Thursday, July 30, 2015

[Video] Fat-Burning Home Interval Cardio Workout

Rev up your metabolism and burn fat fast with this 25-minute interval cardio workout. This bodyweight workout requires no equipment, so you can do it anywhere, anytime!

The workout does include a short warmup, and is done in 45-second intervals. Low-impact versions of each exercise are included in case you have joint problems, but do the full version if you are able.

Now let's get moving and burn some fat!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Three Simple Tips to Burning More Fat

There really isn’t any secret to burning fat. It all comes down to two things: diet and exercise. But obviously there are hundreds of variations on these two things, and in order to maximize your fat-burning results, you have to do them the right way.

Here are 3 tips to get you on the right track:

1) Don’t Diet

Image courtesy of KEKO64 at
At least not in the traditional sense. When you restrict your calorie intake too much, your body senses you are going into starvation mode, so it responds by slowing down your metabolic rate in an effort to make the most of the food it is getting - which is the opposite of what you want.

Instead, eat more.

“What, I’m trying to lose weight and you are telling me to eat more?”

Yes, but you have do it right by eating healthy types and amounts of food. To keep your metabolism operating at peak efficiency, and to burn as many calories you can, eat six small meals, or three larger meals with a snack each in the morning and afternoon per day, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, lean meats and just a few whole grains. This “diet” has a lot of bulk and will keep you full, but is not loaded with unhealthy processed fats, sugar and calories. 

2) Eat Breakfast

You’ve heard this before and it is still true – don’t skip breakfast. After sleeping all night, your metabolism is at its resting metabolism rate (RMR). It is working just hard enough to keep your body going. Unless you jump start it by giving it food to process within an hour of getting up, it will wake up slowly. The result is you could be missing out on several hours of increased fat-burning time. People who skip breakfast are 4 ½ times more likely to be obese.

Want more proof? People who got 22 percent or more of their calories at breakfast gained on average 1.7 pounds over four years. Those that got only 11 percent or less of their calories at breakfast gained 3 pounds – almost twice as much - during the same amount of time.

3) Get Up and Move!

This the other half of the fat-burning duo – exercise. And there are a couple of parts to it. The first part is the effects of extended sitting.

Researchers at Missouri University found that after sitting for 4 hours of more, your body reduces the amount of the enzyme responsible for burning fat and cholesterol. However, just standing up and moving about kicks it back in to high gear. If you have sit-down job, make sure you get up and move at least 5 minutes each hour.

The second part is the type of exercise you do and why it is important to your weight loss efforts. Cardio burns fat and the most calories, but usually just during the time you exercise; once you stop exercising, the calorie burn stops. In fact, if you do too much long-session cardio, your body can actually start to conserve fat and burn muscle instead!

However, strength training digs deeper and depletes the muscles of glycogen. So not only are you burning calories while exercising, but also afterward as your metabolism replenishes the energy source glycogen for your muscles.

Plus strength training builds muscle so you’ll also have a higher RMR and burn more calories while at rest. Of course the ultimate fat-burning program is a mixture of both cardio (preferably in short intervals) and strength training.

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks, as we share some fun and easy ways to burn more fat while exercising.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

[Video] 15-Minute Pilates Butt & Thigh Workout

On Tuesday, we shared 8 exercises to help tone and strengthen your legs, but if you don't much care for squats and lunges, try this Pilates workout instead. In only 15 minutes, you can help tone, tighten, and strengthen your butt, thighs, and more - no lunges required!

All you need is a mat for this workout, so you can do it just about anywhere. Throw this one into your rotation for great legs fast!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

8 Exercises for Great Legs

There are two main reasons you would want to tone and define your leg muscles this summer. The first, of course, is so you can look great strutting around in your swimsuit all season. The other is so you will have no problems trudging through the sand on all those long walks on the beach! :-) Try these exercises to help tone, strengthen, and define your leg muscles.

These 8 simple exercises require no equipment, and can be done just about anywhere:

1. Free Squats

English: Wall sit exercise, side view.
Wall squat exercise, side view. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Holding your arms out in front of you and keeping your posture straight, bend at the knees until you are at an almost sitting position. Hold that pose for about five seconds and then use your legs to straighten back up. Repeat ten times.

2. Wall Squats

Leaning your back against a wall, place your feet about two feet in front of you at about shoulder width apart. With your arms either out in front of you or straight down on the wall for extra support, bend at the knees until you are as close to a sitting position as you can get. Hold for five seconds and then use your legs to straighten back up to a standing position. Repeat the action ten times.

3. Scissor Kicks

Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your knees bent, raise your legs into the air as if you were sitting in a chair. Keeping your thighs as still as possible, criss-cross your calves back and forth. Continue this motion for 30 to 45 seconds at a time, repeating the exercise five times.

4. Horizontal Leg Lifts

Lie on the floor on one side with one leg stacked on the other and your top hand on your hip. Keep your legs straight and lift the top leg slowly as high as you can without straining. If you feel pain, stop. Repeat this motion 20 times on each side, and then repeat the whole process three times.

5. Standing Leg Lifts

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your hips and bend forward at the waist at about 45 degrees. Keeping one foot firmly planted on the floor; lift the other leg back as far as you can raise it without straining, keeping both legs straight. Repeat 20 times per leg, and then repeat the process twice.

6. Lunges

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips, step out with one foot about two feet in front of you. Bend both legs and almost touch the back knee to the ground, then straighten back up and return to a standing position. Repeat this process, alternating which leg you step out with, until you have done 20 lunges on each side.

Salsa dancing
Salsa dancing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
7. Walk It Out

If you are looking for a very easy and effective leg-defining workout, simply look to your daily routine. Start walking everywhere that you are able; go for walks on your lunch break, and always opt to take the stairs. Walking is low impact and is a great leg as well as cardiovascular workout.

8. Dance It Off

Dancing works out the whole body, especially the legs - plus it's just plain fun! Start frequenting your local salsa night, or take some classes during the week to get the most out of this fun exercise.

The key to any great leg-defining workout is consistency. Do these exercises a few times a week, and don't skip repetitions if you can avoid it. Also notice that most of these exercises rely on the resistance of your own body instead of machines or equipment, so doing these exercises slowly will help you get the most out of each and every motion.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

[Video] Triathlon Strength Training Workout

This short video demonstrates a great strength training workout to help get you in shape for your next triathlon!  This should be done along with your regular training in each category to help build strength in the muscles you will need for the swimming, running, and bicycling segments.

If you're not a triathlete, this is just a great strength training workout to include in your regular workout routine! This workout works your entire body, from legs, to core, to upper body as well.

Please note that this video is just a demonstration of the exercises and not the full workout. Once you view each exercise, the proper form, and the number of reps, you will need to pause the video to complete the reps on your own. The entire workout should take about 30 minutes. You will need a mat, a set of hand weights, and an exercise ball.

Now let's work out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Triathlon Training Tips - Part 2

Last week we shared a few tips for getting started training for a triathlon. Today we're wrapping up with some specific tips for each part of the race:


US Navy 080910-N-6674H-005 Cmdr. Kristin Barne...
Training for the annual Ironman World Championship triathlon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For swimming, experts recommend 30 minute laps on one day and then 45 minute lap sessions on another day. Laps should be done at a consistent pace without stopping.


One day should be dedicated to a long bike ride, at least 60 to 90 minutes.

Run Speed Training

Then there is speed work for the run portion. Trainer Cardona recommends doing runs that include speed work and also uphill runs to improve strength and technique.

A week of training is topped off with a 5k tempo run, performed at both a consistent and fast pace. The main race speed portion should be about 20 minutes of the workout, but, you should increase the time spent at race pace each week until you're able to run the entire race distance at that pace.

Keep your training regular so you don’t lose the benefits of your previous workouts, but, do so in a pace and regularity that your body’s current abilities allow.

Strength training

Cardona also recommends those in training to perform strength exercises on the same days as swimming training is performed. The workouts should target full body conditioning, and work those muscles most needed for the event.

The moves he recommends are lat pull downs, shoulder presses, and lateral raises. For the legs, good workouts include, leg extensions and hamstring curls. Core workouts are also important, such as planks and v-ups.

Unlike body builders, those training for a triathlon do not want to build bulk - strength and tone is what is needed, and therefore, it is best to train with 3 sets of 10 reps for each lift.

Supply your body with the right kind of fuel

If you think that hard core cross-training is all there is to triathlon training, think again. Whether you’re doing a sprint triathlon or Ironman, your training will push your body to the max. You will be burning more energy during training than most people do for an entire day, so, you need the right fuel to keep you going.

Develop a healthy meal plan that will give you maximum energy to endure your training. Avoid eating processed food and binging on energy drinks because the unhealthy ingredients and chemicals in these food items will weaken your immune system and slow down your recovery time.

Nevertheless, take it easy on the protein, as you are training as a triathlete and not a bodybuilder. Focus on having plenty of whole foods like, vegetables and fruits, whole grains and grass-fed meats in your diet and make sure to incorporate complex carbs for energy before workouts and hydrating liquids after to replenish the body.

English: Ironman Australia swim finish Italian...
Ironman Australia swim finish line. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Acclimate to your new lifestyle

Participating in a triathlon should not be a one-off thing, even if for now you do train just to have a shot at your first triathlon. Being on top of your game often requires serious commitment, so, it is best to develop an attitude that a triathlon is actually a lifestyle sport.

If you aren’t already living the life of a sportsman, embrace the fact that you should, as it will facilitate life-long success in either this sport, or any others you may participate in, like marathons.

From changing your sleeping habits in order to ensure that you have enough time and energy to go through your training, to specifically planning out your day to ensure enough room for daily workouts to developing commitment and passion to be a good athlete, accept the fact that training for a triathlon will change your lifestyle.

Participating in a triathlon can be a rewarding experience, as it can bring great physical and mental benefits, just be sure to do it right and your hard work will be rewarded with a more fit and healthy body, and a more positive outlook on life and your abilities!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

[Video] 10 Core Exercises for Triathletes

If you're training for a triathlon, core strength is of great importance for all three events, and this short video demonstrates 10 excellent core exercises to give you super-strong abs and core muscles. This will help you maintain endurance through all segments of the triathlon, as well as help prevent injury.

Some of these are tough exercises, so feel free to scale down on the reps and intensity and work your way up to the full version if needed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Triathlon Training Tips - Part 1

Summer is the time when many hardcore exercise enthusiasts prepare to take on the ultimate physical challenge: a triathlon.

However, if you've never done one before, or think it sounds too difficult for you, you may want to think again. Participating in a triathlon can be a great way to challenge yourself to finally get in shape!

But what's the best way to get started? Running. Biking. Swimming. Each of these are by no means an easy feat, so how do you them all together in triathlon?

Call it intimidating, brand it as daunting, but, a triathlon can be done, even by those who have never participated in one. This week and next, we're sharing a few things you should know about triathlons, including tips for preparing to enter one.

Types Of Triathlons

Sprint Triathlon

2010 ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon World Champ...
2010 Sprint Distance Triathlon World Championships, Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
•    Half mile swim
•    19-mile bike ride
•    3.1-mile run

Basic Triathlon - The first, and most commonly used format for triathlon distance races follows international Olympic guidelines and includes:

•    .93 mile swim
•    24.8 mile bike ride
•    6.2 mile run

Half Ironman
•    1.2 mile swim
•    56 mile bike ride
•    13 mile run

The Iron Man Triathlon
•    2.4-mile (3.9-kilometer) swim
•    112-mile (180-kilometer) bike ride
•    26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) marathon run

According to Sam Cardona, who is an eight-time Ironman competitor, it takes three months to properly prepare for a triathlon.  Triathlon is a sport, and as, such there is a science to it. To be a successful triathlete—or at least start training to become one—takes a lot of hard work, but, it surely can be done with the right mindset and proper guidance.

Here Are Some Tips to Get You Started:

Build on your weakness, not your strength

A triathlon involves three disciplined events, namely swimming, cycling and long distance running, so your training requires you to develop your skill and endurance in each of these key sports. You may be as good as Michael Phelps when it comes to swimming, but, if you do not embark on a multi-sport training, you will not succeed as a triathlete.

If you are training for a triathlon, chances are you already have a background in at least one sport, so build on what you are good at, but, remember that triathlon requires you to be good at not one, but, three key sports.

This means it is important to train in all three sports, this include lap swimming, running and bike riding. The goal is always to build up speed and endurance.

Triathlete in the cycling portion of the event.
Triathlete in the cycling portion of the event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Develop a workout plan that builds your strength and endurance

What kind of training plan should you have? By all means go for one which develops your overall muscle tone and helps you achieve high levels of cardiovascular strength.

This will help you build core strength and endurance, so, you have what it takes to see you through all three phases of triathlon over great distances. Remember, you’re gunning for triathlon, not sprint, so short bursts of speed just won’t cut it.

When doing your training, keep in mind that the human body is a stunning piece of engineering. Your body becomes stronger as you train, but, if you keep on doing the same workout, your body’s strength development level will also stagnate.

Plan your workouts so that your level of training progresses as you go along. Refrain from allowing your body to get used to your workouts by incorporating exercises and workout sessions that change in form and cycle from time to time so you are able to constantly challenge your body.

Check back next week when we'll share some specific training tips for each portion of the race.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

[Video] Outdoor Morning Yoga Session

This 8-minute yoga sequence is designed to wake your body up and get you moving in the morning. It's great for relieving morning stiffness and improving flexibility, and it's so quick and simple that it's a really good one to keep in mind while traveling. You can do this wherever you are! If you don't have a yoga mat with you, a towel or blanket works too.

Enjoy this one in the grass, on the beach, or wherever life takes you this summer!