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Fitness for All: Winter Fitness- Safety for Exercising Outdoors

Written by Lisa Jillanza

The cold months are upon us and once again we take to the outdoors to get some winter exercise in. Try these tips for exercising during the cold months to stay motivated, fit, and warm.

Stay safe during winter exercise. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any outdoor exercise routines, as many people with certain conditions – like asthma and heart problems – may have some conflicts with their medications and the colder weather.

Check the weather conditions and wind chill. Temperature, wind, and moisture, along with the length of time that you’ll be outside, are key factors in planning a safe cold-weather workout. The wind can penetrate your clothes and remove the insulating layer of warm air that surrounds your body. Any exposed skin is vulnerable to frostbite.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose, and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Exercising in cold, rainy weather increases the risk of hypothermia. Older adults and young children are at greater risk.

Dress in layers. Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer.

Fitness for All: The Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat

Written by Lisa Jillanza

When most people begin their weight loss journey, they want to start with that stubborn belly fat. Research also shows that a larger waistline is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

So, crunches – and lots of them – is the workout routine for you, right? Wrong! In fact, spot reduction in exercise simply doesn’t exist. Instead, trainers suggest these core-focused exercises that will help combat fat throughout your body resulting in less belly fat. 

Burpees – this exercise works your core, chest, shoulders, lats, triceps, and quads. Great all-around exercise.

Mountain climbers – like burpees, this moving plank exercise works out a ton of different muscles.

Turkish Get-up – this 200-year-old exercise involves a kettle ball and is great for burning belly fat and conditioning your whole body.

Medicine ball burpees – experts suggest adding a medicine ball to your burpee to increase the intensity and boost your metabolism.

Sprawls – basically a burpee on steroids, it takes the traditional burpee to the next level by having you touch your chest to the ground, then push-up to plank as you continue the move.

Side-to-side medicine ball slams - medicine ball slams are a dynamic, explosive, and highly metabolic exercise that does not simply target one muscle group.

Overhead medicine ball slams – strengthens your core as it works against gravity. It also tests your endurance by getting your heart rate up every time you bring the ball above your head.

Russian twists - The Russian twist is a core exercise that improves oblique strength and definition. The move, typically performed with a medicine ball or plate, involves rotating your torso from side to side while holding a sit-up position with your feet off the ground.

Fitness for All: At-Home Workouts for Adults and Kids

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Since many parents are spending more time at home with their children (thanks, pandemic) and lots of gyms and fitness centers remain closed, we need to find different ways to get those workouts in at home… with our children.

Here are some of the best ways to include your kids in your workouts, keep them busy, and have fun as a family, too.

  • Walking – it seems simple enough but getting out in the fresh air and logging some miles around the neighborhood may be just what you and your family need to help break up the daily monotony and workout at the same time.
  • Dance it out – nothing is more fun than cranking up the music, kicking off your shoes and having a good old fashioned dance party with your kids. Teach your kids all of your favorite moves and be prepared to learn some of their favorites, too.
  • Plank competition – who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Especially when it’s a healthy competition. Set a timer, start planking and the last person planking wins!
  • Yoga – nothing is more relaxing than spending some time getting centered and going through the yoga motions. Kids and adults alike can both do yoga, and you can always modify the positions as necessary.
  • Hopscotch – this childhood classic never gets old. Get outside, draw your squares, grab a rock and get down to business. You will have so much fun hopping with your kids that you will forget that you are working out.

 You can pretty much make any activity an at-home workout for you and your kids. Creativity is key and make sure to have some fun.

Fitness for All: Physical Activity for Diabetes Sufferers

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Being physically active is a good idea for everyone, but it is especially important for people with diabetes. According to experts with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “being active makes your body more sensitive to insulin which helps manage your diabetes.”

Other additional benefits include maintaining a healthy weight, losing weight, sleeping better, improving your memory, lowering your blood pressure, and feeling happier.

For those that suffer from diabetes, experts say that the goal is to get approximately 150 minutes of exercise each week. One way to do this is to get about 20-25 minutes of exercise each day, including about 2 days of a full-body workout – or using as many body parts as possible that you can during your workout.

Some great ways to get your 20-25 minutes per day include:

  • Walking briskly
  • Doing housework
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Playing a sport
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Dancing 

All these activities work your larger muscles, increase your heart rate, and make you breathe harder which are all good for you and important goals for fitness.

As with any exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor before starting physical activity. Your doctor can also steer you towards activities that are the best for you.