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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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10 Minute Toner: Sara Haley’s Love-Inspired Circuit Training Workout

By Sara Haley, creator of The Daily Sweat

headshot-300x300Happy Valentine’s Day! I love holidays because they always inspire me to be creative with my workouts. This year I used some of my favorite sayings from Valentine Conversation Hearts to create a full body workout. (And, since everyone always asks me how I fit in my workouts, now that I’m a mom, I thought I’d share with you what really goes on at my house when I work out at home—see the video below!)

Below is a list of the exercises in the circuit, including how many reps to do. The whole thing should take you around 10 minutes. Put on some of your favorite songs—”Call Me Maybe”, anyone?—and do the moves back to back. Most of all, have fun while you’re doing it—you may even be able to recruit your hubby or kiddos to help you out!

 

Sara Haley’s Crazy Conversation Heart’s Circuit


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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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Choose the Gym That’s Right for You: Big and Fancy, Mild-Mannered or Family-Friendly

If you’ve decided that working out on your old elliptical machine while re-watching Breaking Bad episodes on Netflix isn’t helping you achieve maximum weight loss results, maybe it’s time to get out of the basement and join a gym. While some fitness centers offer bare-bones equipment for an affordable price, others offer a wide variety of amenities, but you’ll definitely pay to play.

LA FITNESS 2

Before you get out your wallet, decide what’s important to you in a fitness center and what you’re willing to pay for, then choose a gym accordingly. Below is a brief overview to help you make your decision. From Mild-Mannered to Big and Fancy, what do you need for your workout experience in 2014?

Mild Mannered $Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Curves, Blink

  • Low membership fees and no-hassle contracts mean you can get in shape without taking out a 2nd mortgage
  • Often cater to first-time gym members by discouraging intimidating behavior like grunting, growling and gun-showing in the weight room
  • Easy-to-use cardio and strength equipment, so you actually spend your time working out, not punching buttons and reading the user’s guide
  • No children allowed and no child care. Is that necessarily a bad thing, though? Time away from the kids is OK, especially if you’re getting healthy
  • No high-end amenities like juice bars, tanning beds, steam rooms, or  swimming pools
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