you need is to keep going to bed earlier and earlier until you can wake up naturally in the morning at the time you need to get up for work without an alarm.

Even women who are of normal weight but who have round bellies have higher death rates than women who are overweight but do not have excess belly fat. There is a test health care providers use to determine an issue with belly fat which is called the height to waist circumference ratio. This number turns out to be a more accurate indicator of health. You get the number by dividing your waist circumference by your height. Here is a link to a helpful calculator:

If you’re under 40 and your waist to height ratio is 0.5 or higher, you are considered to be very unhealthy and it is critical that you get help for your weight issue. If you’re 40 to 50 years old, then you should not be over 0.55 and if you’re over 50, then you should not be over 0.6. If you are above those ratios, seek immediate medical evaluation and start a plan to reduce your waist circumference.