November 29, 2020

Indoor Fitness Circuit by Tera Busker

If you like to exercise in the open-air, then your “gym” time is totally dependent on the weather. Getting outdoors and taking in the sun on a beautiful day can make your workout enjoyable, but when the weather goes south, running in the rain while dodging puddles in squishy shoes is no fun. So what do you do when a rainy day forces you to forgo your alfresco sweat session and you don’t have the option to go to a gym?

Take your workout inside and use the best piece of equipment you have – your own body! Here is a fast and effective indoor workout that you can do without any fancy equipment. Perform the following exercises at your own risk. Please consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

Indoor Circuit

Beginners: Complete each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise
Intermediate: Complete each exercise for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds before moving on to the next exercise
Advanced: Complete each exercise for 50 seconds and rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise

Squats (Advanced: Jump Squats)
Jumping Jacks
Alternating Reverse Lunges (Advanced: Jump Lunges)
Inchworm (Advanced: Add pushup)
Mountain Climbers
Alternating Side Lunges (Advanced: Skater Lunges)
Rest for 2 minutes. Repeat circuit 2 more times.

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.

Try a New Whole Grain this Week by Gretchen Scalpi R.D.

Most of us eat the same grains over and over again:  pasta, rice, and wheat.  How about trying a new whole grain in place of one of your old standbys?  One whole grain that we think is really worth a try is buckwheat.  Japan, China and Korea have been cultivating buckwheat for over 1,000 years and a favorite food item soba noodles made with buckwheat has become very popular in the United States.

Buckwheat flour is commonly added to commercial pancake mix and this is how most people even know of its existence.  However, buckwheat is much more than just an addition to a breakfast pancakes.  In its lesser known forms, there are many health and nutritional benefits that could make buckwheat a wonderful addition to a “whole foods” diet. Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not a form of wheat at all.

Whole buckwheat is a very nutritious food. The protein in buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids. Buckwheat is also rich in many B vitamins as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, and has Alpha-Linolenic Acid, which is one of the two essential fatty acids we must have in our diets.

In addition to its nutritional value, there are a few health benefits that make this food worth your consideration:

-Buckwheat is a high fiber food. 1 cup of cooked buckwheat groats contains over 4 grams of dietary fiber.
-Because it is high in fiber and has a low glycemic load, and is a good carbohydrate choice for people with diabetes.
-Many grains lack protein but buckwheat has more than corn, wheat or rice.
-Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
-Buckwheat is a gluten-free alternative to grains, which makes it a healthful grain alternative for people with celiac disease or wheat sensitivity.

Buckwheat Groats: hulled grains of buckwheat, triangular in shape and resembles other grains. The seeds from buckwheat can be used to make flour after being removed from the husk.

Buckwheat Kasha:  kasha, or roasted hulled buckwheat kernels, may be sold whole or cracked.  You may find it ground into coarse, medium, or fine consistencies. The variety you use will depend on the consistency you need for the dish you are preparing.  Buckwheat groats and the roasted version, kasha are usually cooked in a manner similar to cooking rice. Either can be used to make hot cereal, added to soups or casseroles, or used as a side dish.

You can find an abundance of recipes in cookbooks and on the internet that include buckwheat so now is the time for you to start adding it to your diet!

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. She is the author of “The EVERYTHING Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes 2nd Ed.”, “The EVERYTHING Diabetes Cookbook 2nd Ed.”, “Virtual Grocery Store Tour: Getting The Most Nutrition Out Of Your Food Shopping”, “Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance At Health”, “The Quick Start Guide to Healthy Eating”, “The Quick Start Guide To Pre-Diabetes” and “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals”.  Read her articles, recipes and blog at and learn more about her books at


Natural Metabolism Boosters by Angelena Riggs

Whether you are looking to burn fat or gain lean muscle follow these tips to naturally boost your metabolism.  Stay consistent and you will start to see the results in as little as 2 weeks.

Eat enough of the right foods- Focus on eating whole, nutrient dense food.  Make sure you are eating lean protein, plenty of veggies and fruits.  Steer clear of processed foods that offer no nutrients, they are bad for your waistline and metabolism.

Eat your breakfast- Start off your day right and eat a well rounded breakfast: eggs scrambled with your favorite veggies on a piece of sprouted grain toast and some fresh berries.  This sets you up for a successful day.  Also, down one glass of ice cold water before your first bite.

Eat throughout the day- Make sure you have 3 meals and at least two snacks planned for the day.  Eating at regular intervals, every 3-4 hours, keeps your metabolism burning and will ensure that your body doesn’t break down that hard earned muscle for energy.

Lift weights- Lifting weights helps to build lean muscle.  Lean muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat, and for every pound of lean muscle you build your body will rev up your metabolism to maintain that muscle.  Challenge yourself beyond those 3 and 5 pounds and watch your body change!

Add HIIT to your workouts- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is adding short bursts of high intensity moves, like sprints or jump squats to your low intensity steady state workouts, like weight lifting.  This gets your heart rate up and then forces your body to recover many times during your workout.  The benefits continue even after your workout is over, you burn more fat and calories for up to 24 hours.

Stay hydrated- At a minimum you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces.  For example a 150 pound woman should at least drink 75 ounces daily.  Add don’t forget to drink extra during your workouts!

Angelena is a mom, healthy living blogger at On Fire Fitness Healthy Living (, an NASM Certified Personal trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Her goal is to inspire others to take the steps to living a healthy lifestyle. Visit Angelena on Facebook and Twitter.

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary? By Sarah Johnson

If you’ve recently joined a gym or enlisted the guidance of a Fitness Professional, you may be asked to provide a Medical Clearance to Exercise.

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary or Waste of Time?

Is medical clearance to exercise really important?
Yes. Safety is top priority. We want you to get in a great workout, and we want to be sure you’re doing it in a safe manner.

How to obtain medical clearance to exercise? Getting medical approval prior to starting an exercise program shouldn’t be difficult.  Your Fitness Professional should hand you a form for your physician to review and sign. Call your doctors office and simply request that your physician review and email/fax/mail in your facility’s clearance form. Once it’s received and discussed with your Fitness Professional, you can usually begin your workout immediately.

What if you don’t have a regular doctor to review the form? Ask your friends for the name of their doctor. Having a doctor who is familiar with your health history is of benefit to everyone. Make an appointment and proceed from there.

WHY is medical clearance important? Exercise should be enjoyable and effective. There are many medical issues that may affect the type, duration or intensity of exercise you should be performing: high blood pressure, heart rate limitations, bone or joint injuries and others. You may not even be aware of your medical conditions until consulting with your doctor. It is very important that your fitness instructor or gym facility knows that you may have some restrictions before beginning an exercise program because:
A) we don’t want you to get hurt or further injured.
B) you may not be able to reach your goals as quickly or effectively without some modifications due to your considerations.

Once medical clearance has been accepted, you’ll be on your journey to better health!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

Choosing Health Resolutions that Stick! By Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

How to Choose Health Resolutions You WILL Keep:

What is the point of making a resolution for living better, healthier lives if it is not maintainable? Here are my 4 best tips for weight loss and great health. All my tips are achievable and sustainable!

1. Focus on “life-long change” – Ditch all those fad diets, the hunger strikes, the elimination diets and take charge of your health with real foods that taste good! Remember that any valiant effort to lose weight that involves deprivation and/or extreme exercise is unsustainable; you will eventually default to your old habits. Strategies that are enjoyable are sustainable!

2. Fill up with Fibre: Fibre fills us up on few calories; it slows digestion, lowers cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugars. Choose whole grains (ie. oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, barley) and b-fast cereals with more than five grams of fibre per serving. Add 1.5 Tbsp of chia seeds to cereal and yogurt to boost fibre at a meal or snack.

3. Take the stairs: Taking the stairs burns twice the number of calories as walking. Stair climbers also have greater leg strength and better aerobic capacity. Climbing just two flights of stairs daily could equate to a 6 pound weight loss per year. Similarly, if you did six flights a day, this could be a 18 pound weight loss over one year.

4. Learn to cook! We have become increasingly dependent upon processed, convenience and restaurant meals. Similarly, our taste buds have become accustomed to crave these types of high fat, salt laden and high sugar foods. Cook your own food more often to improve your dietary quality and decrease your reliance on processed foods. Your waistline will
thank you for it!

Andrea D’Ambrosio is a Registered Dietitian and owner of Dietetic Directions, a dietary counseling and education company in Waterloo, ON. ( Follow her on twitter @DambrosioRD or like her page on Facebook

Do you know about these surprising benefits of exercise? By Amanda Miarecki

3 Surprising Reasons You Should Be Working Out Regularly

It’s common knowledge that working out can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of disease. Physical activity also increases strength and energy levels. It can help alleviate depression, boredom, and stress.

The benefits of exercise extend to everything from your mood to your digestive health but I bet you didn’t know about these 3 surprising reasons you should be working out regularly.

Controlled Blood Sugar

Exercise is a great tool in controlling blood sugar levels, which can be exceptionally helpful for people struggling with diabetes, hypoglycemia, and other blood sugar related illnesses.

Exercise makes your heart beat faster which causes muscles to use more glucose, the sugar in your blood stream. Over time, this lowers overall blood sugar levels.  Cardio, like brisk walking, jogging, or stairs, incorporated into a weekly fitness routine keeps blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Lose Weight Without Losing Bone Density

A study done at Washington University found that dieters who didn’t work out lost bone density, while exercisers did not. A regular fitness routine can help you lose weight without sacrificing done density.

Weight-bearing exercise forces bones to adapt to the pull and weight of muscles by building more bone cells. This increase in bone cells results in improved strength and bone density, which in turn decreases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Weight-bearing exercises, such as weight lifting, jogging, and dancing, are excellent for maintaining and increasing bone density.

Enhance Your Immune System

When you workout, your temperature rises. This higher body temperature makes it challenging for certain infectious organisms to survive. Working out will also speed up the rate that antibodies flow through your blood stream. This increase results in higher immunity against common illnesses.

A 30-minute walk once a day is enough to speed up the flow of antibodies in your system and help you ward off illnesses, like the common cold.

Amanda is a Boulder-based Health Coach, fitness enthusiast, avid trail-runner, and aspiring physician with a passion for integrative health. Her goal is to motivate women to live inspiring and healthy lives and create a revolution in how people think about their health. Her passion is encouraging others to take care of their bodies with exercise, healthy behaviors, and nutritious foods. Get inspired to live fit and connect with Amanda on her blog, via Facebook and Twitter.

Everywhere and Anywhere Fitness with FitBlok

There really is no excuse to miss a workout, thanks to FitBlok. The new app is created by those in the fitness business who not only understand first-hand the challenges of keeping up with workouts while traveling or away from your usual exercise routine, but also understand the importance of a properly executed exercise session. The FitBlok professionals will guide you through a workout offering tips on form, technique and everything else you need to complete an effective workout…from absolutely anywhere!

Getting fit really is as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Go to their website, or download their FREE App from the itunes store.
2. Choose your workout.
3. Feel better and look better with an efficient and effective professional-guided exercise session.
Getting started is easy! Begin browsing available exercise sessions immediately. If you like what you see, sign up and create a profile either through Facebook or via your ipad app. You can even invite friends to join you in the workout.

What makes FitBlok different? “Most online workout programs offer a specific trainer, or small handful of trainers from a particular exercise discipline” explains Brett Klika, featured Fitblok Trainer. “With Fitblok, the user can choose from a variety of credible, professional personal trainers from a variety of disciplines including Pilates, yoga, sports performance, dance, kettlebell training, TRX, and much more” Brett adds.

FitBlok also serves as an economical option to keep up with exercise when your usual routine is challenged, as you only pay for the classes in which you participate. “There are no monthly fees” Brett states, and continues “users only pay for ‘classes’ they attend.” At $1.00- $4.00 per class, that’s far less than a day-use pass at a gym, and you’ll save time on the commute to and from the gym, avoid the crowds, and even having to pack a gym bag. What’s more convenient than that? User Mark McGovern has enjoyed FitBlok and says, “it is a great ‘fallback’ if traveling and in a hotel room, or pressed for time in the early morning.”

Check out Brett’s three most popular workouts. There really is something for every interest and every fitness level.
Body Weight Training (The Naked Workout)
Injury Prevention and Recovery (No Pain, Big Gains)
Sports Training (Weekend Warrior)

While the workouts on FitBlok come in a variety of intensities, you can try a FREE 30 minute high intensity sports-based workout by clicking here.

So whether you prefer to work out in the privacy of your own home or you travel often, and would like the accountability, motivation and instruction of a Fitness Professional, this app should be #1 on your list. Brett explains “I travel quite a bit as a professional speaker and fitness consultant. I became involved with the Fitblok platform because I’ve seen a vast global need for access to professional exercise guidance.” Brett continues, “the every-day world doesn’t require much physical activity, so people have to create it. Many don’t know how. Now they have an affordable, accessible resource to help improve their fitness and health.”

Let’s face it, who isn’t busy these days, children, long work hours, we’re all pulled in so many directions- slow down the pace, take care of your health and exhale with FitBlok; your on-the-go fitness solution.

Holistic Health Defined by Rachael Roehmholdt

When you think of the term health, what comes to mind? Do you immediately think of what you eat or whether or not you exercise? What about if you’re fulfilled on a deep level each and every day? Or if you have a desire to do something bigger than yourself when you get out of bed every morning?

This is exactly what the holistic health approach takes into account. Holistic health is the idea that your health is not a separate entity from any other area of your life. It takes into account all facets of your life and how they all work in an interconnected fashion to create who you are – in your body, your health, and your life as a whole.

What’s different about a holistic approach to getting healthy is that you can look into each and every area of your life to look for improvements, as opposed to just assuming that eating more fruits and vegetables every day and getting moving will make you healthier.

The basic idea is that your health isn’t just determined by what you eat every day and whether or not you made time to exercise. It also is affected by your job, and whether you enjoy or dread going to it every day. Your relationships are considered and if they support and nourish you or drain you to your very core. Even your spirituality can have an affect on your health. Feeling a sense of being connected to something bigger than yourself or making a difference in the world can change how you interact with the world. All of these things, including the food you eat and the exercise you get each day work together to determine how healthy you are and how you feel on a daily basis.

You can eat all the right things and exercise every day and still be unfulfilled in your career and relationships. Or you could have an amazing life in all other areas than your diet and be healthier than any marathon runner out there. Health is subjective so take a holistic approach and look for areas in your life that can be improved upon – even if it’s not in your diet or exercise routines.

Rachael Roehmholdt is a certified holistic health coach and founder of Be More Healthful. With a passion for good food and living a healthful and balanced life, she believes that small changes to our everyday lives can set us up for a lifetime of health and happiness.

Three Must-Try Outdoor Workouts by Gen Levrant

Do not underestimate the power of fresh air!
The majority of the working population spend their days cooped up indoors – is it any wonder stress levels, work-related absence and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months are at their highest?
The solution?  GET OUTSIDE!

Walk/Run for Function
It may sound cliché (or you’ve heard it before) but getting out the office and briskly walking round the block even for 10-20 minutes can make the baddest of days better.
Your mind will clear and re-focus from physically removing yourself from the environment, your mood lifted from the natural light and oxygen.
Try this 15 minute fat blast workout:
Brisk walk warm up
2 minute jog
30 second sprint
Repeat x5 before cooling down with a slow walk. Finish with stretching.

Head for the Hills
Hill walks/sprints are a great way of exercising the heart and lungs. Try your local park, woods or venture a little further, making a day of it at the beach or a national park. Vary the terrain: grass, gravel, sand all make a difference and keep it interesting. Running uphill (or some outdoor steps,) walking down and repeating is a great interval training workout of exertion and recovery at your own pace. You can track your progress by recording how many you can do – and see if you can beat it next time. Great fun for all the family so make a game of it!

DIY Bootcamp
Try making your own bootcamp either in your garden or a local playground. Look at what you can use for exercises, even as simple as throwing and catching a ball against a wall. Press ups, step-ups and tricep dips can be done on a bench. Pull ups, mountain climbers and knee tucks can be done using a climbing frame ladder.

Whatever your age and fitness level, you now have three variations of outdoor workouts, all with phenomenal effects. So if it rains, be your own sunshine!

Gen Levrant is an Advanced Personal Trainer and fat-loss specialist operating out of a private functional training studio in Southampton UK. For fitness tips, updates and further info: email Gen via Follow her on Twitter @PTGen, Youtube Channel


2013 Health Trends to Watch by Rachael Roehmholdt

In 2012, you couldn’t read a health-related publication without running across some mention of getting enough sleep at night, the dangerous rise of energy drinks, or how so many women are eating a gluten-free diet – for allergies, sensitivities, or as a weight loss solution.

2013 will usher in a whole new set of trends that will return us back to basics - natural products, tuning in to your body, and being active wherever you go. Let’s take a look at five of these trends that might make their way into your life this year.

On-the-go fitness.
With so many of us using mobile phones and tablets, we’ll continue to see a rise of fitness and health apps to get that workout in wherever you go. We’ll also see a lot more membership based fitness apps (like that you can access wherever you have an internet connection so you can get your sweat on from anywhere.

Love your body at any size.
With the rise of more celebrities embracing their bodies, we’ll see more women taking this to heart as well. As a culture, we’re shifting from the idea that one body size is the right size and seeing that all shapes and sizes have the ability to be healthy.

Personalize your fitness and health programs.
Understanding that no two people are alike, more personalized and custom health and fitness programs will emerge for women. More women will work one-on-one with certified professionals to motivate them to success by creating programs that work best for their bodies and where they’re at in life.

Go au natural.
In 2013, we’ll continue to see more natural and sustainable beauty products hitting the shelves. Many established brands will likely branch out with new lines of makeup, creams, lotions and potions that come from nature and aren’t made with harsh chemicals.

Tune in to your body.
We’ve seen many food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities pop up in recent years, which means women are becoming much more aware of how foods affect them. With that in mind, we’ll see new allergen-friendly brands pop up, as well as established brands work to keep their customers happy with these options.

Many of these trends in women’s health are tried and true, so you can be sure that the ones you choose to participate in will be here to stay well past 2013.

Rachael Roehmholdt is a certified holistic health coach and founder of Be More Healthful. With a passion for good food and living a healthful and balanced life, she believes that small changes to our everyday lives can set us up for a lifetime of health and happiness.