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Fitness for All: The Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat

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

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

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.

Fitness for All: 10,000 Steps a Day: Where did it come from?

Whether you are an avid fitness guru or just your “Average Joe” you have no doubt at some point in your life heard that the key to being healthy is getting in your “10,000 steps” daily.

But have you ever wondered why 10,000 steps? And is it working? Or is it just causing us unnecessary stress?

Here is what the experts say…

Back in 1965, when the Summer Olympics was held in Tokyo, Japan, a local professor was working on coming up with the best way to fight obesity and heart disease. He calculated that walking 10,000 steps a day – or the equivalent of 5 miles – would translate into a 20% increase in calories burned for the average person.

The professor, Yoshiro Hatano, then came up with a pedometer-like device called the Manpo-kei, to encourage people to get up and moving during the Olympics when fitness was on everyone’s mind.

The popularity of the pedometer and taking 10,000 steps continued in Japan and has since spread to the U.S. and other countries, becoming the standard that World Health Organization (WHO), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still follow today.

While 10,000 steps a day might be an achievable goal for some, experts note that everyone’s fitness ability is different and their steps per day should be adjusted accordingly.

One way to figure out the number of steps that would work for you is to track how many steps you normally take in any given day, then set an achievable goal based on your baseline steps. If you are a person who typically gets in 5,000 steps a day, then shoot for 7,500. Already reaching 10,000 a day? Why not try for 12,500? Even though this theory has been around for decades, there is no need to stress yourself out about reaching this daily goal. Just take it one step at a time.