March 24, 2017

Do Jumping Jacks!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Do Jumping Jacks!

Jumping jacks are a great high intensity cardio option if you’re short on time, short on equipment and short on space. Perform your desired number of jumping jacks, followed by jogging or walking in place for recovery. Repeat until your desired workout time is complete.

Vary the motion by adding a squat, moving only one arm at a time, moving forward, crossing your legs during the in-step, lowering your arms only half way, just to name a few. This workout is limited only by your creativity.


*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Get Functional with Your Fitness

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get Functional with Squats!

If your fitness goal is to complete your activities of daily living with greater ease and less effort, consider adding functional exercises like Squats into your workout routine.

Squats: An effective exercise that strengthens the entire muscle chain of your body. Although you’ll feel the lower body working the most, your internal stabilizing muscles are also working to maintain proper form, posture and control.

Here’s how to get started:

Consult a Fit Pro to learn proper form based on your ability. Every body is different, and therefore approach to a specific exercise may slightly differ as well.

Maintaining posture is paramount. Maintaining proper alignment is a prerequisite to performing an effective squat.

Master form before adding the load of weights. Adding load without controlling the motion increases risk of injury. Technique matters!

Choose free-weights if appropriate. Free weights require stabilization, instead of relying on the tracking of machine.

Progressions are endless. Varying the mode of the load creates an increased challenge for intermediate and advanced exercisers. For example utilize an exercise band, hold one or two dumbbells, incorporate a stability ball, stand on a balance disk, add a simultaneous upper body exercise, vary pace or vary the range of motion.


*Consult your doctor before beginning exercise.


High Intensity Jump Rope for Fitness

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Jump Rope!

Jumping rope has total body fitness benefits all in one workout. You’ll strengthen your heart and your muscles. Jump ropes are economical and portable. Jumping rope is also useful for coordination and agility. Begin with ten to twenty seconds of jumping, followed by twenty seconds of rest, and build from there by adding ten seconds.

A few reminders:

Every workout should begin with an 8-10 minute warm up and conclude with a 10 minute cool down.

Wear proper athletic footwear.

Be mindful of jumping on a suitable surface.

Choose a jump rope length based on your height.

Proper postural alignment is important when performing high impact activity.

Adjust your jumping style and rhythm based on sustainable intensity. For higher intensity, jump the rope on every hop and turn of the rope. For lower intensity, jump the rope on every other hop and turn the rope slower.

Requires a base level of fitness. Jumping rope is high impact and high intensity and may not be suitable for beginning exercisers.


*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

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Pick It Up!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Pick It Up!

…your exercise intensity, that is! Increase the intensity of your cardio for more of a challenge.

Here’s how to increase your exercise intensity for more of a cardiovascular challenge: (Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.)

Add in 10 second- 2 minute sprints to your cardio workout.

Add in plyometrics or full body body-weight exercises.

Vary the terrain. Hit the stairs, trails or stadiums for a high intensity challenge.

Reduce rest time in between sprint cardiovascular intervals.

Start your fitness TODAY! By Tera Busker

Fall has just started and winter is right around the corner, but is it too early to be preparing for your summer wardrobe?

Absolutely not! Shorts and swimsuit weather will be here again before you know it, so here are 4 great exercises to incorporate into your workout this winter to get you in a “shapely” shape for this summer. (Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.)



Tricep Dips
When you wave goodbye, does the underneath of your arm continue to wave even after you stop? To tone up your arms, give tricep dips a try.

Starting Position

Sit on the edge of a chair and wrap your hands over the front edge. Walk feet out slightly so your hips are out past the edge of the chair.

Lower hips toward the floor until your elbows are bent to 90 degrees. Press up until your elbows are straight, but not locked. Work up to doing 15 reps and 3 sets of this exercise.


Clock Lunges
Clock lunges are guaranteed to tighten up your booty, slim the hips and give you well defined legs.

Starting Position

Imagine you are standing in the center of a clock. Straight in front of you is 12:00, to your right is 3:00, behind you is 6:00 and to your left is 9:00.

Lunge with your right leg to each of the 12:00, 3:00 and 6:00 positions. Lunge with your left leg to each of the 6:00, 9:00 and 12:00 positions. Each time you lunge, make sure to return to the starting position before lunging to the next position.

Once you have completed each position, you have done 1 cycle. Work up to doing 5 cycles and 3 sets of this exercise.


Plank Up Downs

Plank Up Downs will tighten the entire core, strengthen the chest and give you definition in your shoulders.

Starting Position

Get into a pushup position (on knees or up on toes) with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders.

Slowly drop down into a low plank position (on elbows) one side at a time and pushup yourself back up into the high plank. That is one rep. Work up to doing 10 reps and 3 sets.


The best and most efficient way burn fat and torch calories  is through HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. It’s a short workout that alternates between short blasts of high intensity work with bouts of lower intensity “recovery” periods in less than 30 minutes.


Warm up for 5 minutes. For the next 10 to 20 minutes alternate between 30 seconds of very intense exercise (like running) and 90 seconds of lower intensity exercise (walking or complete rest).  Follow that up with a 5 minute cool down.

HIIT training is very difficult and should not be done more that 2-3 times a week and never 2 days in a row.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI.

Hiking with Kids- How to Plan, Pack and Play by Deb Lowther

Hiking with kids can be a rewarding and fun experience or it can lend up being an outing filled with meltdowns deep in the forest that you immediately regret.  To increase your chances of having the best hiking experience possible with kids in tow make sure your hike is properly planned, you are well packed, and you include game play.

How to Plan a Great Hike with Kids


Timing is Everything
Don’t pick nap time to go for a long family hike unless you enjoy carrying tired kids! Try to go after waking up and a good meal that will sustain them for awhile.

Plan Hike Suitable to Kids Ages
Something that has you scaling boulders or whacking your way through bushes 5 feet tall will not appeal to short legs. Try hiking on bike paths or wide and well marked forest trails that allow for some freedom to roam and are easily accessible as first.

Have a Goal Destination
Children are not as impressed by Fall colours and fresh air as adults are; they tend to miss the smaller joys of hiking and need more inspiration. Plan a hike to a water fall they can walk behind, a creek they can play in a corn maze to get lost in, a look up high in the air or even oatmeal cookies at the end of the trail and the kids will be motivated to continue hiking.

Take Breaks
Stop a lot along your hike to smell the roses – or look at the leaves, find the chipmunk or drink in the scenery. Kids will welcome the break. If you pass a lake, stop and look for fish or frogs, if there is an old stump on the trail take some photos of everyone sitting on it, or if kids get hungry or thirsty take a 5 minute time out and have a rest to refuel.

Bring a Friend
Time flies when you are having fun and kids have the most fun when they have friends to play with, skip with, find sticks with and run ahead with.  Bringing friends for you and the kids will keep the momentum going on a longer hike as well as add enjoyment to the hike as active time outdoors is best when shared.

Quit on a Happy Note
Don’t hike until exhaustion hits but rather try to plan the hike so it ends with them wanting a bit more.  Ending on a happy note will do a lot to ensure a fun hike and also increase the chances of a second hike in the near future.

What to Pack When Hiking With Kids

No need to stuff a backpack full just in case you get lost for a week in the woods, but having just a few essentials on hand can make for a much better experience in the woods. Here are just a few things you might want to bring along.

High energy snacks like these Chocolate Power Balls or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Small First aid kit with Band-Aids, antiseptic spray for scrapes and tissues for runny noses
Sunglasses or hats for sunny days
Bug spray and sunscreen if you will be out for a while and need to re apply.
Toilet paper for the inevitable potty breaks in nature
Small bag to carry out all garbage
GPS or compass if you are unsure of your route. Getting lost with kids is no fun.
Change of socks, shorts, t-shirt in case you find a creek to play in
A light jacket in case it gets chilly
A whistle for the kids to wear is great for safety if they wander off
Wear running or closed toe shoes, but maybe pack water shoes

Games To Play When Hiking With Kids

To keep the kids engaged and happy while they are hiking have a few games you can play on the go, not only is it more fun for the kids, but it keeps them moving without even realizes how much they are hiking.

Follow the Leader – everyone gets a turn being the leader and breaking new trail.

Treasure Hunt – also known as geocaching – download the app from and go to “Find Nearby Cache” – instant navigation to hidden treasures all around you.

Eye Spy – perfect in a new area with so many great things to see and point out.

Simon Says – Simon Says walk backwards, stick an arm in the air, whistle and walk at the same time. Simon can be a great motivation or keep moving.

Bird watching, Rock counting, or Flower picking are all great ideas to keep the kids interested in the nature surrounding you.

Don’t let the kids lack of enthusiasm from the couch keep you at home and indoors, insist you all go for a hike.  If you are properly planned, sufficiently packed and ready to play the kids just might insist you go for another hike next weekend.

This time of year there are so many Harvest Festivals, pumpkin patches, apple orchards, Fall leaves and great hikes, it is a perfect time to get outdoors with the kids and enjoy them all!

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.  Find more inspiring tips on her website Raising Healthy Kids, and Facebook, follow Deb’s new passion Boomer Nutrition as well as her column on Erica Ehm’s YummyMummyClub column Family on the Run.  Follow Deb on both Twitter @Deb_Lowther and Pinterest.

No time to workout? By Nicole Bryan

Short on time? Instead of trying to create extra time to fit exercise into your schedule, try allowing your current schedule to dictate your cardiovascular and strength training exercise. Use the time you already have! Exercise is cumulative; it all adds up to a healthier heart, leaner waistline, strong muscles, improved agility and a peaceful mind. Consult a physician before beginning or performing any exercise.

If you have 2 minutes: Change your position! If you’re sitting, stand up. If you’re standing, walk. If you’re walking, climb a flight of stairs. Move differently often to improve circulation, decrease soreness and improve energy and mood.

If you have 5 minutes: Stand up. Perform 20 posture squats: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Extend both arms straight out in front of you with your arms straight and hold them parallel to the floor. Sit back, bend from your knees and hips and lower your body until your thighs are about parallel to the floor. Return to your starting position. Next do 10 Pushups.  Follow Pushups with a 30 second Plank interval on your forearms and toes: Place your forearms on the floor, with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Place your toes on the floor and hold the center of your body up parallel to the floor, and count to 30. Repeat 2-3 times through. Move from one exercise to the next without a rest interval.

If you have 10 minutes: Walk down the street 4 minutes. At the end of the block, do 20 Heel Raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, place your arms across your chest using your core muscles to balance and stabilize your body. Lift up your heels, and then lower your heels half way down the floor. Walk back to your starting point. Do a Wall Squat Hold for 30 seconds: Lean with your back against a wall and your feet about 12 inches away from the wall. Lower your body down about six inches. Hold for a count of 30. Return to your standing upright position.

If you have 15 minutes: Perform a walking warm-up for 5 minutes. Begin body-weight exercises with 20 Squats: Place your arms across your chest. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and hips and sit back, lowering your body about twelve inches. Return to your starting position. Move on to 10 Wall Pushups: Place your hands shoulder width and shoulder level on the wall. Bending from your elbows, lower your chest toward the wall, then straighten your arms again to return to your starting position. Immediately from Wall Pushups, perform 10 Jump Squats: Squat down, then upon standing, jump up lifting both feet off the floor and raising both arms overhead. Land gently and lower your body down into a squat.  Repeat Squats, Wall Pushups, and Jump Squats three times through with no rest in between.


*Disclaimer: Result may vary from person to person.


Better your Fitness

Better your Fitness!

Join #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat on Twitter and stay current on top gear, best exercise practices and keys to motivation. Interact with others who are also on their fitness journey. Together we solve challenges and share successes.

Mark your Calendar NOW: Every Monday at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat on Twitter.

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Traveling? How to keep your fitness on track. By Nicole Bryan

Take your strength/stretch routine along for the ride this summer! This combo workout series is a great fit to maintain condition while traveling. The following series is for intermediate exercisers and those without injury or illness concerns. Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Knees to chest stretch. Lie on your back and pull both knees into your chest. Hold ten to twenty seconds.

Hamstring stretch. Lie on your back. Extend your right leg straight up, perpendicular to the floor. Hold ten to twenty seconds. Change leg position; extend your left leg straight up, perpendicular to the floor and hold.

Bicycle for Abs. Lie on your back and pull both legs up off the floor with knees bent. “Bicycle” your legs to work abdominal muscles. Do ten times total.

Figure 4 stretch. Lie on your back. Cross your right ankle onto your left thigh, pull both legs off the floor and in toward your chest. Hold ten to twenty seconds. Change leg position; place your left ankle on your right thigh, pull both legs in toward your chest.

Floor plank. Lie on your stomach on the floor. Place your forearms and toes on the floor, lift the rest of your body off the floor and maintain parallel to the floor. Hold thirty seconds.

Low back stretch. Begin on your hands and knees on the floor. Inhale, round your back up. Exhale, and arch your back. Do five times.

Standing squats. Begin standing with your feet hip width apart, hold your arms straight out in front of you. Bend from your knees and hips and sit back into a squat. Lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to your starting position. Do ten repetitions.

Standing lunge stretch. Standing, step your right foot back about three feet. Keep both feet flat on the floor and pointing forward. Bend your left knee and hold ten seconds. Change leg positions; step back with your left foot back about three feet, keeping both feet flat and pointing forward, bend your right knee and hold ten seconds.

Standing front thigh stretch. Stand on your right leg. With your left hand, grab your left ankle. Keep your knees together and your torso straight. Hold ten seconds. Release and change leg positions. Stand on your left leg only, with your right hand hold your right ankle. Hold ten seconds.

Don’t let travel plans leave your strength and flexibility on the sidelines. Maintenance is not regression after all! Use this stretch and strength combo routine to take easy conditioning along during travels!


*Disclaimer: Result may vary from person to person.