Sure there are lots of ways to stay in shape even when it’s snowing outside. But if hitting the slopes isn’t possible and shoveling snow, snowball fights or sledding aren’t your thing, below is a link to a quick workout you can do inside your own home. This is a full-body cardio-sculpting workout that can be modified for all fitness levels.
All you need is a pair of dumbbells and about 30 minutes to burn some calories and warm yourself up on a cold snowy day. Use the workout until you can return to your normal exercise program outside the house. Or who knows, maybe you’ll find the energy for that snow ball fight now!
Do you want to get buff? Do you want to have defined abs, cut arms and a lifted rear? The most important tool you need to achieve these features, aside from a great nutritional plan and cardio to burn fat, is RESISTANCE TRAINING. While you are enrolled in Boot Camp and you are showing up at least 2 per days per week, you are getting probably most of the Resistance Training you need. However you could easily do up to 4 or even 5 days a week if you want to really accelerate this process.
With that being said, I will keep this very short and to the point and cover some of the highlights of strength training. (I will be posting some at-home workouts and exercises soon at my online community, so make sure you are a member! http://nikigfitness.ning.com/ )
• Resistance Training (also known as Strength Training or Weight Training) is anything that provides resistance against your muscles such as weights, bands, medicine balls or even your own body weight. Walking or running up a hill can even be considering a form of resistance training.
• How much resistance you need depends on your current strength level and your goals. If you are wanting to build muscle, use as heavy of a weight as you can for 8-12 reps. If you are just trying to tone and tighten, use as heavy of weight as you can for at least 15-20 reps or even more depending on your workout.
• You will not get big and bulky by using weights, even if they are heavy. To think that we can get jacked like a Bodybuilder using heavy weights for 20 reps or so is silly. The people you see with big muscles work VERY hard to look that way. They spend A LOT of time in the gym using very heavy weights, low reps and a lot of rest between sets. They also have a fine-tuned, high calorie diet, and spend YEARS, not months getting that big. I can attest to this because I trained to gain muscle for 2 years as “bodybuilder” and even though I competed and placed 3rdin my weight class in TN State, I still never looked more than a lean fitness model or fitness competitor. It’s very difficult to gain a lot of muscle, so don’t be afraid of the weights!!! As long as you keep good form and do high reps, you will look hot, not scary.
• The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. This means that when you go into a maintenance phase, you will be able to consume more calories than you would if you had less muscle.
• Resistance Training also helps maintain bone density, improves your energy levels and your overall balance.
OK, and here are a couple of rules for you:
1. The bigger the weights, the higher the intensity. A great way to mix up your routine, especially if you hit a plateau.
2. Form ALWAYS over heavy weights. Don’t sacrifice your form just to lift a heavier weight.
3. Fat NEVER turns into muscle and vice versa. You lose muscle, and you gain fat, or vice versa.
4. If you feel like your body weight is too high for you, do more cardio and eat less, but don’t back off the weights! In fact you should lift weight your entire life so you never lose muscle. Resistance Training is one of the best ways to stay young. Also, it’s that weight training, high intensity level and the muscles that will help turn your body into a fat burning machine so don’t give up!
At Niki G Fitness fun and fitness go together! That’s why when our team starting planning to do the Blvd. Bolt on Thanksgiving Day, we decided to pay homage to the decade where exercise really became popular- the 80’s! We were in luck because apparently some 80’s clothing is back in style and on a cold morning, the leg warmers actually came in handy over our running tights!
From the tween-age clothing stores to the Blvd itself we got lots of smiles, pictures, shout outs and of course stares. The girls at the tween stores commented that there were “quite a few of us in our age group looking for 80’s attire” Thanks.
So while we may not look like we did around 10 years old, at least we got the chance to wear some fun clothes and enjoying the energy and youthfulness a good run always brings us.
Did you start a new exercise program recently to lose weight, but the scale has gone UP instead of DOWN? Don’t be alarmed! Unless you are hitting the donut shop after all your workouts, this is nothing to worry about, in fact it’s normal! See, whenever you begin or completely change your workout program, your body will retain water. This weight gain is NOT fat and it’s not even muscle, at least not yet…
The reason for the water retention is because your muscles begin to temporarily store more glycogen when you “shock” the body with exercise that your body is not used to. This extra glycogen will pull more water into your muscles. Glycogen is simply stored carbohydrates and carbohydrates are what your bodies needs to fuel your workouts. Like super fast weight loss (like from fasting or no-carb diets), this is only a temporary condition. As your body adapts to your increased need for carbohydrates, the water retention will decrease.
Now if you have been at it for a while and you are still not losing weight (fat) it’s time to look at your overall program and what you are eating. If you have been keeping a diet and exercise journal, this will be easy. If not, ask yourself:
“Have I been eating to lose or just maintain?”
“Have I been getting enough exercise (usually 60-90 minutes 5-6 days a week) to lose weight and change my body?”
and another question and one of the biggest issues I find with people who workout but don’t see results…
“Am I working out intensely and burning the maximum amount of calories during my workout, instead of just going through the motions?.”
If you answered no, to any question, it’s time to focus on how you can start taking steps in the right direction: more consistency, longer and/or more intense calorie burning workouts, better eating habits, balanced nutrition etc. Just contact me if you need that little nudge….
Congratulations to Team Niki G Fitness! On Oct. 10th, after a 60 minute Boot Camp class, several of our Boot Campers loaded into one of my in-home client’s SUV and made our way from Granny White Park to Maryland Farms to meet up with the rest of our team and run what for many of them would be their first 5k; The Race for the Cure! The excitement they all shared at the finish line was incredible. After completing her first 5k in a little over 35 minutes, one Boot Camper came up to me and gave me a big hug saying “I ran the whole way, and it’s all because of you!” Actually, it’s because she started Boot Camp a couple of months ago, didn’t give up and stayed committed to her program. This is also the same Boot Camper who told me while running our warm up mile on her first day, “I don’t think I can do this.” Obviously, I showed her she could. Now here she is running her first 5k!
The entire team did wonderful! We all finished in about 35 minutes and which gave us plenty of time and chat and plan our next race… the Blvd Bolt on Thanskgiving Day. All I can say is stay tuned for the pictures next month because you are NOT going to want to miss them!!!
And remember, you can do ANYTHING, one step at a time!
How to Stick with an Exercise Routine and Succeed at Your Fitness Goals!
Being fit doesn’t just happen. It takes time and attention and correct planning. Last month I shared with you one of the most effective tools for helping you achieve your fitness goals in 2009- keeping a diet and exercise journal. This is an important first step in changing your lifestyle. But, there are other tools you must also add to get in your best shape ever!The Planner Along with your journal, you should have a good planner. Use a written calendar, PDA, or computer calendar to SCHEDULE your workouts. Yes, make an appointment with yourself. Even if it’s only two or three days a week, it is much better than nothing at all. For most people, a majority of the struggle in finding time to exercise it just showing up! If you schedule your appointment with yourself, don’t let anything get in the way and don’t talk yourself out of spending that important time on yourself, you will have won half the battle! You will quickly be on your way to a routine and carving that time out of your day will become easier and easier.
If you are a “Yo-yo Exerciser,” and you still can’t seem to find your way to your “scheduled appointment” with yourself, make that appointment with a friend, enroll into a fitness class or hire a personal trainer. It will be much more difficult to cancel your appointment and you may even look forward to your appointment when you know you have some company.Finding the Time You say you don’t have time to workout? As a Personal Trainer, I have heard all the excuses and I will tell you the same thing I wrote about last month in regards to the “hassles” of keeping a journal to document your food and progress.
· Do you have time to be sick?
· Do you have time for an illness that could have been prevented by eating healthy and getting exercise?
· Do you really want to miss special events, trips to see family or other activities due to your fatigue?
· Can you afford to get anymore out of shape due to no exercise?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s really time to reorganize your life and prioritize. For the top excuses and what to do about them, check out my next Blog Entry I’ll even share with you my personal favorite ones and what I have done about them!)
Looking and feeling great is a lifestyle change, not something that can come in a bottle, on a surgeons table, or with the next diet or exercise fad. True fitness and health comes from the inside. So, start with yourself, your thoughts, your goals, and you can become healthier by eating right and exercising. Take 15 minutes each evening to update your journal and review your workout schedule for the week. You will be rewarded with a leaner, more toned, and more energetic body!
Another year, another intention to get fit and stay fit. In my industry, this is the busiest time of the year. It’s exciting to see so many more exercisers in January hitting the sidewalks here in Brentwood, TN or visiting the gyms, yet just as disappointing to see them drop off by Spring. So, what’s the key to starting an exercise routine, sticking to it and seeing results that motivate you to continue long after we have rung in the New Year? In a two-part series, this month and next, I will share with you two of the most important strategies for looking and feeling your best this year!
Document It I hear it all the time, “But I eat really well and I still haven’t lost any weight.” That’s their viewpoint until they start actually documenting everything they eat. As the day goes by you may be eating mindlessly or even eating more than you thought. Our metabolisms change over time and what worked for us in our 20’s and 30’s doesn’t necessarily work in our 40’s and beyond. Improper portion sizes are the biggest setback I find when evaluating journals. Even I had a hard time shedding the pregnancy pounds last summer until I actually starting keeping a food journal with an online program!
Recently, studies have shown what I have been telling clients for years — those that keep a diet and exercise journal lose two times as much weight as those that don’t! This is good news for anyone keeping a journal whether you goal is to lose weight, run a marathon or even just tone up. While you might be one to complain about the hassle of keeping a journal, wouldn’t you agree that it’s much better than not fitting into your clothes, or worse, having medical issues due to your size or lack of physical fitness?
Make the Change It’s never too late to change your fitness level and lifestyle. Simply pick up a small notebook at the store and update it two-three times a day with exactly what you did that day to get healthier. Include everything you ate and any exercise you did. The more information you provide in your journal the better. Chances are, you already know what you should be eating to achieve your goals — the journal will just provide additional discipline and accountability!
Now, if you enjoy the convenience of the computer or you need some guidance in the nutrition department there are many online programs that allow you set up an account and enter in the food you eat. Some even have technology to give you a snapshot regarding how well you doing by providing charts, graphs or “report cards” and some provide meal planning.
Just remember, keeping a journal does not have to be forever. Once you reach your goals and get used to writing down everything you eat and learning how to balance out your meals, you won’t need the journal. And if you get off track, you can always just pick up the pen and paper (or mouse) once again!