Monthly Archives: May 2015

5-10-15-20 Ultimate Arm Workout

WO_BuildYourBicepsWith4SimpleExercises_Fitness-45-2When I workout, I want the exercises to be simple, efficient and effective. I don’t want to waste my time doing exercises that don’t really work, or take too much time. This is an arm workout I’ve created that you can do in as little as 5 minutes with just one set of dumbbells. If you don’t have dumbbells, grab canned goods, bags of flour, or anything else you can hold in your hands that weighs enough to give you a good workout. Below are images for each exercise to give you an idea of the correct body position you should have. Feel free to repeat the circuit for a harder workout.

1. 5 Push Ups: Make sure you body makes a straight line and your lower down and up slowly.

2. 10 Tricep Dips: Use a couch, chair, stool, or you can even just do them on the ground.

3. 15 Bicep Curls: Hold something in your hands that allows you to do the recommended reps.

4. 20 Tricep Extensions: Your arms should go straight back, and straight forward again.






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The Ups and Downs of Treadmills

0a1ce1fb-5aa7-430b-80ce-8f9d14a0e528Treadmills are a great tool for someone looking to do regular cardiovascular exercise. They’re convenient, easy to use, and can be found at most gyms. Unfortunately, there are some negative consequences of using treadmills that most people don’t know about. Here are two problems associated with treadmills you might want to know before stepping on one.

1. Running on a treadmill creates a different bio-mechanical motion with your body than running on solid ground. This can cause muscle imbalances that eventually lead to postural problems and back pain. You can avoid this by alternating between running on a treadmill and running on the ground.

2. People regularly fall of treadmills. Sometimes they get to close to the sides and take a mis-step, and sometimes they fly off the back, landing on the floor or hitting the wall. When this happens, injuries can occur. If you like to run on a treadmill, make sure you stay vigilant to avoid these potential injuries.

Motivation Monday: Low-Impact Pool Exercises

Aqua aerobic, woman in water with dumbbells

This month we’ve been doing our Swimsuit Season Spring Challenge to help tone our bodies for swimwear. The challenge has consisted of intense short workouts to drive results. However, we all have different bodies and circumstances and some of us cannot do exercises that are high impact. If you want to tone up your body, but need a workout that is gentle on your joints, then a swimming workout could be just right for you. Working out in water is great for your body! It is a low impact exercise with high results because the water provides resistance that makes your body burn more calories than a workout would outside of water.

Here are some of our best Swimming Workouts:

Toning Water Workout 

5 Water Aerobic Exercises

Pregnancy Water Workout

4 Water Exercises for Senior Citizens

Not Your Mom’s Creamy Casserole

Baked Broccoli and Vegetable MedleyRemember the creamy, cheesy chicken and broccoli casseroles that it seemed every mother made in the 90s? While they may have been tasty, they were far from being healthy and good for the waistline. Moms were giving themselves points for serving vegetables for dinner. However, I think the creamy sauce negates the nutrients in the vegetables. This recipe for Baked Chicken and Vegetable Medley is a modern day, healthy version of that 90s casserole. It has the delicious chicken to provide your protein and a mixture of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and onion. There is a light sprinkling of cheese to give it some flavor and variety without compromising your diet.

This is a great healthy meal that is quick to throw together!


Not Your Elementary School Push Ups

DietTools-1-250When you think of push ups, do you envision the push ups you did, or attempted to do, during elementary school P.E.? Can you still remember the smell of the gym, the sweaty fold-able mats, and the whistle that indicated the start or end of an activity? If this is how you view push ups, let me share three types of push ups that don’t involve a gym mat or whistle, and will give you a great upper body workout.

1. Jack Push Ups: Get in the push up position. In one movement, jump your legs out like you’re doing a push up, then bend your elbows and lower down like a regular push up. After you straighten your arms, jump your legs back together again.

2. Moving Push Ups: Get in the push up position. In one movement, move your right arm and leg to the right as you bend your elbows and do a push up. Repeat this again two more times, then do the same movement going back the other way.

3. V-Push Ups: Get in the push up position, then walk your legs towards your arms until your body is in the shape of a V. Once in this position, bend your elbows and lower down like a push up. This movement works your shoulders and may be difficult to do.


Motivation Monday: Sneaking in a Pool Workout with the Kids

Happy Monday! A week from now is Memorial Day which means the official opening of pools all around the country. Families are going to be hitting the pool to cool off and have fun. Swimming is a great form of exercise, but with kids it can be difficult to get in a good workout. Here are some tips to help you sneak in some fitness when you’re at the pool with your kids.

Young father and little son swimming in pool

Exercises You Can Do with Kids Who Can’t Swim:

  • Walking – If you have a little one at the pool, place him or her on your back or hip and walk around in the pool. The resistance from the water will give you a great workout and tone up your legs.
  • Scissors – You can sit on the steps of the pool and hold your legs out straight in front of you. Kick them up and down while tightening your abs.
  • Hanging Kicks – If your kids are old enough to hold onto the side of the pool on their own, you can do this exercise together. Face the side of the pool and hold onto the edge. Kick your legs out behind you. This is a great toner for you buns. If you’re doing it with your child, see who can make bigger splashes.

Exercises You Can Do with Kids Who Can Swim:

  • Scavenger Hunt – Throw many objects into the pool. Have a race with your kids to see who can gather the objects the fastest. Playing multiple rounds will help you get in some good cardio.
  • Treading Water – If your kids can swim but are still young enough that you need to stay close by them, this is a great option. It takes a lot of energy to tread water, but you can stay in one area and keep an eye on your little ones.
  • Create a Whirlpool – This one can only be done in an in ground pool for safety reasons. Have everyone stand on the edges of the pool.  Run in the water in a clockwise direction for five minutes. Then turn and try to run against the current.

Have fun Memorial Day weekend and burn some calories while you’re at the pool!


Veggie Wrap Ups for Healthy Snacks

Vegetarian bakery concept. Chef's hands cutting feta cheeseI have a 9 year old daughter, and as any good parent knows, children require rules. Some parents have strict rules, while others are more loose, but rules are what teach our kids how to behave in society. One of my rules involves what she’s allowed to eat in between meals. Anytime she wants a snack, she needs to eat a fruit or a vegetable. This helps her get all the nutrients she needs, plus encourages her to think of healthy foods first. Although this is sometimes difficult to follow, we recently found a new way to get her to eat more veggies. I call them Veggie Wrap Ups.

All you need is your favorite leafy green and a complimentary cheese. My daughter prefers spinach and cheddar cheese, but any combination you prefer is great. Now take one leaf (break into smaller pieces if necessary to make the leaf good for one mouthful), and wrap it around the cheese. Eat it in one bite, then repeat until all the greens and cheese are gone.

I’ve found that the cheese helps mask the flavor of the leafy greens, which most kids don’t really enjoy, and it gives them calcium, fiber and all sorts of good vitamins and minerals without any added sugar or simple carbs. It’s a great simple and delicious snack you can make in no time. If this sounds like something your kids would like, give it a try!

Commercial Break Lower Body Workout

Woman exercisng at homeIf you feel you don’t have time to workout, think about how many hours of television  you watch. If you watch at least one hour of TV a day, you have time for a workout. You don’t have to spend a huge amount of time working out in order to stay in shape. A few minutes here and there really make a difference. During a one hour television show, there are usually 4 commercial breaks that last anywhere between 2 and 3 minutes. Here are 4 quick leg exercises you can do for 2 minutes at a time during your favorite show. Do 8 of these at a time, rest for one minute, then repeat.

1. Basic Squat – Make sure to push your butt out and keep your knees over your feet.

2. Mountain Climber – Keep your legs and back straight as you bring your knees forward.

3. Weighted Lunge – Keep your back straight and bent knee over your planted foot.

4. Pelvic Lift – Lift, hold for 20-30 seconds, lower down and repeat.









Motivation Monday: Cool Summer Slim-down Foods


Happy Monday! I live in a place that has two seasons…hot and hotter. We’re getting out of our “hot” season and slowly moving into our “hotter” season. When it gets to this time of year, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or cook a hot meal. There are many meals that can be prepared without having to heat up your kitchen. Raw fruits and vegetables, slow cooker recipes and using the grill are all great ways to prepare healthy meals when its sweltering outside.

Here are some of my favorite recipes to stay slim and cool during the summer.

Cilantro Chicken Salad - Use the grill or slow cooker to cook the chicken. The slow cooker is great because it does all the work for you so you can enjoy your summer!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad - You can use grilled chicken for this recipe and keep the heat outdoors. The chicken can also be cooked up on the stove top.

Avocado Toast - A great option for breakfast or lunch!

Hummus Veggie Tortilla Wraps - These make a delish snack or lunch with no cooking involved. Be sure to use whole grain tortillas.

These drinks have some great flavors to keep you cool during the summer without adding any calories to your day!

Citrus Water - A refreshing blend of citrus flavors that I love to keep in my fridge.

Honeydew Cucumber Water - An option beyond the typical citrus water.


My New Breakfast Fix

Breakfast FixEvery morning, one of the decisions I hate to make is what to eat for breakfast. I’m not a breakfast person, so the idea of cooking something makes me want to go back to bed. What I really want to do is reach for a cup of coffee, but this doesn’t give me quite the nutrients and energy boost that I need. Luckily, I found something that is half way between a beverage and a regular meal that does the trick.

It’s called a Chocolate Yogurt Shake, and it is very delicious. It only requires 5 ingredients, which I always have in the kitchen anyway, and I can make it in 5 minutes flat. I can drink this shake as I start my day, or take it with me in the car if I’m on the run. Not only do I like this shake, my daughter loves it as well!

I use almond milk instead of cow’s milk, and that taste is great! The Greek Yogurt gives me protein and calcium, the almond milk provides vitamin E and fiber, and the chocolate makes it take scrumptious. If you need a new breakfast fix, give this shake a try!