Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We're Moving!

First of all, I want to thank all of you dear readers and followers who have visited us and followed along with our weekly workouts for all of these years! I appreciate you, and have been glad to share information on health and fitness that you found useful.

Secondly, we're not disappearing - we're just streamlining our blogs! From now on, you can find a quick, fun, and effective weekly workout every Wednesday over on our health blog at HolisticHealthWire.com. We will also continue to share new fun ways to exercise, plus important information that will help you to achieve a fitter, healthier, and trimmer body and achieve your fitness goals. 

You can also find our "Workout Wednesday" workouts, as well as lots of other tips, strategies, and resources on how to live a healthier life by following us on Facebook.

Be sure to bookmark the link below, and visit us every Wednesday for your weekly workout!

Come Visit Our New Location At: www.HolisticHealthWire.com...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

[Video] 16-Minute Fat-Burning HIIT Workout

When it comes to burning fat, interval training is a great way to rev up your metabolism and burn more calories all day long. Because of the intensity of this kind of workout, you really don't need (or want) to spend a lot of time doing it. Short bursts of activity are best for melting off that stubborn fat, and most high-intensity interval training workouts only take 20 minutes or less.

This quick workout only takes 16 minutes, and incorporates both cardio and strength-building elements, meaning you'll get an intense full-body workout in under 20 minutes.

This workout includes a short warm-up and cool-down, and consists of 4 sets of 6 different exercises. Each exercise is done for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest between each set.

Grab some water and a towel (this one is intense!) and let's get ready to burn some fat!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

12 Things You Should Never Do When Trying to Burn Fat

If you’re trying to lose weight, but you're really not seeing results in your fat burning regime, there are likely some things that you may be doing wrong. Exercising the right way to burn fat efficiently is important (see workouts on this blog for lots of ideas), but it is also important not to do the wrong things in the process.

Here are 12 things that can keep you from burning fat:

1. Not Eating Enough Calories – You should know how many calories you need to eat per day to maintain a certain weight. Choose to use your goal weight as your calorie range for best results. When you don't eat enough, your body may start slowing your metabolism to compensate, which is the opposite of what you want.

2. Eating Too Many Calories – Conversely, many people do not track their calories at all, and therefore they eat too many calories. Even if you eat only healthy foods, you can still eat too many calories and not burn fat.

3. Not Eating the Right Amount of Protein – You can both eat too little protein and too much protein. Shoot for about 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories to be healthy protein. Remember that you can get protein from vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes and nuts in addition to fish and meat.

English: A picture of a collection of healthy ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
4. Not Eating Enough Vegetables – Try filling half of your plate with vegetables at every meal. The great thing about veggies is that they are very low in calories so you can eat a high volume of them without breaking your calorie bank. Plus, they're filled with fiber, vitamins, and other healthy nutrients.

5. Not Eating Enough Fruit – The sugar in fruit is not bad for you - as long as you don't over-indulge. When you feel like eating a snack or something sweet and you have the calories to spare, eat fruit. It’ll give you energy plus vitamins and minerals.

6. Not Eating Enough Whole Grains – Don’t give up grains just because you’re trying to burn fat. Steel cut oats, quinoa, cracked wheat, and other whole grains can be good for you in measured serving sizes.

7. You Drink Your Calories – To burn the greatest amount of fat, don’t drink your calories. Avoid drinking juice, sweetened coffee or tea, and other calorie-laden drinks in favor of fresh filtered calorie-free water.

8. You Eat “Calorie Free” Fake Food – Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can drink diet soda, and use fake zero calorie sweeteners and still burn fat. These additives can not only be dangerous but studies also show that people who use them tend to be fatter, not thinner!

9. You Avoid Exercise Entirely – You can’t burn fat and be a couch potato. Even if you have health issues that keep you from doing very strenuous activities, you can still use walking, swimming, or other gentle activities to get you moving and burn calories.

10. You Don’t Do Enough Cardio – Cardio is essential to burning fat. If you have health issues that prevent you from doing hard enough cardio, you’ll need to eat fewer calories to make up for it. But you can also try breathing exercises that can increase your oxygen intake and help burn fat.

11. You Are Too Stressed Out – If you have a lot of stress in your life, it will manifest itself as added fat, usually on your belly. Try to find a way to a way to de-stress every day. Try yoga, meditation or even prayer to take you out of your worries and calm yourself.

12. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep – Most people need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. It’s important that you schedule your life so that on most nights you can accomplish this task, because not doing so can affect your hormone levels and cause your fat burning to stall.

Knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do when it comes to burning fat and losing weight. Being healthy is about taking action to do more of the right things, and fewer of the wrong things every day!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

[Video] 10-Minute Fat Burning Bodyweight Workout

As we discussed on Tuesday, there is a clear difference between weight loss and fat loss. What we're all really looking to do is lose fat, and this quick workout will help you do just that. It's short, simple, and requires no equipment, so you can do it anywhere, and fit it into your busy schedule - even if you're traveling.

This simple workout consists of just 5 exercises which will strengthen and tone your entire body, while also providing cardio to help burn off that stubborn fat. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds, with at least 30 seconds of rest between sets. You will do 3 rounds of the exercises, so go ahead and follow along slowly with the demo the first time, to make sure you are doing the exercises properly, then pick up the pace and follow along for this quick fat-burning workout.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Is the Difference Between Losing Weight & Losing Fat?

When most people say they want to lose weight, they really mean they want to reduce their body fat. If they really wanted to lose weight per se, their goal would be to reduce the weight of their bones, muscles, organs along with body fat … most likely not their real goal - or it should not be! Most of us want to preserve all but the body fat part.

So in reality, you want to reduce the amount of body fat you are carrying, but how much is healthy? If you are male, then you want your body fat to be around 10%; 15% for females.

Why the Scale is Your Worst Enemy

English: Soehnle body scale with integrated bo...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are trying to lose body fat, weighing yourself every day is frustrating at best. Because the scale measures your total weight, it can fluctuate up or down every time you get on the scale.

When you first started to eat fewer calories, you probably showed a significant drop in numbers on the scale. But because carbs bind to water, lowering your carb intake reduced the amount of water in your body, so the real loss was not body fat, but water loss – the water had fewer carbs to attach to. If you start eating more carbs again, your weight will go up proportionately due to water hanging onto the additional carbs.

As a matter-of-fact, you can lose body fat, gain muscle and your number on the scale can remain the same, even though you now look better. Why? Because a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat therefore your profile is much slimmer even though you weigh the same.

Measuring Body Fat

The only real way to measure body fat loss accurately at home is by measuring your girth in the same places each time with a pair of body fat calipers – the neck, chest, arms, waist and thighs. Your waist measurement should go down, but the rest of your measurements should go up.

Train for Success

The best overall workout strategy is a mix of cardio and strength training. Cardio burns more calories and thus speeds up fat loss, but it alone is not enough; without strength training, you’ll end up losing muscle. Through strength training, you’ll tone the muscle you have and build more. And because more muscle means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, developing muscle mass is the key to long-term weight management.

Most likely your real goal of “losing weight” is to lose body fat and build muscle. Be sure to check back for our weekly workouts every Thursday to help you accomplish these goals!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

[Video] 5 Great Pool Exercises to Stay In Shape All Summer

This time of year it can sometimes feel too hot to work out, but if you get your exercise in the pool you can stay cool and still burn calories and lose fat!

Swimming is great exercise, but you can do a lot of other exercises in the pool as well. Transitioning exercise from dry land to water increases resistance, meaning you're working harder without even realizing it!

This short video shares 5 fun pool exercises that you can do in the water this summer to boost your fitness and help you achieve your weight loss goals. From legs, to upper body, to cardio, these exercises will work your entire body, all while enjoying the water and the beautiful summer weather.

Check it out here, and try these next time you're at the pool and want to get a quick workout in!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

3 Top Benefits of Swimming for Fitness

Swimming is one of those exercises that's hard to hate, since it’s gentle and yet fun at the same time! Most people enjoy a dip in the pool, so why not turn that dip into some laps as a form of exercise? There are many fitness benefits that one can get from swimming. If you're not convinced, here are 3 reasons why:

1. Swimming Is Great Cardio

(Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
Swimming requires a lot of energy and burns a lot of calories thanks to the fact that, when you swim, you need to move your whole body instead of just your legs or your arms. Swimming works your body and heart the same way any cardio workout, such as dancing or running would. So if you take up swimming for fitness, you will work your heart and boost your metabolism at the same time. To get the most out of swimming, it’s best to carry out interval training where you do high-intensity sprint swimming alternated with easier workouts. This way you’ll push your body hard - but not too hard, and boost your metabolism for a longer period of time.

2. Swimming Is Great For Strength Training

Not only is swimming good for a cardio workout, swimming challenges muscles all over your body and is great for increasing overall body strength. The water resistance you face while swimming forces your muscles to work harder - just like traditional forms of strength training. You’ll be able to gain some muscle and tone up your body at the same time. Swimming is also widely used as therapy to strengthen injured muscles in athletes since the water resistance provides a good workout without adding stress to the injured body parts.

3. Swimming Is Great For Everybody!

The great thing about swimming is that everybody can do it and enjoy it. It's suitable for every age group and fitness level; you can decide how hard to push yourself when you swim. Elderly people can benefit from swimming as the water provides support and cushioning so that they can stay fit without worrying about injuring their back or joints. It’s also a great activity for you to do with your family: you can have fun together and stay healthy at the same time! If you bring little kids along to the pool or beach, though, be sure to always keep an eye on them to prevent any accidents.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

[Video] 9-Minute Morning Wake Up Workout

Start off your morning the right way with this gentle workout which gets you moving and helps you wake up and get ready for the day!

Some research has found that working out in the morning can boost your energy, improve your mood, and increase productivity throughout your entire day.

This workout uses Pilates principles to improve flexibility, get your blood moving, and warm up your muscles in preparation for your day. (You can also use this short workout as a cool down session after a more strenuous workout.)

If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, start with this flowing and energizing workout, and see what a difference it makes in your day!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Does Exercising In The Morning Make You More Productive?

It is no big secret that exercise, proper nutrition, getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of water throughout the day is a proven recipe for health. Regarding exercise, is there a particular time of day when working out or staying physically active will deliver greater rewards? The answer to that question seems to be "yes", and the time you should be exercising is in the morning (which is why we usually post our weekly workouts on Thursday morning).

When you are productive in any area of your life, you enjoy less stress and anxiety, more happiness and a sense of fulfillment, and more success. To boost your productivity, get active more often. Jogging, taking a walk, lifting weights, cycling, and performing yoga or Pilates will give you more energy than if you are sedentary, which will naturally lead to better productivity. When you schedule that exercise in the morning, you supercharge that productivity.

Here's how it works.

(Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
Exercise in the morning means fewer scheduling conflicts. You never miss a workout when you wake up early, and you don't have to push other responsibilities aside to make sure you get a workout in. This means after your morning workout, your entire day can be focused on productively knocking out your to-do list and daily responsibilities.

Waking up is hard for a lot of people. You're one of them if you're sluggishly getting through the morning and heading to work without much energy. Exercise fires up your endorphins and cranks up your energy levels. Enjoying even just 20 minutes of physical activity in the morning can lead to energy reserves to fuel a productive day.

Early-morning fitness means a spike in your metabolism. So when you have a mid-morning snack and lunch while you are working throughout the day, you effectively burn more calories. This means you're less likely to suffer a mid-afternoon energy crash. Moderately intense to intense physical activity also wakes up your brain. So you start the day with a clear head, improving your chances of keeping ahead of your workload and responsibilities all day long.

As far as motivation goes, getting your workout in early gives you a boost of self-esteem. You have barely begun your day, and you have already accomplished something important. Success can build upon itself. The feel-good hormones that exercise releases make you feel good about yourself for exercising in the morning, a time when it may be tough to think about physical activity. This successful early-morning achievement develops the proper mindset to attack subsequent goals and commitments with a lot of productive energy and positive feelings.

Be sure to check back here each Thursday morning for a free workout to get your motivated and start your day off on the right foot!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

[Video] Cool Down & Stretch Routine

As we discussed on Tuesday, flexibility and stretching are an important part of your fitness routine - or at least, they should be!

Stretching after a workout can help prevent soreness, cool down your muscles, and finish off your workout on the right foot.

This stretch routine can also be done anytime you are feeling tight and need to improve your flexibility. If you're feeling extra tired and can't handle a strenuous workout, why not do this one instead? It will help to relax you, relieve stress, and improve flexibility and posture.

These are active stretches, so you will be moving fluidly from one movement into another at a slow pace to help your muscles relax and lengthen. You will do 8 repetitions of 9 different flexibility exercises. 

No equipment is required, though you may want a yoga mat for some of the exercises.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

4 Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

Many people practice both cardio and strength training routines as part of their fitness plan, but fail to include exercises that would increase their flexibility. Not only does being more flexible benefit you in the gym by lessening your risk of an injury and increasing joint range of motion, it also helps you in your daily life, such as allowing you to easily bend over and tie your shoes.

Stretching is one of the best ways to get back or increase flexibility. There are two types of stretching – static and dynamic. Your fitness routine will generally dictate when each type is performed. Generally speaking, static exercises are done after a workout as a cool down, where dynamic exercises are done after a warm-up but before a workout to get you loosened up. With either type of stretching, you don’t want to stretch cold muscles, as this can lead to an injury.

Static Stretches

In this type of stretching, a muscle is slowly stretched and then held in the stretched position for several seconds before relaxing. If done properly, there is a low risk of injury, making it one of the safest forms of stretching.

(Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
A popular upper body muscle group to stretch is the shoulder. To perform the shoulder stretch seated or standing:
  • Hold your right arm parallel with the ground and across the front of your chest.
  • With your left arm grab your right arm just above the elbow and pull the stretched arm.
  • Pull gently until you just start to feel the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then release.
  • Repeat with the other arm.
A great lower body static stretch is the butterfly groin stretch. To start, sit on the floor with your back straight: 
  • With the soles of your feet together, grasp your ankles and pull both of your feet towards your body; allow your knees to come up and out to the side.
  • While still grasping your ankles, gently push your knees down towards the floor.
  • You will feel the stretch along the inside of your thighs and groin.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
Dynamic Stretches

Dynamic stretching is stretching while in motion. The muscles that will be used in the upcoming workout are stretched, but are not held in the stretched position as they would be with static stretching.

One great stretching exercise for the lower body is forward lunges. To start:
  • Keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and look straight forward.
  • Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Ensure your front knee is centered over your ankle; your other knee should not touch the floor. 
  • Push back with your front leg to the starting position. 
  • Do 5 to 10 repetitions and then switch legs.
(Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
To increase the flexibility in your back, do some side bends:
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms straight in the air.
  • Without moving your lower body, slowly alternate bending laterally to your left, back up and to the right as far as possible. 
  • Do 5 to 20 repetitions in each direction.
Stretching is an important part of your fitness routine. Not only does it complete your fitness plan, but increased flexibility makes many everyday life tasks easier.

Check back Thursday for a great stretching routine to try!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

[Video] Outdoor Workout - No Equipment Required

Walking, jogging, or running are all great ways to work out outdoors, but there are plenty of other exercises you can do outside as well. If you have access to a playground or park, you can often use equipment there (benches, monkey bars, etc.) as workout equipment - use it as your own outdoor gym!

But if not, there are lots of other things you can do without any equipment at all. Yoga and Tai Chi are great relaxing workouts to do in the great outdoors.

Or you can do a number of free form exercises like those in the video below, including lunges, pushups, and more.

This workout does include a short warmup and cool down, and requires no equipment at all, so you really can do it anywhere - even on the beach during summer vacation - so you have no excuse not to work out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Why You Should Consider Exercising Outdoors

Exercising outdoors brings with it a whole host of advantages, along with some disadvantages. Depending on where you live, exercising outdoors may not be an option during some parts of the year. In the Northern Plains and Northeast of the United States, you have bitter cold and snow in the winter that prevents you from exercising outdoors. In the desert Southwest, the extreme heat in the summer has the same effect.

However if you walk or run, you’ll get a better workout if you exercise outside because:
  • Your ankles flex differently due to the varied surface, so you use more and different muscles.
  • You use different muscles going downhill, something you can’t do on a treadmill.
  • You’ll burn more calories due to air resistance. Expect a 2% to 10% increase in the amount of effort expended. 
  • Your frame of mind will be better.
Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
While the first three are physical advantages, the last one is psychological. Virtually every study performed has shown that those who exercise outside scored higher on tests that measured vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after walking outside when compared to groups walking indoors. Plus on a sunny day, you get your Vitamin D!

Known as the sunshine vitamin, health benefits derived from getting Vitamin D naturally include:
  • Preventing cancer – recent research suggests Vitamin D slows the growth and progression of cancer cells.
  • Reducing hormonal problems – Vitamin D influences how certain hormones, such as insulin, rennin, serotonin and estrogen react thus improving blood pressure, diabetes, depression and sleep, while reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.  
  • Combating obesity – Vitamin D deficiency can interfere with the hormone leptin, which is what tells the brain you are full and should stop eating. People deficient in Vitamin D are twice as likely to be overweight.
  • Reducing inflammation – Vitamin D strengthens your autoimmune system, thus reducing the risk of the body attacking itself as it does with diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
And you can save money by exercising outdoors! You don’t need a gym membership which initially saves you money, but that is only the beginning – you save even more money by not burning fuel in your car to get to and from the gym.

You can exercise anywhere. There are very few places where you can’t walk or run, making it the almost perfect exercise when traveling for business or pleasure. Just be sure to pack a pair of walking, running or cross trainer shoes and your workout clothes.

With the availability of sidewalk, trails and paths, plus the obvious health benefits and savings, you have no excuse to not exercise outside. Just lace up your shoes and get going!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

[Video] Plateau-Busting Strength Training Workout

This tough, intense workout is designed for those who have hit a fitness plateau, and need some help busting through it to their next level of fitness. This is a challenging workout, so be sure you are in good enough shape to attempt it!

You will need to add a warmup and cool down on your own, and you will need some equipment for this workout, although it doesn't have to be expensive. You will need some hand weights or kettle bells of different weight levels, an equalizer, bars or a couple of sturdy chairs, and a step.

The format of this workout is a little bit different, as you will always be one exercise behind the instructor. Each exercise is done for 40 seconds, with 10 seconds in between, for just 12 minutes total - but you sure will feel like you worked out for an hour!

Now, let's bust that plateau!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

6 Subtle Signs That Your Fitness Is Improving

Sometimes it can be tough to stay motivated and on track with your workout plans. You see the perfect bodies at the gym. In the checkout line at the supermarket the fitness magazines show impossibly toned and ripped cover men and women. You look in the mirror and don't see much, if any, results of all your hard work. So it's understandable if once in a while you think about throwing in the towel and giving up on getting in shape.

But guess what?
(Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

You may be stronger and more fit than you think! Changes taking place inside you may be paying off your exercise efforts. The outward results might just be subtle, instead of noticeable.

Did you know that when you hit a "plateau" in your fitness efforts, your body is actually resetting itself to a new, fitter version of "normal"? If you just push through it and keep going, you will begin seeing improvements soon!

The following are not-so-obvious signs that your workouts are working, and that visual proof of a stronger, leaner, fitter you is just around the corner!

1. You Are Sleeping Better

Weird, huh? Most people do not connect better sleep habits with being fit. The truth is when you build muscle and burn fat, you sleep better. So if your sleep has improved, you are probably on the right physical fitness track.

2. You Don't Need Your Usual Cup(s) of Coffee in the Morning

This is connected to the healthy sleep cycle that fitness creates. When you work out during the day, your body repairs at night. You sleep better and wake refreshed, not always needing the usual amount of morning java.

3. You Can Stand without Having to Shift Your Weight
Here's an interesting one... Can you stand through a short meeting without switching your weight from one foot to the other? Do you effortlessly stand in line at the grocer or DMV? These are subtle signs that you have improved your functional strength and flexibility.

4. You Can Keep up With Your Kids

Kids seem to have endless energy. A lot of parents start exercising to be able to spend more time with their children. If you notice you can keep up with your kids better than before, that's a sign your hard work is paying off.

5. Your Friends Notice Health Improvements

"Have you been working out?" When you hear this, it means the improvements are noticeable. You stand a little taller. Your posture improves, along with your self-confidence. You walk with a lighter step. You may not notice gradual but positive changes that come as a result of exercising, but your friends, family and co-workers will let you know.

6. You Find That You Are Mentally Sharper

Exercise fires off "feel good" endorphins and other chemicals in your brain. Physical exertion also makes your mind clearer and more focused. Have you noticed you are mentally more capable than usual? Exercise could be the cause.

If you're noticing any of the above signs, this means you're on the right track! Don't give up! Stick with your fitness plan, and you will soon be seeing more obvious results of all your hard work.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

[Video] Fun Family Workout With Little Kids

These workout ideas are great for families with little kids - the kids will have a ton of fun crawling, running, jumping, and balancing, while you get a great workout!

It doesn't need to take long - just a few simple exercises will have you burning when you add the weight of the kids to the equation, as shown in this video. This mom and dad do a great job of showing how fun it can be to get fit while enjoying your kids!

It's also a great way to set a good example for your kids by teaching them that exercise can be fun and enjoyable.

If you're a busy parent with small children, you will definitely want to check this one out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to Achieve Physical Fitness for the Whole Family

When your entire family is working together towards a common goal, no matter what it is, your chance of success improves dramatically. The old joke asks, "How do you eat an elephant?" The answer is, "One bite at a time." When your family is also focused on helping you eat the elephant, a seemingly impossible task gets accomplished in a much shorter time.

While eating an elephant is certainly an unenviable and impossible sounding chore, it is often times just as difficult for a family in today's society to remain active, stay fit and keep healthy. Processed and fast foods are everywhere, teens and adults are more sedentary than at any other time in humankind's history, and mobile Internet technology has everyone's face stuck in a smartphone or PC display.

That is why it is more important than ever to take certain proven steps towards becoming a more physically fit family. And actually, in many ways, the family dynamic can make physical fitness and better health easier to achieve as a team than it is on the individual level. Children are already conditioned to receiving direction from their parents, and parents are consistently and consciously striving to set the best example. This creates some easy-to-follow steps towards family physical fitness which will increase your overall chance of success.

Assign a Coach

All teams need a coach or manager who leads the actions of the group. Someone in your family needs to direct the physical fitness activities of your "team". This works most effectively when it is mom or dad, and remember that the coach should set realistic but challenging goals. The family fitness coach should hand out schedules, provide input and motivation, and then follow-up on performances.

Schedule Family Fitness Outings

(Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
The different ages and fitness levels of your family members will dictate that not everyone can lift the same weight, run the same distance or swim the same length. However, team activities like hiking are excellent for overall body health, hiking is doable by everyone, and it also allows the family to bond. Schedule family fitness outings which get you and your children away from computers and fast food, and you will find your family growing closer together while also becoming more physically fit.

Incorporate Nutrition As Well As Exercise

It is well known that exercise and nutrition form the two most important components for physical fitness and health. Exercise is great, and as little as 30 minutes per day can deliver a significant health benefit. But correct diet and nutrition is important as well, meaning more fruits and vegetables, less fried and fast foods, more preparing your own meals and enjoying them as a family, and less artificial drinks and sodas.

Hold An Accountability & Rewards Night

To help achieve your family's physical fitness goals, schedule one night a week where all members of the family enjoy a "rewards meal", openly discuss their successes and failures of the previous week, and motivate each other for the week to come.

Especially with the children in a family, hard work delivering an enjoyable reward like pizza night and positive affirmations from other family members will go a long way to guaranteeing compliance in future fitness activities.

These are just a few of the simple and inexpensive ways even the busiest family can create a physical fitness attitude that is looked upon positively by all family members.

Try to schedule exercising and workouts at the same time and on the same days whenever you can, to instill a sense of order and repetition. Always reward yourself, your spouse and your children with positive input when it is earned, remember that everyone falls and stumbles from time to time, and the chance of success for your family's physical fitness plan will improve dramatically.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

[Video] Belly Fat Burning High Intensity Interval Training Workout

If you want to burn belly fat fast, forget about crunches. What you need is high-intensity interval training, which will help your body burn fat faster and more efficiently, revealing those abs that you've worked so hard on!

This short workout only takes 15 minutes of your time, yet it will help kick your fat-burning metabolism into high gear, burning more fat even when your workout is done.

This is a pure bodyweight workout, so it requires no equipment, and can be done just about anywhere. The workout consists of 3 sets of each exercise, and each exercise is done for 20 seconds at a time, with 10 seconds of active rest between each exercise, so you can't get bored, and you will be done before you know it!

Please note that this workout does not include a warmup or a cool-down, so you will need to add those on your own.

Ready to get those abs show-off-worthy? Let's work out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The 2 Real Ways to Lose Belly Fat

While many “diet and exercise programs” would lead you to believe you can reduce belly fat by doing sit-ups, the cold hard truth is that you can’t. Reducing fat in just the abdominal area is touted as spot reducing, but the body does not work that way. The only way to lose belly fat is to reduce your overall body fat. In the process, a certain amount of fat lost will come from your abdominal area.

Body fat is your body’s “rainy day account”. During the good times when food is plentiful, we store fat so we have an excess supply to use as energy during the lean times. Unfortunately in many people, the belly is one of the first places fat gets stored.

The Value of Abdominal Exercises

As noted, doing sit-ups does no good as far as losing belly fat, but core and abdominal exercises do have benefits. A strong core means better posture and less potential for back problems. A strength training routine performed a couple times a week will greatly improve your ab strength and define your abs. After all, you want your “six-pack” to shine through once you lose your belly fat, right?

We know that to lose a pound of weight per week, you have to burn more calories than you consume - 3,500 to be exact. We also know there are really only two ways to have a calorie deficit, working out and eating foods lower in calories (or a combination of both which actually works the best).

1. Working Out
(Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

To burn the maximum amount of fat, two things have to happen. One, you have to increase your heart rate by performing a warm-up routine so your muscles are getting the maximum amount of oxygen. Two, you have to exercise your body as hard as possible (while monitoring your target heart rate) by doing intense workouts, preferably of varying length. Short, intense workouts should be alternated with rest periods. This type of "interval cardio" workout will achieve maximum calorie burn, and boost your metabolism for ongoing fat loss. Be sure to vary the type and tempo of exercise that you do as well, to avoid the dreaded "plateau" effect.

(Image courtesy of KEK064 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
2. Eating Fewer Calories

Not all calories are created equal. Your focus should be on eating food low in processed fats, sugar, and carbohydrates, but high in fiber and quality protein. Such broad choices include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, seafood, beans and grass-fed meats to name a few.  And don’t forget to add in some of the good fats - the poly and monounsaturated fats. These come from olive oil, fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, nuts and avocados. 

By lowering your overall body fat percentage, some of your loss will be belly fat. Keep it up, and you will be well on your way to that coveted "six-pack"!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

[Video] Total Body Toning Functional Strength Training Workout

Functional fitness is all about strengthening key areas of the body that help you to perform everyday activities without injury. If you've ever reached into your car for a bag of groceries and had a back spasm, or stretched up to get something off a shelf and tweaked your shoulder, you know how easy it can be to injure yourself if your body isn't fit and strong.

Performing regular exercise and stretching can help keep your muscles flexible and prevent injury, but it's also important to keep your muscles strong and toned, so they will be able to handle unexpected demands such as shoveling snow, wrestling with the grandkids, or having a water balloon fight in the back yard!

This workout will take you through a series of exercises designed to strengthen and tone key areas of the body, while taking your body through its entire range of motion to loosen tight muscles and increase flexibility. Many of the exercises mimic common daily movements such as climbing stairs, reaching down to pick something up, or squatting. There is also a focus on core muscles, which are important for maintaining spine stability and keeping your whole body in alignment. This is a bodyweight workout, so you can do it at home, and no equipment is required. All you need is a mat or folded blanket.

Stay in shape and enjoy your life without pain by building a fit, strong body!

Here's the workout (you will need to do a brief warmup first, as the video does not include one):

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What Is Functional Fitness & How Can It Benefit You?

Functional fitness can be thought of as working out for "real-life" situations. You prepare your body to allow you to do the normal things that you do, day in and day out. This is the reason that most people want to be fit in the first place. Not everyone wants to exercise so they can run marathons and compete in weightlifting tournaments. Most people just want to be strong and healthy enough to live their life and go about their daily routine.

The Mayo Clinic, a globally recognized health authority, defines functional fitness as:

"Exercises that train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by stimulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability."

You will see that the Mayo Clinic mentions core stability. Your core group of muscles include several muscle groups. Their number one job is to protect your spine. They are also vital for proper balance and mobility. Functional fitness exercises often target your core, since a healthy core is so important for performing everyday tasks.

How Can Functional Fitness Benefit You?

Why do you want to be stronger and healthier? Think about your answers to that question. If you live to exercise, functional fitness is probably not all that interesting to you. However, if you just want to become fit so you can effortlessly play with your kids or grandchildren, unload your groceries or enjoy a walk with a friend without getting tired and worn down, functional fitness is ideally suited to your goals.

A simple squat is an example of a functional exercise that works multiple muscle groups. It also mimics daily movements that you make, such as getting out of a chair or squatting down to pick something up off of the floor. Lunges, standing bicep curls and simple step-ups with weights are a few other types of functional exercises. Kettle bells and dumbbells can be used to accentuate your functional exercise routine, but are not required.

Body weight exercises which require no weights are excellent examples of functional exercises. A search for "functional exercises" on YouTube will give you some free video training about exactly how to perform these body strengthening, health enhancing maneuvers - and of course check this blog regularly, as we often share great bodyweight workouts for free! There are also books and DVDs available at online retail outlets like Amazon.com which deliver the everyday benefits of functional exercise.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

[Video] Scientific 7-Minute Bodyweight Workout

Looking for an easy way to get in shape and stay fit? Science says you don't have to work out for hours, buy pricey exercise equipment, or get a gym membership to achieve your fitness goals. In fact, you can get a great workout in under 10 minutes - without any equipment at all!

This quick bodyweight workout provides cardio, strength training, and great fat-burning results using 12 super-effective exercises, in less than 10 minutes. The only "equipment" you will need is a sturdy chair or a step to work out your whole body.

Please note that this workout does not include a warmup or cool-down, so you will want to add those on your own. Don't let your busy life keep you from being fit and healthy! Add quick workouts like this into your daily routine, and you'll be well on your way to a fit, healthy body.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

3 Tips for a Fit, Healthy Lifestyle

Survey a hundred people and most of them will tell you their goal for exercising is to lose weight. And while that is an admirable goal, it actually shouldn’t be the primary one. A goal from exercising that would serve them better overall (and one where they will lose weight in the process) should be living a healthy lifestyle!

Getting to a healthy lifestyle has three components to it: strength training, cardio and diet.

Strength Training

Strength training is not about burning calories immediately, but over the long term. Strength training builds muscle and inherently the more muscle one has, the more calories burned just at rest. Three pounds of additional muscle burns an additional 120 calories per day. But the calorie burn is only part of the results. Because of the additional muscle (we are not talking much additional mass, but more of a firming and toning) you will look leaner and with that leaner look, you will feel better about yourself.

Cardio Training

(Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
Cardio training is where you get the most amount of calories burned. There are a number of cardio exercises that burn a respectable number of calories from a 30-minute workout. From a low of walking at 180 calories to a high of step aerobics at 400 calories, cycling, swimming, racquetball, rock climbing, skiing, running, elliptical trainer and rowing all fall somewhere in-between.


You have probably heard the old adage “You can out-exercise a bad diet.” It is true and this is why diet has to be part of a healthy lifestyle. Regardless of how much you exercise, if you eat unhealthy, you won’t lose weight.

A healthy diet should be low in unhealthy fats (e.g. processed vegetable oils), sugar and salt, yet have some healthy fat as the body needs some fat to be healthy. A good diet consists mainly of fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains, grass-fed meats and wild fish. Many vegetables are negative in nature meaning it takes more calories to process them than they have in them in the first place.

Most of us know to lose a pound of weight per week, we have to burn 3,500 more calories than we take in. That breaks down into 500 calories per day. By adding muscle through strength training, burning calories through cardio and watching what we eat, a 500-calories-per-day reduction is easy to achieve.

Living a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk for many of the unhealthy lifestyle-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and a shortened life span. With a combination of strength and cardio training and a healthy diet, losing weight will come naturally and doesn’t have to be your single focus.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

[Video] 10-Minute Total Body Strength Training Workout for Beginners

As we discussed on Tuesday, strength training is a great way to not only increase strength and flexibility and help prevent injury, but also to increase your body's fat-burning potential! Building muscle means boosting your metabolism, helping you burn more fat throughout the day - not just during your workout.

This short strength training workout is great for beginners, or those who are starting at low fitness level. All you need is 10 minutes to start getting fit!

The workout includes two sets of 5 strength-building exercises. You will do each exercise for 1 minute, and the second set includes an extra challenge for those who are feeling up to it. Need more? Just repeat the workout again!

Now let's get strong, and burn some fat!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

3 Important Ways That Strength Training Helps Burn Fat

A vast majority of women who exercise regularly do not do it to enhance their flexibility, increase strength, or build muscle. They do it to keep their body fat percentage low. But what exactly is the best and most efficient way for women to lose weight? Is it spending as many hours as possible on the treadmill? Running for miles up a hilly terrain? Or could it be engaging in High Intensity Interval Training during your workouts?

While these 3 methods are effective in their own ways, there’s a secret fat loss weapon that many women are yet to discover - weight training, which also increases strength. Yes, lifting weights is the best way to go if you want to lose weight permanently and in the fastest way possible. But how does it work? Well, here’s a look at how lifting weights leads to significant loss of weight.

It Burns Calories Continuously
(Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

The secret to losing weight is burning more calories than you eat. When the body stays in a calorie-deprived state for long, it starts burning through its own tissue for fuel. Weightlifting helps your body remain at a constant calorie-deprived state by initiating the burning of calories during and long after your workout routine.

Lifting gives you a great burn during exercise where a routine as simple and short as a circuit of eight moves can burn 160 to over 200 calories. Additionally, studies show that a well-designed weightlifting routine can elevate your metabolism by up to 39 hours after the workout. This is because after a weightlifting routine, muscles need energy to repair their fibers, which they get by burning calories. The heavier the weights you lift, the higher and longer your metabolism rate gets elevated.

It Triggers More Fat Loss

Most long-form cardio activity only burns calories during workouts, which means you do not get to burn fat when not exercising. With weightlifting, however, you burn a great deal of calories during and after your workouts. This translates to more fat burned between sets as well as during the workout itself.

It Increases Muscle

It’s no secret that weight lifting results in a direct increase in muscle mass. This is why many women steer clear from this form of training due to fear of developing a man-like muscular physique. What most women do not know, however, is that the more muscle you have to contract, the more calories you burn.

So, if you have a large percentage of muscle mass in your body, you end up burning more calories when you engage in any form of physical activity (be it lifting dumbbells, doing squats, or even the simple act of walking) than someone with low muscle percentage.

Whether you have struggled with weight loss for a while or simply want to tone up fast, strength training can help. Just make sure to avoid overdoing it and include a proper diet and aerobic training in the mix. This way, you’ll avoid injury and enjoy more profound and lasting results.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

[Video] 10-Minute Fat Burning Ab Workout

If you're looking to get rid of some of that extra flab around your middle this summer, this quick workout will hit the spot (the muffin top/love handle spot, that is)!

This 10-minute workout targets the abs, along with fat-burning cardio intervals, to help you both lose fat, and tone your midriff at the same time. This is a pure bodyweight workout, so no equipment is required, and you can do it just about anywhere, so you have no excuse for not showing off your tummy this summer!

You will do 1 minute of each exercise, with 10 seconds of rest between each set. Please note that this workout does not include a warmup and cool down, so you will want to do those on your own.

Got 10 minutes? Let's burn some fat!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

8 Hot Tips for Flushing Body Fat This Summer

As the weather is heating up, it is time to start thinking about swimsuit season! For many, that means it is crunch time when it comes to getting rid of some targeted fat deposits that you have stored up from the long winter. No worries, however; here are eight body fat flushing tips and techniques that can help you shape up for summer.

1. Hydrate

(Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
The number one rule for flushing body fat is keeping hydrated. No matter how many tips or techniques you use from this list or others, drinking plenty of fluids, mainly water, is your key to staying healthy and successfully flushing the fat from your body. In fact, proper hydration alone can help you flush a lot of fat and toxins out of your body.

2. Cleanse

There are a lot of marketed cleanses that are either sold or homemade. One of the most popular is a drink made with water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Some of these cleanses have very effective marketing strategies, but make sure that you talk to your doctor before you try any new exercise program, cleanse, or other diet-related trial.

3. Juice

A great way to get lots of vitamins and nutrients while effectively flushing body fat in a healthy way is to get a juicer. Juicing lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is a great and delicious way to get all the good stuff you need in the easiest way possible. Not only are you putting lots of good stuff in your body, but drinking lots of fresh juice will help get your bowels moving so you are literally cleaning out your colon.

4. Detox

There are many ways to detox, but the main idea of detoxing is to promote a clean and healthy diet without processed foods. While removing these foods from your diet, you also are cleansing your body of the remaining toxins that are left over from these foods. Many people, for example, use a cleanse like the one mentioned before or do a juice fast for a day or more to detox their bodies from the sodium, sugar, and chemicals that are abundant in processed foods.

5. Go Raw

A truly great and very effective way to cleanse, detox, and flush fat from your body is to start eating raw. Specifically, this means only eating raw fruits and vegetables. Some people choose to do this 100% of the time, while others eat raw except for one meal of the day - usually dinner. Eating raw vegan is a safe and effective way to flush body fat, as long as you make sure you are paying attention to eating enough calories per day.

(Image courtesy of start08 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
6. Fiber Fix

Getting plenty of fiber is another way to get the bowels moving and flush fat directly from your system. A healthy metabolism often depends on lots of fiber-rich foods like apples, leafy greens, and whole grains. These foods are practically a toothbrush for your insides, loosening up all of that extra stuff that needs to come out.

7. Superfoods

Eating a diet that is rich in antioxidant-packed foods is another great way to supplement your diet and exercise program to help flush body fat. Foods like fresh blueberries, leafy greens, pomegranate, and nuts are all considered “superfoods” because of all of the vitamins and nutrients that are packed into each and every bite.

8. Work It Out

Of course, one of the best ways to flush fat from your body is to get your body moving. Exercise does more than just tone your muscles; it helps keep your bowels healthy and regular, and keeps your blood pumping, cleansing out toxins and excess fat. Exercise is a very important part of any healthy lifestyle, and is especially important if you want to do some fat flushing.

These fat flushing tips and techniques will help you get to looking your best this summer. Remember to speak to your doctor about any decisions you make about diet and exercise, to make sure that you are making the healthiest choices for you. Good overall health, of course, is the most important thing you need to look great this summer!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

[Video] 20-Minute Yoga for Flexibility

If you have trouble with stiffness or tightness in your muscles, if you want to improve your flexibility, or if you just sit a lot at work, this is a wonderfully gentle and effective yoga stretching routine that will improve flexibility, increase energy, and help you feel better all over!

It's also great for a relaxing cool-down after a more strenuous workout, or for winding down at the end of the day.

This gentle and flowing routine will stretch and strengthen your entire body, and it's simple enough for beginners, but still effective for more advanced yoga practitioners. All you need is a mat or folded blanket.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Importance of Stretching for Flexibility

When people consider their diet and exercise regimen and how they can improve it, they very rarely consider the benefits of simple stretching. Stretching can help you increase your balance, strength, and flexibility - all of which are important for maintaining fitness and avoiding injury. Stretching for flexibility is beneficial in all aspects of your active life.

Why You Shouldn't Overlook Stretching
Stretching has so many benefits. At all levels, there are stretches that can be done to help increase your flexibility and strength, and even your balance. This can help you avoid injuries, feel limber, and give you more range of motion and energy.

How Stretching and Flexibility Helps Your Workouts
Stretching your muscles is a great way to prepare them for workouts of any kind, and is also a great way to cool down from a workout. Stretching before and after workouts helps work out lactic acid, prevents injury, and helps you feel less sore. Not to mention that the added flexibility will help you get the most out of your workouts. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.

Great Stretches for Flexibility

(Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
* Behind the Head Elbow Stretch - In either a sitting or standing position, simply reach one arm behind your head. Using the opposite arm, grab your elbow and press to increase the stretch. Hold the stretch and repeat on the opposite side.

* Lunge Stretches - Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Step out wide with one foot, and then bend that knee, bringing the back leg down against the ground. Get as close to the ground as you can, trying to touch your shin to the ground. Hold this pose and then repeat on the opposite leg.

* Seated Twists - Sit on the ground with your feet out in front of you and then twist your torso to one side. Then bring your arms around to help pull your torso into a good twist. Hold this pose and then repeat on the opposite side. You can also do a second variation of this stretch with your legs folded “criss-cross”.

* Folding Stretch - Stand up straight with your feet just slightly apart. Keeping your posture straight, bend at the waist and try to hug your knees. If you are not quite at that level, just try to touch your toes or use blocks or the bottom stair to stretch as far as possible. Don't force it - just hold the pose and let your body stretch naturally.

* Butterflies - Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Bring your legs in and touch the bottoms of your feet together, knees bent outward. Keeping your knees as flat on the ground as possible, grab your feet and try to bring them closer to your body. Without straining yourself, bounce your knees up and down a bit.

* Yoga Poses - There are a huge amount of yoga poses that are aimed specifically at increasing your flexibility. Two of these poses are called “baby cobra” and “downward facing dog”.

* Baby Cobra - Lie face down on the ground with your arms near your head, palms on the ground. Use your hands to push the top portion of your body off the ground, curving your spine backwards and looking up to the sky.

* Downward Facing Dog - Start in push-up position, and then push your hips up, folding your body in half so your bottom is up in the air and your head and arms are down. Your heels should be flat on the ground, stretching your entire body. If you can't get your heels flat on the ground with your knees straight, straighten your knees and let your heels lift up. Gradually work on getting your heels closer to the ground.

Stretching for flexibility will help you will all facets of your healthy lifestyle and exercise regimen. These stretches alone will be beneficial for your whole body and daily life, and when paired with your exercise routine will make a huge difference in your overall fitness and health.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

[Video] 10 Minute Bodyweight Upper Body Workout

If you think you need to either spend hours at the gym, or buy expensive weights or a whole bunch of equipment to build strong muscles, think again! In fact, strength training can easily be done at home without any equipment at all. This workout is a great example.

Many women struggle with upper body strength, but it's important for a fit, healthy body, and for avoiding injury. Don't worry that you are going to end up looking like a bodybuilder - it's simply not true! And you don't need to spend hours working out to achieve a fit, strong, healthy body.

Try this quick 10-minute upper body workout and see how easy it can be to get fit at home, with no equipment required!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How to Build Muscle Without Bulking Up

Most people correlate building more muscle with getting bigger or “bulky”, but the two are different. What many women desire is achieving a more toned look – one where muscles are defined, but not significantly larger. In many cases, this just involves reducing body fat to let the muscles show through. In other cases, it may involve strengthening the muscles for a more defined look.

Building Muscle

(Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
Building muscle comes from lifting weights, something many women shy away from thinking they will bulk up. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you lift weights, tiny micro-tears occur in the muscle. When these tears are repaired by the body the muscle becomes a little bit stronger and larger. But in women the muscle will not get too large due to the reduced amount of testosterone in their system. That difference is why men bulk up and women do not.

Another misconception many people have is that lifting heavy weights builds larger muscles. Generally speaking, the amount of weight you lift does not define how large a muscle will get. The point is to get the benefit from lifting, you have to bring the muscle to “failure” – the point where you cannot lift the weight one more repetition. Lifting heavier weights just gets you to failure faster.

Reducing Body Fat

If you want to show off your newly defined muscles, you will also want to get rid of much of the fat covering the muscles you are trying to build. You could have great muscle definition, but if you have a layer of fat covering them, who is going to see them?

So while weight lifting or strength training at least two days per week should be part of your exercise plan, the other three days should be cardio training – some form of cardio activity to burn more calories than you take in.

Running, swimming, jogging, bicycling, tennis, racquetball, along with many other sports, all qualify. Keep in mind that you have to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat in a week to lose one pound of weight.

Healthy Eating

Finally the last part of the equation is eating healthy. It is harder to burn more calories than you eat if the majority of food you are eating is fast and processed food. Concentrate on eating:

•    Lean meat
•    Fruits and vegetables
•    Whole grain (sparingly)
•    Good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, or animal fats from grass-fed animals (corn fed animals contain more unhealthy fats)

By eating right and doing a mix of both cardio and strength training, you can build muscle without bulking up and get the muscle definition that you have always wanted.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

[Video] Fun, No-Boredom Fat-Burning Cardio Workout

If you get bored easily during a workout, we've got a cure for you today!  This full workout takes less than 30 minutes, and includes tons of different fun, fat-burning cardio exercises. Each exercise is done for 1 minute, with a 15 second rest in between.

The workout includes a warm up and cool down, so this is all you need to do for a great workout. No equipment necessary, so you can do it at home or just about anywhere. Low impact versions of each exercise are provided if you need them.

Regardless of your fitness level or workout experience, you should be able to do this one, and it will help get your heart pumping, your muscles warm, and your metabolism burning those calories!

Let's jump right in, and before you know it, your workout will be done!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

2 Simple Ways to Really Lose Belly Fat

Let’s be honest, losing belly fat (also known as visceral fat) is hard to do, but not impossible. But if it’s so difficult, why would anyone even try to get rid of it? Why not just give up and live with it?

Because having an excess amount of visceral fat - the type of fat found deep in the abdominal cavity - is unhealthy and can lead to a whole host of diseases - many of which can be life-threatening. If you are a women with a waist measurement in excess of 35 inches, or 40 inches for men, you have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, bone density loss, insulin resistance (leading to Type 2 diabetes) and even some types of cancer!

So how can you get rid of this stubborn and dangerous form of fat?

How to Lose Belly Fat

There are two basic tips that can help you get it done.

1. Exercise (Of a Certain Kind)

(Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
There are many products and methods that tout themselves as being the Holy Grail when it comes to losing belly fat, but the fact of the matter is most of them don't work. Instead put that money into a gym membership. The only real way to lose belly fat is to burn more calories than you eat! Period.

Fortunately when you start to lose fat, belly fat is one of the first to go. But to set the record straight, there isn’t a program that specifically targets belly fat - the body just doesn’t work that way.

For best results, do short but high intensity cardio-style workouts four times per week. Add in a couple days of strength training per week (with one day off) and you have half of a recipe for losing belly fat and body fat in general.

The other half is....

Healthy Food Choices

You can only burn off so many calories per week working out. If you make bad food choices, both in the type and amount of food you eat, you will not create a calorie deficit and lose belly fat.

One tactic in portion control is eating on a smaller plate. This works by tricking the brain into thinking you ate more than you really did. So when it sees your plate empty, it thinks you are full.

(Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
The food you eat should be healthy. Focus on eating foods low in calories, but high in protein and fiber, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. These foods keep you fuller longer without adding in a ton of calories.

Also, whatever you do, avoid sugar! At first it gives you a lot of energy, but your body quickly metabolizes it by dumping insulin (usually too much) in your bloodstream. Once the sugar is gone, you “crash” from low blood sugar. So what do you do? Eat more sugar. This yo-yo effect eventually causes insulin resistance leading to Type 2 diabetes - and that spare tire around your waist...

So as unglamorous as it may sound, it really comes down to a combination of exercise and healthy food choices as the way to belly fat loss. Eating healthy food prevents you from consuming empty calories that have no nutritional value and exercising burns off calories.

If you burn off more calories than you take in, you’ll lose belly fat. It really is that simple, but not necessarily easy. 

We try to make it easier by providing short, effective workouts here every week, so be sure to check back Thursday for a great belly fat-blasting cardio workout to add to your workout regimen!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

[Video] 8-Minute Full Body Workout For Toning & Fat Loss

This workout will quickly tone your entire body and help you burn fat and lose weight fast - in less than 8 minutes.

According to some research, high-intensity interval workouts of as little as 7 minutes are effective in helping you burn fat and calories, increase muscle strength, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This workout follows the interval training format, with 30 seconds of each exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Modifications for each exercise are shown if needed. Be sure to pay attention to the instructions for proper form given with each exercise to maximize your results and minimize risk of injury.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

6 Simple Exercises to Help You Lose Weight Faster

It is a well-known fact that we can lose weight faster when we work out regularly, and there are some workouts that can make the process even faster. While some people chase “super fast” weight loss pipe dreams with fad diets, others choose the smart and effective path of a healthy diet and regular exercise to lose the weight and keep it off.

While there are days in which you feel excited about heading to the gym and engaging in challenging workouts with your friends, other times may not want to do so, and you’d rather be by yourself and work out in your own living room.

The good news is that you can lose weight fast by working out at home. So, whenever you don’t feel like going to the gym, the following home workouts will help you build your muscles and lose weight in the privacy of your own home.

Six 3-Minute Fat Burning Exercises

The following exercises are very effective in building your muscles and helping you lose weight, especially if you have a busy schedule. If you practice these exercises daily, you will lose weight and get your body in shape fast.

You will need a comfortable mat, a towel, and a skipping rope. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself before and after your workout. Let’s get started.

Upside-Down Pipe Exercise (Downward Dog) – 30 Seconds

This exercise lasts for 30 seconds. It is extremely effective in shaping your abs.

1.  Place your hands on the mat and balance on your hands and your toes in plank position.
2.    Stretch your legs next to your body. Next, pull the legs away from your hands, stretching them backward, and pressing your behind towards the ceiling into an upside-down "V" shape.
3.   Hold this exercise for 30 seconds. It will strengthen your abs, arms, and back.

Leg-Lift Exercise – 30 seconds

This exercise focuses mainly on shaping your legs, tights, and abs.

1.    Lie down on your back on the mat and squeeze your legs together.
2.    Next, lift left your legs to 90 degrees, keeping them squeezed tightly together, until your body forms an "L" shape.
3.    As you bring your legs back to the initial position, stretch them away from you, keeping your abs down and tight.
4.    Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds.

Squats Exercise – 30 seconds
Squats are always included in cardio exercises because they aim not only at toning your thighs but also at shaping your entire figure.

1.    For this exercise, keep your legs apart and bend your knees deeply as you squat back into your heels. Be sure to keep your knees from going forward over your toes to prevent knee injury.

2.  For an added challenge, try jumping as you go back to the initial standing position.

This exercise will also improve your cardiovascular health, and tone your legs.

Mat Abs Exercise – 30 seconds

This exercise is great for shaping your abs and thighs.

1.    For this mat exercise, you need to lie down on your stomach on the mat.
2.    Next, raise your hands, chest, and legs off the mat while trying to maintain your balance on your torso and keep from wobbling.
3.    Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.

Bicycle Knee Exercise – 30 seconds

The greatest thing about this exercise is that it shapes your entire body, while focusing especially on reducing your arm and abdominal fat.

1.    Lie down on the ground and raise yourself onto your hands and knees. This is the initial starting position.
2.   Lift your left knee and pull it up so it touches your left elbow.
3.   Do the same with the right knee and right elbow. Alternate for 30 seconds. 

Rope-Skipping Exercise – 30 seconds
This exercise is accessible to everybody and is more effective than you might think while at the same time being fun.

Skipping exercises are the perfect solution for shaping your legs, working your abs, improving balance and coordination, and getting a highly effective cardio fat burning workout.

Skip in place as long as your fitness level will allow. Start slow so you can learn to coordinate your skips with the jump rope. Keep your body straight and abs tight during the exercise.

As you get more fit keep adding more time to each jump rope session and increase your speed. 

Do one set of each of these for a quick 3-minute energy boost, or 3 sets for a quick but effective workout in less than 10 minutes!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

[Video] 4-Minute Fat-Burning Tabata Workout

Think you can't burn fat in 4 minutes? Think again!  With intense, challenging, Tabata training, you can train your body to burn fat all day - even after your (4-minute) workout is done.

In case you're not familiar with Tabata, it is an extra-intense form of high-intensity interval training in which each exercise is always done for 20 seconds at maximum intensity, with 10 seconds of rest in between each interval of exertion.

As with other forms of high-intensity interval training, it can include a wide variety of exercises, including burpees, push ups, jumping jacks, lunges, squats, and more. It may or may not include weights of some kind, but is often done like the one below, as a pure bodyweight workout.

You need absolutely no equipment for this workout, and it can be done anywhere, so let's get our workout done in 4 minutes!

Get More Great Tabata Workouts:


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tabata Training for Fat Burning

Tired of being overweight? Sick of not being able to wear the clothes you want to wear?  Ready to change? One good way to burn fat and build lean muscle is by using the 4 minute Tabata Workout.

The Tabata Game Plan:

You’re going to do twenty seconds—yes, I said twenty seconds—of really, really, really intense aerobic exercise. Then you’re going to stop and do nothing at all for all of ten seconds.

Then you’re going to do your exercising again, and keep it ramped up to the ultimate level—for all of twenty seconds. Then you get ten seconds to get back to feeling like a human again. And then you’ll be doing that maximum intensity stuff again, for twenty more seconds, and when the timer gets off, you catch your breath—for exactly ten.

Keep on with this rhythm, until you’ve done 8 rounds of twenty-second bursts of fat torching radically intense exercise.

Creating The Anaerobic State

In the past, fitness experts have advocated the “fat burning zone,” which, basically equates to 1 hour of steady cardio, such as on a treadmill or exercise bike.

This slow methodical cardio process had become old news since science has shown that intense work intervals followed by short rest periods is what facilitates what is known as the anaerobic state, and this exact state is what allows for the most fat burning.

Anaerobic literally means “without oxygen,” where you will be gasping for breath, and often feel like you are unable to catch your breath. This is the ideal zone for fat burning, increasing endurance and stamina and strength training for the muscles. In the Anaerobic state the body begins to use fat for energy instead of carbs, which are typically what is used in long, steady-state endurance exercise.

HIIT is one of the most well-known and widely used protocols to create this anaerobic state, though, Kettlebell training does it as well. But, Tabata really takes it up a few notches and includes some of the most gut wrenching, breath catching moves with the shortest workout time that results in maximum fat loss, extreme metabolism boost and consequent calorie burning for hours after the workout is over.

EPOC And Metabolism

The practice of alternating short recovery periods with maximum effort allows the body to push itself beyond its perceived threshold, and that initiates a chemical response and neuro-endocrine reaction.

Elevating the metabolic rate is the key to burning body fat! Contrary to what so many people focus on, the goal is not so much the calories or fat burned during the workout, but, what is burned continuously after the workout.

And the only way to use fat as energy during the workout is with intense intervals that raise the resting metabolic rate. During very intense bursts the heart rate soars and as you struggle and gasp for air you will naturally react by taking in more oxygen in the rest periods and this extra oxygen is what will raise the metabolic rate. This process is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

Tabata is the fastest and shortest workout option to create EPOC, and the anaerobic state, which, is so effective at torching body fat.

Choosing The Right Moves For Tabata

What exercise you choose to do will depend on your personal physical state and what you’re comfortable with. The type of exercise you do for a Tabata session has to be one that you are very familiar with, and very good at.

Still, if you’re not good at any exercise, don’t worry. You can teach yourself anything. What you’ll have to do is to do some mock-up Tabata sessions at a more normal level, just to get yourself used to the way it works.

Form is very important in body weight exercises, and if you start by trying to go fast, or aim for too much intensity outside of your fitness level, you’ll lose out in form and the exercise will be of little value - and you may even injure yourself.


One good exercise to use with the Tabata protocol is burpees—they’ll give you a full-body workout with no extra equipment.

1.    You start out standing straight and tall, hands stretched over your head.

2.    Then get down into a squat, hands down on the floor, and from there go into a plank. 

3.    Go down all the way, like the lower side of a push up; push yourself up, then jump back up to the squatting position and back up to standing. 

4.    Then one quick jump up, and you’re ready to begin again.

Here's what it looks like: 
If you haven’t done burpees before, or it’s been a long time since you’ve done them, start by just doing four or five of them slowly, keeping good form. Tomorrow do ten, and the day after that, fifteen.

When you feel comfortable with the rhythm of this exercise and can do it pretty fluently you’re ready to incorporate it in an all-fire intense Tabata workout.

There are many other moves that can be done, some of which are simpler, and some are more completed. Even jumping jacks and sit ups can work in Tabata when they are executed in fast and continuous reps for the full 20 seconds.


You’ll need a stopwatch or some way of measuring seconds. A free Tabata app on your smartphone—there are several to choose from—is an easy way of getting it done.

When the counter starts, start doing burpees as if your life depended upon it, as if there was an atomic bomb about to go off and blow you and your loved ones to bits if you did any less than the maximum number.

When twenty seconds are up, stop. Wait ten seconds, and then go at your fastest, most intense pace again for twenty more seconds.

When you’ve done eight twenty-second sessions you’ll have completed your fat-torching Tabata workout routine - and you'll continue burning fat all day!