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Winter Workouts

Even though it may seem like winter may never be over, soon enough in just a few short weeks it will be.  But before you gear up for spring and getting back outdoors to take in nature and get some exercise, here are some winter workouts that you need to make time for before the spring flowers bloom.

  • Take a spin class.  These intense indoor cycling classes can burn hundreds of calories and keep your bones strong.
  • Put your swimsuit on and hit up the local indoor pool.  Once spring and summer roll around no one wants to be swimming indoors, but on those cold winter days, nothing feels better than taking some laps in a warm swimming pool.
  • Hit the wall and find somewhere with an indoor rock-climbing wall.  This non-traditional cardio exercise not only exercises your body, but also your brain.   It can also burn up to 650 calories an hour!
  • Ice skating isn't just for kids, figure skaters or hockey players.  Visit your local indoor ice rink (or outdoor ice rink if you have one close by) and tone your legs, core and butt while having fun and stabilizing muscles that assist with balance and coordination.
  • Try a boot camp workout.  Inspired by military training, these “booty-busting” classes are gaining in popularity all over the country and combine strength training moves with high-intensity cardio for a full body workout.
  • Put on your boxing gloves and pretend you are Rocky!  Most gyms or community centers offer basic classes in boxing and because this is such a multi-faceting workout, you will notice that you are toning up more than bulking up the more you try it.
  • Tai chi is another good winter workout to try when the winter blues have got you down.  Tai chi is a low-impact exercise with its roots in ancient China.  Tai chi helps balance yin and yang, improves cardiovascular health, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve balance.

Five Minute Fixes

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.
  • 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 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 health 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.

Fitness for All: Yoga for Beginners

If your New Year's Resolution included getting healthy and trying new forms of exercise, then you may be considering trying out one of the most popular forms of exercise and relaxation : yoga.

Yoga can be intimidating if you choose to head straight to the gym and taking a class, so we offer these four beginners poses that you can practice with before you move onto some of the more challenging poses in public.

Mountain Pose :

To do it, stand up straight and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Bring your shoulders back as if you were trying to stand up super straight, but keep your arms relaxed. In one variation of this pose, you leave your arms at your side and feel the energy shoot through your back and legs (in a good way). In another variation, you take a deep breath as you lift your arms above your head with the palms of your hands facing each other. Reach for the stars with your fingertips and feel the stretch in your back.

Cobra Pose :

The cobra pose stretches your lower back, improves flexibility and works your arms. Start by lying face down on the floor with the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands near your shoulders, as if you were going to do a pushup. Use your arms to push your torso, abdomen and even hips off the floor. Keep your legs flat on the ground. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, return to the starting position and repeat the sequence.

Warrior Pose :

Stand in a normal position and then turn your right foot out at a 90-degree angle. While keeping your shoulders relaxed, place your hands on your hips. Extend your arms out to your sides and the palms of your hands face down. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle and slide your left foot back 3 or 4 feet, depending on your flexibility. Your right thigh should be parallel with the floor and your knee over your ankle. Line your chin up with your right shoulder so you look past your fingertips. Hold this pose for a minute before switching sides.

Sculpt Your Body with These Moves

Even though sweater and parka weather are upon us, ‘tis the season to sculpt away that unwanted fat, because let's be honest any season is the perfect time to sculpt away that unwanted fat, right?

To fight fat and sculpt, you need to target your biggest problem areas : like your glutes, thighs, and love handles. Follow these fat-busting moves to get in the best shape this season (or any season!)

Problem : Under arm jiggle.

Solution : Tricep dips.

Sit on the floor or a bench with knees bent at 90 degrees and palms facing out, behind you. Raise your body up and down, dipping your rear until it hovers just above the ground. Keep your elbows pointed straight behind you, and you should feel it in your triceps. Do for 60 seconds and repeat three times.

Problem : Flabby chest

Solution : Push-ups

Doing push-ups for 30 seconds followed by a 15-second hold is the key to scoring a toned chest.

Repeat 3 times. (If you can't do a traditional push-up, try an incline variation, placing your hands on a bench.)

Problem : Belly fat

Solution : Mountain climbers

Hold a high plank position for 30 seconds, keeping a flat back.  Quickly bring right knee to right elbow, then left knee to left elbow in fast movements for 30 seconds.

Problem : Love handles

Solution : Side forearm plank

Start with a traditional forearm plank, elbows under shoulders and forearms parallel, abdominals engaged. Slide your palms toward your centerline so your thumb and forefingers connect. Then stack your left hip on your right, placing your left palm on your left hip. Use your abs and pull your navel to your spine as you press your shins and thighs together. Reach your left (or top) arm up to the sky to open your chest while you press your hip up. Press up 10 times. Repeat on right side.