Have you tried incorporating jumping rope into your workouts? It gives you an AB-mazing cardio workout while chiseling away at your core with every jump. This weekend, I wanted to get some cardio in without running (it was a rest day) so I brought my jump rope to the gym and incorporated abs between sets to create this workout. It kicked my butt!! You try too and sweat your way to flat abs!
One note: This workout gives you 15 seconds rest between exercises. For an added challenge, only rest every 5-10 minutes.The Fitness Fashionista ‘Jump to Flat Abs’ Workout To being fit and fashionable, Christyn
Everyone has different times of the day in which their body functions the best. For a lot of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, that time is bright and early in the A.M. There is a reason for this; studies show that working out first thing in the morning leads to consistency, better sleep and weight loss. There are many other reasons people choose to workout first thing; mine are as follows:
- I workout about 2 hours a day; 1 hour cardio and 1 hour strength training. I choose to split it up and do half in the morning and half in the evening. I know that if I can get in at least half of my workout in before I go to work, when I get busy later, I don’t have to worry about it. Knowing I only have half my workout left to complete at the end of the day takes off a lot of stress!
- Working out in the morning is a great way to get your metabolism going. Do you ever notice how after you workout you are hungry? It is because you just burned a ton of calories! When you burn calories first thing and replenish them right away, you are sending your body the message that this is how it is going to be all day. Burn, replenish, burn, replenish, ect.
- You can get your energy out on a workout before you get it out somewhere else. Work days can be tough and it happens more often then not that work can exhaust you leaving you with no energy when you get home. When this happens, sometimes the last thing you want to do is workout. When you already have gotten your workout in first thing, you don’t have to worry about getting home exhausted only to have a half-effort workout or no workout at all.
- Working out first thing gives you more energy throughout the day. It might sound contradictory thinking you would be exhausted after a workout but in fact, you should feel more energized. Once you get those endorphins going, you should feel happy, full of life and full of energy. The perfect way to start a day!
- You make better decisions. When you get such a great calorie burn in first thing, the last thing you want to do is mess that up. Mentally, you should want to eat better throughout the day knowing you already put in too much time in at the gym that morning to screw it up over a fattening lunch.
So, for those that are not naturally morning people, it may take some work to get yourself trained to get up with the sun and get a good workout in. Here are some tips for you to try so you can start getting A.M. workouts in. I promise you will be glad you did – no one regrets going to the gym, they only regret NOT going.
1. Slowly start moving up your bedtime. If you normally go to bed at 1 am, don’t think you can all of a sudden go to bed at 10 pm and fall asleep right away. Try crawling into bed 30 minutes earlier each night for a week. Once you are finally backed up to your desired bed time, stay consistent with going to bed at that time every night so your body clock gets used to crashing as soon as the lights turn off.
4. Eat some breakfast. If you aren’t used to waking up early, you may find that you do not have much of an appetite first thing in the morning. If you are going to go workout though, you do need to give yourself a little fuel so try eating something small like a piece of fruit. You will find that just giving yourself a bit of carbs, your metabolism will get working and your body will wake up and be ready to go.
5. Pick a realistic workout. If your gym is 15 minutes away and you are already giving yourself limited time to workout, maybe try doing an at home DVD. If you didn’t sleep well the night before and wake up tired, maybe don’t go try to do an intense 75 minute kickboxing and stick with yoga or some light strength training. On the other hand, if you wake up ready to go, maybe give a local boot camp a try where you can really sweat it out. No matter what, pick something that you know will work for you and be realistic enough for you to complete. If you do enough bad workouts in the morning you will hate it and give up, so take that option out of the equation and do something you know you can do. You have plenty of time to get up to those intense sweat sessions, we are just talking for starters here.
6. Bribe yourself. Yes, you read that right, bribe yourself. If there is something you know you will want to do later in the day (get a mani/pedi, treat yourself to Starbucks, watch a T.V. show, ect) tell yourself that you can spend the time later in the day doing what you want to do if you make yourself get up early in the morning to workout. Not only does this help in the short term, but it also helps teach you that working out takes time and when you get it done early, you all of a sudden have an extra hour later in your day to do something else.
7. Share your plans. As humans, we don’t like to fail. When you tell someone of your workout plans for the next morning, you are more likely to stick with it and keep with your work. The last thing you are going to want to do is tell them you slept through your workout when they ask the next day.
8. Be consistant. I wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends. Your body naturally develops an internal alarm clock and when you train yourself over and over to get up at a certain time, you will begin to wake up at that time without a struggle. It may sound extreme to not sleep in on the weekends, but sleeping in messes with this internal clock. Your body needs to be trained to know you need to get up at a specific time and be ready to go.
If after trying these tips you still can’t get up in the morning, don’t stress and give up. The key is being consistent so as long as you are getting in a great workout whenever and wherever that works for YOU, you are well ahead of most others. ♥To being fit and fashionable, Christyn
How many times do you go to the gym and stand there looking around because you have no idea what to do? Or, you are on the road traveling and think you can’t work out because you have no access to the gym? This happens to more people then you know, so I promise you are not the only one, but that doesn’t mean it has to continue that way. I am sharing with you my five favorite fitness apps that can help give you the tools to change and have great workouts all the time!
Now, as you know, there are apps for everything. Especially when it comes to health and fitness, there are tons. Right now, I am just referring to apps that can give you great workout ideas and help guide you through a routine. If you have 1-2 of these on your phone, you will not have any excuse to not get a great workout in anytime! These are workouts you can do both at the gym and at home; just check what they have listed ahead of time so you know if any equipment is needed (it isn’t usually much; sometimes just a couple small weights and a medicine/stability ball). There are always non-equipment options though so you can always find one to do at home or on the road.
SELF BEACH BODY WORKOUTS
The thing I really like is you start by setting your ‘environment.’ You can choose between “in the gym,” “equipment free,” “hand weights,” “resistance bands,” or “stability ball.” With this, you can ensure the workout you pick is going to work with where you are at and what equipment you have access to, if any.
Once you select your mode, there are tons of great workouts to choose from. Each workout will walk you through photos of each move.
If you are a yoga lover, this app is perfect for you! Although my preference is to always to do yoga in a studio where the instructor is live and can help you with adjustments, if you are on the go this sure beats skipping a practice all together! Even if you just need to stretch a bit from a long trip, this app will let you pick short practices that give you the stretching you need.
You can select individual yoga poses, or pick a whole flow to go through.
Each is timed so you know how long it will take to complete. When you are ready to begin, a video will walk you through the entire thing, doing the practice with you so you can watch the instructors form.
This app provides simple workouts for targeted body parts. You start with picking the body part of focus.
Once you pick your body part of focus, you are given a couple workout options.
Then you are walked through a workout with photos and detailed instructions.
When you are done, log your exercise in their exercise log so you can track your progress!
NIKE TRAINING CENTER
This is the most intense workout of all the apps. The thing I love about this one is it times your whole workout so you know how long you should (and are) spending on each interval.
You start with choosing your goal of the workout. I like the “get lean” program as they have a lot of trouble spot targeted workouts.
You then get to pick your actual workout. You know by the timer next to each how long they all take to complete.
Each workout will take you through each move and set. You can go by pictures only, or they have video to show you in action how something is preformed.
WOMENS HEALTH TOTAL BODY WORKOUTS
This app is great because it allows you to choose from individual exercise or full body workouts. The thing that makes it different then others is when you are looking for just individual exercises, you can choose your body part and it will bring up tons of options. If you are looking to do a couple ab moves, for instance, this will allow you to pick and choose different variations on your own. If you already have some familiarity with working out, this can help you get more targeted for the muscles you need.
If you choose the full body workout version, you start with picking your goal: lean muscle or loose weight.
They then walk you through each series with pictures and detailed instructions.
I hope you are able to download one or all of these soon! Enjoy!To being fit and fashionable, Christyn
If you have noticed by now, I am a strong advocate for cardio, cardio, cardio! Okay, I may be a bit biased being that running is my hobby and passion and I run marathons for fun, but besides my personal reasons for making cardio a huge part of my workout regim, it has been proven that cardio can be the most effective exercise for weight loss. When combined with a healthy and clean diet, cardio can amp up your bodies calorie burn quicker then most other workouts. However, the best cardio calorie burn does not come from hours at the same pace on the treadmill; it comes from HIIT! HIIT, high intensity interval training, is a form of cardio that takes short periods of intense anaerobic exercise and combines them with less intense recovery periods. HIIT workouts are typically about 20 minutes long which, may not sound like long, but halfway through the workout I promise you that you will feel the BURN!
Now, my recommending this form of cardio may seem contradictory to my being so involved in long distance running. All in all, I am the first to admit that distance running is not for everyone. Additionally, many distance runners are not able to maintain their goal weights because they are not getting a high enough calorie burn and are instead focusing on just moving for hours on end. If you are a distance runner like me, there is absolutely a balance in being able to incorporate these HIIT workouts with your long distance plans. For a distance runner, it is of course crucial to be able to maintain your endurance for long periods of time, but you also want to throw in some of these high intense intervals to keep your calorie burn up, and allow your body to adapt to faster speeds; I do these types of workouts about 1-2x per week. Many times, I just add this on top of my already planned mileage. However, if you are not training for distance, just doing one or two of these HIIT workouts can be sufficient to almost the same amount of calorie burn that I would get from running a few miles at a continued and steady pace.
Below are six of my HIIT workouts I like to incorporate into my fitness plans. These can be intense, but start slow and you will be able to soon work your way up. If needed, feel free to adjust the speed and/or incline to meet your current abilities. Just keep in mind that these workouts are supposed to be a challenge so don’t go too easy on yourself – push through the pain to get the results! Take a quick look at this chart to get an idea of what your body should be feeling throughout each of these workouts.
**EPOC means excess post exercise oxygen consumption. It is the measurable increased rate of oxygen intake following an intense activity such as HIIT, intended to erase your bodies ‘oxygen debt.’
The Fitness Fashionista HIIT Workouts:
Start with the first workout and work your way down as your speed and endurance build. Note, these can be done on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. As long as you are moving fast, you will get the burn.
Good luck with your HIIT workouts!To being fit and fashionable, Christyn