Summer Is Coming – Exercises To Lose That Belly Fat!

Summer is fast approaching and winter’s belly fat is still flopping around the mid section in all its miserable glory.  Feeling the heavier side of wobble is disheartening, especially when reaching for that swimsuit.  Don’t give up, determination, healthy eating and exercise will prevail.

 

YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

This is where it gets interesting!  Many people have been doing the exercise all wrong.  Workouts have either been sporadic or involve tummy crunches and lunges in desperation to squeeze that fat away.  The crunches are ideal after the pudge starts to slide off, as it will help tone muscle.  However, before concentrating on toning up, there is a crucial kind of exercise to do for at least 30 minutes a day:  high impact.

 

Elevating the heart rate moves oxygen and blood into our muscles, which in turn work more efficiently.  Noticing the difference in your mobility and stamina will happen over a couple of weeks.  Once muscle productivity and stamina increase due to heart rate elevation, fat will start to burn off.

 

NEW AND EXCITING WAYS TO GET RID OF BELLY FAT

The tummy stores the fat, but the key to slimming down is working out the entire body not just the middle.  There are many fun and thrilling exercises that will assist in improving the heart rate and increase muscle mass, as well as a few that will support the high impact moves like yoga or Pilates. (Any form of high impact exercise will require checking with a physician, before undertaking any of the following suggestions)

 

  • The Tracy Anderson Method. Its difficult to stay motivated with the same old run, swim or cycle ride, so try something new, dynamic and that the Hollywood stars are hooked on.  Tracey Anderson, a dancer turned weight loss/fitness trainer, has come up with an exercise routine that will get the heart pumping, whilst concentrating on smaller core muscles to lengthen and give definition. Tracey, TAM, has video streaming classes, which are amazing, motivational, exciting, and well worth the monthly fee.
  • Burn60 is a full body high impact workout lasting 60 minutes. Increasing endurance, speed, and strength, they claim that a person will see a difference in two weeks with an average of 500-900 calories burned each class.  They are currently only based in California, USA but you can stream their workout videos .  Burn60, is fun and will test you to your limit.
  • A combination of music and high impact routines produces Pound. A unique way to combine physical and emotional influence to get a person fit.  The 45-minute class uses a specially designed lightweight drumstick (called Ripstix) as a prop to combine yoga, Pilates, cardio and muscle conditioning to music.  Kirsten Potenza, co-creator of Pound says “its about how your body feels not just about the way it looks”.

 

TYPES OF EXERCISES THAT GET THE BODY MOVING

This is a fun, highly energetic workout that will get hearts dancing, the wobble melting away and the mind happy.

 

  • Pilates is a great way to strengthen core muscles as well as improving posture, strengthening abs and back muscles. Combining posture and high impact exercise is the perfect combination.
  • Trampoline workout. Find that inner child and go jump on a trampoline. This exercise for adults is fun, gets the heart pumping and the muscles jumping into shape. LEKFIT has fabulous online classes, and there is no need to even leave the living room.

 

Adding an exercise which is different, fun and engaging, will elevate the mood, the body, and how the swimsuit fits, minus the rubber ring, before the pool even opens.  To read more on this subject and more, please visit getthrive.com

 

RESOURCES

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045809

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/4/1043/4596712

 

 

Want to Push the Limit? 5 Tips for Getting the Most Intense Workout

Going to the gym everyday can get pretty routine, especially if you’re used to doing a similar workout. That’s one of the reasons Cross-fit has become so popular; your mind and your body plateau, and the only way to improve your condition is by mixing up the exercises.

Every once in a while, it’s a good thing to take your workout to an extreme. Disclaimer: if you’re not already active or you have any injuries, hold off on extreme intensity for now. But if you feel up to it, here are some tips to guide you through your experience:

1. Wear proper clothing: You’ll want to dress in materials that contain wicking. When you sweat profusely, you’ll want your clothes to absorb the wetness and keep your body as dry as possible. You don’t want to overheat, nor do you want to get a chill from being wet. Also, the right socks and shoes are important to keep your feet from blistering and also to protect your ankles and shins.

2. Breathe: As your activity becomes more intense, your lungs will require more oxygen. Naturally, you will breathe heavier. What’s great about interval training is that during the “rest” periods, you get the opportunity to take slower, deeper breaths, and sort of “catch up”—right before it’s time to go into intense mode again!

3. Stay headstrong: If you begin to feel a bit lightheaded, that’s understandable. Blood is rushing to all different parts of your body and its muscles. It may also be an endorphin rush you’re feeling as well. Of course, if you feel dizzy or too lightheaded, slow down, hold onto something stable, and take deep breaths.

4. Keep your brain in the game: The first few minutes of intense exercise most of us scream inside, “I can’t do this!” Well, yes you can. Pushing to extreme truly is mind over matter.

If your body is in shape or you exercise regularly, you absolutely can push yourself a little farther if you decide to. If the pain feels like you are injuring yourself, stop. But if it’s a good pain, stick with it. When your workout is over, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment.

5. Hydrate and stretch: during and after. Drink water and also indulge in a beverage with electrolytes to replenish. You can incorporate stretches into your workout once your muscles are already warm. It’s very important after an intense session that you take the time to stretch or you will cramp or feel undue soreness the next day.

Congratulations for taking such good care of your body. It’s yours to enjoy and cherish. Have a great workout!

 

Exercise is Not a Choice, but the Good News is You’ve Got All Day

You really have to consider exercise every day of your life. Remember, your heart, joints, muscles, brain cells, and pretty much everything that thrives requires some form of exercise to keep your body in a healthy state. So, basically, in a circular argument, it all rounds out to exercise is a must.

So, you want to work out in the morning but you’re a night owl? How do you think you’re going to reconcile that? Well, sorry, but you can’t. As some of our former blogs have informed us on “GetThrive.com”, your circadian rhythm is ultimately going to guide you. If you’re a night owl, you’re not getting up at 5:30m to workout, but, the upside is that you can still get a great, customized workout at even 9pm!

Many heart-conscious experts recommend early morning for the best results for weight loss. One study showed that when women returned from a morning workout, they were less apt to crave fattening foods than if they had not exercised.

On the other hand, trainers who work toward muscle building prefer that clients have a nice portion of carbs (perhaps potatoes) and protein (eggs, bacon) before their workout. This way, carbohydrates are spent building muscle and burning fat, and the protein allows the excess carbs to act as fuel for energy.

Using your lunchtime to lift some weights or to take a nice stroll has shown to reap positive effects throughout your afternoon hours. Even a 20-minute walk can increase creativity, productivity, stamina, and reduce stress. But what happens if you can’t eke out 20 minutes or more at any specific, given time during your hectic day?

Here are some fun tips to work your “exercise” into your day without even thinking about it. (We realize you may feel embarrassed by some of these, but what’s more important? Your health or how others may “judge” you?

Let’s face it ladies: one of the best things about aging is that you care less what others think . And truly, deep down, others will be envious that you have the good silliness to be taking care of yourself and exercise!

Skip down the street: You may feel funny and look a bit goofy, but kids do it all the time! It will make you smile and your heart will get a quick pick-me-up. (Oh, don’t do this in heels.)

Deep squats: You can do these standing behind your desk, at home holding a kid, or in the bathroom waiting for the hot water to arrive in the shower. Using your quads (your largest group of muscles) will warms up your entire body and the squatting action will keep your booty in fine shape at any age.

Tricep toners: While standing, make your arms perfectly stiff and straight, with fists. Keeping your arms close to your body, just do little, tiny lifts behind your back. At the highest point back, stop, hold your arms there, now bend your elbows in and then back up, in and then back up.

A few of these puppies and you can reduce that part of your arm that waves involuntarily when you wear sleeveless shirts. Do this anytime, anywhere.

Lunge to Lunch…or to breakfast, to the market, to the movies. Instead of just boring walking 100 yards to your car in the parking lot, lunge there. Take your time, and use your legs to create a long, deep, forward move. Just a few and these will strengthen the muscles around your knees. Your heart rate will increase a tad, too.

Get Creative with Exercise

Incorporate anything that you can move on your body into any part of your day. Balance on one foot waiting in line to strengthen your core. Do the old take-the-stairs thing. Do crunches while sitting at your desk or waiting for your coffee to heat. The sky’s the limit and your body is a temple. Exercise and Enjoy it all.

 

 

Train in Vain? Hardly

Some years ago, I was driving down the road on a stifling mid-summer afternoon. It was one of those days where the haze from the parking lot made visible the very sweltering heat I could feel.

As I approached my destination, I distinctly recall, for the first time, seeing a group of young adults of varying sizes and shapes performing a series of strenuous exercises that bordered on the ridiculous.

Given the heat and concrete, the conditions weren’t exactly ideal for outdoor activity. I observed sprinting, stationary jumps with corresponding thigh slaps, and even lunges.

My god, lunges! What I came to learn, only later, was a new phenomenon known as CrossFit. And, what I assumed would be nothing more than a quick flash in the pan has become something far more than a passing fad.

These days, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage. With a devoted group of participants that resemble something of a cult following, people far and wide have socked loads of their discretionary income into these programs.

So are they really worth it?

Shape Magazine has published a list including 8 benefits of High-Interval Intensity Training. If you like deep dives, check out the article!  For those more interested in a quicker look, here are some of the highlights:

You’ll Burn More Fat

In the 24 hours following a HIIT workout, you are more likely to burn a greater number of calories than, say, if you went for a steady-pace run. The workout’s intensity forces your body into hyperdrive, which simply burns more fat.

No Equipment Necessary

One of the factors that discourages people from participating in certain exercise programs is the cost!  You can’t ski without skis, gloves, poles, and the right clothing.

You can’t scuba dive without certification and gear.  And you can’t bike at a serious level without an ever-more-expensive bicycle. HIIT, on the other hand, just requires you to show up. The workout will not be easy, but it’s far more gear-friendly.

Lost Weight, Not Muscle

While diets are good at shedding pounds, those jettisoned lbs. often come with a corresponding loss of muscle. HIIT allows you to lose weight while retaining the muscle acquired as a result of the workouts. Not bad!

Location, Location, Location

Whether you choose to meet with a trainer or a group is completely up to you. Because HIIT is not tethered to any particular destination, you can perform the activities anywhere and adapt the workouts to the time and space you have available.

HIIT may not be for everyone. I love remaining active, but I’ve never found these kinds of workouts to be my cup of tea. A game that involves a ball is more up my alley. But there’s little disputing the impact of the workouts and the devotion of participants.

With results-based backing, you may find HIIT to be a logical next step. If you’re looking for something new, you may want to give it a try. You may just find a community of people you’d never have known otherwise and a finely toned body to boot.

 

Finally, A Six-Pack Without Sit-Ups!

Experts agree that sit-ups aren’t necessary to show off nice abs, but shedding the fat in the stomach area (while working other muscles) will do the trick!

A Lean Machine

Reducing overall body fat will give the appearance of a mean midsection. Cardio and core exercises are the quickest way to dropping fat content. And as we all know, because it’s just pure logic-lowering caloric intake and increasing calories expended is the key.

Equal Opportunity Workout

All your muscles will play a part in getting those lean abs you want. Incorporating movement, dance, and balancing exercises will create a stronger core. With a stronger core, you can build other muscles, which, in turn, will boost your metabolism.

In essence, don’t worry so much about crunches, ab machines, etc. Focus on shedding body fat and enjoying a full-body workout.

Two Essential Exercises That Workout Everything

With Zumba-robics, yo-pilates, and meditation weight-lift, the options for workouts are incredible—and confusing. How do you do it? What muscles am I working?

There’s actually an alternative to classes and high cost. If you want a full muscle workout, for free, there are two that will fill your bill. Planks and Push-ups.

UGH! These Exercises Are So Annoying!

Don’t complain. Just reap the rewards! Inarguably, the two best exercises that work all large-muscle groups and core are planks and push-ups. They look so simple, but they are not in practice. They use complex groups of muscles and require extreme determination and focus.

But that’s part of why they are so transformative!

Pushing Forward

Push-ups, done correctly, strengthen major muscle groups in your arms, back, and core. Aside from nicely toning your shoulders, push-ups invigorate and strengthen your elbows and wrists. You can do them with your legs straight back or with legs bent up while you rest on your knees.

In either position, remember to keep your back flat and your rear-end low. This will engage your core muscles, which in turn strengthens your abdominals. Probably the most beneficial aspect of push-ups is that it is a weight-bearing exercise.

As we age, it’s imperative that we embark on weight-bearing types of exercises to keep our bones strong. As our balancing abilities decrease, we’re more prone to falling or tripping. It’s the falls that can break bones when they are brittle and/or fragile. Practicing push-ups, even just a few each day, can decrease your risk of injury as your body matures.

Walking the Plank

Try not to see practicing planks as a punishment from pirates. It’s actually an exercise gift to your entire muscular system. The most beneficial aspect of doing planks is that they promote a stronger core.

We want a strong core for several reasons (besides just looking good in tight clothing or a bathing suit.) Your abdominal muscles help you support your spine. Core strength allows you to maintain proper posture comfortably, without slouching. It also lends to more fluid movement and flexibility.

People who plank tend to have less back, shoulder, and neck pain.

Whether you plank with your hands on the ground and your arms straight, or you’re on your elbows, or you’re on your side, you will be toning your arms and legs. When your back is flat, and you’re in the proper plank position, you are also working your gluteus maximus (your butt muscles.)

Pushing and Planking

Both exercises increase your heart rate. Working several muscles simultaneously will increase your metabolism and may get you to break a sweat. These are designed as strength-training exercises that should not cause any injury to your body.

Additionally, they will keep you fit, strong, and help promote weight loss (from your raised basic metabolic rate.) You’ll burn more calories than doing traditional sit-ups and still get tight abs. Get pushing and planking—but no need to overdo it. A set or two a couple of times a day, and you’ll see and feel terrific results.

Check out GetThrive.com for other fitness and health tips for you and your family.

Sources:

http://www.curejoy.com/content/benefits-of-doing-planks/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18811/5-reasons-to-do-push-ups-everyday.html

Lacking Motivation, Get Motivated? Try This!

You haven’t been exercising much, and from a dark pit, very deep in your stomach, a crabby voice nags, “Go to the gym.” You respond to that voice by ignoring it, telling it you’ll do it tomorrow, and/or shoving food in to shut it up. Bottom line: You’re having trouble motivating. Get Motivated!

“I’m taking care of my procrastination issues; just you wait and see.” – Anonymous

What Works For Some, May Not For Others

When that inner voice reminds you of what you “should’ be doing, there are several ways to react. Unfortunately, we often beat ourselves up just a little bit more. We call ourselves losers, rebel/act out, or withdraw and give up. Those aren’t really productive ways to deal with a slump.

One of the best ways to positively motivate just about anyone is to be kind, understanding, and respectful. Then, offer a reward. You can do that for yourself!

Start by making a list of the benefits you will reap from getting off the couch. In the meanwhile, read some of the quotes strewn throughout this piece—perhaps they will jar you into action.

“Many great things can be done in a day if you don’t always make that day tomorrow.”

Here is a list of suggestions to help you rekindle that motivation you had at one time to work that body:

1) You know you’ll feel better afterwards. (It’s so cliché but couldn’t be truer.)

2) It’s an excuse to wash your hair. (Not so often used, but it may work for someone…)

3) You can fantasize about food during your workout, without guilt.

4) Make a plan with a friend who will un-friend you if you cancel. Schedule a bike ride, run, walk, do whatever type of exercise with someone you like and who won’t cancel on you. You’ll get it done, and it’ll be fun.

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

5) Download some movement-inspiring music onto your phone. Or, download a show or radio series you want to binge-watch/listen. If you’re not running outdoors, you can enjoy all of the above while on a treadmill, stair-stepper, or elliptical machine.

6) Start with small goals. You don’t have to go on a 9-mile hike. Take a brisk half-hour walk. That’s what will get you feeling successful and will reignite your motivation.

7) Buy something new and cute to wear while exercising. Baggy sweats do zilch for self-confidence. Even if you’re not in your best shape, something colorful, and trendy, without dryer fuzz balls or cat-claw pulls in the elastic will make you feel as good as you deserve.

8) Sweating releases toxins. If you imagine your body letting out the poison, you might get more motivated to perspire. Or, you might get grossed out. Hoping the “release” philosophy wins you over.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”- Don Marquis

9) Workout now and then promise yourself a gift for later. It could be a cookie, a bubble bath, or a day off tomorrow from the gym.

10) Use social media as a way to get a pat on the back. Post a selfie while you’re working out like a beast. Or, after exercising, shower, then take a beautiful, clean selfie and brag about how hard you worked out earlier and how good you feel now. You’re sure to get many “likes”.

Whatever you have to do to manipulate yourself into exercising, just do it. You know you have to. So stop procrastinating. Don Marquis said, “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”

Why not choose this sentiment instead? … “A year from now you wished you started today.”  If you apply it, you’ll start today. Then a year from now, you’ll have no regrets, and you’ll be in some badass shape.

The Truth Behind Why You Don’t Exercise

The truth about why you’re not sticking to your exercise program is different than what you think.

Exercise Excuses, Excuses

You made a plan to get in shape. You have a schedule and a routine set up. But, you don’t stick to it. Why not? Are you feeling tired, sick, overwhelmed? Or is the truth glaring at you, and you don’t want to admit it? That’s right. The honest reason why you’re not exercising is because you are choosing to do something else. Yep, right again.

If your Pilates class is at 6pm, but you’re forced to work late, you can’t use that as an excuse. You can exercise afterwards, instead of going home and perusing social media. Your choice. If your alarm rings at 5am so you can get to the gym and you turn it off, what gives? You miss the workout because you chose to sleep.

There is no judgment here. Your choices are your own and sometimes the best ones for your body. Missing a day of exercise is not the end of the world. Claiming that other things get in the way of your workouts may be true, but they’re not excuses. They are choices.

Getting to the Core

You’re choosing other activities—besides exercising—for particular reasons. Look within and figure out why something else on your list is trumping that walk around the lake like you planned. Does the other thing seem easier? More fun? Whatever the reason, in your mind, the other choice seems more appealing.

Take Action

You know that exercise benefits us in a multitude of ways. You’ve already made a deal with yourself to partake more often, even steadily. So now follow through and keep your promise to your body and yourself. Here are some tools you can use to get back on track…

1) Remind yourself how good you feel after a workout.

2) Set up a healthy reward for yourself after you exercise. This could be leisure time watching a show, treating yourself to a low-sugar dessert, or putting a dollar in your “workout jar” to save for a rainy-day purchase.

3) Find friends or an online group that supports you and your exercise program. Most everyone experiences the same angst, and we need the village.

4) Remind yourself that exercise is positive. Get your mindset into the groove that working out is awesome. Forget complaining. “I love to exercise” should be your mantra.

5) Hold yourself accountable. Be your own parent without rebelling. Remind yourself that you made a great deal and that sticking to it will reap great rewards!

No doubt it’s a challenge to stay on the exercise path. Sure enough, before long, your program will become a habit—and an amazingly positive one at that. Just remember, your health is really all you have, and exercising is essential to maintaining that.  Onward!

Check out www.GetThrive.com for more helpful articles on fitness, exercise, and good health.