Looking for new, fresh advice on getting fit? I have 10 awesome fitness shortcuts that will help you get fit and lean even faster.
1. Jump to it
Rather than plod through a slow warm-up jog, kick off your routine with 20 jumping jacks, says trainer Larysa DiDio, founder of PFX Fitness in Pleasantville, New York. In less than a minute, these simple but explosive old-school moves activate your upper-and lower-body muscles and quickly raise your heart rate and body temperature to prime you for your workout. Another reason to keep it short: A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that lengthy warm-ups can fatigue you, compromising your true workout.
2. Start Strong
People who pushed themselves in the first half of a workout and eased up during the second half burned 23 percent more fat than those who did the opposite, according to a study from the College of New Jersey. The study also found that a period of moderate-intensity exercise prior to a milder one can elicit greater fat oxidation while making the overall workout feel less stressful. One more reason to get the hard part out of the way.
3. Hit the Right Notes
Music moves you to burn more calories in less time by spurring you to crank up—and keep up—the effort. But not just any playlist will do (sorry, Adele). To increase workout intensity, listen to songs with a tempo of 125 to 140 beats per minute and lively lyrics, says Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., author of Inside Sport Psychology, who has studied music’s impact on exercise for 20 years. His picks: “Moves Like Jagger,” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera (128 bpm), “The Time (Dirty Bit),” by The Black Eyed Peas (128 bpm), and “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny),” by A. R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger (137 bpm).
4. Defy Gravity
Sculpting a perkier posterior may be as simple as hoisting heavier weights. The challenge to your muscles builds lean muscle faster, which is the secret to a tighter, lifted backside, says trainer Rachel Cosgrove, WH fitness contributor and author of The Female Body Breakthrough. Plus, it’s a stellar metabolism booster: Research shows you can burn nearly twice as many calories in the two hours after lifting heavier weights.
5. Join the Workout of the Month Club
When you stop seeing results, your first instinct may be to stay on the treadmill or elliptical longer. But tacking on extra minutes won’t rescue you from a plateau. What will: switching up your routine every 28 days—before you have a chance to stagnate. “It takes four to six weeks for your body to adapt to a workout,” says Cosgrove. “Once it becomes efficient at it, you use less energy and burn fewer calories and fat.” The good news is, you don’t need to completely overhaul your fitness routine every month, says Cosgrove. Even simple tweaks—say, adding a few hills to your daily run—can make the difference.
6. Lose your Balance
Multitasking is a useful skill at work—and during a workout. “Do upper-body strength training—biceps curls, overhead presses—on an unstable surface, such as a BOSU, a balance board, or even a couch cushion at home,” says DiDio. “You’ll use your core to stabilize yourself and keep from falling, so you’ll strengthen and tone your midsection while you work other muscle groups.”
7. Intensity Your Cardio
Slow and steady doesn’t win the race to hotness. Women who did 20 minutes of cycling sprint intervals lost three times as much fat in 15 weeks as those who cycled for twice as long at an even pace, according to research from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), in which you alternate between short bursts of intense exercise and recovery breaks, is one of the best—and most time-saving—ways to turn your body into a fat-burning machine, says Cosgrove.
8. Speed Lift
Do reps to a count of one second up, one second down. Researchers at Anderson and Ball State universities found that exercisers who performed a weight-lifting workout at a quick, explosive pace expended 70 more calories, on average, than those who did the workout at a normal pace.
9. Inch Up Your Incline
All it takes to torch 15 percent more calories on the treadmill? Adding a little incline, about 6 percent, to your usually flat run or walk, says DiDio. The higher the ramp, the more calories burned at any speed—without tacking a single minute on to your workout.
10. Make a Smartswap
Trade one of your weekly cardio workouts for a strength-training session to see more waist-whittling results. In a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one group of dieters lifted three times a week and another did aerobic exercise for the same amount of time. Both groups consumed the same number of calories, and both shed the same amount of weight (26 pounds). But those who pumped iron dropped 100 percent fat, whereas the cardio group lost 92 percent fat and 8 percent muscle. Why this matters: Muscle incinerates calories even when you’re not working out. If you replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle, you’ll burn an extra 25 to 50 calories a day even when you don’t break a sweat.
Want more? See this link at Women’s Health Magazine
Photo credit by Munetaka Tokuyama
I had the best time this past weekend at Food Blog Forum in Orlando, Florida in Walt Disney World. I was so fortunate to get to share a round table speaking with the amazingly talented, humble and genuine, Angie of Bakerella. We spoke on “Writing a Cookbook From Two Perspectives” to four different groups.
Food Blog Forum was founded by Jaden and Scott Hair of Steamy Kitchen and Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple. This one day conference is always so inspiring (this was my 3rd event), and this is the most wonderful, sharing, open and welcoming group of speakers and food bloggers. I must give a shout out to the fantastic staff at Walt Disney World for their incredible hospitality and generosity as well as to Julie, from The Little Kitchen, and Dawn Viola for coordinating this event. One the big themes of the weekend which spoke to me is: “Dream big and share your dream with others” via the man himself, Walt Disney.
Of course, there was food to be had at a “Food Blog Conference.” We had the most incredible parties, including Friday night by the beach at the Grand Floridian, lunch by a multitude of top Disney’s chefs (see above), and a wonderful Irish dessert party while watching fireworks in Epcot on Saint Patrick’s Day.
I met so many new fabulous food bloggers, and I had the pleasure to connect with old friends as well. (See Kelly, from “Just a Taste”, and me at Epcot, above).
I also had the chance to check out some of the best Disney attractions. The Epcot “International Flower and Garden Festival” (above) was this month. It was unreal!
This shot (above) from Animal Kingdom is the mountain of Expedition Everest. Doesn’t this look like I could actually be at Mount Everest?
We went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride (above) in Animal Kingdom, and we saw so many rare, beautiful animals. I can’t believe how close this giraffe got to our jeep.
Downtown Disney is always a blast. You never know what you might find in Disney World. Did I mention that my kids came along as well? They haven’t been there in seven years, so it was quite a treat. My son, Zachary, was a little timid of her (above).
My daughter, Leigh, (above) told me she wanted a picture with Mickey and Minnie. Honestly I wasn’t sure that it would be possible, but if there is a will, there is a way.
We loved staying at the convenient, and very, fun Polynesian Resort. Their beach (above) was so pretty, and their water slide in the pool was a hit with the kids. It’s a perfect way to spend time outside of the parks for some down-time.
Have you heard of Horizontal Conditioning? My friend, Sandra Koulourides, is the creator of this challenging, body defining workout. She teaches in Birmingham, Alabama, but she has 8 workout DVDS and a monthly Horizontal Club where members get a new workout every month. Check Sandra out and my interview with her below:
1. What is Horizontal Conditioning?
Horizontal Conditioning is a core intense total body workout that uses body weight for resistance. It builds muscular strength and endurance from head to toe, especially in the core. It targets the abdominal area like no other workout. Horizontal Conditioning gives you lean and defined muscles, not bulky ones.
2. Why do you think this type of exercise is so beneficial?
Horizontal works so well because you are holding your body weight up against gravity. This causes the deepest abdominal muscles to become activated, so that you truly are toning your body from the inside out. It pushes you outside of your comfort zone, which is why it works. The results you get from Horizontal are like wearing a corset or “SPANX” all day long. It constricts your middle like nothing else.
3. Can anyone do this exercise?
Horizontal Conditioning is a challenging workout no matter what your fitness level. Beginners need to start with the Getting Started DVD and do it on their knees. As they get stronger, they can progress to their toes and try one of the more advanced dvds. They key is to just take that first step and start. It is hard, and you will feel it, but that is why it works! Keep doing it!
5. What is the best tip to get started?
Horizontal needs to be done 3 times per week for a minimum of 10-20 minutes. The Getting Started series of dvds are all 10-20 minute workouts. Within 5-6 weeks you will see changes in your body, especially your abdominals.
6. What are you best fitness tips?
*Be consistent – you will not see changes if you are not consistent
*Don’t be scared of a challenge – that is how your body changes. You can do so much more than you think you can
*Don’t be a cardio junkie – You gotta have muscle. Muscle gives your body shape and definition. Muscle turns on your metabolism
Big new and exciting announcement…..
I am so looking forward to Saturday. I will be teaching a seminar on “Healthy Eating Habits and Hottest Power Foods” at Pure Barre 280 in Birmingham on February 11th at 11 a.m following their 9:45 a.m class. I can’t wait to share what I know in this incredible workout environment. Thanks to Whole Foods Market for sponsoring this event with me.
Have you heard of Pure Barre? This super cool workout has been sweeping the nation in the past few years. I always heard it was “tough”, “a great workout”, “fun,” and now, after a couple classes under my belt, I can see why (and I’m sore :)).
Pure Barre is fastest, most effective way to change your body. It is a total body workout which utilizes the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to great music. The workout lifts your seat, tones your thighs, flattens your abs and burns fat in record breaking time. They say, “If you do 10 classes in 3 weeks, amazing things will start to happen to your body.” Here are 5 things I love it about it.
1. It strengthens the muscles and then lengthens them right back out to create a long, lean look rather than bulk and mass.
2. It is a safe way to workout- there is no impact so no jarring to the joints and knees.
3. The class sizes are kept small to ensure personal attention to form and technique. PB teachers teach rather than instruct.
4. Pure Barre is solely devoted to the Pure Barre technique whereas a gym has to spread itsʼ resources amongst all of itsʼ programs.
5. The teachers undergo intense and continuous training.
We hear it all the time-“Drink more water!” “Stay Hydrated” But WHY? I am so excited to have a guest post by Crystal Springs of Alabama on this topic. Read on…
It all boils down to one word: Dehydration. We all know that dehydration means our bodies aren’t getting the amounts of fluids they need – we’re not replenishing what we’ve used. The effects of dehydration may surprise you though, and get you to pay attention to the old “eight glass” rule.
Depending on several variables, like weight and activity level, it takes about 60 to 80 ounces of water (7.5 to 10 cups) to replace the fluid the body naturally loses in one day. Water makes each organ in your body run the way it’s supposed to. Think of water in your body as gas for your car (just, not as thick or smelly, hopefully).
The health benefits of drinking plenty of water can’t be denied. Drinking enough water each day can lead to:
Fewer headaches. Ever get a mild to moderate ache in your cranium that Tylenol just won’t fix? It could be due to a lack of water in your system. Drink up to feel better!
More energy. When you have enough water working in all the systems of your body, your body functions better and you have more energy.
Better skin. Healing blemishes or reducing wrinkles from the inside out is a natural way to look better.
Better breath. Ever been around someone with a raging case of halitosis? It’s not pleasant. Ensure your breath is at its best by drinking enough water daily.
Weight loss. Having a glass or two of water before meals can help fill your tummy with liquid volume, actually helping you eat less, according to Today.