Jump-start Your Fitness With These 4 Smart Moves!

Would you like to get started on your New Year’s Resolutions or freshen up your workout routine?
Try these smart moves if you answered yes!

Perform these moves in order (without a break if you can). After exercise 4, take a small break and then repeat the full circuit three times.



Squat Kick: Strengthens thighs, buttocks, calves, and abdomen
A Start in a standing position, holding a light, weighted ball in front of you at chest height. 

B Squat, keeping your weight over your heels. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Engage your abdominal muscles. 

C Stand up and kick one leg in front of you at a 90-degree angle while pushing your arms forward. Return to position B (squat) and repeat with the other leg.
Repetitions: 5–10


Squat With Side Steps: Strengthens back of thighs, buttocks, and core
A Start in a squat position with your hands clasped in front of your chest.

 B Stay in a low squat and take five to 10 steps to the left. Repeat, stepping to the right.
Repetitions: 2–3


Back Lunge and Stand: Strengthens front and back of thighs, buttocks, and core balance
 Start in a standing position.

 B With your left leg, step back into a lunge position. Keep your front knee over your ankle. Return to standing and repeat with the right leg. 

C For a more challenging exercise, as you return to a standing position, bring the leg you lunged with in front of your body, keeping your thigh at waist height and parallel to the ground.
Repetitions: 10


Sitting Twists: Strengthens abdominals and core muscles
 Sit on the ground or on a bench and lean back at a 30- to 45-degree angle, keeping your back straight. Clasp your hands in front of you and engage your abdominals. 

B Smoothly move your hands from one side of your hips to the other. Look straight ahead; do not turn your head to follow your hands. Keep your hips centered; do not round your back.
Repetitions: 10


http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2015/nov-dec/6-moves-for-a-total-body.html , illustrations by David Preiss

Time Management for eating?

Photo from http://imgfave.com/view/4500641

We are always watching what we eat, but studies have come out emphasizing the importance of WHEN we eat.  In order to more easily regulate weight/weight loss, there are two recommendations. One is not to skip breakfast and the other is to avoid eating later at night/late night snacking. Skipping breakfast leads to “increased hunger” (Environmental Nutrition) and can lead to overeating later. When you eat before bed or snack at night, you are less likely to be highly active and burning calories at this time after eating. Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN writes “We live in a culture where the norm tends to be eating the main meal later in the day. But if weight management is the goal, eating more of your calories earlier is certainly worth striving towards.”


Environmental Nutrition offers a well-balanced breakfast recipe:

1 Egg

½ cup dry oat made with 1 cup of nonfat milk

1 cup blueberries

5.3 oz nonfat flavored Greek yogurts

¼ cup walnuts


With this in mind and the recipe as a guideline, we can certainly all start/keep up our efforts to live and lead a healthier us! In a world where we are all too familiar with busy schedules/duties, it is easy to turn to quick, sometimes unhealthier food choices. If we make conscious efforts to rework something as simple as eating at strategic times, the benefits of not only regulating weight but also feeling better knowing the work was put in will lead to a healthier mindset as well!

Benefits of Building Muscle Mass

                Did you know there’s more benefit to building muscle aside from strutting you “stuff” in a tank top? Studies have shown that building muscle mass is critical to lowering one’s vulnerability to metabolic syndrome. These risks factors include stroke and diabetes! The “National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute” reports that such risks increase as results of rise in obesity rates in adults. You often hear of body mass index, here attentions are being drawn to muscle mass. Researchers at the “National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III” conducted studies that pointed to muscle mass contributing to a lower risk of death.

                                The widespread desire for weight loss perhaps may not be the best mindset for older adults to hold. Dr. Arun Karamangla says “In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death.” To think, we have been sucked into the craze of skinny or thin as “beautiful” and “desirable” when muscle mass is what we should be striving for. In essence, rather than striving to lose weight, we should take our extra weight and make it good for us! In turning this body mass into muscle, we can contribute to longer, healthier lives.

                Where a healthy lifestyle is a “lifelong commitment”, perhaps it’s better to view your work outs as an investment to yourself. You are working not only towards a healthier you, but a longer living you! Of course, everyone’s body is different and requires personalized care and training but this refreshing mindset is good for all body types! Building muscle mass will be pleasing not only aesthetically but mentally and physically as well!

3 Secrets for Flat Abs

A toned flat tummy is coveted by many who strive endlessly to achieve it, but endless crunches arent the way to get washboard abs. Its all about how how you train. For most, there are three components that affect the shape of your midsection. Heres how and why each of them matter:


Have Good Genes: Research has shown that genes play a role  in the way our bodies distribute and store fat. So if you are having trouble with belly fat you might have your parents to blame. People with pear-shaped bodies tend to carry fat around the hips and thighs, and less likely to in their midsections. On the other hand, apple shaped people tend to carry fat in their midsections.


Train Smart: While body shape affects the way you carry fat, a good training program will help you achieve the middle you want. With the right balance of cardio and strength training, all body types can get a strong, tight core.

Cardio will help burn fat and calories. Varying the intensity level of your workouts will yield faster results. A high intensity work out helps burn more calories during and after the workout, but dont go too hard, as you want to allow your body to adequately recover and still burn the fat and calories necessary to lose weight.

Strength training will give shape and strength to the muscles that define your abdominal area.  This is what will give you the washboard six-pack abs you desire. A good regimen involves a workout that lasts 15-20 minutes, 2-3 times per week.

Eat Healthier: There is no real secret when it comes to eating for flat abs. You just need to eat healthier and cut down on junk food.  To evaluate your diet, make sure you are eating the right amount of calories. A rigorous workout doesn’t justify over-eating. You can work with a dietitian or use an online calorie calculator to make sure your intake is appropriate. Its also important to make sure you are getting enough protein, scheduling your meals throughout the week is a great way to make sure you are eating healthy.

To get more ab tips check out http://weightloss.about.com/od/StartExercise/f/How-To-Get-Flat-Abs.html

World’s Best Obstacle Race. Period.

The Reebok Spartan Race describes itself as the world’s best obstacle race for good reason.

The Spartan Race is an overarching name that includes several different race options that cater to all different kinds of people. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or an athlete to participate in these races. There is a race as brief as 3 miles for those who like to keep it short and sweet. And it goes all the way up to 12 miles for the well-seasoned athletes. In fact, theres even an option for kids an obstacle course rather than a race. Theres something for everyone if you like to have fun, Spartan Race is for you.

Each course is filled with mud and water and has tons of obstacles that will challenge you and make you stronger, fitter and more confident!

Bring out the warrior in you this summer and participate in a Spartan Race. You won’t regret it you’ll see at the finish line.

Visit spartanracemedia.com for more information and to sign up for a race. You can use the following code for 10% off any race: SPARTANBLOGGER