Weight Loss Weapon # 1

Whenever I'm craving a quick snack I grab one of these.  I'll have up to 3 a day sometimes.  Works every time and it's a ton better and less calorific than what I was THINKING about having!!

Interval Training is Hot!

The time intervals for the various exercises can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on your goal. Here is an example of an interval workout:

Round 1

Jumping jacks - 30 seconds
alternating forward lunges - 1 minute
jogging in place - 30 seconds
shoulder presses - 1 minute
forward hops - 30 seconds
plank - 1 minute

Repeat 2 more times, 3 rounds in all

Round 2

burpees - 30 seconds
dumbbell flys (back) 1 - minute
one legged side to side hops - 30 seconds
pushups - 1 minute
jump rope (simulate) - 30 seconds
crunches - 1 minute

Repeat 2 more times, 3 rounds in all

You can add more rounds for a complete body workout that addresses all of your needs. Figure out which exercises will benefit you the most personally, and throw them in. Need to improve your cardio? Add more cardio sequences. Need to work on endurance? Do longer intervals, perhaps 3 minutes or more. Need to improve strength? Increase the number of strength related exercise in the routine as opposed to cardio/endurance/etc.

I would advise doing each mini round of exercises 3 times at least for a full workout. Also, doing these 3 times a week should net you results that you can both see and feel within a short amount of time. Try this! You will soon not want to work out any other way!

For more fine fitness tips, visit TheFitnessDiva.com

The Plank

the plank

A Side Plank

One of the many exercises you can use to strengthen your abs and core is the plank. Planks can be done in many varieties and levels. When working on side and hip strength, the side plank can come in very useful. How to do a side plank:

1 * Lay on your side, lengthening your entire body into a straight line

2 * Prop up on your bottom elbow, and rest your hand on the floor

3 * Keeping your body as straight as you can from foot to shoulder, lift your hips straight up towards the ceiling

4 * Hold the pose in the high position for a length of time, with your abs pulled in, core muscles compressed and make sure that your elbow on the floor is in line with the shoulder joint.

5 * Slowly lower your entire body back to start position

While lifting and establishing your balance and the hold, you can challenge yourself even more by stretching your top arm up to the sky in a straight line. Do these several times in a row, and don't forget to do both sides!

Change The Scenery

One thing you can do when you start getting bored with your workout is to change the setting or place in which you do it. Always doing your workouts at the gym? Well, invest in a good pair of dumbbells or some other easily portable equipment and hit the park. Doing some of your routines outdoors and in a different environment could not only be a refreshing change, but can also stimulate some creativity on your part. Having access to different equipment (like park benches and monkey bars) can inspire your to perhaps try a few new things for a change. Are you one whe always doing outdoor sports or runs? Well, hit the gym and try taking classes instead. Changing the activity also has the potential to wake up and train a whole new set of muscles you didn't even know you had.

Stuck in the house all the time with your favorite exercise dvds? You know you know all those routines by heart now, you've been doing them for so long. Get out, buddy up with a friend and start doing power walks or park workouts. Being around other people striving to be fit can inspire you and get you off that monotonous home dvd treadmill!

All in all, change is good! It can also be what's needed to keep your energy level high and your enthusiasm for being active alive. Give it a try, folks!

Power Walking

For some, high impact and very intense exercise might not be an option due to injuries, health issues or being extremely overweight. Sharp or sudden impact on the joints or on othe parts of the body can be painful and might possibly cause even more injury. In these cases, power walking can be a great and effective solution that is also safe.

All power walking is is walking for a period of time at a rapid pace. The pace can vary from a brisk, steady walk to a level that is just shy of a trot. The way to really maximize calorie burn here is to incorporate arm movements along with the walk, either emphasizing the natural opposing arm and leg motions of the walk or by even adding in arm raises, upright rows and bicep curls as you walk along, for example.

As you progress and become accustomed to longer walk times and/or faster paces, you can up the intensity even more by carrying small hand weights or by wearing strap on wrist or ankle weights. Be sure to start small with 2 to 3 lbs, possibly going just a bit higher in weight when you build up your strength and endurance. Give yourself at least a month or so with a particular weight before increasing. Power walking can be fun, effective, can burn around 400 calories per hour, and most importantly, will place little stress on joints and injuries.

Lunge Curls

One of the best ways to get some good, effective strength training in is to combine exercises. Not only is the work load increased due to more muscle groups being utilized during the ask, but this also a more efficient way to exercise and can save you some time on the workout.

A really good one to add to your lineup is the combination lunge-curl.

Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart and parallel, With a dumbbell in each hand. Step a big step forward and bend your knee into lunge position, making sure to place the knee over the heel, not the toe. As you step forward into the lunge bring both dumbbells up into bicep curl position. Then step back, allowing the weights to drop back into the start position, foot also returning to the original position. Step forward with the other foot into a lunge, curling with the dumbbells. Keep alternating right and left, double arm curling with each lunge. Do sets of these lunges or do them until reach muscle fatigue.

*You can also do these with a backwards stepping lunge.

Go Bananas, Baby!

Yeah, another one of those "super fruits". You've probably been eating them since before you even had teeth, and lucky that you did. Bananas are a rich source of vitamins A, B and C, as well as being loaded with potassium, phosphorus, iron and fiber. What does that mean to you? Crazy energy, a boost to the immune system, eye and blood support, among other things. Aside from that, they just taste good, dammit. We LOVE bananas! Don't forget to include them in your regular diet!