Archive for July, 2012

The Perfect Summertime Work Out: Using the Pool for More than Just Catching Some Rays


For many people, swimming is a good way to wind down after a long day. But others are using swimming as another means of exercise and they are finding that exercise in the spring and summertime can be fun!

Swimming is an excellent way to lose weight and strength train all the while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Exercise experts recommend swimming as a form of exercise because of the great cardiovascular workout you get from swimming. It is considered a great aerobic exercise because by definition it is an action that maintains an elevated heartbeat for a minimum of 20 minutes.

You can simply add swimming to your pre-existing aerobic workout to help switch things up and keep your workouts fresh. Alternate days that you decide to use swimming as your cardio for that day, so you don’t get bored with any one workout.

Instead of staying indoors and using the treadmill or elliptical for a day, get outdoors and swim laps in the pool for the cardio portion of your workout and you will find that exercising comes much easier when you aren’t sticking to the same routine day in and day out.

Like any exercise, you should also start any swimming workout routine by stretching first. You may not realize the effect swimming has on your entire body until it is too late, so be sure to stretch appropriately before you begin.

Then start off slow by swimming strides and gradually increasing your speed in the pool. This will help to elevate your heart rate at a safe pace and help you to last longer during your workout.
Swimming, and using swimming as your key workout, is more about endurance than quickness.

Experts suggest starting out swimming laps for approximately 20 minutes for women and 30 minutes for men. You can begin to increase your time as necessary and as you continue your workout over the course of weeks or months.

Try out different strokes when you are swimming, too. Do some laps using the breaststroke, then switch up and do the backstroke, or even the doggy paddle. Each swimming stroke using a different variety of muscles and therefore will give you the best overall workout.

Five Minute Fixes to Boost Health and Wellness


Tired of feeling like the path to health and wellness is a long, drawn out path? Then start small! Use these quick five minute fixes to boost your health and to reach your goals one step at a time!

• Wear a pedometer to determine the distance you walk each day. Shoot for 10,000 steps per day. If you aren’t reaching that goal, add an extra mile to your routine or take the steps instead of the escalator whenever possible.

• Add jumping to your exercise routine – also known as plyometric moves – to build muscle and improve your bone density. Try jump squats or scissor lunges in your next routine.

• Spend the extra money to purchase good work out necessities – clothing, shoes, bras, supports, etc. Purchasing the better brands versus going the cheaper route will ensure that you use them and that they are the best for your workout.

• Don’t spread germs. Always wipe down gym equipment before and after using them to protect yourself and others from germs and bacteria that can be passed from unclean gym equipment.

• Don’t be a creature of habit. Switch up your routines, walking routes, gym machines and even what days you do specific workouts. Change is good when it comes to exercise and fitness.

• Consider the other ways that you can lose weight without really trying – clean the house and burn 200 calories or work in the garden and burn 272 calories.

• Even if you have to travel or spend all day in a car or on a plane, still try to fit in physical activity. Take advantage of bathroom breaks by stretching and doing some light exercise. Walk briskly through the airport in between flights if traveling by plane.

• Build better bones and as much bone density as you can by doing weight-bearing activities like running or jumping as much as you can in your twenties and thirties.

• Yoga has many healthy benefits for your body and your mind. Even if you are a novice, take a class and try something different.

• Work out with your significant other or a friend or family member. This allows you to be a spotting partner for one another or just spend some quality time together working out.

Get Motivated and Stay Motivated– Ways to Keep the Energy Flowing All Day Long!


Let’s face it, in today’s rush-rush world we are always trying to cram as much as possible into our 24-hour day. Sadly, many people are turning to energy drinks and pills to help get them through their long days, when in actuality there are plenty of natural energy boosters that you could rely on to help you stay energized.

Just try these simple strategies to make sure that you wake up feeling refreshed, stay motivated throughout the day and be able to wind down and get a relaxed night of sleep.

Consistent wake-up time- Many people would think that sleeping in would actually give them all-day energy, but it is more harmful than it is helpful. Instead, opt for the same wake-up time everyday and get yourself into some light, whether you get your sunlight by actually going outdoors or just by opening up the blinds.

Reduce your carbs, add in more protein- While carbohydrates will give you that quick burst of energy, eating too many carbohydrates will actually drain you. Opt for getting a healthy mix of carbs and protein to feel more energetic throughout the day.

Skip your morning cup of joe- Instead of downing your coffee first thing in the morning, opt for having an afternoon cup of coffee when tiredness typically sets in. This caffeine burst at an appropriate time will also help to keep your energy flowing throughout your afternoon.

Avoid grazing and eat your meals at consistent times- Believe it or not, your body runs on the food schedule that YOU set. When you skip meals your body suffers by going into shut down mode, like it does when it is time to sleep. Keep your meals consistent and at consistent times to avoid the daily drain. Grazing should be avoided, too, as it leads to overeating and over hunger.

Relieve stress through meditation-
Because it may be hard to carve out set times to simply relax and meditate, try to do it when you have a few free minutes throughout your day. Even simply three minutes of mediation can reduce stress hormones that create body tension and constricted blood vessels. Find a quiet spot, practice your breathing techniques and take a few minutes to rejuvenate through relaxation.

Power walk instead of power nap- While it may seem like a short little cat nap will help you through that afternoon slump, a short little power walk will be more beneficial. Get out for a brisk walk if you are able to and your body will thank you for it. If you can’t get outdoors, sit by a window and bask in the daylight for some quick light energy.

Exercise to music- Exercise may be the most obvious way to increase your energy levels throughout the day, yet many people still avoid it. If you are having trouble getting the motivation to work out, try listening to music before exercising. Studies show that people who listen to music prior to and while working out, feel like they have exerted themselves less than those who don’t listen to music while working out.

Wind down before bed- Whether you choose to watch a little tv or read a good book, take the time to wind down before catching those zzz’s.

Choosing the Best Foods to Speed Up Your Metabolism

It may be true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but there are plenty of foods out there that are beneficial to you in more ways than one – including speeding up your metabolism.

Foods can speed up your metabolism if it burns more calories to digest them than the food actually contains.

By eating more of these great foods that help to speed up your metabolism, you will begin to see how this will help you to lose weight.

Here are some of the best foods to help speed up your metabolism: grapefruit, oranges, lemons, apples, pears, chilies, potatoes, cabbage, celery, broccoli, green tea, soup, oatmeal and low-fat yogurt.

Many of these foods are high in complex carbohydrates or high in protein, both metabolism boosting ingredients.