While there is no secret formula for losing weight (It all comes down to simple math: You must burn more calories than you consume), there are smarter, faster ways to achieve your goals. The following six workouts are proven to be the most heart-pumping, sweat-producing, and consequently most efficient calorie-burning and weight-loss-inducing exercises out there. Do one, or a combination of many, regularly, and watch the weight fall off.
1. Kickboxing: 800 calories per hour
Kickboxing offers a great full-body workout because it requires you to use every major muscle group and includes interval training. Your heart rate will soar and stabilize several times throughout the class, which is optimal for weight loss. In our Body Combat class you can burn 800 calories an hour!
2. Biking: 700 calories per hour
You can burn up to 700 calories at your average spinning class or take to the road on your own to enjoy fresh air to boot! Just make sure you keep a pace of about 14 to 16 miles per hour to reach the 700-calorie goal.
3. Zumba: 500 or more calories per hour
Who knew an hour of dancing could produce such results?! Because this Latin-inspired dance workout uses the principles of interval training and resistance exercise, the workout will boost your metabolism considerably, according to FitnessZumba.com. However, like any fitness regimen, the number of calories burned varies from person to person depending on weight, sex, current fitness level, and how a hard a person works out. Still the massive weight loss and toning benefits of hip-swishing and shimmying make this dance workout one of the most popular today.
4. Jumping Rope: 780 calories per hour
Only got ten minutes? You can still squeeze in cardio with this highly effective activity, which can have you burning 130 calories every ten minutes (or 780 calories per hour). According to MedicineNet.com, you’d have to run an eight-minute mile to burn as many calories as jumping rope for the same amount of time, making it a good choice for someone who is starting a fitness regime and may not have the endurance to maintain a fast running speed for an extended period of time. If you have limited space and time, jumping rope is the most efficient way to see results.
5. Aerobic Step Classes: 600 calories per hour
Aerobic step classes are high-intensity and high-impact, meaning you’ll burn fat and calories. The number of calories burned depends on how high the step is, but using just a six-inch platform can allow you to burn up to 600 calories in one hour-long class.
6. Running: 650 calories per hour
According to WebMD’s calorie calculator, a 145-pound person who maintains a 10-minute mile for one hour can burn up to 650 calories. However, running consistently for an hour can be challenging if it isn’t a part of your current exercise regimen. You can work up to this goal and increase your cardiovascular fitness by adding walking intervals throughout your workout. For instance, run for three minutes and then walk briskly for one minute. This practice will increase your endurance, lower your heart-rate recovery time, and burn fat.
If you are looking for some last minute gifts for someone who loves fitness and exercising here are some great options that would work!
The Best Gift of Fitness for the Whole Family: Nintendo Wii.
While Microsoft and Sony have come out with movement-based videogame interfaces for their gaming systems, the original is still the best in regards to sheer volume of games available. Games for the Wii can range from family-fun, to kids fitness, to seriously hard-core workouts and fitness tracking. This is a great gift for the family, and really is a gift that will keep on giving as you spend time together challenging each other throughout the year. (About $199.)
Another Great Idea for the Family: Xbox Kinect
This is a relatively new gaming system addition that allows you to move your body in the games without any remotes. Play fitness games that include yoga, boxing, zumba and full workouts like The Biggest Loser game!
The Best Full-Body Workout for the Small Space Dweller: TRX Suspension Trainer.
This thing is genius! Invented by a Navy Seal and made of high-quality, military-grade materials (beware imitations), you can use this deceptively-simple strap to get a full-body, functional workout. The best part of a “functional fitness” workout is that you load through more than one muscle at a time, working more of your body and building important aspects like core strength and balance. Whether you are buying a gift for a serious athlete (Drew Brees uses TRX) or someone who just wants to look like one, TRX is the way to go. Bonus, the TRX folks are always coming out with new workouts and challenges, so this is a gift that won’t get stale. (Packages start at about $180.) TRX is also a lot of fun and you will definitely feel the workout when you are finished!
These fully-loaded packages include nutrition plans, workout guides, and more than 10 different workouts in each program. It’s like having a line-up of gym-quality classes and a nutrition consultant at your fingertips without having to face the crowds at the gym. P90X is great for the weightroom junkie, and TurboFire is great for the cardio-and-lift-class queen. These might look spendy at $110ish for the program, but for the number of workouts you get (plus the eating programs, etc.) I guarantee the recipient of this gift will get a year’s worth of fitness vs a $20 video that only provides one workout. These are intense fitness programs and not the best for beginners or someone who has not worked out in awhile.
The Best Fitness Gift for a Busy Mom: Time!
That’s right, folks, if you are looking for the perfect gift for a busy mom, the best one is often free. Whether it’s agreeing to take over dinner duties so mom can fit in a run, or setting up a kid-share with your best pal so that you can both get your workouts in, get creative with your computer and printer and make a busy mom’s holiday with a package of gift certificates that give her some time for herself.
The Best Gift for a Multi-Sport Outdoor Enthusiast: Garmin Forerunner
With models starting at $130, the Garmin Forerunner line is the best “wrist-top” computer for monitoring outdoor activities like hiking, running and biking (they even make one that can go with you on a swim, as well.) It’ll track and record your heartrate, distance, pace, time—it will even save nifty satellite maps of all the places you’ve gone on your fitness adventures. It will be better than driving around trying to figure out how many miles your route is (I’ve done that, doesn’t work that well!)
Personal Training Sessions:
Keep in mind that not everyone would be thrilled to get personal training sessions. So you shouldn’t get someone sessions just because you want them to exercise or be healthy. However, this can be a great gift if your loved one has expressed interest in training but is reluctant to spend the money or intimidated to try it. Here at WAC if you buy a 12-pack (pack of 12 one hour sessions with a trainer) you will get two free comp sessions included!
Like other fitness gifts, a gym membership isn’t for everyone. Giving someone a gym membership because youwant them to workout may cause instant relationship problems (perhaps, even violence). However, if they’ve been talking about joining a gym, you’re in the clear. Before you commit to anything, find out exactly what they’re looking for – Location, amenities, classes, etc. You can also purchase a gift certificate for a athletic club for 3 months so they are able to try it out! (hint hint!)
The Best Gift for a Yoga Enthusiast: Everything Fits Gym Bag
This gym bag can fit everything someone would need for a yoga class. An amazing catch-all made from recycled materials. Its roomy interior features a zippered pocket, an elastic pocket and a key tether. A vented outside compartment can hold shoes, wet clothes or towel. Includes an easy-reach outside pocket for water bottle, inside and outside holsters for cell phone and MP3 player, and bottom adjustable straps for your yoga mat. It’s also really cute so I’m sure anyone would love it!
All of these gifts would be great for any fitness guru. I also know that if you order most of these on Amazon in the next day then they will be here in time for Christmas!!
Holiday season is upon us and I’m here to give you some myths to help you through and keep you on track with your workout schedules!! There are a lot of ideas that people believe when they are working out and I am going to share them with you and tell you if they are true or not!
MYTH: ‘No pain, no gain’
A workout does not have to feel bad to do good. In fact, when you feel any pain during a workout — not fatigue, but pain — it’s best to stop immediately. Pain signals that something is wrong, and ignoring the signal can result in injury. Soreness can be expected 24 to 36 hours after a tough workout but is not necessarily an indicator of progress.
MYTH: ‘Abdominal workouts burn the gut away’
Crunches and other “belly blasting” exercises will indeed build and strengthen abdominal muscles, but you’ll never see the results if there’s a lot of fat around your midsection. To have well-defined abs, you’ll need to get rid of the fat covering the muscles. It’s very difficult to target specific areas for fat-burning. Instead, launch an exercise regimen that reduces overall body fat, best achieved with a mix of aerobic exercise and a diet rich in fiber and lean protein. Once the fat burns away, you can admire the washboard ab muscles beneath.
MYTH: ‘Stick to your regimen’
We all tend to favor the exercises that come most easily, and as a result may make a habit of repeating particular routines. But as muscles accustom themselves to specific actions, they become more efficient at the exercise. A consequence of efficiency is energy conservation — which means your body will burn fewer calories. The essence of cross-training, by contrast, is to work different sets of muscles, overcome weaknesses, and reduce the physical strains caused by repetition. To build more muscle and burn more fat, consider small but challenging modifications to your fitness routines.
MYTH: ‘A productive workout lasts about one hour’
It’s a physician’s job to help you set guidelines for the duration, frequency and intensity of your workouts, so don’t hesitate to get your doctor’s opinion before establishing a regimen. Health authorities, including the Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association, suggest an exercise plan along these lines: If you’re under 65 and in good health, try to engage in 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity — walking, swimming, riding a bike — five days every week. Those capable of more rigorous conditioning should strive for at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running or stair-climbing, three days per week, plus two days of strength training.
MYTH: ‘To burn more fat, work out on an empty stomach’
With all of the low-carb diets popular today, it’s easy to forget that carbohydrates provide the body with fuel. The amount of carbs present in your system should be commensurate with the amount of energy you will expend in the short term. So, while a bowl of pasta before bedtime will leave you with an unhealthy surplus of calories, the same meal before exercising provides the energy needed to burn fat.The size and ideal timing of a pre-workout meal will vary from one person to the next. Start with small portions of carbs or carbs and protein about half an hour before exercise, then modify incrementally as needed. Smart choices include whole grains, fresh fruit, trail mixes of nuts and dried fruit, nutrition bars with about 5 grams of protein, and cereals with fiber.
MYTH: Swimming provides all the exercise a body needs
Few fitness experts would argue against swimming. Our natural buoyancy permits low-impact movement, minimizing the stress and pounding associated with most other physical activity, and a good swim stroke employs all of the major muscle groups. A few laps in the pool make demands of the respiratory system that are terrific for increasing lung capacity, too. However, swimming is not especially effective in burning fat. Because a swimmer’s body is supported by water, it doesn’t have to work so hard against gravity as in land-based exercises such as running or lifting weights, and therefore fewer calories are burned. Swimming nonetheless remains an unparalleled aerobic exercise and helps prime the body for metabolizing fat effectively.
MYTH: Treadmills are the equivalent of running outdoors
Convenience and personal preference are the factors that govern most runners’ decision when choosing between a treadmill and an outdoor workout. Given a predominantly flat outside course, the exertion and weight-loss benefits are comparable; a treadmill set to a 1 percent incline makes up the modest difference. But several other factors come into play. When joint pain or injuries are of concern, the cushioned tread on a machine provides less impact than pavement or packed dirt, and the rotating tread further assists by sweeping your feet behind you. If you enjoy creature comforts while exercising — temperature control, a television for entertainment — a treadmill is a good choice. Still, the human body is optimized for being self-propelled through space, and anyone who enjoys a head-clearing run in fresh air finds it tough to beat. An outdoor run is generally better suited to natural movement, and terrain challenges, including downhill stretches (impossible to replicate on a treadmill), provide opportunities to burn extra calories.
Sorry there haven’t been a lot of posts lately! There will be more soon I promise!!
Throughout the years there have been a number of exercise fads that people have tried. Lets see there’s been Tae Bo, Curves Health Clubs, The Atkins Diet, Spinning and probably hundreds more! Now it seems as though everyone is really interested in training with kettlebells. But is this really a fad? We are going to take a look at the history of kettle bell workouts and some of the benefits you could receive from incorporating them into your regular workouts.
When I started working at WAC I had no idea what a kettlebell was. Then I started personal training and found out very fast what they were and the great workout you get with getting them! First let’s back up just a bit and find out exactly what a kettlebell is. A kettlebell is a cast iron weight looking somewhat like a cannonball with a handle, used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. (see the picture below)
The kettlebell seems to have originated in Russia in the late 1600s and was used as a scale weight or a counter-weight in Russian markets. The people would then make a game of throwing them around and which is how kettlebell workouts came to be. Russian gymnasts and the Russian military used kettlebells in exercise routines and many Russian Olympians site the use of kettlebell workouts as the reason for their success. The Russians were not only known for their strength but also for their endurance which they attributed to their extensive use of the kettlebell. The unusual weights were introduced into the United States by Pavel Tsatsouline, a one-time physical fitness trainer for both the United States and Soviet Union forces.
So really they aren’t a fad right? They have been used for hundreds of years and I think a fad only lasts a few months or a couple years.
Enough off the history lesson, let’s get to the good stuff! These are some of the benefits you could expect from incorporating kettlebells into your workouts. They are numerous, depending on your goals. But generally speaking, kettlebell users notice an increase in the following six areas:
· Increased stamina. Many kettlebell users experience an increase in endurance when doing activities like sports. There have even been reports of kettlebell users who have run marathons without training for marathons but by only using kettlebells!
· Increased overall daily energy and increased youthful vigor. Feeling good is very important to having a productive life. Kettlebell users from all over the world report having increased energy and even feel like they can reverse the hands of time, often fixing injuries that have nagged them for years. This allows them to participate in activities they had stopped doing because of the injuries.
· A decrease in body fat. Kettlebell exercises can be very demanding from an energy standpoint. Some exercises like the swing and the snatch burn up to twice as many calories per minute than traditional aerobic activities like spinning and newer activities such as kickboxing. One of the side effects of this is that kettlebell training forces your body to burn calories – the “afterburn effect,” long after your exercise session is over.
· The development of lean, hard, “bulk-free” muscles. Let’s face it the only people who really want big muscles are bodybuilders and teenage boys. The rest of us will settle for some nice definition in our muscles without stretching out our clothes. Exercising with kettlebells has produced the following noticeable effects – those who are overweight, lean out; those who are skinny, put on just the right amount of muscle in the right places.
· Increased flexibility without spending time stretching. One of the wonderful “side effects” of using kettlebells is what appears to be automatic increases in flexibility. That’s because this style of workout strengthens weak muscle groups while simultaneously loosening (and strengthening) tight muscle groups, restoring the body’s default settings for flexibility, alignment, and muscle harmony.
Here are some other things kettlebells will do for you:
1.Kettlebell lifts require use of muscles throughout your body to work together – When you train using muscles groups throughout your body to work together, you train your body to work as one unit. With full body exercises, you gain explosiveness, power, coordination, balance, control, agility, flexibility, and rhythm. This is especially important if you are an athlete or want to be in great overall shape. Isolated muscle lifts such as the bicep curl or leg extension won’t provide this, they simply improve strength.
2.The odd shape of kettlebells along with the large handle builds forearm and grip strength – The thick handle and low hanging weight really works your forearm as you squeeze your grip to keep the kettlebell in your hand. With almost every lift you build forearm strength and endurance. Using kettlebells opposed to dumbbells, you stimulate many more stabilizer muscles in your joints in order to keep the weight under control. The odd shape makes kettlebell lifts harder over dumbbell lifts.
3.Kettlebell lifting provides a great cardio workout building muscle endurance – People who lift using muscle isolation exercises need to supplement their routines with a cardiovascular program. This is especially important for athletes, those looking to lose weight, and those who want to look good. This means you have to go for a jog on the treadmill or perform some other cardio routine you dread. With ballistic kettlebell exercises like the snatch, clean, press, and swing, an additional cardio program is unnecessary. Increase repetitions and work at a steady pace when kettlebell lifting for a strength and conditioning program in one. Another advantage with kettlebell workouts are the variety of lifts you can perform ensures your kettlebell cardio routine never gets old.
4.Versatility –There are 100s of challenging kettlebell exercises to perform and you can easily add levels of difficulty performing the same lifts using the same weight kettlebell. For example, if you have worked up to a level that you can easily press your kettlebell overhead in a standard military press style you can modify the exercise to make it harder. Instead try by performing a bottoms-up kettlebell press, a waiter’s press, or a kettlebell clean and press. You can even learn to juggle kettlebells which really increases your coordination and body rhythm, (with my luck I’d end up dropping one on my foot!)
5.Kettlebells eliminate weaknesses in muscle groups throughout your body – Most people that lift weights have a favorite muscle group like biceps, triceps, or chest that they tend to workout the most. This leads to muscles groups in your body that are seldom used during lifting. With full body kettlebell exercises, you tend to workout your major muscle groups more often because muscles throughout your body are engaged during exercise. Kettlebell exercises require the use of muscles throughout your body allowing you to pinpoint your weak areas. By mastering specific lifts you will improve strength in those weak muscle groups and stabilizer muscles while increasing muscular endurance. Once the weak parts of your body are strengthened, the lift becomes easier. To increase the difficulty of each lift, perform a harder variation of the exercise, move up in kettlebell weight, or use two kettlebells (one in each hand).
6.Portability – There is nothing more boring to me than staring at a wall while exercising, which is why I talk the entire time I’m working out (I think my trainer wants to kill me sometimes for my excessive chatter!) With kettlebells, you can workout almost anywhere. For a change of pace, take them to the beach, the local park, your backyard, your driveway, or anywhere you have room outside. You can even take them to your work for a little workout on your break.
See there are a lot of benefits to using these oddly shaped weights! The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that you need to learn to correctly do these movements and exercises that involve kettlebells. Even though there are a ton of benefits to using kettlebells, like other ways of working out, you can get injured so I suggest getting with a personal trainer to do a kettlebell workout! You definitely won’t regret it!
Today is going to be all about marathons, since yesterday was the NYC Marathon. I recently (as in about 10 minutes ago) signed up for my first 5k! This makes me extremely nervous, I hate running, really I do. I try so hard to like it, I make a good playlist to use and I just go. Sadly I don’t last long because I get bored and something shiny will catch my attention (seriously it’s true I get distracted every 2 seconds!) Anyways, since I started working here it has made me want to try things I normally wouldn’t do. Which is why I signed up for theGreensburg Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving! And of course instead of running like I should be doing I googled tips and things to know about running either a 5k or a full marathon! What can I say I’m a little obsessed with google and researching things. So here are 10 tips for running a race!
Once you have decided to enter a 5K or any other kind of race your next step is to begin practicing. Don’t show up the day of the race not having trained your body. You could end up with serious injuries. Figure out your weak spots while you are training. If you find yourself getting tired half way through the race, focus your attention on training a bit harder for that leg. Stay true to your workout plan during the race. Practicing prior to the big day will prepare you for what’s to come.
The night before the race, get plenty of rest. You should do your workout early in the morning and get to bed at a decent hour. You will be more focused and ready to run the day of the race if you’ve had adequate rest the night before. Relax and don’t over think the next day’s events.
Before you begin the race, hydrate your body. Drink plenty of water. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will reduce the risk of dehydration during the race. Take a bottle of water along with you to the race. While most races hand out water along the way, being prepared with your own is important.
Eating a simple meal of 200 to 400 calories about two to three hours before the race is important to have fuel for the event, but also have time to digest the food. Never experiment with food or drink on race day. It’s wise to practice eating before training to make sure the food works for you, then replicate this meal on the race day.
Before the race begins, stretch your muscles. Warm up your body by doing stretches from head to toe. Stretch everything from your neck to your hamstrings. Warm up completely. You will find that it will pay off in the end. Save yourself injuries and put in the time stretching before the race.
6. Pace Yourself
When the race begins, pace yourself. While most runners will take off out of the gate fast, they find themselves losing momentum toward the end. If you start off your first half mile pacing yourself, your finish will be stronger. Save your energy for the last half mile of the race and give it all you’ve got. It will be more rewarding to have a solid finish than to finish barely hanging on.
7. Give It All You’ve Got
Save your strength for the finish. When you approach the half way mark you should be picking up the pace to finish strong. Give it all you’ve got in your last quarter mile. Not only will you sprint past runners, you will have an easier time finishing if you give it that extra push
8. Don’t Wear Anything New
“Nothing new on race day” should become a familiar phrase to any road racer. Race day is not the time to experiment with a new pair of running shoes, running shorts, or a new sports bra. It’s better to stick with your tried-and-true favorites that you know are comfortable. If you get a race T-shirt in your race goody bag before the race, you definitely don’t want to wear it during the race. Not only are there bad luck superstitions associated with wearing the race T-shirt, but it will also make you look like a rookie.
9. Avoid Pre-Race Jitters
Pre-race jitters are normal, so try not to misinterpret it or think it is fear; that adrenaline rush you feel is normal and it is part of your body’s natural preparation for the competition. To help avoid nervousness before the event, arrive with plenty of time so you aren’t rushed, get a thorough warm-up, know the course, and dress for the weather. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts before or during the race, try to focus only on your breathing and race like you don’t care about the outcome. Remember goal number one: you are only competing against yourself, so enjoy the moment.
10. Have FUN!
All the nervousness and everything will go away when you start your race and it’s supposed to be fun! There will be lots of people and music cheering you on!
So there are my tips for running a 5k or marathon, I’m sure there are more specific ones depending on what length of race you are running. Is anyone else running the Greensburg Turkey Trot?! If so let me know, we can meet up before or after and take a fitness club picture!!
So apparently today is World Pasta Day.. So I am giving you all a recipe I found on Fitness.com that is a healthy pasta dish!
Dinner in 20: Pasta Rosa Verde
Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4-6 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 3 cups arugula, watercress and/or spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons crumbled
- Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is tender. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper, if using. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes, until the tomatoes are warm. Mix in the arugula, watercress, or spinach and heat until just wilted.
- Spoon the pasta into bowls and top with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and cheese.
Nutrition facts per serving: 362 calories, 12g protein, 55g carbohydrate, 12g fat (2g saturated), 5g fiber