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The Ultimate Workout on the Go

J.J. Kunkle is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer and owner of The Fit Life, LLC in Bellbrook, Ohio. She never leaves home without her running shoes and shorts.

“I couldn’t workout out last week; I was on a business trip. The hotel didn’t have a gym!” I’ve heard it a thousand times from my clients and friends—an excuse to get off track and break the exercise habit.

Travel is the worst time to skip your workouts, because most likely you are eating out for every meal, consuming way more calories than normal. So I make sure my clients are armed with an easy, quick travel workout that can be done anywhere!


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Exercises That are a Complete Waste of Your Time

I want to start this out by saying, that in no way is exercise ever pointless or a waste of time. Something is always better than nothing and any amount of exercise should be celebrated.

That being said, there are a lot of “classic” exercises people stick to that really aren’t doing much for your fitness- either because there is a more effective way to work the same muscles, or the exercise you think is hitting certain areas really isn’t hitting anything at all.

People get a little prickly when you tell them their tried and true favorite anything isn’t working for them- but especially when it comes to messing with someone’s health routine. In fact, in the American Council on Exercise personal training certification manual it flat out tells you if someone isn’t going to hurt themselves, either with exercise or nutritionally, like in the case of supplements and vitamins, let ‘em be. It’s better to not turn anyone off of diet and exercise than try to be right if it really isn’t life and death.

So, just for fun, let’s take a look at some exercises that people waste a lot of time on, and how it could be better spent in the pursuit of fitness.


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P90X Fitness Assessment Tracks All Areas of Health

The reason anyone starts a fitness program is to see results, and the only way to know how far you’ve come is by knowing where you started.

P90X, the popular extreme home fitness program, understands the importance of tracking all indicators of fitness.

Instead of just tracking weight or measurements, P90X has an intensive Fitness Assessment that tracks your weight, measurements, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular capacity every step of the way.

The P90X program is split into three phases, 30 days each, and at the end of each phase, you will retest to see how much your health has improved. The first test is done before the first P90X workout so you know your baseline of fitness.


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Use Your Body Weight as Effective Fitness Equipment

Body weight exercises are an effective and inexpensive way of working out. By using only the resistance of your own body, you can gain strength, endurance and inner peace. Body weight exercises are great because you can get an effective workout anytime, any place, with no equipment. Walking, swimming, dancing and yoga are all considered body weight exercises. While I encourage you to explore those, here are a couple specific body weight exercises to try out:

The Superman Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs outstretched, with a neutral spine so your elbows are by ears. Contracting your lower back, gently lift your arms and legs off the ground, hold for a few breaths, and slowly release them back to the floor. Repeat. This exercise works your lower back and core.
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The Tabata Protocol Offers the Shortest and Most Intense Workout

I am a big fan of mixing it up when I exercise. I am easily bored, almost certainly A.D.D., and need to have a different routine in order to keep myself engaged and present. I try to work out three mornings a week with a Crossfit instructor. Recently, my instructor introduced me to the concept of Tabata.

The Tabata Protocol has been said to be simply the best supra-aerobic cardio workout ever created. Izumi Tabata researched the concept of a quicker more intense workout vs. a traditional 60 minute aerobic workout. The 4 minute exercise group had to bike at 90 RPMs at 170% of VO2max. That’s a very high speed and level of intensity.  At the end of the 6 week study, the 4 minute exercise group had improved both their aerobic and anaerobic markers of fitness. The 60 minute group improved their aerobic fitness (not as much as the 4 minute group) and saw no change in their anaerobic fitness.
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