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Get the Biggest Bang for your Workout Minutes, Even if You Only Have a Few

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people strive to stick to each year is to exercise more. It’s also the one that most people tend to give up on before January is even over, often saying, “I just don’t have enough time.” The truth is, you have time for anything that you make a priority. Our lives are super busy with work, school, kids, etc., but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find at least a few minutes each day to focus on improving your fitness level. After all, any of exercise is better than nothing.

forearm plank

Here’s a list of the best bang for your buck in the amount of time that you have to exercise:

Got 4 minutes?

Try a Tabata workout. The idea behind the Tabata method is to work at your maximum level for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This pattern is repeated continuously eight times for a total of four minutes of training. If you’re doing more than one Tababta drill, take one minute to rest between exercises. I would recommend doing a total of no more than six sets total, since you’ll be working at such a high level of intensity. If you only have time for one Tabata, consider doing an exercise like burpees, which is more demanding and works muscles throughout the entire body.


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A Quick, Full-Body Workout is as Simple as a Roll of the Dice

The key to keeping up with an exercise routine for so many of us is having variety in our workouts. Doing the same workout routine every single day can get pretty boring and cause us to throw in the towel all together. I love to mix up my workouts. Changing things up constantly ensures that I work a variety of muscle groups and that I keep those muscles confused. Doing the same workout day in and day out will cause your body to adapt and you’ll eventually stop seeing progress. I also find that I actually look forward to my workouts when they vary from day to day.

I’m also a big fan of go anywhere/do anywhere types of exercises. These are the types of workouts that you can do in your living room just as easily as you would in the gym. They’re also great for traveling, as you can perform the exercises right in your hotel room! You can get a killer workout without using any equipment at all—just relying on your body’s own weight.

To satisfy both of these criteria I just created a new mobile workout actually does require some equipment—but it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. All your need are one or two dice!

dice

(Don’t have dice to roll? No problem—here’s a virtual dice roller that you can use!)


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Work it Off: Biscuits and Gravy

When I have visitors to my (new) hometown of Portland, Oregon, they all want to go on the same sort of sightseeing tour—one that focuses on all of the delicious food available. So when my friend Beth arrived last week from Colorado I had all of my hot spots queued up: Pok Pok for its Asian Wings, Salt and Straw for its Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and Olympic Provisions for its killer brunch. But of all of the indulgences we shared, the one I was most worried about burning off was a large plate of biscuits and gravy from Portland’s J&M Cafe.

biscuits and gravy

I did some searching online and found a big range for the calorie count in a serving of biscuits and gravy—estimates were anywhere between 200 and 530 calories. Judging from the flakiness of the biscuits, the size of the serving, and the sausage that was blended into the thick gravy, I’m going to guess the plate I ate was packed with about 450 calories. Eek!

Just how does one burn off a meal of that size? I grabbed a calculator—and the American College of Sports Medicine’s Compendium of Physical Activities—to find out. Here are three ways I could have burned off a 450 calorie breakfast of biscuits and gravy:


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9 Ways To Burn Serious Calories, Just By Playing in the Snow!

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.”

snowshoeing

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 ParkourGo 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.


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The Hottest Fitness Trends of 2013—and a Preview of 2014

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:

Cross-fit

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.


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