Take it from AcaciaTV motivation coach Alison Heilig, you don’t have to join a gym to get in shape and lose weight. Heck, you don’t really even need any equipment.
“Every time, we change it up and make a game of it to keep it exciting,” Heilig said of her weekly workouts with her neighborhood running club.
Want to join in on the fun? Lace up your shoes and try this outdoor fitness circuit. After a 5-minute warm up, alternate between 2 to 5 minutes of walking or running and these four fitness moves. Do a 5-minute cool down at the end. Start with one circuit and build up to three!
Find a set of stairs with at least 20 steps and sprint up to the top. Jog down and repeat for a total of 3 sets. If you can’t find a staircase long enough, just do more reps on a shorter set or use a curb, bench, or box to do step-ups for 1-2 minutes. Challenge yourself by taking the steps two at a time. (more…)
Strength training is a progressive thing: as you progress and grow stronger, the intensity and resistance of your exercises will evolve to continue to challenge you and keep those results coming. There are very specific variables that effect how hard an exercise is that you can use to increase that intensity incrementally. You can’t always just add more weight, so here are four other ways to ramp up the results of your body weight workouts.
How to Strength Train Without Weights
Change the angle: The steeper the angle of your body toward your exercising muscles, the harder the exercise will be. Example: elevate your feet during push-ups to make them tougher, or place your hands on a stair to decrease the angle for an easier modification of a standard pushup.
Decrease the stability: Reducing your contact with the floor instantly works more muscles groups to keep you balanced. You can do this by lifting one foot or hand off the ground, or getting off the floor completely with an unstable surface like a bosu, a balance board, or a stability ball. (more…)
We need 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It’s a great goal but it can feel unattainable for many people. If you’re new to exercise, jumping from zero to 30 minutes EVERY DAY can feel as daunting as being asked to run a marathon. This is especially true if you have no idea where to start or what to do for those 30 minutes.
Even for experienced exercisers there are days with back-to-back meetings or when the alarm doesn’t go off – again. Exercise can get pushed off the plate to balance out the daily demands on our time. With the holidays upon us, time for workouts becomes even more precious and scarce then usual. Rookie or pro, we can all fall into the “all or nothing” trap.
By the time I drive to the gym, I’ll just have to turn around and come right back. If I can’t get my whole workout in why even bother?
I can’t walk on the treadmill for FIVE minutes, how am I supposed to do 30? Where am I even going to find 30 minutes in my day?
New Book Preview: What You Can, When You Can
If the “all or nothing” mentality is holding you back from getting your daily workout, I’ve got good news for you. The latest research says our minimum dose of exercise may be lower than we once thought. A recent study in the journal Lancet looked at exercise patterns and life expectancy of over 400,000 men and women. They found that as little as 15 minutes a day provided health benefits and reduced all cause mortality. (more…)
Women often neglect strengthening their arms simply because they don’t know which exercises to do, but building arm strength is important for a number of reasons. A woman with strong arms can help…
1. Prevent osteoporosis
2. Strengthen the spine
3. Improve posture
5 More Reasons Women Should Lift Weights
Plus, who doesn’t love toned arms?! Allow me to take you through my five best arm exercises for women. All you need for this routine is a pair of dumbbells and a few short minutes in your living room, hotel room, or wherever you may have a few spare minutes!
OVERHEAD TRICEPS EXTENSION
— Begin standing with your feet shoulder distance apart.
— Hold a dumbbell with both hands in a heart-shaped grip (it should feel like you’re cradling the dumbbell).
— Bring the dumbbell behind your head, bending your elbows.
— Engage your core and extend your arms straight, reaching the dumbbell overhead.
— Slowly return to the starting position. This is one rep. Complete 8-12 reps. (more…)
There are three benefits to hiring a personal trainer. The first is accountability. Having someone waiting on you helps insure you get to the gym. The second is structure. We have enough to think about, letting someone else put together the workout is a huge time saver. The third is having someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you do the exercises you hate.
Even the most devoted exerciser has at least one exercise they love to hate. We hate it when we’re doing it, but we love the way we feel or look afterwards. I did an informal poll of my clients and came up with the five exercises they love to hate (and why we should all do them anyway).
Burpees (aka squat thrusts): I don’t think one client likes burpees. I like them because they are efficient. If you want to get to your heart rate up and work multiple muscle groups (core, arm, shoulders and quads) then the burpee is the quickest way to do it. A burpee can also be modified for almost every fitness level.
Squats: I get groans every time I mention squats. That means there are a lot of groans because we do some form of a squat at every workout. Squats are a part of daily life (think about every time you get up out of the chair). If you want to stay independent and function for your whole life squats need to be part of your workout routine. (more…)
Getting to the gym on the weekends doesn’t usually happen for me. It’s my time to relax and unwind and the last thing I want to do is get bundled up, make myself presentable and go get sweaty for an hour. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a quick workout before my weekend officially kicks off. This 10-minute arm workout that can be done at home (or anywhere) is my solution for that.
From boxing to yoga to body weight moves, this quick arm toning workout hits almost your entire upper body, including triceps, chest, core, and even your legs. So get into something comfy and breathable, grab a bottle of water to stay hydrated, and let’s get started!
One of the biggest excuses for not working out is the lack of time. By the time you get your gym bag together, drive to the gym, park, walk inside, say hi to your friends, do your workout, and head home again, you’ve taken up a good hour or two of your day. Because I know how valuable each individual’s time is, I developed this quick and easy access workout that can take only 10-30 minutes of your time. You’ll be getting your sweat on for that entire duration, not spending half of it driving.
All you need today is a staircase. It doesn’t matter how many steps it has because you can make do with whatever you’ve got – in your house, front porch, or stadium. Combining these exercises will give you a total body workout. The key to reaching success is to go as long as you can without any breaks (think Crossfit). My suggestion is to do one set of each exercise until you’ve completed all seven and call that round one. Try to do 3-5 rounds all together for the total workout, and only take breaks in between each round. Each exercise should be done for 10-15 reps. Once you feel like you’ve got it all figured out, start timing yourself and try to beat your time as each round progresses. Good luck!
Stair Laps: This one’s pretty self explanatory. We’re going to start with a few stair laps as our warm up to get that heart rate up, the legs stretched out and the blood pumping. For a stair case that is about 20 steps long, do 5 laps (down and back is one). Start off with an easy pace, and then pick it up after each lap. (more…)
Whether it’s a lack of time, energy or cash, there are a million excuses that can get in the way of our staying fit. After all, exercise can be difficult to fit into our busy schedules. But self-proclaimed minimalist and best-selling author Joshua Fields Millburn is calling bluff on all of those excuses and he’s going to tell you why.
Millburn, 31, shares his “minimalist” lifestyle on The Minimalists, a blog he co-authors with longtime friend Ryan Nicodemus.
The pair define minimalism as ‘a shedding of life’s excess in favor of what’s important,’ which allows them to ‘spend less time and money on material possessions and focus instead on health, relationships, and pursuing their passions, among other things.’
Minimalism has affected all areas of Millburn’s life, including his fitness routine. Millburn, who once counted himself as “doughy, flabby and weak” at the age of 28, created a set of simple exercises that require just 18 minutes of his time and yield measurable results. His daily workouts paired with a clean diet have allowed him to shed 70 pounds and be in the best shape of his life.
We spoke with Millburn about how minimalism has affected his view on health and fitness, and how it’s helped propel him toward optimum health. (more…)
It’s January, and you know what that means. It’s diet season and everyone’s out to be successful with their New Year’s Resolutions. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle or to just simply become healthier, it’s easier said than done. For a lot people, getting started is the hardest part. Knowing what to start with may be even more difficult.
For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill, we’ve put together a simple beginners workout that can be done anywhere at any time by using nothing but your own body weight. This is a total body workout that will really get your heart beating, the blood flowing and the muscles working. But don’t worry, it’s definitely bearable. The last thing we want to do is discourage you on the first workout!
This workout is divided into four sections. You’ll start with a type of cardiovascular exercise to get your heart rate up and follow it (without rest) with a strength training exercise. Between each section, rest for one to two minutes. Practice this every day for your first week and see if you can work your way up to doing the workout multiple times in a row.
Beginners Guide to Resistance Training
Saturday Morning Drills: Post-Workout Stressing
Absolute Beginners Fitness: 3 in 1 Kettlebell
If you’ve got 15 minutes, you’ve got time to do this quick-yet-intense full body workout. The easiest part about it besides it requiring no equipment is that each exercise is completed a total of 15 times. This means that once you learn the moves, you can get straight to it, counting 15 reps all the way.
We integrate simple moves like high knees and jumping jacks with more challenging exercises like split squat jumps and push ups with a leg raise to get your heart rate pumping and add some serious tone to your figure. Get through the exercises as many time as you can in 15 minutes. Let’s get started!