Biggest Losers Alison Sweeney’s Favorite Ab Moves: Fitness Friday

Need some abdominal workout inspiration? Alison Sweeney has worked hard to get back in camera-ready shape after giving birth to her two kids (Ben, 8, and Megan, 4). But despite her trim physique, Sweeney, 36—The Biggest Loser host, Days of Our Lives star, and author (her first novel, The Star Attraction, debuts next month)—has battled her share of body insecurities, especially when it comes to her abs. “I remember when my stomach muscles lost the fight against my pregnancy weight, and I’ve been self-conscious of my stomach ever since,” she says.

These days, however, the busy, multitasking mom no longer feels the need to hide her abs. While part of her newly found confidence is due to good old-fashioned exercise and healthy eating—she works out four or five times a week and fuels her body with nutrient-rich whole foods—the biggest change has been a mental one.

Sweeney took a break from her busy schedule to share her top tips for learning to love, appreciate, and be kind to your core.

 

Read more on at Prevention:  http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/alison-sweeneys-belly-confidence-tips#ixzz2OrdQEjw6

Photos courtesy of Prevention magazine

Fitness Friday: Burn More Calories Trail Running

Need some new ways to blast calories? Since it’s warmer outside, head to the trails. Try some of these three fun, fast-paced trail routines designed by Vindum and Nikki Kimball, three-time winner of the prestigious Western States 100-mile endurance race. I love all of three trail running suggestions.

1. Circuit Play
Why: Mixing walking, running, sprinting, and strength work transforms a hike into a full-body workout.

How: As you move along the trail, vary your pace: Go easy for two minutes, pick it up a bit for five, then sprint or speed-walk hard for 15 to 60 seconds. Recover at a slow pace until your breathing returns to normal. Then launch into a strength move (pushups and triceps dips on a log, calf raises on a rock, squats with one foot propped up on a rock) for 60 to 90 seconds. That’s one cycle. Do four to six cycles, switching up the strength moves and your speeds throughout your workout.

2. Cardio Hill Blast
Why: Running and hiking uphill increases your leg strength and improves your cardiovascular fitness while also torching fat—win, win, win! For each degree of incline, count on at least a 10 percent increase in calories burned, according to New York City nutrition and metabolism expert Jana Klauer, M.D., author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan: The No-Fail Prescription for Energy, Vitality & Weight Loss. So running up a 5 percent grade (a gentle hill) will burn 50 percent more calories than running on a totally flat surface for the same amount of time.

How: Run up gradual hills at a strong but comfortable pace (you’re breathing hard, but you can still say a few words). Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed and down. On steep grades, switch to a quick walk, using medium to long strides. If the route you take has only one or two hills, do repeats: Run or walk the hill, jog back down, then take the climb again. Aim for four to eight total hill climbs.

3. Power Up, Race Down
Why: When you do squats, lunges, and other strength moves uphill, and then run downhill, you’ll get a balanced lower-body workout. The uphill exercises target the glutes, calves, and inner and outer thighs, while downhill running works your quads. Bonus: Doing strength moves on an incline requires more energy, so you’ll burn more calories, and managing uneven ground as you descend improves balance and coordination.

How: When you get to a hill, work in a few strength moves. Then run down the other side (or the same side). If the climb is long enough, perform 20 reps of each exercise on the way up.

Read more of this story at Women’s Health