This week, much of the country was in the grip of the Polar Vortex, which is really just meteorologic hyperbole for, “frigid circulating winds that escaped from the North Pole.” If Today Show weatherman, Al Roker has calmed down, we can all calm down. In fact, now that the weather is back to plain ole cold and snow, we say, “Get outside and get your cold-weather workout awwwn.”
During the winter it’s tempting to bundle under a warm blanket and reach for a bag of Cheetos. Don’t do it. Grab your snow boots and your mittens! We’re going to show you 9 ways you can burn major calories in the snow without having to pay for pricey equipment or ski rental fees.
Walk – The added resistance of the snow helps tone and firm muscles.
Snowball Fight – Squat to pick up and form snowball before launching at your target.
Shovel the Driveway – Just remember to stretch first, use proper form and take breaks.
Sledding – Choose a steep hill so the walk up burns more calories. Then, hop on your sled, throw your hands up and yell, “WEEE” all the way down.
Snow Parkour – Go for a jog but don’t gingerly side-step snow piles, instead, leap over, around, and if the snow is packed, jump right on top.
Exercise trends typically come and go but some fitness fads have real staying power. Here are some of the most popular fitness trends from 2013 and a look at what trends we expect to see more of in 2014:
The Best of 2013
1. CrossFit: There’s little doubt that CrossFit dominated the fitness scene in 2013. The number of CrossFit gyms continued to grow exponentially and the numbers of participants registering for that CrossFit Games more than doubled. I predict that CrossFit’s popularity will continue to rise in 2014, despite its (many) critics.
If you’re clothes are feeling a little tighter today, you are certainly not alone. Christmas is a time for family and feasting, and we understand if you subjected yourself to some holiday binging. However, the overeating you did yesterday doesn’t have to completely derail your health. In fact, according to a new study published in The Journal of Physiology, the adverse effects of binge eating can be solved by continuing to exercise.
Studies taking place before this one showed that even just a couple of days of consuming more calories than you burn negatively impacts health. The energy imbalance this creates can have a major impact.
The new study shows that daily exercise, even if it’s for a short amount of time, can greatly improve your health even if you ate thousands more calories than you burn.
Last night on the The Biggest Loser, an unlucky roll of the die put Jillian’s White Team in jeopardy for the second week in a row, and Fernanda took the fall. We spoke to her about her short time on the ranch, what Dr. H. had to say about her overall health, and how much weight she’s lost since the elimination.
Nobody likes week 2 on The Biggest Loser ranch. Some even talk about the week 2 curse. Fernanda isn’t superstitious but wishes she’d had one more week to show what she could do. “Now that I’ve been home, my weight loss fluctuates high one week, then low the next,” she explained. “One week I’ll lose 10 pounds, the next week I’ll lose 2. Everybody’s body is different.”
During the first week, Fernanda lost an encouraging 12 pounds but at last night’s weigh-in, the scale only budged by two pounds.
This may be the second episode of Season 15, but Fernanda is actually the first contestant eliminated. In a new season twist, trainers are allowed to save one eliminated contestant and Jillian used hers right out of the gate on Craig, the warehouse supervisor from North Carolina. We asked Fernanda how she felt about Craig receiving the save. “I was totally fine with it,” she replied. “I was so concerned about working hard to save the team in case my number came up that I didn’t think about it. He deserves to be here. I was happy for him.”
by Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com
Six No-Cost Workout Items
Think you need a pricey gym membership or fancy gear or gadgets to get a good workout? Think again. You can work your muscles and challenge your cardio using things you already have around your home or office. Check out these six household, office or everyday items that can double as workout equipment:
1. Stapler/Tape Dispenser
Use these office staples as weights to do arm exercises, including a lat raise: Stand straight up and let your arms hang at your sides. Slowly lift your arms up and straight out from your sides, stopping when your hands reach shoulder height (your arms will form a “T” with your body). Slowly lower your arms back down and repeat 10 to 15 times.
2. A Kitchen Drawer
Strengthen arms with a cabinet curl, a move similar to a bicep curl, using an open (and sturdy) kitchen drawer. To learn how, click here.
3. Your Desk
Lean against it to perform a standing pushup. To do it, put your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the desk so your thumb is under the desk and your fingers are on top. Walk your feet back away from the desk about two feet to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Keep your core tight and your head in a neutral position. Lower your body toward the desk, then push back up to start. You can do it every time you stand up from your desk, or do a set of 10.
In the new book, Fit & Healthy Pregnancy: How To Stay Strong and In Shape for You and Your Baby, authors Kristina Pinto, EdD, along with Rachel Kramer, MD have created a fitness and wellness guide based on the notion that a fit mama is a happy mama. Laid out in easy-to-read chapters based on each trimester of pregnancy and beyond, the book takes a comprehensive look at a woman’s changing body, the nutrients it needs and a multitude of exercise tips to keep it strong and healthy.
In the not-so-distant past, once a woman found out she was pregnant, she was relegated to nine months of sedentary activity. Even doctors believed that a woman with-child was a delicate flower who needed constant rest. Thankfully, health professionals are now encouraging mothers to walk, run and move, as long as they listen to their body’s cues for adjusting activity. This is the “guiding principle” of Fit & Healthy. The authors provide a wealth of information, but each woman is different and may need to tweak their individual routine accordingly.
Feeling a little itchy this summer? Then you may be one of the estimated 20 percent of people who are extra attractive to mosquitoes. The attraction can be temporary, based on the color of clothing you’re wearing, or a more long-term relationship because of blood type and genetics. Or the mosquitoes could be attracted to you for a completely different reason, your exercise habits.
Studies have shown that mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and body heat. What happens after exercising strenuously? You sweat and have a higher overall body temperature. Mosquitoes are able to detect heat, which makes anyone who has a higher body temperature than those around them a prime target for biting. Combining higher body temperature with the extra sweat you produce when exercising can turn you into an insect buffet. Sweating is how your body temperature is regulated, which helps cool you down during and after a workout. Unfortunately, even though your temperature may be dropping, the sweat you’re producing will still summon mosquitoes. They are attracted to certain chemicals in sweat, as well as lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
People wanting to get the most out of their workouts have been asking for some time when the best time of day to exercise is. They wonder if waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise is better than fitting your fitness in right before bed. According to celebrity nutritionist and fitness trainer Diana Le Dean, when you exercise might not matter.
A recent article in the New York Times suggests that it may not be best for people to exercise right before going to bed. Le Dean feels that could be true for some individuals, but not for others. She said that the time of exercise is dependent on personal preference, and jokes that’s the reason gyms are open so many hours.
“Exercising before bed could cause people to find it difficult to sleep. It could also help you sleep very well by decompressing work from the day,” Le Dean said. She said that she personally prefers to exercise before bed because it allows her to “let out frustrations and worries.” (more…)
Everybody wants to be fit, but let’s face it; making a commitment to an exercise program can be a mega time-zapper. The good news is, if you learn to exercise smarter you can still get amazing results in a very short amount of time. If you commit to a well-designed circuit-style workout that overloads all of your major muscles, works large muscle groups with compound movements and keeps your heart rate elevated the entire time then you can get fit, lean and strong exercising just 30 minutes, three days a week.
If weight loss is a concern, as long as you keep moving quickly from one exercise to the next to keep your heart rate elevated you don’t need to run a single lap or put in any extra cardio time either. That’s because hormonal changes occur with circuit-style resistance exercises that create a fat-burning environment (1). For the best weight loss results you will of course also need to watch what you eat. A “clean cuisine” style diet is your best bet for healthy, long-term weight loss.
As for picking the best exercises, I prefer a “full fitness fusion” approach that fuses a variety of exercise disciplines and focuses on full body moves rather than isolation exercises. If you want to get fit fast you will get much better quicker results doing compound exercises like push-ups as opposed to an isolation exercise like biceps curls. As with anything, the smarter you work the less time you need to spend and the better your results will be.