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Quick Exercise: Five Minute Health Fixes

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Are you 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.


Five Ways to Refresh Your Exercise Routine for Spring

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Just as soon as the ice and snow begin melting after a long winter there is a startling realization that swimsuit season is around the corner,proceed with the panic. Once the mercury starts to rise, getting back in shape for the spring and summer is on everyone's mind. But instead of hitting the exercise hard, experts suggest easing back into your springtime routine.

Here are some tips to get you started from WebMD:

Start Slow- Take the necessary time before jumping into your spring diet and exercise plan. If you haven't worked out much all winter then it's important to start slowly. By easing into your regimen you will be more successful in keeping with your diet and exercise plan. Commit to regular exercise and slowly increase the intensity as your fitness level improves.

Take it Outside- You've more than likely taken your regular exercise routine to the treadmill during the winter months. But now that it's getting nicer outside try walking or jogging in the park or around a track. Both your body and soul will love the fresh air.

Plan a New Menu- You need to really look at your diet and the amount of calories you are consuming on a daily basis. Choose foods that are low in calories but are filling to help you fight off the hunger throughout the day.

Take Up a Sport- It's a new season, so why not try a new activity or sport? Playing a sport can break up the monotony of your typical workout routine and can provide fun as well as connection with others. Try tennis or golf this spring.

Protect Your Skin- If you're spending more time outside then it's essential to wear sunscreen in order to protect yourself from ultraviolet rays. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and choose a waterproof kind that doesn't run off when you sweat.

By keeping these five tips in mind you'll go from winter weight to bikini body safely and happily and in no time!

Spring Cleaning Workout: Tidy Up and Get a Workout All at Once!

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It's that time of year again! The sun is starting to shine,.and shedding light on your dirty house. Spring cleaning season is in full swing. Sure, you would be hard-pressed to find a woman or a man who says that they actually enjoy the thoughts of spring cleaning. But, if you just take into consideration how many calories are burned while you are doing your spring cleaning, then you may be a little more excited when spring rolls around this year.

As with any physical activity, cleaning up around the house and garden can actually burn calories as well as stretch and tone muscles. Some sort of moderate activity for at least 30 minutes a day can bring tremendous health benefits, even if it's just using a little elbow grease around the house.

However, when it comes to losing weigh while cleaning, intensity and speed are vital so here are some tips from WebMD for making your next cleaning session a workout session:

Listen to fast music in order to pick up speed and enjoy yourself while you're at it.

Tighten your abs during chores to make it more of a workout, plus it prevents you from slouching.

Strive for large up and down movements like when cleaning the shower door. Make big pronounced movements and move those arms!

Carry heavy baskets of laundry up and down some stairs to get your heart pumping.

Climb on a stepladder to reach high dusty spots, keep it up and it's almost like being in a step class.

Do lunges while vacuuming, just remember to keep toes pointed ahead and to not bend your knees further than 90 degrees. You'll feel these burning your thighs in no time.

The actual amount of calories burned while cleaning will depend on your weight, gender and age, but there calculators that you can find online (FitDay or NutriStrategy) that will help you to calculate your actual calories burned. But here's a general idea of how many calories you can burn by just taking care of a few things around the house.

Gardening: 226 calories

Window washing: 226 calories

Scrubbing floors (on hands and knees): 291 calories

Laundry, ironing: 84 calories

Sewing repairs: 36 calories

Dusting: 97 calories

Scrubbing toilets, tub: 246 calories

Vacuuming: 317 calories

Cleaning gutters: 258 calories

Moving furniture, household items: 387 calories

Painting, papering, plastering: 317 calories

Sweeping: 194 calories

Mopping: 153 calories

Mowing the lawn: 148 calories

Washing dishes: 77 calories

So dust off your mops, break out the cleaner and begin to sweat off the weight!

Editor's Note: The calories burned estimates listed here are based on one hour of cleaning for a 155 pound woman.


Exercises for the Working Girl: What you can do Around the Office

Written by Lisa Jillanza

As much as you'd like to spend hours on toning your glutes and improving your sexy abs at the gym, the truth of the matter is you just don't have the time—you're a working girl. Add the additional responsibility of taking care of a family and chances are your sports bra won't ever see the light of day. Fortunately there are a few exercises you can do around the office to help keep you in shape. To find out what they are, continue reading.

On Your Way to Work

Before you even get to your place of employment there are tons of simple exercises you can do to help keep you fit. The first is to ditch your car and trade it out for a bicycle or some walking sneakers. Granted not everyone will be able to drastically change the way they commute to work, but if the distance permits, try to ride your bicycle or walk to work a few days out of the week. It won't only help keep you in shape, but it'll help you save on gas money and help reduce your carbon footprint as well.

If you prefer to take your car to the office, you can work on your abs while driving. A good way to do this is whenever you reach a red light, squeeze your abs and hold them for about 10 seconds and then release. Continue doing this until the light turns green. The same exercise move can work to tone your butt—just squeeze and then release your glutes in 10 second intervals.

If you usually park in a garage, make it a habit of using the stairs, not the elevator. When climbing back up the stairs at the end of the day, make sure to take double steps—it'll work out your legs more. If you park in a lot, make sure that you park far enough that you can do some good walking before you clock in.

Around the Office

If you are predominately glued to a desk and computer, chances are you don't get enough blood circulation. A good way to change that is by making it a priority to move around every 30 minutes or so. This could be as simple as going to the restroom. But to make it a little bit more challenging, try to use the restroom on an entirely different floor and use the stairs to get there. Remember to take double-steps on your way back up. Or, if you have a message to deliver to another co-worker or boss, get up and deliver the message in person instead of using e-mail or Instant Messaging. Some employees are even known to purposely leave important documents or their lunches in their cars so that they can have a reason to get out of the office and move around a bit. With that said, any little excuse you have to get up and move around you should take advantage of.

At Your Desk

If you have a very traditional office job you will most likely spend all of your time sitting at a desk. One of the easiest ways to simultaneously work on your fitness and your job duties is to switch out your office chair for a stability ball. It may seem a little impractical since there is nothing to support your back, but that's pretty much the whole point. Since you will be working on keeping your balance, your abs, legs and back will constantly work (and get toned in the process) to keep yourself situated on the ball. You don't have to use the stability ball every day if you don't want to but a few days out of the week can do wonders.

Calf raises are also another popular exercise move to do at your desk. All you have to do is sit in a chair (or stability ball) and use the balls of your feet to lift your legs off of the floor. You should feel your calf muscles stretch. Once you feel that your calves can't stretch anymore give them a good squeeze. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Typically women prefer to do this exercise move until they begin to tire, but you can give yourself specific goals. For example, you can tell yourself "after I'm done with this report" or "after this phone call is complete" I can move on to another body part.

Arm raises are equally as affective. All you have to do is raise your arms above your head or to the sides. Do it with a full water bottle in hand to make it a bit more challenging. This simple move will not only help tone your arms but will also help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of nursing colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..