3 Great Beginner Workouts

I want to share with you 3 great workout videos that are perfect for beginners.


Slim in 6: Reshape your body in just 6 weeks with Slim in 6®. Thousands of people have lost up to 25 pounds in 6 weeks with this breakthrough system—and you can too. This is a great program that takes just 6 weeks and is low impact. It is perfect for beginners. Debbie is motivating and great at explaining the exercises and giving you good tips.

 

 


Power 90: This is a fat burning and total-body sculpting video focused on abs, thighs, and upper body, with trainer Tony Horton. This in-home boot camp for dramatic body transformation uses Tony’s Sectional Progression™ technique, which gives you an effective workout in as little as 30 minutes!

 

 


10 Minute Trainer: No matter how busy you are, you can always find the time to squeeze in one of these 10-minute workouts. With these breakthrough workouts and the easy-to-follow eating plan which is included, you’ll lose weight, get toned, and have plenty of time left over! If you are short on time this may be the way to go. Do one video in 10 minutes. Or if you have a little extra time, do 2 of them and help speed up your results.

 

These are just three of the great workout dvds that I have personally used. If you are looking for some great videos to invest in to help you on your fitness journey, I encourage you to check these out.

Why Should You Add Resistance Training to Your Exercise Routine?

A lot of people will walk or do some type of cardio workout and still not see the physical fitness results they are looking for. So what is missing? Is there anything else they can add to help them achieve their goals?

I believe there are two things that could make a big difference:  Proper Diet and Resistance Training.

All of the workout programs I design have a resistance training element in them. Why?  Because I believe that resistance training is key to reaching your fitness goals. I want to share some of these reasons with you, and also try to debunk some common myths about resistance training, especially for females.

Why You Should Add Resistance Training to Your Exercise Routine

1.  You will build bone mineral density.

Through resistance training you actually make your bones stronger, which can help prevent osteoporosis. The stronger your bones are, the stronger you are overall.

2. You will build muscle strength and tone.

When your muscles are stronger, you will more easily be able to perform daily living activities. This makes simple tasks like carrying the groceries and climbing stairs much easier.

In addition, muscle tissue is also denser than fat tissue.  This means that one pound of muscle will take up less space then one pound of fat. At rest, muscle tissue will burn more calories on average than fat tissue, thus changing and improving your body composition and form.

3.  You will speed up your metabolism.

Metabolism is how our bodies convert the food we eat into fuel, and how efficiently we burn that fuel. The faster and more efficient our bodies are with this, the more calories we burn, which helps us either maintain or lose weight. Unlike a cardio work-out, resistance training will lead to extra calories being burnt hours after the workout is complete.  So not only are you burning calories while doing a resistance workout, you are also continuing to burn calories long after you are done. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

Common Myths or Fears About Adding Resistance Training to Your Exercise Routine

1.   Resistance Training Will Make Me ”Big and Bulky”. 

This is a common fear among women in regard to resistance training, and I hear you! I don’t want to get big and bulky either. But I do want to have nice definition and toned muscles.

Guess what? Females won’t bulk up like males will. We simply do not have enough testosterone to encourage a lot of muscle growth.  You will have muscle definition, but you will not become big and buff.

2.  Resistance Training is Only For Atheletes.

As I stated earlier, there are so many health benefits to lifting weights or doing resistance training that you don’t need to be an athlete in order to take part in a resistance training program. Resistance training can benefit anyone!

If you are serious about trying to get fit, consider adding a resistance training element to your workout routine. It doesn’t have to be super intense or last an hour. It can be just a basic and simple program. If you add 2-3 days of resistance training in with the cardio work-outs you are already doing, you will see positive results!

Resistance Bands – An Inexpensive Workout Tool

I’ve talked about resistance bands a little in a previous post, so I decided to share a few more thoughts about why I love them. My friend, Laura at Heavenly Homemakers, and I have recently started using resistance bands in our training in order, just to switch things up a little. I try to change our mode of workout frequently to keep us from becoming bored. The resistance bands are a great way to do that!

Resistance bands are heavy duty latex bands with a handle attached.  Different bands offer different amounts of resistance.

Resistance bands add variety to your workouts, they are very inexpensive, and they don’t take up very much space. They are even portable. It is so nice to just be able to throw a band or two into my bag and take them with me when I want to work out on the road. Resistance bands can be used to execute a number of different exercises, making them a great substitute for dumbbells.

Here is an example of some exercises you can do with your resistance bands:

For me, it is just fun to figure out how I can use resistance bands in new ways to work different muscles. I can do an exercise with dumbbells, and then turn around and do the same exercise with resistance bands, achieving an entirely different effect. I love it!

So, if you are thinking of purchasing some equipment to get started on your workout journey, what better way than to buy some resistance bands!

How to Find Time to Exercise

When can you possibly fit one more activity into your day when there is laundry to be done, dirty dishes in the sink, and kids to chase after? You want to exercise but it seems that there aren’t enough hours in the day. How can you find the time to fit in exercise?

My first thought is that you must decide if fitness and exercise are truly a priority in your life right now. Are you so ready to get fit that you will find the time? And even if you are willing, is it really possible for you?

If fitness and exercise are a priority then it does become easier to find time for it. But that doesn’t mean it is always easy to fit it into your day. You will still have other priorities and responsibilities that you will need to take care of. Sometimes exercise has to be fit in around those responsibilities. Sometimes it just needs to be “scheduled” into the day like everything else.

Here are some possibilities for times that might work for you to fit exercise into your busy day:

  1. Get up a half hour to hour earlier! Sometimes it works to get your workout in first thing so that you can continue with the rest of your day like normal.
  2. If you have little ones, maybe you can get your workout in while they are napping. You could also take them with you on a walk or if they are old enough to play at the park let them play while you workout nearby.
  3. You may be able to involve the kids in your workout. Little ones can be held during a resistance training program and be used as the resistance. Older kids might just have fun joining you.
  4. Sometimes exercise will have to be broken up into smaller chunks in order to fit it all in. You may not have an hour to workout but maybe you have 10-15 minutes that you could squeeze part of it in, and then later in the day you have some time to finish it. There is nothing wrong with breaking your workout up into 10-15 minute segments. You will still benefit from the workouts.
  5. You may have to do it later in the evening when you put the kids to bed. This doesn’t always work for everyone because it can affect your sleep. But it’s worth a try if you are serious about trying to get a workout in.

Finding time to workout can be challenging and even frustrating at times. But I don’t think you will regret finding the time. Your body will thank you down the road for making fitness a priority. There are also going to be times in life when it is extremely hard if not impossible to fit a workout in like you would want to. That’s ok. Do what you can when you can.

How do you find time to fit workouts into your busy schedules?

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Are you drinking enough water throughout the day? I know I wasn’t a few years ago – and even today have to be intentional about drinking water.

Why is this so important? There are many reasons that drinking water is important for you. For starters, our bodies are made up of roughly 60-70% water. The brain itself is almost 85% water! Those are huge numbers, and in order for us to continue to function, we have to maintain those numbers by drinking plenty of water.

Our bodies are constantly losing water, and we must replace that water if we want our bodies to function at the highest level possible.  It is recommended that you drink about two liters of water each day.

Dehydration is one of the biggest problems people tend to think about when it comes to not drinking enough water. Dehydration can and will affect brain function and kidney function. You may also find yourself to be more tired when you are dehydrated. This  reason alone should be enough to encourage you to make sure you are drinking enough water.

In addition, water is good for flushing out toxins and just plain keeping our body running smoothly and efficiently. It can also help you feel more full and since it has zero calories it can aid in weight loss if that is a goal of yours. When our bodies are properly hydrated we simply function better.

So get in the habit of drinking water throughout the day, not just when you feel thirsty – but all day long. Carry a water bottle with you or have a glass of water sitting with you at home.

You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you drink enough water each day!

5 Easy Ways to Get Up and Start Moving

If you are new to fitness or just beginning this journey, you may be wondering where to start. With so many different options it can be extremely overwhelming.

But did you know that even as little as 10 minutes of activity can have positive health benefits for you?  Here are a few simple suggestions I’ve come up with to help you get started, even if you have very limited time for exercise:

1. If you have little ones, go outside and play with them. Chase them around the yard, play tag, or kick a soccer ball around. Just move with them. This will increase your heart rate some, they will appreciate that you are playing with them, and you might even find yourself having a little fun too!

2. Go for a 15-30 minute walk. Take your dog with you, take your kids with you (you could even let them ride their bikes), or meet up with a friend and use that time to catch up a little bit. If you can’t fit in a full 30 minutes at a time you can break that up into two to three 10 minute sessions if that works into your life better. Even just walking for 10 minutes will make a difference in your activity level and heart rate. You will still benefit from those short walks. Walking is great for your body and is a low impact exercise.

3. If you take your kids swimming, join them. Swimming is a great cardio workout. It is also very low impact so it is easy on your joints. You can walk or jog in the shallow end, play with the kids, or even swim a few laps.  Don’t assume that you need to swim lap after lap after lap to gain the benefits from being in the pool.  Even simple movements in the water will benefit you.

4. Work outside in the yard or garden. Doing some serious yard work can become a great form of exercise. If you are moving, active, and getting your heart rate up you are really working out.

5. If you have a staircase in your house, run (or walk) up and down them a few extra times each day.  You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to add those extra simple steps, which will strengthen your muscles and increase your heart rate too.

My point is that when you are getting started on your fitness journey, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Small changes in your activity level can have huge health benefits down the road. It also doesn’t have to be boring. Have fun with it! Involve your family. Change it up on a regular basis, and enjoy your time of being active and working to become fit!

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Clothing is Best for a Workout?

What type of clothing do you need to wear while working out? Whatever is comfortable and works for you. Typically you will want something that is loose fitting and allows you to move in multiple directions. For some that will mean shorts and a t-shirt. For others that might mean sweat pants and a t-shirt. Some people may prefer more form fitting clothing that will stay out of their way while they work out. It really comes down to your personal preference.

Just walk into any store that sells athletic apparel, and you will find a wide range of options. Stores stock everything from tight form fitting pants/shorts to super loose and baggy pants/shorts. There is also some new “high tech” gear that claims to wick moisture away from your body to help keep you cool. Having all of these options to pick from can be overwhelming, and we have even touched shoes yet! So what are you supposed to do? How do you decide what to spend money on?

You may choose to skimp in some items, but the one thing I would recommend spending money on is a good pair of shoes. It’s very important to have the foot support you need while you work out. Keep in mind that everyone’s foot is different so what works for one may not work for another. Try to shop in a store where knowledgeable employees can help you find a shoe that fits well. Remember, you are going for comfort and support, based on the type of workout you will be involving yourself in.

As far as the clothing goes, if you have something that you are comfortable working out in then you may not need to purchase anything new. However, in order to have an effective workout, you may want to try new and different options. Try some of the different styles of shorts and pants as well as some of the different types of tops, as your budget allows. If you can afford to buy a few new things to help motivate you to work out then great. Or maybe the reward for sticking with your workout program can be new gear. That’s always fun.

How do I feel about shopping and investing in good workout clothing?  Well, in general, I don’t like to shop at all, but I sure do love getting new workout gear! I personally love the Nike dri-fit gear. Does it do what it claims and wick the moisture away from my body? I think to some extent. But I like it more because it is super light weight, especially compared to a plain ol’ cotton t-shirt, making my workouts so much more enjoyable and comfortable.

Find out what works for you when it comes to workout clothing. The more intent you are about fitness and working out, the more you’ll find that quality workout clothing becomes a priority.  In no time, you’ll find your favorite gear, just like I have!

 

Coconut Water – Great Post Workout Drink

I grew up drinking the typical gatorade after games and long workouts to “rehydrate”, especially during the summertime at all day softball tournaments. It tasted good, and I liked it a lot better than water. At that point, I had never even heard of coconut water.

Now, as I begin to learn more about healthy eating, I find myself branching out a little bit and trying things that I probably wouldn’t have in the past.  Lately, I have been hearing about all the great benefits of coconut water, but I had never taken the time to try it or to do any research on my own about it. Well now I have – and I love it. What a great product! And as I research the benefits of this great drink, I’m finding out how much better it us for us than standard sports drinks.

Ready to give it a try, a friend and I decided to try some coconut water as a recovery drink after a hard workout. It happened to be a coconut pineapple flavored variety, which was fabulous. We liked it so much, we decided that we definitely needed to get some more to have on hand for future workouts!

After enjoying the coconut water so much I decided I needed to do a little more research and learn about the health benefits of this wonderful drink. Here’s what I found: The specific coconut water we drank contained 60 calories, 30 mg of sodium, 515 mg of potassium, and 16 g of sugar per serving. Gatorade contains 50 calories, 110 mg of sodium, 30 mg of potassium, and 14 g of sugar. A typical banana contains 110 calories, 1 mg of sodium, 450 mg of potassium, and 19 g of sugar. Now the numbers for a banana seem to vary depending on your source of information. However, the claim that coconut water contains more potassium seems to hold true.

In my opinion, coconut water is a great way to rehydrate after a workout. It contains electrolytes that your body needs after exercising. Electrolytes are substances such as sodium, potassium, and calcium that conduct electricity in our bodies. These electrolytes are critical for our nerve and muscle function, plus the levels of electrolytes found in our body are depleted after strenuous workouts. Coconut water is also 100% natural, which is always a good thing. So I would recommend that if you are looking for a good post-workout/recovery drink give some coconut water a try. I’m looking forward to trying some of the different flavors.

For the record, I have found that plain coconut water isn’t as enjoyable as the flavored varieties – but I’ll leave it up to your taste buds to decide your preference!

What Kind of Equipment Do You Need to Get Started Working Out?

 

If you are new to working out, you may be wondering what type of equipment you will need to buy as you are starting this journey. The simple answer is that by being creative, you can get a great workout without any equipment at all.

In order to have an effective workout that will strengthen your muscles, you need some type of force or weight that works against the movement you are trying to create.  There are so many ways to add resistance to a workout without spending a lot of money on equipment. Plus it can be fun to come up with new ideas.

To start with, there are so many different exercises you can do that simply use your body weight as the resistance. Push-ups, squats, and lunges are just a few exercises that you can do that will tone your muscles using only your own body weight as the “opposing force” you are working against. Or, you can pick up objects that you have around your house to use for weight, thus adding resistance. This could be milk jugs filled with water or sand, bricks, your child, canned food, bag of potatoes, or even books. Be creative and use what you have around the house to get more out of your exercises.

While getting started with your workouts can be completely free of financial investment, here are my thoughts on some of the basic equipment that may be worth buying as you get started. I would recommend getting a good water bottle, one that is BPA free or stainless steel. I love my stainless steal water bottle and carry it with me where ever I go. It is very important to stay hydrated while working out and this is much easier to do when you always have a water bottle available.

The next thing I would suggest is to purchase a set of resistance bands. They are cheaper than buying a set of dumbbells, they don’t take up much room for storage, nor do you need a lot of space in order to use them. Dumbbells can be fairly inexpensive, especially the lighter weights, and may be something you will want to look into as you continue in your training.

In the future, I’ll offer more equipment recommendations and suggestions that you may find helpful as you build your training programs, but in my opinion, as you are getting started, you simply need the above mentioned pieces of basic equipment to make your resistance training program easier.

Supplements – Should You Take Them?

What exactly are supplements and should you be using them? That is a very good question, and one that a lot of people will struggle with to give you a definite answer.

There are two primary categories of supplements in my opinion – dietary supplements and sports nutrition supplements. Dietary supplements are taken with the intent to “supplement” or enhance one’s diet. This means that the multi-vitamin that you take daily is considered a dietary supplement. Sports nutrition supplements are known as ergogenic aids and are simply any product used with the intent to enhance athletic performance. These products are full of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals among other things. Supplements are available in all different forms and can typically be purchased by anyone without a prescription.

One of the problems with supplements is that they are not governed by the FDA. Some supplements have a lot of research backing up the claims that they make, while others have very little research behind them. This makes it very difficult to know which supplements to take or if you should even take one at all.

There are several supplements that I am personally comfortable with taking. For example, I’ve used different protein shakes, pre-workout drinks, and post-workout drinks. When I’m trying to decide on a supplement one of the first things I look at is the company behind the product. Is it a company that I trust? Is it one that I have used before? I also try to find supplements with natural ingredients. Will this supplement help me reach my current needs and goals? These are all questions I have to answer as I look into using different supplements.

These are the same type of questions you will need to answer. You will also need to consider what your goals are and what you are expecting from the supplements as you consider adding them to your workouts. These sports nutrition supplements are primarily going to be used by people doing high intensity workouts 4-6 days a week, but that may not hold true in all cases.

Because there are so many things to consider when you are looking into adding supplements, it can be very confusing. In no way do I feel like I have this all figured out. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error to find the few supplements that I’m comfortable taking based on my current needs and goals. If you would like to email me questions about this I would be glad to help you out as much as I can. My email address is: jen at gettingfitwithjen dot com.