Tuesday, June 30, 2015

5 Best Outdoor Workouts

This time of year, it's hard not to want to spend all day outdoors! And why not, when you can do any of these great workouts without having to go inside at all!

Exercising outdoors is actually even healthier for you than doing so indoors.When you exercise outside, your body enjoys many benefits which simply are not possible when you work out indoors.  (See below for some of these benefits.)

But you may be thinking, “What are some of the better outdoor workouts?” After all, not all exercises are the same, and not all workouts work well outdoors. To harness all of the total body benefits that exercising outside can deliver, try the following 5 fun outdoor workout programs.

English: President George H. W. Bush playing t...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1 - Prevention magazine suggests playing tennis for an outdoor workout. 

You burn between 450 and 550 calories per hour playing tennis, and you enjoy the benefits of socializing as well. From your head to your toes, you involve all major muscle groups, and tennis is an inexpensive sport available to men, women and children of all ages. Outdoor tennis courts are available pretty much everywhere, and usually for free. You can always find someone at your skill level by checking with local tennis organizations.

2 - Men's Fitness recommends hill sprints as an excellent way to shred body fat, burn calories improve your level of conditioning, and develop lean muscle mass.

This metabolic workout uses bodyweight exercise principles to strengthen your entire body. You can expect to burn between 200 and 250 calories in just 2.5 minutes of hill sprinting.(Expert Tip: this is a secret tactic that professional athletes use to burn significant amounts of fat and drop body weight in a very short period of time.)

3 – The Women's Health website lists jogging in sand as the perfect outdoor exercise.

The increased resistance delivers a 1.6X higher calorie burn than simply jogging on a grass or dirt path. Another benefit? Sand goes to work on your feet and toes, removing unsightly dry, dead skin. While you are at the beach, throw in a couple of games of beach volleyball to burn even more calories - and have a great time while you're at it!

4 – Body weight training is perfectly suited for the great outdoors.

You use the weight of your body as resistance, building lean muscle mass while burning fat and calories. Nothing more than your body is needed, but you can accentuate your workout with monkey bars, benches, chin up and pull up bars and other park equipment. Play on the jungle gym like you're a kid again, and reap the fitness benefits!

5 - Yoga and Pilates in the park.

English: Friskis&Svettis outdoor exercise in K...
Group workout at the park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Everyone has a favorite park or outdoor environment they like to go to relax. Pilates and yoga are excellent for relieving stress while also building muscle and burning fat. You may even be able to find a class that is taught outdoors in the summertime. When performed outdoors in the sun, you benefit from fresh air and all of the wonderful sights, smells and sounds that Mother Nature has to offer.

Exercising outdoors has been directly linked to an improved self-image, fewer feelings of stress, anxiety and depression and a higher calorie burn than working out indoors. Get outside today, and try any or all of the above outdoor exercise plans to grab those benefits for yourself!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

[Video] 10-Minute Six-Pack Abs Workout

This hard-hitting workout pulls no punches - your abs will BURN! It's only 10 minutes long, but you will really feel it right away, and it will start building your core strength quickly. The workout includes 10 exercises that will work all of the muscles in your abdominals and core. It's a quick, high-intensity workout, and you will do each exercise for 30 seconds at a time, so you'll move and strengthen your entire body along the way - no boring crunches here!

Do this one a couple of times per week, along with your HIIT cardio, and you'll be well on your way to those six-pack abs you're looking for.

For more great ab exercises and a program that will really help you get a six-pack fast, check this out: 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How Can You Get Six-Pack Abs This Summer?

Everyone wants those defined, six-pack abs, especially come summertime when you can really show them off! With ladies in their bikinis and crop tops, and guys shirtless on the beach, looking great is taken to a whole new level of pressure. But how can you get that awesome six-pack for yourself? You might be looking for an easier answer, but it all starts with consistency and willpower.

Obtaining six-pack abs comes down to the usual diet and exercise, but understanding the specifics is what will make the difference between trying for six-pack abs and actually getting them.

Eat Correctly

English: This image shows a display of healthy...
Healthy, whole foods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Eat Clean - The key to a healthy diet that is effective for dropping excess weight and trimming fat is eating “clean”. This means avoiding processed foods, fast foods, and other foods that are high in processed carbs and sugars, artificial ingredients, and other chemicals. Instead, focus on eating an all-natural diet that focuses on plenty of fresh produce, whole foods, and healthy, clean protein sources. (If you eat meat, it should always be grass fed/pasture raised.)

2. Eat Enough - Many people consider diets to be all about minimizing food intake, but that is simply not the case for healthy and effective diets. When your body feels deprived for a period of time, it may go into "starvation mode," lowering your metabolism and storing fat - which is the exact opposite of what you want! Start thinking about the word “diet” in a different way, one which simply means eating better for a healthier lifestyle. You should always eat enough calories to feed your body so that you have enough energy and fuel to keep your body healthy.

3. Go Plant-Based - Eating a mostly raw, plant-based diet has shown to be extremely effective for weight loss and healthy lifestyles of all types. This is a great diet to explore for anyone that is looking to trim excess belly fat and make room for those cut abs. However, for some people, this diet is too extreme, and may even cause deficiencies and other health problems. For many, the plant-based diet is best used as a short-term cleanse - think 30 days or so. This should be enough to cleanse and detoxify your body, and help you shed some of that stubborn fat too, without depriving your body of needed nutrients.

4. Stay Hydrated - Drinking enough water and fluids is an important part of any diet. You want to keep those muscles hydrated, and help your body release the toxins that are stored in the fat you're losing. Your body needs plenty of water to do this, especially during hot weather.

Exercise Right

1. Consistency Is Key - When you are looking to trim fat and define muscles, remember that consistency with your exercises is the most important factor. After all, you can't just do one workout and expect it to work. You need to target particular muscle groups with each workout and repeat these exercises on a consistent basis.

2. Keep Up With Cardio - To get those six pack abs, you cannot just rely on crunches alone. Cardio workouts are an important part of any exercise regimen, especially because they help you burn excess fat. Some experts report that cardio intervals, with periods of rest in between, boost your metabolism more and burn more fat than steady-state cardio, so you may want to try this. As your abdominals get stronger, you may notice that you use them more during your cardio workouts, too.

3. Core Strengthening - Definition starts at your core. This group of muscles, including your abdominals and back muscles, helps maintain your balance and makes your targeted abdominal exercises exponentially more effective. Many special core exercises, like planking and v-sit exercises, are also more effective for defined abs than plain standard crunches.

4. The Right Workouts - As mentioned before, getting six-pack abs isn't just about crunches. In fact, you will need many targeted exercises to reach all of the different parts of your abdominal muscles to achieve six-pack abs. These targeted exercises combined with cardio and core strengthening workouts are what will make those six-pack abs happen.

If you follow these key fundamentals and stay motivated to follow through, it can be possible to obtain those coveted six-pack abs. Just imagine how good you will look poolside or walking along the beach this summer, and how positively great you will feel!

Check out this excellent workout program for targeted, effective tummy flattening exercises:


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Video: Quick Cardo Burn Fun Jump Rope Workout

This short workout will get your heart pumping and help boost your metabolism and burn fat fast. Plus, it's just plain fun!  Remember jumping rope when you were a kid? Turns out it's a great cardio workout and fat burner!

Best of all, with cardio workouts like this, you actually don't want to do them for too long. Cardio workouts are most effective when done for short intervals. Throw this fun 6-minute session in after your regular yoga or strength training workout every day or two to see great results!

Grab a jump rope (or just pretend you have one), and let's hop to it! ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

5 Fun Cardio Exercises You Can Do At Home to Burn Fat Fast

If you are looking to trim down and tone up for the summer, you really need to be incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your routine.

Why Is Cardio Important?

Cardiovascular workouts get your heart rate working, the blood pumping, and the pounds falling off. It is one of the most important components of a well-rounded exercise regimen.

What Can Cardio Do for Me?

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises
Jazzercise class. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A great cardio workout can help you shed pounds and target problem areas, not to mention how important it is for heart and overall health.

How Much Cardio Should I Be Doing?

It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day or more. You can, however, combine that amount into specific days' workouts. For example, you can do one hour of cardio every other day.

I Don't Have Time to Go to a Gym; Can I Get Enough Cardio in My Own Home?

Absolutely; there are tons of cardio workouts that you can do from home. Most require little to no equipment, and you can also get home workout machines to help you.

Home Cardio Exercises

1. Jump Rope - You can purchase a jump rope very inexpensively at most sporting or department stores. This simple piece of equipment is one of the very best cardiovascular workouts and can actually be a lot of fun. You probably remember how to do it from when you were a kid, and you will be surprised how fast it gets your heart rate up! Even a few minutes per day can really help melt off some of that stubborn fat fast.

2. Trampoline - Whether you go outside and use your kids' giant trampoline, or purchase a small single use trampoline for your home, simply bouncing around on one of these is a great cardio workout. You can do it while you are watching television or listening to music, and it is fun to work in lots of arm and hip movements as well.

3. Walking/Jogging - Using a treadmill, your staircase, or getting outside for a walk or jog is perhaps the easiest way for anyone to get some great cardiovascular exercise. A brisk walk around your neighborhood can do wonders for your overall health and fitness level.

4. Aerobic Exercises - These days, you can download, purchase, or watch exercise videos of all types just about anywhere. Aerobics, Jazzercise, Zumba and more are all excellent cardio workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

5. Home Machinery - If you have the room and budget for it, you can purchase gym equipment for your own home. Machines like treadmills and elliptical machines are excellent for getting regular cardiovascular exercise.

Cardio workouts are more than just great workouts for weight loss and shedding pounds for bathing suit season. Getting enough cardio is important for your overall health and is one of the most important parts of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

You can improve your cardio by working these simple exercises into your daily life, or increasing your cardio workouts to something a little more intensive if your heart rate isn't quite high enough. On top of it all, cardio workouts are virtually guaranteed to make you feel great as well as look great!

Try These Fun Cardio Workouts At Home:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Video - 6 Week Six-Pack Abs Workout w/Jillian Michaels

True to form, Jillian Michaels pulls no punches in this full-length ab and core workout. From start (warm-up), to finish and stretching, this fast-paced workout will make you sweat, and help you build those killer abs you were hoping to show off in a swimsuit this summer!

As usual, the workout includes demos of both beginning and advanced versions of all of the exercises, so no matter what level you're working at, you can reach your goals for a flat tummy.

Now grab a mat, some water, weights if you want them, and let's work that core!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

6 Exercises for Strengthening Your Core

To get ready for swimsuit season, you are probably doing a lot of targeted exercises to get in shape. You are likely focusing on your abs and thighs the most, and doing what you can to drop a few extra pounds before you have to squeeze into that swimsuit. There is a huge factor that many people are missing out on as they are getting ready for summer, however, and to their own detriment. That factor is the importance of core strengthening.

What Exactly Is the Core?

English: suspension exercise ‪Norsk (bokmål)â€...
Suspension exercise ‪for the core. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Your core muscles are a group of muscles running down the center of your body. These include your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and your pelvis. All of these muscles contribute to your overall balance and strength.

How Does Core Strengthening Help?

Core strengthening helps on many levels. At its most basic, your core strength comes into play in everyday activities such as lifting your groceries and vacuuming your house. Your core is your center of balance and strength for almost everything you do, especially when it comes to working out and getting in shape. A strong core can help you be more successful with all your workouts, as it gives you the best canvas to work from.

How Can I Strengthen My Core?

Core strengthening exercises are the best way to get your core in shape. These exercises will not only improve your core strength, but they will also help you tone your abdominal muscles, back, butt, and thighs so you can make big strides toward your summer fitness goals. Even better, these exercises can all be done from home so there is no gym membership required.

6 Effective Core Exercises

1. Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates-type exercises are the most popular workout routines that are aimed toward building a strong and healthy core. You can find yoga and Pilates videos online, on DVD, or even learn poses from books and magazines. These are easy to do from home and most routines do not even require any sort of equipment. (Check out our Amazon store for some of our favorite yoga & Pilates workouts!)

2. Planking

Planks are an exercise that you might find difficult in the beginning, but as you core strengthens you will find it easier over time. Planking is great for the whole body, from your arms all the way down through your legs, and is actually touted as being a better exercise for your abs than crunches.

Start by getting into push-up position on the floor, but rest on your arms at 90-degree angles. Straighten your whole body out, through to your feet up on your toes. Use your core muscles to hold the position for as long as possible. Each day, hold a little longer.

English: an exercise of abs
Core workout on the ball. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
3. Balance ball

Using a balance ball helps you to focus on your core muscles when doing certain exercises. You can use a balance ball to do push-ups, crunches, and more. Even simply sitting on a balance ball instead of a chair helps you strengthen your core muscles during the day.

4. V-sit

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lean back to a 45 degree angle and hold your arms out straight beside you. Slowly lift your feet off the ground, using your core to keep yourself steady. Extend your legs out so that your body forms a “V”. Hold this position as long as possible, using your extended arms to help maintain your balance.

5. Tucks

Start in the same position as the v-sit, leaning back at the 45 degree angle and arms straight out beside you. Extend your legs out just like in the v-sit, but then bring them back to your body, not resting them on the floor. Repeat this motion ten times, rest, and then repeat.

6. Bicycles

Starting in crunch position with your hands behind your ears, reach your elbow to the opposite knee, extending the other leg out. Repeat the motion, alternating sides, and working your legs as if riding a bicycle. Continue the motion for an extended period of time, at least 30 seconds, before resting and then repeating.

Core strengthening is where great workouts and a great body start. If you are wanting to get toned and fit for summer, core exercises are what you want to focus on.

Try These Fun Core Workouts:


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Video: 15-Minute Total Butt Workout

This short workout will kick your booty into shape fast!

Lift, shape, and tone your butt in 15 minutes per day with these hard-hitting exercises, so your butt will be in great shape for the beach in no time.

Men - this workout isn't just for the ladies! It can help lift and shape your butt as well, so you'll actually have something for the girls to look at when you're sporting those swim trunks - or just your favorite jeans. ;-)

It doesn't take long to get a great butt - just grab a mat and let's work out!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

8 Exercises for Getting the Booty You Want

If there is one thing you want to look good this swimsuit season, it's your butt! After all, it is one of the hardest parts to hide in a tiny swimsuit, and the most likely to jiggle in ways that you might not want it to. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises you can do to get your butt looking toned and firm. Here are just a few.

1. Squats

Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart, with your arms down by your sides. Slowly bend at the knees, extending your arms out in front of you, until you are at an almost sitting position - or lower if you can manage. Be sure to keep as much of your weight in your heels as possible to prevent stress on the knee joints, and keep your back flat. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then slowly rise and come to your original standing position. Repeat this action 20 times, rest, and then repeat.

2. Chair Squats

This squat option is better for beginners who don't quite have the core strength to complete regular squats. In this version, you can stand in front of a chair. Complete the same movements, hovering just above the chair. Repeat 20 times, rest, and then repeat.

3. Jump Squats

This exercise puts a bit more “oomph” into your squats. Start in the same position as regular squats, and complete the squat as usual except that when you are coming up, jump into the air. Jump up about one foot, and remember to soften and bend your knees slightly coming back down to prevent injury.

4. Hip Lifts

Start by lying flat on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Using the muscles in your butt, lift your pelvis into the air, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Experiment with moving your feet closer to your body or farther away to get the most effective resistance. Complete 50 repetitions, rest, and then repeat twice.

5. Extended Hip Lifts

This is a slightly more advanced version of regular hip lifts. In this version, you will extend one leg out straight while completing the same motions. Do 15 repetitions and then alternate to the other leg before resting and then repeating for a total of three cycles.

6. Lunges

Begin in your standing position, with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Step out with one foot, about two feet straight in front of you. Keep your torso straight, bend at the knees until your back knee almost touches the floor, and then straighten back up and return to the beginning standing position. Be sure to keep your front knee behind your toes to avoid injury. Alternate legs, completing 20 repetitions on each side before you rest and then repeat.

7. Toe Taps

Start by lying on your back with your legs elevated and knees bent to a 45 degree angle, and then bring your knees closer to your chest. From this position, bring one foot down and tap the ground, and then bring that leg back to the starting position. Alternating feet, complete this motion for one minute before you rest, and then repeat twice. This is also a great exercise for your abs.

8. Superman Lunges

This is a slightly different take on lunges that works out a different part of your butt and the backs of your thighs. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, arms down by your sides. In one fluid movement, lean forward and elevate one leg behind you, bringing your arms up in the air. The motion should remind you of Superman taking flight - thus the name. Return to the beginning position and then repeat, alternating sides, 15 times per side. Rest and then repeat twice.

The butt might be a big problem area for many people trying to look good in their swimsuits, but it is actually one of the easiest areas of the body to exercise. Complete these exercises at least two to three times a week consistently and you will be ready to hit the beach in no time!