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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! Read More ›
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!) Read More ›
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. Read More ›
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. READ MORE
If you are interested in: Beginner-Focused Workouts
Try: Fitness Blender
While they offer a wide variety of different workouts for all levels, Fitness Blender has a nice library of beginner focused low impact sessions that are just right for someone starting an exercise plan. (You can check out their low impact/beginner workout playlist here). On screen cues help you remember the moves (there’s even an ‘up next’ cue that previews each coming move for you in the left corner of the screen) making it easy to follow along. There’s no music (each video offers an instructors guidance) so you can easily play your own music along with the videos if you like to groove while you sweat.
If you are interested in: Tough, Hardcore Workouts
Try: Turbulence Training
Certified trainer Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Trainin--a specific type of metabolic conditioning training designed for peak fat loss--offers some great full-length hardcore workouts on his channel. I prefer his routines to some of the other more popular "hardcore" workout channels out there because Ballantyne really knows his stuff and explains the how and why behind his exercise selection well, which is really important for safety when it comes to high intensity routines. If you like to work hard and push yourself to your limits, then check out his channel! Read More ›
You don't need any fancy equipment to get a good work out. You don't even need a lot of space!
I teamed up with my friend Cassey from Blogilates.com to create this simple cardio workout to help you burn lots of calories in just a few minutes. As an added bonus, it's super quiet! You can do this if you have sleeping kiddos at home or even if you're trying to be quiet for your downstairs neighbors.
Are you ready to try it? Read More ›
A day or so ago, a friends shared a video on Facebook. The preview was a photo of bears. He has kids, and I have cats, so I didn't pay much attention. Then a co-worker sent around an email about the same video. That's when I took notice. Wow!
Have you seen the video about the real bears yet? I don't want to spoil the story, but this is a must-watch video (with over 1/2 million views as of Friday morning!) for anyone who's committed to a healthier lifestyle. Take a few minutes to check out the video and then let's discuss. Read More ›
Posting anything on the internet can bring a lot of comments and feedback -- some positive and some negative. I wonder though, if it weren't for the anonymity of the internet would the same people that leave negative comments and feedback say the same thing in person? I doubt that they would, so when you get brave people to post blogs and videos, they open themselves up to a lot of scrutiny. Our very own Coach Nicole experienced this several years ago with comments made about her on her YouTube workout videos. I don't know if I could've taken those negative comments as well as Coach Nicole, but I didn't believe one word of the negative comments that were posted.
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I've blogged a lot about the downsides of sitting at work (or school) for hours a day. It can be a real pain in the neck—and back! But just because you sit doesn't mean you're doomed to suffer. The keys to combat the effects of sitting are to be aware of how you're sitting and take steps (literally!) to get up and moving as much as possible throughout your day.
For those of you who spend a lot of time in a seated position, there are a few posture-enhancing stretches I recommend that you do several times a day. These simple moves will help you focus on sitting tall and with proper alignment and help prevent pain and stiffness associated with being a desk jockey. Read More ›
It's the pre-season for bathing suit season and that has a lot of people focusing on firming up those trouble areas that are going to get a little more exposure when they're wearing a little less clothing. I'm not immune to the pressures of looking bathing-suit-ready myself! I often tend to ramp up my workout routines if I know I'm going to be hitting the beach or hoping to spend a little more time poolside.
As you know, it's a combination of fat-burning cardio and muscle-toning strengthening that'll help you firm up and slim down (along with a healthy diet of course), but when it comes to those strengthening moves you try, some are definitely better than others.
So if you hope to improve your rear view this summer, do you know which moves are going to do the job best of all? Watch this short video to find out the best exercises you can do for your butt! Read More ›
Just because you sit at a desk all day doesn't mean that you can't squeeze in a little fitness. There are a lot of sneaky ways you can work your muscles while sitting in a chair—without anyone even noticing. (OK, with some of these ideas they might notice your covert attempts to exercise, but they won't think you're a total weirdo, I promise.)
Check out these simple leg-toners you can do from a chair--no equipment required. Read More ›
You are what you eat.
That adage is a reminder to me at every meal, and it's one of my secrets to losing 50 pounds and keeping it off for six years and counting.
I follow it up with: Make every bite count.
That is, if I'm going to drink my calories, they shouldn't be empty ones. (Calcium-fortified soymilk, yes, Diet soda, never!) If I'm going to have a snack, I want it to fuel me through my evening workout. If I'm going to reach for a slice of bread, it will always be a whole-grain variety that's full of fiber and other nutrients.
I love to cook (I did co-write a cookbook, after all!), and I make almost everything I eat from scratch. I read labels, buy raw ingredients, and make time to prepare healthy and nutritious food each day.
That said, I'm not perfect. I reach for prepackaged treats on rare occasion. I have a serious affinity for all things crunchy and salty, and sometimes, I just want a Twizzler. I know those foods aren't good for me, but I know that when 98% of my diet is whole foods, the infrequent junk foods won't have a tremendous effect.
But have you ever wondered how certain food affects your body? Do you ever think about how much effort your body has to put into digesting one food versus another?
TEDxManhattan 2011 Fellow Stefani Bardin did, and that's why this "media maker" and her colleague had two people swallow M2A cameras (mouth-to-anus) and SmartPill wireless gastroenterology devices collects time, pressure and pH from within the GI tract. The participants ate similar meals: Gummi Bears, blue Gatorade and Ramen noodles. The only difference: One person had a homemade, real-food version. (Awhile later, each participant ate the other version of the meal.)
The results--and the visual proof--are startling. Watch for yourself: Read More ›
When you look at your day, how much of it is spent sitting or being sedentary? For a lot of people the answer to that is most of their day. Many people might find that they spend 8+ hours sitting at work and then come home and sit some more, whether it is to watch TV or for some other sedentary activity. We then go to bed and sleep the rest of the time. That’s a lot of time spent each day being sedentary!
So what can we do that has the biggest impact on our health to help counterbalance all that sedentary activity? Dr. Mike Evans, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital, created a video to help us learn what the best thing we can do for our health.
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