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!

When You Hit The Wall...

...better known as reaching a plateau or topping out, you begin to feel like your exercise efforts are not paying off the way they used to. You're still rocking out that same routine and even hitting it much stronger and with more intensity than you did when you started out, but still, no more visible results like you used to get in the beginning.

If it's weight you're trying to lose, the scale seems to stay stuck on the same number for weeks on end, and if you're trying to gain mass or get more definition, you can quite clearly see that those muscles just aren't getting any bigger or any more cut. You add in an extra workout day a week, and still, nothing. What the hell is going on??

Well, I already mentioned that you've plateaued with your workout. What is a plateau? That's when your body and muscles become acclimated to the particular tasks you put upon them, ie, your exercise regimen. No matter what type of activity you do, sooner or later, you'll find that it's gotten less strenuous and thus requires less of your effort. Less effort = less results. You end up in a "maintaining mode". What to do here? Change things up. Add some completely different exercises and activities into your lineup. Do workouts that challenge different muscles and work the ones that you've been training via some other methods. They need a new type of stimulation, and changing things up is just the thing that will do it. Once you do that, you will soon get back to seeing the changes in your body and the results that you stay working so hard for.

Office Workout #1

Okay, so here you are with one of the busiest jobs on the planet and a mean as hell, ridiculously unreasonable boss who will barely let you out the door long enough to grab some lunch, much less a workout. you have food delivered in that you eat right at your desk, Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not so good. Hell, with all of the stress you experience in this job daily, a little comfort food now and then really isn't a bad thing -- it's a coping mechanism! The upshot of that is that your waist is starting to get thicker, that belly of yours is becoming a BELLY, and your overall body tone is beginning to resemble that of Play Doh. Running out to catch a lunchtime class at the area gym is out of the question. yet, you know by looking at your jiggling thighs and that getting softer by the minute butt that you need to do something, and fast.

Well, office workouts that can be done right there in your cubicle or office are the ticket for you. We will put together a workout using just your body weight, your chair and some light to medium weight dumbbells (buy a pair and lock them in your desk drawer!).

Today's office workout will target the triceps, quad, hamstrings, biceps, glutes and shoulders on your desk or any sturdy structure at least 3 feet tall that you can lean your entire body weight on.

Using the desk, or a non rolling chair we'll do tricep dips
using your chair we'll also do squats
using your dumbbells, we'll work triceps and shoulders

The set:

10 to 15 tricep dips
15 to 20 squats (stand up from your chair and take a big step forward. Keeping your back straight, chest up, lower your butt until it's almost touching the seat. then stand back up, giving your glutes a squeeze while doing so.
20 bicep curls
20 lat raises
Do 3 sets of each

Have a towel and water handy. You're going to need it! And if you can close your office door for privacy, by all means do. Nothing worse than nosy coworkers looking in and distracting you with idle chit chat. Also, if you choose the lunch hours to do this, you're less likely to get interrupted, as many of your coworkers will be out to lunch. Get it in, get it done, tyrant of a boss be damned!

Tricep Dips

Use your office chair or any sturdy structure at least 3 feet tall that you can lean your entire body weight on. Facing away from the chair, brace your self of the edge with your palms facing back, fingers forward. Balancing your weight on both hands, with your back straight, walk both feet a few steps forward until the legs are pretty much straight, but knees still soft, and then begin lowering your butt below the surface of the chair. Your butt and back should be no more than two to three inches away from the chair as you lower. Go down until both elbows are bent to almost a 90 degree angle. From the lowest point, use your arm strength to begin lifting your body back up until arms are straight. The up motion counts as one rep. Lower your butt below the surface of the chair again and follow with the lift. keep your elbows tucked in and pointing back, not out to the sides. Do as many reps as you can. Up, down, up, down, up, down...

Arms of steel will soon be yours...

The Acai Berry Hype

Unless you've been living under a rock these past few years, you've at least heard about the acai berry even if you haven't yet tried it. And that's "ah-sah-yeee". I know I was calling it "ah - kai" until I got it straight early on. Anyway, this berry, grown in Brazil, is said to have super antioxidant qualities and the ability to speed up one's metabolism. It's yet another one of those "super foods" like soy or papaya.

Well, this berry actually does live up to the hype, not only providing immense benefits such as promoting a strong immune system, giving one boundless energy and providing super antioxidants, but it's also rich in omega fats, essential amino acids, plant sterols, fiber, vitamins A, B1,2 and 3, C & E, and on top of that, packs in potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper. How's all THAT for a simple little berry? Amazing, I say! Definitely worth a try, and if you can add it to your diet in some way, shape or form on a regular basis, you should do it.

Now, you won't necessarily find the acai berry itself just hanging out in your local super market (unless you shop in specialty markets), but your local health food stores might have them, and many juice bars do keep them on hand to put into power and health shakes. If you haven't already, give these berries a try, in whatever form you can get them in. (they can also be found in concentrated powder packets). They may be a tad expensive, but hey, aren't you, your body and your health worth it?
You bet you are!

Get Flat Abs Today!

There are many products, videos and books out there dedicated to one thing: getting flat abs and getting rid of belly fat. Everyone wants a nice, flat stomach, but few are willing to work for it. Many of the programs and practices out here do work if you follow the advice given. However, the one thing you can to today to get those flat abs is to reduce your calorie intake, cut the amount of fat and sugar in your diet, eat more protein and fiber, and yes, exercise. Just a 30 minute workout almost every day that includes leg, upper body, core and some cardio will do the trick!

For example:

standing twists
jumping jacks

Do 3 to 4 sets of each every day. Take a day of rest after each 3 day cycle of doing this routine. With this alone and a smarter diet, you'll be seeing the results quickly. Don't just sit there -- start TODAY!

Leg Exercises

Want to get rid of that jiggly pair of thighs and that saggy butt? Want to really tone up those legs? Then, a good, solid leg regimen is what's prescribed here. We'll pick the most effective leg exercises that target each part of the leg and create a neat, compact little workout that you can do anywhere. We'll work the hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves, and take less than 20 minutes to do it!

The Lineup:

Weighted Squats

Yep. Because they work. Bar on your shoulders or a dumbbell in each hand. Do sets of 20. When you can deal with that, up it to 30 per set.

Weighted Lunges

Bar on your shoulders or a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward until your knee is over the heel of your foot. Push off, step back, and return to original position. Step forward on the other leg. Repeat, alternating legs for 15 to 20 reps. For more of a work load or to progress, up it to 30+ per set.

Heel Raises

In a basic standing position, toes and knees straight forward, lift both heels off the floor up to the balls of your feet. Return heels to floor. Keep those abs tucked in with your posture perfect, and do 30 at a time.

Step Out Side Lunge

Standing with feet together, step one foot out to the side, perfectly parallel to the other foot. As you step, let your upper body drop toward the floor, and attempt to touch the floor with the opposing hand. Keep your back flat and your torso centered over your groin, head facing forward. Push off, pull the leg back in to the original position. Do 10 to 15 repeats on one side and then switch legs. Do two sets back to back as one set. That would be 15 (or 10) right, 15 left, again 15 right, 15 left. Count that as one set.

Do 3 to 4 sets of these 3 times a week, and watch the jiggly slowly begin to subside as those legs strengthen and tighten right up. All those lunges and
squats will have a nice effect on your butt, too. Just don't begin to get too caught up with constantly looking at your butt in the mirror, as tends to happen once that thing starts sitting up and looking all perky and firm.

Stomach Exercises

Really want to get that six pack? Well, dieting alone just won't cut it -- literally! You HAVE to exercise to achieve this. Exercising will help to
define those stomach muscles, and any cardio or sweat inducing exercises you do will help melt off the extra layers of fat covering up those abs.

Abdominal and core exercises:

The plank
standing twists
leg lifts (lying on your back)
crunches on a medicine ball
toe touches (lying on your back, legs and feet up towards the ceiling)
bicycles (on your back)

Pick 3 of these and create yourself a serious abs and core set. My personal choice would be this:

burpees --> the plank --> standing twists

Do 3 sets of each. Each set should be anywhere from 20 to 40 reps. Beginners, start with smaller numbers and as you progress, add more reps. Should take about 20 minutes, and best of all, you get it in, you get it DONE! Do this routine 4 to 5 times a week, tweak that diet so you're replacing bad, sugary, fatty food with the good, and watch those abs pop in, two cans at a time! Here's to the six pack that will soon appear in your future!

Quick Upper Body Workout

We all want toned, chiseled arms. Some are blessed enough to have them because of lucky genes, and the rest of us have to just work for it. If you're in the latter category, then here's a quick, effective arm, chest, and back workout that will have you looking at some nice guns on those arms and a nice, defined back and chest if you stick with it.


Push ups - 20 to 30 per set

Plank with a one arm row - get in straight arm plank position, with one knee bent. With the opposing hand (of the bent knee), start with the dumbbell in its lowest position (on the floor), and pull it up and in towards the side of your ribs, keeping your elbow tucked in close to your body. Return the bell to start position. Do 15 to 20 reps and switch sides. You can also do reps to failure for faster results.

Bicep curl to a lat raise - exactly how it sounds. Combine the two exercises (curl first, flowing right into the lat raise after the down phase of the curl), counting each combined rep as 1. Do reps to failure.

Straight punches - with lighter dumbbells than you would normally use (listen here, so you don't damage the ligaments of your shoulder and anterior delts).
Stand with feet apart and parallel, hands up in a boxer stance, elbows down by your ribs. Extend one arm at a time forward into a straight jab, aiming it dead center in front of you. Recoil the arm, and extend the other one forward into a jab. Speed up to a steady pace and rhythm, continuously punching for 30 to 40 second bursts. Do it twice in a row, with a brief few seconds rest in between, and count it as one set.

That's it!

4 exercises, 3 to 4 sets each, 3 to 4 times a week. And don't forget to watch your fat and sugar intake, of course, to thin out that fatty layer of skin covering those muscles. When the warm weather comes, wear your tank tops, wife beaters and muscle shirts, and flex til the sun don't shine. You earned it!

Watch It With the Smoothies!

And here you thought you were just doing something really good for your body. Well, while many health shakes and smoothies are just that; good for you, many are just sugar laden, calorie loaded diet traps, all dressed up to look like healthy drinks because they have some fruit and/or yogurt in them.

Don't be fooled!

Here's how to make sure your health shake or smoothie is really the smart choice that you intended for it to be:

Less is more

Of course it is. Not more than 3 to 4 ingredients. And remember that fruits like banana and dates are high in calories. Not a sin, but when you add in the milk, sugar and a few other items, the calorie count does start to escalate.

Skip the sugar
Yes. Rough it for a change! While it might taste a bit more 'raw' and less sweet, it's a better way to go, especially if you're one who does the smoothie thing frequently.

Low fat milk or yogurt only, please!

Cut out calories by insisting upon the skimmed down version of thsese items. Will save you a ton of calories in the long run.

Get the smaller size

Going for the jumbo, super large, 20 ounce doesn't really make a whole lot of sense if you're trying to watch your cals, does it? Of course, it doesn't!
Stick to the small or medium and leave the larger sizes alone! That one tip might help keep you from being a larger size yourself!

So, still do your smoothies, but not too often, and tweak them a little to make them just that much healthier and less calorie filled. Then, it really will be the healthier choice.

Burn and Cleanse Diets

These are all the rage right now, aren't they? The one Beyonce supposedly used that advises drinking cayenne pepper and lemon water, and the one touted by that chick from The Biggest Loser, right? They're everywhere! Question is, what do you really think is going to happen after you "cleanse and burn" off all the fat and cals you accumulated over a period of time? Hmmm? They're going to come right back on within a week or two, because you still didn't change your basic eating habits, that's what. Oh, you'll be good for a while, lasting more than a few days, even, after that cleanse. But pretty soon it will all fade away, just as all quick fixes eventually do.

The only reason anyone should be trying to lose weight in a not so reasonable amount of time (like, say, in a week) is if they're trying to look good for a special event, like a wedding or a class reunion, a boxing weigh in, or a role in a movie that you just suddenly got the call for. And even then, you shouldn't be trying to do it in less than 10 days or a week. Not only is doing that a bit dangerous, but also, you end up feeling like hell while you're going through this process of starving yourself, drinking strange liquids in place of food, and not eating.

Stop going for the quick fixes, people. Curtail the unhealthy eating, get up and off the couch and get some activity going on in your life. And some exercise....

And THEN you'll be looking fit and fierce ALL the time! Now, put down that cayenne pepper and go get on the treadmill.....NOW!

Lose the Weight for Yourself

Not for your husband or wife. Not for your friends. Not to try to catch some guy who's into skinny chicks (or to get some girl). Do it for yourself. Because you know you should. Because you know that if you really put your mind to it, you can. Because you know it's healthier for your self, your body and your life in general.

Find a way to do it. If plan A doesn't work, keep it movin' and get right on to plan B. This IS doable. Just set your mind, firm up that resolve, get determined and get it DONE!

You really CAN do it!