Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tone Up Your Glutes and Hamstrings with The Bridge Exercise

The Bridge move has been around for quite some time.  It’s a great exercise that does not require any equipment, can be done at home…or even while watching TV, or even in your bed! This exercise will strengthen your glutes (more commonly known as your bottom) as well as your hamstrings, which are the muscles in the back of the thighs.  And by adding a few different variations, you are able to increase the intensity, or even add a challenge to your abs and lower back.

Below is a three-minute video showing you “How To Do Bridge.”  Take a moment and learn the basics of this exercise, and how you can modify the move to fit your needs and interests.

Add this into your existing workout routine a few times a week for a stronger, more toned core!  For another great leg and butt exercise,
check out our How To Do Squats post

For more great full-length gym style exercise videos, visit our website:  http://workoutsondemand.com

Fitness On A Budget

Gym memberships are expensive!  And some of the home exercise equipment out there are actually more expensive that the price of a gym membership.  But there is nothing moreExercise Humor funny pics (21) important than your health,  so let me show you how you can build a better body on a budget.

Start with the most inexpensive but most original form of exercise – walking. The only thing you’ll need is a pair of feet which you already have. Get a good pair of walking shoes for longer walks and that is even better!

Here’s more:

House and yard cleaning

You surely clean the house, the garage and your yard, don’t you? Turn that into a fun exercise session by playing loud, upbeat songs. Turn it into a game:  Clean for five minutes, then do 20 squats.  Take out the trash, and before you come back into the house-walk around the block.  Before you know it, you already have burned enough amount of calories and your house is spotless.

Take the stairs

Think Rocky Balboa and sing “Gonna Fly Now” as you run up and down stairs – at home, in the office or just about anywhere where using the stairs can be an option. You see those bleachers at your local track and field area? That would be a great place too! Doing this will help make your leg muscles stronger and give you stronger hips. As a bonus, you get to work on your cardio too!

Go back to being a child

No, I don’t mean for you to act like one but play like one. Grab your jump rope and get to it! If you have kids, play with them on the playground and build stronger arms swinging across monkey bars or have fun at the balance beam and improve your balance too. Give your cardio a boost by playing tag with your kids.

Go here, there and everywhere on a bike

Whenever possible, take your bike. Bikes are fun and  can help you burn up to 500 calories in an hour. Try to pedal your way to work at least twice a week and see at least a pound of fat go in a month’s time.

Join activity groups

Have you heard of MeetUp.com?  Well, it’s not a dating site, it’s a place to meet like minded folks in your neighborhood.  And there are dozens of small groups that meet for morning walks or runs, weight training workouts, biking, hiking and much more.

You may also join other sports leagues and win friends as you become fitter. They could be your buddies who can join you on a hiking trip, another fun activity that is a workout at the same time.

Free Exercise Videos

Did you know we offer free exercise videos online at Workouts On Demand?  And every week it’s new and different, and it’s always free!  Below is another free workout video called Express Leg & Butt #1 – no equipment is needed.  Just press play and you’ve got a free leg workout!

You see, there are ways to integrate exercise into your life without having to spend a fortune. Simply sneak in exercise moves in the things you do on a regular basis and you’d be on your way to building a better body.

Should I Stretch Before or After My Workout?

Let me give it to your right away: it should be after. Among the important “DON’TS” in exercising is stretching before a workout. Never confuse that with warming up which is what you do before a workout.

Common mistake

Warming up is often mistaken as a pre-exercise stretching and if you used to think the same, funnydogpicturesimportantstretch_thumbyou will now find out that they differ. Warming up allows your body to adjust to what’s coming ahead in your training. It is a safer approach and a more effective way of preparing the body for the exercise just as when you walk for a few minutes before you dart for several miles of run. Like a machine, it is your way of lubricating your body parts prior to the major, more rigorous movements so that things will run smoothly.

Stretching is not an injury-prevention measure

I am not surprised that stretching was thought to be an exercise preconditioning routine because it was believed to prevent injuries. But studies showed that no increased flexibility results from pre-workout stretching that could help prevent sprains and strains. On the contrary, it may even increase injury risks. When muscles haven’t been worked yet and you stretch, the muscles tend to go taut rather than relaxed and you could experience pulled muscles during a lift or a turn.

Best time to stretch

I am all for the benefits of stretching and I would like you to enjoy them too. But let me repeat that the best time to do this is as you conclude your workout when your body is about to cool down and your muscles are all already warmed up and flexible. This is also the time when your joints are well-lubricated and where you can get the most out of stretching.

Stretching is important

There are great benefits to gain from stretching such as improved posture, better range of joint movements, enhanced muscle coordination and many more. As such, I would recommend it even if you exercise or not. Stretching itself can be a workout and you can benefit from it no matter your age. It won’t require too much of your time yet you would enjoy the results.

A well-rounded fitness program isn’t complete without stretching and you should not neglect doing it. Be sure to do it right though and know when to do it.

Below is a free stretching video.  For more exercise videos like this, go to:  http://workoutsondemand.com

Do I have to Sweat to Get a Good Workout?

Do you mistakenly measure how good your workout is by “the wetter, the better” as you sweat it out on the treadmill or the bench? You might want to view how intense you train in a different way and not by the amount of perspiration that resulted from it. You see, even m44without powerful sweating you can be in shape, improve your health both physically and emotionally and tone muscles here and there. Remember Pilates and yoga? It means not all workouts can inspire perspiration but nonetheless result in fitness gain.

I understand where the idea comes from. Often, great athletes are depicted in posters with sweaty bulging muscles but that does not define a good workout. What I suggest you do is focus on your goals, how much effort you exert to attain them and what your fitness progress is like.

Non-rigorous training like core strengthening or balancing doesn’t necessarily result in perspiration but are just as important in promoting robustness. Some cardio workouts that benefit the heart with increased heart rate don’t actually result to more calories burned so it isn’t really the sweat that matters but the quality of the training.

Why do we sweat?

When we workout, our body temperature rises and to cool down, we sweat. But it is not a measure of how much calories were burned or which muscles were worked out. While it may indicate workout intensity, it is not an assurance. Some people, because of genetic factors or medical conditions, don’t sweat as much.

Sweat Bits

  • Several factors determine how much you sweat and these may have nothing to do with the intensity of your workout.
  • Age and gender are also reasons whether or not you would sweat liberally.
  • Women generally sweat less than men.
  • Tolerance to heat or the lack of it also plays a big part in how much or how less you sweat.
  • When humidity level is high, you tend to perspire a lot even during low-intensity workouts.

Sweat or no sweat, you would know the intensity of your workout through a heart rate monitor. After 15 to 30 minutes of working out, try subtracting your age from 220. If the result is 50- 70% of your age, you are doing a reasonable intensity, dynamic and forceful if the result goes up to 70-85%. It could also be determined by how you feel after a routine and not by how much you have perspired.

Setting Fitness and Weight Loss Goals: 5 Tips to Making Them Work

Setting goals motivates us to do our best so that we are able to enjoy all that life has. And being healthier has an amazing impact on our overall happiness.  Let’s face it, being happy and being healthy go hand in hand.  That’s not to say that healthy people are always happy, or visa versa, but as a rule of thumb – good health makes it easier to be happy.

But lets be real – making good, healthy choices is sometimes tough. I can’t count the times I have seen friends dead set on losing weight, only to backslide before reaching their goals. The reasons vary: burned out, injured, schedule conflict,  bad planning or an unexpected life event. But trust me – reaching weight loss or fitness goals is well worth the time and energy.  Below are just a few ideas that might make your journey easier.

  1. Have the right attitude and mentality.
    If you are inspired by how fit and healthy athletes look, start thinking like one. They too have a life to live other than exercising but they don’t make excuses not to workout. So e57f1e5105105b98badf22ea1be720b3should you! You have a busy schedule? Find inspiration in the story of other busy women who still manage to exercise. Trust me. With the right attitude, you’ll find a way.
  1. Make your goals realistic, phase by phase.
    If you are a beginner, set fitness goals that are easily achievable so that you stay motivated to move forward to the next level. It has to be something that is compliant to your way of life and fitness level. An exercise program may appeal to you because the pro who endorses it looked fabulous, but  if the program is something you can’t do then you are bound to fail and may altogether ditch exercising.
  1. Have a regular workout schedule that you can really commit to.
    If at first your only free time to exercise is during late nights when the kids are already tucked in bed, so be it. Just have a regular schedule and adhere to it. I’ll guarantee that after you have seen the initial results and you start to feel good and look better, you will want to make sure you have a regular schedule that you can follow consistently.
  1. Make it fun and give your program some deviations.
    I have seen people go all puffed up about being fit and seen them slowly drift away and go back to their unhealthy habits. Why? Exercising got boring to them. It happens to me too and I counter this by making my workouts fun and varied. Variation challenges the body in many different ways so that you get better results and better results will make you want to stay on track.
  1. Learn the value of support group.
    Yes, even when exercising, you need a support group, people who can help keep you motivated and inspired to keep going. Of course these people are those who are into the same community working on their fitness too.

How to Choose the Best Exercise Video for You

Exercise videos have been around ever since Jane Fonda put on a headband, leggings, and the Started-my-aerobics-class-todayfirst leotard! But exercise videos have come a long way since the days of jazzercise, big hair and silly looking outfits. Now a day, you can get everything from your standard Step Class, to Boot-Camp videos, to workout videos that are more like having a home personal trainer. So, how do you choose what type of a workout is best for you?

Why an exercise video?

  1. Convenient: They are a handy way of losing weight.
  2. Cost Effective: A great alternative to costly gym membership.
  3. Professional and Safe: They feature professional fitness instructors.
  4. Do them in your PJ’s: You can be comfortable wearing whatever you like.
  5. You choose the time: You can choose whatever schedule is most convenient to you.
  6. Did I mention convenient? You need not go out and struggle against harsh or poor weather conditions.

Finding the perfect format:

  • Look for something that features exercises you can do and would actually want to do. If you are a beginner, look for exercise videos that accommodate your being new to the fitness world such as low impact workouts so you don’t end up injured. Don’t worry; you will progress to more challenging workouts in no time – Just don’t rush it.
  • It should look interesting, and even fun. If the workout doesn’t appeal to your personality, move on! While it’s always good to try new workout formats, my rule of thumb is this: I give a new workout format three to four tries before I decide if it’s right for me. If you give up too soon, you may miss out simply because it was different. But after four tries, if you still don’t like it – give it to a neighbor, they may love it!
  • Consider how much time you have to exercise. Do you have 10-15 minutes a day? Perfect! But choose workouts that accommodates that length.
  • Take into consideration what will help motivate you even the small details. The background music and instructor qualities and character, for instance. If you find any of the two irritating, chances are the video will end up hidden somewhere, unused.

Exercise videos are a great way to learn new moves and new types of exercises from the privacy of your own home for small amounts of money. Below is a free exercise videos called Pi-Loga.  It combines the best of Pilates and Yoga.  For more exercise videos like this, go to:  http://workoutsondemand.com/workouts_pilates_mat.htm