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 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

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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
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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

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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.

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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.