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6 Ways to Turn Spring Cleaning into a Full-Body Workout

clean

 

We’ve made it through the long winter and spring is finally here and in full swing! ‘Tis the season for baseball, sunny days, green things growing and everyone’s favorite activity: spring cleaning! Since free time is something that most of us don’t have an abundance of, it’s good to know that you can easily multitask while engaging in your spring cleaning chores. According to My Fitness Pal heavy cleaning can burn up to 250 calories per hour, making it a worthwhile fitness activity. And, by adding in just a few simple moves to your cleaning routine, you can burn even more!

Here’s six ways to fire up your heart rate, engage your muscles and get a calorie-blasting workout while you get your spring cleaning on:

 

tunes

1. Blast your favorite heart-pumping tunes
Before you start cleaning, make a playlist of music that gets you pumped. Think about songs that you listen to when going for a run or doing a cardio workout at the gym. Music with an upbeat rhythm is more likely to make you not only clean faster, but help you have fun while doing it. Go ahead and blast that music and dance around with that mop or duster (and burn a ton of calories while doing it!). You’ll discover a whole new appreciation for cleaning.


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Q&A: Which Should Come First, Cardio or Resistance?

cardio weights 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably always wondered if there is more of a benefit to lifting before you run, or if the exercises should be performed in the reverse. (Sweat then strength or strength then sweat?) It’s an age old question, but finally, we have an answer.

Well, kind of.

According to a recent study from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, it turns out that the order doesn’t matter all that much. Fitness experts long ago discovered that the combination of cardiovascular exercises along with resistance increases the effectiveness of both exercises, but the order that works best appears to be based on personal preference more than any physiological differences.
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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off a 612-Calorie Margarita

This week I met up with a couple of girlfriends for a welcome home dinner. We went out for healthy Mexican food at Porque No?, one of my favorite restaurants here in Portland. They have tasty fish tacos, homemade tortilla chips, and delish guacamole. They also make a mean margarita. I ordered one, but I got way more than I bargained for—a margarita served in a full-on pint glass. (As in, way bigger than the one below:)

margarita

A pint of margarita means essentially two cocktails in one, at least. Margaritas are already known for being one of the more sugary, calorie-loaded cocktails out there so I knew I was breaking some sort of rule by drinking it. (At least I stopped at one!) When I checked the calorie count for this tequila spiked treat I found that a 3.3 fl oz serving has 153 calories. Not bad, until you factor in that the one I had was around 16 fl oz! Multiply that number by 4 and you’ve got over 600 calories in a glass!

(Too bad they weren’t following our recipe for a Skinny Margarita!

What are a few ways I could have burned off the 612 calories in this big and tasty drink?
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Work Out in the Water! 5 Hot New Reasons to Make a Splash

We all know that swimming is a great, low-impact, full-body workout. But it’s not the only way to get in shape in the water. Over the last few years, traditional strength training, cardio workouts, and even yoga have taken to the water to deliver a form of exercise that is easy on the joints and effective at toning and strengthening the muscles. Sure, there’s water aerobics. But there are also a handful of other fitness styles that have taken the plunge into the pool, creating an entirely new experience for some of your favorite group exercises classes. 

aqua cycling

Here’s an introduction to five popular group fitness classes that you wouldn’t expect to take place in a pool:

Aqua Zumba

Aqua Zumba adds a fun challenge to one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. The concept and moves are the same as in a  traditional Zumba class, but the extra resistance created by pushing against the water adds a great strength-training element to the workout. The class is held in shallow water (about chest height for the average participant) and the instructor is positioned near the ledge of the pool (so that everyone can see her movements and follow instruction). Aqua Zumba is described as a fun pool party- where you don’t even realize that you get a great workout.


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Running to Lose Weight: Rules to Remember

running

We’ve all heard it, “The only way I lose weight is when I run.” Although it’s true that running is a very effective way to lose weight, there are some golden rules to follow for those using running as a weight loss tool. While these rules are directed primarily to first time runners or those returning to run after a year or longer hiatus from it, several of them still apply to all runners looking to shed a few by pounding the pavement.

1) Define your running goal, not just your weight loss goal. What this means is be more specific than saying you want to start running in order to lose ten pounds. Instead, clearly state how much running you want to be able to do (how many times a week, for how long, the type of workouts) and how long you expect it to take to get there. For example, “I am running 4 times a week for at least 3 miles each run by July 1, 2014.” Next, define how you will get there, such as “I build up my runs each week with a run/walk program.”


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