Only have a Few Minutes to Work Out? Try These Exercises!

Exercise-in-ten-minsWe all have days or weeks when work, school, family – or anything else – gets in the way of our workout time. With added stress and busyness often comes the tendency to be lazy or eat unhealthy, but don’t let that throw off your healthy game!

Whether you are having a busy week or never seem to have enough time to work out, we believe that little steps can make a big impact. Doctors have even reported that regular exercise, regardless of how little, can have a lasting impact on your health and mental acuity.

Don’t have time to spend an hour at the gym or on a run? Here are a few options for ten minute or less workouts that work your arms, legs, butt and abs:

Ben Greenfield, a Fitness and Triathlon expert and Get-Fit podcast host recommends completing the following three times total:

  • 50 jump jacks
  • 15 push ups
  • 15 squats body weight squats
  • 15 dips (use two chair seats or something sturdy to hold onto)
  • 15 reverse lunges per side

Check out a video on reverse lunges here.

This is a 6-minute workout circuit by Lo Bosworth (the workout starts at 1:43), which shows a step-by-step for all of the exercises. Complete the following three times total, 60 seconds for each exercise (that’s just 18 minutes total!):

  • Plank balance for 60 seconds
  • Oblique blaster
  • Shoulder Press
  • Bicep Lifts
  • Warrior3 Lifts
  • Booty Lifts

We recommend adding some cardio as well, with 50 jumping jacks or butt kicks to really amp it up.

Anna Renderer, a fitness host, has created a 10-minute workout video for the “lazy girl” in all of us. This 10-minute circuit workout should be completed twice and requires a set of light free weights:

  • Trunk Twist
  • Bridge
  • Bird Dog Crunch
  • Alternating Chest Fly
  • Triceps Extension
  • Seated Bicep Curl
  • Mini Sidewinder

Do you have a short workout you have mastered? Share your quick workout secrets with us in the comments below!

 

Genetics Vs. Lifestyle – What is the Real Cause of PMS?

Genetics-LifeStyle-PMSMore than half of all women who menstruate have some form of cramping, and 15 percent of women have severe cramps. Menstrual cramps usually (but not always) improve, as a woman gets older, especially after giving birth. Of course, this doesn’t mean cramps go away as you age—they just often become a little more manageable.

Like many other things in life, genetics affect everything – even PMS! Unfortunately, if your mom and grandma had bad cramps, chances are you probably will too. Regardless of what runs in your family, don’t let nature rule your life!

Many women overlook the influence that their lifestyle and health has on the symptoms of their period. Being overweight and inactive can actually exacerbate symptoms of PMS. This is because high amounts of body fat indicate higher levels of estrogen, which can worsen your PMS. Being inactive also means that you aren’t letting your body help you out. Working out causes your body to produce nature’s painkillers, endorphins. Even though we don’t usually feel like it, it’s always a good idea to stay active during your period – and all other times of the month.

What you eat also has an effect on how good or bad you feel. Too much sugar, caffeine, or alcohol can worsen PMS. Too much dairy consumption can also worsen symptoms, due to hormonal imbalances. High stress levels can also worsen the symptoms of PMS.

The moral of the story: there’s a lot to thank our moms for – just maybe not the cramps! Luckily for us ladies, we have the personal power to stay healthy and active before, during, and after our periods. Not only will this help with PMS symptoms, but it will also produce a healthier you. What’s not to love?

Break up the Grind and Deskercise

Whether you’re on the grind in the library or at work, chances are that you spend quite a bit of time sitting at a desk. Our bodies aren't naturally structured to sit for prolonged periods of time, so it’s important to break up that feeling of being chained to the desk every so often. Take quick mini-breaks throughout the day with these quick fixes to work those “good posture muscles” while you work:

  • Make “desk angels”: Bring your arms up 90 degrees as if you’re lying down to make a snow angel. Move your arms up and down, squeezing the spot between your shoulder blades. Reactivate your upper body, bring your shoulders back from a slouchy position, and channel your inner kid with this move!

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  • Grab elbows behind back: Just as it sounds. Squeeze your shoulders down and back for a natural posture lift.  If you can’t reach your elbows, grab your forearms - now you have a flexibility goal to work for!

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  • Push your chin back: Fight upper cross syndrome (characterized by slouchy, rounded shoulders and an obvious curve to the neck and upper back) with this fix. The chin tends to jut forward when sitting at a desk, and the added pressure can cause back and shoulder aches. We don’t notice because we’re usually looking at a computer screen, not a mirror! Push your chin back every 30 minutes or so to maintain good posture.

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Summertime Workouts–Change It Up!

summertime

Warmer weather and longer hours of daylight provide a great opportunity to move the workout from the gym to the great outdoors. Whether you choose a local high school track, a hiking trail or city sidewalks, moving to outdoor locations provides great variety for summertime workouts.

With a change in location comes a change in preparation. Sun protection is key. Sunglasses and a baseball cap are not enough since the lower half of your face is still exposed and leathery skin is never cute. Use a 30 SPF or higher sunblock and don’t forget the ears, shoulders and the tops of your hands.

Hats come in all shapes and sizes, it’s not old lady to buy a hat with a large brim and even a “skirt” on the back to cover your neck. Prevent redneck and prevent sun damage on one the first areas to show sun damage.

Bugs used to just be annoying, now they need to be avoided for health reasons. If you will be out in the woods, remember to use a tick repellent. If you live in an area with lots of mosquitoes, think about the timing of your workout or use repellent.

If you are working out on trails, get the right shoes. Your gym shoes are made for cross training on relatively soft and even ground. There are several brands made for trails and there are sneakers with better support for running on pavement. Best to own a pair just for outdoor running so you can run through the mud with glee.

Look for opportunities to join a team…softball, ultimate frisbee and volleyball leagues exist all over the country. You never know who you might meet, but you will get a great workout and some fun socializing. Just remember to hydrate with water before the team goes to the post game watering hole for victory celebrations!

Daylight Savings: Time to Spring Forward

Spring is approaching and you can smell it. The sun is brighter and the winter winds are slowing dying down. We’re all making the extra effort to get bikini ready. This past weekend was Daylight Savings, and we gave up an hour of sleep in exchange for some more daylight. While some of us adjust to the change, others feel a disruption to their routine.

Here are some tips for your body to adjust to the change in time!

  • Sleeping Habits: Establish a regular bedtime routine and regular bedtime to get better quality sleep. Don’t constantly press the snooze button!
  • Exercise: Working out releases serotonin, which helps the body adjust. Try to exercise regularly and preferably outdoors and during the day so it doesn’t interfere with quality of your sleep!
  • Digest: With the time change you may get hungrier earlier. Be sure to allow yourself enough to digest before you go to bed.
  • Nap: Though a nap won’t help fully adjust your body it’s a great way to improve productivity. Keep to a short 20-30 minute nap for an ideal pick me up.
  • GO OUTSIDE: Expose yourself to sunlight as much as possible in order to help reset your internal body clock. Doing so can help advance your circadian rhythm.

THIS WEEK’S TIP:

Take a run outside! Enjoy the coming spring weather while being active!

 

Valentine’s Day Fitness Routine

Fitness tips on the goIt's Valentine's Day soon, and to make sure you show your best ASS-etts, focus on a chest and glutes workout this week.

L is for Lift Your Butt

No pain, no gain! Do 100 Squats with 10lbs dumb bells in each hand.

Break it up into 4 sets of 25 repetitions.

If you don't have dumb bells, then go ahead and use body weight. Try to go a little faster though since you won't have much in terms of resistance.

For a complete squat, make sure your hips are parallel to the top of your knees at the end of the squat.

Ahem: Stand up all the way - no cheating! You want to aim for quality with your movements. Do not rush through them.

O is for Operate the Rounded Booty

Next up, 100 2nd position ballet squats. How you ask?

Get a chair and put one foot on the seat of the chair. Keep your toes turned out as if they were pointing to a mouse on the floor.

Break the set up into 4 sets of 25.

No dumb bells need here, just your body weight. If you want to spice it up, unleash your inner bootcamp instructor and make yourself do this exercise with dumb bell bicep curls as you squat down. Fun right?!

Same as before with full deep squats and TAKE YOUR TIME.

V is for Vaporize the Armpit Fat

Let's keep it moving girl! 50 Triangle Arm Push-ups.

Get on your knees with a yoga mat and get into your knee push up position.  Make a triangle shape with your opposite thumbs & first finger and place it on the floor right below your boobs. Flatten your back, tuck your butt under.

Total of 50 push ups and break them up into 5 sets of 10.

Make sure you go has deep as chest in line with bend of elbows and drop your shoulders from your ears.

E is for Express the Cleavage

Finally, show some love for the girls. Do 45 Chest flys on your back with 15lb weights in each hand. If you don't have any dumb bells, although by now you might want to consider investing in some, then take a 1 gallon water bottle and use that.

Lay down on your mat and tuck your hips under and engage your core muscles. Bring the weights together right above your chest and bring them open so you feel the pressure in your chest and upper back muscles.

Make sure you open all the way out until the the back of your hand almost touches the floor. Again, go slow and work on squeezing your chest muscles.

You can break it into a 3 sets of 15 reps.

That's all for today! Now go show your body some L-O-V-E!