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Winter Workouts: How to Get Your Workout In When Time is of the Essence

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Even though nearly everyone makes a New Year's Resolution to get healthy and exercise more, with the hustle and bustle of the New Year many people often lose track of time and don't stick to either of these resolutions.

Fortunately, there are plenty of exercises that you can do if you only have a little bit of time in your day to do them.

These “mini workout sessions” not only allow you to be physically active during your busy day, but they also help to alleviate stress and provide consistency in your sometimes crazy life.


If you have 10 minutes,

Warm up with one to two minutes of brisk walking, then alternate two minutes running with 30 seconds walking.

If you feel good, gradually increase the speed of your run segments. Repeat three times. Jog easy for one minute to cool down.

If you're stuck in the house, walk briskly from room to room and up and down stairs. Every minute, jog in place for 20 steps.

If you have 15 minutes,


Walk gently up and down a flight of stairs two or three times to warm up.

Then run up one flight and walk back down. Repeat four times, take a one-minute walk break on a flat surface, then continue the sequence as time allows.

If you're in a stairwell, run up two flights of stairs, walk down, repeat, then take a walk break.

If you have 20 minutes,

On an out-and-back route, walk for one minute, then alternate 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running for three minutes.

For the next six minutes, run/walk using any ratio you wish. At the 10-minute mark, turn around.

For the next nine minutes, run/walk whatever ratio you'd like, but pick up the pace during the run portion.

Cool down for one minute.

If you have 30 minutes,

Walk for two minutes, then alternate 30 seconds walking with 30 seconds running for six minutes.

For the next 20 minutes, alternate jogging for one minute, running a faster pace for one minute, jogging one minute, walking one minute. Repeat the sequence five times.

Walk or jog two minutes to cool down.

Good luck with these “mini” winter workout sessions and here's to keep at least one of those New Year's Resolutions!

Holiday Health: How to Fit in Exercise This Busy Holiday Season

Written by Lisa Jillanza

December can be the busiest month of the year for many people. From holiday entertaining to endless shopping, and from visiting friends and family to all of that food, it is very easy to get off track when it comes to your diet and exercise.

But your exercise regimen doesn't have to falter just because it's the holiday season. Use the following tips to help keep on track when it comes to fitness this year:

Instead of taking that leisurely stroll through the mall when you do your Christmas shopping turn that stroll into a power walk.

Take the stairs while you are at the mall instead of using the elevator or escalator.

Park in the lower lot of the mall and get that extra exercise by walking a little further to the mall.

Try working out in the morning before your busy days get underway.

Invite your house guests to work out with you so you can spend time with them and still get your exercise in.

If you are traveling, check to see if your gym shares their membership with other gyms and try to get in a work out there. If not visit the local YMCA or get a one-time pass to the local gym.

While these are only a few tips to help you keep fit over the holidays, these are definitely a jump start in the right direction.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

Simple Strength Building Exercises: Three Exercises to Kick Start Your Workout

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Instead of dragging yourself to the gym every day, fit these three simple exercises into your daily regimen at home and you will see results in no time. Begin any work out with a quick stretching routine and then do the following exercises, which target your upper, middle and lower muscle groups, gradually.

Push Ups: (Reps: Three sets of five, or five sets of three) Do simple push-ups, using your knees as your stability, instead of your toes. When lowering your body, try to go as slow as possible for the best work out.

Crunches: (Reps: Three sets of twenty) Do crunches instead of sit-ups because sit-ups tend to harm your back. Lay on your back with your hands locked behind your head, bend knees so your feet are on the floor and lift your shoulders and head up forming the crunch. If you can hold it for one second the work out will be more beneficial.

Half-knee bends: (Reps: Twenty) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on hips, lower your hips halfway and hold, placing your weight on the balls of your feet. Hold for a ten count and then go back to a normal stance.

What is Not Working Out In Your Workout

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Despite what many people believe, not all workouts are actually effective and conducive to losing weight and toning up. There are a number of workouts that you will see people doing at your gym any given day of the week that are actually ineffective.

Unless you have the best form and are using some of these machines like textbook, then you actually may be doing more harm than good to your body.

The following are some examples of the least effective exercises that you can do:

Behind the Head Lat Pull Downs: Unfortunately only those with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spine straight enough to get a good workout from the behind the back lat pull down bar. The move done wrong can actually tear the rotator cuff.

Behind the Head Military Press: This exercise done similarly to the behind the head lat pull down, can cause the same problems with the rotator cuff that the aforementioned could cause.

Upright Row: This exercise done by pulling weights or a barbell underneath your chin can compress the nerves in your shoulder, actually impinging the shoulder.

Lying Leg Press (with knees bent too deeply): This exercise is typically done to work your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes and is done on a machine where you use your feet to push a weighted plate up and down. Unfortunately if you bend your knees too far, then you can seriously injure your back and/or knees.

Squats on a Smith Machine: While the Smith Machine is generally an effective machine, the bar on the machine doesn't give, which can force the body into risky positions, including placing their feet too far in front of them while doing their squats.

Using Bad Form on Cardio Machines: While using bad form is not good on any machine, using bad form on cardio equipment is a big no-no. Hunching over can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders and elbows.

Always Lifting with a Weight Belt: You will see plenty of people around your gym who are constantly wearing a weight belt. Unless you have a back injury, are lifting a lot of weight or if you have some other medical reason, then a weight belt is not necessary. Wearing a weight belt too often can weaken your core muscles, throwing off your entire workout.

Any Exercise Done While Wearing the Wrong Shoes: Wearing the appropriate shoes for working out is as important as using the proper form. Working out in the wrong type of shoes increases the pounding on your joints, and can lead to problems like plantar fasciitis or tendinitis.

While these are only a few exercises that have been deemed ineffective if done the wrong way, there are plenty of other machines and workouts that can harm you if you are doing them wrong. Be sure to consult with the trainers at your gym before starting any workout and learn the proper way to use the machines that they have on hand.