The SparkPeople Blog

All Entries For jessica smith

A Quick, Zero-Equipment Cardio Workout


Are you getting bored with your cardio routine? Spice things up with this quick, efficient (and kinda fun!) cardio workout that can be done with or without impact in a small space at home. I’ll show modification options during the routine, so be sure to stick with whatever works best for your body!  
Posted 4/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments   3,153 views
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A Cardio Workout That Anyone Can Do


The secret to getting started with exercise is simply doing what you can with what you have, today! There’s no need to join a gym or buy fancy equipment--you can start exercising right now with this full-length workout video that incorporates some simple every day items you probably already have around the house (like a sturdy chair and a broom). Join my mom, Debbie, and me for this get-up-and-go routine that can easily be done at home with little space and zero equipment.
 
Try this routine up to 3 non-consecutive days per week to spark your fitness habit!
 
And, if you enjoy this workout, please be sure to check out all of our beginner workouts on our website. Need something even more low-key to start with? Check out our seated chair workout series for more options. 
Posted 2/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 13 comments   35,726 views
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A 30-Minute Workout You Can't Resist!


Resistance bands are one of my favorite pieces of fitness equipment! Not only are bands super versatile, they easily fit in a carry-on suitcase, making them perfect for travel. Don’t let a busy schedule keep you from fitting in a good workout – join me from your home, hotel room or even your office, for this 30-minute total body sculpting workout that can easily be done in a small space. 
Posted 2/6/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   18,868 views
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A No-Nonsense Walking Workout in 30 Minutes


You've probably been hearing the term 'HIIT' (which stands for high intensity interval training) a lot lately--especially when it comes to describing effective, efficient cardio exercise. And while HIIT offers many benefits, including an increased calorie burn both during and after your workout along with better endurance and improved cardiovascular fitness, it can be very intense, especially if you are new or returning to exercise. Plus, many HIIT routines include challenging moves (like burpees, squat thrusts or mountain climbers) that can be really difficult to execute properly so quickly, especially if you are working with an injury or physical limitations. 
Posted 1/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 24 comments   41,771 views
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Have a Ball with This Calorie-Torching Workout!


Looking to have a little more fun with your cardio workouts? Then hop off the treadmill and get ready to mix things up with this routine that uses a small ball to amp up the moves and help you burn more calories in less time.
 
No ball handy? Try using a small pillow, holding both ends of a light dumbbell (I would recommend a weight under 5 pounds) or simply clasp your hands together to follow along with this full length, 30-minute workout video. Check it out on YouTube, or watch via the embedded video below! 
Posted 12/30/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 12 comments   18,762 views
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Tone Your Legs in 15 Minutes (without Squats or Lunges!)


As a trainer, I’m a huge fan of squats and lunges, but I know that joint issues can make these common lower-body exercises pretty painful to do. The good news is that there are plenty of other exercises that can help shape up your lower half!

Whether you need to modify for your knees or simply want to try adding a few new leg moves to your repertoire, join me for this low impact, Pilates-inspired, lower body workout that doesn’t require much space and zero equipment. It's just over 15 minutes, so it's also a great option for when you're short on time! (Oh, and feel free to kick off your shoes to further engage the muscles in your feet and ankles.) Check it out on YouTube, or watch via the embedded video below! 
Posted 12/6/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 15 comments   22,792 views
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High-Intensity Cardio That Isn't Hard on Your Joints


High intensity interval training (aka H.I.I.T.) doesn't always have to be high impact! This workout is perfect for maximizing your cardio time--without pounding your joints. (Oh, and did I mention it’s free of both burpees and squat thrusts? Score!)
 
Join me for this low-impact, high-intensity cardio routine that can be done easily in a small space with zero equipment. (No jumping means it's perfect for hotel rooms and apartments, too!)
Posted 11/12/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 32 comments   28,241 views
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30-Minute Indoor Walking Workout


You already know some of the amazing benefits of walking: It’s good for your heart, great for your bones and perfect for weight control), but some days the weather outside can be frightful, and the treadmill can be well, less than delightful.

If you are in need of an indoor walking buddy today, join me for this full length, low-impact workout you can follow along with at home! This 30-minute power walk is easy to follow, fun to do, and it doesn’t require much space to move around. Plus, it's appropriate for all fitness levels.
Posted 9/27/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 43 comments   49,611 views
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The Best YouTube Fitness Channels


Looking for more exercise resources and workouts? YouTube is a great source for fitness--but with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones to follow! Of course, I am a huge fan of SparkPeople’s channel, where Coach Nicole has created a wide variety of different workouts for various levels of exercisers. But since I figure you are all already familiar with SparkPeople's videos, here are some more of my favorite YouTube channels (by category) for fitness workouts and why they’re worth checking out.
Posted 6/19/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 45 comments   24,411 views
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The 'Lose Your Love Handles' Workout


Love handles, the spare tire, the middle age spread: Call it what you will, but nobody likes having excess flab around the waistline (not even when we name it cute things like "muffin" top). And while you can target the oblique muscles located on the sides of your waist by doing specific toning exercises, doing tons of abs moves alone isn’t enough to shrink your waistline. Your best love handle melting strategy involves the same principles for losing weight anywhere on the body: eating better foods (and less in general), and performing both fat-burning cardio along with muscle-toning strength training.
 
But like any exercise program, you should cater your exercises to your specific goals. And if whittling your waistline is one of your goals, you should be doing exercises to help you reach it.
 
I designed this workout circuit to help you target your waistline in a smart way: by keeping your heart rate elevated to burn more calories than you would simply lying on the floor and doing crunches. You’ll alternate a cardio move that also targets your core with a traditional oblique toner for maximum benefit.
Posted 6/12/2013  12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 104 comments   940,756 views
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Your Excuse-Proof Workout Plan


Hey, we're all busy. But that’s no reason to let your workouts get away from you. Next time you feel like skimping on exercise to watch TV or meet your friends for Happy Hour remember this: It doesn't take much to get a great workout.
 
That's why I designed this excuse-proof workout. You can do this simple, 6-minute circuit anytime (it's whisper quiet), anywhere (no gym required) and without any equipment.  All that and it'll sculpt your body from head to toe, too.
Posted 6/3/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 40 comments   103,788 views
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The Towel Workout Makes Toning Easy!


There’s no need for special equipment for a great workout! A good old beach towel can be just as effective at working your muscles as dumbbells, resistance bands or expensive machines. Want proof? Meet "The Towel Workout."
 
All of these moves can be done with just a towel, which is great because you’ll probably need it to wipe up your sweat after you are done.
Posted 5/31/2013  12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 42 comments   53,424 views
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The Top 5 Exercises You're Doing Wrong


For some people, safety and form during a workout is a huge priority. For others, it's an afterthought. If you work out without the careful eyes of a trainer or instructor watching your every move, it can be difficult to know if you are exercising with proper form—even when you're really trying to.
 
Learning how to move with correct alignment isn't just about looking good; it can mean the difference between muscle activation and joint strain—or even injury.
 
Here are five exercises that are common—and may even seem simple—but are most often performed incorrectly by people of all fitness levels.
Posted 5/13/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 38 comments   153,838 views
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10 Exercises That Target the Triceps


Spring is around the corner, which means you'll be bringing your short sleeved and sleeveless tops out of storage in no time. Speaking of baring your arms: Are yours in tip-top shape? If not, you could help build strength and muscle tone in the most common problem area of the arms—the triceps—by adding some additional triceps exercises to your workout plan.
Posted 3/4/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 24 comments   266,182 views
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3 Tips to Deal with Exercise ADD


I see it happen all the time on exercise forums or via my friend Facebook: Exercisers (from enthusiasts to newbies) get so pumped up about a particular workout that it's all they can do, talk about or think about...for a while anyway.

After a few days (or a couple weeks if they're lucky), these people are already gung ho for something else. While their enthusiasm and consistency for working out is a very good thing, they ultimately end up complaining for not getting results.

But wait: Isn't a good thing to try new workouts to create that "muscle confusion" or get better results?
Posted 2/18/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 59 comments   58,259 views
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