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Health & Fitness

Before Breakfast Mini Morning Workout

There are many benefits to morning workouts. First, you tend to have more energy. When we exercise after work or school, we’re often tired and anxious to get it over with. Second, morning workouts help energize you for the rest of the day. Finally, it helps kickstart the different systems in your body so that you’re burning calories throughout the day.

This 6-minute workout combines yoga and basic exercises to gently wake you. We’ve designed it to be the perfect pre-breakfast pick me up. It’s not too demanding, but will still help loosen your muscles, kickstart your metabolism, and raise your heart rate.

Before Breakfast Mini Morning Workout

What You’ll Need: a gym timer (free apps are available for download), and a mat or towel to lay on the floor

What to Do: Perform each move for 40 seconds and rest for 20.

Below, we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Exercises:
1. Cat Cow Stretch
2. Chair Pose
3. Sumo Squats
4. Leg Lifts
5. Camel Pose
6. Russian Twist

Cat Cow Stretch

Chair Pose

Sumo Squats

Leg Lifts

Camel Pose

Russian Twist

What did you think of this Before Breakfast Mini Morning Workout? Let us know in the comment section. below! Also, be sure to subscribe to our enewsletter and follow us on Pinterest for all of the latest healthy living tips and routines!

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Health & Fitness

Target Fat and Build Muscles with These 6 Essential Moves

Burpees, squats, push-ups, and planks. We designed this workout using variations of popular moves that will help you push yourself to new limits. The Bird-Dog plank provides a great challenge to your core, making the muscles do more work to hold you steady. Meanwhile, alternating jump lunges raise your heart rate quickly and burn more calories. This weight loss workout is a test to both your strength and endurance.

We recommend using a Bosu ball for burpees because it helps engage your arms and core. However, if you don’t have access to a bosu ball you can easily complete this workout with regular burpees. It will be just as much of a challenge and just as effective at targeting fat and building muscle.

What You Need: a Bosu ball (optional), and a mat to lay on the floor

What to Do: Complete all the exercises for the number of repetitions specified. Rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat.

Beginners: 2 rounds
Intermediate: 4 rounds
Advanced: 6 rounds

Move up a level whenever the workout becomes less challenging. Below, we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Exercises:
1. 50 Bird-Dog Plank
2. 30 Sumo Squats
3. 10 Push-Ups
4. 50 Alternating Jump Lunges
5. 30 Spiderman Plank
6. 15 Bosu Ball Burpees (if you do not have access to a Bosu ball, replace this move with a regular Burpee)

Bird-Dog Plank

Sumo Squats

Push-Ups

Alternating Jump Lunges

Spiderman Plank

Bosu Ball Burpee

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Health & Fitness

How to Choose the Right Running Shoes

When it comes to choosing running shoes, a little knowledge goes a long way. Buying the wrong shoe can lead to discomfort, sprains, splints, and other injuries. Runners need shoes that cushion the soles against impact, offer a good amount of protection, and support the natural shape of your foot. A running shoe should be like an extension of you, working with your body to accomplish your goals.

There’s not one shoe that meets everyone’s needs. A good shoe has nothing to do with brands or price tags, but everything to do with your gait and the shape of your foot. This means that even the best reviewed running shoe might not be right for you.

Read below to learn more about what kind of running shoe can benefit you.

1. Choose between a road shoe or a trail shoe.

If you run on a treadmill or on a paved path, you need a different shoe than someone who runs through forests or hiking trails.

Road shoes, meaning shoes for people running on treadmills or pavement, are lighter and more flexible. They provide enough cushion to minimize the impact of your steps, but don’t offer much protection against rocks, sticks, and roots found in hiking trails.

Trail shoes have a thicker sole for protection against rocks, sticks, roots, and general debris. They tend to be thicker to provide extra stability on uneven terrain. This is the kind of shoe you want to wear when running on a hiking path.

2. Check whether you overpronate, under-pronate, or have a neutral step.

Overpronators turn their feet inward when stepping. The pressure passes from the heel, through the arch of the foot and to the inside toes. Under-pronators step through the outside of their feet. Neutral pronation means you step through your heel to your toes without twisting your feet in or out. People with flat feet tend to overpronate, while runners with high arches tend to under-pronate.

There are several ways you can find out in which category you fit. Many sports stores offer a gait analysis where an experienced staff member watches you run on a treadmill. They will be able to tell you about your step pattern and suggest shoe models to try. If your sporting store does not offer this option, you can analyze your own gait by looking at the bottom of a well-worn running shoe. If most of the wear is along the inside of the shoe, it might indicate overpronation. Wear along the outside of the sole indicates under-pronation. While wear that is centralized on the balls of the feet usually mean a neutral gait.

3. Find the right shoe type for your gait.

Overpronators benefit from stability or motion control shoes. These are built to counter overpronation and often include reinforcement along the arch to keep you from putting too much pressure on it.

Under-pronators do best in shoes with extra cushioning. These provide padding along the midsole for shock absorption, but still remain light and flexible.

Neutral runners can wear almost any type of shoe, but they tend to do best in a shoe with moderate stability or a shoe with extra cushioning.

4. Select the right size.

Finally, you should find the right size. Shoe sizes vary greatly among manufacturers, which means you might have to try a few sizes before you find the right one. As a general rule, you should go up half a size to compensate for socks and swelling. Begin by trying on this size and test how it fits. You want to have about one fourth of an inch of space in the toebox, yet have the heel be snug so that your foot doesn’t slip out.

Once you’ve found the right size, you’re ready to get out there! Check out our top 5 running programs for beginners or learn more about improving your speed.

 

How did you find the right pair of running shoes? Let us know what helped in the comments below!

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Health & Fitness

21-Day HIIT Challenge

There’s no short cut to weight loss, but when it comes to workouts that produce quick, visible results, HIIT is your best bet! HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training style that alternates bursts of intense exercise, with short recovery periods. For this 21-day HIIT challenge, we’re using some of our most popular HIIT workouts to give you three weeks of quick, but effective training.

Our workout plan consists of interval training, walking/jogging, and rest days. It’s easy-to-follow and the quick workouts are ideal for anyone who doesn’t have hours to spend at the gym. It’s the perfect way to tone your muscles, improve your endurance, and burn some serious calories!

What to Do: Download the calendar and complete the workout assigned each day. Some days, you will also have to walk or jog a set number of miles. You can do this outdoors or using the treadmill at your gym. The important thing is to have fun!

The Plan

Day 1 – The Best Fat-Burning Lower Body HIIT Workout
Day 2 – HIIT Arm & Shoulders Workout
Day 3 – 2-Move Fat-Burning HIIT Workout & Walk/Jog 3 miles
Day 4 – HIIT Your Butt Workout
Day 5 – Rest Day
Day 6 – HIIT Total Body Toning Workout
Day 7 – HIIT Arms & Shoulders Workout

Day 8 – 10-Minute Total Body HIIT Workout & Walk/Jog 3 miles
Day 9 – The Best Fat-Burning Lower Body HIIT Workout
Day 10 – Rest Day
Day 11 – HIIT Total Body Toning Workout
Day 12 – HIIT Your Butt Workout
Day 13 – 2-Move Fat-Burning HIIT Workout & Walk/Jog 3 miles
Day 14 – HIIT Arms & Shoulders Workout

Day 15 – Rest Day
Day 16 – The Best Fat-Burning Lower Body Workout
Day 17 – HIIT Arms & Shoulders Workout
Day 18 – 10-Minute Total Body HIIT Workout & Walk/Jog 4 miles
Day 19 – HIIT Butt Workout
Day 20 – Rest Day
Day 21 – 2-Move Fat-Burning HIIT Workout & 10-Minute Total Body HIIT Workout

Download the FREE 21-Day HIIT Challenge Calendar HERE.

 

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Health & Fitness

5 Easy Moves to Transform Your Body

You don’t need to do a hundred moves to transform your body. Instead, you just need to do the right moves to get the results you want.

We love these five exercises because they’re effective. They burn calories, build muscle, and challenge your body in every way. Sumo squats are great for your quads and hamstrings. Jackknife crunches target your upper and lower abs in one super-effective move. Reverse lunges work your thighs, while also improving your balance and cardiac health. Fire hydrants are great for your glutes. And finally, the plank is an all-over move that works your arms, shoulders, and core.

Follow along with our workout, or use these five moves to create your own.

What You’ll Need: a gym timer, and a mat or towel to lay on the floor.

What to Do: Perform each move for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds in between. For reverse lunges and fire hydrants, perform 45 seconds on one leg, followed by 45 seconds on the other leg.

Beginners: 1 round
Intermediate: 3 rounds
Advanced: 5 rounds

Below, we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Exercises:
1. Sumo Squats
2. Jackknife Crunch
3. Reverse Lunge with Front Kick (one set on each leg)
4. Fire Hydrant with Kick (one set on each leg)
5. Plank

Sumo Squats

Jackknife Crunch

Reverse Lunge with Front Kick

Fire Hydrant with Kick

Plank

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Health & Fitness

7-Day HIIT Challenge

If you’re short on time, but want to get some serious workouts in, we have the perfect solution for you. This 7 Day HIIT Challenge is an intense routine using quick but efficient workouts. We use HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, to burn as many calories as possible in a short period of time.

HIIT is an effective way to strengthen muscles and improve endurance, all while shedding body fat. It combines bursts of intense exercise with short recovery periods. Additionally, HIIT is believed to continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after the workout. This means that even while you’re sitting at home, you’re getting fit!

If you’re up for this intense 7 day HIIT challenge, download the calendar and follow along!

What to Do: Download the calendar and complete the two workouts assigned each day.

Day 1
4-Minute Shred to Drop Pounds Fast (Repeat x2)
7-Minute Workout for Flatter Abs (Repeat x2)

Day 2
HIIT Arms & Shoulders Workout (Repeat x2)
Summer Tricep Toning Workout (Repeat x2)

Day 3
HIIT Your Butt Workout (Repeat x3)
The Best Fat-Burning Lower Body HIIT Workout (Repeat x1)

Day 4
10-Minute Total Body HIIT Workout (Repeat x2)
2-Move Fat Burning HIIT Workout (Repeat x3)

Day 5
4-Minute Shred to Drop Pounds Fast (Repeat x2)
7-Minute Workout for Flatter Abs (Repeat x2)

Day 6
HIIT Arms & Shoulders Workout (Repeat x2)
Summer Tricep Toning Workout (Repeat x2)

Day 7
HIIT Your Butt Workout (Repeat x3)
The Best Fat-Burning Lower Body HIIT Workout (Repeat x1)

Download the FREE 7-Day HIIT Challenge Calendar HERE.

 

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Health & Fitness

7 Moves for Thinner Thighs

Thighs are one of the harder areas to target. This is because getting that long and lean look requires both building muscle and burning fat. These 7 moves for thinner thighs are designed to do just that! Variations of squats, lunges, and deadlifts target your quads and hamstrings while raising your heart rate. Burpees are great for maximum calorie burn, while clams and side lunges help you tone the outer and inner thigh.

You can follow the workout below or you can combine the moves to make your own routine.

What You’ll Need: an interval timer (free apps are available for download), and a mat or towel to lay on the floor.

What to Do: Set the timer for 40 seconds of exercise and 20 seconds of rest. Cycle through the 7 moves in order. Rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat for a total of 3 rounds.

If the workout becomes too easy, try some of our suggestions for more challenging moves. You don’t have to do all 7 challenge moves in a single workout. Mix-and-match regular and challenge moves to create the routine that works for you!

Below we’ve included videos showing you how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

1. Jump Squat

The jump squat is great for for your thighs because it activates the large quadricep muscle and it raises your heart rate for optimal calorie burn.

When you’re ready for a challenge try: 180-Degree Jump Squat

2. Walking Lunges

Lunges are great for your quads and hamstrings. Try lunging down hallways and across rooms (perhaps not while at work) and you’ll see how a few reps of this move can leave your legs burning.

When you’re ready for a challenge try: Jumping Lunges

3. Reverse Lunges

The reverse lunge puts the focus on the quads. It’s one of the best moves for thinner thighs because it also burns a lot of calories. More muscle + less fat = long lean look!

When you’re ready for a challenge try: Reverse Lunge with Front Kick

4. Single-Leg Deadlifts

This balancing act is harder than it looks. With the single leg deadlift, you should feel a nice stretch on the back of your leg. This is elongating your hamstring while making it stronger.

When you’re ready for a challenge try: Single-Leg Deadlift with Dumbbells (about 5 lb.)

5. Burpees

Most gym rats have a love/hate relationship with burpees. Sure, they make us sweat pretty quickly, but that’s also why they’re a great move for this thinner thigh workout. Burpees activate the large thigh muscles while also burning calories quickly.

When you’re ready for a challenge try: Tuck Jump Burpee

6. Alternating Side Lunges

This is great for targeting your inner thighs. Strengthening your inner thighs will help you get all-around tone on your legs and will lead to a more even performance.

When you’re ready for a challenge try: Side Jump

7. Clams

Clams target your outer thigh. They’ll help you build muscles in those hard-to-target areas. The key to this exercise is to have proper form, so make sure to watch the videos below to get the most out of your workout.

When you’re ready for a challenge try: Side Plank Clams

Jump Squat

180-Degree Jump Squat

Walking Lunges

Jumping Lunges

Reverse Lunges

Reverse Lunge with Front Kick

Single-Leg Deadlifts

Burpees

Tuck Jump Burpees

Alternating Side Lunges

Side Jump

Clams & Side Plank Clams

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Health & Fitness

28-Day Guide to Slimmer Thighs

Slimming down thighs can be a challenge. This is because training with heavy weights tones the area, but also grows the muscle. In order to effectively slim the thighs and get that long and lean look, you need a combination of cardio and strength training. For this 28-day thigh slimming plan, we’re using low-weight, high-rep strength training and simple cardio.

The strength training portion includes exercises to target your hamstrings, quads, inner thighs, and glutes. For the first 21 days, you’ll be doing this 3-4 times per week, as well as two days of cardio. For the final week, we focus on cutting, meaning burning any excess fat and bringing your muscles to light. These last days include extra cardio and more intense workouts. But the hard work should pay off and after 28 days of hard work you should have slimmer, stronger, leaner thighs!

28-Day Guide to Slimmer Thighs

What to do: Perform the type of routine designated for each day. Complete the strength routines consecutively (beginning with quadriceps and ending with glutes.) Cross off each day as you go!

What You’ll Need: a set of 5 lb. dumbbells, a mat or towel to lay on the floor, and a gym timer (free to download apps are available)

Download your free 28-Day calendar and get started! 

Below, we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Dumbbell Squats

Walking Lunges

Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts

Single Leg Deadlift

Frog Kicks

Inner Thigh Lifts

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

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Health & Fitness

How to Burn 300 Calories or More in 30 Minutes

The average person burns about 100 calories per mile. To burn 300 calories in 30 minutes, you can run 3 miles, or you can try this dynamic calorie-burning cardio workout. It’s just as challenging as a run, but a whole lot more fun. It has jumps and moves that will take the monotony out of running on a treadmill or going on a sedentary bike.

We designed this routine alternating high- and low-intensity intervals for optimal calorie burn. During the short bursts of high-intensity exercise, we encourage you to push yourself to your limit. Raising your heart rate will both burn calories and improve your endurance. The low-intensity intervals will allow you periods of recovery. They are not rest periods, so your heart rate will stay somewhat elevated, but they’ll provide enough recuperation time to keep you going for the whole 30 minutes. Try it out and let us know what you think!

What You’ll Need: a gym timer (free apps are available for download), and an optional mat.

What to Do: Set your gym timer for 10 cycles of 20-second high-intensity exercise and 40-second low-intensity exercise (10 minutes total). Do the exercises in Round 1 for all 10 cycles. Rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat with Rounds 2 & 3.

Below, we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Round 1
High-Intensity: Burpee
Low-Intensity: Butt Kickers

Round 2
High-Intensity: Mountain Climbers
Low-Intensity: Skaters

Round 3
High-Intensity: Squat Jumps
Low-Intensity: Jog in Place

Burpees

Butt Kickers

Mountain Climbers

Skaters

Squat Jumps

Jog in Place

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Health & Fitness

At-Home CrossFit Workout

It’s always nice to have a few do-anywhere workouts for when you want to get some exercise but don’t necessarily want to drive to the gym. This at-home CrossFit workout can fit into the busiest of schedules. You’ll only need a few minutes to complete it and you don’t need any equipment other than a timer.

Our At-Home CrossFit Workout incorporates moves to target the whole body. Burpees, squats, push-ups, mountain climbers, and butt kickers are meant to both raise your heart rate and challenge your muscles.

What You’ll Need: a timer (any kind of timer should work for this, including your phone timer or a kitchen timer).

What to Do: Set your timer and complete as many rounds as possible before time runs out.

Beginners: 7 minutes
Intermediate: 10 minutes
Advanced: 15 minutes

Below we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Exercises:
1. 10 Burpees
2. 20 Squats
3. 10 Push-Ups
4. 40 Mountain Climbers
5. 50 Butt Kickers

Burpees

Squats

Push-Up

Mountain Climbers

Butt Kickers