Spring Outdoor Workout

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Spring Outdoor Workout

It’s that time of year again! Spring brings with it new resolutions, new beginnings and finally warmer weather and sunshine. For many people, the temptation to ditch the gym for the warm weather is too tempting and their exercise routines suffer as a consequence. If you don’t feel like doing an intense hike, try doing your workout outside at a park or tennis/basketball courts. These spring outdoor workout exercises done quickly and with little rest in between are a great high intensity workout.

Incline Pushup

Incline Pushup

Inclined Pushups: This could be done with your feet on a bench (or a swing set if you want to challenge your core as well), keep your back straight and level with your hips. Do 3 sets of 10 reps each.

Pull Up

Pull Up

Pull ups: Hanging onto a bar, pull yourself up as high as you can. Repeat to failure.

Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips

Tricep dips: Using a park bench, face away from the bench, hands on the seat, keeping your feet as far away from you as possible – do 3 sets of 10 reps each. To challenge yourself, lift one leg off the ground.

Bench lunge with toe up

Bench lunge with toe up

1 Leg Squats: Use a bench for stability. This can be done in a couple ways. First, stand behind the bench using the back as support and do a one leg squat for 10 reps on each leg. 3 sets each. Another way would be to face away from the bench, perform a lunge with one toe on the bench for added stability. Again, do 10 reps on each leg – 3 sets.

Sprints (doing lines on the basketball/tennis court). Starting at one end of the court, run to the next line ( this might only be a couple feet ) and back, then run to the second line and back to the beginning, third line and back and so on. The drill is complete once you’ve gone to the farthest line at the other end of the court. Repeat 3 x.

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Crunches on a park bench

Core: Crunches on a bench, planks and hanging knee raises will tighten and tone your core!

Try some of these exercises out and add your own. Happy Spring and Keep Active!!

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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Core and Balance Training

I often get asked “what’s the big deal about core and balance training?” To be honest, I think a lot of people misunderstand what is meant when they are told to train their core or do some balance work. Core and balance training is so much more than just doing some crunches or a plank. Preventing injury at any age is paramount to living happily and healthily and it can’t be achieved without core and balance training.

Balance work is another way to challenge your core and improve its strength and your ability to function on a daily basis and NOT sustain an injury. Have you ever known someone (maybe even yourself) who goes to do a simple movement like pulling a full jug of milk from the back of the fridge and pulled their back? Or maybe you’ve bent down to pick up something and felt sharp pain running down your leg? Often a twisting motion can cause injury too.

The word “core” refers to all the muscles in the abdomen, pelvic floor, side of the abdomen reaching up to the ribs, along the spine to the neck and down to the gluteus maximus. In order to adequately exercise these all of these various core muscles, one must do more than crunches. The best way is to challenge them with functional movement training. For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it engages the secondary core muscles that you use when you raise and lower yourself. Done slowly, with or without resistance, this movement is much harder than you might think. It will allow you to concentrate on keeping your core engaged during the motion, thereby strengthening it.

Balance training is often associated with the elderly. Their reflexes aren’t as quick as they were once and are more prone to tripping and falls. Many active and fit seniors include balance work in their weekly regimen as they recognize the benefit to preventing falls. However, its benefits aren’t limited those in their golden years. Athletes can continue doing the activities/sports/competitions that they love for many years without serious injury if their bodies can quickly adjust during activity. Through practice one can become accustomed to balancing on uneven surfaces, strengthening their core in the process and creating muscle memory for the motion. Then in real life, when they are caught off balance, they can catch themselves more quickly, more often averting an injury compared to those who neglect this aspect of fitness.

Here are a few samples of functional core exercises:
One Leg Squat

One Leg Squat

One Leg Squat

One Arm Plank

1 Arm Plank

1 Arm Plank

Lunge with knee in air

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Lunge with One Leg Up

Try these today to challenge your core & balance!

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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Effects of Sugar on the Human Body

Effects of Sugar on the Human BodySugar is one of the most common ingredients found in almost all of the “foods” found on grocery shelves in North America.  The American public has been warned of the effects of sugar since the 50’s.  Now, increasingly, doctors and nutritionists are changing their tune.  Instead of cautioning people to moderate their sugar consumption, many of them are calling on people to eliminate this “toxin” from their diet and are comparing it to a drug.  They point out that during the refining process, since sugar is stripped of all its’ original food value including its vitamins & minerals – it can no longer be classified as “food”.  It holds no value except for its carbohydrates – pure calories. It contains no vitamins, no minerals, no fats, no enzymes, no protein – nothing would classify itself as belonging to a true food group.  Some claim that the effects of white sugar is so harmful, especially in the amounts consumed by the average North American as to warrant classification  as a “drug”. 

Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition, says, “white refined sugar is not a food.  It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways.  Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22011.  It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms and absolutely nothing else to offer.”… The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21N04.  For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom.

Let’s set aside the fact that on a chemical cellular level, sugar is one nitrogen atom, a few carbons and a little oxygen away from crack cocaine and look at the impact this substance has on our bodies.

1.  Sugar wreaks havoc on your heart and circulatory system.
In a scientific study published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, doctors found “that sugar sweetened beverage consumption had a 20% increased risk of coronary heart disease even after adjustment for age, smoking, physical activity, alcohol, multivitamins, family history, diet quality, energy intake, body mass, pre-enrollment weight change an dieting were taken into account.”

2.  It is toxic to your liver.
Table sugar is composed of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.  Both are metabolized by your liver.  Some experts estimate that our bodies can safely process between 2-4 teaspoons of sugar per day.  The average can of cola contains over 11 teaspoons!  When you take into account that even if you avoid sweets or sugary foods, sugar is still hidden in ketchup, tomato sauces, barbeque sauces, tonic water, most breads and crackers, cereals, spice mixes and almost all dressings – especially fat free ones,  it is easy to see how we are consuming copious amounts of this substance.

3.  It is making you fat.
Eating healthy fats in reasonable amounts doesn’t make you fat.  Eating sugar and fructose is making our nation fat!  When we consume sugar, our bodies produce insulin in response to the large amounts of glucose in the blood stream.  Glucose is toxic to our bodies, so it’s the job of insulin to get the glucose out of the bloodstream and into our cells where it can be used for energy.  Over time, large amounts of glucose regularly consumed cause our cells to become insulin resistant, triggering the pancreas to secrete larger and larger amounts to ensure cellular absorption. This leads to Type II Diabetes.  However, insulin also performs other tasks.  One is to send signals to fat cells telling them to collect the fat in the bloodstream and store it and NOT to burn the fat that they are currently storing.  During times of elevated insulin levels, significant amounts of the energy from our food is directly deposited in fat cells and stored.  Excessive levels of fructose consumption triggers high blood insulin levels and in turn, insulin resistance.  It is when this happens that our bodies can’t access the fat stores, and then we start to feel hungry again. And we eat again.

Check your diet and make sure you aren’t eating too much sugar and improve your health.

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of 352-270-1100 receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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Eating tips for the Christmas Holidays

Eating tips for the Christmas holidays

Eating tips for the Christmas holidays

The Christmas holidays are just around the corner and many people find themselves dreading the “inevitable” five pound weight gain that comes from indulging in all the sugary treats, rich appetizers and alcoholic beverages typical of the seasonal celebrations.  It doesn’t have to be like this though.  With a little forward planning and a few smart strategies, you can reasonably expect to maintain, not gain weight.  Here are some eating tips for the Christmas holidays that you can easily use to help you out.

1.    Eat before the Party!  Let’s get honest here.  Humans are social beings and when we are with others, eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company, we tend to eat more simply because everyone else is.  Coming hungry to a party is double whammie since the foods that your body actually needs for fuel such as lean protein, vegetables, fruit aren’t likely to be found in abundance on your host’s buffet table.  So fill up at home and come prepared to chat – not eat.

2.    Bring your own Healthy Dish.  If you’ve been asked to contribute something to the buffet table, volunteer to bring the veggie platter or fruit platter or a salad – something wholesome that will give you a good alternative to snack on.  Even if you weren’t asked, your host would probably appreciate the thoughtfulness of your contribution – and everyone wins!

3.    Choose veggies and fruit first.  When the time comes to help yourself to the spread of delicious food – give yourself the gift of an appetizer of veggies and fruit only.  This will fill you up (on nourishing, low-calorie foods).   Do treat yourself later to your favourites, but always start with the fiber rich foods first.  You’ll thank yourself later.

4.    Wine Spritzers.  Drinking too much alcohol is a great way to lose control at the buffet table, not to mention the dance floor.  A great way to draw out your wine is by mixing a third of a glass of wine with two thirds non-spiked punch or cranberry juice.  Keep in mind that spiked beverages such as eggnog quickly add up the calories.

5.    Sit as far away as you can from the buffet table.  Helping yourself stay away from the buffet table really helps stave off temptation.  Enjoy sparkling conversation and meaningful connection instead of second helpings.

6.    Use a dessert plate.  Using a small dessert plate will help your portion control.  We all tend to fill up our plates (our eyes our bigger than our stomach syndrome).  By choosing a smaller plate, you will likely not be taking more than you actually need.

7.    Chew gum.  Chew a stick of gum after you’ve eaten.  You’ll avoid nibbling unneeded extras at the table.

8.    Help clean up/serve drinks.  Keeping yourself busy by making yourself available to your host/hostess is kind to both of you.  It will help you stay away from the treats and drinks and will allow your host to enjoy some time with his/her guests

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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5 Causes of Back Pain & Simple Solutions

Most adults experience some form of back pain in their life.  However, this doesn’t need to be chronic or a life sentence.  For most people, simply knowing what contributes to their pain and how to compensate for it is more than half the battle! In this article we discuss 5 causes of back pain & simple solutions that can help alleviate your pain and reduce your intake of prescription/over-the-counter painkillers. Here are a few easy habits you can incorporate into your daily routine.

1) Problem: Sitting for long periods of time.
Solution: Take regular breaks from your desk/computer. Go out for a quick walk up the block and back.  Stretch your hip flexors and hamstrings, chest and neck.  Remember to keep yourself hydrated.  This will help decrease muscle soreness.  If this is you in the evening, get up and walk around or tidy up during commercial breaks on TV.

2) Problem:  Poor support from your footwear.
Solution:  Of course, stiletto heels are a back pain No-No. But did you also know that flats and sandals are also hard on your back when worn continuously? Lack of arch support can contribute to knee, back and neck pain in the future. Wear good supportive shoes as often as you can.  Switch to something more stylish when you get to the office if you like.  Some women like to keep a favorite pair of black flats under their desk or in a drawer to change into.  Do spend more on a stylish, supportive and comfortable walking shoe!

3) Problem: Smoking.
Solution:  Smoking is well known for causing lung cancer after years of exposure, but it could also be contributing to back pain.  When you smoke, the nicotine that you inhale constricts your blood vessels, resulting in poorer blood flow to your entire body including your vertebrae and disks.  This may cause them to age more quickly and break down sooner, causing you increased pain.  Do yourself a favor and seek out help in your community and from your doctor to quit!  Your body will thank you.

4) Problem: Failing to strengthen your lower back
Solution:  Strengthen your lower back and core.  When most of us hear the word “core” we picture our abs – but it actually includes your side, pelvic and buttock muscles as well.  There are some great and simple exercises you can do to strengthen these including plank, crunches, side raises and hip bridges.

5) Problem: Sleeping on your stomach.
Solution:  Sleeping on your stomach puts unneeded stress and unnatural strain on your lower back.  Sleeping in a side position or on your back helps keep your spine in line in a more neutral position.  Some people may find that getting a firmer mattress can help alleviate back pain as an extra soft mattress won’t support your body in the places it needs to allow the spine to decompress during the night as it needs to.  Make sure you use a good supportive pillow for your neck and one for your knees if you find it helpful.

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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5 Quick tips for healthy eating

5 Quick Tips for Healthy Eating

5 Quick Tips for Healthy Eating

Eating healthy is really very simple.  Eat fruits and vegetables in their natural state.  Enjoy eggs and poultry, meat and fish often and drink lots of water.  It can be overwhelming if you’re trying to eliminate processed foods from your diet because, simply put, the “convenience” of them is simply addictive (not to mention the additives). Here are 5 quick tips for healthy eating to help keep yourself on track.  We’ve found them useful and hope you do too!

Include Greens in two of your meals each day.  This is really easy to do.  If you have a smoothie in the morning, add a leaf of kale or a small handful of spinach.  Put some baby greens under your rice at supper or eat a big salad at lunch.

Use your slow cooker for stews and cooking beans.  A slow cooker is a busy mom’s MUST-HAVE.  Its easy to chop a few carrots, a potato, onion and throw a couple pieces of bone-in chicken on top with a few spices (or a homemade marinade – check on-line recipes for quick n easy options).  This takes 15 minutes max before you head off to work/school.  Its ready for you when you get home in the afternoon – all you need is to cook some quinoa, or rice or pasta to go with your yummy main.

It’s also great for increasing your bean intake.  Beans are a VERY affordable way to increase your fiber, protein and vitamin intake especially when you buy them dried in big bags.  They just need a little prep.  Put them to soak before you head off to bed.  The following morning, they will be ready to cook.  You can cook them stovetop if you have the time, but I like to use my slowcooker and maximize my efficiency while I’m away.  Rinse and set them to cook in plenty of water on low.  Drain and rinse again after they’re cooked.  Use them right away in soups, stews, salads or hummus or freeze in sandwich bags for another day.

Prep your veggies/snacks on a Sunday night.  Probably the biggest protest from most people is that eating healthy takes so much time.  Condensing your prep time to a couple hours on a slow evening makes it a cinch when you’re on the go.  Chop your broccoli and cauliflower into snack sized pieces.  Peel your carrots and trim the ends.  You could even dice a few onions and celery ahead of time – making prep time for omelletes a snap during the week.  Set aside little baggies of dried fruits and/or nuts for work.  If you’re more ambitious, make a big pot of pasta sauce (can be used for pizza sauce, baked chicken), and even a stew or two.  Freeze them in meal sized portions and you’re set for the week!

Include 3 elements in every meal: think Color, Fat and Protein.  Colorful vegetables and fruits are easy to include.  Drizzle your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an easy way to include fat. Or add some avocado. Include an egg (boiled or poached) or canned salmon or chicken with your salad.  Healthy fats and simple proteins keep you fuller and contribute to your overall energy levels staying consistent throughout the day.

Substitute honey, real maple syrup and stevia in your recipes, hot drinks and smoothies.  Honey has long been reputed to have healing properties.  Stevia adds sweetness (when used very sparingly) and doesn’t increase your blood sugar.  Check out ideas on-line for recipes using these ingredients and substitute them when you bake. Start today and use these 5 quick tips for healthy eating.

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of (267) 482-6530 receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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Exercising with your baby

Exercising with your baby can be challenging – and tempting to avoid altogether.  Don’t miss this golden opportunity.  Work out with your baby at home or at a local park, using your baby as your “dumbell”.  An average two month old baby can weigh up to 10 pounds, which is the perfect weight to be lifting to get back into shape.  Before you begin any weighted exercise, please consult with your doctor or midwife and never do these exercises if you are still bleeding postpartum.  In that case, just go for a walk and get some fresh air with your baby.  A tip I got from a mom recently: “Make your playlists as long as you plan to exercise!  It will keep you from constantly glancing at the timer.  The less you think about how much time is left, the more likely it will just fly by!”

Grab your snugglie or baby bjorn (borrow one if you don’t have one), and securely strap your baby into it.  For young babies (1-3 months), let them face you – your movements will probably even put them to sleep (yeah!).    Here is a sample workout.  To warm up, go for a five minute brisk walk and then do 10-15 walking lunges.  Next, do 3 sets of squats, making sure to keep your knees over your toes.  Alternate 10 lunges on each leg with those squats.  Walk again for 1 minute.  Repeat once.

For your upper body, use either two hands holding your baby to do arm curls, or leave baby strapped on and grab your dumb bells.   Alternate 3 sets of bicep curls with 3 sets of tricep dips off a chair.

Work on your chest and back strength next.  Pushups are a great way to build your chest and back muscles.  Start on your knees and work your way up to full pushups on your toes.  Always remember to bend your elbows to 90 degrees and get low! Do three sets of 10 pushups.

Abs are essential to rebuilding your core, reducing any back pain you may have and helping you stay strong for your baby.  It’s super easy to do too! Make it a game of peek-a-boo if you want, but do those crunches and plank work.  For your crunches, place baby on your thighs, facing you or on the floor beside you and work up to 30 crunches.  Do it in sets of 10 if you need to.  Repeat once.  Next do a simple plank.  Start with your knees on the floor and work your way up to being on your toes.  Place your baby on the floor in front of you as you do the exercises.

And finally, always do your stretching.  It will prevent injury, and help relax those sore muscles!  Cardio Blast offers a full suite of stretching and strength videos that all moms can do at home. Remember that by taking a half hour for your own health and strength, you will be less tired, less prone to injury, and better able to care for your baby!

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of 815-243-6581 receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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How many calories should you consume in a day

How many calories should you consume in a day

How many calories should you consume in a day? People often wonder this especially in relation to losing weight. While there are some very rough guidelines both men and women can use for caloric consumption, there is a formula that you can use that takes into account some of your own personal factors for a more accurate count.

First you will need to calculate your basal metabolic rate (or your BMR). This step will calculate the energy needed to maintain your current weight without exercise.

For Women:                                              For Men:
655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds)                 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds)
+ (4.7 x height in inches)                            + (12.7 x height in inches)
– (4.7 x age in years) = ___________.       – (6.8 x age in years) = ___________.

Next, using the Harris Benedict Equation, take the number above and multiply it by the level of exercise you are doing. So, BMR x (Exercise Factor) = Your calorie needs for weight maintenance.

Exercise Factor                 Category                       Explanation
1.2                                       Sedentary                      Little or no exercise
1.375                                   Lightly Active                 Light exercise(1-3 days/week)
1.55                                     Moderately Active          Moderate exercise (3-5 days/week)
1.7                                       Very Active                     Hard Exercise (6 -7 days/week)
1.9                                       Extremely Active            Hard daily exercise/physical job

Now, you can adjust this number up or down depending on your fitness goals.
● For weight loss: subtract 500 calories per day if you are looking for moderate weight loss (1 pound per week). If you want more aggressive weight loss then you can subtract as much as 1000 calories per day (2 pounds per week).
● For weight gain, add 250 to 300 calories per day.
● For weight maintenance, you already have that number – stick to it.

For example, a woman who is 28 years old, 5’7″ tall and 155 lbs doing medium intensity cardio workouts 4 times per week and wants to lose weight would calculate her daily caloric needs like this:

BMR:                                                   BMR:
655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds)          655 + (4.35 x 155)
+ (4.7 x height in inches)                     + (4.7 x 67)
– (4.7 x age in years) = ______.        – (4.7 x 28) = 1512 Calories/Day BMR

So, 1,512 calories/day is what this woman needs to maintain her weight without exercise. Now, we will factor in her exercise.

BMR:
x (Exercise Factor) = Calories/day
1512 x (1.55) = approx. 2345 calories per day when exercising 4 times/week.

Now this woman also wants to lose weight. So, take her 2,344 calories/ day and subtract 500 calories/day = 1845 Calories/Day. This will help her lose one pound per week. If she wants more aggressive weight loss (two pounds per week) she can subtract up to 1000 calories per day as long as she stays above the 1200 calorie minimum per day for women (for men the minimum should be 1800 calories). Now that you know how to calculate your caloric needs, you can adjust your eating according to the feedback you are getting from your body.

Please note: The above information is just a guideline. If you want more detailed information on nutrition you should consult with a dietary consultant or nutritionist.

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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3 Basic Exercises to Strengthen your Whole Body

We’ve been asked many times about what exercises are best to target and strengthen the whole body. Often times, people are running short on time and want to do a few exercises that will take care of their whole body. Well if you are looking for 3 basic strength exercises to strengthen your whole body then here they are.

Squats. A properly executed squat can work your quadriceps, glutes, calf muscles and even your hamstrings. Start off in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart and hands on your hips. Bend your knees and flex forward at the waist as you lower your body towards the ground. Make sure to keep your butt back as if you are sitting deep into a chair. You should able to look down and see your toes so make sure your knees don’t move too far forward. Your shoulders should be back and head level. Once your butt gets down to the level of your knees pause for a split second and then work your way back up to a standing position. Breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way up.

Pushups. These are great for working your chest, shoulder and tricep muscles. Start off with your hands on the ground in a wide position. Your elbows should be aligned over your wrists. You can have your knees and feet on the ground (easy intensity), knees on the ground (medium intensity) or feet on the ground (high intensity). Lower your upper body towards the ground. Stop when your elbows get to a 90 degree angle and then work your way back up. Your stomach and low back should remain straight and tight through the whole motion. Breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way back up.

Chin Ups. Although tough, this exercise will strengthen your back and bicep muscles in your arms. Reach for a bar that is over your head and pull your chin towards the bar lifting your body off of the ground. Use a grip with your hands shoulder width apart and palms facing towards you for an easier version of this exercise. If you want to make it harder then use a wider grip with palms facing away from you. Focus on using the muscles in the side of your back doing the majority of the work. Your biceps will do the secondary work after your back muscles fatigue. Always keep the bar in front of your body rather than pulling up with the bar behind your neck. This will help avoid shoulder impingement issues. If you find it too hard to do even one of these then get a partner to help assist you or have a chair nearby where you can put your feet on to assist in lifting you.

There you have it – three exercises that will target all of the major muscle groups of the body. If you’re looking for something simple then these will help you get stronger in the shortest period of time.

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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Summer Workout Motivation

Summer Workout Motivation

Are you looking for some summer workout motivation? We all know how it goes.  January hits and we are back on board with our workout routine. “This year is going to be different,” we all promise.  And we do pretty well.  As summer approaches with the threat of the itsy bitsy bikini, our motivation stays relatively high. But what is this? Summer hits, school is out, the kids are home and somehow 2 weeks passes by with barely a blip on the workout radar! With backyard barbeques grilling up tasty steaks and sausages just needing to be washed down with our favorite beer, margarita or sangria, the calories just start adding up – and so do the pounds. It can be scary how tight our jeans and shirts can get inside of a fortnight.

It’s so important to keep moving towards our fitness goals. (By the way, what are yours? Answering “losing weight” doesn’t count – it’s not specific enough!). When you’re juggling kids, housework, summer camps and activities, your own health gets quickly shoved to the back burner.  But in all fairness, shouldn’t you give your own well-being at least the same priority as you give to the health of your little darlings?  As close as you can to the start of your summer, after the wee ones are in bed (or any other quiet moment) PLAN where and when you will exercise. Keep an open mind.  Some moms love waking up early around 6:00am and either head out to the gym for an hour or workout from home and come home before the kids are awake. Other moms prefer to go biking with the kids or sneaking in a quick weight workout while the kids are at activities.  There’s always an opportunity – find yours!

Remember too, that in order for exercise to be effective, it DOESN’T need to last an hour.  Alternating weights with cardio can cut down your time commitment.  For example, on Monday, do 20 mins of interval cardio. Then on Tuesday, do weights on your upper body (Biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and back). Remember to stretch after both cardio and weight workouts! On Wednesday do cardio again – you could go for a longer run or a swim but make sure that you get your heart rate up for at least 30 – 45 mins if you’re not doing interval training. Thursday would be your lower body day. Include quads, hamstrings, calves, lower back and abs.  Friday is a good rest day.  Saturday could be a cardio day with Sunday a rest day again.

So stay committed! Find a friend to go with you or just trade babysitting favors with her.  Stay in shape – you’ll thank yourself in September with the holiday season just around the corner!!

About the Author: Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.

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